Forget about the Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G and get ready for Samsung's next three foldable phones

Even though Samsung has yet to release its considerably more durable, powerful, and beautiful sequel to the first-gen Galaxy Fold, the company is already reportedly working on a flurry of additional foldable devices that could see daylight sometime in the next year or so.

These are likely to include both a proper sequel to the Galaxy Z Flip and a lower-cost clamshell model of some sort, as well as a grand total of three new members of the Galaxy Z Fold family. The latter consists merely of the recently unveiled Z Fold 2 5G variant and 2019's non-Z OG Galaxy Fold, so if Samsung does indeed plan to roll out the Z Fold Lite, Z Fold 3, and Z Fold S in the near future, that clearly suggests the company is aiming to turn foldables into mass-oriented products.

Unfortunately, we're pretty light on details for the time being, and the Twitter tipster behind the three aforementioned handset names is not exactly the world's most reputable source of classified information on unreleased smartphones, although according to SamMobile, this was one of the first-ever rumormongers to report on the original 5G-enabled Galaxy Fold last year.

The Galaxy Z Fold Lite has been in the news before

Apart from possibly forcing Samsung to delay the commercial debut of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G by a few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic may have led to the rescheduling of a Z Fold Lite release initially planned for late 2020.

This watered-down Galaxy Z Fold model is now widely expected to go official no sooner than early next year, presumably resembling the first-generation Galaxy Fold more than the vastly improved Z Fold 2 5G.

That means the cheap and fragile plastic coating of the main screen is likely to make a comeback, replacing the state-of-the-art Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) technology of the Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold 2 5G. If you're willing to make that compromise and settle for a type of plastic called Colorless Polyimide (CPI), rumor has it you'll be able to get a fancy-looking foldable handset in exchange for $900 or even less.

Obviously, the Galaxy Z Fold Lite is unlikely to look quite as fancy as the Z Fold 2 5G, possibly sporting a primary flexible display with a large notch and a divisive strip-style secondary panel for alerts, notifications, and not much else. The inexpensive phone could also borrow the dual rear-facing camera system from last year's Galaxy Fold, although it's clearly too early to be certain of things like imaging specifications, processing power, or memory and storage options.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Fold S are largely cloaked in secrecy

If Samsung is truly thinking of pulling the plug on the Galaxy Note series (which remains a big if), it would definitely make sense for the Galaxy Z Fold lineup to be expanded every fall. And if the Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G's follow-up effort breaks into the mainstream, we can also understand why Samsung would want to separately experiment with various quirky foldable concepts.

Enter the Galaxy Z Fold S, which could be the world's first smartphone to fold both inwards and outwards, thus taking the flexibility and versatility of the Z Fold 2 5G and Z Flip 5G to a whole new level.

While we're not exactly sure how something like that would even work, we're certainly excited about both the Galaxy Z Fold S and a Galaxy Z Fold 3 tipped to integrate both S Pen support and UTG technology.

What we're not particularly excited about is seeing how Samsung will manage to fix the "price problem" of an S Pen-wielding third-gen Galaxy Z Fold. Adding stylus capabilities to the foldable device is a much more delicate and complicated matter than just... adding the S Pen itself. 

The company needs to further strengthen the display and implement a digitizer feature, both of which are pretty costly operations, threatening the mass appeal of a Galaxy Z Fold 3 undoubtedly set to also offer everything from standard 5G connectivity to the latest Snapdragon SoC, a whole lot of memory, storage, and a bunch of state-of-the-art cameras.

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