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.

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.

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.

The flexible layer above the OLED pixels is still only sort of glass as far as our understanding goes, even though Samsung and the product’s (most likely) supplier Schott call it UTG (Ultra-Thin Glass). It’s a fascinating subject but the gist of it is that you could make glass bend if you make it thin enough (under 100µm, but 30µm is what’s usually used on smartphones), but if you make it that thin you run into other issues, so you need additional treatment and… well, other layers.

Aspect ratio tweaks, same greatness

The Galaxy Z Fold4 comes with the same display setup, in principle, as the predecessor, a setup established with the very first Fold and subsequently refined and made more usable each generation – a large and squarish inner display folds in half and hands off to a cover screen for less area-intense tasks. The Z Fold3 got a lot of it right already, the 4th generation adds another step in the pursuit of perfection.

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