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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: Practically Excellent Foldable Flip Phone

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is not a groundbreaking year-over-year update, but it still stands out as one of the best folding smartphones in 2022. It’s sleeker and faster span.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 foldable smartphone is the best you can get in 2022. It’s also the least interesting of its predecessors.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review

This is a fascinating niche for foldable. In just three years, the foldable smartphone market has transformed from being a pioneering niche to becoming “just another” option.

Samsung is so proficient at folding that it doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel yearly. It can just keep doing the same thing as last year.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review
Image Credit: theverge.com
Pros
  • A flatter design looks great
  • Customization is unparalleled
  • Excellent main display
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Good, reliable cameras
Cons
  • The battery lasts only one day
  • Limited cover screen functionality

This is especially true of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 this year and Z Flip 4. Flip 4 is a lot like Flip 3. The Flip 4 has a slightly different design than the Flip 3.

It features a better camera, a more powerful chipset and a marginally larger battery. All of this makes the phone seem very dull on paper.

After using the Galaxy Z Flip 4 for several days as my daily driver, I have come to terms with it being “dull”.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a significant improvement on the Flip 3. No. It is, however, one of the most popular foldable phones on the market today. Absolutely.

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#1. Design

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 will be a familiar companion to the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The Flip 4 is a new version of the Flip 3 for modern times. The Flip 4 is similar to any other smartphone, with a large display and a slim bezel.

Flip 4 is magical when you close it. Flip the phone closed, transforming it into a small square that can be slipped into even the smallest bags and pockets.

Samsung has made many design improvements to Flip 4 this year. The Flip 3’s rear glass panels now have a matte, frostier finish. The frame is also flatter, and the hinge that holds the phone together is slightly smaller.

These changes may sound small on paper. However, these changes enhance Flip 3’s already great design. Flat glass panels look luxurious and hide fingerprints.

The Z Flip 4’s unique frame gives it a more distinct look. And the new hinge does make the Flip 4 smaller in overall size.

The hinge feels just as solid and reliable on Flip 3 as on Flip 4. The Z Flip 4’s hinge feels sturdy and reliable as the Flip 3.

Although I don’t know how the hinge will react after a year or so of continuous usage, the phone has been flawless in my few days of use.

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The hinge opens and closes easily, but it is strong enough not to feel fragile. You can prop the hinge at any angle to watch movies or videos on the Z Flip 4.

The phone’s remaining durability is assured by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus covering the cover and glass panels.

Samsung Armor Aluminum frames the device and protects it with an IPX8 water resistance rating. This means you can submerge it for up to 15 minutes in fresh water up to 1.5 meters.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is as durable as a foldable phone, although it doesn’t have dust resistance. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has been my primary handset for a few days and has performed just as well as my other non-folding phones.

Everything looks great, including the main display, glass panels, and cover screen. This is all without even caring for the phone.

It’s been dropped on tables at coffee shops, taken out in the rain, and whipped open with a wrist flick. The Z Flip 4 is not a phone that you need to keep.

While I love Flip 4’s durability and style, it is my favourite design trick. The default colours on Samsung’s website are Bora Purple, Blue and Pink Gold. Third-party retailers also carry the phone in Graphite.

Samsung sent me Bora Purple, which I love. It is a muted lavender colour, which is distinctive but not too obnoxious. The black cover screen contrasts it beautifully. It looks amazing next to the Bora purple Galaxy Buds Pro.

If none of these colours appeals to you, Samsung’s website allows you to design your Flip 4 with its Bespoke Studio.

Samsung allows you to choose and select the colours for the Flip 4’s frame, front panel, and back panels. There are over 70 combinations. This amazing feature makes the Flip 4 stand out from other smartphones.

There’s also the fun factor that comes with a device such as the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Although it’s something I cannot measure or analyze technically, I can say with confidence that this is the best phone I have ever used.

To snap it shut after using an application to prop it up on the counter for watching a YouTube video. The phone is slightly bent so that it looks like an old handset.

The Flip 4 has many unique features that are impossible to replicate on a non-folding counterpart. While this may not be important to everyone, it makes using the Z Flip 4 a pleasant experience that I look forward to every time I pull it out of my pocket.

#2. Screens

Two screens are available on the Galaxy Z Flip 4, but we will start with the one you spend the most time with. The Z Flip 4 opens to reveal a 6.7-inch Dynamic MOLED 2X panel.

The screen has a resolution of 2640×1080, HDR10+ support and 1,200 nits peak brightness. It also features a variable refresh rate that can be set to either 120Hz or 1Hz.

The Z Flip 4’s screen looks amazing in practice. The screen is vibrant in colour, the viewing angles are great, and it can get very bright when necessary.

Samsung flagships have the best smartphone screens available, even in foldable form. The Z Flip 4 is no exception.

What about the crease? Every Z Flip handset has noticeable creases in the middle of its screen, where the hinge closes.

Despite rumours, the Z Flip 4 does not have this crease. It is still visible. It can be seen in certain lighting conditions. You can feel it by swiping your finger along it.

After a few days, the crease is something you can subconsciously ignore. It’s just like an iPhone’s notch. It’s still visible in direct sunlight, and I feel it on Twitter. But it doesn’t stop me from using Flip 4.

We also have Flip 4’s cover screen. Although rumours have swirled that Samsung might enlarge the Flip 4’s cover display, it is the same Super AMOLED 512×260 screen as the Flip 3.

The functionality of the Flip 4 is almost identical. To view notifications, swipe right, swipe up and down to access Samsung Wallet cards, adjust a few quick settings, and then swipe left to view a variety of widgets.

The Flip 4’s cover screen is ideal for checking notifications, quick responses to text messages, viewing upcoming appointments and enabling SmartThings scenes.

The cover screen also doubles as a viewfinder. It allows you to take photos/videos with the main and ultrawide cameras and see what’s behind them. However, I wish I had more options.

I would love to be able to reply to Telegram and Microsoft Teams messages, show QR codes/boarding pass stored in Samsung Wallet, view my conversations from my messaging app, etc.

It would be foolish to duplicate your home screen and apps on a 1.9-inch canvas. Samsung is right not to have done this. Despite the small real estate available, I believe there is still plenty of room for improvement.

Flip 4’s cover screen is great for quick interactions. I would love to see it grow.

#3. Performance

Internal horsepower has never been an issue with the Galaxy Z Flip lineup. The original Z Flip came with a Snapdragon 855+, while the Z Flip 5G featured an 865 5G+ and the Z Flip 3. It shipped with a Snapdragon 8.

These are all the top-of-the-line Qualcomm chips of their time. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is as fast as any phone with the 8+ Gen 1 and has the best performance. The app opens instantly, the menus scroll smoothly, and graphics-intensive games such as Call of Duty: Mobile are played without issues.

While the Z Flip 4 can get hot during longer gaming sessions and more hours of hotspot usage, it isn’t too hot to hold. It’s quite impressive for a small foldable phone.

The Z Flip 4’s RAM is the only thing that could be an issue. The Galaxy Z Flip 4’s 8GB RAM is available for all storage models, just like last year.

Although running a few apps at once is sufficient, you may need more RAM if you have to multitask with several apps open at once. If multitasking is your concern, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 phone/tablet format will be more suitable.

#4. Cameras

Let’s now talk about cameras. This is the basic offering of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, including 12MP primary, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP selfie cameras.

These are the same megapixel counts you’ll find on a Flip 3, but Samsung claims the primary camera on this generation is 65% brighter.

What does this mean for real-world applications? Although we still have a lot of work to do with Flip 4, the first results are mostly positive.

Samsung photos from the Galaxy Z Flip 4 are saturated with vibrant colours and in typical Samsung style. Although they may not always be true to life, they are still very appealing and can be shared on social media without editing.

The 12MP primary sensor captures details and natural bokeh effects in some photos. It works well with people and other subjects using the dedicated portrait mode.

The Flip 4’s cover screen allows you to take selfies using the primary or ultrawide camera instead of the main 10MP selfie shooter.

The ultrawide camera has performed well for me. The 12MP primary sensor provides more detail than the ultrawide camera. The 123-degree field of view is still convenient, and the colour reproduction is comparable to the primary shooter.

We will update this review with additional camera samples and thoughts in the next few days, but for now, this is a package that I have been very happy to use.

While the Flip 4’s capabilities are superior to those of the Pixel 6 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro, it is still a solid choice for casual photographers.

#5. Charging and Battery Life

The battery life was one of the most disappointing aspects of the Z Flip 3. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was a great phone, but it was often necessary to find a charger every hour.

After hearing the battery complaints, Samsung has made several changes to the Z Flip 4. The Z Flip 4 comes with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset that is more efficient and has a 3,700mAh dual-cell battery.

This is 500 mAh more than the predecessor’s 3,300 mAh unit. The good news is: The Galaxy Z Flip 4’s battery life is significantly longer than the Flip 3.

Bad news:

The bad news? It is still not good enough to last for a full day. I had 23% left on my Flip 4 battery, which was one of my best days. This was followed by 14 hours of total usage time.

I had 3 hours and 42 mins of screen time. That included over an hour of YouTube, 30+ minutes of scrolling Twitter, 16 minutes of Reddit scrolling and a 10-minute Duolingo session.

The phone reached 14 hours and 52 mins of use with 15% remaining. This was after 2 hours 23 minutes of screen-time, including a 30-minute Teams video call, 30-minute Twitter chat, tracking Lyft rides, and frequent use of Delta’s app while hopping on a few flights.

The Flip 4 can be used longer than the Flip 3, but it can still last a day. You’ll need a phone that can last for a day, a half, or two days on a single charge. Zenfone 9 and Asus ROG Phone 6 are the best options.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 also features wired charging. The Flip 4 can charge up to 25W, whereas last year’s Flip 3 could only manage 15W wired charging speed.

Although it is a significant improvement over phones like the OnePlus 10T, which can deliver up to 150W charging speeds, it’s still a big leap.

The Flip 4 takes ten minutes to charge from 5 to 23% battery to 25 minutes from 5-57% battery. It takes around an hour and 16 minutes for the battery to level from 5% to 100%.

If you don’t want to be in a hurry, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 supports 10W wireless charging (plus reverse wireless charging.

#6. Software

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has Android 12 and Samsung’s One UI 4.1.1 interface. You can also expect to receive four major Android updates and five years’ worth of security patches.

The software experience on the Flip 4 will be familiar to anyone who has used a Samsung phone in the past two years. Although the One UI design isn’t my favourite, it’s fast and fluid and makes everything feel snappy.

There are many great settings and features on all Samsung phones. You can set shortcuts on your lock screen, enable Edge panels to save apps, link to Windows to sync your device with your computer, create custom shortcuts for your power button, and run apps in a windowed mode on your screen.

There are many Samsung features available, but there are also some unique tricks the Z Flip 4 can do. If Flex mode is enabled for an app and the Z Flip 4 is propped up, the app will move to the top of the screen, leaving the bottom half open for other controls.

The notification panel can be viewed from the bottom of your screen. You can take a screenshot, adjust the volume, and use the bottom portion of the screen to navigate the app.

Although Flex mode is not for every app, I love that Samsung allows you to test it with any app. Certain apps, such as YouTube and the camera app, will automatically shift UI elements around while half-folding the Flip 4.

For anyone looking to maximize their screen space, the Fold 4 is the best foldable. The unique design of the Flip 4 is a great tool, and I appreciate Samsung’s willingness to make these tools available.

#7. Prices and availability

The base model of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 costs $1,000 in the U.S. If you require more storage, you can upgrade to 256GB and 512GB for $1,100 or $1,220, respectively. Pre-orders will be accepted until August 25th. Regular sales will begin on August 26th.

Samsung phones are often cheaper than you end up paying, as is the case with many other brands. Samsung will offer a free upgrade of 128GB to 2GB during the pre-order phase.

Samsung offers instant credits for old phones that you can trade-in. A Z Flip 3 nets a $900 credit, and the S21 FE is worth $700. Trade in an older S20 for a $400 discount.

Our take

Some people consider the Galaxy Z Flip 4 a “boring phone” this year. It is about as iterative as a yearly update can get. It’s the same Z Flip as Samsung released last year, with a slightly modified design, an upgraded chip and a faster charger. The Z Flip 4 is a great device.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the best of all the foldable designs, even though there are many. The new design feels and looks as good as I expected. The hinge, powerful processor, and stunning display are great. Although I would have liked Samsung to extend the battery life and improve the cover screen, the Z Flip 4 is still enjoyable.

There are many options if you need a flagship with industry-leading camera quality, lightning-fast charging and multi-day battery life. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the best smartphone in its category if you are willing to sacrifice some of these features for an exceptional design.

Although it isn’t the best phone in every category of smartphones, it’s elegant, charming, and fun in a way that slab smartphones can’t match.

The Flip 4 excels in areas like battery life and charging that Flip 3 failed to address, including battery life. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is my favourite smartphone of the year.

It combines this unique approach with precise execution in many categories. It doesn’t matter how boring it is.

Image Credit: samsung.com

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