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Samsung's flagship phones might find a whole new way to fold soon

Is this the Galaxy Z Flip of the future? (Source: LetsGoDigital)
Is this the Galaxy Z Flip of the future? (Source: LetsGoDigital)
Samsung has launched foldable smartphones that bend into clamshell or book shapes to date. However, its latest patents suggest that these almost-familiar form-factors are to become obsolete quite soon. They hint at new kinds of Galaxy Z Folds and Z Flips with at least 2 hinges each.
Deirdre O'Donnell,
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The latest leaks and teasers suggest that the Samsung hinged devices of the immediate future will still have external displays. For example, a recent tip points to a Galaxy Z Fold3 with a more compact 7-inch main display and a 4-inch secondary screen.

Furthermore, there may be a "Z Fold Lite" - possibly the long-awaited first-gen "affordable" foldable from this OEM - with the same dimensions, although its own primary screen may have a more fragile CPI coating rather than the UTG (a protective layer for this foldable's new and supposedly ultra-thin LTPO TFT panel) expected for its putative flagship counterpart.

Finally, the second-gen Galaxy Z Flip is now projected to remain on 6.7 inches for its own flexible display, although a larger 3-inch panel for its exterior surface may be in the offing.

This new clamshell may debut in the third quarter of 2021, as may the "Z Fold3", whereas the Z Fold Lite may make it to the market much earlier, in the first 3 months of the same year.

While those putative specs would be welcome improvements, the South Korean giant may be working on something even better for these hypothetical devices' successors. They involve new patented designs for what could be called "tri-folding" versions of the Z Fxxx series.

They involve displays that fold inward at 2 points rather that simply down the middle as with current models. This implies a number of advantages, not the least that it requires just 1 quad rear camera array per device, as two-thirds of their single display can act as the "selfie screen" for this use-case.

Furthermore, it means that the same screen is completely protected when the device is collapsed and pocketed. Then again, as Samsung has only filed this new IP with the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) in May 2020, it may be some time before it takes over for the next kind of Z Fold or Flip hinted at in Samsung's latest trailers.

More schematics from the new Samsung patent. (Source: USPTO via LetsGoDigitial)
More schematics from the new Samsung patent. (Source: USPTO via LetsGoDigitial)
The "new Z Flip" may still unfold vertically, whereas the re-imagined "Z Fold" does the opposite. (Source: USPTO via LetsGoDigitial)
The "new Z Flip" may still unfold vertically, whereas the re-imagined "Z Fold" does the opposite. (Source: USPTO via LetsGoDigitial)
 
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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 4252 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 12 > Samsung's flagship phones might find a whole new way to fold soon
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-12- 5 (Update: 2020-12- 5)