If there was anything left to see of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 ahead of their very likely launches at Samsung Unpacked on August 11, well, we probably just saw it in a video leaked by the phonemaker itself. And it shows the custom S Pen that’s been long-rumored to come to the Z Fold 3.
Samsung Malaysia’s YouTube account reportedly uploaded a short video showing off both foldables and swiftly took it down, but not before it was screencapped and posted to the r/GalaxyFold subreddit. The short video has all the hallmarks of Samsung promotional videos, so we’d suspect it’s authentic, though it’s always possible a crafty creator went through the trouble of aping Samsung’s style with very authentic-looking renders.
The clip was quickly uploaded elsewhere, including on Twitter:
عن طريق الخطا سامسونغ ماليزيا ينشرون مقطع اعلاني عن جهاز Galaxy Z fold & flip 3 pic.twitter.com/kz5Vt5EXbTAugust 9, 2021
The video purportedly shows both foldables in action for only a few seconds each, but revealed plenty in that time. It demonstrated a roulette of apps on the clamshell Z Flip 3’s exterior screen (which is much larger than the outer display on its predecessors), but most of the 30-plus-second runtime was devoted to the Z Fold 3 and stylus functionality. Notably, the foldable can seemingly split apps between halves of the inner display, which is neat.
There’s even more detail in the video than you might think – user u/paxinfernum, who uploaded the video, noted that the fine print in the shot with the stylus reads:
“S Pen Pro and S Pen Fold Edition sold separately. Only use the Samsung S Pen Pro or S Pen Fold Edition designed exclusively for Galaxy Z Fold3. All other S Pens or stylus pens not designed for Galaxy Z Fold3 (including those by other manufacturers) may damage the screen. Certain applications may not support multitasking. Flex mode supported at angles between 75° and 115°.”
Flex Mode is Samsung’s name for alternate functionality when a phone is folded, which debuted with the original Galaxy Z Flip and was included in the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
But it’s the S Pen news that’s more intriguing, as the disclaimer suggests only the long-expected S Pen Pro and the S Pen Fold Edition will apparently work with the Z Fold 3 display. It’s unclear why, but perhaps they’re less harsh on the foldable’s screen than prior styluses meant to work on glass displays. In any case, leaker Max Weinbach claimed that the Z Fold 3 itself will detect a non-compatible S Pen being used and warn users from doing so:
Using non foldable SPen on a Fold3? There will be a pop-up telling you to not do that.August 9, 2021
It’s nice to see some kind of confirmation that the Z Fold 3 will get its own S Pen, which is one of the top new features we’ve heard about the foldable – and a reason to get this version over the Z Fold 2. Moreover, it could suggest that Samsung has custom functionality in mind for the new version rather than just adding compatibility to shoehorn the Z Fold 3 into its lineup as a Note 21 alternative.
And yes, both foldables look much like they do in the myriad design leaks and rumors showing what we expect the devices to look like.
Via Android Police
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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.