Samsung is widely expected to launch two foldable phones this summer, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 2. The former appeared in a variety of rumors so far, but the new Flip is more mysterious. The clamshell smartphone should feature the same overall design as its predecessor. We’re looking at a Galaxy S-like handset that folds into a more compact device. But a new report indicates the various design changes and upgrades that Samsung planned for this year’s Flip device. A name update might also be in the cards for the new clamshell.
The new phone might be called Galaxy Z Flip 3, according to LetsGoDigital. The Dutch blog reports that Samsung might be looking to ditch the Flip 2 name and align the clamshell handset to the larger foldable. As a result, both devices would be included in Samsung’s third generation of foldables. Samsung pulled off a similar move a few years ago when it aligned the Galaxy Note numbering scheme to the Galaxy S series.
LetsGoDigital also created Flip 3 renders based on various Samsung design patents that fit with this particular foldable phone design.
The Flip 3 might feature a larger cover display on the exterior, as well as a triple-lens primary camera. The foldable screen would still have a hole-punch camera at the top and an-in display fingerprint sensor in the bottom half. The Flip 3 might be thinner than before and feature a brand new hinge.
This is where a new design patent comes into play. The thinner frame will apparently impact button operation, so Samsung has created touch-sensitive areas around the buttons, which would make them easier to use, depending on how the phone is operated.
The patent illustration above shows how the button design might look like. Each button would have a double. The physical ones would sit on the top half, with the capacitive versions sitting in the bottom half. The user would have to either touch the physical or capacitive buttons when the handset is folded without worrying too much about actually pressing the physical ones.
As with other patents, there’s no guarantee this particular button innovation will be employed in the next-gen Flip 3. The other design changes, including the cover screen and camera upgrades, seem like the kind of upgrades expected from the new Flip phone.
The phone is expected to feature high-end specs, including the Snapdragon 888 processor, 128GB and 256GB of storage, 5G connectivity, and a camera experience similar to the Galaxy S21 series. That’s just speculation, however, as the Flip 3 specs have not leaked. LetsGoDigital does say that recent leaks have detailed the battery capacity. The phone is supposed to feature two batteries for a total size of 3,200 mAh size.
Finally, the report speculates the phone might be available in various colors, including the black and purple versions of the first-gen model. Samsung might use color accents for the hinges as it did with the Fold 2 last year.
That said, there’s no guarantee the Flip 3 will look anything like the 3D renders or patent illustrations above. But it’s not like Samsung can modify the clamshell foldable form factor too much. Regardless of cover screen size, virtual and physical button combinations, and the number of external cameras, the new clamshell will probably look a lot like the current model.