Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 was a huge improvement on the original. Not only did it bypass the infamous teething problems of its predecessor, the front screen got a whole lot bigger and it felt significantly more solid.
So what might the company be planning for the inevitable Galaxy Z Fold 3? Well one patent spotted by LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) suggests the company might be taking inspiration from its older Galaxy S ‘Edge’ models.
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For those that don’t remember, when Samsung started selling versions of the Galaxy S with a curved screen, the company was, at first, a little at a loss of what to do with the side panel. One effective use turned out to be displaying notifications, and it seems Samsung is toying with something similar for the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
The patent suggests that a strip of LED lighting could be embedded into the hinge of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, protected by a partly translucent cover. That means that when the phone is in its closed state, owners could be alerted to calls or messages via a change in the lighting. You can see how LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) imagines this in the mockup at the top of the page.
This might seem a bit redundant, given the device has a whopping great screen on the front, but this could be a more subtle way of drawing attention to messages, and could still be seen if the handset is lying face down. Strip lighting is also likely less of a battery drain than a whole screen constantly powering on and off.
Suffice it to say, not every patent idea is eventually used in a commercially available product, and it’s entirely possible this is a concept that ultimately goes nowhere. We likely have a long wait ahead of us before we find out – the Galaxy Z Fold 2 only emerged last month, and while we might see more devices with bending screens alongside the Galaxy S21 early next year, the Galaxy Z Flip is likely the next foldable in line for a sequel.