Samsung looks almost certain to unveil the next Galaxy Z Flip foldable – most likely called the Z Flip 3 – at the next Galaxy Unpacked event, which is now confirmed to take place in August.
While the Z Flip 5G was only a modest update to the original clamshell Flip foldable, this year’s new model is expected to be a more radical reinvention, with a whole new design, a bigger outer display, and some seriously upgraded specs.
Those big changes are probably why it’s likely to be called the Z Flip 3, even though we never actually had a Z Flip 2 – with leakers predicting that Samsung might skip 2 to bring the numbering in line with the Folds.
When will the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 be released?
Samsung has confirmed that the next Galaxy Unpacked event will take place on 11 August at 3pm BST/10am EST/7am PST – and that’s when we’re going to see the Z Flip 3.
11 August is when we’ll see the new phone unveiled, but it’s likely to go on sale a few weeks later. Previously Jon Prosser had predicted that the devices will officially go on sale on 27 August, which for the moment seems the most likely date, as it’s since been echoed by a pair of South Korean reports.
Pre-orders for the phone won’t open until after the launch event, but if you’re in the US you can already reserve the chance to buy one. It’s not clear whether this guarantees you a phone or not, but it does net you up to an extra $100 on trade-in value for up to two devices, 12 months of free Samsung Care+, and an “extra, special offer” during pre-order. See our full guide on how to pre-order the upcoming Z Flip in the US.
The next Z Flip is expected to launch alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the new Galaxy Watch 4 series, and the Galaxy Buds 2 headphones. We’d previously expected to see the Galaxy S21 FE launch alongside them, but it’s now rumoured to be delayed – so may instead appear later, together with the Galaxy Tab S8.
Remember that there won’t be a Note 21 this year, with Samsung putting that flagship line on pause for now at least. And if you’re hoping to see the rumoured Galaxy Z Fold Scroll, don’t expect to see that until 2022 at the earliest.
Will it be called the Z Flip 2 or Z Flip 3?
The name of the next Z Flip has been curiously contentious.
So far we’ve had the Z Flip and the Z Flip 5G, a minor revision that mostly only tweaked the phone’s chipset to enable 5G support.
With that in mind you’d expect the next phone to be called the Z Flip 2, but numerous tipsters have claimed that it will in fact be called the Z Flip 3. This is likely as much to reflect the 5G version being iteration two as it is to bring the Flip numbering in line with the Galaxy Fold line, so that it doesn’t appear to be older tech.
Even Samsung now seems to have given the name away, as Twitter user Rydah spotted patch notes in the Galaxy Store that mention the “Fold 3/Flip 3”.
The Flip 3 name looks increasingly likely, but for now we still can’t call it with absolute certainty.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2/3 cost?
Ice Universe initially posted a few details surrounding the next Z Flip on Chinese social media site Weibo and claimed that the phone will be “cheaper” than its predecessors. The original Galaxy Z Flip cost £1,300/$1,380 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G moved up to £1,399/$1,449.
This theory has since been compounded by a report from display technology experts DSCC. Published on 7 December 2020, the report – written by Ross Young – states that “expectations for the Z Flip 3, Z Fold 3 and a 3rd foldable expected by Samsung to hit the lowest price points yet.”
SamMobile gets more specific, reporting that the phone will be up to 20% cheaper than the previous model. That would be around £1,100/$1,150 based on the Z Flip 5G’s launch pricing.
@FrontTron, who tipped the 3 August release date, also pointed to a price range: $999-$1,199. He later amended that prediction in early July, pointing to a price of $1,249 for the 8GB/256GB model of the phone – not quite the rumoured 20% reduction, but still $200 cheaper than the previous generation.
A Korean leaker pointed to a price range for the Flip 3 between KRW 1,200,000 and KRW 1,280,000 ($1,045 – $1,110) in South Korea, which would be slightly more than a 20% reduction from the original Flip’s KRW 1,650,000 price. A more recent report has narrowed that down to KRW 1,254,000 for the 256GB model, which is right in that price range.
That “3rd foldable” mentioned by Young above, by the way, is now thought to be the Galaxy Z Flip 3 Lite. The Korea Herald reports that this will be “a mass-market model with a more affordable price tag,” though we’re not sure how much cheaper it would be. We haven’t heard anything else about this model though, with no spec leaks to speak of, so we’re a little sceptical that it really is on the way.
What to expect from the Galaxy Z Flip 2/3
Rumours about improved specs are a little inconsistent at the time of writing, but thanks to leaked images we do at least have a good sense of what the next Z Flip will look like.
Our best look yet at the Z Flip 3 comes via prolific leaker Evan Blass, who shared this allegedly official promo image of the new foldable together with the upcoming Z Fold 3.
Blass has since followed up with video renders of the Z Flip 3, showing the phone from every angle. Note that these are most likely made by Blass, and he doesn’t claim that they’re official Samsung renders, but they match everything else we know about the phone so far.
If you don’t mind the annoying watermark, there’s also a great look at the phone from GizNext, which managed to source what seem to be official Samsung renders of the phone in all four official colours. Here’s one image, but click through to the site to check out more.
These leaks are a very close match to older shots from what appears to be internal Samsung documentation, courtesy of Ice Universe on Weibo, adding to the sense that this is the genuine and final design of the phone.
Between these images and a prior leak from SamMobile, and a subsequent one from IceUniverse, we know that the Z Flip 3 will launch with a selection of new colours: light violet, green, black and beige.
Thanks to the phone’s TENAA listing – a Chinese networking certification – we know that when opened the phone will measure 166 x 72.2 x 7.3mm. That makes it slightly shorter and narrower than the Z Flip 5G, though it is admittedly 0.1mm thicker – which we suspect will be difficult to spot.
It’s also tipped by both Max Weinbach and Evan Blass to have an IPX8 rating – which signifies that it hasn’t been tested for dust-resistance (the ‘X’) but has a strong level of water-resistance (the ‘8’).
That lines up with Samsung Mobile CEO Dr. TM Roh’s comments that the phone will use “more durable, stronger materials,” alongside an “even more refined style.” In that same blogpost he reveals Samsung’s plans to launch “the first-ever S Pen designed specifically for foldable phones,” but don’t get your hopes up – this is expected to be exclusive to the larger Z Fold 3.
Perhaps more important is that larger external display – expected to be 1.9in (up from 1.1in previously). It’s seemingly now capable of displaying full notifications and messages. The internal display is tipped to stay the same at 6.7in, however.
The original Weibo post from Ice Universe mentioned a couple of other potential hardware details; namely a 120Hz high refresh rate display and a narrower frame than the existing Flip entries, and he later added on Twitter that the phone will weigh 183g – the exact same as the Z Flip 5G.
That narrower frame apparently includes a bezel that’s less than 3.8mm, shown off here in some renders that highlight the difference compared to the original model. It’s…subtle, to be fair. But hey, a slimmer bezel is no bad thing, even if it’s not changed by much.
Surprisingly little has leaked about the camera setup in the Z Flip 3, but Blass’s tweet above suggests that little will have changed here. He predicts a pair of 12Mp shooters for the rear cameras and a 10Mp selfie lens – exactly the same setup found on the Z Flip 5G, which uses a main lens and an ultrawide for its two main cameras.
It’s possible that the specifics of the lenses, sensors, and apertures may have changed slightly to deliver improved photographic performance, but for the most part it looks like Samsung has decided to avoid camera upgrades to help keep costs down.
As for the internals, less is known here for certain.
It looks most likely that the Z Flip 3 will use the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset – making a change from the previous models, which relied on slightly older chips to keep the handsets more affordable.
A phone believed to be a variant of the new Z Flip – with model number SM-F711U – appeared on Geekbench 5, with specs including a Snapdragon 888 and 8GB of RAM
An earlier report from SamMobile features the same model number, SM-F711, which has also appeared on 3C and TENAA listings. SamMobile claims that the phone will ship with a choice of 128GB or 256GB storage, and run Android 11 and OneUI 3.5 – another indication of a late 2021 launch, since that software version is expected to arrive in late summer when the Galaxy Note 21 would have launched, though we now know that phone has been scrapped.
Complicating things, GalaxyClub.nl spotted a device believed to be the next Z Flip with the model number ‘SM-F720F’. The final ‘F’ apparently indicates that it’s both a device destined for the international market and that it’s a 4G/LTE device, rather than a 5G-capable handset.
The Snapdragon 888 has integrated 5G, so if the phone has both 5G and 4G versions then it likely wouldn’t use this chip for either. Still, it could use the relatively recent Snapdragon 865+ or intermediary Snapdragon 870, both of which can be used with or without a 5G modem. It’s also possible that Samsung will use the 888 in a 5G model and a different chip – even one of its own Exynos chips – for the 4G variant, which in turn could be the cheaper Z Flip Lite rumoured to be on the way.
For reference, the original Z Flip sported the model number SM-F700, while the Z Flip 5G used SM-F707.
Battery and charging
The SM-F711 model number pops up again on China’s 3C certification system, revealing that at least in that market the phone will ship with the same 15W charger as the previous Z Flip models. That suggests the same maximum charging capacity, though it is possible, albeit unlikely, that the phone will be capable of faster charging than the charger it ships with.
The battery will also be similar. Battery certification listings reveal a two-cell battery setup for the next Z Flip, with the same total capacity – 3300mAh – as the two previous models. Hopefully, power optimisations elsewhere will help that battery last a bit longer instead.
Finally, the TENAA listing reveals one small disappointment: the phone will have only a single SIM card slot, and won’t be dual-SIM. However, it will include eSIM support, which should function alongside the physical slot.
Obviously, this is all unconfirmed, so we’ll keep checking on news and leaks, and report them back here as more about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2/3 comes to light. Until then, take a look at our guide to the best new phones coming in this year to see what else might be the breakthrough device in the months ahead.