SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 4 SPECS
|Operating System||Android 12|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|Dimensions||6.11 x 2.64 x 0.62 inches|
|Screen Size||7.6 inches|
|Screen Resolution||2,176 by 1,812 pixels|
|Camera Resolution (Rear; Front-Facing)||50MP, 12MP, 10MP; 10MP; 4MP|
|Battery Life (As Tested)||11 hours, 30 minutes|
So, what exactly is a computer? Back in the day, Apple was notorious for pressuring people to start using iPads for serious work. Now, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 (which costs $1,799.99) takes the concept of portable productivity even further with new software that makes it easier to switch between applications. However, in comparison to its predecessor, the Z Fold 3, the company’s most recent large-screen folding device also features a screen that is marginally more expansive, a build that is more rugged, improved camera technology, and enhanced support for 5G networks. In spite of its exorbitant price, we wholeheartedly endorse this phone because to all of its honed features, which are described above. At least in the United States, Samsung is now the only company working toward the development of foldable smartphones with large displays, which is a fortunate development. Any foldable gadgets from Apple or Google are still only speculations at this point, and Motorola’s new Razr competes more with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, which is smaller than its predecessor.
A Sophisticated Appearance
The Z Fold 4 is significantly larger than most flagship smartphones, measuring 6.11 by 2.64 by 0.62 inches (HWD) and weighing 9.28 ounces. However, this is simply the price you pay for power at this time, and the device still fits nicely into my hand when it is in the closed position. For the sake of comparison, the dimensions of the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max are 6.3 by 3.1 by 0.3 inches, and it weighs 8.5 ounces. The dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are 6.4 by 3.1 by 0.4 inches, and it weighs 8.1 ounces.
The Z Flip 4 is significantly shorter and lighter than the Z Fold 4, but being just as thick as its predecessor. When deciding between the Flip and the Fold models, you should take into consideration the manner in which you normally carry your mobile device. Comparatively, gadgets such as the Z Flip 4 and the iPhone 13 mini are more suited for storing in a more compact jacket or bag pocket, whilst the Z Fold 4 is the ideal size for a bag or jacket pocket.
Even though the matte back of the Z Fold 4 is resistant to fingerprints, the surface on the gray model I purchased was marred by the keys in my bag after only a few days. Due to the fact that the camera bump on the phone has particularly sharp edges, purchasing Samsung’s $49.99 Slim Standing Cover (which also comes with a kickstand) could prove to be a useful accessory.
A rapid and accurate physical fingerprint sensor is built into the power button on the side of the device. Because the face recognition feature on this phone from Samsung is so frustratingly imprecise, using that approach to unlock the phone is your best bet (and also insecure). In addition, there is a button for adjusting the volume, a single slot for SIM cards, and a USB-C connector; however, there is neither a microSD tray nor a headphone jack. The product has been given an IPX8 classification, which indicates that it is resistant to water but not resistant to dust.
A flatter hinge is one of the design improvements made to the Fold 3 over its predecessor; nonetheless, this does nothing to alleviate the infamous crease that appears on the screen when the device is opened. A positive aspect of the revamped hinge is that it makes the phone easier to carry around in a pocket and more pleasant to hold. In addition, it allowed Samsung to reduce the amount of bezel around the screen that faces the front of the device.
Regarding this matter, the 6.2-inch AMOLED screen that is located on the front of the device is fantastic. It has a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a resolution that is 2,316 pixels tall by 904 pixels wide. It has a width of 2.25 inches, which places it very close to the width of the screen on the iPhone 13 mini, which measures 2.26 inches, and this proximity enables it to function perfectly as a primary display. The brightness is extraordinary; I had no problems using it even on days when the sun was shining quite brightly. The screen on the phone will automatically switch to an ultrabright outdoor mode when it detects that it is being used in bright conditions. This mode will dull the colors on the screen in order to make it easier to read. Since the front screen does not have any kind of protection, you will need to consider purchasing a protector from Samsung, which can be done for $14.99.
When opened, the phone reveals a 7.6-inch tablet with a resolution of 2,176 by 1,812 pixels and an aspect ratio of 4:3. There is a crease that can be seen, and there is a screen protector that was applied at the factory (you shouldn’t remove it!). The screen protector ends just before the panel’s edge. In comparison to the earlier generation, Samsung did not make the screen brighter or remove the crease; however, the company claims that the protector on this model is 45% more durable. Because I don’t intentionally break review phones, I can’t comment on that assertion; yet, it is a statement that provides some measure of comfort.
I used the phone as my primary handset for several days, and during that time I alternated between having the handset open and closed at various times. Texting and getting directions on the transit app required me to use the front screen, but when it came time to browse the web and play games, I switched to the larger screen.
I’m interested to see how typing on this phone will feel over time because the experience of typing on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 was ultimately what caused me to stop using that device. My experience with the Z Fold 3 was like to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The keys on the front screen of the device were too small, but the split keyboard on the huge screen required me to stretch my thumbs too far. Even while the outside keyboard on the Fold 4 is still somewhat compact, the folding keyboard’s typing experience is more fluid on the Fold 4. When you unfold the phone, a split keyboard appears. This keyboard is more comfortable to use than the one that was on the folded phone.
Notable is that the phone is compatible with Samsung’s S Pen pen but does not include the stylus itself. A case that has a built-in slot for the S Pen as well as the pen itself costs an additional $89.99.
Both the cover display and the back panel of the phone are shielded by a layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus+.
Stunning Display of Talent
These days, a personal computer will typically come equipped with a speedy processor and a sizable amount of RAM. Not even the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is an exception to this rule. The most recent Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor from Qualcomm is paired with up to 1 terabyte of RAM and 12 GB of RAM, respectively.
We have detailed articles on the performance metrics of the Galaxy Fold 4, as well as its battery life, and both are promising. In a nutshell, the mobile device provides top-tier performance, and the fact that it has 12 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) enables users to multitask without experiencing any lag or restarting of applications.
Samsung Galaxy Lineup Battery Life
Regarding the life of the battery, I was able to get roughly 12 hours of power from a single charge for regular use. This included five hours of playing intensive games on the large screen. It lasted roughly 18 hours on a charge when used in a manner that was not particularly taxing on it. The phone has a 4,400mAh battery that can be charged at a theoretical rate of 25W via cable charging or 15W via wireless charging. It also supports 4.5W of reverse charging. When we tried to charge the phone from a 31% battery level, a McDodo USB cable displayed a charging rate of merely 17W. This is because Samsung’s charging algorithm is exceedingly conservative and tamps down the charge rate quickly.
Galaxy Z Flip 4/Fold 4 Charging Speed
It’s a minor annoyance that a phone with such a high price tag won’t charge as rapidly as the OnePlus 10T, but it’s still annoying nonetheless. On the other hand, none of the smartphones produced by Apple or Samsung have a very fast charging time.
The Qualcomm X65 modem included in the Z Fold 4 is noticeably better than prior modems at squeezing the very last bit of signal out of a dead zone. The performance of the handset is comparable to that of the Galaxy S22+, which outperforms both the S21 and the iPhone 13 on tests of this kind. Read our comprehensive article on the signal quality of the Z Fold 4 for more information in this regard.
According to the FCC, the phone is compatible with all of the different types of 5G that are used by the three most prominent carriers in the United States. This covers the millimeter-wave spectrum as well as the newly developed 3.45GHz mid-band that AT&T intends to promote in 2019. The forthcoming band 70 was not mentioned in the FCC clearance document. Even if Samsung might be able to modify the device so that it is compatible with such bands, you shouldn’t bank on the support for that feature.
Galaxy Z Flip 4/Fold 4 Signal Comparisons
The Galaxy S22 series of devices are identical to the US model in that it only includes one slot for a nanoSIM card and one for an eSIM. Activating an eSIM plan can be done through the use of a QR code or an app.
As is the case with the vast majority of premium devices, the call quality is satisfactory. When the phone is in the closed position, the sound from the speakerphone comes predominantly from the bottom, however there is also some sound that comes from the earpiece. I was able to determine that the former had a sound level of 87 dB, while the latter reached a high of 94.9 dB. If you want to make use of the twin speakers that are located on either side of the phone, you will need to open the device. When the phone is opened up in tablet mode, the music and games undoubtedly have a more robust and resonant sound than they do when played on other phones. It is impossible for a portable device to have any genuine bass, but the audio is unquestionably superior to that of devices that only have a single speaker that fires downward. The music and phone calls might not necessarily have a louder sound, but they certainly have more directionality.
Wi-Fi 6E, near field communication (NFC), and Bluetooth 5.2 capability is included in addition to the regular set of wireless protocols (curiously, not 5.3). Ultra Wideband, a technology that hasn’t seen much use but can point you in the right direction while looking for something, is also there. It is capable of driving high-resolution audio via Bluetooth thanks to its support for the specialized Samsung Seamless Codec, which is compatible with Samsung accessories like the recently released Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
Utilizing the Z Fold 4 for parallel processing (and Android 12L)
The Z Fold 4 is the first phone that we’ve tested that uses Android 12L, which is a specialized version of the operating system designed for handsets with huge displays. Samsung has pledged to release four further Android versions and provide security patches for the next five years. Android 13 shouldn’t be too much of a wait for new owners, as Google plans to begin sending it out to a wider audience sometime in the winter of 2022.
The most noteworthy improvement that Android 12L brings to multitasking is available here. This is the most important factor in the Fold’s overall success. In the past, you were had to communicate through indistinct and fussy hand signals. You can now rapidly slide any app into one of three different split-screen window positions by popping up a dock from the bottom of the screen (much like on your PC). This feature was previously only available on Apple’s iOS devices. During the course of my assessment of the phone, I made extensive use of this function. It seems absurd that a relatively minor adjustment to the program could have such a significant impact on the overall experience, but here we are.
However, at this time, several applications do not function correctly with the 4:3 aspect ratio of the smartphone or with Android 12L. For example, due to a glitch in Microsoft Edge, the top toolbar appears twice in the interface at all times. Sometimes Firefox Focus will select a text font for the inner screen that is much too large for its intended purpose. When you start to type a message in WhatsApp while the app is in landscape mode, the text entry box will take up the entire screen, and you won’t be able to read the prior message that was sent in the discussion. There are some games that do not scale in the appropriate manner, like as the JRPG classic Ara Fell. Despite all of this, I have faith that Samsung and the creators of the app will be able to fix these flaws over time.
The extremely encouraging news is that, similar to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the immersiveness of gaming on this phone is unequaled. This impact is especially pronounced in games with open worlds or expansive maps, such as Genshin Impact, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley. In addition, in contrast to the Galaxy Flip 4, the Fold 4 is able to withstand a respectable session of Genshin gaming without suffering from significant throttling.
The Cameras Have Been Repaired by Samsung
The cameras found in the Fold 4 are a significant improvement over those seen in the Fold 3. The chart that follows presents a comparison of the sensors on this phone with those on the Flip 4 and the Galaxy S22+. The phone in question features a variety of sensors. Be sure to check out my in-depth analysis of the differences and similarities between the three devices’ cameras.
The images captured by the cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 are, for the most part, visually comparable to those captured by the Galaxy S22+. The Z Fold 3 from the generation before trailed behind the S21 Ultra, which was the top smartphone at the time, when it came to taking photos at night; however, I do not notice any difference in the image quality between the Fold 4 and the S22+ this time around.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4
Camera Specs Compared
|Galaxy S22+||Galaxy Z Flip 4||Galaxy Z Fold 4|
|Primary Camera||50MP, f/1.8, 1um pixels, 85-degree view||12MP, f/1.8, 1.8um pixels, 83-degree view||50MP, f/1.8, 1um pixels, 85-degree view|
|Wide-Angle Camera||12MP, f/2.2, 1.4um pixels, 120-degree view||12MP, f/2.2, 1.12um pixels, 123-degree view||12MP, f/2.2, 1.12um pixels, 123-degree view|
|Optical Zoom Camera||10MP, f/2.4, 1um pixels, 3x zoom||None||10MP, f/2.4, 1um pixels, 3x zoom|
|Front-Facing Camera||10MP, f/2.2, 1.22um pixels, 80-degree view||10MP, f/2.4, 1.22um pixels, 80-degree view||10MP, f/2.2, 1.22um pixels, 85-degree view|
|Secondary Front-Facing||None||None||4MP, f/1.8, 2um pixels, 80-degree view|
Additionally, Samsung increased the amount of optical zoom from 2x to 3x. When combined with the upgraded main sensor that has 50 megapixels, this gives you up to a 10x digital zoom. The photographs captured with the telephoto lens on the Galaxy S22 Ultra may not have quite the same degree of clarity as those taken with the 10x optical zoom, but the results are still usable.
The one thing that is a little bit of a letdown is the under-display camera, which has a resolution of 4 megapixels but does not have a night mode and handles HDR scenes less well than the 10 megapixel front-facing camera. The following photograph demonstrates the striking contrast in quality between the two.
Because the primary purpose of this under-display camera is for making video calls using the main screen, it should be enough for the vast majority of situations. Simply arranging the phone in a tent form will allow you to use the superior camera that is located on the front of the device at any time. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 provides you with a number of different options, which is one of its primary advantages.
You’ve Got to Know When to Fold ‘Em.
In the United States, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 is the sole product of its kind, and it is probable that this will remain the case for the foreseeable future. The Surface Duo 2, which can be purchased from Microsoft for a price of $1,499.99, is the closest alternative, but it is not quite as capable as a primary phone, and it does not have a mode that can be used with one hand. And in comparison to the previous generation of the Galaxy Fold, this one features improvements such as a front screen that is more intuitive to use, improved cameras, and a more streamlined design.
Even though it costs $1,799, the Fold 4’s huge screen makes it an excellent choice for anyone who enjoy gaming, watching movies, multitasking, and making regular video calls. Even though Samsung is quick to point out that the price has not increased in the past year despite the effects of inflation, $1,799 is still a lot of money for a phone, regardless of how great it is. You might be able to bring the price down by taking advantage of trade-in discounts, carrier promotions, and other bargains; but, the level of the savings will depend on the specifics of your situation.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4, which costs 999.99 dollars, is an altogether different animal. It is true that it can be folded, but its intended consumers are trend-conscious individuals who want to reduce the amount of time they spend on their smartphones rather than busy people who need to get things done. The Z Flip 4 will soon receive a comprehensive review on our site, but it cannot compete with the Galaxy Fold in terms of practicality. In the meanwhile, if you aren’t a fan of the folding design, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is an excellent alternative for hardcore users seeking the S Pen stylus experience, and the S22+ continues to be the winner of our mainstream Editors’ Choice award among Android devices. The Galaxy S22 Ultra costs $1,199.
To put it another way, the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 is the mobile device that has piqued my interest the most thus far in 2018. The fact that no other gadget comes close to matching its level of productivity on a smartphone is the primary reason it was selected as the winner of the PCMag Editors’ Choice award.
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