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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 could have a display downgrade — here's why

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 may not have the same large outer screen as the Galaxy Z Fold 2. A new rumor claims that the upcoming foldable will feature a 5.4-inch exterior screen, almost an inch smaller than the 6.2-inch display on its predecessor.

That’s according to @chuvn8888 on Twitter, who posted a sheet of specs for various upcoming foldable phones, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Huawei Mate X2 and more.

For reference, a 5.4-inch display is the same size as the iPhone 12 mini, which is notable for being a relatively small device. Particularly when a lot of recent flagship phones tend to offer screens in excess of 6-inches. Meanwhile, the leak claims the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s inner display will be larger than before, measuring 7.7-inches.

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If this leak is accurate it means Samsung isn’t downsizing the whole phone, just the outer display. 

To me, this suggests that Samsung expects most people will focus on the Z Fold 3’s larger tablet display. If the outer display isn’t so important, the company can get away with shaving off a bit of the screen.

A smaller display might actually be beneficial

A 5.4-inch screen is more than enough to get basic phone stuff done, which is what the Z Fold range’s outer display is for. Anything more extensive can easily be done on the inner display. After all, that is the beauty of having a device that unfolds in this way.

The decision could also simultaneously be a cost-saving measure. If users aren’t going to care so much about the size of the outer display, why bother with the expense of making it larger than it needs to be? Keeping prices down can only be a good thing, especially on a phone range as expensive as the Galaxy Z Fold series.

Of course, this is all assuming @chuvn8888’s information is correct. It wouldn’t be impossible for someone to have made a mistake and typed out 5.4 instead of 6.4. We won’t know for sure until either an official reveal or another more reputable leak pops up with some evidence to the contrary.

Then again this has already happened to a point, since past rumors suggested that the Z Fold 3 may pack in a 4-inch exterior display. That’s the same size as an iPhone 5, and would have to feature some seriously chunky bezels.

It’s not clear what to expect from the Galaxy Z Fold 3 at this point, beyond the typical fold-out Z Fold design. However, rumors have pointed to the phone gaining support for the S Pen, and possibly even an under-display camera.

We’re going to have to wait a while before we find out for sure. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 isn’t expected to arrive until late Summer at the earliest, in what would normally be the Galaxy Note launch window.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. 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 that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.