The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s adoption of S Pen and Wacom technologies was widely praised, but its stylus treatment received the opposite feedback. Sold separately and with none home for it on the device, some regarded the S Pen as an optional afterthought instead of a selling feature. The balance between having a skinny device and a soft stylus has always been a fragile dance. Still, a replacement Samsung patent plays around with the thought of a foldable device that does have room for the S Pen in a rather intriguing way.
The Galaxy Flex Note patent shows a foldable device, so, unlike anything Samsung has shown thus far, it casts tons of doubt on its viability. Unlike the “innie” foldable the corporate uses, this idea has an “outie” just like the first Huawei Mate X and earlier foldable device prototypes from the likes of Xiaomi. One critical difference is that just one small section of the screen folds backward to hide nearly half the device’s back, leaving what seems like a smartphone with typical size and ratio, unlike the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s narrower folded form.
That screen “flap” does quite fold, though. It also hides a compartment for a rather flat stylus, more almost like the Surface Pro X’s Surface Slim Pen. Presumably, that stylus also magnetically attaches to the rear of the device even when unfolded, balancing the thicker section of the phone on the other side that the majority likely holds the device’s hardware and battery. Unfortunately, this balance wouldn’t work if the S Pen is getting used, which is how most will probably attempt to use it when drawing on a flat surface sort of a table.
The patent doesn’t show any visible cameras on the device’s back but does suggest a minimum of two under-display cameras on the foldable part of the screen. This can allow equivalent high-performance cameras to be used both for normal photos also as selfies and video chats, reducing the number of sensors needed. Given the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s under-panel sensor (UPS), however, this might convince be divisive and even disappointing.
This is, of course, still just a patent, and therefore the UDC technology may need already be trapped by the time this Galaxy Flex Note becomes a reality. Of course, Samsung will also address other problems, just like the durability of a versatile screen, which will always be exposed, and a versatile Wacom digitizer. If Samsung manages to tug it off, though, it might be a killer device that deserves succeeding and replacing the Galaxy Note line.