While we’ve been expecting the Samsung Galaxy S21 series next year, a new leak has claimed several other phones are coming in 2021, including the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, the clamshell Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, and even a potentially cheaper foldable in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold FE (Fan Edition).
In addition to those three foldables, the leak – a simple list of 2021 phones tweeted by noted leaker Max Weinbach – includes the expected trio of Samsung S21 phones as well as a Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.
Samsung flagships to expect this year:S21 FES21S21+S21 UltraZ Fold 3Z Flip 3Z Fold FENovember 15, 2020
That’s seven phones, total – and while we’ve seen rumors about some of these phones before, it’s the first we’ve heard about the Z Flip 3, the Samsung S21 FE and the Z Fold FE. While it’s no surprise the high-value Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is getting a follow-up, it is interesting that we could see a cheaper version of the Z Fold family of devices, which top our best foldables list.
The Z Flip 2 isn't even out yet, of course, so it's intriguing to hear its successor is coming – unless the Z Flip 5G is a sort of honorary Z Flip 2.
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A more affordable foldable...packing an S Pen?
Weinbach’s leak didn’t note any other information, like release date, price, or specs, but a follow-up tweet did offer another potentially true detail: three of the seven devices listed will have S Pen support.
With the help of other rumors and some deductive reasoning, we can guess which may come with Samsung’s official stylus paired with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phones, the Galaxy Tab S7 tablet, and their predecessors.
A prior rumor hinted that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra may feature S Pen support. The key word is ‘support’ – the top-end phone may not have a dedicated slot like the Note phones, but could still work with the styluses regardless. Another rumor suggests the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will also support the S Pen, which would make sense for the sure-to-be-pricey foldable, but it’s likewise possible the device doesn’t come with a stylus slot.
So which is the third S Pen-supporting device? If only the S21 Ultra has been rumored to link up to the stylus, it’s probably not coming to the cheaper models, including the S21 FE. And it seems a poor fit for the clamshell-folding Z Flip 3. The best candidate, then, is the Z Fold FE, which may also cut corners by not including an S Pen in the box but will support it if bought separately – or, better yet, inherited from an old Note phone.
We’ll wait for more confirmation about the S Pen leak and look forward to more confirmation of the heretofore unknown cheaper S21 FE and Z Fold FE.
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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.