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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 release date, price, specs and leaks

Galaxy Z Flip
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung may have recently launched the Galaxy S21, but it's got plans for other phones this year, including plenty of foldable devices. We’ve heard a bit about the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but what about its clamshell brother, the next version of the Galaxy Z Flip? Turns out that rumors about that foldable are swirling, too.

About a year has passed since the first Galaxy Z Flip, though Samsung might be holding its successor for a bit longer. The first clamshell foldable felt a bit nostalgic, hearkening back to the days of flip phones. 

We don’t know a whole lot about the next Galaxy Z Flip at the moment, but that's going to change as we get closer to the phone's launch. Here's what we know right now about the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 news (Updated Feb. 8)

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 release date

An initial rumor pointed to Samsung releasing new foldables in May, which we assumed to be the successors to the Fold and Flip lines. However, a more recent leak points to a July timeframe for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3. This is further corroborated by another leak from SamMobile, which states that both new foldables will arrive in the second half of 2021.

If there is a launch in May, it could be for a new foldable altogether —possible a Lite version of one of Samsung's current models. We do know the company plans to release what it calls "more accessible" foldables this year, which we take to mean cheaper versions of its pricey smartphones. So anything's possible at this point.

galaxy z flip

The 2020 Galaxy Z Flip launch (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

For what it's worth, the original Galaxy Z Flip was unveiled a year ago when Samsung also took the wraps off the Galaxy S20 lineup.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 price

At this moment, we don’t know anything about pricing for the Galaxy Z Flip 3. However, we have the previous model to go off of. The original Galaxy Z Flip cost $1,380 in the US/£1,300 in the UK. A 5G version followed for $1,449, but Samsung just cut the price on that version by $250 to $1,199.

That said, we'd expect Galaxy Z Flip 3 to launch at a price around what Samsung charged for the original.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 name — 2 or 3?

Since there's just one Galaxy Z Flip, you'd think that the successor would be called the Flip 2. But Samsung doesn't always work that way. Sometimes, the carrier skids numbers entirely. And it also likes keeping things uniform, like having the Galaxy S and Note lines sport the same numbers. 

Galaxy Z Flip

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The other foldable in Samsung’s portfolio, the Galaxy Z Fold, will be on its third iteration this year. In keeping with its habit to have similar mobile products line up in terms of naming, we think Samsung will name the next clamshell the Galaxy Z Flip 3. You could also make the argument that the Galaxy Z Flip 5G was the second version, making the 2021 variant the Z Flip 3.

Other rumors corroborate that, such as a report from Dutch site GalaxyClub. Samsung likes to throw wrenches into things, like with the Galaxy S21 name (versus the Galaxy S30), so we don’t think this rumor is too far off. Until we hear rumors to the contrary, we're going to refer to this upcoming phone as the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 design

We don’t know much about the design for the Galaxy Z Flip 3, but it's safe to assume the phone will once again be a clamshell foldable. That means the hinge is on the horizontal x-axis, versus the Fold’s vertical y-axis. This obviously takes some of us back to the days of flip phones, and there’s a lot of nostalgia there.

Galaxy z flip

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

However, a design mockup for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 appeared on the Korean site Meeco a little while ago. It shows off the phone folded closed with a camera module that looks exactly like the one on the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus. There’s also a small screen on the outside for telling the time and reading any important notifications. It appears larger than the one found on the original Galaxy Z Flip.

Galaxy Z Flip 3

Galaxy Z Flip render (Image credit: Meeco)

We’ve seen mockups of the phone unfolded from the likes of LetsGoDigital, but we have yet to receive any further evidence that those are accurate. For now, we’ll need to wait for official renders or hands-on videos to leak in the coming months as we approach the launch.

Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 specs

Rumors about the full specs for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 have not surfaced yet. However, we have heard that there will be a larger battery this time, though these rumors don’t specify the exact capacity.

Back in September, a leaker on Twitter by name of @chunvn8888 claimed with 100% certainty that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will have a larger outer screen, a bigger battery, an upgraded hinge, and Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) — perhaps an improved UTG from the original Galaxy Z Flip. How reliable this person is remains to be seen, but these changes for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 make sense.

SamMobile says that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will have possibly have 128GB and 256GB storage options. The site also says that the new clamshell foldable will come with One UI 3.5, a new version of Samsung's Android skin. For reference, One UI 3.1 debuted with the Galaxy S21.

While we know nothing else at this point, we do anticipate that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 will feature high-end specs to make the likely high price worth it. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3: What we’d like to see

With any new product, there are some things we’d like to see fixed from the previous generation. The first Galaxy Z Flip was a cool concept, but it needs work in some areas. We’d like to see the Galaxy Z Flip 3 make the following improvements.

Better battery life: This was a big problem with the first Galaxy Z Flip. The 3,300 mAh cell just wasn’t enough to keep things powered for very long. Though it fared a whole lot better than the Motorola Razr on our battery test, it still fell below the average for smartphones with its result of 8 hours and 16 minutes. If the Galaxy Z Flip 3 sees a bigger battery, we’d hope that runtime improves.

More affordable: Though rumors say we might get a Galaxy Z Flip Lite or something similar, we’d still like to see the Galaxy Z Flip 3 be more affordable. The concept is cool and this tech is expensive, but what would the Galaxy Z Flip 3 offer over the $1,199 Galaxy S21 Ultra? That’s a question Samsung will have to ask itself.

Improved durability: Though the original Galaxy Z Flip was plenty durable for a folding phone, we think the Galaxy Z Flip 3 should be more so. Using that Ultra Thin Glass in its display helps a lot, but we hope Samsung makes the new clamshell foldable feel more sturdy. After all, if you’re shelling out more than $1,000 for a phone, you’d expect it to survive an accidental drop or scrape. And it’d be great if the outside didn’t show so many smudges.

Better app support for Flex mode: As with any new technology, there is an adoption period that exists between introduction and mainstream acceptance. While having a display that expands out into something bigger is cool, if apps don’t support it, why would you want to use the feature? And when that feature is the basis for buying the device in the first place, you run into a problem. That said, there are a few apps that support the original Galaxy Z Flip’s multiple panels. We’d just like to see more of them by the time the Galaxy Z Flip 3 launches.