The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G is the more expensive of the two foldables sold by the South Korean firm. But it's more of a game changer — in terms of transforming how you use your phone — than the more mainstream-friendly Flip 4. Multitasking, especially, is easier than ever with the new software optimisations in Android 12L. Meanwhile, a more efficient processor, and a better main camera ensure that the Fold 4 is the premium foldable phone in the market. Yes, it's still as pricey (from S$2,398) as last year's model, but you're definitely getting a better user experience this time.
- 7.6-inch main display (Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 2,176 x 1,812 pixels) and 6.2-inch Cover Screen (Super AMOLED, 2,316 x 904 pixels)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage
- 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera and 10MP telephoto camera
- 4,400mAh battery (with 25W fast charging)
Samsung has slightly reduced the size and weight of its latest Fold 4 from last year's version. But there's still a noticeable gap at the hinge when closed, unlike the foldables from competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi. The Fold 4, though, is IPX8 water resistant (but not dust resistant), which is a big plus over its rivals. The aspect ratio of the Fold 4's exterior screen is also not as narrow as its predecessor. This makes a difference as I often use the Fold 4 in its compact, folded form. Thus, I appreciate that it's now a bit easier to type on the Cover screen, though I still make more typos than on a standard slab phone. The crease in the middle of the foldable display is unmissable, but I soon got used to it.
The Fold 4 runs Android 12L, which is optimised for larger displays like its 7.6-inch main screen. A new PC-like taskbar makes it very convenient for users to drag and open multiple apps in a split-screen mode. You can save the split-screen arrangement and summon it from the sidebar (Edge Panel). You can also open apps in a pop-up window that can be resized and placed anywhere on the screen. Personally, I found the larger display very useful for reading ebooks. It's about the same size as my Kobo Libra 2 reader. If you prefer to take notes by hand, there's the new S Pen Fold Edition or S Pen Pro (with Bluetooth built-in) that have special pen tips that won't damage the foldable screen. I didn't get to test it, but the phone cannot store the S Pen internally, which is an issue. You'll need a special cover.
A much-needed upgrade in the Fold 4 is the new 50MP main camera. It is identical to the one on Samsung's Galaxy S22 phones (excluding the Ultra). Photos looks vibrant, but not overly unrealistic. They are definitely better than the ones produced by the Fold 3's 12MP shooter. Low-light shots are very decent with relatively little noise. The 3x telephoto camera is very usable, too. You'll also get Samsung's 30x Space Zoom feature from its flagship phones, though I personally don't find it that useful. The under-screen 4MP selfie camera embedded in the main display is practically invisible unless you're looking for it. But it's better to use the superior rear cameras for selfie shots — you'll have to unfold the device, though.
While Samsung retained the same 4,400mAh battery in the Fold 4, the phone does have a more power-efficient and responsive Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 that runs everything smoothly. I managed to get a very good 15hr 23min in a video playback test with the main display at maximum brightness. I usually end the day with 30% to 40% battery remaining. But I mostly use the Cover display on the go. Charging speed is still relatively slow at 25W. With a starting price of S$2,398, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is probably too pricey for most users. But those who take a chance on it will find it surprisingly usable, and perhaps even transformative for some. It's available now from Samsung's official stores on Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon SG.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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