A new batch of renders of the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 purportedly based on patents has hit the web, courtesy of @xleaks7 and Pigtou, and it teases a surprising change for Samsung's forthcoming foldable that we don't like.
If these renders are accurate, the Fold 2 could pack an even worse exterior display compared to the original model, shaped more like a strip than a full-on touch screen.
This would be a controversial design decision no doubt, especially since display analyst Ross Young tweeted in April that the external screen on the Fold 2 would be growing from 4.6 inches to 6.2 inches. The main display on the Galaxy Fold 2 is rumored to be a huge 7.7 inches, so it would be awkward to force users to use such a large panel just to, say, respond to a text.
If this strip functions anything like the tiny exterior display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, it'll mainly be used to serve notifications, or perhaps at least offer the ability to accept or reject calls. You would be using the main display nearly all of the time.
On the plus side, this design move would keep costs of Samsung's second-gen foldable down. It also lends an arguably more attractive aesthetic than the screen on the outside of last year's Fold, with its unapologetically ginormous bezels above and below the display that simply looked silly.
Aside from the notable screen differences, the next Galaxy Fold is also said to incorporate a redesigned hinge that allows the two sides of the device to fold flat, again, just like on the Z Flip.
This was something that wasn't possible on the original device; there was an unsightly gap when you'd shut the first Galaxy Fold that invited debris and dust to lodge its way into the handset's inner-workings and behind the flexible display, where they'd be pressed up and out from within, damaging that expensive plastic panel.
On the inside, the Galaxy Fold 2's primary screen looks largely the same, which isn't particularly surprising given that we've heard Samsung intends to use the same basic chassis for this upcoming model. Pigtou does point out the existence of what looks to be an alert slider on the left side of the phone, similar to what OnePlus has on its devices. It's a useful feature that allows you to easily silence your phone without having to unlock it, and one all manufacturers should emulate.
Interestingly, on the back of this Fold 2 render, you'll see only a dual-lens camera module. That looks quite unremarkable compared to the quad-optic systems Samsung's been pushing on its flagship products as of late, though it's defensible here. These foldable devices are more about design and productivity than photography, after all, and maybe a four-camera stack wouldn't really fit with Samsung's priorities in shipping the Fold 2 at a relatively attainable price.
Looking at this render, we have to wonder if what we're looking at is a cheaper Galaxy Fold Lite, which has been rumored to launch at some point. Perhaps Samsung will offer a cheaper Galaxy Fold with a narrow strip for an external display and fewer camera lenses alongside a more premium model with a panel that fills most of the front of the device, and optics lifted from the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Overall, this render would be an attractive one for a potential Lite variant, and one Samsung would be well advised to ship. That said, it is just a mockup based on a combination of patents and leaks, and so it's hardly a confirmation of the company's future plans. With an Unpacked event reportedly on tap for August 5, we may only have to wait a little more than a month to see how much of this design makes it to a final Samsung foldable device.