Samsung: an overview of the challenges behind the design of its folding smartphones

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Introductory price €1799



we tested, we liked

Note Digital

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

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    1,295.00

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    1,349.99

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    1,396.00

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    1,449.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    1,449.99

  • Topbiz.frTopbiz.fr

    1,558.83

  • Fnac.com marketplaceFnac.com marketplace

    1,586.20

  • Fnac.com Used marketplaceFnac.com Used marketplace

    1,618.99

  • Cdiscount marketplaceCdiscount marketplace

    1,716.88

  • CrabCrab

    1,787.19

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,799.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,799.00

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    1,799.00

  • SamsungSamsung

    1,799.00

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    1,799.00

  • Shopping streetShopping street

    1,800.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,806.90

  • Materiel.netMateriel.net

    1,807.90

  • SFRSFR

    1,809.00

  • Asgoodasnew.comAsgoodasnew.com

    1,365.00

  • repurchaserepurchase

    1,370.99

  • RakutenRakuten

    1,396.00

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,449.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    1,449.99

  • Topbiz.frTopbiz.fr

    1,558.83

  • Fnac.com marketplaceFnac.com marketplace

    1,586.20

  • Fnac.com Used marketplaceFnac.com Used marketplace

    1,618.99

  • CrabCrab

    1,787.19

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,799.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,799.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,799.00

  • crossroadscrossroads

    1,799.00

  • SamsungSamsung

    1,799.00

  • Shopping streetShopping street

    1,800.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,806.90

  • Materiel.netMateriel.net

    1,807.90

  • SFRSFR

    1,809.00

  • Cdiscount marketplaceCdiscount marketplace

    1,966.49

  • Asgoodasnew.comAsgoodasnew.com

    1,295.00

  • repurchaserepurchase

    1,349.99

  • RakutenRakuten

    1,504.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    1,661.45

  • Cdiscount marketplaceCdiscount marketplace

    1,716.88

  • Fnac.com marketplaceFnac.com marketplace

    1,735.88

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,779.00

  • CrabCrab

    1,887.19

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    1,918.99

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    1,919.00

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    1,919.00

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    1,919.00

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    1,919.00

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    1,926.90

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    1,927.90

  • SFRSFR

    1,929.00

This is how the price table works

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Introductory price €1109


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
we tested, we liked

Note Digital

Editor's rating: 4 out of 5

  • All
  • 128 GB
  • 256 GB
  • 512 GB
  • All
  • 128 GB
  • 256 GB
  • 512 GB
  • repurchaserepurchase

    701.99

  • RakutenRakuten

    769.99

  • Asgoodasnew.comAsgoodasnew.com

    775.00

  • Used Amazon MarketplaceUsed Amazon Marketplace

    816.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    818.99

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    863.00

  • Fnac.com marketplaceFnac.com marketplace

    868.70

  • Back MarketBack Market

    899.00

  • Topbiz.frTopbiz.fr

    911.64

  • Cdiscount marketplaceCdiscount marketplace

    917.88

  • crossroadscrossroads

    999.00

  • CrabCrab

    1,076.43

  • E. Leclerc - High-TechE. Leclerc – High-Tech

    1,092.90

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,106.89

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    1,106.89

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,109.00

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    1,109.00

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    1,109.00

  • SamsungSamsung

    1,109.00

  • Shopping streetShopping street

    1,110.99

  • SFRSFR

    1,119.00

  • repurchaserepurchase

    701.99

  • RakutenRakuten

    769.99

  • Asgoodasnew.comAsgoodasnew.com

    775.00

  • Used Amazon MarketplaceUsed Amazon Marketplace

    816.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    818.99

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    863.00

  • Fnac.com marketplaceFnac.com marketplace

    868.70

  • Back MarketBack Market

    899.00

  • Topbiz.frTopbiz.fr

    911.64

  • Cdiscount marketplaceCdiscount marketplace

    917.88

  • crossroadscrossroads

    999.00

  • CrabCrab

    1,076.43

  • E. Leclerc - High-TechE. Leclerc – High-Tech

    1,092.90

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,106.89

  • Materiel.netMateriel.net

    1,106.89

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,109.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,109.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,109.00

  • SamsungSamsung

    1,109.00

  • Shopping streetShopping street

    1,110.99

  • SFRSFR

    1,119.00

  • RakutenRakuten

    819.99

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    849.99

  • repurchaserepurchase

    879.99

  • Cdiscount marketplaceCdiscount marketplace

    919.00

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,059.00

  • Fnac.com marketplaceFnac.com marketplace

    1,150.92

  • CrabCrab

    1,157.19

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,169.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,169.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,169.00

  • SamsungSamsung

    1,169.00

  • Shopping streetShopping street

    1,170.99

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,176.90

  • Materiel.netMateriel.net

    1,176.90

  • SFRSFR

    1,179.00

  • Asgoodasnew.comAsgoodasnew.com

    945.00

  • RakutenRakuten

    970.00

  • Amazon MarketplaceAmazon Marketplace

    1,009.00

  • Fnac.comFnac.com

    1,289.00

  • baker.combaker.com

    1,289.00

  • Darty.comDarty.com

    1,289.00

  • SamsungSamsung

    1,289.00

  • UbaldiUbaldi

    1,289.00

  • LDLCLDLC

    1,296.90

  • Materiel.netMateriel.net

    1,296.90

  • Fnac.com marketplaceFnac.com marketplace

    1,297.59

This is how the price table works

The latest generation of the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip left us wanting more. Not that these two foldable smartphones suffer from real flaws, but they do not innovate the design of their predecessors. With Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Honor already offering competing devices in China, with the latter two promising to release their next iterations in Europe, why is Samsung, a pioneer of folding smartphones, taking the risk? be distanced?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

This is what we tried to understand during an exchange with Dr. Won-Joon Choi, Executive Vice President, Head of Flagship Product R&D Team & Technology Strategy Team at Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics, i.e. research and development of the categories of smartphones that interest us. If the manager that we wanted him to deliver on the ambitions of the folding smartphone of the future according to Samsung did not fully answer us, he nevertheless shed some light on the various challenges that his teams addressed in the creation of his current smart phones…

Dr.  Won-Joon Choi

Dr. Won-Joon Choi

© Samsung

ONE hole not (yet) ready to disappear

Won-Joon Choi confirms that the removal of hole, this small space which separates the two parts of the screen on the Flip and Fold when closed is not obvious. Because the R&D manager of the South Korean company, bearing in mind that his team is working on the subject, ensures that he favors the solidity of his hinge and its operation in Flex mode rather than hiding the folding of the screen. In short, if it’s going to go away, it will “later”no offense to Oppo, Vivo or Huawei who have managed to hide it in the hinge of their products. “We arrive”however, Won-Joon Choi blows.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Many technical limitations related to the S Pen

The stylus, optional on the Galaxy Fold 4, isn’t sitting there like a Galaxy Note in its day. The limitation of the overall thickness of the smartphone when folded, crucial according to Samsung, currently prevents integrating it. However, Won-Joon Choi evokes the brand’s attempt to insert it there, the idea being that its engineers must create a stylus that is thin enough to be placed in the body of the smartphone, but thick enough to hold in the hand. The manager also ensures that various prototypes of the Fold with an integrated stylus have been made internally. There is no doubt that these tests will eventually bear fruit, as the compatibility of a folding screen with an S Pen seems to require an effort from the brand.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 ushered in S Pen support on the brand’s folding smartphone.

© The Digital

Thus, we learn that if the internal panel of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and 4 is compatible with a stylus from the brand, it is due to the structure of their screen. However, one of the layers that make up the plate is the digitization (digitizer), which ensures the conversion of the support of the pen into a digital signal, cannot be bent. Samsung has therefore chosen to place this digitization on either side of the fold, and to compensate for its absence in the middle of the screen by writing prediction algorithms. This layer in the screen has led, says Won-Joon Choi, to affect the magnetic charge of the magnet that holds the smartphone closed when the screen is folded. In short, it seems obvious that in the absence of an upcoming Galaxy Note, and given the difficulties posed by the S Pen’s compatibility with the Galaxy Fold, Samsung is not giving up on the idea of ​​making it a component of a next generation of foldable smartphones.

A photo module not entirely borrowed from the Galaxy S22

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 differs from its predecessor in its photo component, on paper completely identical to the Galaxy S22 and S22+, which is supported by the brand’s communication. It should be remembered that despite its ultra-premium price, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 was satisfied with a photo performance set back from the Galaxy S series. But Won-Joon Choi specifies here that he “is very difficult to place our flagship camera modules [dans nos smartphones pliants] because they are too thin”and added that they should develop one “camera module thin enough to be integrated into it”. What a reminder that if folding smartphones are seen as the future of mobile, they still represent major technical challenges for their manufacturers, both to reduce their weight and thickness and to integrate their various components.

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