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While Samsung has already released about a dozen different smartphones in 2021, none of these comes with the boundary-pushing foldable design of last year's Galaxy Z Flip 5G
or Z Fold 2 5G
That's not exactly shocking considering the latter model, for instance, is only around six months old, but given that the world's largest handset maker is widely expected to crank up the foldable releases
and marketing relatively soon, it's definitely a little weird that we don't know more about what's in the pipeline.
The sequel to the aforementioned Z Flip 5G might be closer than you think, as suggested by several recent certifications of one key component
. Unsurprisingly, these don't mention the upcoming device by name, which makes it hard to know precisely what branding path Samsung will ultimately choose, but the SM-F711 and SM-F712 model numbers leave little doubt as to this handset's relation with the OG Z Flip
(aka SM-F700) and the Z Flip 5G (SM-F707).
No battery capacity upgrade for you
If you're familiar with the first-gen Galaxy Z Flip
, you probably know the battery life is far from the biggest weakness of this deeply flawed modernized clamshell phone. That being said, the handset's endurance between charges is... not great, and the same naturally goes for the 5G-enabled variant that just so happens to pack an even faster (and more power-hungry) Snapdragon 865+ processor than the 4G LTE-only Snapdragon 855+ edition.
The Z Flip and Z Flip 5G share the same 3,300mAh cell size, and if the information revealed today is accurate (which is almost certainly the case), the Galaxy Z Flip
2 will stick to an identically unremarkable battery... or two.
Because flexible batteries are not a thing yet, Samsung
's next-gen Flip looks set to unsurprisingly take a page from the playbook of its forerunners, squeezing two rigid cells into the two halves of its foldable body with a combined capacity of, you guessed it, 3,300mAh.
While that obviously sounds underwhelming compared to the Galaxy S21
family, for instance, which includes three members with battery capacity ranging from 4,000 to 5,000mAh, there are inherent foldable limitations you need to consider before criticizing Samsung too harshly for this seemingly bad decision. After all, you wouldn't like the third-gen Z Flip to measure north of 20mm thick when folded, would you?
Wait, so is this the Galaxy Z Flip 2 or Z Flip 3?
The honest answer is we have no idea, and Samsung could actually end up choosing a third branding option for this largely mysterious device.
Multiple credible sources have hinted at the existence of an affordable Galaxy Z Flip Lite
variant in the last few months, and although there's no concrete evidence to suggest that is indeed what we're looking at here, something tells us a Z Flip 2 or Z Flip 3 would carry a different model number than SM-F711 or SM-F712.
This is the first-gen Galaxy Z Flip
That leaves the door open for a bigger than 3,300mAh battery residing under the hood of Samsung's next ultra-high-end Z Flip release, unless of course, a different theory happens to pan out. That calls for a single Galaxy Z Flip 3
(or Z Flip 2) model with a significantly lower price point attached to its name than the Z Flip 5G, which was originally available for $1,450 in the US.
That brings us back to the fact that we know surprisingly little about Samsung's 2021 plans to expand a promising but still decidedly nichey foldable smartphone lineup. The Z Flip 3 has been tipped to sport a silky smooth 120Hz main display with considerably thinner bezels
than its predecessors, but basically nothing is etched in stone for the time being.