24th February 2024 12:14 pm
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Review: A Stronger Case

This year has served up more foldable devices than ever before, many of which we have had the opportunity to review.

Over the past couple of years when weighing in on these devices, two conclusions are often reached – they are extremely expensive and we’re not sure who these devices are for.

Regardless of our trepidation as to where this technology will eventually lead, a handful of companies are pushing ahead with their investment in this burgeoning field, with the likes of Samsung leading the pack on the mobile front.

So much so that the South Korean outfit is already several iterations into its foldable device lineup in only a short amount of time.

This brings us to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4, which was launched recently alongside the larger Z Fold4, and is a device we have been reviewing over the past couple of weeks. The more devices with this clamshell design we review, the more we think that this is what foldable technology should be used for in phones – not to make devices larger, but smaller.

With two weeks under our belt, here’s why we say so.

Getting compact

We begin on the design front, and as mentioned, we are fans of the clamshell for foldables. There is a nice mix of the futuristic and nostalgic to it, and while we cannot satisfyingly slam shut the phone on calls that irritate us (looking at you robocallers), there is something to be said about the fact that you can make the device more compact.

We noted a very similar experience on the Huawei P50 Pocket, which too is an easier foldable to live with than Huawei’s more recent Mate Xs 2.

We are of a similar option when it comes to the Galaxy Z Flip versus the Z Fold, as the latter still feels like two phones retrofitted together despite Samsung’s best efforts to engineer its hinge.

There is also a stark difference between what these devices are like when folded, as the Flip can sit neatly in your pocket while the Fold cannot. It also feels a little less fragile and while we would not call the Z Flip4 a rugged device, it definitely feels more sturdy compared to its larger brethren.

Looking a bit more closely at the design, there are still a few peccadilloes that remain. These include the fact that the Flip4 does not fold flat, so there is a little gap for dust to accumulate on the 6.7″ FullHD+ screen. Given that foldable displays are more sticky than their non-folding counterparts, it means you will likely be spending a lot of time wiping down this device.

Speaking of the folding mechanism, the crease is still highly noticeable. This may be down to the fact that we were reviewing a marketing sample, but this issue is not limited to the Flip4 alone, with every foldable we have reviewed to date, regardless of form factor, featuring this problem.

While some people can look past it, the more nit picky among us might not. We unfortunately, are in the latter category.

All in all, however, it is a design and form factor we can get behind for future iterations, apposed to the phone/tablet aesthetic of the Fold4, which is a bit like Marmite.

Doing everything well

Now that the design has been touched on, let’s look at performance. While previous iterations of Galaxy Z foldable have been lesser specced compared to the Galaxy S models released during similar time periods, the Z Flip4 is sporting some of the latest components expected of a flagship phone.

We’ll start with the processor, which is the 4nm octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. This is paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage to complete the key internals.

Both our in-hand and benchmarking experiences were solid, with the Z Flip4 feeling rapid while multitasking and handling processor-intensive applications.

To that end it registered a score of 4 059 and 1 310 on GeekBench’s multi-core and single-core tests respectively. That tops any phone we have reviewed in 2022 to date, even usurping the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G that impressed massively earlier in the year.

From a performance perspective then, the Z Flip4 is ably equipped. Sticking with power the 3 700mAh battery on offer was also surprisingly good, lasting just shy of two full days before a recharge was needed. Much of this, in our opinion, is down to the 1.9″ cover display, which offers better integration with apps and phone controls than previous iterations.

Shifting focus to the camera performance and things are once again solid here too. The Flip4 is not sporting Samsung’s best lenses to be fair, but the images and video it yields is more than adequate from the 12MP wide-angle and 12MP ultra wide-angle options.

We also like the fact that the Flip4 can be unfolded to 90 degrees and propped up to take images and video too. That said, this is a feature that the predecessor touted.

It is not a must-buy feature, but definitely something we found handy from time to time, especially if you are a creator that wants to record stable timelapses and don’t have a gimbal on hand to do so.

Final verdict

At R20 999 (RRP), the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is by no means a cheap piece of hardware. Few, if any, foldables are, but when weighed against the price of current flagship phones, the asking price is a bit more palatable.

Add to this the fact that the performance on offer is on par, if not better, than some of the Android flagship phones you’ll encounter in 2022.

Ultimately it comes down to whether you can handle the crease of the foldable phone. If you can, you have a high-powered device that looks interesting from nearly every angle and is far easier to live with day-to-day than larger foldable phones.

If there is a form factor we had to back for foldables right now, this is it.

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