What Samsung could (and should) do with its upcoming foldable smartphone
If the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is to succeed where the Galaxy Z Fold 3 left off, it will have to overcome some formidable challenges. However, the foldable phone formula has not yet been perfected, so there is still room for improvement.
Even though the Z Fold 4 rumour mill is now in full swing, there’s still a lot we don’t know. All the leaks and rumours we’ve heard so far are gathered here, along with our thoughts on what the Z Fold 4 needs to improve on if Samsung is going to keep its crown as the best foldable phone maker.
Take a look at the rumoured features (and what we’d like to see) for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 below.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: Possible release date
As far as we can tell, the leaks and our educated speculation about the possible launch date of the new Z Fold 4 are in agreement. Since the release of the Z Fold 3 in August and the release of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 in September, the last two generations of Galaxy Z Fold have been released in late summer or early fall. As a result, we expect the Z Fold 4 to arrive at the same time as the Z Fold 3 at the end of August or beginning of September.
It’s possible that Samsung would prefer to avoid a launch date in mid-September for the iPhone 14.
The next Fold may have a different name when it debuts. Galaxy Fold 3 is being sold in Europe as a response to the use of the letter Z by Russian officials as a symbol of support for the invasion of Ukraine. Speculation is rife that Samsung may drop the Z from the name of the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: Pricing
According to Korean leaker yeux1122 on Korean site Naver and Ross Young, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will be cheaper than the Z Fold 3, which would be welcome news given the Z Fold 3’s $1,799 price tag.
After dropping by $200 in a year, the price of the Z Fold 4 could drop by $400 over the course of two years, to $1,599 for the 2020 model. However, as the gap narrows, more and more phone buyers are likely to choose a foldable over a phablet.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: Design
Big leaks are starting to emerge about the Z Fold 4’s design.
OnLeaks and Smartprix shared a new set of renders for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 that contained the most information about the device. In addition to showing the rumoured phone from nearly every possible angle, these images also reveal quite a few details about the foldable, assuming they’re accurate.
In terms of the rear cameras, it’s immediately apparent that they look like they did on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, rather than the Z Fold 3.
It’s unclear from these images whether the hinge design has been altered by OnLeaks and Smartprix.
According to the same sources, the screens will be 6.2 inches on the outside and 7.6 inches on the inside, just like the Z Fold 3. It’s also safe to assume that both will keep their 120 Hz refresh rates.
Finally, according to the leaks, the phone will measure 6.1 x 5.1 x 0.27 inches when fully unfolded (155 x 130 x 7.1 mm). Compared to its forebear, it would be narrower and thicker.
Several other rumours have pointed to the same leaked renders. By reworking the hinge and improving the phone’s waterproofing and dustproofing, according to a post on Naver, Samsung is looking into ways of decreasing its weight. We’d like a phone that’s less prone to water and dust damage.
A leaker named Anthony, known as @TheGalox on Twitter, claims that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will use a single hinge instead of the two that were used in its predecessor. This would allow for a lighter and thinner Z Fold 4, while also making it more durable.
For the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the internal display will have a new aspect ratio that’s more square than the 5:4 for the Z Fold 3, according to Ice Universe(opens in new tab). Consequently, the panel can be both smaller and larger. According to a more recent leak from IU, this ratio will be 6:5, which is slightly squarer. It appears that the exterior will remain narrow and tall, but perhaps not quite as tall as it was previously. Finally, Ice Universe claims(opens in new tab) that the new model will weigh less than 9.1 ounces, compared to the previous model (260 grams). There’s also the case leak from IU, which shows the new shape of the case compared to the Z Fold 3’s original case.
An unconfirmed report claims that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 will not have a slot for the S Pen, which would be a letdown if true. According to Ice Universe, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will not have a S Pen built-in. However, he does say that the design will be a little smaller and a little thinner.
According to another rumour, Samsung has been tinkering with the aspect ratio of the front display of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 prototypes. As of now, there is no way to know which version of the Z Fold 3 Samsung will go with, but Twitter tipster Chunv8888 claims there are several options, some of which don’t differ significantly from the Z Fold 3.
According to leaker yeux1122, Samsung may be replacing the current Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) material with a better one. The new material is supposed to be more durable and better quality, making it easier to use with a S Pen stylus.
Of course, if Samsung decides to abandon the current book-style fold format, there are other options. There are three concepts for portable foldable devices on display at Samsung Display at CES 2022. S-fold design is used to create three panels instead of two, while “slidable” is used to expand the screen width on demand.. Even if Samsung only uses these concepts for Z Fold phones in the future, a Z Fold 4 with an s-fold design would be a welcome sight.
According to an unconfirmed report in a Korean newspaper, For the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Elec claims that Samsung is working on a built-in S Pen. Since the Galaxy S22 Ultra has one, this would make a lot of sense (like the Galaxy Notes of old). As a result, the Fold 4 would feature a slot for the stylus. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a storage problem for the S Pen, so this would make S Pen use on the go a breeze.
The fingerprint-sensing power button appears to be the only design feature that won’t be changing. Instead of using an under-display fingerprint sensor for the Z Fold 4, Samsung is said to have decided to stick with the Z Fold 3’s button-mounted sensor. However, the button-mounted sensor is already a reliable option, so that may be preferable in the long run, overall.
The phone’s colour options aren’t as exciting as the new engineering work that’s going into the phone, but they still play a role in how the phone looks. Ross Young, a leaker, claims that the Z Fold 4 will be available in one of three colours: beige, grey, or black. This would be an unusually muted colour palette for such an expensive phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: Cameras
As of this writing, the latest rumour for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s main camera is that it will have a 50MP sensor and a 3x optical zoom. With three 12MP lenses and a 2x optical zoom, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 was superior in this regard. On a $1,799 phone, these weren’t terrible, but they felt a little sluggish.
So, if this leak is true, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will have a significantly improved camera and a similar camera setup to the Galaxy S22 (opens in new tab).
Compared to previous Samsung phones, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 introduced the company’s first in-display camera on the main display. According to a leak from Korea, the Z Fold 4 could improve on this by including a second camera beneath the display cover.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 had a weak under-display camera, so having another one isn’t ideal unless Samsung works to improve the situation. This is exactly what the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is predicted to do, with a number of under-screen camera upgrades expected.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: Battery and performance
Unfortunately, we have only one rumour about the Z Fold 4’s power source, and it’s a terrible one. Apparently, the battery on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will remain roughly the same size as it is now.
As a downside to foldable phones, they have a larger screen to power, even though the battery is smaller or equal to that of a comparable phone. In order to make the Z Fold 3 last a full day without recharging, Samsung will need to improve other aspects of the phone’s design, such as the battery capacity.
Leaked regulatory documents, however, suggest that the Z Fold 3’s 25W charging speed will not be increased to make up for this.
As for the new foldable’s chipset, Ice Universe claims that it will have a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus. As a result, it would have a significant performance boost over the previous generation and a small advantage over the Galaxy S22 series.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold: What we’d like to see
To quench your thirst for more information on the Z Fold 4, we’ve compiled a short wish list.
The “Galaxy Flex Note” is based on a Samsung patent and was created by Technizo Concept and LetsGoDigital. Samsung could do much worse than copy this enticing concept. The Z Fold series would be the natural successor to the Galaxy Note line, which may have come to an end with the cancellation of the Galaxy Note 21 earlier this year. We like how this design has only one display and still has room for the S Pen stylus.
We’ve seen some of these features on other Samsung phones, and more are expected on the Z Fold 4 in the future. Even though the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a different kind of customization than the Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition because one side is still all screen, the two devices could easily coexist.
The Snapdragon 898/895 and Samsung’s new LPDDR5X RAM, both of which have been rumoured, could make an appearance on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. If they do make it to phones this year, they’ll most likely debut on the Samsung Galaxy S22.
For the Galaxy Z Fold 4, here is what we’d like to see.
Even though the Galaxy Z Fold 3 costs so much, it has the same set of cameras as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 from last year, albeit with the internal selfie camera swapped out for an under display camera.
The Z Fold 4’s cameras could be significantly improved if Samsung made this a standard feature. Samsung’s foldables won’t have the same emphasis on photography as its Galaxy S phones, but the inclusion of higher-resolution sensors would be a nice touch. It would also be nice to have a more powerful Space Zoom.
Add on-board S Pen storage
Samsung’s Z Fold 3 was the first foldable to feature the S Pen stylus, so it only makes sense that the company would build on that success with the Z Fold 4. To avoid having to carry around a S Pen separately or in a specially designed case, Samsung hopes to incorporate the stylus into its new Galaxy Z Fold 4 design, as shown in this concept image.
For the Galaxy Z Fold 4, a S Pen slot is a logical progression from the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s rumoured S-Pen slot.
Another price drop
Foldable smartphones should be priced like normal flagship phones if Samsung is serious about making foldables mainstream, as demonstrated by its own Galaxy Z Flip 3. Eyes1122 reported this, but it doesn’t really mean anything at this point. Between now and the phone’s official launch, a lot can change.
Better hidden display creases
One disadvantage of watching content on a foldable display is that you may occasionally be distracted by the screen’s visible creases. Even though the crease won’t disappear, it would look better if it was less prominent.
It’s going to be difficult to make a foldable phone particularly thin due to the nature of folding the primary display in half. However, the most common criticism we hear from those who have used the Z Fold 3 is how heavy and cumbersome it is to transport. The Z Fold 4’s overall size could stand to be reduced by a few more thousandths of an inch.
Longer battery life
The Z Fold 3 has to power two displays, one of which is the size of a small tablet, from the get-go. Our testing showed a battery life of less than eight hours, and we’d like to see that number rise to closer to ten hours by making use of a larger battery and other efficiency improvements.