Samsung is going great guns with its foldable smartphone range, but it might not be long before we see another innovation. Rumours are gaining speed that the Korean company could be working on a foldable tablet, possibly dubbed the Galaxy Z Fold Tab.
Here’s all the latest news and leaks surrounding this potentially ground-breaking product, which could finally see Apple’s iPad being given a serious challenge.
When is the release date for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab?
There’s no confirmed release date for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab, as the company is yet to announce that the product is a reality. We saw some rumours pointing towards Q1 of 2022, with GizChina one of the first to go with this date, but clearly that hasn’t happened.
It wasn’t announced at all in 2022, and there’s no firm sign that it’s coming any time soon either, but leaker Yogesh Brar has reported that Samsung is working on a “tri-fold” and that it “might finally ship this year”.
If it does, our best estimate is that we’ll see Samsung go all-in with its foldable products and introduce the Z Fold Tab alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5, which are likely to arrive in the summer.
That’s what leaker Tech_Reve has predicted too. They claim that Samsung will launch the ‘Galaxy Z Tab’ alongside the Tab S9 series, which has in turn been predicted elsewhere to arrive at the same time as the company’s next foldable phones, likely at an Unpacked event in the final week of July.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab cost?
This is also something of a puzzler at the moment, as we haven’t seen a foldable tablet from Samsung so far. As a rough guide, here’s how much the Galaxy Z Fold smartphones were priced:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold – $1,980/£1,900/€1,949
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 – $1,999/£1,799/€1,899
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 – $1,799/£1,599/€1,799
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – $1,799/£1,649/€1,799
The trend is a steady but slow reduction of cost as the production is refined, but due to the nature of foldable devices, they are going to remain pricey for a while yet. As tablets have even larger displays, we would expect to see the Fold Tab cost at least as much as the Z Fold 4, and almost certainly a chunk more.
What features will we see in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold Tab?
There have been some substantial leaks and rumours surrounding the potential design of the new tablet. While there’s next to nothing known about the specs that the new device might contain, the construction itself is the more interesting part. LetsGoDigital has done excellent work in finding patent applications from Samsung that outline the construction of the device and used these (in collaboration with designer Sarang Sheth) to create renders that show how it might look.
The main defining feature is that there could be two folding parts of the display, allowing Samsung to not only create a tablet that is actually pocketable, but one that can essentially be used as a smartphone when folded.
The two folds are situated either side of the main third area of the panel, so the two other thirds fold outwards and wrap around the back of the device. There is a small gap between the two folded areas, in which the Samsung S Pen is stored. This also reveals a triple camera array, which suggests that the device could be more a smartphone than a tablet.
If the design is the one that will feature on the Galaxy Z Fold Tab then it will look pretty damn amazing, while also creating an almost impossible task for case manufacturers. Of course, this could be a variant of the Galaxy Z Fold smartphone that is yet to launch, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Another possibility is that Samsung will use a different approach, as again outlined by LetsGoDigital who found the patent application.
This is a simpler design that uses a single fold in the centre, just like on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold phones, but with a larger display and wedge-shaped chassis that thickens around the hinges. In the patent, there were no cameras in the display or on the rear, so it could be that they are deemed superfluous or will be added at a later point in production. The aesthetic is simple, elegant and would probably be cheaper than the double-fold version outlined above.
Samsung has already showcased a number of foldable displays at the Society for Information Display (SID) exhibition in May 2021. GSMArena reported on this, with images of several designs, including one with two folds, as seen in the LetsGoDigital renders above. On this version the OLED display can reach full dimensions of 7.2in when opened up, plus it’s closer to the 4:3 aspect ratio of an iPad than the square Galaxy Z Folds.
The company showed off even more concept designs at CES 2022, including the Flex S and Flex G, two variants on devices with multiple fold points. The ‘S’ folds in a zig-zag shape as it closes, while the two sides of the G fold on top of one another, in what looks like a more refined version of the twin-fold design seen in the patent above.
Between all these designs, it looks like Samsung has got the bit between its teeth at the moment. This could mean that we may actually see multiple tablets appear in the next year or so, as the Korean giants continue to redefine what you can do with electronics and some clever glass.