Samsung’s successor to its ill-fated Galaxy Fold could be available with less storage at a cheaper price, according to a new report from SamMobile. The cheaper model will reportedly have 256GB of internal storage and will be offered alongside a 512GB model. In contrast, the original Galaxy Fold was only available with 512GB of storage for an eye-watering $1,980.
Today’s report is just the latest piece of news about the unannounced device, but there have been conflicting reports released over the past year. Its existence was rumored way back in March 2019 when Bloomberg reported that Samsung was working on a pair of successors to its original Galaxy Fold. One of these was eventually released as the Galaxy Z Flip, but the second — a device with a screen that folds around its outside like the Huawei Mate X — has yet to be officially announced.
Depending on who you ask, the next Galaxy Fold starts looking like a very different device. While Bloomberg’s initial report said its display could fold outwards, later leaks have referenced a “front cover” display with a V-shaped notch, which suggests that, like the original Fold, its main display could fold inward and be inaccessible while the device is closed. This main display could be 7.7 inches or 8 inches in size compared to the original Fold’s 7.3-inch internal screen, depending on which reports you believe, and it could come with support for Samsung’s S Pen stylus, according to The Elec.
While the original Galaxy Fold featured a fairly chunky notch on its main display, its successor could feature a much smaller hole-punch notch or may even ditch it entirely with an under-display camera, according to Max Weinbach over at XDA-Developers. Under-display camera prototypes of questionable quality have been shown off by Xiaomi and Oppo, but the technology is yet to make it into a high-profile consumer device. The next Fold may also adopt the same camera array as the S20 Plus, which includes a 64-megapixel telephoto camera, according to Weinbach’s most recent assessment.
However, the most important aspect of the upcoming device is its durability. The original Fold had a chaotic launch, with broken review devices forcing the company to delay its release for months. Even after tweaks were made, its screen was still fragile. The Z Flip, released earlier this year, attempted to remedy the situation with an ultra-thin glass display layer, but real-world tests found that it still scratched very easily. It all means Samsung still has a lot to prove when it comes to the durability of its foldable devices.
It’s unclear when Samsung might be ready to announce its next foldable device, especially now that the pandemic has thrown the world’s manufacturing and supply chains into disarray. However, reports generally seem to agree that we might see the new device announced somewhere between Q2 and Q3 this year. With Samsung’s Note announcement traditionally taking place in August, SamMobile speculates that the company could use it as a venue for a return to the Fold.