Let's round up all the latest news and rumours surrounding the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 (or is it Flip 3?).
When will the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2 be released?
While Samsung has yet to confirm that the Galaxy Z Flip 2 even exists, there are rumblings of a later-than-expected launch.
The original Galaxy Z Flip was announced on 14 February 2020 at the first Samsung Unpacked event of the year. It was accompanied by other flagships, such as the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Galaxy Buds+. It was later joined by the Z Flip 5G, in July 2020.
Korean news site The Elec claimed that the Flip 2 will be announced in Q2 of 2021, but other tipsters have pointed to later dates.
Sorry Z Flip fans, hearing the Z Flip 2 launch is being moved back to the summer...— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) November 3, 2020
Tipster Ross Young - who has 25 years experience in the display industry - has suggested that the new flip phone won't arrive until the summer.
That's backed up by tipster Ice Universe, who claimed in early February that the next Z Flip won't be here for another "5 months," which takes us up to July at least.
We may have to wait 5 months to see Flip 3 and Fold 3.— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) February 4, 2021
Further evidence for a later summer or autumn release comes from S-Connect - the Korean company responsible for manufacturing the hinges in Samsung's foldables. ZDNet reported that the company will begin mass-producing hinges for the Z Flip 2/3 in Q2 2021, with mock-up development taking place in Q1.
SamMobile echoed that timetable, predicting a Q3 2021 launch for the Z Flip 2/3 and Z Fold 3.
Korean outlet ETNews claims that there's even more on the way, with Samsung allegedly planning to release at least four foldables in the latter half of 2021, with two Flip-based variants as well as two Fold-style variants, which are thought to include the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
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.
On the other hand, the S-Connect document above clearly refers to the Z Flip 2 specifically, casting some doubt on these rumours of a name change.
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 this device 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."
That mentioned "3rd foldable" by the way, is thought to be the rumoured Galaxy Z Fold Scroll.
While we're not expecting any massive reduction in cost, especially if 5G is now part of the Flip line's equation by default, Ice Universe's and DSCC's posts do at least offer some hope that the next entry won't be quite as eye-wateringly expensive as Samsung's current offerings.
What will the Galaxy Z Flip 2/3 specs be?
Rumours about improved specs are a bit thin on the ground at the time of writing. There are, at least, a few things that seem to present themselves as obvious choices for Samsung.
The original Weibo post from Ice Universe mentioned a couple of potential hardware details; namely a 120Hz high refresh rate display and a narrower frame than the existing Flip entries.
Contrary to initial assumptions that the Z Flip 2/3 may turn to Qualcomm's newest flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset (or the relatively recent Snapdragon 865+ or intermediary new Snapdragon 870), talk of the phone's improved affordability looks to come with some notable compromises.
As reported by GalaxyClub.nl, a device with the model number 'SM-F720F' was spotted, with the 'F' indicating 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, which would have a 'B' at the end of its name - based on existing Samsung convention.
In contrast, a more recent report from SamMobile claims that the next Z Flip will have the model number SM-F711, though doesn't specify either an 'F' or 'B' suffix. The report does at least claim 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.
For reference, the original Z Flip sported the model number SM-F700, while the Z Flip 5G used SM-F707.
Another area that’s been addressed across the tech spectrum is the 1.1in display on the outside of the device. While this provides a handy reference for the time, date, battery levels and offers basic touch control for music playback, a larger panel would make the feature more usable.
The Vietnamese tipster Chun is one of the industry experts specifically claiming that a larger external display is on the way:
As of now (September 2020)— Chun (@chunvn8888) September 16, 2020
- bigger outer display
- new UTG
- Upgraded hinge
- bigger battery
A bit concerned:
- high refresh rate display
- specs (screen size, chipset, cam)
This suggests that Samsung will indeed increase the outer panel size, improve the casing itself along with a stiffer hinge, plus a larger battery will make it a more robust option when away from power sources.
A more recent report suggests that the bigger battery may not be on the way after all though. 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.
SamMobile reports that the Z Flip 2/3 will launch with a selection of new colours: light violet, green, black and beige. It specifies that these are new colours, so expect the violet to be different to the 'Mirror Purple' finish seen on the existing Z Flip models.
A later leak from the same site also points to an IP rating for the phone - the first for a Samsung foldable - which leaker Chun corroborated, adding that he believes it will be an IP53 rating, rather than the stronger IP68 rating found on flagships like the S21 Ultra.
As for what the Z Flip 3 might look like, we actually have a pretty promising view, based on spy shots from what appear to be internal Samsung documentation, courtesy once again of Ice Universe on Weibo (alongside a potential build of the Galaxy Z Fold 3).
To add to that, LetsGoDigital teamed up with digital artist Giuseppe Spinelli (also known as Snoreyn) to then build clearer renders that of the potential Z Flip 3 design that highlight details like the larger external display mentioned earlier.
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.
We discussed the latest rumours surrounding the next Galaxy Z Flip in our weekly podcast, Fast Charge: