We are in a young world of foldable smartphones and Samsung is pretty much dominating the space as it is the only smartphone maker that is taking foldables seriously and it has also recently launched the fourth generation of foldable phones. Samsung’s fourth generation of foldables, comprising Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 is here and out of the two, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the more exciting and the more powerful one. The smartphone reminds us that folding smartphones are the future. The foldable smartphones category is poised to become the fastest growing smartphone product category this year with the Galaxy Fold likely to reach 73 per cent YoY growth to 16 million shipment units in 2022, according to Counterpoint Research.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a powerful Android smartphone and it is also a 7.6-inch tablet that fits comfortably in the pocket. You get five cameras, two displays and a folding form factor in a single device. However, this also makes this bleeding-edge smartphone one of the most expensive Android devices under the sky with prices starting at Rs 1,54,999 for the 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage model. There are two other variants: 12GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage and 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage model that would set you back by Rs 1,64,999 and Rs 1,84,999, respectively, in India. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available in three colour options: Graphite, Bora Purple and Pink Gold colours.
While being one of the most expensive smartphones in the market, the Galaxy Z fold 4 beautifully shows how capable Samsung’s engineering is and how its foldable phones have improved with each iteration. What makes the Galaxy Z Fold 4 an impressive overall package? Find out in my detailed review.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Design, Display, Looks And Build
The first thing that I noticed about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the display that has a wider aspect ratio than the previous-gen Galaxy Z Fold 3 and it is not as cramped. The wider aspect ratio makes for a better cover display for replying to messages and checking notifications. Those who have seen or used the last year’s Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 would find the Z Fold 4 seems pretty identical. However, there are some significant changes on the outside. The internal display has also changed with smaller bezels this time around. In fact, the screen’s aspect ratio has also changed and it is less tall and wider in the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The 7.6-inch screen is beautiful, bright and gorgeous and makes colours pop. The sunlight legibility is excellent too.
The screen has a density of 374ppi which, like the screen size, is also the same as the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The AMOLED screen also feels slightly harder under the finger than the first version of foldable phone that I had used.
As mentioned, taking one glance a the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 won’t reveal incremental upgrades over the previous-gen Galaxy Z Fold 3, but focus a little and it would reveal a durable body, prominent volume and power keys as well as more angled edges. Talking of durability, Samsung says it has used Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the rear glass and cover screen for protection along with an Armour aluminium frame and hinge. The latest Galaxy Z series devices are the toughest foldables ever made, Samsung also claims. However, I would recommend using this pricey smartphone with a protective case.
Talking further of durability, the company says that Galaxy Z Fold 4’s screen is 45 per cent more durable than last year’s iteration. Upon opening the Z Fold 4, you’d still notice a crease along the fold which can be seen at an angle and also felt under the finger. There’s an under-display camera too which is hidden and it won’t be visible unless unless you’re specially looking for it.
The hinge has a sturdy feel to it, and I felt the foldable shut with a satisfying snap. The main display, when opened, makes for a perfect tablet for multi-tasking, reading and even gaming. Look at the Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 side by side and the latter looks and feels less bulky this time. Samsung has made the hinge slimmer. In terms of dimensions, the Z Fold 4 measures 6.1 x 2.6 x 0.55-0.62 inches closed and 6.1 x 5.1 x 0.21 inches when open — this is slimmer and shorter than the Z Fold 3.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Battery And Performance
Samsung has equipped the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with the top-tier Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 which is one of the most powerful chipsets around and it also powers flagships such as the OnePlus 10T 5G (read our review here), the Motorola Edge 30 Pro and the Galaxy Z Flip 4. In terms of battery life, a 4400mAh battery is fitted inside the Z Fold 4 which is a good jump from the previous-gen Z Fold 3, in terms of performance.
Upon using the larger screen, I found the battery to last between 33-35 hours while using the smaller and handy display made it last between 38-40 hours. My usage included browsing Chrome on multiple tabs, using Spotify and Twitter and using other social media apps actively. The 4400mAh battery supports 25W of wired fast charging which Samsung claims can juice up the battery from 0 to 50 per cent in 30 minutes. There’s also support for 10W wireless charging on the Z Fold 4. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 also delivered strong benchmark results on Geekbench. It should be noted that the Z FOld 4 scored more than the Galaxy S22 Ultra on Geekbench.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 runs a new version of One UI 4.1 software, which the company says is specifically designed for folding-screen devices and it is based on Android 12L. Thanks to this, the apps work better on the multi-screen device and switching forms is easier. Samsung has added a new Taskbar that is dedicated for multitasking on big screens such as the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The Fold 4 is the first device to come with Android 12L and the new Taskbar which remains open with favourite apps pinned, quite similar to what we have seen on Windows PCs. Samsung is likely to expand this useful feature to other Fold models via a future One UI update.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Camera
Among the significant upgrades to the Z Fold 4, the camera has taken a giant leap and it’s no more behind the flagship Galaxy S series of phones. In fact, the Z Fold 4 has the same camera as the Galaxy S22+ and the Galaxy S22. The primary set of cameras is led by a 50MP primary sensor, with a 23 per cent brighter sensor. The images turned out very good and are sharp with colours and contrast popping. However, the imaging is not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (read our review here), which is undoubtedly the best bet when it comes to the ultimate camera experience.
In some of the photos, I found the primary sensor to kind of overexpose the shots a bit, but that is not the case always. The optical image stabilisation (OIS) is significantly better this time and that should result in better videos and imaging under most conditions. The 3x optical zoom needs special mention which results in clear pictures when coupled with the company’s Space Zoom technology.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Final Verdict
Samsung was the first smartphone maker to make a foldable phone-tablet and it is still the one that’s taking the foldable category seriously. The Z Fold 4 is the fourth generation of folding phone from Samsung and despite that the device retains all the novelty. The smartphone is expensive, but almost unrivalled outside regions in China where there are local OEMs producing very capable folding phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is perhaps the best foldable out there with a top-tier chipset that doesn’t heat up, good battery life, upgraded cameras and better multi-tasking.