Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

Samsung moved the needle in mobile design once again when they unveiled the original Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. This new foldable take on the legacy flip phone took many by surprise and we questioned whether it was last. I’ve been testing the latest iteration with the Flip 4 thanks to AT&T and this device is now the standard, not the outlier.

Design

As mentioned, the hinged screen is the star of this show called the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Essentially, Samsung has a traditional 6.7-inch device that then folds into a compact 3.5-inch unit when closed. The screen is flexible glass and does have a noticeable crease, but you’ll quickly notice it fades from memory the more you use it.

Samsung has always been known for its vibrant screens and this is still true under this new technology. Colors and blacks pop off the display. When closed, the Flip 4 (I’ll be dropping the full name for most of this review) has a secondary cover screen that uses 1.9-inches of real estate to give you glanceable issues like notifications and clocks.

The right side of the Flip 4 contains the volume rockers and a recessed power button that also houses a fingerprint reader. The bottom has a dual speaker grill array and a USB-C charging port. The left side is void ports but does contain the SIM tray.

Software

Much like its larger sibling, the Flip 4 runs Android 12L with Samsung’s tweaks for the unique form factor.  Most of the phone would be easily recognized as just another phone running One UI. And that’s a good thing. The Flip 4 seats itself very comfortably inside Samsung’s Galaxy lineup and fits right in with those peers.

Some of the Flip-centric software is the different orientations you can use the phone to accentuate apps. YouTube and a few other media applications allow you to have the screen propped halfway open to view the footage on the top half and share the bottom half with another app.

Another exclusive is the front, Cover Screen. The Flip 4 doesn’t have the real estate you see to have a fully functional experience while the phone is closed as we found on the Fold 4. However, Samsung still allows some interactions on this small display.

The Cover Screen is more like a scrolling widget screensaver. You can have glanceable information from the weather, calendar, and notifications. These are not actionable though. You need to open the Flip 4 to fully interact with the information.

Performance

I had zero issues with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 while testing. This is not only due to the three previous generations but also due to the long history of the Galaxy line in total. Samsung has built a very stable, smooth experience for Android users and that’s very present on the Z Flip 4.

Pair that with the always top-notch hardware Samsung builds and you have a flagship phone no matter how it closes. Transitions are snappy. Bouncing from app to app is a breeze. Watching media or the occasional game never trips it up. With 8GB of RAM and the new Snapdragon 8+ you’ll be hard-pressed to slow this device.

Cameras

Another positive is the upgraded cameras. Just as I mentioned in my Fold 4 review, the new shooters on the Flip 4 bring it back to true flagship quality. The previous generations had always compromised on the cameras, but that is not the case in 2022.

I found myself really liking the quality of the pictures I captured with the cameras. Whether it was with the 12MP main sensor or the widescreen option, it doesn’t disappoint. Even the 10x zoom can impress.

I’m not a big selfie guy, but the front camera is also on par with other top-tier phones. You can easily snap a quick shot to share on socials. Light can come into play a bit more on the 10MP version here, but still not bad.

Battery life

One place where you can possibly find a slight is the battery pack Samsung had to squeeze into this small frame. With just a 3,700mAh battery, if you spend a ton of time streaming on the main screen you may need to grab a charger later in the afternoon.

I didn’t have this issue in my testing, but my usage is pretty light during the workday with more heavy usage at night. With this balance, I found myself able to get through a full day from around 7 AM to 10:30 PM without issue.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 isn’t just a great addition to the Galaxy line, it’s a step forward for all Android devices. These forward-thinking takes on form factors are what established giants in the market should do. The Flip 4 is another option for users who don’t want their giant slap phone to always take up their entire pocket.

You can snag the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 over at AT&T for $27.78 for the 128GB storage model or $29.45 for the 256GB edition. If you don’t want a 36-month agreement, full-price retail is $1,000. Either way, this is a decent price for essentially a Galaxy S with a foldable screen.

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