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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 render copies best feature of the Galaxy S22 Ultra

Galaxy Z Fold 4 render
(Image credit: Waqar Khan)

Now that Samsung's figured out a way to build an S Pen into the design of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you can expect that design flourish to come to some of the phone maker's other devices. And the Galaxy Z Fold 4 foldable figures to be the next in line to get its own built-in stylus.

After all, the current Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the only non-Galaxy Fold phone besides this year's S22 Ultra and the Galaxy S21 Ultra that came before it to include S Pen support. An update to the Galaxy Z Fold lineup is expected in the latter half of the year, which is when the foldable would likely take a page from the Galaxy S22 Ultra's book and add a slot for the stylus in its chassis. 

You don't have to wait until late summer/early fall to see what a Galaxy Z Fold equipped with a built-in S Pen might look like. Designer Waqar Khan has posted a concept design video for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 that incorporates a stylus into the foldable phone's frame.

Specifically, in Khan's video, the S Pen slides out of a slot on the bottom right side of the unfolded Galaxy Z Fold 4. That's about where the S Pen lives on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, too — the difference being that phone doesn't unfold.

Adding a built-in S Pen slot would address a big criticism of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. While productivity-minded users certainly appreciated having stylus support, you had to buy a separate case to hold the S Pen, as it was considered an optional accessory. That wasn't terribly convenient, and it meant features like waking the screen by sliding out the S Pen were non-starters on the Z Fold 3, as we found when testing the S Pen on Samsung's foldable.

Galaxy Z Fold 4 render

(Image credit: Waqar Khan)

Presumably, an included S Pen with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 would work much like it does on the S22 Ultra. We hope that means Bluetooth connectivity for the stylus, which we also hope will pick up some foldable phone-specific benefits like the ability to scribble notes on the phone's exterior screen.

Khan's video doesn't list specs for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, likely because those aren't widely known yet. But we would expect the external and internal displays to be the same 6.2- and 7.6-inch sizes as on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 could adopt other S22 Ultra specs such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicon powering the latter phone and the 45W charging Samsung added to its latest flagship.

Besides a slot for the S Pen, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 design change we're most eager to see would be a tweak to the phone's hinge that leaves less of a gap where the display folds together. A Galaxy Z Fold rival, Oppo's Find N foldable, manages to have its two panels lie flush against each other, With S Pen shortcomings seemingly being addressed, that's the next Galaxy Z Fold 3 characteristic calling for a correction with the next model.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.