A slew of new design renders hint at what the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will look like when it launches next year, and they could signal a serious evolution in foldable phones.
Both Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip only have one foldable component. But these renders, made and published by Pigtou and xleaks, show how a next-generation Galaxy Z Fold could potentially sport a dual-hinge design, effectively giving it a lot more folding potential.
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We reported earlier this month on a patent Samsung filed for multi-foldable devices, which is the source for Pigtou's renders. Both of the concepts feature multiple hinges to allow even larger displays and additional versatility, but they do so in two different ways.
The first is made up of a larger central display with two smaller displays connected on the left and right, one of which is double-sided. It allows for the same fully open or fully shut usage as the existing Galaxy Z Fold, but you can also open it partially. This would be good for one-handed usage, or for accessing the single quad-camera array in selfie mode with a larger viewfinder.
The Pigtou design does take some license with the illustrations from the patent. For example, it adds a punch-hole selfie camera, identical to the one on the current Galaxy Z Fold, onto the front cover. There are also speakers built into the two exterior leaves of the phone to allow for a premium stereo experience.
The second design is an actual Z-shaped foldable with three identically-sized parts. It features one large internal display and a smaller external display like the Galaxy Z Fold 2. However because the hinges open in different directions and the display wraps around one of the hinges, you could effectively use the phone in four different sizes. That sounds great, but it does mean the phone would be very thick to account for the three displays.
On the back, the Z-shaped concept uses the same camera array as the first design, as well as a punch-hole display on the front display. Since Pigtou also suggests using one-third of the Z-shaped phone as a keyboard or using the first design in a 'tent' mode like a convertible laptop, it seems they are imagining these concepts will use a similar "Flex Mode" to the Galaxy Z Flip. That mode allows the phone's hinge to stay open in positions beyond simply open or closed.
In 2021, we're likely going to see a sequel to both of Samsung's current foldables, which we assume will be called the Galaxy Z Flip 2 and the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The original Galaxy Z Flip debuted alongside the Galaxy S20 in February.
But the lack of leaks combined with other rumors has us suspecting that both the Galaxy Z Flip 2 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 will debut together in Fall 2021 instead. That's a while to wait, but at least there's the Samsung Galaxy S21 coming in January to tide us over.