Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 – Small pushes ahead


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

A new year, a new generation of Samsung’s folding screen smartphones. Although such a folding smartphone has been around for about four years now, they are still a rare phenomenon in the wild. With the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, Samsung is trying to prepare the smartphone for the masses.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Recommended retail price From €1,099.00
Colors Black, Purple, Gold, Blue
OS Android 12 (OneUI)
Screen 6.7 inch amoled (2640 x 1080, 120hz) and 1.9 inch amoled cover display
Processor 2.8 Ghz octa-core (Snapdragon 8+ Gen1)
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB (non-expandable)
Battery 3,700 mAh
Rear cameras 12 megapixel dual cam
Front camera 10 megapixels (front)
Connectivity 5G, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, Qi
Format 8.5 x 7.2 x 1.7 cm (closed) and 16.5 x 7.2 x 0.7
Weight 187 grams
Other E-sim, IPX 8, no adapter
Website www.samsung.com/nl
8 Score 80 Rating: 80

  • Pros
  • Build quality
  • Compact size
  • Innovative
  • Handy cover display
  • Negatives
  • Price
  • Fold line in screen
  • bloatware

Samsung’s folding screens return in two types of Galaxy smartphones. The Galaxy Z Fold: a smartphone that you open like a book to conjure up a second tablet screen and this Galaxy Z Flip, which you open and close like an old-fashioned clamshell phone. The technology of folding screens has now been refined by Samsung and the brand is master of this market.

But as I looked up for another article: despite the technology being ready for the masses, foldable smartphones are not mainstream. Of all smartphones sold, only 0.7% is one with a foldable screen. Nevertheless, Samsung crowned the previous generation of the Flip3 a sales success. There is no denying it: Samsung’s foldable smartphones are experiencing an extremely steady advance.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Flip for the masses

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 can rightly be called a success. Thanks to the improved hinge, which is even dust and waterproof, an impressive piece of technology has been pulled out of the box. However, there were still limiting factors, as our review of the Galaxy Z Flip3 showed. First of all, the price. More than 1,000 euros for a smartphone that still feels more like a concept smartphone is a hefty price threshold. The battery also proved problematic. Because it had too low a capacity, it was difficult to get through the day with a charged battery. A low capacity is also not beneficial for the life of your expensive smartphone, as it causes faster battery wear. That also seems like a big challenge for Samsung, because such a Galaxy Flip device is quite small when closed… How do you get a large battery in it? Moreover, the folding screen is again quite large: which poses energy consumption challenges.

Nevertheless, Samsung has succeeded in significantly increasing the battery capacity and using a more energy-efficient chipset. The battery capacity is 3,700 mAh, which is fifteen percent higher than the previous generation. Now the battery life is still not enough to mention as a plus, but it is nice that Samsung has made it work. A day with a full battery is perfectly feasible with heavy use and it will also have a positive effect on the lifespan. You can also charge this battery wirelessly, unfortunately an adapter is not included.

The battery is not the only point of improvement of the Galaxy Z Flip4. The dual cameras have also been improved, the notification screen on the outside is a bit more versatile and there are some improvements in computing power and other specifications. However, compared to the Galaxy Z Flip3, the changes are minimal.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Usage Scenarios

It is a pleasure to use the Galaxy Z Flip4. That may be said. When folded, the device is a lot friendlier for the bag or pocket. It has only become a small rectangular device, which is one and a half or twice as thick as a regular smartphone. Folded shut in the pocket or bag is a big advantage that, for example, keys or sand cannot scratch the screen. The second screen on the outside is actually very useful: for example to show the time, your notifications or other widgets for the weather, a calendar, agenda and decorative colors and images. You can see what you need at a glance without getting distracted by other apps.

Note that the device is somewhat slippery and easily slips out of your hands. Which would be a shame, the glass exterior feels unnecessarily vulnerable. Cases are available, which look a bit strange, because of the unusual shape of the smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

There are all kinds of special uses for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

The hinge is again a technical masterpiece, the device is splash and dustproof and the device closes on an edge, so that the screen is not damaged. The disadvantage is that there is a folding line in the screen that is visible and palpable. Unfortunately, a technical inconvenience for which Samsung has not yet invented a solution.

When folded, the device is easy to put away, when unfolded you have a considerably elongated screen for you to choose. But you can also fold it halfway, which also offers new usage scenarios. It’s almost a shame that I don’t need a make-up mirror, because with the selfiecam on the top half of the screen you can easily use the Galaxy Z Flip4 for this. Even if you fold it halfway and put it down, you can use the camera in a creative way for taking photos and videos. It is therefore nice that Samsung has improved the cameras compared to the previous generation.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
The dual cam of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4.

dual cam

Physically, Samsung also has challenges with the camera of the Galaxy Z Flip smartphones. Many smartphones are somewhat thicker around the camera lenses to allow all technology to fit. A Galaxy Z Flip doesn’t have that space: you don’t want it even thicker when closed. That is why it is quite impressive that Samsung has managed to fit a better camera in it. In addition to physical space, a good camera also benefits from software optimization. And that is what Samsung has done well.

The Galaxy Z Flip4 has two exterior cameras. That may be less than many other smartphones, but not a drawback. After all, more cameras does not equal better cameras. You have a regular and a wide-angle camera at your disposal, with the former being the best choice if, for example, you have bright backlight or low light available. Especially in backlight I noticed that photos got a blur and in low light noise occurs. The cameras are fine, and the night mode and portrait mode reveal that Samsung has put a lot of work into optimisation.

However, are you in the market for the best smartphone camera? Then a Galaxy S22, Pixel 6 or iPhone 13 is capable of more in terms of photo and video.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Photos taken with the regular camera and the wide-angle camera.

Computing power and software

As you might expect, the Galaxy Z Flip4 has better specifications than its predecessor. The device is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 chipset, assisted by 8GB of RAM. The working memory could have been a bit higher for the demanding user. You can choose between a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB version. Make sure you choose enough storage space, because you cannot expand this with a memory card.

The image quality of the screen is also good. It is not comparable to a smartphone with a regular screen. Although the folding screen is also an amoled panel, it is plastic and as indicated earlier with a visible folding line. That also makes the screen a little less bright. Still, it is an image quality that you are passionate about. The fingerprint scanner is integrated into the on/off button on the side and is therefore not under the screen. A big plus, since such a scanner works faster and more accurately.

Samsung has fully optimized Android for the folding screen and the extra outer screen of the Galaxy Z Flip4. Many additions are valuable. But not all. There really is an excess of bloatware: virus scanners, a Galaxy Shop, a second app store, a smart TV app, Samsung Members, Samsung Global Goals, Facebook, all kinds of Microsoft apps and much more. For those who use gesture navigation, Samsung Pay even gets in the way. A swipe up launches the app instead of the recent apps screen. It is disruptive and inappropriate on a smartphone. Especially in this price range.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

Despite the fact that Samsung offers a different type of foldable smartphone with the Galaxzy Z Fold, there is only one real alternative to the Galaxy Z Flip4. And that’s the Galaxy Z Flip3. Of course, this smartphone suffers from a low battery capacity, and it also performs and photographs less well. But otherwise the smartphones are almost identical. You cannot visually tell them apart. While the Galaxy Z Flip4 with its price tag of over 1000 euros is clearly not yet accessible enough to the general public, the Galaxy Z Flip3 can become. At the time of writing, this smartphone is still 729 euros. If Samsung can get something out of this, it is not inconceivable that Samsung’s wish will still be fulfilled and the foldable smartphone will really have a large user group. The Galaxy Z Flip smartphones are ready for it and with their unique shape and use cases they also provide added value – but not indispensable.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 and Flip 4
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold4 side by side.

Conclusion: buy Galaxy Z Flip3?

The Galaxy Z Flip4 solves two problems that made its predecessor inaccessible. For example, the Flip4 has sufficient battery capacity. Although the price is still inaccessibly high, the Galaxy Z Flip3 has a more attractive price tag. It slowly makes the foldable smartphone more attractive, but to be honest: the indispensable practical application for a foldable screen is still missing. If we look at the Galaxy Z Flip 4, it is noticeable that it can hardly be distinguished from its predecessor. .

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