Galaxy Z Fold 4 needs to be either cheaper or better to impress me

Each new Galaxy Fold generation has introduced significant upgrades beyond the usual performance gains. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 added the larger cover display and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 took over the optional S Pen. But it looks like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 might be the first device in the series to slow down this progress.

At the same time, while the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will be more of a collection of minor upgrades than a leap in technology, it could cost the same or even slightly more than the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

The 2021 premium foldable phone debuted for €1,799, but its sequel, Galaxy Z Fold 4, may cost €50-100 more, according to an early mention from a European retailer.

For its price, the next-generation foldable phone can only bring minor hardware upgrades and a slightly revamped exterior design. And for me, this combination of a higher price tag and minimal upgrades could make the Galaxy Z Fold 4 the most disappointing Fold yet.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 might play it a little too safe for my taste

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 will showcase the usual annual upgrades such as a better chipset, namely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ SoC, a 1TB storage variant and possibly brighter displays. Raw hardware improvements like this are expected year after year, and while they’re appreciated, we can safely say that a newer chipset won’t convince the majority of Galaxy Z Fold 3 customers that it’s time for an upgrade.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 needs to offer more to stand out as another big step towards Samsung’s vision of a perfectly foldable phone. It has to be revolutionary, and if it can’t, then it should be on the shelves at a lower price. After all, that was Samsung’s original vision: to take the technology of foldable phones to the point where they can become more affordable. Unfortunately, according to preliminary reports, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is heading in a different direction.

Is progress slowing down yet?

If the rumors are true, Samsung’s upcoming foldable flagship will have S Pen support, but like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it won’t have a dedicated S Pen holster. Samsung could improve the latency, but this won’t be enough to convince Galaxy Z Fold 3 users to upgrade to the new model. S Pen improvements for the 2022 Fold seem minimal.

In terms of build quality, the foldable display for the 2022 model may be a bit more resilient, but Samsung uses the same protective film supplier it has used in recent years. So the Galaxy Z Fold 4 could eventually run into the same issues as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and develop bubbles under the protective film a few years later.

In addition, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 may have the same battery capacity as the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which is 4,400 mAh. And while the camera system could get some upgrades and 3x optical zoom, it still won’t match the Galaxy S Ultra line.

Admittedly, the Z Fold 4’s wider aspect ratio is very welcome, and it’s something we’ve been waiting for since the original Galaxy Fold hit our office mailbox a few years ago. But a wider aspect ratio alone may not be enough to convince me that the Z Fold 4 is a sequel worthy of the same or higher premium price as the Z Fold 3.

I guess I started to expect that every new Galaxy Z Fold device would bring significant upgrades every year or end up taking the Z Flip route of minimal upgrades in favor of a lower launch price. For now, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 doesn’t seem to offer either, which is why I’m a little hesitant with its arrival.

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