Some might say that I'm a bit impulsive when it comes to new smartphone releases. I just feel the need to get my hands on whatever new and shiny phones come out, at least when it comes to the best phones. This has been a trend for the last few years, and continued with the Galaxy S22 Ultra after Samsung announced it.
Unfortunately, I missed the first few waves of preorders but eventually managed to get the Galaxy S22 Ultra with 512GB of storage. Since Samsung intentionally hampered the entry-level model by only including 8GB of RAM, I knew that I needed a bit more oomph. Alas, with Samsung automatically upgrading everyone from 128GB to 256GB, those were impossible to get, meaning I had to continue onwards and upwards.
After getting my preorder in, I proceeded to sit around and wait for a few weeks. The initial expected arrival date was set to be last week, and wouldn't ya know it, I received an email from Samsung saying that my phone had been delayed until near the end of April. Within minutes, I'd canceled my preorder.
But the extended wait isn't the only reason why I opted against picking up the latest and "greatest" Samsung phone to launch. On release day, I picked up the Galaxy S22 Ultra for my wife as an early birthday present, with the premise that she would let me use it for a week to get a handle on what I was to expect.
So I went through and transferred everything over from my iPhone thanks to Smart Switch and swapped SIM cards. Then I spent a week trying to figure out why I didn't actually like the S22 Ultra.
It has everything you could want, including the trypophobia-inducing camera array and the return of the built-in S Pen. It's been hammered into the ground, but this really was a Galaxy Note in every sense of the word. And as someone who has been a fan of the Note, I was hoping it would invoke those feelings that I had from my Galaxy Note 9 and Note 10 days.
But it didn't.
I spent a bit of time trying to figure out exactly what it was that made me look to switching back to one of my other phones. And then it clicked.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4.
For the past two years, my main Android phone has been the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and, subsequently, the Galaxy Z Fold 3. While I may not use my Fold 3 as my "main" phone, it's one that I ALWAYS pick up if I'm around the apartment. I don't even use the S Pen unless I'm trying to rearrange my home screen for the umpteenth time or if I'm playing some Slay the Spire.
With the Galaxy Z Fold 3, there are some complaints that I still have, including the fact that Samsung stuck with camera hardware that's outclassed by much-cheaper phones. And there's the cover screen that I still think is way too narrow to use comfortably.
My heart still hopes that a Pixel Fold or Pixel Passport is actually unveiled later this year, but with Google's history of delaying phones, I'm not holding my breath. Which means that I'm setting my sights on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Some of the rumors point to Samsung implementing an S Pen silo — its absence was one of the biggest complaints that many had with last year's Fold 3. But what I really want to see is a phone that is something in between the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Oppo Find N. I want to see a Fold with a wider cover screen and at least a camera system that can take on the best Android phones instead of just being "good enough."
More importantly, my experience with the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and 3 has changed my opinions on slab phones for good. The utility of swapping from a regular phone to a mini-tablet is just too enjoyable, even if it's just to doom-scroll Twitter or Reddit for too long. But it's also because you can use the Galaxy Z Fold for pretty much anything you want.
It seems that Google is finally taking tablets and foldable devices seriously with the changes coming in Android 12L and Android 13. Of course, we'll have to see if this translates to a better experience over time. But it's a step in the right direction and doesn't leave Samsung to try and implement "features" that can overcome the pitfalls of apps that lack optimization.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a phenomenal phone, for most people. But the truth is that foldable phones are the future, and the future is now. Let's just hope that Samsung doesn't keep "playing it safe" and continues to push the envelope now that more phone makers are jumping on the foldable train.
Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.
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