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Samsung R&D head talks chokepoints in Z Fold Three and Z Flip Three improvement


(Picture: CNET)

Samsung’s three mains objectives behind creating the brand new Galaxy Z Fold Three and Galaxy Z Flip Three foldable smartphones had been to supply significant experiences, sturdiness and affordable pricing, an organization government mentioned.

Samsung Cellular government vp and head of flagship product R&D group Gained-Joon Choi informed ZDNet that the corporate believes these three elements for its newest units can be what takes foldable smartphones mainstream. 

“We’re assured that the foldable smartphone class will develop. And that development must be sustainable,” Choi mentioned. “So for us, the large query was how can we provide a brand new worth that’s value what our clients are paying for these units. That can’t be the novelty issue of folding alone.”

In keeping with the manager, Samsung performed a lot of client analysis previous to and throughout the improvement of the Z Fold Three and Z Flip 3, and one vital a part of that was discovering out clients’ willingness to repurchase a foldable smartphone. Lots of the new features and experiences on the units had been a direct results of that analysis, Choi mentioned.


In keeping with Choi, the Z Fold Three and Z Flip Three are usually not about displaying off the corporate’s folding expertise, however the expertise they provide. Samsung collaborated with Google to combine the Android working system into the folding units. It additionally reached out to a whole lot of third-party app builders to persuade them to be a part of the foldable ecosystem, the EVP mentioned.

Choi additionally talked up Samsung’s Good Lock characteristic — an app that permits customisation throughout themes and consumer interface for Samsung units — and the way it may be utilized in foldable units to spice up consumer expertise. The app can be utilized to customize sure apps akin to Instagram to scale back black areas and combine higher with the folding display screen, he mentioned.

“We predict we have reached a sure completeness in the case of the folding kind issue expertise. We have mirrored on buyer suggestions rather a lot. However we will not do it alone. We want third-party builders to affix us in creating apps that help flex mode, giant screens, and multi-window setups,” Choi mentioned.

Including in S Pen help for the Z Fold 3 was additionally a part of Samsung’s efforts to supply a significant expertise on the system, he mentioned, however that was extraordinarily troublesome. 

“There have been occasions we needed to surrender on the characteristic. The expertise to help the stylus for the foldable kind issue wasn’t completed in a 12 months, however it was years within the making.”

The rectangle-shaped digitiser sheet underneath the show, which finds the situation of the pen’s tip by way of resonance sensing, is made with onerous materials and isn’t versatile just like the show panel. Samsung initially supposed to have the digitiser as one sheet underneath the panel, however after repeated failures to make this practical, the corporate got here up with the easy answer of slicing it in half and placing one digitiser on all sides of the fold, Choi mentioned. 

“We made certain the 2 digitisers shared their indicators and in addition utilized our writing sample prediction algorithm to make the stylus work between the hole.”

For the tip of the S Pen, Samsung additionally collected knowledge on how a lot power could possibly be generated when clients pressed it strongly towards the show panel to guard them for scratches.

On whether or not the corporate considered housing the S Pen contained in the Z Fold Three because it did for the Word collection, the manager mentioned the corporate thought of a lot of choices on methods to incorporate the stylus for its folding units.

When deciding to not home the S Pen within the Z Fold 3, Choi mentioned the brand new foldable is 6.3mm in thickness when unfolded, thinner than the Word collection’ round 7mm, which meant if the pen was housed inside, it will be too skinny. 

“If the pen is just too skinny, it ruins the sensation of writing. We thought rather a lot about advantages and trade-offs when it got here to how we needed to current the S Pen on the Z Fold 3.”

Nonetheless, Choi did acknowledge the advantages of housing the stylus inside a telephone and mentioned the corporate would proceed to “suppose outdoors the field” to provide you with the very best options for the S Pen.


Samsung Cellular government vp and head of flagship product R&D group Gained-Joon Choi gave the lowdown on Galaxy Z Fold Three and Galaxy Z Flip 3’s improvement course of. 

Picture: Samsung


In keeping with the manager, sturdiness was one of many high priorities for the Z Fold Three and Z Flip Three as client suggestions confirmed that considered one of their largest issues was across the sturdiness of the units.

“The show panel and the hinge are a very powerful elements when it comes to sturdiness,” Choi mentioned. “For the show panel, we noticed all of the defects akin to scratches which have occurred within the prior iterations. These show panels have very complicated layers and we’ve to make these layers versatile and sturdy on the similar time.

“We mulled over the suitable thickness of those layers, the supplies we use for them, adhesives, and the quilt movie.”

For the hinge, a very powerful part in each units for reaching the IPX8 water resistance ranking, Samsung centered on making the construction easier. The Z Fold 2’s hinge had over 100 parts however for its successor, this quantity has been halved, Choi mentioned.

“We tried to scale back the method steps to fabricate the Z Fold Three and Z Flip Three in addition to their parts throughout. We additionally optimised the supplies in order that they’re sturdy, waterproof, and cost-competitive.”

This innovation in design and supplies additionally allowed Samsung to realize a lower cost tag for the units to make mass producing them easier, the EVP added.


The screens of the Z Fold Three and Z Flip Three each mark the primary time a foldable has supported a 120Hz refresh price, and the Z Fold Three is the primary time Samsung has carried out an under-display digital camera. Samsung touted each options closely in its Unpacked occasion, however Choi famous that the event processes for each options weren’t with out hurdles.

“A 120Hz refresh price on the foldable screens was a problem due to their increased energy consumption because the screens are usually bigger than typical telephones. Scrolling by way of them additionally must really feel pure. We’ve tons of expertise in software program tuning optimisation, which allowed us to over this problem,” Choi defined when touting the brand new characteristic.

Whereas power effectivity was the problem for upping refresh charges, the under-display digital camera posed an issue for Samsung relating to methods to make the picture sensor correctly take in gentle, which meant the corporate wanted to enhance the brand new {hardware} with software program to supply photographs it was pleased with. 

Not like typical entrance cameras that do not have a panel protecting them, under-display cameras are unable to totally take in gentle attributable to being blocked by a show.

“Since now there’s a show panel above the digital camera, we needed to discover methods to minimise the lack of gentle when it passes by way of the show panel to succeed in the picture sensor,” Choi mentioned.

“The important thing to reaching the under-display digital camera characteristic was the picture restoration algorithm we used. The software program will work to get better the picture or video to their full content material if it detect shortcomings.”

In speaking in regards to the new under-display tech, Choi additionally mentioned the Z Fold Three complemented the opposite digital camera choices out there on the system, akin to utilizing the principle digital camera to take selfies in flex mode.

Picture: CNET


The Z Fold Three and Z Flip Three every sport a triple 12MP digital camera and double 12MP digital camera, respectively, as their principal shooters.

Strictly when it comes to pixels, that is behind the specs of cameras put in typical flagship smartphones. The Galaxy S21 Extremely, for instance, packs a 108MP principal shooter.

On whether or not Samsung plans to spice up the {hardware} specs of the cameras for foldables, Choi mentioned: “What number of cameras there are and what pixels they’ve is after all vital, however we felt the general expertise of how the cameras are used is extra vital. So we’re specializing in placing on our sources in digital camera software program proper now.”

Addressing the 2 kind elements offered within the Z Fold Three and Z Flip 3, the EVP mentioned Samsung remains to be persevering with to assessment different kind elements however will solely launch them in the event that they add one thing new and helpful.

“The vital questions is whether or not a brand new kind issue can present an expertise that wasn’t out there earlier than. We do really feel nonetheless that down the highway there can be a time after we can introduce a totally new expertise within the foldable house,” he added.

Samsung Unpacked


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