In the foldable smartphone market which is still a niche Samsung predecessor. This year, they also released another iteration of their foldable smartphone. Sander and Mark have had plenty of time to work with the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 and Galaxy Flip 4. How different are the fourth editions from last year?
Samsung Galaxy Fold 4
Last year I called Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 The best imaginable version of a foldable phone. It was a somewhat thicker, regular-looking device that unfolded to reveal a nicely large screen functional enough for everyday life and at the same time very impressive for media. Its successor in 2022 makes some small iterations, but for the most part it remains the same – in both strengths and weaknesses.
It’s still a good party trick and I’ve tried it many times. View a video of the Galaxy Fold 4’s front screen and comment how it would be better if you could see this a little bigger. Then you open the phone, the video automatically plays on the screen the size of a small tablet and opens the viewer’s mouth. In essence, here we have mostly the same device as last year. Pretty much the same dimensions, pretty much the same weight, feel and operation, but with a few welcome tweaks.
The cameras on the Fold 3 were good, but they can’t compare to the flagship S21 line. For the Galaxy Fold 4, Samsung has made a significant improvement here, making it more streamlined. In fact, they are the same cameras as in Samsung S22 5G Which I would still describe as very strong in May. We find a powerful 50MP main sensor that takes beautiful, colorful photos and a 12MP ultra-wide shooter that shoots up to 120 degrees. Rounding out the triple is a 10MP telephoto camera that goes triple optical and 12x digital. Software-wise, it looks complete and like a Samsung phone, though I did run into some graphical glitches like the shutter button showing up twice when unfolded. This is something you can see in my gif of the selfie camera, which, like last year, is hidden under the screen. It is better to hide it so that it is less noticeable when viewing content on the screen, but the operation still leaves much to be desired. As you can see, the initial result is pretty blurry, and then the capable software manages to turn it into something decent.
Big and smooth screen
On the downside, this means that you feel like you have an actual full screen at your disposal that isn’t interrupted by the punch-hole notch found on many phones. The screen is the same size as last year at 7.6in and with 120Hz AMOLED, again beautifully colored and flows smoothly. The resolution is slightly higher, though the average owner will hardly notice. What is a noticeable improvement is the taskbar that is now located at the bottom of the large screen – just as it has now been implemented on Samsung tablets. It ensures that you can easily open a number of your selected apps and multitasking apps options on the big screen has become easier. For the first time it felt really useful, especially with Google Maps and Spotify open at the same time while I was riding in my car. And yes, the big screen on the dashboard looks great.
Outside, you’ll find some indications that this is the fourth edition of the Fold. With the Fold 3, the front display is already full screen, albeit a bit thinner, and it’s on this Fold 4 as well. However, the bezels are a little narrower. The selfie camera, which is hidden under the large screen on the inside, is also less visible. So if you want to upgrade, you’re mainly interested in the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which mainly offers more efficiency, better battery life, and the above-mentioned cameras. While these are important, a lot has to be asked of the €1,799 purchase price.
Then the price of the Galaxy Flip 4 is more reasonable and colleague Mark went to work with him.
Samsung Galaxy Flip 4
Where the Fold 4 still pretty much keeps the same dimensions in your pocket as a regular smartphone after folded, that’s of course very different with the Flip 4 because you close it up like an old-fashioned phone. I haven’t had such a small phone in my pocket in a long time.
Compared to last year’s Flip 3, you can tell at first glance that the design hasn’t changed much, but the innovation is subtle and can only be found in the hinge. This one is now narrower, but still moves – even after a lot of opening and closing – with difficulty. Well of course, but that means it’s hard to open with one hold in a quick motion. Plus, it doesn’t seal all the way, so just like with its predecessor and the Fold line, sand and dust are this Fold’s biggest enemies. The device, on the other hand, is water resistant.
High quality screen with a dent
The main 6.7-inch amoled screen (yes, there is another one I’ll get to in a minute) with a 120Hz refresh rate is a pleasure to use and watch movies. The crease in the middle of the screen has become less deep with the Flip 4, but it can still be felt when you’re scrolling through pages and not moving your finger around too much. At the same time, the screens of foldable devices are still more vulnerable than those of regular smartphones. Since the screen is somewhat “softer”, it is more sensitive to scratches. There is a screen protector on it as standard (you are not allowed to remove it!), But even with your fingernail you can quickly make dents in the place of the fold. As mentioned earlier, a day at the beach could theoretically turn out to be disastrous on screen if a few grains of sand came across. please note; Primarily, it has to do with the chips that are replaceable and not the screen, but it’s something to keep in mind.
An extended screen provides additional space in use, especially in Samsung’s own apps. In landscape mode, this also means that very few apps and games have black bars on the sides because they are still designed for “normal” screens.
But how do you feel when using such a very long fold in everyday life? The first thing that I particularly notice while in use is the fingerprint scanner. It’s very smooth, but for me – and I have very long fingers – it was a bit too high if you want to operate it with one hand. You don’t have to worry about using apps and multitasking with the Flip 4, as it also features the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset.
The other thing I came across pretty quickly is what you primarily use the phone for; communicate. From the past I assumed that if you get a call and open it, you answer the call right away. However, this option is hidden somewhere deep in the settings in a menu that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. End call by closing is turned on by default, so you can end an annoying call the well-known hard way. Although I wouldn’t do it too often to keep the quality of the glass intact.
What is of course also important in daily use is the battery life. Flip 4 is equipped with a 3700 mAh battery. It’s not huge if you look at other premium flagship phones, but you’re a step ahead of the Flip 3 which had to make do with a 3,300mAh battery. If it runs out, it will charge fairly quickly.
Cover screen on the front
The Flip 4’s biggest gimmick isn’t the double fold, but the extra 1.9-inch cover screen on the outside. It can be customized by displaying images on it or specific backgrounds. Of course, your notifications come in as well and you can use a number of simple tools with them. I liked the cover screen’s camera function better. By pressing the power button twice, you can move the camera forward and take selfies on the go. Unlike Flip 3, you can now also switch to a view that shows the actual proportions of the image, so you can immediately see what the end result will look like. With the Flip 3 it was a guess as you only saw a cut-out camera display there. In addition, the cover screen can also act as a viewfinder when using the primary camera in a half-open position. Very useful for group shots with the self-timer.
However, the functionality of the Cover Screen is somewhat limited, making it more comparable to a smartwatch than a second screen.
Cameras – popping colors
What I really liked are the Flip 4’s cameras. The setup uses the same 12MP main camera and 12MP secondary camera, but they take better photos. Although it pales in comparison to the S22, for example, and it’s unfortunate that the decision wasn’t made to give the cameras a further boost with the fourth iteration. We hope that will be the case with the Flip 5. Not only has the quality of the images increased, but there are also technical improvements. The biggest improvement is in the night mode. It automatically switches to night mode in the dark and photos are also taken faster at that time.
The thing about Samsung cameras is that, in my opinion, the software makes colors appear to come out almost unrealistic. This is no different here either. I had the Flip 4 with me on a weekend trip in Belgium which allowed me to take some nature shots. For example, note the blue sky.
Sander Nordic And the Mark D Haas
These images were taken using Fold 4
These photos were taken using Flip 4
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