Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is essentially a $1000 flagship phone that folds in half and gives it four key benefits over a normal phone as well as one major con. So, here they are:
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is unexpectedly compact. Don’t get it wrong. Good and mini smartphones exist. The iPhone 13 Mini is the best example of that. But because this folds up into a square, it all of a sudden unlocks even more options for storing it. To be fair, their last z-flip 3 was already portable. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 has just taken that and very slightly trimmed everything further down. It’s a little shorter and narrower when unfolded, the hinge protrudes less when folded up and even the borders around the inside screen are slightly narrower.
That combined with the fact that the main finish is now matte instead of glossy. It’s just enough to make it feel like an upgrade in your hands. You do still have to do this awkward little finger dance every time you open and close it. Trust me, I’ve tried to do that whole suave flicking the screen up movement does not work. I mean if it’s any consolation if you do draw. But if it’s any consolation if you do drop your phone while attempting to do it now, the entire thing is wrapped in gorilla glass victus plus and armor aluminum, which is a fancy way of saying good shatter resistance and improved scratch resistance.
The second thing about a phone that folds in half like this, is it’s something you’re never going to see on a feature list or a spec sheet. For example, you are on a health transformation right now and one of the critical things that you might be trying to do is to just be mindful. Less distracted by thoughts and your phone and doom-scrolling TikTok and just more mentally present in the right moment. And the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 could help you get there.
The phone has two screens. You’ve got the main inside panel which is just a taller version of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S22 screen with a still unfortunately kind of noticeable crease right in the middle. But then also a smaller secondary cover display and this is the key thing. The second screen gives you the perfect amount of usability. If you compare it to where the cover screen first started on the original galaxy z flip it is dramatically fleshed out.
There are a whole bunch of new customization options like new ways to theme it but it’s also more functional. You can now toggle your quick settings, you can create a voice note, and even can activate your robot vacuum cleaner from it. You can also make payments with your mobile wallet, read your incoming messages, and even now reply to them using speech-to-text. This isn’t as gimmicky as you were expecting either. Samsung’s voice input has come a long way since the beginning. If you try it now, it’ll get the whole sentence word for word. So, this cover screen has just hit a kind of sweet spot. Where it’s capable enough to be able to keep you in the loop but not so capable that it’s distracting. It won’t let you access your TikTok app, you can’t watch your favorite Disney plus or NetFlix shows and it will stop you from fueling your life-size cut-out shopping addiction.
The fact that you need to unfold it creates a kind of barrier between seeing a notification and then suddenly ending up completely lost within an app for 30 minutes without realizing how you even got there.
This third feature is an even bigger pull. It’s how the ability to fold improves the cameras. Particularly, you might not be excited about these cameras to start with. Yes, the Samsung galaxy z flip 4 setup is technically better than last year. They’ve upped the optical image stabilization, and they’ve improved the electronic image stabilization. Whilst also building the main camera that can let in about 65% more light than the last flipper.
But even with that, this is still probably the weakest set of cameras out of Samsung’s current flagship lineup. You’re not going to get the insane 10x optical zoom that you get on their Galaxy S22 Ultra. Instead, you get zero optical zooms. You’re not gonna get that 108-megapixel main camera resolution, you get 12. And the camera sensors themselves are technically a tier below even the bass Galaxy S22 which is a cheaper phone than this.
The difference is not as much as it sounds. The strong diminishing returns that you get with camera hardware combined with the fact that most of the heavy lifting on smartphone cameras is now done by the software which is more or less the same. It means that if the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera was a 10 this would be about a seven.
It still captures photos that look somewhat cinematic with noticeable separation between the foreground and background, it has improved edge detection when it comes to portrait modes and the video does look presentable and even a little smoother than before.
Personally, that three-point difference compared to this phone is enough to put me off for the vast majority of people who just want to take nice photos and don’t think about it much more than that I think you’ll struggle to tell the difference.
The aesthetic of the photos is very similar and most of the time you’re just going to be impressed by the colors the sharpness and the subtle flattering face tuning that Samsung cameras are starting to get quite advanced with and there is an advantage to being able to fold. It means that
- You can be a little more creative with it. use it like a camcorder if you want. But I don’t know why you would do this😁. You can take one continuous video while slowly pivoting the angle. You can also take advantage of the fact you have a bend by propping up the phone and then just using palm recognition to get it to take a shot.
- The interesting part is that you can now use this improved main camera system to take some of the best selfie photos and selfie videos in the game. Unlike quite a few companies who have offered the same thing, I appreciate the fact that Samsung has just committed to it. You get almost the entire main camera feature set on the front. You just double tap the power button to see the camera view and from there you can just swipe across and record full quality 4k video and swipe across again to get portrait mode
You’ll really like this touch. You can also swipe up and down to switch between the main camera and the ultrawide camera. And fact that Samsung is also working with companies like Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp to try and integrate their camera features into those third-party apps. I think it’s fantastic, I think this integration is exactly what android needs.
The final key perk of the Samsung galaxy z flip 4 is the folding features that Samsung specifically gave to it. We’ve had a feature called flex mode for a while now which basically means that for a handful of specifically optimized apps like youtube google meet and Microsoft teams, your phone will smartly transition to a foldable optimized format at the point where you start folding your screen.
For example, this would let you have a google met call while the phone is propped up on your bed, and starting now you can get a sort of flex mode for any app. Whether it’s been developed with this in mind or not by following the phone now you have the option to force the app to the top half and summon up a bunch of commands on the bottom half.
Things like the ability to skip through content, adjust your brightness, and being able to take a screenshot. Probably the most curious is the creator touchpad. This brings up an actual cursor that allows you to use the top part of your screen like your computer.
So, these are the top four clear perks of a foldable phone. Now, here comes the hard part of a foldable phone.
Foldable Phones Are Expensive
Well, giving a phone the ability to fold is incredibly expensive. It’s expensive in terms of literal price. You have to now get a flexible screen, you have to build two displays instead of one display and that means that even though this is a thousand-dollar phone the specs you’re getting are closer to a $700 phone. But it’s also expensive when it comes to space. Because you now have to make room for an entire hinge mechanism in the middle of the phone and that comes at the cost of battery and cooling. Both of these were issues on the galaxy z flip 3. It would usually just about scrape through a day of usage and you’ll also notice that its performance would start to take a dive with prolonged gaming sessions because the phone will be getting so hot. But there is nothing to worry about anymore.
A combination of a more efficient screen and the ability to properly use the phone without fully unfolding it. A jump in battery capacity from 3300mAh to 3700mAh and a less power-guzzling cooler Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, should be enough to address both issues. This is the key takeaway.
In 2019 there were about 0.7 million foldable devices sold. In 2020 that almost tripled to 1.9 million and then in 2021 that almost quadrupled to 7.1 million. The fun fact is that most of them were Samsung’s. So the reason that the Samsung galaxy z flip 4 is not a hugely ambitious phone is that Samsung isn’t under any pressure right now.
They have no relevant competitors and all they’re doing here is just making minor improvements to their existing foldable to keep them updated and patiently waiting for the sales to just blow up. It’s a little lazy but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re starting to see the benefit of the flip phone.
Lastly, if you broke your Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 by any chance, well there’s nothing to worry about. At Cell Care we’re ready to do every latest flagship cell phone repair for you. Call us or visit our store in Vancouver. We are the only one in Vancouver with all 5-star reviews.