The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers an incredible experience, really capturing the promise of a foldable phone for a wide audience. While Samsung's flagship foldable holds up today, anyone interested in buying one may want to wait. Rumors suggest the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will arrive this summer.
We say "may" because most rumors indicate that Samsung won't make many substantial changes between the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 4, tweaking the design and adding the latest Qualcomm hardware but not solving some of our wishlist fixes like a built-in S Pen slot or better battery life. On the other hand, leakers are claiming the Z Fold 4 could have the same 108MP sensor as the S22 Ultra, a major upgrade for photography fans.
Keeping in mind that many of these rumors may prove false as we get closer to release, 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
Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) CEO Ross Young, who has a pretty solid track record with phone leaks, tweeted 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."
The Z Fold 3 shipped at $1,799, $200 cheaper than the Z Fold 2. This rumor, coupled with a Naver leak 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.
Focusing on the other significant part of Young's leak, he says production will ramp up in July. Major production usually leads the phone release by 1-3 months, and the last two Fold models launched in late August and September, respectively. This timeline would track with a similar 2022 release.
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 a summer Unpacked event.
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, independently claimed his source said the S Pen slot was "officially dead" because Samsung ran out of time to implement the design.
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.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 will be Samsung's first Foldable phone with a single hingeIt allows the device to be thinner & lighter while also saving costs and being more durable.In this picture we see the two hinges on the Z Fold 3, the Z Fold 4 will have just one in the center. pic.twitter.com/YZkiCVN6ReApril 5, 2022
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. Cutting down in either category, even by a small margin, could offer a significant quality-of-life improvement.
Another recent Z Fold 4 display rumor from Ross Young indicated its inner and outer displays wouldn't change much in size and aspect ratio. Both the Z Fold 4 and the Pixel Fold will allegedly have a 7.6-inch foldable display, same as the Z Fold 3. As for the cover display, it will reportedly have a similar 6.19-inch outer display, whereas the Pixel Fold will adopt a 5.8-inch cover with a wider aspect ratio.
Fold3 vs Fold4 pic.twitter.com/yqIM96qgUHMay 9, 2022
This isn't to say the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will be completely unchanged from its predecessor. Ice Universe claims 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 could measure slightly wider (but shorter) for both displays.
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.
Depending on your perspective, you could look at the hypothetical Galaxy Z Fold 4 design as Samsung not messing with a winning formula or as Samsung prioritizing a yearly release before it was ready to implement major changes.
According to another recent Ice Universe leak, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, the rumored mid-year refresh that will reportedly solve the throttling issues spotted in early 2022 phones like the Galaxy S22. That should give the phone a decent performance upgrade over the Snapdragon 888 found in the Z Fold 3.
Otherwise, you can assume the Fold 4 will retain the same 12GB of memory and 256GB or 512GB of storage as the last model, with no expandable storage.
Also like the Z Fold 3, the Z Fold 4 displays will be AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rates and pixels-per-inch in the high 300s.
One leak with massive implications is Dohyun Kim's tweet that the Z Fold 4 will use the same 108MP sensor as the Galaxy S22 Ultra — crushing the 12MP sensor on the Z Fold 3. We've heard that foldable phones need small sensors to fold properly, so if Samsung managed to squeeze its best ultra-zoom sensor into a compact package, that would be a major win for its design team.
Leaker @chunvn8888 jumped into Kim's replies to claim it would have all the same sensors as the S22 Ultra except for the periscope sensor: the 12MP 120º ultra-wide and 10MP telephoto with 3X optical zoom. An earlier spec rumor corroborated that Samsung's new foldable would get the 10MP telephoto lens, compared to the 12MP sensor with 2X optical on the Z Fold 3.
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 2 to 3 hours while gaming. So the Z Fold 4 will likewise require you to keep a portable charger on hand.
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.
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
Yes, I did say I mostly wanted software changes for the fourth iteration of the Z Fold series, but my primary request revolves around that'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.
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
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.
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 alternative. 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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Since the Fold 3 made its debut in late Summer 2021, I'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.
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
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.
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
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 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.
Get the best of Android Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Android Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.