If you thought the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G was clever, Samsung has something even cleverer for you: a patented design for a tri-fold phone with two hinges that folds in a Z shape. Unfortunately it suffers even more from the problem that plagues the Z Fold 3: when you fold a phone, it gets a lot thicker – and the more folds it has, the thicker it gets.
The patent, which was spotted by LetsGoDigital, makes it clear: a tri-fold phone brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "bricked your phone". Where the Samsung Galaxy S21 is super slim, Samsung's patented design looks as thick as a brick.
You gotta know when to fold 'em
The design here is very interesting: the guts of the phone are in the front and back sections, with the middle bit largely free of crucial components. But as interesting as the idea of a phone that becomes properly tablet-sized is, there are practical issues to consider too.
For example, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is around 100g heavier than an iPhone 13 or Samsung Galaxy S21, and it's only 22g lighter than the iPad mini 6. That's with a bi-fold design. A tri-fold will add more weight and more bulk too, and unless you're wearing cargo pants it's not going to fit in your pocket. Unless or until Samsung can find ways to make things a whole lot lighter and a whole lot thinner, a tri-fold phone is something most of us would admire rather than acquire.