Within three years of the first Galaxy Fold launch, Samsung has launched a foldable under $1,000 for the masses. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the device you can purchase at a comparatively affordable price tag to experience a foldable smartphone. While the Galaxy Z Flip 3 may be the most polished version of the clamshell foldable ever released, there’s still room for improvement.
Here are four specific areas we think Samsung can improve the anticipated Galaxy Z Flip 4 to make it stand out from the crowd.
1. Moto Razr-like bigger outer display
The Motorola clamshell foldable, the Motorola Razr, has been my favorite smartphone in the form factor, despite Samsung’s smartphone boasting more prowess, a better camera setup, and subjectively, a better inner display.
The Motorola Razr is my favorite clamshell foldable because of its large outer display. The 2.7-inch outer display is big enough to let you perform any function without unfolding the device. On the other hand, the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s tiny display just shows the usual widgets of date and time and shows the preview of your selfie. By contrast, the Razr 5G allows you to not only glance over the notifications but take actionable steps from them. For instance, I can reply to Telegram/WhatsApp messages on the outer display of the Razr 5 but what’s the whole point of a clamshell if you aren’t even unfolding it to use it?
There are two issues here. First, if you aren’t opening the device every time for quick tasks, it saves a lot of battery. The cover display is a smaller OLED panel than the inside one. As a result, lesser pixels light up to perform quick tasks. Therefore, saving battery. Second, it is a lot easier to use. I don’t need to unfold my smartphone to respond with one-worded replies on messaging apps. I can do it with a few taps on the cover display. Plus, it saves me time spent fiddling with the device to unfold it.
2. Better battery life and faster charging
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 packs a 3,300mAh battery, which isn’t enough to power the device through a full day’s use. The one glaring feedback most reviewers gave was that the battery life of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 wasn’t that it wasn’t on par with most flagships in the same price range. In our review of the clamshell foldable, Andy Boxall wrote, “it [the battery] just doesn’t have the strength to compete with its peers. Even staying at home with the phone connected to Wi-Fi won’t see the battery last much longer than a full day.
Under certain usage patterns, the smartphone wouldn’t even last an entire day. This is where we want Samsung to focus on with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 — a better battery life. A longer-lasting device would mean more buyers from the heavy-user segment who want a compact device.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 also missed another trick. While it didn’t last long on a single charge, Samsung equipped it with 15-watt wired charging and 10W wireless charging, which isn’t the best combination for any Android device. In a world where the Chinese manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of fast charging, we expect Samsung to at least provide us with 25W charging on its next clamshell foldable.
3. Flagship-level cameras
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
“The Galaxy Z Flip is not a camera superstar like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, but its ability is similar to the Galaxy S21. At $1,000, I expect my smartphone to pack the best possible camera setup in the market.
While the Galaxy Z Flip 3 camera isn’t bad, it doesn’t match up with the Galaxy S21 Ultras, iPhone 13, and Pixel 6 models of the world. We hope Samsung moves past the 12MP + 10MP combination and give us a flagship-tier camera system on its Galaxy Z Flip 4.
An improved camera system would also mean better low-light photography. And who isn’t impressed with good low-light photographs? I, for one, wouldn’t complain. If I’m spending a thousand dollars, I expect my smartphone cameras to be the best in the business.
There might be some design limitations and not enough room for bigger sensors on such a compact device. But come on, it’s Samsung. They can figure things out.
4. An under-display selfie camera on the inside
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 sports a selfie shooter that sits in a punch-hole cutout on the main display. Now, I’ve gotten used to the punch-hole displays and had no issues, that is, until I used the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
The big display on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is impressive not just because it’s foldable but because it doesn’t have any notch or a hole-punch cutout. Samsung might have hurried the feature on its bigger foldable as the image quality from the under-display selfie shooter wasn’t very good.
But as time passes, tech improves. And we expect Samsung’s under-display tech to be improved to a point where it’ll not be an issue to throw occasional video calls at it. Remember, you’d be able to use the outer display for selfies if it’s big enough — like our dream Galaxy Z Flip 4 mentioned here.
5. A more affordable version
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 starts at $1,000, which is a lot less than the previous generations of foldables. But still, it remains out of the reach of the majority of consumers. If Samsung wants to make foldables truly mainstream, wouldn’t it be a good idea to give us a more affordable version of its flagship foldable? Replace the Snapdragon 8-series SoC with a 7-series chipset. Give us the same cameras as the previous generation. Limit the cover display to its current size.
And that might be the recipe for an even more affordable version of the clamshell foldable from Samsung.
When will the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 launch?
As of now, we don’t have any concrete details for the launch of Galaxy Z Flip 4. But taking into consideration the Flip 3 launch timeline, you can expect the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to launch sometime toward the end of 2022.