Hey Samsung, why upgrade the wrong camera for the Galaxy Z Fold 4?

Samsung’s foldable phones, despite only being in the market for three years, have seen considerable success. Naturally, part of the reason is that Samsung is the only manufacturer selling foldable phones globally instead of limiting them to a few markets, and so it will continue to dominate the foldable segment for the foreseeable future.

And Samsung’s foldable phones are pretty good too, all things considered. Its Galaxy Z Fold series is only in its third iteration. The pace of progress here has been nothing short of impressive. However, whether you’re a fan of them or not, I think we can all agree that their photo-taking capabilities just aren’t up to par with what we’ve come to expect from modern flagship smartphones. And with the Galaxy Z Fold 4I think Samsung might just be focusing on upgrading the bad camera.

According to recent rumors, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will come with best 3x zoom camera of any Samsung smartphone at the moment, but the under-display camera that debuted on the Z Fold 3 is upgraded from a 4-megapixel sensor to a 16-megapixel sensor. And if these rumors are true, then I think Samsung is doing it wrong.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3’s 4MP under-display camera is far from the best on the market, but it would be dishonest to say that it doesn’t get the job done in most situations. It’s primarily intended for video calling as selfies can be captured with the front camera on the outer display, which uses the same 10MP Dual Pixel lens found on Samsung’s non-Ultra Galaxy S flagshipsmeaning it gives you great results.

The under-screen camera already looks more like a proof of concept than anything substantial. Samsung needed to show that it had the technical ability to adopt UDC on a large scale. It wouldn’t have mattered much if the Infinity-O camera had been retained, but UDC is what Samsung wants to give us, and UDC is what we’ll get.

But despite the quality of the 3x zoom camera on the Z Fold 4, it’s just not the improvement from previous Z Folds you want in 2022. It’s certainly a far cry from the zoom cameras found on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or Galaxy S22 Ultraand I’m disappointed that Samsung doesn’t seem worth integrating them into its foldable lineup, at least not this year.

Of course, I understand there are technical limitations when it comes to putting crazy high-end zoom cameras on foldable phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 4, and the Galaxy Z Fold series in general, are thin enough to house the periscope zooms of Samsung’s Ultra-branded flagships.

But that doesn’t stop me from hoping that Samsung can find a way to fit things in, because the disparity in zoom capabilities is the biggest hurdle stopping me from upgrading to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold lineup. Well, that and the narrow cover screen which is too cramped and makes the user experience inconvenient for many of the things you do on a phone every day, including typing messages.

Still, I can get by with the narrow screen, as I can still unfold and use the main screen when I need a larger touchscreen. However, there is no alternative to a zoom camera. There are two different selfie cameras to choose from on the Galaxy Z Fold series, but for taking pictures of faraway things from a distance, you only have one camera, and that’s just not enough.

Again, if the rumors are true and if we are to heed the laws of physics, it seems likely that the Z Fold 4 won’t be as powerful for zoom photography as the Galaxy S Ultra smartphones. And that means my wait for the perfect Galaxy Z Fold — perfect for my use case, that is — will continue until at least 2023, possibly a year or more after that.

What do you think? What’s stopping you from getting a Galaxy Z Fold or Galaxy Z Flip smartphone? Is it the cameras, the flimsy folding screens (and Samsung’s messed up support process to fix those folding screens when they’re damaged), or something else? Let me know in the comments below!

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