The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 has the unenviable task of following up the most popular foldable phone Samsung ever released. That would be last year's Galaxy Z Flip 3, which helped establish the best foldable phone as more than just a niche device thanks to a more mainstream sub-$1,000 price tag.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 isn't likely to improve on its predecessor's price — in this era of rising costs, in fact, we'll be happy if Samsung simply retains the Galaxy Z Flip 3's $999 price when its successor debuts in the second half of 2022. But there are plenty of other ways, a new Galaxy Z Flip can make a splash.
We've got a pretty good idea of what's likely to change with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, based on all the rumors out there about the upcoming foldable phone. Because of those rumors, we not only have a good idea about how the Galaxy Z Flip 4's specs are shaking out, we also can make some reasonable assumptions about reported design changes.
Based on what we've heard so far, here are the biggest Galaxy Z Flip 4 rumors we've been tracking as we wait for the likely August unveiling for Samsung's next foldable flip phone.
1. A new chipset for the Galaxy Z Flip 4
It's one of the biggest Galaxy Z Fold 4 rumors, so that moves it to the top of the rumored features list for Samsung's other foldable. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is expected to feature a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 as its system-on-chip.
In one sense, that's not a surprise. Samsung usually makes sure its top foldables are powered by the best Qualcomm silicon available. But earlier this year, that would have been the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 found inside the Galaxy S22 phones. With a Plus variant now available, that means both the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 are running on a more powerful chipset than the one inside Samsung's latest Galaxy S flagships.
How much more powerful? Qualcomm has said that Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 boosts CPU and GPU performance by 10% over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. More significantly, there are are power savings, too, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 set to deliver 15% more power efficiency over its predecessor. And that could lead to...
2. Better battery life for the Galaxy Z Flip 4
Let's face it — no one's going to rave about how long the Galaxy Z Flip 3 could last on a charge, largely because it didn't. In our battery test, where we have phones surf the web over cellular until they run out of power, the Galaxy Z Flip died after 5 hours and 43 minutes. That's more than four hours shorter than the average smartphone. Our battery test can be demanding, but even in normal usage, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 struggles to keep up.
The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset will help a little bit, thanks to the improved power efficiency. But Samsung is likely to try other ways to squeeze more battery life out of the Z Flip 3's successor. Supposedly, the new version will feature a battery that's 400 mAh larger than the power pack in the current model.
While 400 mAh may not sound like much, keep in mind that Samsung is limited by the Flip's size on just how big a cell it can insert in the phone. We'll chalk this up as a case of where "every little bit helps," with the slightly bigger battery and improved power management from the Z4's chipset potentially leading to a longer-lasting flip phone.
Samsung better hope so, at least — battery life is the one thing that keeps us from being more enthusiastic about the Galaxy Z Fold. Even if the Z Fold 4 inches just a little bit closer to the average battery life for smartphones, it would be a step in the right direction.
3. A small hinge for the Galaxy Z Flip 3
Smaller hinges could be all the rage at Samsung this year, as both the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 are in line to replace their hinges. Specifically, the Z Flip 4 is tipped to get a more compact hinge.
The most immediate impact of that could be a lighter phone, not that the 6.5-ounce Galaxy Z Flip 3 was much of a heavyweight. But the lighter a phone is, the easier it is to carry — a fact not lost on Galaxy Z Flip owners who already treasure the phone's portability.
4. A more subtle crease on the Galaxy Z Flip 4
The hinge could help the Galaxy Z Flip 4 in another way, by helping make the crease where the phone folds in two less apparent. Right now, when you open up the Z Flip, you'll notice a crease running across the middle of the screen. It's especially noticeable when you scroll over it with your finger, but it can be visible as well, depending on the display's background. (Lighter colors make the crease stand out.)
If leaked images purporting to show the Galaxy Z Flip 4 are any indication, the crease is going to be less visible on Samsung's new phone. Leaker Ice Universe stacked up two images side by side that claim to show off the current crease versus the upcoming version, and the latter is definitely more shallow and less pronounced.
Fold3 vs Fold4 creases taken at the same angle (intercepted part) pic.twitter.com/iY67S85UEVJune 19, 2022
The crease has been more of an aesthetic flaw than a design one — when you fold displays in half, you're going to wind up with a crease. But making that crease less visible to the naked eye would make the Galaxy Z Flip 4 feel like a more polished phone — one worthy of that $999 asking price.
5. A larger cover display on the Galaxy Z Flip 4
If creases and short battery life have been the bane of the Galaxy Z Fold's existence, the phone's exterior cover display is arguably one of the better additions. The thin strip of a display serves multiple purposes, listing notifications as well as the time, so you don't have to open up the phone. You can also use the display as a viewfinder when taking selfies with the exterior cameras.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 uses a 1.9-inch display, but Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants tips the new Flip to go above 2 inches. That's been reiterated by leaker Yogesh Brar, who pegs the cover display size for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 at 2.1 inches.
That's not a lot of extra space in the greater scheme of things, but you'd be surprised the difference an extra 0.2 inches can make when it comes to squeezing in more information. The current cover display is a great feature for the Galaxy Z Flip, and even a slightly larger one would be a welcome change.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 outlook
There could be other changes coming to Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4, and we certainly wouldn't object to additions like improved camera specs. But if the above additions turn out to be the only enhancements Samsung makes, that still sets up the new Galaxy Flip to be a big improvement over its well-received predecessor.