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Patent suggests no physical buttons for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

There was a huge jump in the user experience between the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 thanks to the redesign of the foldable’s external screen. Instead of a 4.6-inch screen on the device’s front cover, which had large bezels making the smaller display hard to use, the sequel carries a 6.2-inch external display and is as easy to navigate as any smartphone screen. And now we could see another improvement made on the next-generation model due out later this year.

Samsung has just been granted a patent by the World Intellectual Property Organization (via LetsGo Digital) titled “Galaxy Z Fold Squeeze Gesture.” Because some users might find it hard to use the buttons on the side of the phone when folded, the patent envisions the use of gestures to replace the press of a button. The user will be able to choose which gestures will work with certain controls.

As an example, with the device folded up, a tap on the side could power up the phone while a swipe might allow users to control the volume. A squeeze gesture could also be used to replace physical buttons. As LetsGo Digital notes, foldable phones will be getting thinner in the future making it imperative for manufacturers to be able to use virtual controls. It also says to expect the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to be released in August sporting the next version of Ultra Thin Glass (UTG 2.0), which could allow the S Pen to work with the device.

Various rumors include a less noticeable crease line, a periscope camera, and some level of water resistance. While gesture control for the foldable might have to wait for 2022’s Galaxy Z Fold 4, in 2019 the same patent was submitted in Korea. This means that Samsung could be prepared to remove the physical buttons on this year’s model.

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