Samsung Electronics introduced its foldable duo — the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 — in New York on Wednesday, hoping that the newest high-end line could turn around faltering smartphone sales caused by slowing demand.
The new models will go on sale on Aug. 26 with the Z Flip 4’s price tag starting at 1.35 million won ($1,033) and Z Fold 4 at 1.99 million won.
The price of the Z Fold series remains the same as its predecessor while the Z Flip 4 has been bumped up by 99,000 won compared to the Z Flip 3.
Major improvements include more durable materials aimed at reducing creases and processing capabilities being powered by Qualcomm’s new chipset.
The new models will be encased in a material called Armor Aluminum, which is designed to protect against scratches and falls, and also feature new protective glass called Gorilla Glass Victus+.
A crease in the center of the previous models’ screens was deemed a distraction by many users and while a series of leaked images of the new foldable phones show a less visible crease, it remains to be seen how the models will hold up with use.
The two models will be powered by Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 designed by Qualcomm and manufactured by Taiwan’s TSMC. The chipset promises a 30 percent increase in the power efficiency of the central processing unit and a 10 percent improvement in the speed of the graphics processing unit compared to its previous Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which was fabricated by Samsung Electronics.
The Z Flip 4 will be available in four colors — purple, pink, gold and blue — and the Z Fold 4 in black, muted green, beige.
The display and camera are similar to previous models.
The external display of the Z Flip 4 remains the same at 1.9 inches and the main display at 6.7 inches.
The Z Fold 4 features a 7.6-inch main screen when unfolded with a 6.2-inch outer screen on par with its predecessor.
The new Z Fold is compatible with the S Pen stylus. It will be sold separately for 55,000 won for the basic model and 121,000 won for a Bluetooth-enabled model called the S Pro.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a triple rear camera that includes a 12-megapixel primary sensor, along with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor with a 10-megapixel telephoto lens.
For the main, unfolded display, Samsung has managed to hide a camera beneath the display to be used for selfies. It packs a 4-megapixel sensor.
The front cover of the phone also has a 10-megapixel selfie camera.
The Z Flip 4 will feature a dual rear camera with a 12-megapixel primary sensor and a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor, on top of a 10-megapixel front-facing camera.
A major upgrade comes with battery life as capacity rising to 3,700 milliampere hour from 3,300. The new models can be charged to 50 percent capacity in just 30 minutes when plugged into their chargers, according to the manufacturer.
With the rapid sales growth of Galaxy folding phones, Samsung Electronics is trying to market the line as a mainstream premium phone rather than a niche product.
“Last year, we saw almost 10 million foldable smartphones shipped worldwide. That’s an industry increase of more than 300 percent from 2020,” said Roh Tae-moon, head of Samsung Electronics’ smartphone business in a statement.
“I predict this fast-paced growth will continue. We are reaching the moment where these foldable devices are becoming widespread and staking a bigger claim in the overall smartphone market,” he said.
The Unpacked event was held in New York on Aug. 10 after going virtual last year.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]