Despite its similar appearance to last year's model, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (which is now available to pre-order) is set to bring a number of meaningful updates.
It's got a far superior camera array that's led by a 50MP wide angle lens, it's powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, it's got slightly shorter and wider outer and inner displays, a less noticeable under-display selfie camera, and a less prominent crease.
But while that's all well and good, I must admit that the upgrade I'm looking forward to above all else comes not from the Z Fold 4 itself, but its official case accessories.
It's likely that Samsung received a fair amount of customer feedback around the Galaxy Z Fold 3's less-than-stellar case options, because the manufacturer has seemingly gone back to the drawing board for the Z Fold 4.
In short, Samsung's official Galaxy Z Fold 4 case accessories are a huge leap forward from the options that were available alongside last year's model, and will surely prove invaluable to users of the company's premier foldable device. Here's why.
The new S Pen case is a drastic improvement
As excited as I was to see S Pen support arrive on the Z Fold 3 last year, I can't say I was quite as enthused about Samsung's solution for carrying said stylus.
It involved a side-mounted, exterior S Pen slot which not only threw off the phone's visual symmetry and made it wider, but also included an aggravatingly floppy screen cover that extended around an inch past the device's edge when unfolded, making it incredibly awkward to hold.
Look, I won't mince words here – the Galaxy Z Fold 3's Flip Cover with Pen was an ugly, inelegant case that never should've made it beyond the spitballing phase. The only thing that could've made it any less cool would be a special clip allowing it to hang from your belt.
Luckily, it seems I wasn't the only one who felt this way, because Samsung has delivered an infinitely superior S Pen-sporting case this time around, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Perhaps inspired by the dozens of third party Z Fold 3 cases that flooded eBay as an alternative to Samsung's terrible Flip Cover, the Z Fold 4's new stylus-centric case has a rear-mounted S Pen sheath which reminds me of a sword being carried on a ninja's back.
Best of all, the sheath section of the case is magnetic, which means you can detach the S Pen portion easily and slap on a flatter piece that also flicks out and doubles as a kickstand.
And did I mention the annoying floppy screen cover is gone? Yeah, that thing is history.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 gets its own nifty strap case
With the introduction of its novel strap-based silicone cases for last year's Galaxy Z Flip 3 and this year's Galaxy S22 range, Samsung landed on a stylish solution to every smartphone enthusiast's most dreaded scenario. Namely, the fumbling of their brand new handset and its inevitable crash on the hard ground.
As large and expensive as Samsung's Z Fold series is, it's a bit surprising that previous models didn't get their own strap-focused case options, but that all changes with the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Taking this design approach even further than before, Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 strap case has a retractable strap that's covered by a silicone shield of sorts.
As you can see in the pictures above, the strap case that I managed to get my hands on was white with an orange strap, giving it a nice accent of color without sacrificing its classy appearance.
The shield itself is the same color as the rest of the case, which allows it to draw less attention than previous strap implementations, and has the word 'Fold' subtly embossed across it in big lettering.
In my brief hands-on time with the Galaxy Z Fold 4's new strap case, I found it provided even more comfort, support and security than the S22 and Z Flip 3's strap cases because it allows you to hold the device with your whole hand, rather than just a few fingers.
With the Galaxy Z Fold 4's new S Pen and strap cases, Samsung has shown that it's listened to consumers' concerns regarding previous cases, and it's good to see that it has stepped up with some much-needed improvements. Now the only question for prospective Z Fold 4 users is "which case do I get?"