Samsung’s second-most important Unpacked of the year has finally arrived. As expected, the event introduced us to several of the company’s latest products; including its next generation wearables, flagship earbuds, and foldable smartphones. The latter of which, namely the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4, were highlighted as the major stars of the show.
Despite being all shiny and new, I wouldn’t fault you if you experienced déjà vu upon your first glance at both of Samsung’s latest foldable devices. But rest assured, disguised under the familiar designs of the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4 are several improvements over their predecessors, though mostly in terms of features and performance.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
Let’s start with the Galaxy Z Fold4’s design. One particular upgrade that can easily be missed is the foldable’s external display, which has been enlarged to feature a bigger screen-to-body ratio. Furthermore, the left-hand side of this screen has been greatly slimmed down, thanks to the new and flatter hinge mechanism. This gives the phone’s folded form a more traditional one-handed look and operating experience.
Additionally, the new hinge is also lightweight, resulting in the device measuring at only 263 g, which is considerably lighter than last year’s Galaxy Z Fold3. Overall, the new foldable phone feels quite nice when held with one hand in both folded and unfolded modes.
Its inner display has also been widened to provide users with more screen estate, while its under-display camera (UDC) technology has been further improved to be far less visible than before. Both of these upgrades enable for a more immersive and uninterrupted viewing experience, which is ideal for watching videos and gaming. And just in case you’re wondering: yes, a crease is still visible especially when the screen is inactive.
Another much appreciated upgrade featured on the new Galaxy Z Fold4 is its imaging system, where its rear camera array now consists of a 50MP primary sensor, 10MP telephoto (with 3X optical and 30X Space Zoom), and a 12MP ultra-wide. If this sounds somewhat familiar, that’s because all of which are exactly the same cameras featured on the Plus variant of Samsung’s current generation flagship smartphone. Needless to say, these are a vast improvement over its predecessor’s triple 12MP rear camera setup, thus making the new foldable much more flagship-worthy in terms of the features that it offers.
Meanwhile, the UDC on its internal display is equipped with a 4MP sensor, whereas the punch-hole cutout on its external display houses a 10MP selfie camera. Under-display tech notwithstanding, these cameras are the same as the Galaxy Z Fold3, which are pretty much nothing to write home about.
User experience also gets a nice bump on the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. Split screen mode now includes a new stationary taskbar at the bottom of the screen, where you can simply drag and drop icons from it onto the screen in order to launch apps in a new window. Additionally, you can easily call up this mode with a new gesture command by swiping up on the screen with two fingers.
Unfortunately, as with most hands-on sessions, I wasn’t given enough time to test out the phone’s other key features, such as its Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, battery and so on. However, I can safely say that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 handles regular and multi-windowed tasks smoothly without a hint of struggle.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Up next is the Galaxy Z Flip4 which is, interestingly, a tad smaller in dimensions when compared to its predecessor. Despite this, the newer compact foldable smartphone retains the same 6.7-inch AMOLED screen as before, as well as the external 1.9-inch Super AMOLED display. The smaller dimensions allows for thinner bezels surrounding its inner display, therefore giving it a larger screen-to-body ratio. But like the Galaxy Z Fold4, the crease is still noticeable in the phone’s unfolded form, unfortunately.
Again, even though it looks nearly identical to last year’s model, there are some minor but significant differences to be found. Chief among them is the flat-edged frame, which makes the phone more grippier and comfortable to hold, while at the same time providing it a premium appearance. Also making a return is the two-tone design, where situated within the black half of the Galaxy Z Flip4’s upper shell is its dual-camera setup and the aforementioned external display.
Features-wise, most of those offered on the phone are pretty much the same as its predecessor, though there are some upgrades that are worth pointing out. These include the two-finger swiping gesture to activate split screen mode, as well as newly added shortcuts and widgets to its external screen that enables users to quickly make calls, reply texts, and even control certain AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) devices.
Under its hood, Samsung’s latest compact foldable also packs the new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, as well as a larger 3,700 mAh battery. However, much like its larger sibling, I wasn’t able to test out their full potential as my time with the Galaxy Z Flip4 was pretty limited.
In terms of imaging, even though the phone comes with the same cameras as its predecessor for both its primary setup and selfie shooter, Samsung has upgraded them to feature brighter sensors for improved image quality. In addition, capturing photos or videos in Flex Mode now supports the new camcorder-inspired horizontal orientation. Shooting stuff this way feels very awkward and gimmicky at first but surprisingly, it works quite well.
For now, this is pretty much all that I am able to share from my brief hands on with Samsung’s latest foldable smartphones. As usual, expect us to provide you with a more in-depth look on both devices in the near future, provided that we receive review units from the South Korean tech giant.
And just in case you missed our coverage from earlier, both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4 are now available for pre-order in Malaysia at a starting price of RM 6,799 and RM 4,099 respectively. Exclusively for our readers, be sure to use the promo code LWGZ4VIP when you order either device via the brand’s official website in order to receive extra goodies along with your purchase. But do keep in mind that this special offer is only valid while stocks last.