When is the Galaxy Z Fold 3 release date?

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 (pictured) launched in September 2020, so it was no surprise that its successor didn't launch at Samsung's Unpacked event in January when it launched the S21 range - a follow-up 12 months on in September 2021 makes much more sense. If you believe tipster Max Weinbach, whenever it does arrive it will at least be alongside the upcoming Galaxy S21 FE.

According to Korean news outlet ETNews, the latter half of 2021 is when to expect one, if not two, variants of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

The report makes mention of two "fold-type" and two "flip-type" devices - all cited as supporting 5G. The Fold 3 may be accompanied by a more affordable Galaxy Z Fold FE and it's thought that it'll be a similar situation with the Z Flip phones too.

On the other hand, leaker Ice Universe has made mention of a five-month wait from their February post, suggesting that we could see a pair of new folding Galaxy phones - including a new member of the Fold family - as early as July.

It certainly won't come before that. Hinge supplier S-Connect has confirmed that it enters mass production of the Z Fold 3 hinge in Q2 2021, so there's no way the phone will launch earlier than late summer or autumn.

SamMobile echoes that timetable, predicting a Q3 2021 launch for the Z Fold 3, along with the Z Flip 2/3. There are also rumours of a Z Fold S and Z Fold Scroll, though if real they're likely to launch later.

What is the Galaxy Z Fold 3 price?

Although the Z Fold 3 is still a way off, there are already rumours about its price. Mauri QHD, a leaker with a good track record, says that it will cost the same as the Z Fold 2.

He does say to take it with a pinch of salt at this stage, but if true, this would put the Galaxy Z Fold 3 pricing at around £1,800 or $2,000.

What are the Galaxy Z Fold 3 specs?

Considering the huge jump in innovation between the first two Fold models, don’t go expecting the same again. Samsung managed to fix a number of elements on its second-generation device, including enlarging the small 4.6in front screen and improving durability. Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold review to find out what we disliked about that first iteration.

The Fold 3 will likely offer more subtle improvements and refinements.

During its Samsung 2020 Investor Forum, the firm talked about how it is working on launching a thinner and lighter foldable device. This, we assume, is the Fold 3; good news considering that folding phones with this sort of design have been rather chunky so far – the Z Fold 2 isn’t far off 300g and measures 16.8mm thick when closed, for example.

Those efforts seem to be behind what we've heard about the phone's two screens. Most agree that both screens will shrink ever so slightly: a drop from 7.6in to 7.5in for the main panel, and from 6.23in to 6.21in on the front - barely perceptible. The change is reportedly part of efforts to tweak the phone's overall dimensions and make it shorter but wider, with slightly different aspect ratios that will help Samsung slim down bezels, especially on the outer display.

Unexpectedly, one leak points to a very different external display spec. A document shared by leaker Chun on various upcoming foldables claims that the phone's external display will be just 5.4in - much smaller than the 6.23in display on the outside of the Fold 2.

Chun admits that he hadn't heard that spec from other sources, and we're a touch sceptical that it isn't a typo or other error. That seems especially plausible since the table also reports a 4.3:2 aspect ratio for the internal display, which is nothing near the squareish display we're expecting. With all that in mind, chalk this one up as unlikely for now.

SamMobile reports that the phone will have the model number SM-F926 and will ship with at least 256GB storage - no real shock. The site also claims it will run Android 11 and One UI 3.5, which is another point in favour of a late-2021 launch, as that's when the updated version of Samsung's OS is likely to launch.

Meanwhile The Elec reports on a 4,380mAh battery - the same as the original Fold, but slightly smaller than the 4,500mAh capacity of the Fold 2. Again, a slightly smaller battery would help keep the phone itself a touch more slender.

There are also reports of a bigger change, in the form of an under-screen sensor that will be used for the selfie camera.

“It is heard that Samsung Electronics is designing a display that has wider pixel spacing in the area where UDC will be placed in order to secure opening ratio and so that there will not be an issue with taking pictures,” reports 9to5Google.

This would help solve the awkward placement of the inner camera on the Z Fold 2, which sits on the centre of one side of the panel, making it oddly placed when the screen is fully open. And if an under-display camera sounds far-fetched to you, bear in mind that Samsung has already debuted the tech in the Blade Bezel laptop, while you can also find it in a phone in the ZTE Axon 20 5G.

Leaks from SamMobile suggest that the phone will be available in black and green, and possibly more colours. 

Finally, as rumours build that the Galaxy Note 21 won't launch at all, it's widely expected that the Z Fold 3 will include support for Samsung's S Pen stylus, to help push Note buyers into adopting the foldable format.

As more rumours and news emerge, we'll update this article to let you know.

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