The mid-90s saw the introduction of the first flip phones. They were all the rage when Motorola released their innovative clamshell phone, the StarTAC. For more than 20 years, smartphones became the phone of choice, and things quieted down.
Then in 2019, Samsung introduced their first range of foldable smartphones with the creation of the Galaxy Fold and Flip. Samsung has always been a market leader in innovative phone designs, and the new Fold 4 is no exception.
Their latest model of the flip series is quite possibly the best phone Samsung has produced thanks to its abundance of outstanding features aimed at accelerating your productivity, all built on Samsungs concrete reputation for quality and innovation.
If you’re thinking about buying the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, this review article covers everything you need to know. Read on to find out everything that the fold4 features in our comprehensive guide.
Introduction to the Galaxy Fold 4
The Fold 4 is the latest in Samsungs foldable series. The newest model in the Fold series brings with it welcome design enhancements and upgrades.
This do-everything device works as a smartphone and a tablet. If productivity is essential in your life, you will relish many of the features that come with this phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Price and Availability
On August 10th, Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 to the world. The event was called Samsung Unpacked and it introduced several new products, it included its new range of watches, earbuds, and of course, its clamshell smartphone series, the Flip and the Fold.
The new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 then went on for pre-order after the launch show, with the anticipated release happening on the 26th of August. One new feature compared to its predecessor, the Fold 3, is the addition of more capacity. Prices are on a sliding scale based on the size.
- 12GB RAM / 256GB: $1,799
- 12GB RAM / 512GB: $1,919
- 12GB RAM / 1TB: $2,159
At the time of the launch date, there are three color options. Buyers can choose from Gray, Phantom Black, and Beige. Unfortunately, the Bora Purple didn’t make an appearance here.
Why The Price?
If you looked at the price of the phone and winced a little bit, you can be forgiven. The Galaxy Fold 4 isn’t cheap, and if it’s simply a quirkiness of a clamshell phone you’re after, then you may want to look elsewhere. However, the price is justified, as the Fold4 is a phone unlike anything else.
The starting price of $1,799 will put off a big portion of smartphone buyers. However, what you’re paying for with the Fold4, is that it can transform between being a smartphone and a table, and has an abundance of great features, not found anywhere else.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Design
Image credit: Sam Mobile
Since 2019, Samsung has been developing and improving the Fold series of phones, so it’s evident that they have a solid foundation built on iterations and customer-led improvements to the design of this phone. At first glance, there doesn't look like much difference between the new Fold 4 and the previous Fold 3.
On closer inspection, there is a load of small and detailed changes to the design. Some to the exterior, others to the inside.
Size & Weight
When folded, the phone remains the same 67.1mm wide, no change here. However, the shape of the Fold4 has been improved so that when you view the phone from certain angles the hinge is a lot less noticeable.
The length has reduced, it is now 155.1mm long. This is nearly 3mm shorter than the old Z Fold 3. The great thing about this is that it gives the device a more familiar shape than a conventional candy bar-style phone.
The device is now thinner and lighter. The new Fold model has a 6.4mm thickness when it's unfolded, this has also helped to bring the weight of the phone down to 263g, which is 8g lighter compared to the previous model.
Buttons And Ports
There’s nothing too radical about the buttons and ports on the Fold 4, they are fairly standard when compared to other smartphones. However, because of the folding design, this means that their placement isn’t as typical.
The SIM slot is located along the top edge of the device. On one of the edges, you’ll find the speaker and mic holes, the other edge is for the volume rocker and power and sleep button. Along the bottom edge are a speaker grille, a mic hole, and a USB-C port.
The sleep button also doubles up as the fingerprint sensor which is used for quick access to the phone and apps.
When you compare it to a standard candy bar phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can feel a little bulky and heavy. However, it’s not uncomfortable when it’s in your pocket, just remember to take it out before sitting down.
When the device is unfolded, it becomes a thin and light tablet. The main difference you’ll notice between this and other tablets is that the bezel surrounding the screen features a small, raised lip. This is here to help keep the bendable screen covering in place which protects it.
One of the bigger improvements is the hinges. When the device is folded, they no longer stick out from the side of the phone. Samsung has designed them to hug the frame, this is down to a new hinge design which got rid of the gears in favor of a much flatter mechanical design.
This not only looks great, but they work incredibly smoothly. When you’re opening and closing the phone, it feels solid.
The frame of the Fold 4 has been IPX8 rated. What this translates to, is that it can survive 30 minutes in one meter of water. However, if you’re using the phone in a dusty environment, take note that due to the hinge mechanics, it's not dust resistant.
The innovative design of this Samsung is not only innovative, but we think this is the way any future phone manufacturers will be heading.
- Slight upgrade over the previous Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
- Lighter and thinner compared to the Z Fold 3
- Improvements on the hinge design, so less noticeable
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Displays
The Galaxy Z Fold features two screens, both featuring the flagship bold and crisp display that is standard with Samsung phones. There are also improvements across both screens compared to previous models.
The main screen has a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED display. Also, the upgrade Fold 3 comes with a 2176 x 1812 resolution, which compared to the Z Fold 3 of 2208 x 1768 is a small upgrade, this is mostly due to the change in the frame of the phone than anything else.
The screen also uses an adaptive refresh rate of 1 to 120Hz. The lower end of the range helps save battery life as this stops the phone from refreshing when it’s not needed.
Of course, the most defining feature of the main screen is that it folds. In this latest model, Samsung has re-engineered the design. This has been done through the removal of the metal plate that used to sit under the strengthened ultrathin flexible glass.
This is what’s contributed to a much thinner and lighter device. It’s been replaced with a strong mesh instead, and the result is that the crease is now barely viable. Although you can still see it slightly when the screen is dark and feel it when you run your finger over it.
On the main display, there is a camera. This is hidden by a tiny disc of pixels that the phone, like magic, can turn on and off. When you want to use the camera's function, the punch-out hole suddenly appears. This is highlighted by an illuminated ring.
Overall, the main screen is excellent. It’s got plenty of space allowing you to do everything on it. You can use it in flex mode, which is setting the phone to an ‘L’ shape and using one half as a keyboard, and the other as a screen just like a miniature laptop.
Just like the main screen, the cover screen has also had an upgrade. It still features the 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen. It’s seen an improvement in resolution, which is now 2316 x 904 resolution, which is an improvement from the Z Fold 3's 2268 x 832 resolution.
The main difference here is that it’s 2.7mm wider than previously and that the adaptive refresh rate, has also had an upgrade and now works at 48Hz to 120Hz.
Similar to the main screen, there's a punch-hole cutout that is used for the selfie camera. The difference between the two is that this one isn’t hidden with ‘magic’ pixels.
The new, larger dimensions make this screen a much more user-friendly and functional screen. Although still not ideal for multitasking, it’s perfect for using email, web browsing, social media, and chat apps. It also works well as a viewfinder for the camera array on the back.
The upgrades to this scene have certainly given the cover display the feel of a traditional candy bar-style device
The outer cover display is improved, it's bigger and better than before. The main screen is also great, and you hardly notice the crease.
- A wider 6.2-inch display
- Same quality as their flagship screens
- The crease is only slightly visible
- Adaptive refresh rates across both displays
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Cameras
Similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, which made use of the Galaxy S21's camera array, the new Z Fold 4 has adopted its main camera setup from the Galaxy S22, featuring the same sensors and lenses underneath, just with the addition of a slightly more powerful CPU.
The Fold 4 also features a selfie camera on the cover screen. You’ll also find a lower-grade self-camera under the large main screen. Here’s the full breakdown of the cameras found on Fold 4.
- 12MP ultrawide with 123-degree field of vision F2.2
- 50MP Wide F1.8
- 10MP telephoto F2.4
- Cover camera - 10 MP F.2.2
- Main screen camera - 4MP F1.8
All of these cameras are pretty decent, particularly, the triple array. This matches the quality of cameras found on the Samsung Galaxy S22.
Here are some of the more notable features that the cameras offer. Firstly, the light-gathering capabilities are exceptional. This makes the colors in our images pop. For some, it might be too much, but if you’ve been a Samsung user for a while, this is in line with how their other phones post edit images.
The 3x optical zoom is pretty effective as is the inbuilt stabilization. Another shooting mode we were impressed with was the low light and night photography modes.
It’s slightly disappointing that Samsung did not include the 108MP main camera or the 10x optical zoom found on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The selfie camera on the cover screen is the better quality of the selfie cameras, even so, the one on the main screen is still pretty decent.
You’ll also find a ton of video recording options ranging up to 8K 60fps. As nice as this feature is, it’s only purposeful if you are watching footage on a good 8K TV. Otherwise, the 4K video still looks great.
Through the camera app, you’ll also find lots of shooting options, which are great for fine-tuning the look of your images. Pro Mode works like a manual camera and lets you control settings such as shutter speed and white balance.
Overall impressive camera setup. The rear camera array and fantastic, as well as the better-than-average camera on the cover.
- Camera array influenced by the S22
- Selfie cameras appear unchanged
- 50MP wide-angle camera added to the rear
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Performance
As you would expect, the Fold 4 comes with an enviable spec and has an improved CPU compared to the Galaxy S series.
The phone features Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 CPU. This is what allows Fold 4 to excel with multitasking.
This is a boosted performance compared to the previous 8 Gen 1. Although it’s not a huge difference it does give the phone a bit of a boost when it comes to memory-heavy applications and the phone's ability to edit 8K 60fps video.
To cut a long story short, there is more than enough power and memory to cover a multitude of main screen tasks.
This is a powerful phone thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. With plenty of mobile CPU and RAM to work with numerous multi-tasking applications.
- Makes use of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 CPU
- 12GB of RAM and starts at 256GB of storage
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Software
The Fold 4 does a great job of integrating its flagship One UI features and apps into the Fold experience. However, this doesn’t dominate or take over the working ability, and you can still use the Android Google apps that you want.
What is impressive is how you can work seamlessly between the cover screen and the main flexible display. It’s fluid and offers zero interruption to workflow. The phone screens switch instantly, meaning you can work on the same app between the displays without needing to reload it.
You can use it as a standard smartphone through the cover screen, then switch to tablet mode with the main screen. Or can even use it as a small laptop if you leave the screen folded at a 90-degree angle.
A Mini Laptop
The Galaxy Z Fold can be set up to work as a mini laptop. This is a great feature if you’re using writing apps like Word. It works dedicating half of the screen to a keyboard, and the other half to a scene.
Of course, it’s not a substitute for an actual laptop, however, it’s certainly a better experience than having to type long messages or documents using a standard keypad on a regular smartphone display.
One of the great features of the Fold 4, is the app dock. It allows you to drag and drop your favorite apps, and keep them in the dock for quick aces.
The Fold 4 also supports Samsung's S Pen, although other models of the S Pen work, there is a pop-up notification that you’re not using the pen specifically designed for the Z Fold Screen. Depending on how picky you are, this may or may not bother you.
Samsung has taken on board previous customer feedback and done some solid work in improving tablet-style operations.
- Uses Android 12
- Makes use of Samsung's One UI
- Multiple multi-tasking options
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Battery Life
When put to the test, and using a multitude of apps, cameras, playback, and web browsing, that you would do in a standard day, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 battery life is pretty good. However, if you’re doing several video conference calls, editing video footage, or watching films, you may find your phone needs a bit of a boost before the day is up.
The 4,400mAh battery isn't a tiny battery by any account, however, it does have to power two screens, and although this isn’t done simultaneously, it does take its toll on power usage.
During continuous use, the battery will last approximately 13 hours. Although that’s still pretty good, it would be nice not to have to change the phone more than once a day.
The Fold 4 supports both fast wired and wireless charging. Although you can use any charger, the fast charging capabilities are better with an official Samsung 65W charger. Annoyingly, these are not included in the box and have to be purchased separately.
The phone also supports wireless power-sharing duties, although this function is quite specific and doesn't seem to work with all Samsung products.
The battery is ok for standard use, however, if you’re using the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to its full functionality, the battery is a little lackluster.
- 4,400mAh battery is slightly undersized for this phone
- It will last a whole day
- Fast wireless charging
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a fantastic phone. It’s a do-everything device that's great for photography, multi-tasking as well as watching Netflix. The main turn-off is the high price.
So, that leads us to the question, should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 phone?
Buy It If
We recommend buying the Galaxy Z Flip 4 if productivity is essential throughout your daily life. It's pretty much a tablet in the shape of a phone. This is also a great phone if you’re an avid photographer because of its versatility across a range of shooting situations.
This is also a great option if you want a clamshell design phone, but found the capabilities of the Fold 4 aren’t quite enough.
Don't Buy If
We don't recommend buying it if you’re on a tight budget unless you find an excellent deal. It’s also not going to be a great purchase if you’re wanting something with fast charging.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold does support fast charging, but it’s just not as quick as other phones on the market. We'd also say to sway away from this phone if you don’t need all these functions, if you like the idea of a clamshell design, but with less of a focus on productivity, then we’d recommend going for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 instead.
What Do You Think of the New Samsung Fold?
We hope you agree, that the latest in the Galaxy Z Fold 4 phone has some pretty outstanding features. If you are considering purchasing the latest in the Fold series, then you’ll want to make sure you have the most on-trend accessories to go with it.