The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 currently holds the title of ‘best foldable phone’ in its grip – but it’s a weak grip, which should break very soon if the company doesn’t bolster it with its next-gen foldable.
When the latest Samsung foldable phone was released in August 2021, we raved about it, and since the foldable phone market was anemic at that time, it easily took the top spot in our rankings.
However, the next model, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, can’t just be an iterative update in 2022 – that’s because the foldable phone market is changing and Samsung might not be able to keep up.
Was the Galaxy Z Fold 3 really that good?
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 still tops our ‘best foldable phones’ list, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually the best in the world.
To add a phone to one of our “top” lists, it must be available in TechToSee’s major regions: US, UK or Australia. Samsung sells its devices in many parts of the world, so its Galaxy Z Fold 3 easily ticks those boxes.
However, many devices do not launch globally, so a product may launch but never make it into our buying guides. This has been the case with many foldable phones, especially since some are limited to China.
The recently launched Honor Magic V has a larger screen and better chipset than the Z Fold 3. The Oppo Find N, which we tested, has a much less obvious screen seam than the Z Fold 3, making it makes a significantly better user. experience.
Both of these phones are in close competition with the device, as they have the same form factor of smartphones that fold out into mini-tablets, but we’ve also seen exciting clamshell foldables. These are phones that fold up for easy transport or slip into a pocket.
The Huawei P50 Pocket, for example, has an impressive Super Spectrum camera, which looks fantastic for artistic photography.
If the smartphones above were released globally, Samsung might not take the top spot in our rankings – as it stands, it wins by default because it’s the best phone our readers can buy . It’s a rather hollow victory.
We’ve tested some of the foldable phones above, but not all. When we used the Oppo Find N, the lack of a screen crease on the main display made the phone so much smoother to use, and we’d potentially recommend it as the best foldable if it launched in our regions .
If I’m a consumer who knows nothing about foldable cellphones, among these cellphones, I don’t like the Fold3. Unfortunately, its design has been delayed. pic.twitter.com/CdiCtWIev3January 10, 2022
Don’t just take our word for it – popular leak ice universe is very outspoken about Samsung’s phones and recently called the Z Fold 3 the least well-designed of recent foldables.
While Samsung has already benefited from the limited availability of foldables from other companies, it can’t rest on its laurels forever – sooner or later one of these phones will be launched worldwide.
What can the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 do?
The aforementioned foldable phones are just the forefront of many more to come.
In the case of Honor and Oppo, these are debut devices, and other rumored foldable phones include more debutants like the iPhone Flip, Google Pixel Fold, Realme GT Fold, and those from TCL and Vivo. , as well as follow-up foldables like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Motorola Razr 2022.
So Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 can’t be an iterative update on the Z Fold 3, with improved cameras, a newer chip, and a few other changes. It will take a lot of work for the company to keep up.
The most needed improvement, which we’d put at the top of Samsung’s to-do list (and also underlined several times, and circled in red pen, and possibly highlighted for good measure) is the screen crease.
All foldable phones have creases on the screen, that’s where they bend when you close the device – it’s only natural due to the form factor. However, not all screen folds are created equal.
Some foldable screens have subtle creases, which are really hard to notice, and only become apparent if you look for them…and then there’s Samsung. The Z Fold and Z Flip phones have very obvious creases, which at best are annoying, and at worst spoil the experience of using the device.
Samsung needs to fix its screen crease problem fast, as rivals are offering much better phones in this regard.
That’s not the only problem with its phone’s design – just look at the image we shared earlier of Ice Universe. The Z Fold 3 is noticeably very long and thin, with a chunky bezel around the edge – it really does look like it needs a good night’s sleep and a little healthier eating.
In comparison, other phones have much more premium designs.
While design is our main issue with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Fold 4 could do even more to compete. We’d like to see an affordable foldable phone, and while that doesn’t mean we’re expecting a device as cheap as your mid-budget smartphone, it would be great to see a foldable flagship at a more affordable price point than the asking cost of the Z Fold 3.
There are so many things competitors are doing in the camera, charging speed and software spaces too, that Samsung needs to keep up too if the Z Fold 4 is going to be competitive.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has to be a huge step up from its predecessor if Samsung is to keep its neck in the foldable game – the company can’t continue to rely on the limited availability of rivals’ devices forever, especially if Apple and Google are also working on devices.
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