Samsung foldable Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 were announced yesterday to much acclaim.
This week, Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4. While the Fold 4 and Flip 4 are improvements over previous models, the question of durability remains. Screen protectors have previously become unglued and vulnerable to dust damage. As a result, Samsung’s decision to reduce repair costs couldn’t have come at a better time.
According to The Verge, Samsung Care Plus subscribers pay $249 to repair an out-of-warranty Fold or Flip screen. This year, Samsung lowered the deductible to match standard phone screen repairs, bringing the cost down to $29.
Given that these are some of Samsung’s most expensive phones, a price reduction for repairs is a welcome change. It may even be enough of an incentive for those who have been debating whether or not to purchase one of these handsets.
While Samsung has greatly improved the durability of these flexible handsets since the first generation, some are still concerned about the strength of the displays and hinges. So, how does Samsung respond? Make it more affordable to repair these phones if something goes wrong.
If you break the screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 or Galaxy Z Flip 4, you can now fix it for $29 if you have Samsung’s Car Plus subscription. When foldable were considered “Tier 4” phones in the previous generation, the price was $249.
Obviously, that’s a $200 savings, and it brings the foldable in line with Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S22 smartphones. Keep in mind that the warranty is $11 per month, so Samsung isn’t giving these screen repairs away for free, but it’s probably worth it for the peace of mind (via The Verge).
It may encourage some Samsung users to purchase a foldable phone if they know the blunder will not cost them $249. The phones are now waterproof, having been improved during the third generation.
The company is working hard to make its foldable phones more widely available. Samsung sold ten million units last year and, given the trajectory, will have high hopes of greatly exceeding that figure for the next generation.
You can already read our hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4. We’ll conduct a thorough review in due course.
Have you previously rejected a foldable due to concerns about display durability? Could this persuade you to reconsider? Let us know on Twitter at @trustedreviews.
Another camera feature available on this year’s Fold that was not available last year is space zoom, also known as digital zoom. The Fold 4 has up to 30x digital zoom, whereas the Fold 3 only had up to 10x. While no substitute for good old-fashioned optics, Samsung’s digital zoom technology isn’t bad in a pinch.
So, while a few pain points addressed, Samsung has not yet achieved parity. The cost is right at the top. Yes, the $999 Flip 4 is roughly the same price as the main S22 phones, but it lacks the telephoto lens. If you want the most expensive, flagship-iest foldable, you’ll have to pay $1799, which is out of reach for many people. It makes the $1199 S22 Ultra seem like a steal.
It’s also unclear how the phones will hold up over time. There’s also the issue of screen protectors coming unstuck, which Samsung attempted to address with the Flip and Fold 4. Moreover, despite being waterproof, neither phone is dustproof. It’s impossible to predict how a Fold 3 or 4 will fare in a couple of years — is dust intrusion a foregone conclusion after four years of use? What kind of issues will it cause? We have no idea because this is a completely new product category.
Samsung must persuade us that the unique form factor is worth the extra cost and the unknowns about long-term durability. So far, it hasn’t happened. The 10 million foldables it sold last year are a fraction of the 270 million phones it expects to ship by 2021. Given its tenacity during the Fold’s early problems, I expect Samsung to keep trying.