Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: An (almost) perfect foldable flip phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

MSRP $999.99

“The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is probably not a revolutionary year-over-year upgrade, nevertheless it stands tall as among the finest folding smartphones you’ll be able to buy in 2022. It’s sleeker, faster, and more reliable than ever.”


  • Flatter design looks and feels incredible
  • Bespoke customization is unmatched
  • Excellent predominant display
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Good, reliable cameras


  • Battery still only lasts a day
  • Limited cover screen functionality

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is among the finest folding smartphones you’ll be able to buy in 2022. Concurrently, it’s also one of the vital boring in comparison with its predecessor. It’s an enchanting place for the foldable area of interest to already be. Over the span of only three years, foldables have gone from a breakthrough area of interest to “just one other” smartphone option you’ll be able to buy. Samsung, specifically, has already gotten so good on the folding formula that it doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel every yr. It just has to maintain doing what worked the yr before.

This yr’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 perfectly embody this, nevertheless it’s especially prevalent with the Flip. In comparison with the Flip 3, there’s not much latest with the Flip 4. It has a rather tweaked design, a camera that’s somewhat higher, a more recent chipset, and a touch larger battery. All of it makes the phone sound quite dull on paper. Nonetheless, after using the Galaxy Z Flip 4 as my day by day driver for the past few days, “dull” is the last word I’d use to explain it.

Is the Galaxy Z Flip 4 a considerable improvement over the Flip 3? No. But is it among the finest foldable phones you’ll be able to buy today? Absolutely.


The back of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

If you happen to’ve seen the Galaxy Z Flip 3 before, you’ll be right at home with the Galaxy Z Flip 4. If you happen to haven’t seen a Flip 3, the Flip 4 is actually a reimagining of the flip phone for the trendy era. When it’s open, the Flip 4 looks like several other smartphone — touting a big display, centered hole-punch camera cutout, and slim bezels. However the magic happens whenever you close the Flip 4. Snap the phone shut, and its hinge mechanism turns it right into a compact square you’ll be able to slide into the tightest of pockets and the smallest of baggage.

Samsung made a handful of design improvements this yr, starting with the Flip 4’s aesthetics. The rear glass panels have a frostier, matte finish in comparison with the Flip 3, the frame is flatter, and the hinge holding the phone together is barely smaller than before. On paper, these changes sound like peanuts. But in practice, they take the Flip 3’s already excellent design and make it even higher. The matte glass panels feel luxurious while hiding fingerprints, the flat frame gives the Z Flip 4 a good more distinctive look, and the brand new hinge — as marginal because it is — does give the Flip 4 a smaller overall footprint.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 standing upside down on a table.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Speaking of the hinge, it feels every bit as sturdy and reliable because it did on the Flip 3. Like that phone, Samsung says the Z Flip 4 should survive over 200,000 folds during its lifetime — equating to about 100 folds per day throughout five years of use. While I can’t yet speak to how the hinge will feel after a yr or two of constant usage, it’s been a champ during my first few days with the phone. It opens and closes easily, though with enough resistance that it doesn’t feel flimsy. The hinge can be strong enough to be propped up at almost any angle, allowing you to sit down the Z Flip 4 on a table with the screen up and facing at you — perfect for hands-free movie watching, video calls, etc.

As for the remaining of the phone’s durability, the glass panels and canopy screen are covered with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, the frame is Samsung’s own Armor Aluminum concoction, and your entire device is protected by an IPX8 water-resistance rating (enough to submerge it in as much as 1.5 meters of freshwater for as much as half-hour). There’s still no dust resistance, but for a folding phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is about as durable because it gets.

After just a few days of standard use as my go-to handset, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has held up just in addition to any of my non-folding phones. From the glass panels, cover screen, and predominant display, the whole lot appears to be in tip-top shape. And that’s without babying the phone in any respect. I’ve tossed it on coffee shop tables, used it while out in a light-weight drizzle, and (continuously) whipped it open with a flick of the wrist. Similar to its predecessor, the Z Flip 4 isn’t a phone you may have to baby.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.The 4 predominant colours for the Z Flip 4 Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

As much as I appreciate the Flip 4’s durability, my favorite design trick is its emphasis on style. By default, Samsung’s website and third-party retailers carry the phone in 4 hues: Bora Purple, Blue, Pink Gold, and Graphite. Bora Purple is the colour Samsung sent me, and I believe it’s my favorite of the bunch. It’s a muted lavender color that’s distinctive without being obnoxious, and it contrasts beautifully with the black cover screen. Plus, it looks phenomenal next to the Bora Purple Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Bespoke Edition colors.Different panel options for the Bespoke Z Flip 4 Joe Maring/Digital Trends

But when none of those colours catch your eye, Samsung’s website also allows you to design the Flip 4 using its Bespoke Studio. Here, Samsung allows you to pick and select the precise colours you wish for the Flip 4’s front panel, back panel, and frame – leading to over 70 possible mixtures. It’s unlike anything available today within the smartphone world and is arguably one among the Flip 4’s best features.

 That is a number of the most fun I’ve had with a phone all yr.

And, in fact, there’s the fun factor that naturally comes with a tool just like the Galaxy Z Flip 4. It’s not something I can measure with benchmarks or technical evaluation, but I can confidently say that that is a number of the most fun I’ve had with a phone all yr. From snapping it shut after using an app, propping it up on the counter to observe a YouTube video while I cook dinner, or taking a phone call with the phone barely bent to resemble the handsets of yesteryear, there are such a lot of unique qualities concerning the Flip 4 that simply can’t be replicated on a non-folding counterpart. That will not mean anything to some people, but to me, it’s made using the Z Flip 4 an experience I look ahead to each time I take it out of my pocket.


The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, opened up and showing the main screen.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

We now have two screens on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to evaluate, but we’ll start with the one you’ll spend essentially the most time with. When opened, the Z Flip 4 treats you to a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel. It’s a screen with a 2640 x 1080 resolution, HDR10+ support, 1,200 nits of peak brightness, and a variable refresh rate that scales as much as 120Hz and all the best way right down to 1Hz.

In practice, the screen on the Z Flip 4 looks outstanding. Colours are lusciously vibrant, viewing angles are excellent, and it gets very brilliant whenever you need it. Samsung flagships are famous for having a few of the perfect smartphone screens in the marketplace, and even with the foldable form, the Z Flip 4 is not any different.

The crease on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

But what concerning the crease? Every Z Flip handset has a noticeable crease in the midst of the screen where the hinge folds shut, and despite changes to its hinge, the Z Flip 4 is not any different — despite what rumors suggested. The crease continues to be there. You’ll be able to clearly see it in certain lighting conditions, and also you’ll feel it when swiping your finger across it.

But after a few days of use, the crease becomes something you subconsciously ignore (identical to the notch on an iPhone). I still see it with direct sunlight and feel it when doom-scrolling Twitter, nevertheless it’s not something that ever gets in my way of using the Flip 4.

The cover screen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

And, in fact, we have now the duvet screen. Despite rumors of Samsung enlarging the Flip 4’s cover screen, it’s the identical 1.9-inch Super AMOLED 512 x 260 resolution screen that we had on the Flip 3. And which means the functionality is usually the identical, too. You swipe right to see notifications, swipe as much as access cards in Samsung Wallet, swipe right down to adjust a handful of quick settings, and swipe left to view a wide range of widgets.

For checking notifications, sending quick replies to text messages, viewing upcoming calendar appointments, or enabling SmartThings scenes, the duvet screen on the Flip 4 is great. It also serves as a handy viewfinder, allowing you to take photos/videos of yourself with the predominant and ultrawide cameras and see what’s in your shot. But I can’t help but wish there was more I could do.

I’d like to find a way to answer to Telegram or Microsoft Teams messages, show QR codes/boarding passes stored in Samsung Wallet, view conversations from my messaging apps, etc. Trying to duplicate your own home screen and your entire apps on a 1.9-inch canvas could be a nasty idea, and Samsung’s right to not have done that. But even with the limited real estate, I believe there’s still room to grow here. I really like using the Flip 4’s cover screen for fast interactions, and I’d like to see it expand a bit greater than what’s currently available.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Flip lineup has never had an issue regarding internal horsepower. The unique Z Flip donned a Snapdragon 855+, the Z Flip 5G had an 865 5G+, and the Z Flip 3 shipped with a Snapdragon 888 — all top-of-the-line Qualcomm chips for his or her time. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is not any different, coming with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

As we’ve seen from other phones with the 8+ Gen 1, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has all the performance you might ask for. Apps open immediately, menus scroll flawlessly, and graphically demanding games like Call of Duty: Mobile play with no hitch. The Z Flip 4 can heat up during more demanding tasks (comparable to long gaming sessions or multiple hours of hotspot use), nevertheless it never gets to the purpose where it’s uncomfortable to carry. For a foldable phone this slim, it’s pretty impressive.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has all the performance you might ask for.

The one potential irritant is the Z Flip 4’s available RAM. Similar to last yr (and the yr before), the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has 8GB of RAM for all storage models. It’s enough to juggle a handful of apps at a time, but when you need to be a multitasking champ with a dozen or more apps open without delay, 8GB could also be a touch too limiting. And if you happen to’re that concerned about multitasking, you’re probably higher off with the phone/tablet form factor provided by the Galaxy Z Fold 4 anyway.


A close-up photo of the cameras on the Galaxy Z Flip 4.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Next, let’s talk cameras. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a reasonably basic offering on this department — including a 12MP primary camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 10MP selfie camera. Those are all the identical megapixel counts as what you’ll find on the Flip 3, but Samsung says the first camera on the Flip 4 is 65% brighter this generation.

How does that translate to real-world use? We want more time to really put the Flip 4’s camera system through its paces, however the initial results we’ve seen to date are (mostly) positive.

In typical Samsung fashion, photos straight out of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 are very saturated with big, vibrant colours. They aren’t at all times essentially the most true-to-life, but they’re eye-catching and able to share on social media — no editing required. Details from the 12MP primary sensor look pretty much as good as you’d expect, and it even gives you a natural bokeh effect in some shots. Whenever you do use the dedicated portrait mode shooting option, it appears to work quite well with humans and other subjects alike. And due to the duvet screen on the front of the Flip 4, you’ll be able to easily take selfies with either the first or ultrawide cameras as a substitute of the 10MP selfie shooter on the predominant display.

Outdoor photo taken with the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Outdoor photo taken with the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

  • 1.
    Photo from Z Flip 4’s primary camera
  • 2.
    Photo from Z Flip 4’s ultrawide camera

Speaking of the ultrawide camera, I’ve been mostly completely happy with its performance. You lose a number of the finer detail you’d otherwise get with the 12MP primary sensor, however the 123-degree field-of-view is convenient, and color reproduction could be very just like the first shooter.

We’ll update this review in a few days with more camera samples and extra thoughts, but in the intervening time, this can be a camera package I’ve been completely happy to shoot with. Competing handsets just like the iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro are more capable, but for casual photographers, the Flip 4 is delivering solid results.

Battery life and charging

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, half-opened and sitting on a table.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

One among the weakest features of the Z Flip 3 — if not the weakest — was its battery life. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was a one-day phone at its best and sometimes required you to search for a charger before the day was over. Hearing the battery complaints loud and clear, Samsung made a few key changes with the Z Flip 4. Along with the more power-efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, the Z Flip 4 also comes with a 3,700 mAh dual-cell battery, a 500 mAh upgrade over the three,300 mAh unit in its predecessor.

The excellent news? Battery life on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is markedly higher than it was on the Flip 3. The bad news? It’s still only ok for one full day of use. One among my higher days with the Flip 4 saw me end the day at 10:53 PM with 23% battery still left within the tank. That was following 14 hours of total use time with 3 hours and 42 minutes of screen on time — including over an hour of YouTube, 30+ minutes of browsing Twitter, 16 minutes of Reddit scrolling, a 10-minute Duolingo session, etc. One other day saw the phone reach 14 hours and 52 minutes of use time with 15% battery remaining. That was following 2 hours and 23 minutes of screen time consisting of a 30+ minute Teams video call, half-hour of Twitter, calling and tracking a Lyft ride, and frequent use of the Delta app while jumping on a few flights.

Screenshot of Galaxy Z Flip 4 battery life.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Screenshot of Galaxy Z Flip 4 battery life.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

You’ll be able to more comfortably get through a full day on the Flip 4 than you ever could with the Flip 3, but a single day of use continues to be where the phone tops out. If you happen to need a phone to last a day and a half or two days per charge, you’ll need to steer your attention towards devices just like the Asus ROG Phone 6 and Zenfone 9.

 You’ll be able to more comfortably get through a full day on the Flip 4 than you ever could with the Flip 3.

Also improved on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is wired charging. Where last yr’s Flip 3 maxed out at 15W wired charging speeds, the Flip 4 cranks things as much as 25W. It’s a far cry from phones just like the OnePlus 10T delivering as much as 150W charging, nevertheless it’s a welcome improvement nonetheless. 10 minutes of charging takes the Flip 4 from 5 – 23% battery, 25 minutes gets you from 5 – 47%, and going from 5% remaining to a full 100% battery takes about an hour and 16 minutes. And if you happen to aren’t in a rush, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 also supports 10W wireless charging (plus 4.5W reverse wireless charging).


The Flex mode panel on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 ships with Android 12 and Samsung’s One UI 4.1.1 interface layered on top. It’s also backed by Samsung’s usual update promise, meaning you’ll be able to expect 4 major Android updates and five years of security patches.

If you happen to’ve used a contemporary Samsung phone throughout the last couple of years, you’ll be right at home with the software experience on the Flip 4. Samsung’s One UI aesthetics aren’t my personal favorite, however the interface is fast, fluid, and keeps the whole lot feeling snappy. And as is the case with all Samsung phones, there are ample features/settings to maintain you preoccupied. You’ll be able to change the shortcuts that appear on the lock screen, enable Edge panels for handy app shortcuts, use Link to Windows for seamless device syncing along with your PC, add custom shortcuts for the ability button, run apps in a windowed view in your screen, etc.

Along with the standard array of Samsung features, there are also just a few tricks exclusive to the Z Flip form factor — essentially the most notable being the “Flex mode panel.” If you happen to enable Flex mode for an app and open that app with the Z Flip 4 propped upright, the app moves to the highest portion of the screen and leaves the underside half available for various controls. From the underside half of your screen, you’ll be able to view the notification panel, take a screenshot, change the brightness/volume, or use the underside a part of the screen as a trackpad for navigating the app shown above.

The Flex mode panel on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Not every application formats nicely in Flex mode, but I do love that Samsung allows you to try it with any app you may have to see what works and what doesn’t. Plus, for certain applications like YouTube and the camera app, they’ll mechanically shift UI elements around when half-folding the Flip 4. The Fold 4 stays the go-to foldable for anyone attempting to make essentially the most out of their device’s screen real estate, but I do appreciate Samsung putting these tools at your disposal so you’ll be able to really do whatever you’d like with the Flip 4’s unique design.

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 starts at $1,000 within the U.S. for the bottom model with 128GB of storage. You’ll be able to upgrade to 256GB or 512GB if you happen to need more room, but doing so will set you back $1,100 and $1,220, respectively. Pre-orders are open until August 25, with regular sales starting on August 26.

Because the story often goes with Samsung phones, nonetheless, the retail price isn’t what you’ll find yourself paying. Through the pre-order phase, Samsung is offering a free upgrade from 128GB to 256GB at no added cost. And if you may have an old phone to trade in, the quick credits you’ll be able to get from Samsung are nothing in need of incredible. A Z Flip 3 nets you a $900 credit, the S21 FE is value $700, and trading in a two-year-old S20 continues to be a $400 quick discount.

Our take

Someone holding a closed Galaxy Z Flip 4.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

I understand why some people have dismissed the Galaxy Z Flip 4 as a “boring” phone this yr. It’s about as iterative as a yearly update gets. Apart from a rather tweaked design, an upgraded chip, larger battery, and faster charger, it’s effectively the identical Z Flip that Samsung released last yr. But that’s precisely why the Z Flip 4 works so well.

Of the ‘fold’ and ‘flip’ foldable designs that the industry has seemingly settled on, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the perfect rattling version of the latter you’ll be able to buy. The refreshed design looks and feels pretty much as good as I could have hoped for, the hinge feels incredible, the processor has more power than you might ever need, and the display looks amazing. I wish Samsung could have prolonged battery life much more and really taken the duvet screen to the following level, but even without those things, the Z Flip 4 continues to be a joy to make use of.

If you happen to desire a flagship with industry-leading cameras, multi-day battery life, or lightning-fast charging, there are many other options so that you can select from. But if you happen to’re OK sacrificing a few of those things for a design unlike anything, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the perfect in its class. It’s not essentially the most technically impressive phone in each category, nevertheless it’s stylish, cute, and fun in ways in which traditional slab smartphones won’t ever find a way to match. And the areas where the Flip 3 struggled — comparable to battery life and charging — are noticeably higher on the Flip 4. Mix that unique approach with precision execution in so many categories, and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 stands tall as one among my favorite smartphones of the yr. Irrespective of how boring it’s speculated to be.

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