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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 buyer's guide: Everything you need to know
When Samsung first launched the Galaxy Fold in 2019, it was like nothing we’d ever seen before. Three generations later, Samsung hasn’t significantly changed the overall formula but has certainly refined it a lot. Those years of refinement leave us with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 — the best foldable phone from the company yet.
In our buyer’s guide, we’re going to tell you everything there is to know about the newest Galaxy Z Fold.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 at a glance
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 launched on August 10, 2022, during the summer session of Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event. Pre-orders started that same day with a general sales date of August 26. At the same event, Samsung also launched the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.
All in all, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 isn’t that different from its predecessors. As always, in its folded state, it looks like a “normal” smartphone — albeit a very thick one. If you unfold it like a book, however, it exposes the huge foldable display underneath. Its outer display offers a traditional smartphone experience, while its inner display offers a tablet-like experience when you need more space.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 offers subtle refinements rather than a dramatic overhaul.
With the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, the company has merely refined its existing — and successful — formula. The processor and cameras are all upgraded, including the then-new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC. The design has been subtly tweaked to allow for slightly more screen space, improved durability, and an overall more elegant hold. Some new software tricks and some new colors also add to the experience.
Samsung launched the Galaxy Z Fold 4 on August 10, 2022.
Although these small upgrades create a better phone, there’s no dramatic shift. In other words, a person who owns a Galaxy Z Fold 3 may not find too many reasons to upgrade.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799 for the model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. There are also 512GB and 1TB models with the same 12GB of RAM.
Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 worth buying?
When this phone launched, Samsung had close to zero competition in the foldables space. The competition it did have — from OPPO, Xiaomi, Motorola, and a few others — couldn’t hold a candle to Samsung’s global reach. Simply put, if you lived in North America in 2022 and wanted a foldable phone, you had two choices: a “fold” style phone from Samsung or a “flip” style phone from Samsung.
However, on May 10, 2023, Google finally entered the race with the Google Pixel Fold. It’s early days yet, but this is the most substantial competition Samsung has had in North America since the foldable market became a thing.
Regardless, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still the best-of-the-best in the foldables market from a global perspective. It is more powerful and capable than last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 and has numerous perks over even the Galaxy Z Flip 4. And, it is available in far more countries than the measly four we’ll see the Pixel Fold in (the US, the UK, Germany, and Japan).
If you want a great foldable smartphone that's available everywhere, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is it.
In addition to having some of the best hardware available, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 also has the best software commitment of any foldable out there. Samsung will deliver four Android upgrades and five years of security patches to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, making it a sound long-term investment.
Of course, this phone is expensive. If you’re not willing to pony up a minimum of $1,799, a used or refurbished Galaxy Z Fold 3 might be a better option. You could also buy a Galaxy Z Flip 4, which starts at $999. But if you want a phone that works like a small tablet too, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still the top choice.
What experts say about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Here at Android Authority, we heaped a ton of praise onto the phone in our Galaxy Z Fold 4 review. In fact, we gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars, so almost a perfect score. It also earned our coveted Editor’s Choice badge. We loved its performance, the updated cameras, the enhanced durability, and the terrific software enhancements offered by Android 12L.
However, we didn’t much care for its modest battery life, the lack of an included S Pen, or its still-too-visible center crease. We also lamented its high price, although there’s not much competition yet to encourage Samsung to punch that down.
Elsewhere around the web, here’s what professional reviewers thought about the Galaxy Z Fold 4:
- Allison Johnson at The Verge: Allison gave the Galaxy Z Fold 4 a score of 7/10, which is a lower score than what we offered. While Allison enjoyed the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s camera, software, and performance, she criticized the price, its weight and design, and the fact that Android still doesn’t give enough support and unique features to tablet form factors.
- Patrick Holland at CNET: Patrick gave the phone a score of 8.2/10, which is similar to our own score. Like us, he loved the durability upgrades, new cameras, and software features. However, he lamented the high price, the lack of an S Pen slot or storage system, and the lack of Android app support for foldables and large displays.
- Rado Minkov at PhoneArena: Rado gave the device a 9/10, the same score we gave it. Interestingly, he had all the same criticisms and compliments we had, but thought the battery life was quite good, which we didn’t think measured up in our tests.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 specs
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes with some expected 2022 upgrades. You can see the detailed hardware specs below.
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4|
- 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,316 x 904 resolution
- Gorilla Glass Victus Plus
- 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,176 x 1,812 resolution
- Foldable display covering
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
256, 512GB, or 1TB
No expandable storage
25W wired charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
No charger in box
- 50MP wide, 1.0μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
- 12MP ultra-wide, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2
- 10MP telephoto, 1.0μm, OIS, 3x zoom, ƒ/2.4
- 10MP ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm
- 4MP, 2.0μm, ƒ/1.8
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
Dual nano-SIM tray
Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
One UI 4.1
Dimensions and weight
- 155.1 x 67.1 x 15.8mm (measured at hinge)
- 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3mm
Global: Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige
Samsung Exclusive: Burgundy
Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera good?
In our review, we loved the cameras offered with the Galaxy Z Fold 4. This is a refreshing change, as we weren’t incredibly thrilled with the output of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
As a refresher, here’s what you get as far as hardware:
- Exterior rear:
- 50MP wide, 1.0μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
- 12MP ultrawide, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2
- 10MP telephoto, 1.0μm, OIS, 3x zoom, ƒ/2.4
- Exterior front:
- 10MP ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm
- Internal UDC:
- 4MP, 2.0μm, ƒ/1.8
These cameras are quite similar to those found in the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus. The notable exception is the ultrawide lens, which is a pretty decent upgrade over the one found in the Galaxy S22 phones.
Here are some photo examples from the Galaxy Z Fold 4:
How is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 battery life?
The battery capacity of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is 4,400mAh. This is the same capacity as 2021’s Galaxy Z Fold 3.
In our Galaxy Z Fold 3 review, we found battery life to be so-so. In our revisit of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 six months later, we found battery life to fall squarely into the “not so good” category.
Considering Samsung didn’t increase the battery capacity for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, it should be unsurprising to hear that we think the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s battery is also so-so. In our six-months-later review of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, we found that battery life didn’t get much better over time.
Generally, if battery life is a huge concern for you, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 — or any foldable — probably shouldn’t be on your list.
As far as charging goes, there aren’t too many changes here, either. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 charges with a cable at the same 25W speed as its predecessor, though you’ll need a USB PD PPS charger for the top charging times. Wireless and reverse wireless charging speeds aren’t much different, either, and there is no charger in the box.
How is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s performance?
Inside the Galaxy Z Fold 4, you’ll find the mighty Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor — the most powerful Android chip of 2022. Not only is it a few notches more powerful than the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but it also better manages heat for improved sustained performance, which was one of our biggest issues with the 8 Gen 1.
The state-of-the-art processor and wealth of RAM in the Galaxy Z Fold 4 should keep power users happy.
When you consider that SoC is paired with a whopping 12GB of RAM in the Galaxy Z Fold 4, power users should be very satisfied with the performance of this phone. Things should be smooth, fast, and reliable.
Speaking of smooth, both the interior and exterior displays support 120Hz refresh rates. That should also add to the overall premium performance experience of the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Software and updates
Out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 ships with Android 12L with One UI 4.1 on top. However, there will be an Android 13 update waiting for you when you first power it on, which Samsung launched at the tail end of 2022.
Samsung will deliver four total Android upgrades to the Galaxy Z Fold 4. With Android 13 being the first, you’ll eventually see Android 14 in 2023, Android 15 after that, and then finally receive Android 16 as its final upgrade.
In addition, Samsung will deliver security patches on a regular basis for five years. Your foldable phone will be up to date with software through 2027, which is terrific.
Without a doubt, this is the best software commitment in the Android world — even better than Google’s own for its Pixel devices, including the Pixel Fold. If you value fast, consistent, and stable software deliveries, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a solid investment.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 4: What’s new?
In the image above, you can see the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 4. Obviously, they look incredibly similar. Truth be told, Samsung only made very subtle refinements to the Galaxy Z Fold formula. Be sure to check out our in-depth comparison of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 for all the changes, but here are the major differences:
- Display: Both displays still sport the same diagonal size as 2021 on paper, but their height, width, and aspect ratios have changed ever so slightly. The exterior display of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a faintly higher resolution than the Z Fold 3; its aspect ratio also skews a bit wider. The interior display’s aspect ratio has received a similar usability enhancement: it’s slightly shorter and wider for a better video-watching experience.
- Processor: The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which is a better and more recent chipset than the Snapdragon 888 of 2021.
- Storage: The Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes in an optional 1TB model. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 did not have this option.
- Cameras: The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a much more advanced camera system than its predecessor. This should result in better photos and videos. Samsung also says the under-display camera beneath the interior display is better.
- Dimensions and weight: The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is slightly smaller than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It’s about 3mm shorter and 0.2mm thinner. It’s also lighter, with a weight of 263g as compared to the 271g weight of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
- Colors: There are four colors available for the Galaxy Z Fold 4: Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige, and Burgundy, with that last colorway only available from Samsung.com. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 had three colorways: Phantom Green, Phantom Black, and Phantom Silver.
What are some good Galaxy Z Fold 4 alternatives?
If you want a foldable phone but aren’t interested in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, we’ve got some alternative choices here. Keep in mind that Samsung has discontinued sales of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, so that is no longer an option unless you go the used route. Speaking of which, a used Galaxy Z Fold 4 could save you a ton of cash.
Also, don’t forget that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is just around the corner. It might be worth waiting for that to see what Samsung brings to the table in 2023.
- Google Pixel Fold ($1,799): Google’s first foldable is official and could give Samsung a run for its money. The Pixel Fold is overall smaller than the Galaxy Z Fold 4, including thinner. It also will have a much different software experience, with a closer-to-stock feel with some interesting Google goodies tossed in. Also, the camera will almost certainly be a big step up over Samsung’s offering, considering the hardware on offer and Google’s computational photography smarts. Unfortunately, you won’t save any money going this route, though.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 ($999): If you don’t care much about the “book” style aspect of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, maybe the “clamshell” style of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 would be worth a look. You won’t get a tablet-like experience in your pocket, but you’ll get the same processor and save a whopping $800.
Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
- Galaxy Z Fold 4 (256GB): $1,799 / £1,649
- Galaxy Z Fold 4 (512GB): $1,919 / £1,769
- Galaxy Z Fold 4 (1TB): $2,159 / £2,019
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 became available for pre-order globally on August 10, 2022. It then became available for general purchases on August 26.
The easiest place to get the phone is directly from Samsung. Doing so gains you access to a Samsung-exclusive colorway called Burgundy, in addition to the three widely-available colors of Graygreen, Phantom Black, and Beige.
The big three wireless carriers in the United States — Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile — will also sell the Galaxy Z Fold 4. AT&T will accept trade-ins of any Galaxy device — from any year and in any condition — to help you pay for it. Obviously, newer devices in great condition will get you a higher discount.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 frequently asked questions
In the United States, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799 for the model with 256GB of internal storage.
There are five cameras altogether. Three on the back of the phone, one on the front, and one underneath the foldable display.
Yes. The rear camera module on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a 10MP telephoto lens capable of 3x optical zoom.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a battery capacity of 4,400mAh.
All models of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 come with 12GB of RAM.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 will get four versions of Android. It launches with Android 12 and has already received Android 13. It will then get Android 14, Android 15, and Android 16.