Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review: so good, it ought to be your next phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

MSRP $1,799.00

“The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is less compromised, more powerful, and more durable than its predecessors. The battery struggles to maintain up with its ability, but otherwise, it’s considered one of the best possible smartphones you possibly can buy today.”


  • Usable cover screen
  • Excellent multitasking features
  • Inner screen is great for games and video
  • Reliable and fun camera
  • Water-resistant and sturdy materials


  • Heavy use kills the battery
  • Slow charging

Lazy old Samsung has barely modified the Galaxy Z Fold 4 over the Galaxy Z Fold 3, right? It’s very easy to think this after a fast glance on the design or a side-by-side check of the stats, but don’t judge this book by its cover (screen), as Samsung’s many small alterations add as much as something far greater.

Yes, greater. The Z Fold 4 is basically the primary time the most important Samsung folding smartphone might be really useful to most individuals, and should you put money into one, it has the ability and talent to stay in use for years. Here’s why it’s such a giant step forward.


Not quite as tall and never quite as slim. That’s the fundamental foremost takeaway regarding the Galaxy Z Fold 4 in comparison with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but to go away it at that could be a disservice to the differences the millimeter-tight changes make. When closed, gripping the Z Fold 4 isn’t quite like holding a non-folding phone, however it’s not far off. While you compare on-screen keyboards, the Z Fold 4’s letters are a number of extra pixels wide, yet I’ve found typing to be faster and more accurate on the Z Fold 4. It’s also great that Google’s Gboard keyboard has joined Samsung’s own with a split view.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

I didn’t have an issue using the Z Fold 3 closed, but there’s little doubt it’s a greater, more conventional experience on the Z Fold 4. The aspect ratio change doesn’t squash all the pieces into that odd vertical-letterbox look anywhere nearly as much, and meaning reading text, taking a look at Instagram, and just doing regular phone things isn’t as compromised as before. The 3mm or in order that has been added to the Cover Screen may not sound like much in any respect, however it has genuinely made the phone more usable when closed.

Samsung explained that the changes to the dimensions of the phone were made possible partly by a recent hinge design. My Z Fold 3 is a yr old and the hinge has settled right into a very nice dampened motion after taking off pretty stiff. The Z Fold 4 has also started off life with less “give” than I’d like, however it’s more likely to loosen up identical to the Z Fold 3. It’s soundless with no audible grinding or anything awful like that, and there’s a pleasant thunk when the phone snaps closed. If Samsung hadn’t explained what’s different in regards to the hinge, I don’t think I’d have known it had modified based on feel alone, and that’s a superb thing.

Nonetheless, you’re still coping with a really thick and heavy phone. It’s 263 grams and 15.8mm thick when closed, so it weighs your pocket down and it’s all the time obvious when it’s in a bag. But again, it’s not as hefty because the Z Fold 3. In all elements of its physical shape and size, the Z Fold 4 is a substantial step forward over its predecessor. While I feel the changes make the Z Fold 4 more accessible, they is probably not extensive enough to convert detractors or those that disliked the Z Fold 3. It’s different, but not drastically so.

I’ll admit it, I’m a folding phone convert, and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is undoubtedly the head of the tech in the mean time. I’ll live with the increased thickness and weight, because opening the phone up and using the massive screen to browse the net, watch videos, read books, edit photos, and scroll through Twitter is a implausible experience because the identical device then folds all the way down to slot in my pocket. It’s hugely freeing, and I find it more convenient than carrying other non-folding, but still massive phones just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 13 Pro Max around.

Video playing on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Holding the closed Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Holding the open Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The base of the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I really like the little things about it too, like the way in which you possibly can fold it so it becomes its own stand for watching videos, and the way splendidly sharp the screen is for reading magazines and ebooks. It’s comprehensible should you’re not convinced, but should you haven’t tried the Galaxy Z Fold 4 for yourself but have gotten more intrigued, exit and provides it a try. This will just be the one which convinces you that large-screen foldables are ready for the mainstream.


On the skin is a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen with a 2316 x 904 resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 23.1:9 aspect ratio. Open the phone and also you get a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED, also with a 120Hz refresh rate, plus a 2176 x 1812 resolution. The refresh rate for the open screen varies between 1Hz and 120Hz, while the quilt screen varies between 48Hz and 120Hz.

Playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The smaller bezels around the quilt screen and alterations to the form of the phone have made it way more usable, and are integral to the improved design and value of the phone. The within screen is where you go to look at video, play games, read books, view and edit photos, and multitask. The excellent news is the brand new shape has made it more usable here, too. It’s more square than the Z Fold 3, and really closer in shape to the Oppo Find N. I’ve had no problem with brightness when using the phone outside, although the inner screen is sort of reflective.

What in regards to the crease? It’s still there, however the rippling around it has been reduced, so it’s not quite so visibly obvious anymore. This is applicable to when the screen is on and off. I’ve noticed “not noticing” when using the open screen on the Z Fold 4 repeatedly already, and the concave dip when running your finger across it’s a tiny bit less dramatic too. Nonetheless, it still can’t match the Oppo Find N, which doesn’t appear to have a crease in any respect.

Asphalt 9: Legends looks implausible, filled with vibrant color, and with no blur or slowdown in any respect. Video also looks sharp and filled with detail. Just remember to examine the brightness, since the phone has a habit of setting it somewhat too low to actually benefit from the picture. App support for the massive screen is sweet, but there are things to get used to. For instance, Instagram still doesn’t use the entire screen, while YouTube doesn’t adopt the superb tablet view from the iPad, and is only a big-print version of the mobile app, making selecting videos a laborious task.

Reading on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

All Samsung apps and the core Google apps are really slick, though, and there’s something supremely satisfying about starting out in an app on the quilt screen, and seamlessly swapping to the opposite screen while you open the Z Fold 4. For it to operate the opposite way around, you have got to enter the Settings and manually force apps to proceed on the Cover Screen from the inner screen. By default, they’re all disabled, and shutting the phone may be very final, because the screen shuts off.


The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a 50-megapixel foremost camera, a 12MP 123-degree wide-angle camera, and a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and 30x maximum digital zoom. Video records at as much as 8K at 24 frames per second (fp-, with the choice of 4K at 30 or 60fps. Plus, there’s Samsung’s excellent Super Regular video stabilization. There’s a Pro mode for stills and video, an evening mode, Single Take, and portrait mode on the foremost and selfie camera.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4's camera modules.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I find the mixture of a robust foremost camera, a superb wide-angle, and 3x optical zoom to be good, and the Z Fold 4 takes excellent photos with all three. It’s vibrant and colourful without being overly saturated, the wide-angle stays mostly consistent with a rather stronger HDR effect, and the 3x telephoto pictures contain plenty of detail and no obvious digital enhancements. Portrait mode works very well, with implausible edge recognition, while night mode can be good but not all that different in performance to the Z Fold 3.

The foremost camera has a more natural look than the Z Fold 3’s, with less saturation and much better balance. The wide-angle camera takes more detailed, higher exposed, and more attractive photos. I’ve found I need to edit the photos the Z Fold 4 takes lower than those taken on the Z Fold 3, and have been confident in its abilities when out taking pictures. It could possibly’t match the S22 Ultra’s 10x optical zoom, however it’s an otherwise strong competitor as a implausible all-rounder for each casual photographers and those that want somewhat more ability.

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    3x zoom

What’s not so good? The foremost camera isn’t great at taking close-ups and fails to focus properly if the topic is just too near the camera. I’ve also had a number of photos taken with the optical zoom fail to focus typically, but they’re rare and that could be as a consequence of using the camera with prerelease software. It’s price noting for now, but not something to fret about. And while the telephoto camera can zoom to 30x, it’s difficult to recommend. Unless you would like to take pixelated, obviously digitally enhanced photos of poor quality, you won’t need to hassle.

The Under Display Camera (UDC) has 4MP and is basically no higher than the one fitted to the Z Fold 3. It returns a soft image during video calls, and is way less sharp than the 10MP selfie camera on the quilt screen. Samsung claims to have made the UDC camera less noticeable too, but to my eyes, it’s essentially the identical. You’ll be able to spot it while you search for it, however it’s never bothersome.

Whilst you’ll probably use the camera from the quilt screen more often than not, there’s a bonus to using the camera with the Z Fold 4 open. It’s called Capture View, and it shows the viewfinder and controls on the fitting and a vertical gallery view on the left. It’s really helpful to instantly see the photos you’ve taken in busy, action-packed situations, and even to examine the standard of your selfie . The duvet screen might be called into motion when using the phone open like this, allowing your subject to see themselves while you’re taking a photograph, or so that you can use the rear camera for selfies.

The Z Fold 4’s camera is superb and a definite improvement over the one on the Z Fold 3. I’ve been in a position to depend on it, and think the natural-but-color-filled photos will satisfy those that don’t like extreme saturation levels, while still looking ok to share online without drastic editing. The software is fast and filled with features, and the app makes good use of the multiple screens and layouts. You’ll have plenty of fun with the Z Fold 4’s camera.

Software and performance

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 makes use of Google’s Android 12L software, which has been made with larger screens in mind, and Samsung’s own OneUI 4.1.1 interface. Android 12L isn’t drastically different from regular Android 12, and Samsung hasn’t integrated the two-column Quick Settings layout, which is probably the most obvious visual change. Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor with 12GB of RAM and your alternative of 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of internal space for storing.

4 apps running on the Galaxy Z Fold 4's screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

One in every of the foremost recent features is the Taskbar, which, as its name suggests, is just like the Windows Taskbar or MacOS’s Dock, because it adds app icons to the underside of the screen when the phone is open. It’s designed to quickly switch between apps, and it does indeed perform this task thoroughly. The issue is, so does the helicopter view while you swipe up on the screen, and Samsung’s ever-present slide-in smart bar.

While it’s well implemented, it feels superfluous for switching apps at first, but do give it a try since it’s faster than any of the opposite systems, with apps switching practically immediately. It’s also helpful when multitasking, because the icons show notification numbers. The layout mirrors the foremost Android dock, so it’s easy to place essential apps there and all the time be alerted if there are notifications waiting.

Multitasking is a giant a part of what makes the Z Fold 4 so compelling.

Using multiple apps at the identical time on the inner screen is considered one of the standout benefits of the Z Fold 4. It’s very easy to start: just tap and hold an app from the Taskbar or the Smart bar, then slide it onto the screen, where it robotically reorients across the already running apps. Three apps can run alongside one another, plus some apps can float excessive for a fourth app. They usually all remain perfectly usable (only a bit small) while you do it. It’s very well implemented, and genuinely makes the unfolded Z Fold 4 a phone that gets plenty of things done quickly and without fuss.

It’s a credit to each the software and the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 that the phone handles four-app multitasking with ease. With a multiperson Teams call running and Twitter on the opposite side of the screen, all while connected to a pair of Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the phone didn’t get hot in any respect. It did put some strain on the battery, though, which we’ll come back to shortly. Multitasking is a giant a part of what makes the Z Fold 4 so compelling, because the experience is refined and easy, and the within screen has the dimensions and quality to make using a couple of app at a time actually worthwhile.

I’ve been consistently impressed with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, having used it within the Asus Zenfone 9, the ROG Phone 6 Pro, and the iQoo 9T already. It’s clearly more efficient than the 8 Gen 1 and handles the strain of top-tier gaming and better ambient temperatures higher too. It doesn’t appear to get as hot typically, and that helps it address the demands placed on it by the phone’s sheer ability. It looks like Qualcomm’s true next-generation mobile chip, while the 8 Gen 1 had similar heat and efficiency issues to the Snapdragon 888. I actually have had no problem with the Z Fold 4’s 5G connectivity or Bluetooth, and call quality has been excellent.

Battery and charging

There’s a dual-cell 4,400 mAh battery contained in the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and in the mean time, it’s the weakest a part of this otherwise superb package. Nonetheless, I’m only a brief period of time into using the Z Fold 4 as my foremost phone, so the battery life may improve because the phone learns my usage. My previous experience with Samsung phones does suggest it might take about two weeks for it to quiet down.

The charger port on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

At this stage, hard use will see the battery run out of power before the top of a full day. A mixture of apps, video calls, GPS, and camera use saw the phone operate from about 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a complete of slightly below 4 hours of screen time. A one-hour video call with some multitasking during it took the battery down by 20%, while a morning of 5G connectivity, photos, and GPS took about half the battery life with it.

The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is superb at reducing energy consumption while you use the phone evenly, corresponding to for web browsing, social apps, and answering messages. A full day plus somewhat more is well achievable on this scenario, but when the phone is that this capable and so obviously built for media and multitasking, it probably won’t occur fairly often.

You don’t get a charger within the box with the phone (but you do get a USB Type-C cable), and the Z Fold 4 supports 25-watt charging. A compatible charger took 88 minutes to recharge from 1% to full. The phone also supports wireless charging at a lower wattage, and the Wireless PowerShare feature will charge a Qi-compatible device placed on the back of the Z Fold 4 too.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4's Cover Screen.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Fold 4's fingerprint sensor.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

The slow charging speed is one other disappointment. While the U.S. could also be barely behind the curve with truly rapid charging, with only OnePlus pushing the boundaries, the remaining of the world is used to more phones charging to full in half-hour or less, which is a feature that’s available on devices that cost a 3rd of the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s price. The shorter than ideal battery life (at this stage) will make the slow charging more of a problem for some.

Price and availability

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799 for the 256GB version, then increases to $1,920 for the 512GB model, before reaching $2,160 for the highest 1TB version. Within the U.K., the 256GB phone costs 1,649 British kilos, whilst you’ll pay 1,769 kilos for the 512GB model and a couple of,019 kilos for the highest 1TB model. There are three foremost colours: Phantom Black, beige, and Greygreen. Samsung sells an exclusive burgundy version through its own store.

Although expensive, Samsung has generous trade-in offers. And there are sometimes strong discounts at carriers and retailers on the market, so it’s absolutely price doing all your research before buying, because it’s possible to scale back the initially high price quite considerably.

Our take

Small changes make a giant difference. On paper, nothing in regards to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 screams “huge upgrade” over the Z Fold 3, and it’s easy to assume it’s just an iterative update that doesn’t solve any of the problems people have with big folding smartphones. But that’s not the case. The small changes to the form, weight, and specifications have made it a way more realistic on a regular basis device for rather a lot more people, provided you possibly can get past the high price. Even then, there’s actually good value here when you concentrate on the longevity offered by the hardware and software.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 looks and feels futuristic and accommodates cutting-edge tech — it’s probably the most powerful phone Samsung has ever made — but that can not be said in regards to the battery and charging. It charges slowly in comparison with many other current phones, and there’s a really real likelihood of the battery running out before the top of the day should you use the phone because it demands for use. Each these elements will make it difficult for some people to really exploit its massive ability.

There are fewer compromises here than with its predecessors, the work that has gone into making the phone’s design more compliant and usable is basically impressive, and fears over durability have largely been removed. The software has matured nicely, with most apps and services working cohesively across each screens. And due to long-term support updates that come from Samsung and Google’s ongoing partnership, the Z Fold 4 will keep feeling fresh for years to return.

Even with the shorter-than-desired battery life, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is probably the most complete, does-everything, will-last-for-years mobile device you possibly can buy today.

Is there a greater alternative?

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 has the worldwide large-format folding smartphone market almost entirely to itself. Should you need a phone identical to it, you’ll need to import something just like the Oppo Find N, or live without Google Services on the Huawei Mate X2. Your other alternative of folding phone can be made by Samsung, and it’s the Galaxy Z Flip 4. It’s a distinct proposition, folding down right into a smaller, more portable device. Should you just need a very powerful phone that doesn’t fold, take a have a look at our guide to the most effective smartphones.

What about upgrading from the Z Fold 3? There is certainly a case to accomplish that. The processor is stronger and more efficient, the camera is best, and the form and size are more usable. So it’s price considering should you’re prepared to stomach the price involved. Nonetheless, you’re already using a capable, long-lasting, and expensive phone, and trading it in after only a yr isn’t entirely mandatory.

How long will it last?

Samsung has made its Armor Aluminum somewhat tougher than when it was introduced on the Z Fold 3, plus Gorilla Glass Victus covers the quilt screen and the within screen. Samsung has also modified the inner structure of the screen to enhance durability, while the hinge has been tested to 200,000 folds, so it ought to be good for no less than 100 times per day for the subsequent five years. The Z Fold 4 has an IPX8 rating, which makes it water-resistant but not dust resistant. The software will get major updates for the subsequent 4 years and security updates for the subsequent five.

Add all this to the cutting-edge processor and the next-gen design, and the Galaxy Z Fold might be probably the most future-proofed smartphone you possibly can buy. There’s absolutely no reason (outside of clumsily breaking it) that it won’t still be going strong and searching excellent in three or 4 years’ time. It’s pricey, however it’ll potentially last you twice so long as a sub-$1,000 non-folding device.

Must you buy it?

Yes. It’s very near being a big-screen folding smartphone without compromise.

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