Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review
From feasibility to refinement, the natural evolution of Samsung’s priorities for its flagship foldable smartphone took just a couple of years. The Galaxy Z Fold4 of 2022 focuses on much-needed camera upgrades, and throws in some subtle physical polishing, all the while maintaining the core concept of the productivity-driven phone-turns-tablet form factor.
The camera setup of the Z Fold3 used some relatively ancient hardware, and the new model changes most of it. Having in principle the same wide-ultrawide-telephoto arrangement, the Z Fold4 gets more reach on the long end and a larger sensor main camera, while the ultrawide remains untouched. Mind you, it’s still not a cutting-edge configuration – it’s almost the same as the one on the Galaxy S22(+) with some fine print in the autofocusing section.
In the physical touches, we’re seeing that the bezels have been trimmed down, the outer screen has adopted a slightly less tall aspect (still taller than virtually anything), and the whole thing now weighs ever so slightly less – all evolutionary changes that may or may be spotted in practice. It’s certainly not the gapless foldable we’ve all been droning on that Samsung should make, while Chinese manufacturers are, in fact, making.
Other things you won’t be getting on this iteration either include properly fast charging, Samsung instead keeping things at 25 watts of PPS-enhanced USB PowerDelivery. The battery capacity remains at 4,400mAh, but that hasn’t really proven a pain point in the past, so we won’t be making a big deal of it now either.
If anything, further advancements in the display tech (Samsung advertised a more power-efficient panel for this generation Fold), coupled with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, itself not sourced from Samsung’s chipmaking division but TSMC, might actually mean improved battery life – we’ll get to that.
Speaking of the display, the foldable inner panel maintains the numbers of the old model – the diagonal is 7.6 inches refresh rate mazes out at 120Hz, and it’s a granularly adaptive refresh rate, as befitting the Fold’s high-end status. The outer panel matches the big one for refresh rate capability, and while the diagonal remains unchanged from the predecessor at 6.2 inches, the new aspect should make it slightly more convenient while also marginally increasing the usable area.
Naturally, you’re getting stereo speakers, the side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor, an IPX8 rating (no dust, water only), and a couple of selfie cameras – one on the outside and another under the flexible display. Those seem to be dialed in now with no apparent reason to change them.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 specs at a glance:
- Body: 155.1×130.0x6.3mm (unfolded), 155.1×67.1×14.2-15.8mm (folded), 263g; IPX8 water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
- Display: 7.60″ Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak), 1812x2176px resolution, 10.8:9 aspect ratio, 373ppi; Cover display: 6.20″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, 904x2316px, 23.1:9, 401ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
- Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 1TB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- OS/Software: Android 12L, One UI 4.1.1.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 23mm, 1.0µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 66mm, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 12mm, 1.12µm.
- Front camera: Under-display: 4 MP, f/1.8, 2.0µm, under display; Cover camera: Wide (main): 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm, 1/3″, 1.22µm.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@60fps, 1080p@60/240fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@960fps (gyro-EIS), HDR10+; Cover camera: 4K@60fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 4400mAh; Fast charging 25W, 50% in 30 min (advertised), Fast wireless charging 15W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; stereo speakers; Samsung DeX (desktop experience support), Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified), Ultra Wideband (UWB) support; stylus support.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 unboxing
The unboxing experience of the Galaxy Z Fold4 brings few surprises. The phone arrives unfolded in a large squarish black box with bold ‘Fold’ lettering. And when we say the box is ‘large,’ it’s only so in footprint – it’s half-height since it’s missing a charger, as has become the norm. There’s still a USB-C cable bundled, still.
But the barebones retail package is easily forgotten once you actually get to hold the Fold4, so let’s talk some about that.