The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 faces a considerably stronger foldable phone market than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 did at launch, but Samsung’s 2021 lineup solidified it as the leader of this niche market and Samsung isn’t going to give that position up easily.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 patched most of the design complaints that remained after the Galaxy Z Fold 2 blew everyone away, with durability as the primary lingering concern that may not vanish for foldables in the short term. Pricing is the other challenge. At $1,799, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is more expensive than any flagship phone and rivals top-end configurations of the iPad Pro 12.9.
Will Samsung ensure that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 stands out? Let’s take a deep dive into the leaks and rumors about the Samsung foldable, allowing us to discern whether the South Korea-based tech giant can make the Galaxy Z Fold 4 “the next big thing.”
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 release date
While Samsung hasn’t officially identified the devices coming at the Galaxy Unpacked event on August 10, there’s no doubt that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will be there alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The foldables and the Galaxy Watch took over this event, which was formerly for the Galaxy Note (the S Pen-packed device that now appears to be completely absorbed by the Galaxy S22 Ultra). Samsung will once again look to get in ahead of the September/October black hole that is created by the anticipated launch of the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch 8.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 price
While nothing official is available yet, we have seen a few rumors regarding the pricing for the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
The earliest of these were positive, with claims from Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants that Samsung roughly doubled the production for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 compared to its predecessor last year. Another report from Korean blog Naver, indicating that the foldable display component cost has dropped, which presumably could lead to an overall price cut.
[Confirmed Prices of Galaxy Z Fold4 and Flip4]Galaxy Z Fold4 (256GB): ￦1,998,700 (Likely $1799.99)Galaxy Z Fold4 (512GB): ￦2,097,700 (Likely $1899.99)Galaxy Z Flip4 (256GB): ￦1,299,000 (About $996)Galaxy Z Flip4 (512GB): ￦1,398,000 (About $1072) https://t.co/NNVN55IY1bJuly 28, 2022
Things have been less rosy recently with Android Central reporting that a European retailer listed the Galaxy Z Fold 4 base price at €1,864, a roughly $100 price increase from last year. However, even if this listing is accurate, exchange rate conversions like this rarely work out for products. A more recent leak from ETNews that was shared by Dohyun Kim on Twitter showed that the pricing for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 were unlikely to change from last year. While it’s hard to imagine the Galaxy Z Fold 4 breaking into the mainstream at that price, it’s certainly preferable to a price hike.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 design
There have been a number of Galaxy Z Fold 4 design leaks now, with early examples from OnLeaks and Smartprix, the former has a strong history with Samsung leaks, so while there are often slight disparities, the general design is extremely credible. The most obvious change is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera design on the rear with three pronounced lenses with a flash immediately below. It’s an interesting move for the Fold as the exposed lenses really demand a case, which isn’t ideal for the bulky (when folded) foldable.
A subsequent leak posted to 91Mobiles by Evan Blass matches up with the earlier leaks with the new camera array and limited other changes from the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
The original leak also included dimensions for the new model when unfolded, measuring 6.1 x 5.1 x 0.27 inches, compared to 6.2 x 5 x 0.25 inches for the Z Fold 3. The slightly shorter frame and increased width are both good news for usability when the phone is in its folded mode, but the already thick phone getting bulkier is a concern. The aforementioned Korean blog Naver also suggested that a new single hinge design could help to reduce weight and improve durability for the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The same rumor indicates this could allow for dust resistance, which was still missing on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, despite its water resistance. Prolific leaker Ice Universe holds an opposing view on the thickness, indicating their sources say it is slightly thinner than the Fold 3.
Galaxy Z Fold4 will not have built-in S Pen. Fold4 will be a little smaller and thinner. This is correct. No one likes a brick.April 19, 2022
The biggest disappointment to some will be that the Z Fold 4 seemingly won’t add a silo for the S Pen. Many were hoping to see that happen after the Z Fold 3 added S Pen support and the Galaxy S22 Ultra added an integrated silo.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 display
Those rumored changes to the exterior dimensions would naturally impact the aspect ratio of both displays on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Ice Universe indicates it is closer to square than the Fold 3’s 5:4 aspect ratio. The leaker’s most recent tweet suggested it will be 6:5 with the cover display moving to 23:9 from 24.5:9. That cover display change will likely elicit the most excitement from fans as the elongated display on the Fold 3 is usable, but inching closer to the common 20:9 is a big upgrade.
Beyond the dimensions, the displays are likely staying the same 120Hz Super AMOLED Dynamic 2X as last year’s model and no complaints here about that. The actual materials may improve with a rumored new Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) that may once again help to improve durability, particularly for those who opt to use the S Pen Fold with the phone.
Samsung will reportedly still stick to the fingerprint sensor in the power button (as opposed to an under-display fingerprint reader). Speaking of in-screen features, an under-display camera is expected, but we’ll delve into that in the next section.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 cameras
Cameras may be one of the biggest upgrades we see on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 if Ice Universe is correct. The tipster claimed the foldable will sport a 50MP main camera and a 3x telephoto; these features will replace the Z Fold 3’s 12MP lens and 2x telephoto, respectively. The ultra-wide and telephoto will remain at 12MP, but this would at least bring the Galaxy Z Fold 4 closer to parity with the Galaxy S22, rather than the Galaxy S21 FE.
Details on the second generation under-display camera are sparse, but as we found it to be essentially unusable (and a minor irritation in some circumstances on the display). We’ve seen some dramatic improvements from other phones using under-display cameras this year, so hopefully Samsung manages the same.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 performance and battery life
Samsung doesn’t skimp on the processor power for the Fold line, and once again, turning to Ice Universe, it should be giving users the top-of-the-line Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. We recently tested the upgraded chipset in the OnePlus 10T and while it isn’t a quantum leap forward, it’s a nice performance bump and in that phone at least still provided excellent battery life.
That last bit is important as the Z Fold 3’s roughly 8 hours of battery life with the cover display, and 6 hours and 36 minutes with the interior display (both set to 120Hz) are not horrible, but they aren’t great either. If the phone is thicker as some rumors suggest, a larger battery would be the one positive takeaway.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 outlook
Shakespeare wasn’t thinking about the king of foldable phones when he penned “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” but it certainly fits here as Samsung must be slightly worried about its position in the nascent foldables market with Oppo’s Find N, the Huawei Mate X2, and of course, the persistent vague threat of the Pixel Fold.
Samsung has far more brand cache than any of its foldable foes, but the high pricing of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is going to keep holding it back for now and leaves the door open for a competitor that get to around that $1,500 mark.
While the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is virtually guaranteed to be the better fit for most buyers, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 may be the larger format foldable that finally breaks through for Samsung with a few subtle updates — but it seems that much-needed price drop might have to wait another year.