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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Review: A foldable smartphone with no equal

With the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung has taken everything that worked with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and made it better, while correcting a lot of its drawbacks. But is that enough to justify its hefty price tag?

September 20, 2022 / 05:11 PM IST

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is arguably the best foldable smartphone of its generation. In a space of less than four years, Samsung has taken its foldable smartphone from concept to mainstream. And nothing resembled this more than the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

But despite being an excellent foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 did have its faults, which brings us to its predecessor. With the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung has taken everything that worked with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and made it better, while correcting a lot of its drawbacks. And all this is done while retaining the same price tag.

So let’s take a brief look at pricing before heading into our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 price in India is set at Rs 1,54,999 for the base 12GB/256GB model. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is also offered in a 12GB/512GB and 12GB/1TB configuration that will set you back by Rs 1,64,999 and Rs 1,84,999, respectively.

Design and Build

As mentioned earlier, not much has changed on the design front, though there are a few changes from the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Samsung has increased the width of the external display, making it a bit easier to type on, thanks to its 23.1:9 aspect ratio. While the keyboard still feels a bit cramped in the vertical orientation, it is a lot more comfortable than the previous generation. When unfolded, the internal screen features a 7.6-inch screen size and a 21.6:18 aspect ratio. Not only is the outer screen wider now, it also has relatively slim bezels.

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z fold 4

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 boast an IPX8 rating for water resistance, although there’s no official dust protection. The phone also comes with stylus support and an armour aluminium frame along with a glass back. Samsung uses Gorilla Glass Victus+ to protect the Fold 4 on all sides, though the inner display has an ultra-thin layer of glass as opposed to plastic. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has been independently tested, folding up to 200,000 times. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 weighs 263 grams and measures 6.3 mm when unfolded and 15.8 mm when unfolded. Samsung has made the phone 8 grams lighter and 0.2 mm thinner.

There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is pretty tough and while that toughness does come with its own heft, it is still lighter than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The hinge on the phone also feels solid enough that you can open and close the phone without a care. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available in three colours – Graygreen, Phantom Black, and Beige, ours came in Graygreen. The back panel has a smooth matte finish that is resistant to fingerprints and gives the phone a polished look, no matter which colour option you choose.

Galaxy z fold 4 price

The USB Type-C port, stereo speakers and antennas on the Fold 4 are in the same place as they were on its predecessor. Speaking of the speakers, they are fine-tuned with Dolby Atmos and offer well-balanced sound. The speakers also maintain audio clarity at high volumes but do lack a bit of bass. They’re definitely flagship-grade speakers, but considering entertainment is a driving factor of the Z Fold 4, they could have been better. Samsung’s newest foldable smartphone also has the power and volume buttons and the SIM tray on either side, while the power button doubles as a fingerprint reader.

Display

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 features a 7.6-inch QXGA+ LTPO AMOLED panel when unfolded. The screen can scale between 1Hz to 120Hz for better power consumption. The inner display has a peak brightness of 1,200 nits and supports HDR10+. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 sports an HD+ 6.2-inch cover or outer AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate but can only scale down to 48Hz. Both cover display and back panel are protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus+. And while the crease is easily visible when using the phone for everyday tasks, it doesn’t interfere with the picture when you are watching a video, TV show, or movie.

samsung fold 4

Both the external and internal displays get impressively bright and is easily visible under direct sunlight. Samsung has shrunk the bezels on both the inner and outer displays, offering more screen real estate. Additionally, the inner screen doesn’t have a notch and opts for an under-display camera instead. The large screen on the inside is excellent for entertainment on the go. I preferred using the outer display for most tasks, although watching content and gaming on the inner screen has an absolute delight.

Performance

When it comes to performance, there are zero compromises here. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, which offers better peak sustained performance and power efficiency. The chip is paired with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 1TB of UFS 3.1 storage. Connectivity options on the phone include 4G LTE, 16 5G bands, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Dual-SIM, Ultra-Wideband (UWB), and more. When it came to multitasking, the new SD 8+ Gen 1 chip handles everything you throw at it with ease.

samsung z fold

We did run a Geekbench 5 test that yielded a single-core score of points and a multi-core score of 1212 points and a multi-core score of 3601 points. In AnTuTu, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 managed an overall score of 931172 points. The scores were taken with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 unfolded. While the Z Fold 4 may not have the fastest scores of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 flagships, it is still quite impressive. We did do a fair bit of gaming, running titles including Call of Duty: Mobile, Apex Legends Mobile, Diablo Immortal, and Asphalt 9: Legends, on the Z Fold 4, but it can be a little tricky to get used too the larger display.

Cameras

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a new 50 MP, f/1.8 primary sensor uses “Tetra binning” technology to output photos in 12 megapixels. The main camera is paired with a 12 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide shooter and a 10 MP, f/2.4 telephoto unit with 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. There is a 4 MP under-display camera for video calls and a 10 MP selfie camera in the hole-punch notch of the external cover screen. Now, let’s take a look at some real-world results.

Galaxy Z Fold 4

The main 50 MP camera takes excellent photos in daylight with good dynamic range and vibrant yet accurate colour reproduction. The camera pumps out warner photos with no over-sharpening or oversaturation. I also found white balance and good exposure to be on point for the most part. The bigger sensor also means you get a natural bokeh effect when snapping close-ups of objects. Additionally, an AI Stereo Depth Map feature uses AI to offer better subject separation from the background.

The camera also does a solid job in low light with the addition of Samsung’s Nightography feature that was first introduced on the Galaxy S22 series. The main camera captures more light, less noise, good dynamic range, and more details at night. While the phone maintains good colour consistency between the main, telephoto, and ultrawide cameras using night mode, noise tends to creep in, and images tend to look soft with slightly less detail when shooting with the ultrawide and telephoto cameras.

Galaxy z fold 4

In the day, the 12 MP ultrawide camera keeps pace with the main 50 MP sensor, maintaining excellent consistency, although it does lose out on some detail. However, overall detail and exposure are good, while noise is kept under control. The 10 MP telephoto unit on the Z Fold 4 now offers 30x digital magnification and 3x optical zoom. The 10 MP selfie camera on the front takes sharp selfies with good dynamic range. Selfies taken during the day have good detail and exposure, while night shots with the front camera are softer and slightly grainer.

galaxy fold 4

The good part of using a smartphone with two displays is that you can use the outer screen as a view finder to take selfies using the rear cameras. This essentially makes the Galaxy Z Fold 4 the best smartphone for selfies. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 also has a 4 MP under-display camera on the inner screen. The 4 MP has a new sub-pixel design to enable better photo and video quality. The Galaxy S22 can take 4K video at 60fps on all three rear cameras and the front camera. However, only the main camera can take 8K video and you’ll have to stick to 4K at 30fps if you want to switch between the three lenses while recording a video.

Battery Life

When it comes to battery capacity, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a 4,400 mAh cell. The sizeable battery coupled with the new power efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip ensures the Z Fold 4 delivers excellent battery life, capable of lasting an entire day on a single charge. I lost 25 percent battery after using the device for an hour. This time included 20 minutes of gaming, 15 minutes of watching videos on YouTube, 15 minutes of browsing, and 10 minutes on social media apps.

samsung fold

The battery also supports 25W fast charging and 15W wireless charging. Again, there’s no charger in the box, which is a shame considering the price of the device. It took me around two hours to get a full charge on the Fold 4 with a 22.5W Xiaomi charger. Overall, I’d say battery life on the phone is quite reliable, especially considering the size of battery remains the same.

Software & Experience

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is also the first Samsung smartphone to run on Android 12L with One UI 4.1.1 on top. Android 12L is a version of Android for large-screen devices. Samsung promises four more Android versions and five years of security updates. Samsung’s interface is generally clean and bloat-free, while the foldable form factor can be both fun and challenging. Before we get into the full software experience, it is worth noting that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 does offer S Pen support, although we weren’t sent one. Additionally, the S Pen on the Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t compatible with the new Fold.

galaxy foldables

Multitasking on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is quite convenient, in large part due to the new Taskbar on the bottom that shows you all recent apps. You can also rearrange the main home row on the home screen to choose which apps you prefer to see on the taskbar. Thanks to the taskbar, you can access any apps on the internal screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 within a couple of taps from the main display. Samsung has also enhanced Flex Mode on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which allows you to use the phone in a laptop orientation.

galaxy fold

Flex Mode allows you to view the content of apps on the top half of the screen and control them on the bottom half. Samsung is working with Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom to improve this mode and allow users to take better advantage of this feature. I found Flex Mode particularly useful when recording videos. Flex Mode also brings a new cursor and trackpad that is fun to use. Samsung has also made the transition between with the outer and inner screens seamless and users can opt to have different shortcuts for both panels.

galaxy z fold 4

When unfolded, users can multitask between three apps simultaneously, although I’d recommend sticking to two as three can cause the space to become cluttered. However, running apps side by side is a lot more convenient than the split screen feature on most smartphones. There’s a drag and drop feature when using apps side by side. The feature allows users to drag photos from a Gallery and attach it to a WhatsApp chat or email in the Gmail app.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 India

You can explore all the new and unique features in the Labs section of the Settings, which are experimental features that can help improve the user experience. Samsung’s DeX feature also allows you to use the Galaxy Z Fold 4 as a full fledge Android desktop by connecting the device to a TV with a couple of taps. Samsung has done an excellent job with the software on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Even though it isn’t a massive upgrade over the Z Fold 3, you still get some upgrades, a lot of refinement, and some new features. Samsung is clearly going for; ‘If it ain’t broke, let’s make it better’.

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is one of the most expensive smartphones on the market and the most expensive mainstream Android device. Additionally, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 doesn’t quite have the best specifications of a smartphone by any means. But there’s more to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 than its specifications and even more so that goes into the Fold’s design and overall experience. First off, the design feels premium and refined, while the versatile build is one of the Fold 4’s biggest improvements.

samsung fold 4

And don’t forget eye-catching nature of the foldable form factor. Performance and battery life have also gotten much better and are now on-par with any and every flagship that launched so far. Additionally, minor improvements in the software and display departments also serve to vastly improve the foldable experience. Lastly, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has gotten the flagship camera treatment, allowing to keep pace with some of the best smartphones of 2022.

samsung foldable smartphones

Samsung took major steps into normalising this foldable form factor with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and with the Z Fold 4, the tech giant has all-but improved on that form factor. So should you buy the Galaxy Z Fold 4? If you can stomach the hefty price tag that it comes with, I don’t see why not. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is more-than a regular flagship, it is truly the ultimate Android smartphone. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 offers the most feature-rich experience on an Android phone, helping it to an easy recommendation in our books.
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Carlsen Martin
first published: Sep 19, 2022 06:45 pm
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