Foldable smartphones have been making big waves in the last couple of years, with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip being one of our favourites.
The Korean giant is already hard at work on the next model, which hopefully will arrive later in 2022. Here’s all we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
When will the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 be released?
There’s no official word from Samsung on the Flip 4 yet, but we have seen some rumours about potential dates, plus we can look at the previous models to give us a rough estimate.
Some news sites are pointing to a Korean tech blogger who posted on the country’s social media site Naver that the new model would follow the same release pattern as the previous models.
Although, looking back to previous versions of the Galaxy Z Flip, there's no pattern:
It's likely that the leaker is referring specifically to the Flip 3 release date. This is especially plausible since display industry expert Ross Young has reported that Samsung will begin display panel shipments for the Flip 4 in April. That's the same month it began shipments for the Flip 3 last year, suggesting that the company is on the same timetable. Interestingly, Samsung has apparently ordered 8.7 million panels - up from 5.1 million last year - which means it's expecting to sell even more Flips this time around.
One clue is that Samsung seems to be aligning the Flip to launch alongside the Z Fold models. This is why the Flip jumps from version 1 to 3, as the latter was to bring the naming and numbering convention into parity with the Fold, which had been released before the Flip.
Since its introduction in 2019, the Galaxy Z Fold has usually been released in September or, as with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, right at the end of August. Using this as our baseline, it seems quite reasonable to assume that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 (and the Z Fold 4) will appear in August/September 2022.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 cost?
Again, we don’t have any confirmed details about the new Flip, so we’ll have to look back at the previous pricing for guidance. Here’s how much they cost at launch:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip – £1,300/€1,349/$1,380
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 – £949/$999/€1,049
This price drop between the first and second generations is most likely due to the production costs coming down. As with any first-generation product, you usually end up paying a premium to own the newest technology.
It feels unlikely that Samsung will cut the price much more, as flagship phones, of which this is definitely one, are usually around the £1,000/€1,000/$1,000 mark these days.
That said, industry expert Ross Young thinks we "might see a price cut," pointing as evidence to the fact that Samsung's July production order for the Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 is "more than double" the equivalent production last year. That's taking both foldables together of course, so it could be that the Fold is brought down in price while the Flip stays the same - or Samsung may decide not to reduce the price of either.
Will it be the Z Flip 4 or the Flip 4?
One interesting wrinkle this year is that Samsung may be changing its naming convention. The company has taken the 'Z' out of the names of its foldables in select markets without any explanation - though some speculate that it may have been in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the 'Z' symbol sometimes used by Russia's armed forces.
In any case, it's opened speculation that the company may drop the 'Z' entirely, leaving its next-gen foldable simple called the Galaxy Flip 4. That would be cleaner and simpler, and in our eyes certainly a welcome change, but for now there's little concrete evidence that any branding change is on the way worldwide.
What new specs will we see in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4?
Obviously, we remain in the area of speculation and rumour at the moment, which will hopefully be dispelled before too long with news from Samsung.
Design and build
So far, no-one is expected the Z Flip 4 to be a radical design departure from the Flip 3.
That's reflected in the first renders we've seen of the phone, which come from OnLeaks in partnership with 91mobiles.
These show only a few changes. OnLeaks says the design will be essentially identical to the previous phone, except with slight tweaks to the dimensions: now very slightly smaller but thicker at 165.1 x 71.9 x 7.2mm.
The renders do seem to show a slightly tweaked hinge design, which matches an early rumour from a Korean leaker picked up by Slash Gear, which outlines plans for a lighter chassis and improved hinge, which is good news as this remains one of the potential weak points of any flip design - and this is one of the few areas where the Z Flip 3 is clearly behind the recent Huawei P50 Pocket.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 saw the introduction of IPX8 water-resistance, but the same leaker mentions improvements to this. We can only assume it refers to the dustproofing that was missing from the Flip 3.
One other substantial change is to the phone's colours. Display industry expert Ross Young has revealed what he believes are the four colours the phone will launch in: gold, grey, light blue (seen in the renders), and light violet.
Korean site The Elec reports that Samsung won't change the screens too much either - or at least not in size. The site says the internal folding screen will once again be 6.7in (and OnLeaks agrees), while the outer screen will grow very slightly from 1.83in up to 1.9in. Leaker Chun predicts the same on the outer display, though says it may even become larger than 2in, which has since been echoed by Ross Young.
Chipset, RAM, and storage
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor in the Z Flip 3 could get an upgrade to the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but it actually looks more likely that the Flip 4 will use the upcoming 8 Gen 1+, as has been predicted by two leakers: The Galox and Ice Universe.
The 8GB of memory and 128/256GB storage options will probably remain as they are.
GSMArena has reported that Samsung will include an under-display selfie camera, although multiple prototypes are in active development, some of which still feature a punch-hole camera opening. This suggests Samsung is still testing the capabilities of the former approach to see if it’s ready for prime-time.
Leaker Chun believes the company has decided against an under-display camera, but adds that Samsung is considering a jump to a triple rear camera this time. Despite that, he warns that "the quality won't be improve [sic] dramatically."
Battery and charging
Chun was also the first leaker to predict an increase in battery size - by 10-20% - with other tipsters claiming that the battery will remain the same size as that of the Flip 3.
His prediction seems to have been borne out though, with GalaxyClub now reporting an overall battery capacity of 3400mAh for the Flip 4 - a modest 100mAh increase from the 3300mAh Flip 3. This info came from discovering two batteries with model codes EB-BF721ABY and EB-BF722ABY, which will reportedly be used in the new phone.
Regular leaker Ice Universe is even more optimistic about the battery, predicting a more substantial jump to a total capacity of 3700mAh.
Meanwhile, certification with China's 3C organisation reveals max 25W wired charging - still relatively slow, but a definite upgrade on the 15W speed of the Z Flip 3.
It’s still early days, so many of these rumoured features might change over the development of the device. We’ll be updating this article as more information becomes available, so be sure to keep checking back to see what wonders Samsung has in store.
Until then, take a look at our guide to the best phones coming in 2022.