There’s no denying Samsung’s latest foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 4, looks and feels premium. From the moment I unboxed it, I appreciated its solid, sturdy feel in my hand.
It is also a device I paid careful attention to, making sure it wouldn’t get scratched in my bag as it did not fit in any of my pockets. The Fold 4 comes with only a USB-C cable – no plug or cover included.
The Fold 4 is characterised by its main 7.6-inch AMOLED screen when opened. Everything looks good on it; it is a vivid, high-resolution display that supports a 120Hz screen refresh rate, so scrolling appears smooth. When folded, you can access the second, smaller screen – a 6.2-inch display with a punch-hole camera.
It has a redesigned, slimmer hinge though, when opened, you can see a crease down the middle. However, it is not distracting when using the device. On the Huawei Mate Xs 2 we reviewed last week, there were no visible creases. The phone is 6.3mm when opened, 15.8mm when closed, and weighs 263g.
The device is being hailed as a multi-tasking powerhouse and it delivers on that front. The large main screen is where you’re likely to spend most of your time when you don’t want to carry a laptop around, but want to get stuff done on the go.
Whether you’re sitting at a coffee shop or on a plane, it is a decent size to work with. I found the multi-window display useful on the go. You can open up to three apps together, provided they are supported – Instagram only works in full screen – and you can have a fourth, floating app on top.
I preferred using apps like Excel and Word in full screen mode because you can barely see what’s going on when they are split. But for reading documents on Word, versus typing up a document, it worked fine with another app next to it. This is a personal preference.
The apps you open can be split horizontally or vertically, and the floating apps stack if you open multiple, which you can go into at any time. It has a tiny control panel to choose view types, including opacity for the floating app. I preferred having two apps opened side by side with a third, floating window, as needed.
New to the Fold 4 is a taskbar that looks like a laptop display. It lets you customise the apps to which you want to have quick access, and lets you go into the two most recently opened ones. It is a superior multitasking experience to the edge panel as it’s quicker to switch between full-screen apps.
Samsung has partnered with Google and Microsoft to let you drag and drop to share links, photos and multimedia content. And, if you’re into “virtual co-activities”, you can watch YouTube videos or play games with someone via a Google Meet call.
When it comes to opening all these apps, you’d expect the phone to stutter a little, but that was not the case. The Fold 4 is powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 octa-core processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Earlier this year, the company ditched its Exynos chips in favour of Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon ones for its flagships in the South African market.
I consumed multimedia content across multiple apps, worked using the various productivity apps available to me, browsed the web and accessed social media – the Fold 4 is essentially a powerful laptop in your pocket or, in my case, my bag.
According to Samsung, an improvement to the device is durability, although it only has an IPX8 rating for freshwater up to 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. This excludes the beach and pool, and it is not dust-resistant, which is evident.
I found a device of this size difficult to use to take photos. Sure, I put it to the test, but it wasn’t a primary feature for me. It has more cameras than necessary: a 50MP triple rear, a 10MP selfie-cam and a 4MP under-display camera when opened. I didn’t find the need to use the latter. But the camera setup is excellent and what’s expected from a flagship.
Battery life was great for a device this size, given that it was being used with a bright display and lots of video content. It has a 4400mAh battery that supports super-fast charging but you’d have to buy the 25W plug separately. I used a fast-charging plug, which yields 50% of battery from a quick 30-minute charge, so battery life shouldn’t be an issue.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has all the bells and whistles for a foldable flagship, including 5G, eSIM support and premium cameras, though it is bulky to carry around. It is compatible with the S-Pen stylus but there is no slot to store it. It is perfect for working on the go, but for its hefty R37 999 price, you’d expect the screen to have no creases.
Published here: https://mg.co.za/sci-tech/2022-10-04-review-samsung-galaxy-z-fold-4/
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. firstname.lastname@example.org