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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 hands-on

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G smartphone, featuring the iconic curved screen, was unveiled at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2022 on August 10th. He was lucky enough to spend an hour playing with it at Samsung Canada’s offices in Toronto. Here are my thoughts.

Summary of new features

  • The main camera uses a 50MP sensor
  • More durable hinges and improved flexible glass
  • Tweaked the aspect ratio of the main display and increased the resolution of the cover display
  • New Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor
  • New 1 TB storage option (not available in Canada)
  • More expensive, starting at C$375
  • hair lighter

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 specifications

device Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G
screen Main Display: 7.6″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex, 120Hz, 2176 x 1820

Cover Display: 6.2″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O, 120Hz, 2,316 x 904

Main Display: 7.6″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex, 120Hz, 2208 x 1768

Cover Display: 6.2″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O, 120Hz, 2,268 x 832

SoCs Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
camera Backward:

  • Ultrawide – 12MP
  • Main – 50MP
  • Telephoto – 10MP (3x optical, 30x digital)

Under display camera: 4MP

Pinhole Cover Camera: 10MP

Backward:

  • Ultrawide – 12MP
  • Main – 12MP
  • Telephoto – 12MP

Under display camera: 4MP

Cover camera: 10MP

memory 12GB 12GB
depository 256GB/512GB/1TB 256GB/512GB
battery 4,400mAh 4,400mAh
OS One UI 4.1 One UI 4.1
5G connectivity yes yes
S pen Support for S Pen Fold Edition and S Pen Pro sold separately Support for S Pen Fold Edition and S Pen Pro sold separately
durability IPX8 IPX8
dimensions and weight 263g

Open – 155.1mm x 130.1mm x 6.3mm

Closed – 155.1mm x 67.1mm x 15.8mm

271g

Open – 158.2mm x 128.1mm x 6.4mm

Closed – 158.2mm x 67.1mm x 16mm

colour Gray Green, Moon Beige, Phantom Black, Burgundy (Samsung Exclusive) Phantom Black, Phantom Green, Phantom Silver
price Starting at $2,270 CAD Starting at $1,895 CAD

When placed side by side, it becomes difficult to tell the old from the new. Samsung told me the hinge is narrower. The aspect ratio of the main display has been changed, and the resolution of the cover display has been slightly increased.

The new one looks just like the old one.Credit: Tom Lee

No one should be surprised by the extra bulk of the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The device is considerably thicker than a normal smartphone when folded, and I definitely felt the extra gram in my pocket. I was surprised.

The 7.6-inch dynamic AMOLED display is as beautiful as ever, offering a vast view for consuming all kinds of media. With a 120Hz refresh rate, vibrant colors, and sharp contrasts, the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s display offers the best viewing experience of any smartphone. Like its last iteration, Samsung pre-applied a screen protector to the main display. This is covered by a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.

The stunning 7.6-inch main display boasts rich colors. Photo taken with the new 50MP rear main camera.Credit: Tom Lee

The display folds down so your phone can act as a stand. Samsung takes advantage of this feature and calls it “flex mode”. For example, if you fold your phone at a right angle, you can play YouTube on the top half of the screen. The same applies to the camera app. The operating system smartly divides the preview and control panes into upper and lower halves. This can prove very attractive to streamers.

what about the crease? I don’t know yet. The demo unit is still very new so it wasn’t obvious. Samsung didn’t say if it worked to reduce the visibility of creases. The actual time was too short to test it, and if you read other reviews of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, you’ll find that the creases are much less noticeable than people believe. If the glass is as good as the previous generation, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Multitasking, which is cramped on a regular smartphone, feels natural on the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s spacious display. The large screen allows the user to comfortably open three apps at the same time, reducing the frequency of switching between apps during his busy day. For example, a user can leave his email app open on one side and still have enough space to jot down notes with the S Pen.

The screen has enough space to run three apps simultaneously.Credit: Tom Lee

Here came the first big disappointment. We were disappointed to hear that the S Pen would not be included in the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The inclusion of the S Pen is one of the most highly requested additions from fans as the main display practically asks for writing. To get this, users would have to pay $50 for the passive S Pen Fold edition, or $100 for the active S Pen Pro with Bluetooth connectivity.

I’m having trouble understanding the logic behind this decision. The S Pen comes with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 tablet. The device is half the price of Samsung’s flagship foldable tablet. Also included in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Adding $50 to $100 more to a phone that is already this expensive feels a little greedy.

The S Pen now magnetically attaches to the back of the phone, but it’s still not as convenient as the internal storage slot. can be purchased.

Even when closed, users can interact with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 using the 6.4-inch front-facing display. I think this is his one of the features that made Samsung’s Fold series so successful. Without it, it would require the annoying extra step of having to open the phone just to check a message, like my experience with the Microsoft Surface Duo.

The narrow cover display features the same vividness as the main display. Notice the pinhole camera on top.Credit: Tom Lee

The front-facing display might be too narrow for people with larger hands, but it’s much easier to operate with one hand. It boasts the same beautiful colors and responsiveness as the main display, and you can fully enjoy light games. A limited number of apps tested at the hands-on event were able to seamlessly transition between the front and main displays. Testing with more apps will have to wait until the full review.

Internally, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 paired with 12GB of memory. The processor is a step up from his Snapdragon 888 of the previous generation and can easily work with multiple apps. The large memory pool also helped keep things smooth when faced with background app stacks.

Additionally, the storage options have expanded to include 1 TB configurations in some markets (although it doesn’t appear to be Canada, at least not initially). This is double the maximum value of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Game Test will have to wait for a full review, but I doubt it excels in that category either. Again, no MicroSD card slot or headphone jack.

Battery capacity remains unchanged, raising concerns that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 may suffer from the same short battery life as its predecessor. I struggled with powering the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s large display. You can dig into its durability in our full review.The phone supports 25W wired charging or 15W wireless charging.

Samsung says the hinge is more durable than the previous generation, and can be opened and closed at least 200,000 times. It feels like Samsung has already overcome the hinge issues that plagued previous versions, but any improvement to the proven design would be welcome.

I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of an artist.If Samsung had included an S Pen in their phone, I could have drawn perfectly well. Credit: Tom Lee
Doodle: Journalists with Mobile Phones, Digital, 2022

The IPX8 rating is back on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. This means the phone can withstand a quick dunk in the pool and has no issues in the rain. Care must be taken not to

The phone will be powered by Samsung’s One UI 4.1 operating system and will be updated to One UI 5.0 after its release. During our hands-on, the OS worked well, switching apps seamlessly between the cover display and the main display, and doing other normal things. Samsung said it worked with Microsoft to optimize its on-device productivity suite, a key productivity consideration.

As for cameras, the Samsung Galaxy has five cameras. Three in the rear camera array, one under the main display, and another in the cover display. Start with the rear camera.

It’s in this category that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 gets a major upgrade. While the Galaxy Z Fold 3 came with three modest 12MP shooters split into ultrawide, wide, and 3x telephoto cameras, the Fold 4’s main camera has been updated to an all-new 50MP sensor. It took detailed and vivid shots of Samsung’s showroom decorations cast in studio lighting.

It’s almost impossible to find an under-display camera on the main display unless you’re looking for it. Credit: Tom Lee

One of the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s biggest drawbacks is the in-display camera on the main sensor. We’re not sure if the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a step up, but it held up just fine in good lighting.

This selfie was taken with the under-display camera on the main display. Dive into a full quality analysis with our full review. Credit: Tom Lee.

Interestingly, Samsung has a 10MP sensor for the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s telephoto camera. Since the pixel size of the sensor is also the same, it seems to be one size smaller. But pixel size is just one of many aspects of camera quality. Maybe the new sensor has some technical improvements under the hood. More testing needs to be done to see how they compare.

As for biometrics, there’s a fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button and support for basic 2D facial recognition. The phone is fortified with “defense-grade” Samsung Knox security.

Galaxy Z Fold4 farewell glamor shot.Credit: Tom Lee

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 seems to have hit most of the right points for bringing foldable devices closer to the true mainstream. Aside from a faster processor and expanded storage, the new 50MP sensor should bring the camera’s performance closer to other flagships. However, the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s starting price is C$375 more than its predecessor with the same storage, so you’ll have to pay for that upgrade.

Still, the Z Galaxy Fold 4 inherits some old issues from its predecessor, mainly battery life concerns and the lack of an included S Pen. It’s also a shame that Canada won’t receive his 1TB storage model, and it’s unclear if Samsung will bring that option to the Great North in the future.

What options do consumers have? Not many, at least in local markets, for now. Samsung currently dominates the foldable phone market in North America. Right now, its closest competitor in Canada and the US is the Microsoft Surface Duo 2, which in my opinion lacks sophistication in both design and software.

In Canada, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 will be available for pre-order starting August 10th and will ship on August 26th.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 hands-on

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