Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 leak just revealed true Galaxy Note successor

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
(Image credit: Samsung)

If reports are to be believed, Samsung is killing off the Galaxy Note range in favor of its growing foldable line-up. That’s a lot of pressure for the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 2, and whatever other foldables Samsung has planned for 2021.

The latest leak gives us a very good idea of what to expect. That includes big upgrades to Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 2, as well as a brand new more affordable model in the Galaxy Z Fold Lite.

According to Korean news site The Elec, we’re set to get a more affordable Galaxy Z Fold Lite in the first quarter of 2021, which is due to be followed by the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 2 in the third quarter of the year.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 promises some massive updates, including the long-awaited under-display camera, as well as stylus support. The latter is especially important if Samsung is positioning the Z Fold range as a replacement to the Galaxy Note, even if the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is also rumored to work with the S Pen.

Past reports have detailed Samsung’s issues offering S Pen support on flexible glass displays, since stylus pressure can damage the display. To counter this, Samsung has reportedly increased the thickness of the ultra-thin glass from 30 micrometers up to between 60 and 100. While less flexible, the increased thickness means it will be able to withstand the pressure from the stylus point without leaving a mark.

The Z Fold 3 is also said to come with a 7-inch internal screen, a 4-inch external display and low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LPTO) thin-film transistors (TFT) for better power-efficiency in the display. It’s worth noting that the screen sizes are smaller than the Z Fold 2, which has a 7.6-inch internal display and 6.23-inch external display. So this would seem like an odd design decition.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Samsung will keep the traditional folding style of the original Galaxy Fold and Z Fold 2. So there will be no extra folds or rollable screens to be had here.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Lite and Z Flip 2 

The Galaxy Z Fold Lite is an interesting bit of news, and a wise move by Samsung. Foldables are not cheap, and high price tags are a barrier for more wide-spread adoption. While we don’t expect the Z Fold Lite to be cheap by typical smartphone standards, even a $1,000 price tag would make it accessible to more people.

We've heard rumors of a Galaxy Z Flip Lite, which was suspected to be Samsung's first affordable foldable, but the Z Fold Lite is billed as a cheaper version of the Z Fold 3 with Samsung's typical fold-out tablet design.

The Z Fold 2 Lite will reportedly feature a 7-inch internal display and a 4-inch external display, though that’s all we know for the time being. We shouldn’t have long to find out more, and if there’s a Q1 release there’s even a chance it’ll be unveiled alongside the Galaxy S21 on January 14.

The Z Flip 2 is set to come with a 6.7-inch internal display and another 4-inch internal screen. While the internal screen hasn’t changed size, the external screen would have increased from the 1.1-inch panel featured on the original Z Flip. Not much else is known about the phone, except the fact it will continue to have a hole-punch camera

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.