- The design of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is to remain virtually unchanged compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but with a few notable improvements that Fold fans will find exciting, such as a slimmer hinge, which makes the phone slimmer; an improved crease (still not expected to be nearly as ironed out as on the Huawei Mate XS2); and an improved under-display camera (reportedly, less noticeable, although it’s unlikely it’ll be as well camouflaged as on the ZTE Axon 40 Ultra). What’s great is that the Fold 4 should be 17g lighter than the Fold 3, which might not seem like a lot on paper, but it is (especially for current Fold users)
- In terms of displays, the inner screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is expected to be noticeably brighter than that on the Fold 3 (which is already pretty good). The more interesting part is that both the inner and outer displays on the new Fold 4 will be getting ever so slightly shorter and wider – again, not by much. That’d be a very welcome upgrade to an already great set of 120Hz AMOLED panels
- The Fold 4 is set to be powered (exclusively) by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which, brings marginal improvement over its predecessor when it comes to power. However, the new chip is much more efficient, and this can be very beneficial to the Fold, which, historically, doesn’t boast stellar battery life. Speaking of battery, the Fold 4 should be able to charge faster (50% in 30 min) than the Fold 3 (30-35% in 30 min)
- Two of the rear cameras on the Fold 4 are actually expected to be new. The primary sensor is said to be directly borrowed from the Galaxy S22 – a 50MP shooter (versus 12MP on the Fold 3), while the telephoto zoom camera should be completely new and fixed at 3x optical zoom instead of only 2x like on the Fold 3
Galaxy Fold 4: Using a foldable as a “phone” isn’t ideal, and the new Fold 4 won’t change much
Now, sure, as we can see by all leaks and rumours, the Galaxy Fold 4 won’t be breaking new ground. It’s the very familiar iterative Fold improvement that we’ve gotten used to since the launch of the Fold 2. Samsung is sticking to its guns and (in a very Apple-like fashion) makes small but meaningful improvements to its most expensive flagship phone. I’m sure this will be (and probably should be) enough to convince many to upgrade to the Fold 4 or try out a foldable for the first time. However, as an ex-Fold 3 user, I don’t quite feel the same way, and that’s because the nice improvements made to the Fold 4 don’t seem key enough for me to look past the gripes I had with the previous model.
- The Fold 3 feels like a heavy brick that can often feel inconvenient to carry around in my pocket and use with one hand (the Fold 4 should improve on that)
- The Fold’s awkward front screen never really made sense (the Fold 4 should make this a bit better)
- It was always in the back of my mind that I could drop and damage the $1,800 Fold 3 (the Fold 4 won’t be any cheaper)
- The Fold never felt like a device that would be able to last me through a heavy day of use, like when I’m on a trip and use Google Maps, Spotify, and the camera all the time
- It always feels like no matter what camera system Samsung will be able to fit into the Fold, it’d never be enough to justify the price of the device (especially when phones that cost half as much can give you better cameras)
I know I’m being critical, but that’s simply what using a foldable phone in its slab form feels like. It’s heavy and bulky; it can feel awkward; you have to be extra cautious not to drop it; it doesn’t last too long on a single charge, and no matter how much better the camera gets, it’s never going to be the absolute top of the line phone camera that you deserve when paying nearly $2,000.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the future of foldable… tablets, and I love that (but it isn’t why you buy a foldable phone)
Now, do the gripes I have with the Galaxy Fold have to keep you from trying it out? No. And I highly doubt they will. Because I know that the itch to try out a foldable phone simply must be scratched. It’s why I bought the Fold 3. I just seed to try it out, and now I know it’s not the future of phones (for me).
If the Galaxy Fold is a nice tablet, why not buy a tablet and a “normal” phone instead?
If it’s not clear, all the things I enjoyed doing on the Fold can be done on an iPad mini – no problem. Therefore, for many it might make sense to get a “normal” phone and tablet, which will likely cost less money and give you even more for the cash you’ll spend.
The practicality question just keeps popping up… Aren’t you better off buying a Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Tab S8? Yes, these are two separate devices that don’t magically become one, but this comes with a ton of flexibility of its own. They’ll give you much longer battery life, more screen real estate, better cameras, and better… pretty much everything really.
In the end: The Galaxy Fold 4 will be the best foldable Samsung ever made, but is it the future of phones or just a really fun transitional device?
But the Fold isn’t for those who want practicality. It’s for those who want to ride the new wave of phones. So, my personal advice to those who are patient enough to listen to it is: “maybe don’t buy a Fold… yet”.
- It’s very expensive
- Despite not being necessarily fragile when closed, it still needs to be pampered
- For a device that combines two devices into one, the Fold could’ve been much more versatile than it actually is
But if you simply have to try a foldable, then you can pre-order a Galaxy Z Fold 4 right now! It’s going to be the best foldable Samsung ever made, and if you can afford it, then absolutely go for it. If you can’t, then just give the new Fold 4 six months until it goes down in price. If you can be patient, then the value proposition will be very different.
Reserve your Galaxy Z Fold 4 now
If you’re tempted to try out the new Galaxy Fold 4, then go for it! I was tempted to get a Fold 3, and I don’t regret doing it! Every enthusiast should give it a go before deciding if it’s for them or not.