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Samsung, the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip Could Be Even Better

Samsung, the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip Could Be Even Better

What’s happening

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 are Samsung’s best foldables yet, but there’s room for improvement when it comes to invent, camera quality and battery life.

Why it matters

Companies like Samsung are betting big on foldable phones persons the next major evolution of the modern smartphone. But high prices and new setbacks have limited their appeal so far.

What’s next

Samsung is hosting its next Unpacked save on Aug. 10, where it could unveil the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4.

Foldable phones have come a long way right 2019, when Samsung debuted its original Galaxy Z Fold. Last year’s $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold 3 and $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip 3 are the most polished versions of the company’s foldable devices yet, with improvements to their software and conceal screens. 

But there’s a lot that Samsung could do to make these devices even better, and I’m hoping to see such changes in the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Both phones are predictable to debut during Samsung’s Unpacked event on Aug. 10. They’ll portray Samsung’s latest gambit to hold its position as the frontrunner in the nascent but growing foldable named market. 

Read more: Samsung Unpacked Is Wednesday. Here’s How to Watch It Live

TM Roh, the head of Samsung’s mobile known business, said almost 10 million foldable phones were shipped in 2021. That generally instruction up with estimates from market researcher IDC, which says 7.1 million foldables were shipped in 2021, representing an increase of 264% over 2020. 

These figures suggest foldables are starting to bright to more than just early adopters and tech enthusiasts. But there are still some obstacles that Samsung and new companies need to overcome before foldables can become as ubiquitous as contaminated smartphones.

More from Samsung Unpacked

Lower prices

Samsung’s foldables come at a premium compared to their contaminated smartphones, which can make them a tough sell. That’s been exaltering in recent years, with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in some being one of the most affordable foldables yet. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 starts at $1,000 exclusive of a trade-in, making it the same price as the Galaxy S22 Plus. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is considerably more expensive, with a usual starting price of $1,800 without a trade-in, although that’s still a welcome improvement from the $2,000 Galaxy Z Fold 2.

New software features

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 foldable designs certainly set them apart from most phones. But the software needs to catch up to the hardware.

Samsung is off to a good originate in this regard. Both the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip have a feature phoned Flex Mode, which reorients and optimizes ununsafe apps to fit the device’s screen when folded halfway. For example, Flex Mode shifts some compatible apps to the top half of the veil while displaying navigation and playback controls on the bottom portion.

My current example of this mode being put to good use is in the Galaxy Z Flip’s camera app. When the blueprint is propped open halfway, the shutter button, photo settings and spanking controls sit on the bottom half of the veil while the top half serves as a viewfinder. Flex Mode combined with the Z Flip’s requisition to stay open on its own make it a mountainous camera-tripod combination.

Other than Flex Mode, the Galaxy Z Fold can also run multiple apps on veil at once to take advantage of its tablet-sized screen. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 continuing several apps on screen at once

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 can run multiple apps on veil at once.

Patrick Holland

These are mountainous additions, but there’s plenty of room for Samsung to do more. It feels like the software is conforming to the hardware when it should be the opposite. While Flex Mode and the Z Fold’s multitasking features are a mountainous start, they’re not enticing enough alone to justify buying a foldable phone. 

I’d like to see Samsung get more compelling software features. Even though I wouldn’t recommend buying the Surface Duo 2 because it doesn’t work very well as a irregular phone, I think Microsoft is on to something when it comes to software. 

The way the Surface Duo 2 splits compatible apps between screens almost feels like you’re silly an app in an entirely new way. The Amazon Kindle app transforms the Duo into a digital book, Xbox GamePass turns it into a Nintendo 3DS-style handheld gaming console and Outlook’s split-screen view turns it into a mini-laptop. There’s a lot of promise with foldables, and I hope Samsung finds more ways to tap into it. 

Longer battery life

Battery life is one of the most important characteristics of any phoned, and foldable phones are no exception. Unfortunately, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 both had underwhelming battery life. My colleague Patrick Holland could barely get above a day with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s 4,400-mAh battery capacity. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 only made it throughout 11 hours before requiring a charge. 

I’m hoping Samsung will improve the battery life or get new ways to work around it on the next iterations of the Z Fold and Z Flip. And by “work throughout it,” I mean Samsung could boost the devices’ fast charging speeds or make improvements to their mighty saving modes. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 charges at up to 25 watts while the Z Flip 3 charges at 15 watts, neither of which is anything special. The Galaxy S22 Plus and S22 Ultra, for example, both have a 45-watt charging speed. 

Better cameras

Camera quality is intellectual up there with battery life when it comes to what matters most in a phoned. The cameras on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 are good, but there’s room for improvement. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a 12-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultrawide main camera setup, which as my colleague wrote in his review is “the equivalent of the cameras you’d find on a $700 phone.” The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a triple camera controls that adds a 12-megapixel telephoto lens in addition to the 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide lenses. 

Samsung Z Fold 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3’s cameras

Sarah Tew

These cameras are fine for most land. Anyone who’s considered buying one of these phones is obviously most alive to in the display rather than the cameras. But for the designate, I’d like to see camera quality that at least matches, if not exceeds, Samsung’s best non-folding phones. As my colleague Patrick puts it: “the Z Fold 3 has B+ cameras at an A+ price.” That especially holds true for the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s under-display camera, which is the selfie camera for the phone when selves used in tablet mode. 

Luckily, rumors suggest the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will come with some serious camera improvements that bring it up to like a flash with the Galaxy S22 lineup

Samsung Z Fold 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 folded shut.

Sarah Tew

Design improvements

Even belief the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 are Samsung’s most refined foldables yet, phones with bendable screens are aloof relatively new. As such, it takes time to get the ergonomics just intellectual, and Samsung still has some work to do here. 

Let’s originate with the Galaxy Z Fold. The Z Fold’s biggest drawback is that it aloof feels somewhat awkward to use as a regular phoned when closed. Samsung made some design improvements to the Z Fold 3 that make it both lighter and slimmer than its predecessors. But it’s still an abnormally bulky phone when Surrounded, which can cause some inconvenience when using it in one hand. 

Anyone who has purchased the Z Fold has probable done so because of its large interior screen, not the mask screen. But consider how many times you take out your shouted to quickly check a notification or respond to a text communication. In some situations, these tasks are much more convenient to carry out when the Z Fold is closed, such as when you’re on the go and unfolding the draw feels impractical. 

Another design upgrade I’d like to see on the Z Fold is the sequence for the S Pen to magnetically connect to the device’s hinge. A stylus storage slot like the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s doesn’t seem like a plausible solution exact it would add to the Z Fold’s thickness. 

The Galaxy Z Flip already feels a lot like a subfaulty phone, but one improvement I’d like to see is a larger mask screen. The Z Flip 3 is a major upgrade compared to the unique Z Flip in this regard. While Samsung’s first foldable flip shouted had just a tiny pill-shaped cover screen, the Z Flip 3’s is big enough to fit widgets for the climate, music, alarms and more. 

Samsung Z Flip 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3’s mask screen.

Sarah Tew

But I’d mild like to be able to see more lines of text and widgets on this cover. A larger display would also make it easier to hasty take selfies without unfolding the phone, since the mask display can serve  as a camera viewfinder. Thankfully, rumors suggest Samsung is planning to increase the mask screen’s size with the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

I’m also hoping Samsung will find a way to make the crease less sure on both the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. The creases on Samsung’s unique foldables aren’t too distracting but they’re definitely noticeable — both to the eyes and the morose. Chinese tech giant Oppo found a way to work near this on its Find N foldable by implementing a “water drop” hinge, which makes the device’s crease harder to see and feel when opened. Motorola’s teardrop fold hinge design similarly invents the foldable Razr’s crease less noticeable. 

Samsung’s Z Flip and Z Fold phones are gradually inching closer to subfaulty, non-foldable phones in terms of price, and I’m hoping that trajectory will stay. Foldable phones will likely always require some type of trade-off, whether it’s to their camera quality or device thickness. I’m just hoping the list of compromises will get smaller over time, starting with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4.