Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 could fix one of the worst things about foldables

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be a lot more durable than its predecessor
(Image credit: Samsung)

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 may be getting a very important feature: an IP water and dust resistance rating.

According to SamMobile sources, the Samsung's next foldable phone will be the first to offer an IP water and dust resistance rating. That’s a big deal for a phone with a hinge like Samsung’s that has in the past been prone to malfunction due to debris getting into it. 

Unfortunately we don’t know what the IP rating will be. However, the fact Samsung would advertise the fact suggests that the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 should offer some sort of protection against both dust and liquid. 

After all dust and debris was the downfall of the first Samsung Galaxy Fold. Not only did it lead to a recall of review units, it also meant that Samsung had to delay the phone’s launch by several months. The hinge turned out to be a key culprit, with Samsung’s folding mechanism making it incredibly easy for dust and debris to get inside the phone.

Samsung has done a lot to ensure that will no longer be a problem on future foldables, and we may be looking at the result of that work. The only question is whether the phones will have an IP5X or IP6X rating. 

The difference is that IP6X means a device is completely sealed against dust and other debris, while IP5X will still let some particles inside — just not enough to interfere with day-to-day functionality.

Of course, for most people, water resistance will also be a crucial feature to have. Invariably, we’ve all had accidents with our phones, and the IP water resistance rating can give us some extra peace of mind. Even if water damage isn’t covered by your warranty.

This is just one more way Samsung seems to be boosting the durability of its foldable phones. Rumor is that the phone will come with a super-strong ‘Armor Frame’ that promises to be stronger and lighter than the frame on the Z Fold 2. Couple that with an IP rating, and we’re looking at quite a durable foldable.

Relatively speaking, of course, because it’s unlikely that the Z Fold 3 or Z Flip 3 will be what you’d really call “rugged”.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 are rumored to be launching in July of this year. The Z Fold 3 is also tipped to come with support for Samsung’s S Pen and a slightly smaller battery than the Z Fold 2. Leaks and chatter so far disagree on the screen size, however, with some claiming the exterior display will be a similar size to the Z Fold 2, and others asserting it will be significantly smaller.

We don’t know a huge amount about the Z Flip 3, beyond the fact Samsung is reportedly skipping the number two so that both foldables have the same number behind them. Naturally it will keep the same clamshell design as previous Z Flips.

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.