Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 hands-on review
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 hands-on
At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 looks identical to its predecessor. Look a bit closer, though, and differences of various importance start to appear. Samsung managed to shed 8g off the weight, which will go mostly unnoticed, and slim down the bezels of both displays, which is more apparent. The most easily spotted thing is the color selection though - this year's Galaxy Z Fold4 comes in the same Phantom Black, as well as new Graygreen and Beige paintjobs.
The Graygreen is bluer than it is green, though, which means that this year, there's no real green option. The Beige replaces the Silver option, it's a warm and pleasant finish.
There were many rumors that Samsung would make the Galaxy Z Fold4 shorter and wider, more akin to something like an Oppo Find N, only bigger, but those didn't fully pan out. Hate it or love it, this is Samsung's vision for a large foldable for 2022.
The height was decreased by 3.1mm, while progress is also made in leveraging the available space better. Samsung made both the cover display and the inner folding display wider by 2.7mm and 3mm, respectively, without increasing the width of the phone.
The cover display is a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, but the aspect ratio is now 23:9 instead of 25:9. The refresh rate is still 120Hz, while the inner display is a 7.6-inch HDR10+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X of 120Hz refresh rate and 6:5 aspect.
The display quality is just as great as last year. Samsung claims a maximum brightness of 1000 nits for the folding display, which just about matches what we measured in our review of the Galaxy Z Fold3.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 users will feel the extra width of the cover display, but to an untrained eye it feels similar. Coming from a regular modern smartphone (those that can't fold), the cover display of the Galaxy Z Fold4 is still narrow and tall-feeling.
It takes some getting used to, but it is perfectly manageable for just about any task you can have on the go. The tougher thing to manage is the added girth of the Galaxy Z Fold4, compared to a regular phone.
The inner display is a lovely canvas for expanded viewing. Its wider, squarer aspect is perfect for browsing, navigating, or enjoying photos on the go, and less so for watching widescreen media.
The ultra-thin glass overlay feels unchanged from last year's Galaxy Z Fold4. The preinstalled protector is nice and smooth to the touch and almost disappears at the edges. As before, you should keep the protector on the folding display as it provides protection to the otherwise easily scratched folding screen.
Samsung has made big improvements to the taskbar, which was introduced last year. It's a hub for your most-used apps, which can be customized for quick access to specific app combos - you can set a shortcut to open your browser, notes, and the gallery side by side with a single tap.
The latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip handled multitasking without a fuss. Apps load instantaneously, and resizing split-screen apps was that little bit faster than previous Galaxy phones. There's a definite feel of immediacy with the Galaxy Z Fold4 that's not there on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, for example.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 next to the Galaxy S22 Ultra
This along with the form factor elevates the Galaxy Z Fold4 above any other phone for multitasking and makes it irreplaceable for your daily needs, once you've gotten used to it.
The taskbar disappears on the homescreen but reappears when you open an app like the browser, calendar, app drawer, or settings. You can always pin it like on the previous Fold.
The taskbar and using three apps at the same time
The rear glass panel has a matte finish. It's fairly slippery but stays clear of smudges. The glass itself is Gorilla Glass Victus+ on both the front and rear panel. The aluminum frame is what Samsung calls Armor Aluminum, just as last year. We like the look and feel of the Galaxy Z Fold4. It's undeniably premium and it feels sturdier than most other phones, despite its moving parts.
Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold4 is water-tight up to 1.5 meters in fresh water for 30 minutes. It officially adheres to the IPX8 standard, so you should still keep dust off it.
The hideaway hinge is the same mechanism as before and it tucks neatly beneath the two glass panels of the phone when it's fully opened. We haven't noticed the hinge on our Galaxy Z Fold3 to have become looser with time, which is a good sign for the Galaxy Z Fold4. Samsung tests its foldables rigorously and claims the Galaxy Z Fold4 hinge can easily withstand 200,000 opens and closes.
A similar phone on the outside
The control layout hasn't changed since 2021. There's a capacitive fingerprint scanner and volume rocker on the right frame in the Galaxy Z Fold4, while the SIM slot is in the upper left corner. One speaker sits topside along a couple of microphones, while the USB-C slot, the main microphone, and the other speaker grille sit on the bottom.
Identical sides to the Galaxy Z Fold3
One aspect of the Galaxy Z Fold4 that is also the same as last year, much to the chagrin of some fans, is the crease. It's just as present as before and to our eyes, just as unnecessarily fretted over. It's a normal part of the inner-folding mechanism and disappears the moment you light up the screen, though. You stop noticing it entirely after a few days with the phone.
The under-display camera is the same hardware as last year but Samsung has improved the pixel layout on top of the lens. This reportedly hides it better but we'll have to put the new Fold side by side with its predecessor under a macro lens to tell.
The camera is there if you go looking for it, but just like the crease, it disappears the moment you start using the phone.
The cameras are probably the biggest improvement this year. Last year we got a recycled medley of cameras from the Galaxy S20 (main 12MP), the Galaxy S9+ (the now very old 2x tele), and a fixed-focus 12MP ultrawide that's looking out of place on a phone of this price.
This year, the Galaxy Z Fold4 has the 50MP main camera from the Galaxy S22 and S22+, which is a notch up from last year's 12MP unit, especially in low light, where Samsung claims a 23% improvement. There's also the 10MP 3x tele - we're not sure whether it's from the Galaxy S22 Ultra (a larger sensor), or from the Galaxy S22 series, but regardless, it reaches further than the 2x of old. The fixed-focus 12MP ultrawide is still here and just as unacceptable, in our eyes, on a phone like the Galaxy Z Fold4.
We have no doubt that the new cameras will perform to the high standard we've come to expect from flagship Samsung cameras. The new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset should provide a bump in HDR performance and Night Mode capture times.
The Galaxy Z Fold4 supports the S Pen Fold Edition, as well as the S Pen Pro. Each has a retractable tip, which is needed to work with the softer screen surface. Neither pen fits inside the body of the Galaxy Z Fold4, but there are official cases with holsters for the pen. Samsung has improved the text extraction functionality with the S Pen on the Galaxy Z Fold4.
As before, the Galaxy Z Fold4 supports Flex Mode. It comes particularly handy when you want to take a video call on the inner display or take a photo by sitting the phone down on a flat surface. With the Galaxy Z Fold4, apps like Outlook, Office, and Google Meet offer better tablet-like functionality.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is the exclusive chipset of choice for the Galaxy Z Fold4. It's a 4nm chip with improved thermal performance over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and the SD888 of the previous Fold3. There's 12GB of RAM with 256GB or 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. A 1TB variant will also be available in select regions.
There's still a 4,400mAh battery like on the Galaxy Z Fold3, and it tops out at just 25W of wired and 15W of wireless charging. It's far from impressive in 2022 and we can only hope that will finally change on the Galaxy Z Fold5 next year.
Pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 are now open. Shipping will begin on August 26.
- 10 Sep 2022
- you have to suffer
- 02 Sep 2022
well laptop webcams usually have vga (480p) or 2mp (1080p). so imagine taking a selfie with z fold 4 unfolded front cam💀💀it would look like a cheap mediatek phone
- 02 Sep 2022
No, certainly not, I would go for a very basic car, as small as possible but still sizable enough for the family needs. No thrills, no whistles and no bells. An anonymous car.