The Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip suggest that Samsung is still very much committed to the folding phone concept, and we're definitely expecting more handsets along these lines in the future – and perhaps one with a light-up hinge.
A newly published Samsung patent spotted by LetsGoDigital shows a device very much like the Galaxy Fold 2, with an LED light strip running down the hinge. The light could be used to show alerts about incoming calls and messages, as per the patent.
The strip would apparently have a partially translucent cover to help protect it from damage, while the patent also suggests the bar could emit different colors of lighting and even different types of effect, depending on the situation.
- The best deals for Amazon Prime Day 2020
- The Huawei Mate 40 gets a launch date
- Get ready to finally buy the iPad Air 4
While the Galaxy Z Fold 2 does have a second screen that's visible when the main display is closed shut, having another indicator bar would be helpful if the phone's in a bag or laid flat on a surface – you need never miss an important incoming notification again.
The device used in the patent looks almost identical to the Galaxy Z Fold 2, but it's not unusual for manufacturers to use their existing products in patents like these, partly to help show how new devices will add improvements.
It doesn't necessarily mean that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will keep the same design and dimensions as its predecessor – there may well be other changes coming to the foldable phone that aren't outlined in this particular bit of documentation.
And as always with patents, there's no guarantee that an LED light strip like this will make it to the final design: patents are good indicators of what companies are experimenting with, but not all the experiments make it to the final versions of devices.
All that said, the patent gives us an interesting insight into how Samsung might improve its folding phone with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The Fold 2 was a significant upgrade over the original Fold, and we're hoping for another big leap forward next time around.
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
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.