The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 in review
In the last few days, I've been taking both of Samsung's new foldable with me everywhere I go. In addition to testing, I also enjoy playing a fun games with friends when we're together. In order to see how they react, I pull them out and stick them in front of the person.
In my opinion, these results are roughly in line with what the mobile giant disclosed just prior to its recent Unpacked event. The Flip helped 70% of Galaxy foldable users see the world from a different perspective last year, according to mobile head TM Roh.
As a result, Samsung was surprised at the sentiment. In the past, Samsung has positioned the Galaxy Z Fold as the flagship of its foldable offerings. It makes sense, right? The device is bigger, flashier, more expensive, and - perhaps most importantly - it is the first of its kind.
In a way, the device represents foldable phones as a whole. The most common form factor when thinking of foldable is this. In the end, that was what the original promise was: to be able to carry a tablet-sized screen with you.
The flip form factor, however, still holds some appeal for our lizard brains. It might be the decades of clamshell dumbphones that imprinted us. It might be a that satisfying snap. In addition, we may all have unaddressed big-phone fatigue. Since the turn of the century, screens and phones have become increasingly large. In the electronic world, it seems counterintuitive - especially for a device, we carry around with us all the time.
In the midst of screens growing in size, technology has provided the ability to shrink phones around them. It's easy to see how the foldable would be the next step in that evolution. In recent years, we have been reducing the contents of our pockets more and more. The phone does a lot of the heavy lifting - it can function as a credit card, a form of identification, and, increasingly, even a keyhole. The slim wallet is the best option for those of us who still carry around wallets. In the early days of the phone phenomenon, Samsung may not have recognized it was developing the antidote to it.
The article is a breath of fresh air, really, for someone who has covered this topic for so long. Every now and then, I talk about how most phones these days are pretty good. Unintended consequences of pretty good are that it is boring. It's boring to use flagship smartphones. In essence, that's how Nothing got started. As a result, the industry has settled on a form factor, and updates are now confined to fairly strict parameters. If phones could be reintroduced to consumers' interest, what would it take to do it?
In this regard, the foldable presents a promising future. In addition to the obvious early complaints, the two most pressing issues with the first Galaxy Fold were the small screen and its size and weight. In terms of the first point, the company has mostly addressed it; however, the second still needs to be addressed.
In addition to their relative portability, foldable devices present a different way to be big and heavy. It's likely that future updates will address the Fold's relative heft, and public opinion may shift on the device, but for now, the Flip is the clear winner. In terms of foldable, it's entirely too early to tell if flip form factors are the future, but they definitely are today.
The matte finish on the outward-facing glass feels good in the hand, and I like the design language the company has settled on. The panels also accommodate Samsung's bespoke customization of hardware finishes quite well. It wouldn't surprise me to see the phone's front-facing display continue to dominate in future iterations, but in truth, I think there's a case to be made for the physical close being less connected. If the phone is opened or closed, notifications should change based on the state of the phone.
The system is mostly tweaked internally. As such, last year's Snapdragon 888 will be replaced with the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The new silicon offers performance bumps, as well as battery and camera improvements. In terms of camera hardware, both devices feature 12-megapixel rear cameras and 10-megapixel front cameras.
It's a decent camera system despite a lack of zoom, but that's an area the company will no doubt enhance in future versions. A brighter sense and improved night mode will improve your low-light photography, however. The camera hardware is largely the same - a pair of 12-megapixel lenses at the back and a 10-megapixel lens at the front. It's a decent camera system, even if the zoom isn't the greatest, but that's a place where the company must improve in future models. While there are some improvements here, you'll get a brighter sense and an improved night mode for improved low-light shooting.