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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 hands-on: Making the most popular foldable better
Update: Check out our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review!
Samsung isn’t shy about letting you know that the Galaxy Z Flip 3, not the Fold 3, is the world’s most popular foldable — and we can see why. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 aims to take the $999 clamshell recipe that took over the world and improve upon it. These are our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Stop me if you’ve seen this one before
Samsung’s entire Unpacked lineup looks very similar to its 2021 lineup. Almost all of the changes here over the Galaxy Z Flip 3 are on the inside. The most notable changes in a nutshell are:
- New chipset
- 512GB option
- 12% larger battery
- Faster charging
- More durable foldable display
- Brighter main camera sensor
- New colors
While it may seem as though Samsung hasn’t done much to the hardware here, there are a few tiny changes. Most notably, the hinge has been made thinner. Not in terms of height when laid flat, as you can see below, but rather in terms of hinge “bulk.”
Samsung tells us the internal display is 45% stronger than the Flip 3 but we’re not yet sure how that has been achieved. You’ll otherwise get the same foldable 6.7-inch Super AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate on the inside. The display crease seems slightly less noticeable this year but it’s still far from invisible. Samsung has upgraded the exterior display covering to Gorilla Glass Victus Plus.
Almost all of the changes in the Galaxy Z Flip 4 are on the inside.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 chipset has been upgraded to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. There’s also a new 512GB storage variant and if you take advantage of Samsung’s pre-order offer you’ll get double the storage you pay for. You can also trade in an eligible device for up to $900 off and get a free silicone ring case or strap case.
There are new colorways this year: Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, and Blue for the exterior panels and black, silver, and gold for the frame. Samsung’s Bespoke Edition options provide up to 75 different combinations of frame and front and back panels.
What’s new with the cameras?
The cameras in the Flip 4 are sadly not that different from last year. You’ll once again get dual 12MP main cameras and a 10MP selfie camera. Most camera specs are identical to the Flip 3 but the primary 12MP sensor is now 65% brighter with 1.8-micron pixels. Stay tuned for our full Galaxy Z Flip 4 review to see how it holds up in low-light settings.
Most camera specs are identical to the Flip 3 barring the 65% brighter main sensor.
The selfie camera does have some new software tricks up its sleeve. When taking selfies in clamshell mode via Quick Shot, you can now preview your photo on the Cover Screen. You can even change aspect ratios without ever having to open the Flip 4. Samsung’s camera AI helps take clearer shots with minimized shake and AI Stereo Depth Map Technology promises to keep details in focus.
Samsung is also emphasizing “FlexCam,” which is basically just using the Flip 4’s cameras while in half-closed mode. This allows you to sit your phone somewhere while you gather for a group photo with a shutter delay or for vlogging or hands-free streaming. FlexCam works when the Flip is half open with a 75-115 degree angle at the hinge — and it’s compatible with Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook.
Battery life on the Flip 4 gets a nice bump to a 3,700mAh cell paired with 25W fast charging (courtesy of an optional extra charger). That’ll get you a 50% charge in around 30 minutes. There’s also 10W+ Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 on board, plus reverse wireless charging for topping up accessories, like the new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro or Galaxy Watch 5.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 specs
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4|
- 1.9-inch Super AMOLED
- 512 x 260
- Gorilla Glass Victus Plus
- 6.7-inch Super AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,640 x 1,080
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
128, 256, or 512GB
No expandable storage
25W Super Fast Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
No charger in box
- 12MP wide, 1.8μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
- 12MP ultrawide, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2
- 10MP, 1.22μm, ƒ/2.4
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
Single nano-SIM tray
Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
One UI 4.1
Dimensions and weight
- 84.9 x 71.9 x 17.1mm (measured at hinge)
- 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm
IPX8 water resistance
Global: Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, Blue
- Front/back: Yellow, White, Navy, Khaki, Red
- Frame: Silver, Black, Gold
A note on Galaxy Z Flip 4 software
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 ships with Android 12 and One UI 4.1. Samsung promises four Android OS updates and five years’ worth of security patches. As we’ve said before and will say again, this is the type of update commitment all Android OEMs should follow.
The external Cover Screen has also picked up a few new tricks. These include accessing your quick settings, replying to texts, unlocking your compatible car, making calls, and paying with Samsung Wallet. You can now control your connected devices via new Smart Things widgets for the Cover Screen.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4's external Cover Screen has also picked up a few new tricks.
If you’ve been longing to better match your Galaxy devices, the Flip 4 is ready to accommodate. It’s now possible to sync themes across your phone, watch, and tablet. You can even design custom clock widgets for the Cover Screen and add video backgrounds. We’ll let you know just how cool this is in our full review.
And finally, when the Flip 4 is in Flex Mode, you can use the bottom half of the screen as a trackpad. We’re not 100% sure why you’d want to do this but let’s just go with it for now.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 hands-on: The takeaway
From our short time with the Flip 4 so far, we’re seeing a lot of what we already liked in the Flip 3 with a few minor tweaks and additional features. Whether that’s enough to retain the title of the world’s most popular foldable, we’ll just have to wait and see. There’s certainly not much more than iterative changes here but when last year’s model was so good there’s only so much that can be done without jacking up the price we all fell in love with.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 starts at $999 for the 8+128GB version and is available for pre-order as of August 10. Take advantage of the pre-order offer to double your storage for free.
Do you like the changes Samsung made to the Galaxy Z Flip 4, or were you expecting more? Vote for your favorite new Samsung foldable in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.