According to a new patent, Samsung's Galaxy Fold Lite may be waterproof — and get an entirely new front design.
The "Electronic device including waterproof structure (opens in new tab)" patent was spotted by LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) in the WIPO database. While it's possible this design could be that of the Galaxy Fold 2, there are signals within the illustrations that it's a different and cheaper device to what we've seen already.
Dust and water resistance ratings are expensive to implement, but are an important feature to many premium phone users who want to know that their expensive smartphone will be durable enough to survive regular use and common accidents. Adding this level of protection to a folding smartphone is a tall order, but Samsung's patent suggests that by adding new waterproof sections around the hinge it'll be possible.
The patent's illustration also reveals a new kind of external display. Rather than the normal but shrunken display of the 2019 Galaxy Fold or the tiny notification window of the Galaxy Z Flip, this combines the two with a long but narrow window. A previous patent shows how opening the phone will then take you straight to the app you received the notification for.
Also noteworthy are the three rear cameras and two internal cameras in this drawing. The internal cameras are in a notch similar than the one found on the original Galaxy Fold, which is unfortunate since this takes away a fair chunk of the internal display. One of the rear cameras has the square lens design of a periscope telephoto camera, suggesting that while the Fold Lite still has the standard main/ultrawide/zoom combination of cameras, it will improve on the 2x zoom lens found on the Galaxy Fold.
The Galaxy Fold Lite is thought to be appearing for the first time in August, alongside the Galaxy Fold 2 and the Galaxy Note 20, at a Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event. While there hasn't been a date set yet, this will be an online-only show because of the coronavirus pandemic.