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
There are no official statements or credible leaks regarding the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s release date. However, Samsung follows a consistent release schedule, so it will likely be released at an August Galaxy Unpacked event 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 pair of rumors that point to a much-needed price reduction for the Galaxy Z Fold 4. One comes from Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants who claims his supply chain sources are reporting double the production for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 compared to its predecessor last year. Volume doesn’t necessarily point to a price drop, but it’s hard to imagine what other motivator would drive that kind of increase in sales.
The other set of leaks comes from Korean blog Naver, indicating that the foldable display component cost has dropped, which presumably could lead to an overall price cut. Neither source speculates on a final price for the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 got a $200 price cut from its predecessor to hit $1,799. Dropping down to $1,599 for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 would at least put it on par with the top 1TB configuration for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It’s not going to land on our best cheap phones list anytime soon, but it would at least move from astronomical to earth-orbit pricing.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 design
The biggest leak to date regarding the Galaxy Z Fold 4 design comes 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.
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 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.
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 are hoping for improvements to both the photo and video quality as well as its transparency.
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 Gen 1 Plus. We haven’t had the opportunity to test a phone with the upgraded version of the 8 Gen 1 yet, but it’s safe to assume it will offer a slight bump in performance, which will be more than enough for any task you have in mind.
The bigger question will be whether it can give the Z Fold 4 a bit of a battery boost by sipping power more efficiently. The 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 terrible, but not 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
While the Galaxy Z Flip 3 wasn’t a design revolution; it made several excellent quality of life improvements to the previous model, including better cameras, a bright 120Hz display, a larger cover display and water resistance. That would have been impressive enough, but then Samsung blew us away with the $999 price point, making it a tough act to follow.
The good news for foldable fans is that this is partially just a sign that the segment is maturing and there aren’t huge mountains to climb anymore. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was already excellent; if the Galaxy Z Flip 4 makes a couple of incremental improvements and maybe gets a slight price cut, that’s enough. All of this also means that if you find a great deal on the Galaxy Z Flip 3, don’t worry that you are losing out on too much by not waiting for the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
However, it’s still pretty early; we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for any new leaks regarding Samsung’s pocket-friendly foldable, so bookmark this page if you want to stay up-to-date on the latest.