After unveiling (or rather teasing) its best foldable device to date alongside the conventional Galaxy Note 20
duo more than eight months ago, Samsung is widely expected to dedicate a glamorous Unpacked event
to the next-gen Z Fold and Z Flip models at some point in July.
That's pretty much right around the corner, so while there's obviously still a lot we don't know about the Galaxy Z Fold 3
and Galaxy Z Flip 3
(or Z Flip 2), the interesting rumors and speculation on the two designs and sets of high-end specifications are piling up.
$2,000 will buy you what $500 already does this time around
Technically, we have no idea exactly how much the Galaxy Z Fold 3
5G is supposed to cost. But with last year's Z Fold 2 5G
originally priced at a whopping $1,999.99 and only recently discounted to $1,799.99 (for good), it feels safe to assume an undoubtedly improved sequel would circle the two Benjamin mark as well.
At that extravagant price, you might expect to get everything Samsung's cheaper and more traditional-looking phones already offer and then some, but believe it or not, the $500 Galaxy A52 5G
does come with at least one key feature the Z Fold 2 5G is unable to match.
We're talking about a water and dust-resistant design, which the 4G LTE-only A52
model also features at an even lower price point unlikely to exceed $400 in the US.
Of course, it's entirely unfair to compare a run-of-the-mill slab and a groundbreaking foldable from this standpoint, which is why we're definitely excited to hear that both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 2 (or Z Flip 3) are likely to boast some sort of an IP rating.
Given the complexity of existing foldable designs, we're pretty sure the two next-gen products will still be eclipsed by the IP68-rated Galaxy S21
series, for instance, and they may not be able to rival the IP67 spec of the aforementioned Galaxy A52
and A52 5G either.
But any degree of water and dust protection is naturally better than no water and dust resistance at all, and given how easy it used to be to damage the original Galaxy Fold edition
just two short years ago, this would be a pretty amazing feat of engineering on Samsung's part.
More durable, more powerful, and... more affordable?!?
Following the integration of Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) technology into the Galaxy Z Flip
and Z Fold 2 5G, Samsung appears to be working on something called Armor Frame
for the fast-approaching Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G.
As the recently trademarked name suggests, this otherwise mysterious tech could further contribute to the improved durability of Samsung
's most expensive foldable device. While the Galaxy Z Flip 3
(or Z Flip 2) 5G is likely to also come with a more robust construction than its predecessor, some crucial differences between it and the Z Fold 3 seem essentially etched in stone.
That is, if the next addition to the Z Flip family indeed proves as affordable as multiple reports have indicated in the last few months. Keep in mind that we're no longer expecting a separate Galaxy Z Flip Lite
(or Z Fold Lite
) variant to materialize anytime soon, with the main Z Flip 3 model
instead tipped to start at $1,000 or less.
Then again, it goes without saying that the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 will be considerably more powerful than Samsung's 2020-released foldables while most likely sharing state-of-the-art 120Hz display refresh rate capabilities
All in all, it's hard not to get excited about these bad boys, which could well bring foldable designs into the mainstream and make our list of 2021's best overall phones