At its Unpacked Event (watch it) this morning, Samsung launched the new Galaxy Z Fold 4, its highest-end foldable phone designed to provide the best folding phone experience.
The new handset brings many subtle external improvements, such as narrower bezels, slightly smaller size, and weight (by only 8g). Still, that aspect is broadly comparable to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 we reviewed last year, including the fact that the industrial design is impeccable and solid.
The durability includes a waterproof IP rating (IPx8) that is particularly difficult to achieve with foldable designs.
Thanks to the bezels reduction and other form-factor optimizations, the 120 Hz 6.2” cover screen is now wider (by 3mm) and protected by a 45% stronger glass, according to Samsung.
The 120 Hz 7.6-inch foldable display still looks incredible when unfolded. The crease is not noticeable if looking straight-on and depending on the ambient lighting. After three generations of folding phones, we know the crease is not a big usability problem. Instead, the unit growth is mainly limited by the high $1799 price.
The most significant upgrades are inside, with an improved camera system and a powerful Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (12GB RAM, 256GB-1TB storage) processor, Qualcomm’s excellent hardware platform for Android. If you’re curious, read our Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 preview of that chip, but most high-end Android phones will feature it in 2022.
The rear camera system was upgraded to closely resemble the Galaxy S22+’s camera, with a 50MP primary sensor, 12MP ultrawide sensor, and a 10MP 3x optical-zoom camera. The primary and the zoom cameras have optical image stabilization (OIS), and the rear camera package significantly improved over the Z Fold 3.
There is a 10MP selfie camera when using the screen cover, and there’s another 4MP selfie camera built into the 7.6” foldable display for a total of five camera modules
The battery size remains at 4400 mAh, which is not surprising since the overall chassis is already so packed and even smaller than last year’s model. Generally, we’ve seen good battery life with this configuration. Additionally, the new Snapdragon is more power-efficient, so we expect battery life to remain comparable to last year but with higher performance.
Despite increased competition in this space, Samsung remains the only smartphone OEM selling folding phones globally.