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Galaxy Z Fold 3 leaks suggest launch could come sooner than expected

A new cycle of Galaxy leaks might have just started, signaling that Samsung is getting closer to launching a new flagship. Phones like the Galaxy S and Note appear in various leaks and rumors in the months preceding their official launch. By the time Samsung takes the stage during a Samsung Unpacked event, fans already know everything about the new high-end handsets, from design and specs to price and release date. The Galaxy Z foldables also qualify as Samsung flagships, especially the Z Fold that features the same top-of-the-line hardware as the newest Galaxy S and Note. And it just so happens that we’re currently witnessing an increase in Galaxy Z Fold 3 rumors.

Things will be slightly different for Samsung this year, as the Galaxy S21 series won’t be followed by the Galaxy Note 21. Samsung said the chip shortage would prevent it from launching a new Note this year, while reports said that Samsung was looking to scrap the phone in favor of foldables. A report said a few days ago that Samsung has just two foldable phones planned for 2021: The Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 2. A new rumor now says the Z Fold 3 might launch even earlier than expected, while providing additional details about the phone’s design.

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The Elec claims that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will have a 4,380 mAh battery. That’s in line with other 2021 Android phones, but that particular battery size doesn’t follow the industry trend. Newer phones usually come with bigger batteries, and a foldable phone certainly seems to have extra room for increasing the battery capacity.

But the Z Fold 3’s battery matches that of the original Fold, and both are slightly smaller than the Fold 2’s 4,500 mAh battery. The reduced capacity is directly tied to the phone’s design. The Elec says that Samsung is reducing the battery size to accommodate the change in display size for the Fold 3 and increase its portability.

The report says the main foldable screen will measure 7.5 inches, which is slightly smaller than the Fold 2’s 7.6-inch screen. The external display will be 6.2 inches. However, previous reports said that the cover screen might be even smaller.

What’s interesting to note here is the focus on portability. One of the things some people criticized about the Fold’s design was its bulkiness. When folded, the Fold models have a screen gap next to the hinge. Earlier this year, Huawei showed the world a different take on a foldable phone with the main screen placed internally. The Mate X2 is thinner than the Fold phones. It features uneven sides and has no gap. It’s unclear how Samsung plans to improve the portability of the Z Fold 3.

The same Elec story says that Samsung wants to unveil the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 2 earlier than expected, aiming for July. That would be about a month earlier than the traditional mid-August launch window for the Note series. Regardless of when the next Unpacked will take place, it’s likely the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 2 designs have long been finalized, and they’re likely to leak before the press conference.

The Elec also references two exciting Z Fold 3 rumors, saying that Samsung is expected to bring new technologies to the foldable device, including S Pen support, adaptive refresh rate, and under panel cameras (UPC). The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s adaptive 120Hz screen tech is likely to make it into an expensive phone like the Z Fold 3 as well. The other two technologies are also quite exciting, teasing two noteworthy innovations for foldable phones.

Stylus support on a Samsung foldable means the Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) cover will be more durable than last year’s version. It’s unclear how Samsung would bring the S Pen to its foldable line. The device could be an optional accessory for the Fold 3, just like with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. If it’s built into the foldable phone, then the S Pen housing would consume the kind of space that could have been used for expanding the battery size.

As for UPC, Samsung has already confirmed it has developed notebook OLED screens with UPC tech. Placing a camera under the display of a phone would be the next step. In mid-February, the well-known leaker Ice Universe said on Twitter that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is “very likely” to adopt UPC tech.

Finally, SamMobile reported a few days ago that Samsung had already started the development of the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s firmware. The report said the phone would feature at least 256GB of storage and that it will run Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI 3.5 on top.

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