How the third time could be the charm for Samsung’s folding phones

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Rumour has it Samsung’s 2021 foldables will will have the strongest displays yet, with glass twice as thick as the Z Fold 2’s. This would be an important upgrade, especially as the Z Fold 3 is also expected to bring support for the S Pen stylus, which could lead to people tapping the screen more forcefully.

Water and dust resistance

An IP rating for water and dust resistance such as those found on other premium flagship smartphones would go a long way in attracting customers that would otherwise be scared off by the thought that their costly investment could be ruined by a splash of water.

Make it thinner and lighter

The fact that you can fit a tablet in a pocket is impressive, but it didn’t take long after the initial honeymoon period to realise that this thing sticks out as much as George Costanza’s wallet. The Z Fold 2 is almost 16.8 mm thick when closed which — to put that in context — is the equivalent of two flat screen smartphones sandwiched together. Making it thinner by even a couple of millimetres would make it much more pocketable.

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Widen the front display slightly

One of the things that throws people off about the Z Fold 2 is the narrow 6.2-inch outer display, which makes the onscreen keyboard too cramped for text messaging and emails. Making the outer display a little wider would make it more practical to use as a phone, especially in those instances where you don’t have two hands free to unfold the device and use the larger inner display.

Camera that’s on par with other flagships

The Z Fold 2 was a bit of a letdown in the camera department, as it effectively used the same triple camera array as the Galaxy S20+. It was by no means bad but it felt like a noticeable downgrade after using the company’s other flagship smartphones such as the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which delivers much better low light performance, a more capable optical zoom and natural looking background blur.

While I don’t expect Samsung to transplant the enormous camera hump from the S21 Ultra to the Z Fold 3, as that would only make the device thicker and potentially drive up costs, I do hope they can at least get the camera quality closer to their Ultra premium flagships.

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