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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a fashion-forward foldable with little improvements
Today isn’t the day for major updates or surprises from Samsung, and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is holding the line. It’s the latest generation of Samsung’s smaller foldable, with some minor but significant improvements like a larger battery, upgraded camera hardware, and a stronger main display. There are also some new colors to mix and match to create your own “bespoke” Flip 4. If you were hoping for a price drop, we have bad news: it still starts at $999 — affordable by foldable standards, but still in the upper echelons of smartphone pricing.
Naturally, there’s an updated chipset: the Flip 4 has a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 (paired with 8GB of RAM), which is found in almost every flagship Android phone released this year that isn’t made by Google. The hinge is slimmer, and Samsung straightened out the phone’s previously curved edges, shaving off a few millimeters in width and height. The thickness, however, remains the same: 17.1mm at the hinge and 15.9mm where the ends of the display meet, resulting in the same size gap when the phone is folded.
The phone’s main screen is still 6.7 inches with improved durability.
The main screen remains 6.7 inches with a variable refresh rate of 120Hz, and it’s said to be 45 percent stronger this time around thanks to changes in the display structure and stronger ultra-thin glass. This year, the adhesive that holds the (essential) screen protector in place is also stronger. When that glue loses its hold, as we all learned, bad things happen. The overall durability rating has remained constant. It’s still IPX8, with strong water resistance and no dust resistance.
The cover screen is still quite small at 1.9 inches. However, you will be able to do more with the cover screen; there will be an optional SmartThings widget for quick access to smart home controls, and you will be able to send quick replies to texts or use it access Samsung Wallet. The cover screen will also show selfie previews with the same photo ratio as the final image.
The cosmetic differences between this year’s model and Samsung’s prior efforts are small, but they do make an impression. The Flip 4 feels just a little more like a regular, very nice flagship phone that happens to fold in half — not something that made a lot of concessions for its ability to fold. The glossy aluminum rails, the straighter corners and edges, and the flatter hinge all left me with a good impression. For this fashion-focused phone, it seems like what the Flip should have looked like from the start. It just took Samsung an extra iteration to get there.
Last year’s 3,300mAh battery gets a boost up to 3,700mAh. In our testing, the flip 3 got through a full day of use easily enough, but more battery capacity certainly isn’t a bad thing. Wired charging speeds are a little faster: 25W, up from 15W. Wireless charging is still available at the same 10W speed.
Last but not least, the main camera gets some upgraded hardware. It’s still a 12-megapixel chip, but this year’s sensor is bigger (Samsung doesn’t say by how much), and the pixels are larger (1.8μm compared to 1.4μm). You still get optical stabilization, which you absolutely should from a $999 phone. The 12-megapixel ultrawide remains, as does the 10-megapixel selfie cam.
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