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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: Everything we know so far

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers a fantastic and unique experience, really capturing the promise of a foldable smartphone in a way Android users hadn't experienced before. While Samsung's flagship foldable hasn't lost a step in performance, it isn't perfect. Foldable fans are undoubtedly wondering how the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 will move things forward — and when it'll arrive.

At the moment, rumors and leaks suggest the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will arrive by August and will mirror the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in many ways. We know Samsung will make some welcome tweaks to the design and add the latest Qualcomm hardware, but signs point to recurring issues like middling battery life and a weak under-display selfie camera.

Here's everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, along with every feature we hope Samsung adds to its new foldable phone.

Price and release date

Jon Prosser claims to have the official Galaxy Z Fold 4 announcement and launch date. Samsung will allegedly show off the Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, and Galaxy Watch 5 during an August 10 event, when pre-orders will open. All three devices would then launch on August 26.

Subsequently, leaker Evan Blass showed off an alleged promo image for the Galaxy Unpacked event; with August 10 and a foldable phone prominently shown, corroborating this rumor.

Galaxy Unpacked invitation for August 10

(Image credit: Samsung)

Previously, Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) CEO Ross Young, who has a pretty solid track record with phone leaks, tweeted (opens in new tab) in mid-April that "phone production for July is more than double what it was for the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. Pointing to a very strong launch. Might see a price cut."

Major production usually leads a phone's release by one to three months, and the last two Fold models launched in late August and September, respectively. This timeline would track with a similar late-August release.

In terms of pricing, the Z Fold 3 shipped at $1,799, $200 cheaper than the Z Fold 2. This rumor, coupled with a Naver leak (opens in new tab) suggesting Samsung had focused on providing the same quality at a lower mass production cost, could mean that we might see a Galaxy Z Fold 4 that dips even further in price, perhaps down a further $200 to $1,599. 

That's still not what we'd call affordable, of course; the real price will depend on whatever trade-in deals Samsung and local carriers offer.

Another rumor points to three Samsung foldables arriving in the second half of 2022: the Z Flip 4, Z Fold 4, and a third foldable codenamed "Diamond" that could have a "scrolling screen" or rollable design. In theory, Samsung will announce all three phones during the summer Unpacked event. But we haven't seen any other evidence of this Diamond model, so don't hold your breath.

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Design

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with purple wallpaper

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 design probably won't change much from the Z Fold 3 (above) (Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

In May, Smartprix (opens in new tab) and @OnLeaks (opens in new tab) produced CAD renders of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 that make the phone look like a hybrid of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The leakers indicated the unfolded Z Fold 4 will measure 155 x 130 x 7.1mm, compared to 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm for the Z Fold 3. This corresponds with a claim from leaker Ice Universe (opens in new tab) that the inner and outer displays' aspect ratios will change from 5:4 to 6:5 and 24.5:9 to 23:9, respectively. In other words, the Z Fold 4 would measure slightly wider (but shorter) for both displays.

These renders also indicate the triple rear cameras will protrude individually from the Z Fold 4 back, just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Those lenses proved to be dust magnets without proper housing, so this does make us a little leery.

Otherwise, a more recent Ice Universe leak (opens in new tab) indicates the Z Fold 4 will have a 7.6-inch inner display and 6.2-inch cover display. Aside from the change in aspect ratio, that matches the Z Fold 3. 

Another recent Z Fold 4 display rumor from Ross Young indicated as such. He said both the Z Fold 4 and the Pixel Fold would have a 7.6-inch foldable display, but that the Pixel Fold will adopt a 5.8-inch cover with a wider aspect ratio, while the Z Fold 4 uses a 6.19-inch outer display similar to last year.

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Back in February, our first major Galaxy Z Fold 4 leak suggested the phone would have a built-in S Pen slot, which indicated the phone would get thicker to accommodate it. The Z Fold 3 had nowhere to put its S Pen unless you bought a case with a silo, making it easy to lose.

However, a more recent Ice Universe leak firmly countered this rumor, as the leaker claimed Samsung would make the Z Fold 4 "a little smaller and thinner" instead. Another leaker, @chunvn8888 (opens in new tab), independently claimed his source said the S Pen slot was "officially dead" because Samsung ran out of time to implement the design. The renders above show no sign of one, and a recent Z Fold 4 case leak showed an S Pen slot in the case, which would be redundant if the phone had a slot.

So if you want a Samsung phone with a built-in stylus, you'll have to turn to the Galaxy S22 Ultra or an older Note instead.

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In terms of how Samsung will make the phone lighter and cheaper to make, leaker @TheGalox_ claims the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will have just one durable hinge, which could theoretically cut down on the Fold 3's infamous crease and bring the display closer in quality to the OPPO Find N.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 weighs 271g (9.56 oz.) and measures 16mm (0.63 in.) thick when folded, significantly heavier and twice as thick as most phones. For comparison, Ice Universe claims (opens in new tab) the Z Fold 4 will dip to 254g (8.95oz), suggesting Samsung found a way to make it lighter without losing battery capacity. 

Galaxy Z Fold 3 hinge

The Z Fold 3 double hinge (Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Other design elements will remain the same. Samsung tested dual in-display fingerprint sensors but wasn't happy with the result and reportedly punted the feature to the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 instead. So for this year, you'll have the same side sensor as before.

Overall, if the Z Fold 4 does have a slightly wider aspect ratio and lighter frame, it'll make the Z Fold 4 a bit easier to hold compared to the Z Fold 3, but not compared to the Z Flip 4 or non-foldable phones.

Specs

God of War on Galaxy Z Fold 3 via GeForce Now

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

A recent, massive Z Fold 4 leak gave us the full picture of what to expect from the phone. According to Ice Universe, it'll use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, 12GB of RAM, and 256-512GB of storage. Given the new 8+ chip has a 30% efficiency boost and 10% performance boost over the 8 Gen 1, this phone should slightly outperform the S22 Ultra with these specs.

A possible Z Fold 4 benchmark test put its Geekbench performance at 1351 (single-core) and 3808 (multi-core). For comparison, Future Labs' Geekbench tests put the Z Fold 3 (with Snapdragon 888) at 1107 and 3418, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 hit 1240 and 3392. If this test is real, it shows a healthy jump in performance in both categories.

A separate leak suggests Samsung could also sell a 1TB Galaxy Z Fold 4, more than the Z Fold 3 offers. That will make power users happy, but also balloon an already expensive price tag.

Like the Z Fold 3, the Z Fold 4 displays will be AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rates. Ice Universe suggested the 6.2-inch cover display will be merely HD+ (like the Z Fold 3 display) but that it'll be "400ppi," slightly higher than last year's 374ppi.

In terms of Z Fold 4 cameras, we've learned Samsung will allegedly use the same specs as the S22 Ultra, only without the fourth periscope camera. That means it'll use a 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto lens with 3X optical zoom. It would beat the Z Fold 3 with its 12MP main and 10MP telephoto lens with just 2X optical zoom.

The 4MP under-display selfie camera will return. We were completely underwhelmed with the selfie photo quality with last year's model, and that may persist this year. But the pixels covering that portion of the display will reportedly jump from 172 to 400 (opens in new tab), so at least it'll be well-hidden.

Unfortunately, Ice Universe also claims the Z Fold 4 will have the same 4,400mAh battery and 25W charging as its predecessor. In our review, we found the Z Fold 3 could barely last a day in regular use and would only last two to three hours while gaming. So the Z Fold 4 will likewise require you to keep a portable charger on hand.

We can hope that the more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 will do more with the same capacity, but even with a small boost, it likely won't match the longevity of smaller phones.

Software

Pixel Fold mockup on Galaxy Z fold 3

(Image credit: Android Central / Andrew Myrick)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 uses Android 12 with One UI 4.1, offering useful multitasking software to take full advantage of the tablet-sized unfolded display. It's the same software the Z Fold 4 should launch with, given stock Android 13 will likely launch around late summer or early fall, and One UI 5 likely won't roll out until December.

We don't know much about new software features, but one leaked Z Fold 4 feature indicates Samsung could add a "swipe for split-screen" function, which would let you swipe two fingers down the center of the inner display to move your full-screen app to one side and leave room for another. We can hope Samsung will have other useful shortcuts in store for us.

Since Samsung recently promised four OS updates and five years of security updates to all recent flagships, that should apply to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 as well. So it should progress to Android 16 and receive security updates through late summer in 2027, giving it plenty of longevity.

Seven things we want to see from the Galaxy Z Fold 4

Of all the phones that came out in 2021, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 was my favorite. It took the Z Fold 2's design and added water resistance, S Pen support, better built-in screen protectors, and a better outer display with a higher refresh rate. But foldables are still a pretty new concept, and, as such, there are plenty of things to improve.

Surprisingly, most of the things I want to see improved from the Galaxy Z Fold 3 are not hardware-related changes — although there are still a few improvements I'd love to see. Mostly, though, it's the software that I want to see improved and refined. Android 12L was made with foldables in mind, and I expect those improvements to carry on to foldables that debut in 2022, like the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

1. Flattening the crease

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Yes, I did say I mostly wanted software changes for the fourth iteration of the Z Fold series, but my primary request revolves around what's right in the middle of the large inner screen.

There's little doubt that most Galaxy Fold users — no matter if that's Galaxy Fold 1, 2, or 3 — would agree that they could go without the giant crease in the middle of their smartphone's screen. I said the same thing on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 wish list for a reason: that crease needs to go.

The OPPO Find N proved that large foldables don't have to have a display crease.

While Samsung significantly improved the look and feel of its displays on Z Fold phones over the past few years, the crease itself hasn't gotten any better. Understandably, the past few years have had Samsung's engineering team working more on keeping dust and water out of this hinge than anything else, eventually leading to the first real water-resistance rating of IPx8 on the Fold 3.

Now that this has been achieved, I'd love to see Samsung begin working on a hinge that doesn't leave a crease in the ultra-thin glass when the phone has been opened. The OPPO Find N that was released in China at the end of 2021 proved that larger foldable form-factors can, in fact, eliminate the crease in the same way Motorola did with flip phones on the 2nd-gen Moto RAZR 5G.

This is, obviously, easier said than done. Figuring out where to place all those lovely high-end components and big batteries inside a case and still leave room for a teardrop hinge that eliminates the crease isn't a simple task. It would have already been done, otherwise. But the latest rumors are giving signs of hope, saying that Samsung has switched from the dual-hinge design of the Fold 1, 2, and 3 to a single hinge that's more like the OPPO Find N. That's some truly excellent news.

2. S Pen improvements

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

While you could argue that water resistance was the biggest upgrade from its predecessor, I think the Z Fold 3's biggest improvement was the inclusion of S Pen support. In a year where no new Galaxy Note model debuted, adding S Pen support was the single most important thing Samsung could have done.

The Z Fold 4 should be the phone to take up the Galaxy Note mantle.

Unfortunately, unlike the Galaxy Note, the Z Fold 3 has nowhere to store the S Pen. That all needs to change with the Z Fold 4, which could be a fantastic alternative to the Galaxy S22 Ultra as a Galaxy Note substitute. As a foldable phone that is shaped more like a notebook than anything else, it just makes sense to make this the next Note evolution.

Some Fold 4 rumors claimed that Samsung is, indeed, developing the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with an S Pen built right in. Other rumors later debunked that claim, which would be a huge shame in my book.

Assuming Samsung does store the S Pen in a small divot in the hinge or in a Note-style silo, it would obviously want to include an S Pen with every Z Fold 4, something it didn't do with the Z Fold 3. If we're going to lean into the Note's legacy of pushing cutting-edge specs and the next big form factor (literally), Samsung might as well go all the way.

3. Better cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

When you're spending $1,800 on a new smartphone, the last thing you want to hear is that the device has average cameras. Unfortunately, that's what the Galaxy Z Fold 3 delivered, despite its eye-watering price.

No one wants to spend $1,800 on a phone with average cameras.

With the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung needs to really step it up a notch with the cameras. While the Galaxy S series has Space Zoom with a minimum of 30x zoom — even the much cheaper models like the Galaxy S21 FE — the Z Fold maxes out at 10x.

To make matters worse, the sensor is only 12MP and the lens tops out at 2x optical zoom, further reducing the quality as you zoom in. Rumors are now suggesting that Samsung will could include the 108MP main sensor and 10MP 3x telephoto camera from the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

It's a shame we're not hearing about a periscope camera addition as well as a telephoto lens improvement, but in all other respects, this rumor would definitely thrill me to be true.

4. Easier multitasking

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The Z Fold 3 launched with a slew of new features that focused on making the Fold feel more like a tiny laptop or another personal computing device. This included being able to pin the app tray to any side of the screen, similar to the Start Bar in Windows or the dock in macOS or Chrome OS.

Multitasking on the Fold 3 often feels clumsy. Samsung needs to take cues from OPPO here.

But multitasking was still a bit of a bear if you weren't dragging from this dock. There's no easy way to snap windows to sections of the screen from the Overview multitasking screen and it, generally, feels pretty clumsy just trying to open multiple apps at once. Samsung made further improvements with One UI 4.1 with the launch of the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, and I'd love to see this taken one step further with the Fold 4.

OPPO did a better job making it easy to multitask on the Find N by dragging and dropping app tiles, floating windows, and using multi-finger gestures to get the job done. I'd love to see Samsung adopt similar ideas with the Fold 4 (and previous Folds via a software update) to make this one truly feel like the multitasking powerhouse it should be.

5. Better app scaling

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

With the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung introduced forced scaling for all apps, no matter which screen you viewed them on. That was important since the cover screen and the larger inner screen are completely different sizes and aspect ratios, but it didn't always translate well in apps like Instagram.

Given that it was a brand new feature, it was easy to forgive Samsung for it not being quite so perfect. The next time around, however, I'd love to see some better handling of scaling for apps. Being able to change scaling on the fly in a simpler way is, probably, the most important thing.

I'd love to be able to quickly swap aspect ratios with a quick three-finger pinch.

Sometimes it's nice to have an app full-screen for some functions while others might not work as well. Instagram, for instance, is nice to use full-screen while editing photos but looks absolutely terrible full-screen while scrolling through your feed.

Having a quick way to swap between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios for apps — with a quick three-finger pinch, for instance — would be amazing. As it stands right now, you need to go into settings, advanced features, labs, app scaling, then select the individual app to scale. It's tedious and really just takes too long to get it done.

I'm also hoping that Android 12L and the swath of incoming foldable devices encourage developers to work on better tablet-like interfaces for their apps. Not to beat a dead horse but Instagram, for instance, would benefit immensely from having a desktop or tablet-like interface pulled up when viewed on the large inner screen of the Fold 3.

I'd also like to see more consistency across how apps scale. The YouTube or Google Messages apps, for instance, will launch in phone mode when opened first on the small screen, while tablet mode doesn't kick in unless you first open them on the large screen. If the app is already open in phone mode, it won't automatically switch to tablet mode if you just open the large screen while the app is already running. Forcing apps to run in tablet mode any time they're running on the large screen would be a much better user experience.

6. Battery tweaks

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Since the Fold 3 made its debut in late Summer 2021, we've heard plenty of complaints about battery life. While the battery life isn't bad by any means, it's not great, either. Samsung shrunk the battery a slight bit when compared to the Z Fold 2 and that minor 100mAh difference can be felt by the end of a long day.

It's time to increase the charging speed on Galaxy phones so we can quickly top up and forget all about that low battery icon.

The Fold 3, at least, supports pretty fast 25W charging and even wireless charging so you can keep topped up throughout the day, but it still doesn't stem the disappointment of having to watch your battery drain more quickly than you'd hoped.

While I'd love to see a larger battery inside the Z Fold 4, something's got to give. I want S Pen storage and a better hinge that erases the crease, both of which take up precious space inside the Fold's body. Knowing that, it's probably not realistic to also hope for a larger battery.

On that note, Samsung could do one of two things. First, introduce additional battery-saving measures out of the box, like having dark mode enabled to take advantage of the OLED display's ability to individually turn pixels off when they're displaying true black.

Secondly, Samsung could hop aboard the super-fast charging train. 25W isn't bad, but it's not quite the 65W or higher than other flagships have had for some time now. We saw 45W charging added to the Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra, but it's ultimately not much of an upgrade since the phone only charges at 45W for the first few minutes, then pares that back down to 25W or lower for the remainder of the charge.

7. More control over screens and cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

One of my favorite things about the Z Fold 3 is the ability to relatively seamlessly move between the smaller cover screen and the larger inner screen without interrupting what you were doing. If you've got an app open on the cover screen and you fold open the phone, the app automatically gets rescaled and, sometimes, even presents a tablet-like version of the app.

I'd really like to have the ability to send content to separate displays at any given point in time and to use any camera that makes sense for the scenario.

But what if you wanted to use both screens at the same time? This function is certainly nuanced, but it could make itself useful in more than one scenario.

While using the camera, for instance, you can use the cover screen as a "preview" window for the main rear camera, but swapping to the selfie camera immediately turns this screen off. While Flex mode is great for group shots, it would be even more convenient if I could use it with the front-facing selfie camera and the cover screen.

Samsung launched Flex Mode alongside the Z Flip 2 since that hinge could stay open when only partly folded, but the uses for this mode are somewhat few and far between.

What I'd really like to see is the ability to send content to separate displays at any given point in time and to use any camera that makes sense for the scenario. It's a niche request that would make a huge difference when the need arises.

Folding the future up

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Over the years, smartphones have become an inescapable part of our daily lives. Foldable phones — especially ones like the Galaxy Z Fold series — combine two devices in one, giving you the convenience of a smaller smartphone screen on the outside with a giant tablet display once you unfold it.

We fully expect Samsung to launch the Z Fold 4 this fall and, along with it, a slew of hardware and software improvements. The recent release of Android 12 with One UI 4 on the best Samsung phones was mostly focused on adding colors and new features to all phones in the Galaxy line, but we want to see more foldable-specific improvements with the next big One UI update with the Z Fold 4.

Michael L Hicks
Michael L Hicks

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.