After a rocky start with the well documented issues of the original Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s foldable business has hit its stride with the excellent (if pricey) Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip handsets. Next, Samsung will turn its attention to the tablet market with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab.
The appeal of a foldable tablet should be obvious: you get all the advantages of a larger screen with the portability of something far smaller.
And Samsung has certainly been mulling over the options, with no fewer than three different designs for a foldable tablet, which we’ll outline below. So here's everything we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab release date and price
According to Gizmochina, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab will launch in Q1 2022, which covers the period from January to March. The site suggests that we’ll learn more about the device in August, when it predicts that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 will be unveiled. So perhaps we’ll have a Samsung Unpacked event dedicated to foldables.
Price is harder to gauge. On one hand, Samsung’s past foldables have been enormously expensive, ranging from $1,449 for the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and up to $1,999 for the Galaxy Z Fold 2. As the Galaxy Z Fold Tab will feature larger screens and (potentially) more hinges, it’s easy to see how the Galaxy Z Fold Tab could clear the $2,000 barrier.
On the other hand, traditionally, Samsung’s flagship tablets have been cheaper than its non-folding phones in part because cellular connectivity is optional. The Galaxy Tab S7 started life at $649, compared to the Samsung Galaxy S21’s $799.
In short, price is a mystery at this point, but expect it to be comfortably into the four-figure mark.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab design
What the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab will end up looking like is an intriguing question, with three possible designs floating around. Two of these come directly from Samsung patents. And it’s possible that more than one could come to market, in the same way that the company currently has two foldable phones.
The most interesting design is a tri-folding design, where the tablet folds twice over like this prototype from TCL. The advantage here is how small and portable the tablet could get, even if it may prove too thick to be pocketable.
Then there’s a simpler design which hopefully would command a lower starting price. This design, based off a Samsung patent spotted by LetsGoDigital, is a more basic clamshell where the tablet opens and closes like a book — kind of like a larger Galaxy Z Flip, or a Galaxy Z Fold 2 without the external screen.
Finally, there’s another design with multiple hinges, once again uncovered in Samsung’s own patents. Here, the screen unfolds in two places to expand to its full size as mocked up by LetsGoDigital. To be honest, it’s hard to see how this would be preferable to the clamshell option given the added cost of an additional hinge, but here it is anyway.
This, according to the patent, could fold inwards or outwards. Inwards seems sensible, given it would offer some protection to the delicate screen. Outwards makes less sense to us, but the patent suggests it could provide a place to store a bundled S Pen.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab specs
To date, hard specifications for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab have been tricky to come by. But given the 2022 release date, it seems likely that the tablet will be powered by whatever follows Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888.
A bundled S Pen has been tipped by Gizmochina, as has enhanced ultra-thin glass to bolster durability against pokes and prods from the stylus. That would make sense, given an S Pen has been included with all recent Galaxy Tabs and the future of the Galaxy Note is very much up in the air.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab outlook
While it’s hard not to be impressed by the technology behind a foldable tablet, the success of the Galaxy Z Fold Tab depends on two things: how people use their tablets and price.
The advantage of a folding tablet is doubtless portability, but if people only use their tablets around the house, then this is less of a factor; especially if the ability to fold reduces lifespan. For commuters who take their tablet everywhere, the ability to make it smaller, particularly if folding prevents the screen from scratches, is a clear advantage.
But for those buyers, price will likely be the deciding factor. If, as seems likely, the Galaxy Z Fold Tab clears the four-figure mark, it'll become a tough sell when the Galaxy Z Fold 2 offers both a tablet and phone in one for $1,999.
However, it’s still early days for the Galaxy Z Fold Tab, and Samsung may have a whole host of killer features to reveal. We’ll be keeping a close eye on future leaks, and will update this page as more details come to light.