Samsung is expected to use a virtual event on Wednesday to unveil a new generation of its foldable smartphone ranges.
The technology giant launched its first foldable in 2019 and has introduced several generations and a second form factor since then with the long-term aim of offering a genuine alternative to traditional “flat” smartphones.
Last year, Samsung opted against updating its popular Note range of larger, phablet phones and instead placed greater focus on its two foldable ranges – the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip – and lowered the price of both as part of its efforts to make the devices more mainstream.
The Fold is a traditional-sized smartphone which opens out horizontally, like a book, to reveal a larger, tablet-sized screen inside, while the Flip is a smaller device which opens vertically to reveal a nearly 7in smartphone display.
Industry experts believe the company will use its summer Unpacked event to announce new versions of the Fold and Flip, with better cameras and bigger batteries, predicted to be among the updates aimed at drawing in more new customers.
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, said he was expecting to see a number of upgrades as part of what would be the fourth generation of Samsung’s foldables.
“Since the Note series was retired, Samsung has chosen to focus on developing its Fold and Flip handsets, winning fans of both premium and hinged-screen handsets,” he said.
“All signs point to the Galaxy Z Fold4 receiving a substantial camera upgrade, centred around a 50-megapixel main camera, accompanied by a 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto on its rear.
“This will put the camera on a par with the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus. Paired with that massive fold-out screen, it should be popular with smartphone photographers.
“A newer chipset and better support for large-screen devices coming from the Android 12L update will give Samsung’s hardware a boost this year.
“The Galaxy Z Flip4 is the gadget most likely to be showcased at the Unpacked event, as it has been highlighted in the teaser campaign.
“Yet it is rumoured to have only modest updates to its design and main specs. This will leave fans hoping for a reduction in price at a time when eye-catching mid-rangers like the Nothing 1 are putting pressure on Apple and Samsung to prove that top-end handsets are worth their weight in gold.
“Despite its compact size, Samsung is also expected to pack a larger 3,700mAh battery into the device – welcome news for users who want a single charge to last a day.”
With premium smartphone rivals Apple and Google still yet to launch a foldable device, and other brands including Motorola and Huawei struggling to capture the public’s imagination with their own takes on the technology, Samsung is hoping to build on its head-start in what it sees as an increasingly important market.
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