Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 in line for a key design upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. (Image credit: Future)

We're expecting Samsung to unveil two foldables in the coming months – the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – and the latest rumor to catch our attention hints that both these devices are in line for the same design upgrade.

There's a new Samsung trademark application for the term 'Armor Frame', as spotted by LetsGoDigital. While the application doesn't reveal too many details, there's a decent chance that this tech is destined for Samsung's folding phones.

Right now, the Fold and the Flip make use of aluminum frames, which aren't quite as strong as the stainless steel alternative. The other disadvantage of aluminum is that it tends to lose its strength over time, which isn't ideal for a phone that bends a lot.

While the trademark doesn't mention any materials specifically, LetsGoDigital speculates that carbon or titanium could be used to add extra strength to the frame of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. As an added bonus, these materials are lighter too.

In the frame

For now, there's not much more to this particular rumor: but we can certainly see an Armor Frame being something that Samsung highlights at its next foldable phone launch. Durability is even more important with foldables than it is with regular handsets.

It's also worth clarifying that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 aren't mentioned by name in this trademark application. However, with the Samsung Galaxy S22 still a long way off, and the Galaxy Note 21 most probably cancelled, it seems a good bet that the folding phones will be the first to get this tech.

We've previously heard reports that the next Fold and Flip models will introduce some kind of water resistance for the first time – not easy on a foldable phone – and so it seems that Samsung wants to make these next handsets as durable as they can possibly be.

After all, you don't want to spend a huge amount of cash on a foldable phone only to find that it's not as robust as you'd hoped. It's not clear exactly when these two handsets are going to make an appearance, but the middle of 2021 is likely.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.