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Samsung’s biggest Galaxy Fold 3 upgrades might have leaked

Published Jun 18th, 2021 9:12PM EDT
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Rumors
Image: Samsung

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Samsung plans to unveil two foldable phones in early August and launch them in stores by the end of the month. These are the highly anticipated Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 devices that appeared in various rumors this year. Alongside the reportedly delayed Galaxy S21 FE, the two foldables are meant to make the Galaxy Note series forgotten, at least this year. The new foldables will be better in every way than their predecessors, according to recent leaks. Samsung has improved the build quality and durability of its devices and plans a few big upgrades for the handsets.

Most reports have focused on the Fold 3, which will be the more expensive of the two flagships. The handset should feature a second-generation Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) screen panel technology that will support Samsung’s S Pen stylus. The Fold 3 is also supposed to be the first Samsung phone to feature an Under Panel Camera (UTC). Samsung has already confirmed the latter as a feature created for laptops with OLED screens and implied UTC designs will come to more mobile devices without explicitly referencing the Fold 3 or any other Galaxy handset. But a new discovery seems to confirm Samsung’s big Fold 3 upgrade plans.

Dutch blog LetsGoDigital, which uncovered various Samsung patents detailing potential foldable phone designs and features, is back with a new finding.

Samsung filed last November a patent called Portable communication device including display that was published online in mid-June. The illustrations in the patent show a device that features a foldable display just like the original Fold and Fold 2. The patent references technology that Samsung described in a 2019 Samsung patent.

Galaxy Z Fold 3
Illustrations from a new Samsung patent show a foldable phone with under-display camera and fingerprint sensors. Image source: Samsung via LetsGoDigital

Samsung placed under the screen various sensors, as seen in the images. We’re looking at an in-display fingerprint sensor, UPC selfie camera, and other under-screen sensors.

The in-display fingerprint sensor is a feature we’ve come to expect from Samsung devices, but it’s yet to appear on the Fold. The illustrations Samsung used indicate that the sensor can’t be placed in the middle of the foldable phone, and that’s understandable. That’s where the hinge resides. It’s also the reason why the Fold’s internal cameras so far have not been placed in a central location at the top.

The under-display camera could feature multiple lenses, if necessary, and could be paired with a light-emitting element, a front-facing flash. The sensors would also be located off-center when it comes to the phone’s overall design. But they’d be placed in the middle of the screen’s right half.

Galaxy Z Fold 3
Galaxy Z Fold 3 concept based on new Samsung patent. Image source: Samsung via LetsGoDigital

As always with innovations that tech giants seek patents for, there’s no guarantee the in-screen fingerprint sensor and UPC design will be used in the Fold 3 set to launch this summer. But the patent discovery fits well with the current narrative that says the new Fold might be the first Samsung device to feature a camera under the screen.

Separately, Samsung has stopped taking Galaxy Fold orders in its US online store, a move that signals that Samsung might have run out of stock, and the company is slowly preparing for the launch of the third-gen Fold version.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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