Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 — early rumors and what we want to see

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has some big shoes to fill if it’s to follow on from the impressive Galaxy Z Fold 3. But there’s room for improvement, with the foldable phones formula still not yet perfected. 

There are only limited rumors around so far for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and nothing concrete about specs or features. However, we have plenty of things we hope Samsung will introduce, like enhanced cameras and potentially a slicker integration for the S Pen stylus.

Take a look below to see what’s been rumored for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, as well as what we hope might be coming to Samsung’s next foldable flagship. And for more on what you can expect from the Korean company next year, check out our Samsung in 2022 article.

Both the leaks so far and our educated guesses match when it comes to the possible launch of the new Z Fold 4. The last two generations of Galaxy Z Fold have arrived in late summer/early fall, with the Z Fold 3 launching in August, and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 arriving in September the year before. Therefore we’d expect a similar launch date at the end of August or early September for the Z Fold 4 as well.

We suspect that Samsung would want to steer clear of a possible mid-September launch date for the iPhone 14. 

One rumor for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which comes from Korean leaker yeux1122 on Korean site Naver, says that the phone will be getting cheaper, which given that the Z Fold 3 costs $1,799, would be quite welcome news.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 from 2020 launched at $1,999, which might suggest that after falling by $200 in one year, we may see a $400 drop over two years to $1,599 for the Z Fold 4. That would still be much more expensive than even the most fully-specced phablet-style phone, but as the gap shrinks, more and more phone buyers will be tempted to go for a foldable.

We’re still expecting Samsung to stick with the basic formula of the Z Fold 3 when making the Z Fold 4. However a few changes have already been tipped by one leaker.

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They claim in a post on Korean blogging site Naver that Samsung is considering ways to reduce the phone’s weight by reworking its hinge, and improving the waterproofing and dustproofing. A lighter phone that is less susceptible to water and dust damage sounds ideal to us.

a photo of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and S Pen

Somewhat disappointing, if it’s legit, is a new rumor that claims the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 won’t have a slot to store the S Pen in. 

That would seem like a strange decision by Samsung as it’s one of the complaints we had about the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and one we feel Samsung could rectify.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 introduced a big change compared to previous Samsung phones — the company’s first under-display camera on the main display. A Korean leaker claims that the Z Fold 4 could build on this by adding a second under-display camera to the cover display. That would be good news for watching content on either screen, but unless Samsung drastically improves the quality of the images produced by its under-display cameras, it could be very bad news for selfie snappers.

Although it’s Samsung’s most expensive phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers cameras only roughly equivalent with those of the Galaxy S21. However the Korean leak mentioned before also says the cameras on the Z Fold 4 will be “finally contemporaneous”, which sounds like it could get better cameras more worthy of its pricetag.

The only rumor we have about the Z Fold 4’s power source is an unfortunate one. It says that Samsung will be keeping the battery roughly the same size as it currently is on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. 

One of the worst things about foldable phones is that they have a lot more screen to power, despite having a battery the same size, or sometimes smaller, than equivalent phones. The Z Fold 3’s battery life isn’t that good, but if Samsung isn’t changing the battery capacity, then it will have to make the phone more efficient elsewhere to try and make the phone last a full day away from the wall socket.

If those rumors didn’t satisfy your appetite for Z Fold 4 material, we also have a modest wish list for the new foldable.

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To start with, Samsung could do a lot worse than copying this enticing-looking concept titled the “Galaxy Flex Note” based on a patent filed by Samsung and brought to life by Technizo Concept and LetsGoDigital. We particularly like how this design uses a single display and features room for an S Pen stylus, which would mark the Z Fold series as the successor to the Galaxy Note series, which this year saw a potential end with the cancellation of the Galaxy Note 21.

Renders of a Samsung Galaxy Flex Note, based on Samsung patents

Some of the features we’ve seen on other Samsung phones, and more tipped for future ones, may also come to the Z Fold 4. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition, with its multiple color combinations, would fit right in with the Z Fold 4, although with a slightly different kind of customization since one side of the folded phone is still all screen. 

Equally, rumored new components like the Snapdragon 898/895 or Samsung’s new LPDDR5X RAM may appear on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. We’ll probably see these introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S22 first though, if they are due to debut on phones this year.

To summarize, here’s what we’d like to see on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Better cameras

Despite costing so much, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has the same set of cameras as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 from the year before, albeit with the internal selfie camera swapped out for an under display camera.

It would ideal if Samsung offered better cameras overall on the Z Fold 4. Photography isn’t going to be a focus for Samsung’s foldables like it is for its Galaxy S phones, but larger or higher resolution sensors would still be a welcome addition. A more powerful Space Zoom would also be nice. 

Add on-board S Pen storage

The Z Fold 3 introduced the S Pen stylus to Samsung’s foldables, so it would make sense for the company to build on this with the next-gen model. Hopefully, the company will be able to make the stylus fit within the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s body like the concept design above, rather than requiring you to store the S Pen separately or in specially designed cases again.

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The Galaxy S22 Ultra is rumored to get an S Pen slot, so it would be only natural fro the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to follow suit. 

Another price drop

If Samsung is serious about making foldables mainstream, it needs to follow the example of its own Galaxy Z Flip 3 and make the price closer to that of normal flagship phones. This was something mentioned in the report from yeux1122, but this doesn’t mean much right now. A lot can change between now and the actual debut of the phone.

Better hidden display creases

The main side effect of watching content on foldable displays is that your viewing experience can sometimes be spoiled by the obvious creases in the screen. We don’t expect the crease to disappear, but it would be nice to see it fade into the background a bit more. 

Slimmer frame

By the nature of folding the main display in half, it’s going to be tricky to get a foldable phone to be especially thin. However, the number one complaint of people we should the Z Fold 3 to is that it’s too thick and bulky to carry around. We’d like to see the Z Fold 4 shave a few more fractions of an inch off of its total size.

Longer battery life

The Z Fold 3 starts at a disadvantage by having to power two displays, including one that’s the size of a small tablet. We saw under 8 hours of battery life in our testing, and it would like to see closer to 10 hours through a combination of perhaps a larger battery and other efficiency gains. 

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