Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: The $1,800 foldable phone returns with new design and software tweaks

what happened

Samsung has released its latest large-format foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

why it matters

Samsung sees foldable phones as key to the future of its line of mobile devices. As one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, Samsung influences the wider market.

what’s next

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

Samsung continue to improve its foldable phone The Galaxy Z Fold 4 design, which will go on sale on August 26, starts at $1,800 (£1,649, AU$2,499).New book-style foldable phone unveiled Wednesday unpack event, has a revised design that should be easier to manage in phone mode. It also gets new software to take advantage of its foldable screen and routine upgrades to the processor and camera.

Samsung was an early entrant in this market, launching The first Galaxy Fold According to estimates from Display Supply Chain Consultants and Omdia, it will lead the foldable phone market in shipments in 2019. But foldable phones still make up a small portion of the broader phone market. The new Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 are Samsung’s latest attempts to change that by correcting some of the biggest criticisms of the previous model, which could make foldables more appealing to a wider audience.

For example, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a wider overlay screen that more closely resembles a regular non-folding phone when closed. Since the Z Fold 4’s screen isn’t as narrow, this change makes apps look more natural. Compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the difference is certainly noticeable, but the display is still not quite as wide as a standard phone like the Galaxy S22 or iPhone 13.

Samsung is also doing more to make the Galaxy Z Fold 4 useful when its display is folded in half. Flex Mode, which splits apps between the top and bottom of the screen when the Z-fold is propped open, is getting a new feature. You’ll be able to use the bottom half of the screen as a trackpad to control content on the top half, similar to the trackpad on a laptop.


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This should make it easier to navigate the app in Flex mode, since you don’t have to cover the top of the screen with your fingers while scrolling. The newly released Galaxy Z Flip 4 also has this feature, and Samsung said it will be evaluating bringing it to older Galaxy Z Fold and Flip devices. Samsung also says the Z Fold 4 is the first device to ship with Android 12L, an Android version optimized for tablets. One of the most notable Android 12 additions is the Z Fold 4’s new taskbar, which should make switching between apps easier.

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

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

samsung foldable

The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s cover screen is wider than the Z Fold 3’s.

Lisa Eadicco/CNET

Most people interested in the Galaxy Z Fold are probably more concerned with the phone’s massive inner screen than the camera. But at such a high price, the Z Fold 4’s camera should at least match or exceed the cameras on Samsung’s non-folding phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s camera is certainly a step in the right direction and represents a significant upgrade from the Z Fold 3’s 12-megapixel wide, telephoto and ultra-wide-angle lenses.but Galaxy S22 Ultra Still Samsung’s top camera phone.

The Z Fold 4 will also run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, an updated and slightly upgraded version of the chip in the Galaxy S22 series. Battery capacity also remains at 4,400 mAh, which is a shame — CNET’s Patrick Holland was disappointed with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s battery life.

samsung foldable

Lisa Eadicco/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 idea of ​​what these devices are for, since they’ve been around for about three years. With its large screen and S Pen compatibility, Samsung is positioning the Z Fold 4 as a productivity device, much like the extinct Galaxy Note. Establishing this direction means Samsung can focus on adding new features unique to the Z Fold, rather than just making sure apps run smoothly on the Fold’s different screen sizes.

The $1,800 Z Fold 4 is still a tough sell. While these new features are a sign of progress, they may not be enough to appeal to users of nonfoldable phones. But it’s closer to figuring out what role, if any, foldables can play in our lives.

For more information, check out Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Everything else Samsung announced.

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