Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review: is it for you?

Is Samsung's latest foldable for you?

Review Summary

Expert Rating4/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Good build & IPX8 waterproof
  • Lovely displays
  • Useful multitasking features
  • Smooth performance

Cons

  • Not a massive upgrade
  • No silo for the S Pen
  • Just 25W charging
  • Pricey, heavy and bulky

Foldable smartphones are pretty much the epitome of mobile tech at the moment, and have been for some time now. And Samsung is a name which is synonymous with these devices, given that we haven’t seen big moves from other players in this space, at least outside of China. The original Galaxy Z Fold and its successors continue to be the torchbearers of the foldable brigade, and the latest in the series comes in the form of the Galaxy Z Fold4. Samsung doesn’t seem to have made big changes to the device, or so it seems at first glance. Let’s dive deeper and figure out the nuts and bolts, using a FAQs-styled format.

What can I do with the Galaxy Z Fold4 that I can’t do with a conventional phone?


In case you missed the memo, the Z Fold4 is the latest in a series of cutting-edge smartphones that feature a foldable screen. In essence, the device is (almost) a conventional smartphone, but opens up to reveal a larger display, effectively transforming into a tablet. Then you can use the larger screen real estate to do whatever one does with a tablet – browse websites, view and edit documents, tackle emails and presentations, check your social feeds, stream movies and TV shows, play games… you get the drift. Of course, none of these use cases are new, except that the tablet-sized display gives you a larger window and when you’re done, you can fold the device back into a smaller form factor and slip it into your pocket.


Of course, the larger screen also opens up more avenues in terms of giving you more flexibility to multitask and use multiple apps together. The S Pen support combined with the larger screen can help add to your productivity and creativity as well. The foldable design even enables newer use cases, like letting you prop up the phone on a table for shooting footage and handling video calls without needing a mount or a stand, and using the extra screen space to add more context or functionality to apps (like YouTube for instance). 

Also worth mentioning are special features like the DeX mode and support for the S Pen. These aren’t exclusive to the Fold lineup of course, and can be hand with other Samsung flagships too. The DeX mode is useful as it lets you make use of a desktop-like interface on a larger display like a TV or a monitor, while S Pen support can a boon, not just for the creative types but anyone who likes to draw, doodle, annotate, jot down notes, mark up images and documents etc. The downside here is that the S Pen is an optional purchase, and there’s still no way for you to house it inside the device or attach it in some other way. 

What are the improvements Samsung has made in the Z Fold4 over its predecessor?


Samsung hasn’t really broken the mould in terms of the overall design language and stuck to the same formula as before. That’s not to say there are no improvements — the Z Fold4 is marginally thinner and lighter as compared to its predecessor, and features a slimmer hinge. Other improvements include an under-display camera that’s less noticeable than before and the cover screen now features a slightly wider aspect ratio that enhances usability of the device when it’s folded. The camera stack is better than before, offering a 50MP main camera (as compared to 12MP on the predecessor), 3X optical zoom (vs 2X before), and 30X digital zoom (vs 20X before), among other benefits.

The newer model has fresh software features too, including a few that enhance the multitasking experience. One of the main highlights here is the new taskbar that stays visible on the bottom of the main screen and helps provide a more PC-like usage experience for switching between apps. And as is apt for a 2022 flagship, the Galaxy Z Fold4 comes powered by the latest and greatest mobile chipset from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.  

How does the Z Fold4 fare when it comes to the basics?


The 6.2-inch cover display and 7.6-inch main display are the same in terms of size as before, and as can be expected from Samsung screens, are quite capable. They’re both AMOLED, and can go up to 120Hz in terms of refresh rate. The main screen in fact, is HDR10+ capable and thanks to 1200 nits of peak brightness, maintains legibility well in harsh lighting as well. Deep blacks and vicid colours are in the offing, and suffice it to say, you won’t be left wanting for more in the display department. 

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As far as performance is concerned, the top-end Qualcomm chipset mated to 12 gigs of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512GB fast UFS 3.1 storage delivers smooth, lag-free usage across all the different use cases you might subject it to. From intensive gaming to heavy multitasking, entertainment to productivity, and even including special use cases like DeX, the Galaxy Z Fold4 is a star performer. 

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Moving on to the cameras, the Galaxy Z Fold4 delivers stellar performance across different shooting conditions, and while it might not be able to match camera champs like the iPhone 13 Pro, the Vivo X80 Pro and its own sibling the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it’s noticeably better than its predecessor in terms of shooting prowess. In daylight, the Z Fold4 can deliver detailed, colour-accurate images, while the low-light camera performance is pretty respectable as well. The 4MP under-display camera on the main screen just about does its job when it comes to selfies and video calls, but the 10MP shooter on the cover screen fares much better when it comes to self portraits. Suffice it to say, unless you’re really looking for the best camera experience on a smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold4 shouldn’t disappoint. 


Coming to the battery, the 4,400mAh pack, which is the same in terms of rating as before, delivers reasonably good battery life. The battery life in fact, is better than before thanks to the optimisations and efficiency delivered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. With medium usage, you should be able to get through to the end of a full working day on a single charge. When it comes to juicing up though, the Galaxy Z Fold4 falls short of other flagships since it can only support up to 25W, and takes about 2 hours to charge fully. Worth mentioning that there’s no charger in the box too. You also get support for 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. 

I didn’t find any reasons to complain regarding network or call handling, and the device fares well in terms of audio output as well, thanks to the stereo speakers. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is fast and zippy, while face unlock works reasonably well too. 

What is it like to use the Galaxy Z Fold4 as a daily driver?


Living with the Galaxy Z Fold4 and using it as a daily driver can be a life-changing experience, especially if you haven’t experienced one of its predecessors before and have been on the lookout for a do-it-all portable device that can help boost your productivity on the go. For anyone who spends hours away from their work desk, the Z Fold4 can prove to be extremely beneficial, especially if one is able to use it to its full potential. The advantage of carrying a mini tablet that offers ample screen real estate to handle most productivity-based tasks, the capabilities added on by the optional S Pen, the multitasking features, the ability to use the device along with a laptop or a larger display via DeX etc are just some of the ways the device proves its mettle. 


You would have to deal with its bulk of course, since its size and weight can weigh your pants down. You can’t just slip it into your pocket like a regular phone and get on with your day. As an example, its bulk isn’t  conducive to outdoor activities like say, trekking, or even basic ones like running and cycling. But even carrying it around on a regular day could prove to be hassle sometimes… not to mention the fact that you still need to be careful in terms of handling it. 

Verdict: Is the Galaxy Z Fold4 for you?


Apart from the small niggles like the relatively slow charging speeds and the absence of a silo for the S Pen, you’ll have to contend with the price tag (which isn’t surprisingly high really). Barring that and the size-related issues I mentioned above, it’s clear that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 is pretty much the most capable and loaded Android smartphone available right now, delivering productivity and entertainment in a package no other smartphone can match, except its own predecessor maybe. And therein lies the problem, at least from my perspective. I think it’s time Samsung broke the mould and come up with something that changes status quo once again — possibly something that innovates on the form factor and adds more use cases to the mix, or something that reduces the size and weight, or brings down the price substantially, thereby making foldable tech accessible to more people. As far as the Galaxy Z Fold4 is concerned, whether it’s for you or not is for you to figure out, but if you decide to commit, you’d be able to call yourself the proud owner of a capable and flexible all-rounder. 

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5

Pros:

  • Good build & IPX8 waterproof 
  • Lovely displays
  • Useful multitasking features 
  • Smooth performance

Cons:

  • Not a massive upgrade
  • No silo for the S Pen
  • Just 25W charging
  • Pricey, heavy and bulky

Key Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G
RAM12 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Rear Camera50 MP + 12 MP + 10 MP
Front Camera10 MP + 4 MP
Battery4400 mAh
Display7.6 inches (19.3 cm)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G Price
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Rs. 127,820.00
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Rs. 154,999.00
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