Samsung Galaxy Z Roll – what we want to see from Samsung’s first rollable phone

The Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip could have some company later this year when Samsung introduces the Galaxy Z Roll – or whatever rollable device name the phone maker has in the works. Samsung has officially stated that it wants to expand its range of foldable phones, and rumors are mounting that a new arrival could appear alongside updates to the Fold and Flip at Samsung’s next big product event.

That launch is still several months away – if the Galaxy Z Roll even appears there – so there’s plenty of time for more rumors to emerge about this new device. This will be welcome, because at the moment there is not much to do, apart from some patents, some prominent leaker claims and the occasional concept design.

Still, it’s pretty obvious that foldables are a key part of Samsung’s strategy, with Samsung confirming over a year ago that it was interested in rollable displays. Later reports indicate that the company will launch the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 upgrades in the second half of 2022. With this kind of focus on foldables, it’s time to start talking seriously about a Galaxy Z Roll, even if it’s just chatter. for the moment.

Here’s a look at what we’ve heard about the Galaxy Z Roll so far and how we think the device with a rollable screen can earn its place among the best foldable phones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Roll Release Date Rumors

If there’s another foldable phone from Samsung coming this year, it will most likely appear alongside the foldables Samsung already makes. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are Samsung’s current foldable offerings, with updates to these phones expected in the second half of the year.

Based on Samsung’s track record of hosting Unpacked events, we’re guessing a folding-focused launch would happen sometime in August. This matches when the latest versions of the Fold and Flip debuted in 2021. It also gives Samsung the chance to launch its new hardware in good time for the holiday shopping season.

In a since-deleted March tweet, leaker Ice Universe claimed that a third foldable Samsung would debut in the second half of the year; the code name on this particular device would be “Diamond”. (That codename has also been linked to next year’s Galaxy S23 update, so who knows?) The Galaxy Club claims to have seen three codenames for Samsung’s foldable devices, with two of those names being code corresponding to Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. Presumably, this third model would be the Galaxy Z Roll, although nothing seems set in stone.

Supposed name of the Samsung Galaxy Z Roll

We called Samsung’s rumored phone the Galaxy Z Roll because that’s the name the rest of the internet seems to have settled on. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be the official name of the product – there’s certainly no definitive rumor about which name Samsung chooses, if it’s even settled on a name at all.

Samsung rollable phone concept

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Another possibility would be to name the new phone the Galaxy Z Scroll, as that accurately describes how the screen of the device will expand. (More on that process in a moment.) Or Samsung could switch to another name entirely. It’s even possible that Samsung will drop the Z from its foldable phone names — the Fold and the Flip included — as that letter became affiliated with Russian nationalism following the invasion of Ukraine. In parts of Eastern Europe, Samsung sold the Galaxy Z Fold as a package with the Z very clearly missing.

Samsung Galaxy Z Roll rumored price

If we don’t know the official name of the next phone, chances are we don’t know how much Samsung will charge for it either. Our first instinct, however, would be to expect a fairly expensive phone, as Samsung’s foldables have so far commanded a premium price.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is Samsung’s cheapest foldable offering, starting at $999. The Galaxy Z Fold costs almost twice as much at $1,799. Reports claim Samsung is eager to lower the prices of its foldables, especially the Fold, but it’s unclear what impact that would have on an early version of the Galaxy Z Roll – especially if that phone is positioned as a top-of-the-line version. range of Samsung foldables.

Supposed Samsung Galaxy Z Roll design

Thanks to the patents and a few leaks, we have a general idea of ​​how the Galaxy Z Roll will work – and how different it will be from Samsung’s current foldables. Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 both open to reveal a larger interior screen. The Galaxy Z Roll, however, would use a rollable display to increase the amount of screen real estate. At least, that’s what the first rumors about this device described.

If the concept sounds familiar to you, that’s what LG aimed to do with the LG Rollable. This device has been configured to use an extendable screen to switch from a phone to a tablet at the touch of a button. LG even went so far as to include a demo during CES 2021. However, LG later exited the phone business and its rollable phone came out with it.

rollable LG

(Image credit: LG)

Samsung, which has been more successful in the smartphone space in general and the foldable niche in particular, seems not to be so easily discouraged. The question, however, is how exactly the Galaxy Z Roll would grow – would it be on top or on the sides?

Recent filings with the World Intellectual Property Organization may provide clues. This app featured two different designs – one with the roll-up part of the screen emerging from the side of the phone and another where the top of the screen rolled down vertically. In both cases, the screen is described as opaque, suggesting that Samsung sees augmented reality as a possible use case for this device.

An image of Samsung's rollable WIPO app

(Image credit: Samsung/WIPO)

Again, that’s just one app, and it could describe an entirely different device than what Samsung might be readying later this year. It does, however, show that Samsung is putting a lot of thought into the usefulness of a rollable phone.

With no more definitive details on the Galaxy Z Roll, concept designers have stepped into the void to describe what a rollable/scrollable Galaxy device might look like. Dutch 3D designer Jermaine Smit came up with one of our favorite designs, showcasing a rollable phone with an S Pen. The fact that Samsung later included an S Pen with the Galaxy S22 Ultra while adding stylus compatibility with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 makes this design even more realistic.

Galaxy Z Roll concept

(Image credit: Jermaine Smit/Let’s Go Digital)

Rumored specs of the Samsung Galaxy Z Roll

Leaks detailing Galaxy Z Roll specs are rare at this point. An early Samsung patent suggested the rollable device would feature a conventional 6-inch display capable of extending to 8 inches. That would be bigger than the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s 7.6-inch unfolded screen.

samsung rollable concept

(Image credit: Credit: Ts Designer/YouTube)

Other specifications require a certain amount of guesswork on our part. Other Samsung foldables have turned to the best silicon available, so we’re guessing that would be true for a Galaxy Z Roll as well. If the phone were to arrive this year, that would point to a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering the Galaxy Z Fold, just as it should feature in updated Fold and Flip devices.

Cameras are harder to pin down, as Samsung has taken different approaches with its two foldable phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with cameras – three rear shooters, a front-facing camera on the outer display, and an under-display camera when you unfold the phone. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a pair of rear cameras, as well as a selfie camera inside the phone. You can also use the exterior cameras to take selfies, using the exterior screen which can also act as a viewfinder for the cameras. We imagine the Galaxy Z Roll would find some common ground in terms of cameras, although that’s pure speculation at this point.

Samsung Galaxy Z Roll: what we want to see

Obviously, we need more details to get a clearer picture on the Galaxy Z Roll. But based on our experience with Samsung’s other foldables, there are a few features that we hope will make the final cut whenever this new type of device joins the phone maker’s offerings.

Better battery life: Bigger screens draw more power, and that’s been the bane of the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. The Flip’s on our battery test is so irrelevant – it’s around 4 hours less than the average smartphone – it’s almost enough to put people off using this otherwise innovative flip phone.

Part of the problem is that Samsung doesn’t have a lot of room to fit a larger battery. Maybe the Galaxy Z Roll’s more conventional form factor will help with that, but it’s still something Samsung will have to improve on somehow, if it wants people to be this excited about it. the foldables as the business.

Improved under-display camera: While we don’t know the official specs of the Galaxy Z Roll’s camera setup, it’s pretty clear that Samsung sees under-display cameras as the future, especially when it comes to edge-to-edge displays. If so, we hope Samsung finds a way to make these images look sharper than those produced by the Galaxy Z Fold 3′ shooter.

Sustainable design from the start: Samsung’s track record with foldables so far has been to roll out a first device and then spend the next year working on a follow-up that’s better able to withstand the rigors of everyday use.

The Galaxy Z Roll won’t necessarily have that margin of error. When it does appear – either later this year or at a future date to be determined – we’re hoping Samsung releases a device that doesn’t have the kind of mechanical issues that marked the Galaxy Z Fold’s initial rollout.