Galaxy Z Fold 4: Samsung’s foldable phone gets better design, same high price

What is happening

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Z Fold 4, its all-new full-size foldable phone.

why is it important

Samsung sees foldable phones as the key to the future of its mobile device lineup. As one of the biggest smartphone makers in the world, Samsung is influencing the wider market.

And after

Samsung will launch the Galaxy Z Fold 4 on August 26 for $1,800.

Samsung presented its new Galaxy Z Fold 4 last week Unpacked event. The modified design of this high-end foldable phone should make its phone mode easier to use than that of previous models. Additionally, it gets new software that takes advantage of its foldable display, along with routine processor and camera upgrades. It starts at $1,800 (£1,649, AU$2,499) and goes on sale August 26.

Samsung was one of the first to enter the market by launching its first Galaxy Fold device in 2019. It dominates the foldable phone market by a wide margin in terms of shipments, according to estimates from View Supply Chain Consultants and Omdia. But foldable phones still represent a slice of the expanded mobile phone market. The new Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 are Samsung’s latest attempt to change that by addressing some of the biggest criticisms of previous models, potentially making foldables more appealing to a wider audience.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4, for example, has a larger cover screen that looks more like a regular, non-folding phone when closed. The change makes apps feel more natural since the Z Fold 4’s screen isn’t quite as cramped. The difference is certainly noticeable compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but the screen is still not as wide as a standard phone such as the Galaxy S22 Where iPhone 13.

Samsung also does more to make the Galaxy Z Fold 4 useful when its screen is folded halfway. Flex mode, which splits an app between the upper and lower parts of the screen when the Z Fold is open, gets a new feature. You’ll be able to use the bottom half of the screen as a touchpad to control content on the top half, like a laptop’s touchpad.

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First take of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: larger cover screen,…


This should make it easier to navigate apps in Flex mode, as you won’t have to hide the top part of the screen with your finger while you scroll. The recently announced Galaxy Z Flip 4 also gets this feature, and Samsung says it will evaluate its integration with older Galaxy Z Fold and Flip devices. Samsung also claims the Z Fold 4 is the first device to ship with Android 12L, the version of Android optimized for tablets. One of the most notable additions in Android 12 is the Z Fold 4’s new taskbar, which should make it easier to switch between apps.

The overall design of the Z Fold 4 is generally the same, but Samsung says the Z Fold 4 has a sturdier build. The exterior is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus Plus, while the internal tablet-sized display is said to be 45% more durable. Samsung also claims that the Z Fold 4’s interior screen is brighter than its predecessor and that the under-display interior camera is less noticeable. Like the previous version, the Z Fold 4 is also compatible with the S Pen.

Otherwise, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 gets the camera and processor upgrades you’d expect from an annual phone update. The camera is particularly noteworthy; Samsung is upgrading the Z Fold 4’s triple-lens camera system to a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 10-megapixel telephoto sensor. This telephoto lens will support optical zoom up to 3x and digital zoom up to 30x. Samsung is also bringing the The improved low-light photography of the Galaxy S22 to Z Fold 4 and Flip 4.

Samsung foldable

Galaxy Z Fold 4’s cover screen is larger than Z Fold 3’s.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Most people interested in the Galaxy Z Fold probably care more about the phone’s giant interior display than the camera. But at such a high price, the Z Fold 4 should have a camera that matches or at least exceeds those found on Samsung’s non-folding phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s cameras are definitely a step in the right direction, representing a noticeable upgrade over the Z Fold 3’s 12-megapixel wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide lenses. Galaxy S22 Ultra is still Samsung’s premium camera phone.

The Z Fold 4 will also work on Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, which is a newer and slightly improved version of the chip found in the Galaxy S22 line. The battery capacity also remains the same at 4,400mAh, which is a shame – CNET’s Patrick Holland was disappointed with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s battery life.

Samsung foldable

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Overall, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a more polished and refined version of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Samsung seems to have a better understanding of who these devices are for, now that they’ve been around for about three years. With its large display and S Pen compatibility, Samsung is positioning the Z Fold 4 as a productivity device, much like the off Galaxy Note. Establishing this direction means Samsung can focus on adding new features that are unique and specific to the Z Fold, rather than just making sure apps run smoothly on the Fold’s various screen sizes.

At $1,800, the Z Fold 4 is still a tough sell. And while these new features are a sign of progress, they might not be enough to win over non-foldable phone users. But it’s one step closer to determining what role, if any, foldables might play in our lives.

To find out more, take a look at Galaxy ZFlip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and everything else announced by Samsung.

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