Samsung’s next-gen foldables are about to launch, what are we expecting?
From the time feature phones turned into smartphones, we’ve seen phone sizes go through a manifold increase. They got smaller, lighter, more compact and then screens started getting bigger, eventually coming full circle with foldable devices. This time around though, with great leaps in technology, foldable phones’ second screen — the one on the outside — was more functional and feature-rich than what we have seen earlier. Obviously. The foldable smartphones we can buy now, from the likes of Samsung and Motorola, are still a work-in-progress in many cases, but they are getting better with each iteration.
While the new Motorola Razr gave us some great throwback feels, that was pretty much it. That smartphone, for the want of a better phrase, “did not spark joy”. The first Samsung Galaxy Fold didn’t either. But then came the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. The former was an improved version of the larger, heftier foldable, and the latter, a more compact, gorgeous little thing that unfortunately still left us wanting. But it’s time for the Galaxy Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3, and both are launching tomorrow at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event along with the new Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Watches. We spent some time with the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 recently, to remind ourselves - this is how far Samsung has already come, and to ask - so, where next?
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 2 was definitely an improved version over the first Fold they made, as expected. Our first impressions of the device were that the company had worked on ‘ironing out the flaws’ from the first iteration. While the first Fold felt more like a proof-of-concept, the second Fold was more complete. And the third Fold, we’re barely a day away from it, should see Samsung take one more step towards a phablet that actually works. At least that’s what we are hoping for. Thanks to a whole bunch of leaks and rumours, we have a rough idea about the incoming specs (as is the case with most of Samsung’s launches lately).
Rumours and leaks around Samsung’s next-gen foldables have told us that S-Pen support is incoming for both the Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3. This could be a handy addition for the Fold 3 at least, in our opinion, given the available screen real-estate. Of course, for consumers who would opt for a Flip over a Fold, it makes sense too, but if you are actually going to take a note, you would prefer the extra space, right?
We are looking forward to a larger external display and a higher refresh rate on the internal one. And different colour offerings on both foldable smartphones. Some rumours indicate that Fold 3 might finally come with an IP rating, which is a great positive. The Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 is quite thick and hefty, maybe now Samsung would have figured out a way to make things slightly thinner and lighter.
On the Fold 2, the outside screen is good for quick work, we could see ourselves opening up the phone for most other things. With S-Pen support coming in this time, the bigger external screen might become more handy. Inside, it’s pretty much a party. The screen is plenty big on the Fold 2 and as most Samsung screens go, the colours are vibrant (a little too vibrant), the screen responsive and fast with a 120Hz refresh rate (that should be retained on the Fold 3 too), and the Snapdragon 865+ chipset under the hood ensures it’s all smooth. You can expect Samsung to bring in the latest Snapdragon offering to the new Galaxy Fold 3 so 5G and improved speeds are on the cards.
The battery on the Fold 2 was just about enough to last you for a workday, if you don’t game on it. Unless there is a change in the size of the device, we expect the new foldables to pretty much come with similar battery performances.
On the camera front, the Galaxy Fold 2 came with a triple rear-camera setup and while the cameras are perfectly decent, they are not as good as what Samsung brings on its Note or S21 series. The same goes for the Galaxy Flip too. With the new iterations, we really hope that gets better. A foldable smartphone is a fun accessory, but given that our smartphones are pretty much the only device we carry around for work and play, Samsung should do us a solid and give these some of the camera chops we’ve seen on its flagships. We understand the cost complications of being able to do that, but here’s hoping. And speaking of price, we might see a more affordable Flip this time. We can’t guess the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 prices. But we just need to wait a couple of hours more.
On the software front, we’re hoping to see support for using two apps at the same time, on two sides of the hinge get better. You could already save app pairs for things you might use together, like Chrome and WhatsApp, for example. Or the camera adapting to how you are using the phone, the customisable pull-out dock, etc, features like these are going to stay on and get better. And again, we’d like to remind you about that incoming S-Pen support.
Given how the Galaxy Fold 2 is, we’re excited about the Fold 3. This is Samsung’s chance to cross the finish line with foldables.