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Samsung is still the top dog in Android land. Here’s why

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with S Pen Source: Pocketnow

A new leak claims the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra may be the best-selling Android smartphone in 2022. The news isn’t too surprising, but it confirms that Samsung’s strategy may have worked out perfectly by simplifying the entire lineup of high-end flagship devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note series is no-more, and while we’re sad about the removal of the iconic lineup, it sure looks like Samsung’s strategy has worked out well. The Samsung Galaxy S22 series is selling like hot cakes, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra may be the best-selling Android smartphone in the entire year of 2022.

IceUniverse posted an image on Weibo, claiming that Samsung may have managed to sell more Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphones than previous Galaxy Note series devices (via SamMobile). According to the image posted, the Galaxy Note 8 managed to sell 10.3 million units, the Galaxy Note 9 sold 9.6 million, the Galaxy Note 10 series 9.5 million, the Galaxy Note 20 series 7.5 million, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra alone is estimated to have sold more than 10.9 million units.

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That’s a massive increase over the previous Galaxy Note 20 series, showing that customers like the changes and the return of the Note features in a premium smartphone. The Galaxy Note 8 likely sold well due to the fiasco of the Galaxy Note 7 series, which ended up in flames, and not because it was selling like hot cakes.

Watch our review of the Galaxy S22 Ultra

Why is Samsung selling so many Galaxy S22 Ultra devices?

Person using S Pen with Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Source: Pocketnow Video

There are a few possible explanations for the high volume of sales. First and foremost, it’s a high-end smartphone with flagship specifications and a form factor that we’re all used to seeing in the Galaxy Note series. The return of the familiar design helped previous Note users return to a device that they loved and enjoyed using.

The second reason may be that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is still the only high-end smartphone on the market with premium specifications, and a precision stylus that works for anything you want to do. The S Pen features an incredible 2.8ms latency, is also pressure-sensitive, and comes with many built-in features to let users take advantage of the pen. The software of the Galaxy S22 Ultra lets users take notes when the display is off, draw professional-looking art pieces, and access features that are only accessible with the pen.

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Samsung also allows users to crop images, make GIFs, select words to translate, and more. There are a lot of S-pen exclusive features, but most of them are also accessible for times when you don’t want to take out the pen. The Galaxy S22 Ultra offers the best of both worlds, and it’s the best Android smartphone for those who want to use touch and pen inputs on a modern smartphone.

There are no viable alternatives

Another reason the Galaxy S22 Ultra may be the best-selling Android smartphone is that it’s the only high-end, premium device that offers all of the features people want. Motorola and TCL have made mid-range smartphones that feature stylus support, but they lack the high-end hardware components and precision tools, not to mention the extensive software features that Samsung bundles in One UI.

Samsung has also become one of the best manufacturers to provide timely software and security updates to its premium devices over the years. Users looking to hold on to their devices for more than two years, are often encouraged to consider Pixel and Samsung devices for this reason alone.

Samsung offers S Pen support on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S21 Ultra, and Galaxy Z Fold 3 smartphones, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is still a viable alternative for those who want to save money. The upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 4 will also reportedly have S Pen features, but it won’t have a dedicated slot to store the pen, making the Galaxy S22 Ultra an appealing alternative and a cheaper device.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Burgundy

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most advanced smartphone in the Galaxy S lineup. It has a massive display, a flagship chipset, plenty of RAM and storage, and the beloved S Pen. If you’re looking for the ultimate and best smartphone experience, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

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Here’s why I’d buy the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 over the Galaxy Fold 4

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Xiaomi Mix Fold 2
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Xiaomi Mix Fold 2
Source: Pocketnow

Smartphone companies are announcing their new foldable flagship devices left and right. On August 10, Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Motorola also unveiled the new RAZR 2022 flip phone, and Xiaomi revealed its latest Mix Fold 2 foldable device.

In my last post, I explained why I can justify spending $1,799.99 on the latest Galaxy Z Fold 4. However, suppose you’ve seen the specifications and the technology inside the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2. In that case, you may have been tempted to pick that up instead, as it seems to be better than Samsung’s latest offering.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 device dimensions Source: Xiaomi

Before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s a quick summary of the specifications of the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2. The device features the same foldable form factor as the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and it has a 6.52-inch AMOLED cover display with 120Hz refresh rate and a comfortable 21:9 aspect ratio – which is even closer to a traditional smartphone than the Fold 4. The inner screen measures at 8.02-inches, and it’s an LTPO 2.0 OLED display, supporting 120Hz adaptive refresh rate with HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and 1,300 nits peak brightness. The screen also features UTG (Ultra Thin Glass) technology, like previous foldables, and it can fold flat, unlike the Galaxy Fold 4.

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Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 dimensions Source: Xiaomi

The phone measures 5.4mm when unfolded, and just 11.2mm when folded. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 measured 6.3mm and 15.8mm respectively. The Mix Fold 2 is much closer to a traditional smartphone with a beefy battery, while the Galaxy is still somewhat of a brick.

The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, coupled with 12GB of RAM and 256/512GB and 1TB storage, the same as the Fold 4. The camera department is also rather familiar, as the Mix Fold 2 packs a similar 50MP, IMX766, f/1.8 sensor, alongside an 8MP f/2.6 telephoto with 2x optical zoom, and a 13MP f/2.4 ultrawide. On top of that, Xiaomi also partnered up with Leica to optimize the camera sensors, and there are additional filters to achieve a complete Leica look when taking photos. The device doesn’t have an under-display camera, or any selfie camera on the inner display, instead, it has a 20MP selfie camera on the cover display.

Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 cameras Source: Xiaomi

The last, but notable difference is in the battery department. The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 has 100 mAh more than the Fold 4, which is relatively small at 4,500 mAh. However, the Xiaomi device supports 67W fast wired charging, which can top up the device from 0 to 100% in just 40 minutes. The Fold 4 can only go from 0-50% in 30 minutes using the 25W charging technology. The downside is that the Mix Fold 2 doesn’t support wireless charging or reverse wireless charging, which could be a dealbreaker for many, including myself.

Why I would buy, or at least consider buying the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2

Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 in black color showing the front and back Source: Xiaomi

As a foldable smartphone enthusiast, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 is very appealing. It has a larger cover display and inner screen and the latest and greatest chip on the market. Hopefully, it has a decent camera setup and a long-lasting and fast-charging battery. All of this can be yours for around CNY 8,999 (~1,335) for the 12/256GB model, which is significantly less than what Samsung is asking. For reference, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799.99.

I can see the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 appeal to a lot of people, and the price alone makes it a worthy competitor, although it remains to be seen how much it’ll cost outside of China with the included fees and taxes.

The main reason I would buy the Mix Fold 2 over the Galaxy Fold 4 is to save money and space in my pocket. I’ve used the Galaxy Z Fold 3 over the past year, and while I love the device, it’s fair to say it’s a large brick, and if you’re not used to the heavy weight and bulky form factor, it could quickly become painful to carry it around.

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Assuming that the wireless charging and water-resistant features aren’t important to me, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 immediately. It packs everything that most users want, and I could see myself enjoying it. Xiaomi is also great at taking photos and getting the most out of the battery, thanks to their optimization techniques, which makes me confident that I’d be a happy Mix Fold 2 user.

Reasons against buying the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 outside of Asia

Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 in gold color showing the front and back Source: Xiaomi

The primary reason for deciding against the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 comes down to a few features that the company had to sacrifice to save space and money on manufacturing the device. The foldable doesn’t have an IP rating. While it may be able to survive a bit of splash water damage, it’s unlikely to survive a full submersion – this isn’t a dealbreaker for me, as I don’t use my devices at the beach or pool. Still, it’s essential for safeguarding and protecting a rather expensive investment.

Secondly, the fact that it doesn’t support wireless charging is a deal breaker for me since I always charge my devices at my desk during daytime, and also while driving and navigating around.

The affordable price tag is also something that’s worth considering, given that Xiaomi might not make it officially available in most regions, and support may be limited or restricted. For those living in Asia, it’s an excellent option, but for those of us living in Europe and North America, it may be better to go for a more expensive foldable that has better overall software and hardware support, and also packs the additional features.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes with the most powerful Qualcomm SoC, a wider display, a better hinge mechanism, and many significant upgrades over its predecessor. You can pre-order it now and receive the Standing Cover with S Pen, up to $1,000 off with eligible trade-in, and up to $100 Samsung Credit.

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Three reasons why I’m upgrading to the Galaxy Z Fold 4

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Source: Pocketnow

Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold 4 on August 10, at the Galaxy Unpacked event. At the event, the company also revealed the brand new Galaxy Z Flip 4, the latest Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro smartwatches, as well as the new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro wireless earbuds. The new devices feature significant upgrades over their predecessors, and the new phones are now powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, feature a better hinge mechanism, and are also slightly more lightweight and smaller.

I have been using the Galaxy Z Fold 3 since last year August, and those who caught some of my Tweets will know it’s my favorite device. I’ve never had as much fun as I do with the Fold 3, and it has dramatically improved the quality of my life by increasing my productivity and making specific tasks easier – especially when multitasking. I understand that some might call it a gimmick, but once you wrap your head around the way you intend to use it, and you find the best practical use case for it, it instantly becomes one of the best and most fun devices you’ll ever own.

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Display size matters

Pun intended. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is slightly shorter and wider than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The difference in the width is only about 0.3mm, but it makes all the difference. The bezels are smaller, and the aspect ratio and width are closer to a standard smartphone than the last generation.

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I can’t tell you how often I used popular and well-known applications and websites, only to discover that some UI elements are cut off. Sometimes the only way to comfortably use services, apps, and websites was to unfold the device and use the large display. It’s not the most ergonomic or user-friendly thing to do, but it’s something that I managed to get used to over the past 12 months.

The wider display should eliminate all of these problems, and typing on the keyboard will also be much easier due to the added screen estate. I loved how easy it was to use the Fold 3 with one hand, but I think that will still be possible on the Fold 4,, since it’s still narrower than most traditional smartphones.

I’m hoping to see a better battery life

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Source: Pocketnow

The 4,400 mAh battery in the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is small, and while it gets me through a whole day, it often causes me to have battery anxiety. I always pack a portable charger with me when I go on a road trip, since I can’t trust myself not to play games to make time fly faster.

So far, early impressions indicate that the new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 and the improved Android 12L might yield better efficiency results, but we’re yet to see the final results in our full review. I’m hoping that the Fold 4 will live up to expectations and provide a much better battery life that doesn’t require as much thinking before going out.

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Better camera on the back

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Source: Pocketnow

Many people complained that Samsung didn’t make any significant changes to the Fold 3’s camera setup, and while I can completely agree with that statement, the results were still flagship worthy. There was some noise in low light and at night, and it wasn’t quite a Pixel 6 Pro level of quality, but it was adequate and still very good. Of course, when you factor in the high price tag, you’ll see why so many people complained, but I found the camera on the back really good for capturing moments and important memories.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is equipped with a near identical camera setup to the one found on the Galaxy S22 Plus. So far, it shows a significant boost in the quality of photos when using the primary camera and the 3x optical telephoto sensor. The 30x Space Zoom also seems impressive looking at a few early samples, but we’re yet to comment on the images in our final review.

Conclusion

These reasons alone might not be enough for a lot of people to spend another $1,799.99 on a brand new foldable, but let’s not forget that you can trade-in your previous, or old smartphones at Samsung and receive an insane amount of credit to reduce the overall costs. Carriers are also stepping in with some ridiculously amazing deals, and the Samsung Upgrade program is also a great way to spread the cost over a two-year period, while having the option to upgrade annually.

I decided that the upgrades were enough for me to justify spending the extra money. As a Samsung Upgrade customer, I decided to upgrade to the Fold 4, given how much better the experience can be on the new generation. The Fold 3 was a small, but mighty upgrade compared to the Fold 2, and while it’s the same this time around, I think the changes are well worth the money.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes with the most powerful Qualcomm SoC, a wider display, a better hinge mechanism, and many significant upgrades over its predecessor. You can pre-order it now and receive the Standing Cover with S Pen, up to $1,000 off with eligible trade-in, and up to $100 Samsung Credit.

What are your thoughts about the Galaxy Z Fold 4? Did you buy it, upgrade, or decide it’s not for you and skip it? Let us know in the comments!

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