Announced at the most recent Galaxy Unpacked event, the new generation of Galaxy Fold phones disappointed with a rather poor innovation input, with the South Korean manufacturer content to merely refine the previous hardware platform.
As such, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 by no means pass as revolutionary products, with Samsung’s strategy of banking on barely noticeable improvements such as a slightly slimmer screen hinge and a battery that’s a few dozen milliamps more capacious hitting directly at consumer expectations as they relate to the competition and the current state of the smartphone market. That’s how Samsung’s plan to take inspiration from Apple’s model, releasing products that make only incremental improvements in the hope that a large base of devoted fans will accept them as such, has run up against the reality of the Android ecosystem. Unlike iOS, no one has an absolute monopoly on the Android platform, with the arrogance of a single manufacturer to impose its own rules on the hardware side likely to end badly. Either by “sinking” that brand, or eroding its lead over the competition (at best).
For Samsung, the arrogance seems to be the inclusion on a $1000+ phone of a fast charging implementation capped at 25W power, the level of a Galaxy A phone sold at a quarter of the price. In the view of Samsung engineers, the already modest battery capacity (4400 mAh on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and 3700 mAh on the Z Flip 4) should have hidden this compromise. Except, Samsung fans sometimes also look at the extensive specs list.
What’s worse is that, according to independent tests, the new generation Galaxy Fold takes 30 minutes to charge the battery by 50%. By comparison, the most advanced Oppo, Vivo or Xiaomi phones can achieve 100% charge in the same time frame. As for the 50% benchmark, it can be reached in three and a half minutes on the most advanced Oppo phone.
For now, Samsung is giving no indication that it is on the way to make up for this handicap, the company’s concern is still focused on reliability and safety, with the Galaxy Note7 experience still fresh in the memory of the South Korean company’s shareholders.