May 11, 2021

Samsung’s next-gen foldables need better cameras and brighter displays


Samsung’s foldable mobile devices remain the best on the market and they’re about to get even better with the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 2 later this year. They’re bound to improve in several areas, from build quality to internal specifications, but we believe that Samsung’s top priority moving forward should be on upping the camera quality and increasing the brightness of its foldable displays.

Neither the Galaxy Z Fold 2 nor the Galaxy Z Flip offer the best mobile cameras Samsung has in store. Far from it. Take the 2x telephoto camera from the Galaxy Z Fold 2, for example. It’s been around since it debuted alongside the Galaxy Note 8 all the way back in 2017, and to some people, that’s just not good enough for a premium flagship that was released for around $2,000.

Now, that’s not to say that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip cameras are bad. They’re decent and they get the job done, but the issue is that they don’t feel satisfactory for the price range.

Next-gen foldable panels need higher brightness levels

The second area that we think is in dire need of an upgrade is the display, or more specifically, display brightness. The foldable panels employed by the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip top out at around 700 nits of brightness, and although this is plenty for most use cases, visibility takes a noticeable hit when using these foldables in bright, sunlit areas. For comparison, standard phones such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra can reach around 1,500 nits of peak brightness.

To be clear, we’re not saying that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip are lesser phones because of these shortcomings. They were, in fact, extremely ambitious at launch, and Samsung’s foldable screens have remained as magical as ever. But some compromises had to be made along the way for the first generations of foldable devices to become a reality, and perhaps that’s the reason why we got a sub-par camera system. However, we’re two years into the foldable era and Samsung is expected to have overcome certain technical limitations in the meantime.

The upcoming models will have to improve in a few areas if Samsung wishes to remain at the top of the foldable segment, and we believe that mobile photography and display brightness should be the top priority, realistically speaking. Of course, we can wish for in-display camera technology to debut later this year and hope that the foldable screens will soon be covered in glass. But if it’s too early for those types of advancements, we can at least ask for the existing technologies and solutions to be improved in meaningful ways.



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