I wrote recently about how a specific Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 upgrade would see me ditch single screen phones forever, namely a scaleable Split UI that switched seamlessly between phone and tablet usage, but one new piece of tech that would keep me hanging around in single-screen land is an under-display camera.
The under-display camera (UDC) is the Holy Grail of the smartphone camera system world, with it being a technology that would finally free us from the ugly notches and pinholes that have plagued even the best smartphones now for years. It would usher in the age of true full-screen smartphone displays.
Because no matter how many times a manufacturer attaches words like "magical" or "beautiful" to a notch, pin-hole or pop-up, that doesn't make it so. The truth is that each one of those things is a compromise the user has to live with and, thanks to some smart marketing, smartphone brands have managed to hide this in plain sight.
Enter the Samsung Galaxy S22, which has been heavily rumored to be coming with an under display camera system. Following the impressive yet iterative Samsung Galaxy S21 range, which was helmed by the powerhouse Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, hype for a serious order of magnitude shift Galaxy S22 smartphone has been building for months, with a "continuous zoom" rear camera and UDC selfie camera the two standout rumored features.
Which is why I feel a bit sucker-punched to read that, according to a leaked report out of South Korea (opens in new tab), the Samsung Galaxy S22 is not going to come with an under-display camera system after all.
According to the leak, a "UDC will not be installed in the Galaxy S22 series" and the reason for that is "UDC mass production yield and equipment testing" did "not meet the target". As a result of this failure it now appears that, for Samsung at least, "a proper UDC is only possible after the second half of 2022".
And, well, if that is true then I think it's going to be a really hard sell to keep me from jumping to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which right now looks like it is a sure fire bet to take the best foldable phones crown. Even if it doesn't have a UDC, that ability to combine two products I use every day into one would be the game-changing magical feature that would get me to open my wallet.
I think I could of just been tempted to stick with a single screen smartphone if it really delivered an order of magnitude difference in terms of package offered, with it coming with a genuinely new and magical piece of technology like UDC, but if the Galaxy S22 ends up being just another iteration on the line started with the S20, then that will almost certainly be the catalyst for me to make that jump to a folding phone.
Indeed, even if the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 doesn't come with that game-changing adaptable UI, then by the sounds of it the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 certainly could, which right now looks slated for a "second half of 2022" release, seemingly now perfectly aligning with the introduction of a UDC.
Could Samsung debut its first UDC in a foldable phone? I sure hope so.
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