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 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 – Worth it?
August 19, 2022

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 – Worth it?

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Is it appropriate to walk down the runway in last year’s clothes? The look has not changed, but one main component has.

It’s not just the clothes that make the man, and if the watch can be part of the individual style, why not the phone? After a few years of trying to make a name for itself, the Galaxy Z Flip3 has made a real fashion statement in the bendable genre, and it’s done so successfully that anyone can name the manufacturer at a glance, and there’s no better advertisement than that. But the popularity of the clamshell phone has surprised even Samsung, and only this year it is producing far more of the pocket-sized flip phone as opposed to the tablet-like Fold. But the 2022 launch was no big surprise, with the manufacturer demonstrating how perfect market dominance can be achieved by stepping back a little and making do with tinkering rather than a radical shift.

With limited global distribution from rivals, this is not without reason, but there is a growing buzz in the foldable line, and the Mix Fold 2 specifically leaves the latest Fold standing in design, with smaller sizes from the Oppo Find N, P50 Pocket and Moto Razr 2022 offering eye-catching pocketable options – just not necessarily at home. Otherwise, none of the contenders need fear that stocks will be stuck, as pretty much every foldable produced will find a buyer regardless of the price of gold. But the magic of formal novelty is slowly fading, the pull-out or double foldable wonders have not yet appeared, so it is time to look into the mid-range by increasing production capacity.

The formal dichotomy of the genre remains unchanged: the bending mechanism makes any such device more fragile than a normal, solid-frame mobile, UTG glass is also more easily scratched than traditional glass, and the hinge space requirements mean sacrificing battery life, heat dissipation, and cameras. So looks trump everything, but if looks are the priority on the style front, Samsung has broken one of the fashion industry’s rules of obligatory innovation: nothing interesting, unexpected, or shocking has happened in 12 months. The engraving on the P50 Pocket shows: that there are many ways to vary the look to make the target audience recognize it at first sight – hey, there’s the new Samsung clamshell phone!

But no one will be able to tell this year’s Flip from last year’s, at least in this country, where the BeSpoke studio is unavailable to combine the two outer panels and 75 different frame colors. So you can choose from the traditional purple, grey, blue, and rose gold variations, but otherwise, they all look great. The 1.9″ external display has retained its wooden character with a couple of new widgets – the Razr’s large, chunky panel is still more ideal, and of course, the Fold’s full-screen display is more than adequate. The 512 x 260 Super AMOLED pixel sharpness is good enough for what it is, but brightness is poor in direct sunlight for reading notifications or composing selfies, and the panel and camera sensors are placed perpendicular to each other – more on the limitations of this later.

The list of new features does not include external features, but tech information such as a reinforced Armor aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass Victus glass, and Snapdragon + or a battery increased to 3700 mAh. The latter is a real joy, and it’s a credit to Samsung’s daredevils that they managed to squeeze 400 extra mAh into the IPX8 waterproof casing without increasing the size. But to call the 25-watt wired charging power fast with its one-and-a-half-hour feeding time is still a joke when everyone is laughing at the narrator, and the 15-watt wireless option is no faster, in fact. And don’t look for an adapter in the slim Samsung box, or an earpiece or case: only a SIM pin and two ends of Type-C fit in the half-million-pound pack.

The dimensions are unchanged: Z Flip4 measures 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9 millimeters when open and 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.9 millimeters on the thinner side and 17.1 millimeters on the thicker side when closed. The closure is still not airtight, leaving the phone with a slight V-shape (and then you could call it a V Flip4), plus a visible gap in the middle where sharp, sharp dust and sand particles can get in, scratching the UTG glass. This has been eliminated by Huawei, as has the still visible crease pattern when open, which is normal, of course, but just doesn’t serve the aesthetics in a fashionable way. The 186 grams is closer to the weight of the S22+ than the smaller S22, as is the overall volume, so no one should expect a compact phone because of the curved shape.

Of course, the 6.7″ and 120 Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is not small either, but with 1080 x 2640 pixels it is too narrow and stubby, so a grip shift to reach the top third is a must, which is risky due to the slippery design. The trick with the similar S22s is precise that they are lower and wider, making them easier to grip and easier to handle. Otherwise, this phone is a superb demonstration of Samsung’s display prowess: superb brightness under sunlight, perfect blacks, popping colors, multifaceted calibration, minimal glare, and accurate touch sensitivity, with little unevenness in the center. As with the spring series, however, all it takes is a little sunlight and heat to bring the brightness down as low as 28 degrees, sometimes in a heatwave so intense that nothing of the S22 or Flip4’s content is visible, while a random mid-range AMOLED mobile stays one and a half times as bright.

The 10-megapixel camera lens doesn’t disturb much water, the speech grille that intrudes into the stereo sound is all the less intrusive, and the light meter and proximity sensor are invisible, so they might as well be integrated into the screen. Not so the fingerprint scanner: it’s placed to the right of the power switch so that it can be used to unlock the phone when it’s closed, which is quick and reliable. On the other hand, the volume control is too high and not easy to reach. The only nanoSIM can be trayed on the left (plus there’s a programmable eSIM) – the microSD expansion is omitted, as is the jack output. The second speaker is punched out of the bottom of the aluminum frame, next to the Type-C port.

Structurally, Samsung has done a great job: folded up, the case is sturdy and tough, and that’s how we’ll carry it. When opened, the construction is more precarious, but even though it has some flexibility if I try to fold it the wrong way, the hinge design prevents me from breaking it in two with one movement. But we have seen Samsung foldable lose their flatness in less than a year, although the manufacturer promises that the Z Flip4’s hinge can open and close more than before, and it’s still an easy, one-handed movement. Anyway, I’m undoubtedly a fan of smaller foldable over the chunky Folds, but I still think it’s better to pocket a tall and thin phone than one half as long that bulges twice as much.

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