Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review: Cutting-edge excellence at an amazing price | Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Android The phone and tablet hybrid is back and proving that foldable devices are the future.

By putting both a powerful smartphone and a 7.6-inch tablet in your pocket, Samsung It has created a favorite device for gadget lovers. But the price means it’s not yet ready for most consumers.

Its foldable shape, five cameras and two screens should tell you that this is no ordinary phone, but rather a more advanced glimpse into the evolution of the modest smartphone.

This cutting edge technology makes the Fold 4 one of the most expensive devices you can buy at £1,649 ($1,799 / AU$2,499) – about the same price if you bought a premium phone and tablet separately but more than you’ll ever have to pay for A pocket computer is gone.

The overall look is similar to last year’s first release, with some small improvements in all respects. The metal sides are flat with a premium glossy finish. The device is shorter and the hinge is thinner which makes the external screen wider. It looks a lot like a regular phone for texting and calling when closed, albeit a heavier and heavier phone.

A collage showing the Z Fold 4 folded into various shapes, including phone, tablet, and tent configurations.
The Fold 4 unfolds from the size of a regular smartphone to the size of a tablet but can be propped up in various shapes that are partially folded. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Open it like a book for the large 7.6-inch flexible OLED display, which is still a pretty nearly magical experience. The screen is big, bright, and smooth, and it feels a little tougher under your finger than the first version. Samsung says the screen is 45% more durable than last year, but I’d keep it out of reach of kids because it’s simply not as strong as traditional tempered glass.

There is still a crease along the fold, you can feel it with your finger and see it at an angle. It would be better if it wasn’t there but you wouldn’t notice it within a few minutes of using the device. The camera at the bottom of the screen is a little better hidden too, so you won’t see it day in and day out unless you’re specifically looking for it.

The hinge keeps the screen open at any angle, and closed with a satisfying touch. The home screen is great for videos, games, reading sites, books, or multitasking with two or more apps open at the same time.

The Kindle app opens and displays a book on the Z Fold 4.
The Fold 4 excels as an e-book reader with a crisp screen the same size as Amazon Most Distinguished Kindle. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Determine

  • main screen: Flexible 7.6in QXGA+ 120Hz AMOLED display (374ppi)

  • cover screen: 6.2 inch HD + 120Hx Amoled (387ppi)

  • Healer: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

  • RAM: 12 GB of RAM

  • storage: 256 or 512 GB or 1 TB

  • The operating system: Single UI 4.1 based on Android 12L

  • camera: 50MP ultra-wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto; 10MP and 4MP selfie cameras

  • Delivery: 5G, dual sim, esim, USB-C, wifi 6E, NFC, bluetooth 5.2

  • Water Resistant: IPX8 (1.5 meters for 30 minutes)

  • Folded dimensions: 155.1 x 67.1 x 15.8 mm

  • Dimensions unfolded: 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3 mm

  • Weight: 263 grams

Faster, smoother and long lasting

The Z Fold 4 opens with the Premier League, Twitter and Google apps on display.
The Fold 4 is blazing fast, allowing you to multitask freely with multiple apps on the screen without a hitch. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Fold 4 is extremely fast and smooth with Qualcomm’s latest processor, Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, the most powerful chip available on Android, as it uses it. face 4 And the OnePlus 10T.

The phone’s two screens make the battery life more variable than a regular phone. When using only the large internal display, the battery lasts 35 hours between charges. More balanced use of two screens for a combination of messaging, multitasking, and media consumption results in it lasting about 40 hours, including effective screen use of up to seven hours. This is really good and a big step up from its predecessor.

The Fold 4 takes about 80 minutes to fully charge, reaching 50% in 30 minutes with a 25W USB-C power adapter or greater (£11.90 from Samsung), which is not included.

Sustainability

The fingerprint scanner is in the power button located on the side of the Z Fold 4.
The fingerprint scanner in the power button works well but is difficult to use in your left hand. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Samsung does not provide an expected battery life, but it should last more than 500 full charge cycles with at least 80% of its original capacity. the phone Generally repairableThe battery can be replaced by authorized service centers in the UK. Repairs to the larger interior screen cost £539. The screens are covered by a two-year warranty, but Samsung evaluates malfunctions for “evidence of product abuse” and may charge for repairs. insurance is recommended, At a cost of £8.49 a month from Samsung or available from third parties.

Many internal components are made of 20% nylon or recycled plastic. Samsung Offers trade in And the recycling programs for old devices. The company publishes Annual Sustainability Reports But not impact evaluation of individual products.

better program

Taskbar settings in Z Fold 4.
The taskbar makes multitasking on the Fold 4 a much easier and powerful tool, similar to what you might find on your PC or iPad. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Fold 4 runs a new version of One UI 4.1 based on Google’s Android 12L software, which is specifically designed for tablets and foldable screen devices.

Most of the upgrades in Android 12L are done behind the scenes to make apps work better when multitasking and switching models. The new taskbar is great, serving as a dock to quickly access your most used apps and put them in split-screen mode by dragging and dropping from it.

Using a pair of apps on a screen the size of two phones side by side is remarkably powerful and enables me to do things I would normally reach for a laptop, like budgeting, meal planning, and comparison shopping. Most of the apps are stable and work great in different combinations. Rotating Pan 4 to landscape gives you two-pane views in some apps as well, including Gmail, so you can see your inbox on the left and the reading pane on the right.

cameras

Samsung's Camera app displays the viewfinder and recently snapped photos on the Z Fold 4's internal tablet screen.
The camera app can be used on the external screen like a regular phone or the internal screen like a tablet, which is awkward with one hand. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Fold 4 has five cameras in total: a new triple system on the back, a 10MP selfie camera on the front and an additional 4MP selfie camera hidden under the top right of the interior display.

The rear cameras are the same Fit for S22 + It is a noticeable upgrade on the Fold 3 from last year. The 50MP main camera is impressive, taking excellent pictures in a wide variety of lighting conditions with very good low-light performance. 3x optical zoom is useful and the ultra-wide camera is good for landscapes and group shots.

The video shot by all three is pretty good too, but the ultrawide range is limited to 30fps for some reason.

The camera assembly is on the back of the Z Fold 4.
The camera assembly protrudes from the back of the Fold 4 similar to a regular phone. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The selfie camera at the bottom of the screen is new but has poor image quality, so it’s only good enough for video calls. The 10MP external selfie camera is one of the best, but you can take much better selfies and group shots with the main cameras using the external display as a viewfinder. It’s a bit awkward to keep but well worth the effort.

In general, the cameras on the Fold 4 are now identical to all but the top Samsung cameras S22 Ultra . cameramaking it among the best on the market.

price

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 costs 1649 GBP ($1,799/AUD 2,499) with a storage capacity of 256 GB.

to compare Galaxy Z Flip 4 costs £999The Galaxy S22 Ultra costs £1149The Galaxy S22 + costs £949The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 costs £860The Google Pixel 6 Pro costs £649and the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max costs £1049.

Rule

Samsung’s high-end hybrid foldable phone and tablet has not lost any of its freshness and power for its fourth generation.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is unrivaled outside of China, with some local brands making similar devices for the domestic market. It adds a lot of small improvements in this new iteration. Fold 4 is easier to use as a phone for messaging and calling when closed. Opening it like a book on the big, beautiful interior display is still charming, as is closing it to put it on standby in a jiffy.

Software upgrades have made multitasking much easier and more powerful, while the large screen is excellent for watching TV shows on the go when you need to relax. Longer battery life and a fast chip, as well as significant camera upgrades, bring the Fold feature in line with the best of Samsung’s regular phones.

The drawback is simple – the price. One day, a foldable tablet might be a realistic mass-market prospect, but for now, the Fold 4 is still too expensive and too fragile. It’s a gadget lover’s dream and the most exciting device currently on the market. But for most people an ordinary flat phone or a novel Z Flip 4 It is a better buy.

If you must have the most advanced hardware, the Z Fold 4 is it. Just don’t let your kids anywhere near it and buy insurance in case the worst happens.

Positives: Phone and tablet in one, Water resistant, Powerful split-screen applications, External phone-like display, Great tablet screen, High performance, Very good battery life, Excellent cameras, Eye-catching design.

Negatives: Expensive, more fragile than normal device, inner screen can be distinguished more easily than traditional glass, repair cost, no dustproof, heavy, thick, not a huge leap from the previous generation.

The Guardian site is displayed in full-size tablet view on the Z Fold 4 in landscape orientation.
Rotate the Fold 4 to landscape mode in various applications, such as Chrome, to see a full-size desktop or tablet-like experience including with sites like Guardian. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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