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Looks the same, feels a bit different but what’s new? Is it worth the upgrade? I’m going to be straightforward here – the new Galaxy Z Fold4 is an iterative upgrade over the Galaxy Z Fold3. There are lots of incremental improvements but however tiny they may be, it actually brings huge impact and drastically improves the user experience.

I’ve used the device for the past week. and I discovered a lot of tiny details and upgrades that we need to highlight. So, here is everything that I have discovered about the new Galaxy Z Fold4.

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Specs & performance

Okay, we’ll start with the most obvious upgrade – the performance. Powered by the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, the Galaxy Z Fold4 is definitely going to be a productivity powerhouse and also a fantastic device to be used for gaming. However, because of such a humongous display, we have to enable the Game Booster Plus and set the game’s resolution to the highest so that it wouldn’t look jaggy, and we also have to enable the Alternate Game Performance Management mode so that we can get more performance out of this device.

We tried the usual Genshin Impact at the highest graphical settings – and yea, I have to say the performance is really good. The surface temperature is also kept at 40°C maximum – which means the device is mostly gonna be slightly warm to the touch and that’s about it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

Battery life

But with this new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, everyone’s concern is about its efficiency and the battery life of the Galaxy Z Fold4. For whatever reason, Samsung decided to reuse the same 4,400mAh battery on this phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

So, to have a scientific test regarding its battery life, we used back our standard PCMark battery life test with the screen locked at 100 nits of brightness. For the Galaxy Z Fold4, we did two different tests – one for the cover display, and one for the inner display.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review
Cover display

For the cover display, we recorded that it lasts for about 11 hours and 12 minutes – which is pretty okay. It can somewhat last throughout a full day’s usage if we do not play games on it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review
Inner display

For the inner display though, we recorded that it lasts for only 9 hours and 59 minutes. Since we did the same battery test for the Galaxy Z Fold3 last year, we have a direct comparison – and the Galaxy Z Fold3 lasted for about 9 hours and 8 minutes.

I’d say that the new Galaxy Z Fold4 definitely got an improvement in terms of its battery life, but I’d seriously prefer a larger battery instead.

Charging time

As a quick mention – the charging time is also the same as last year’s Galaxy Z Fold3, so it can only charge up to 25W maximum and it’ll take about 80 minutes to charge from 15% to 100% battery. I mean, same battery capacity and the same fast charging wattage means the same charging speed – so no surprises here.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

Design

Okay, I also want to quickly highlight the design here. The Galaxy Z Fold4 looks identical to last year’s Z Fold3 but there are a lot of differences. It is available in a total of 3 different colors – Phantom Black, Beige, and the one we have here is Grey Green. It looks a bit muted but this is my favorite color out of the three. The last color is Burgundy which is only available via Samsung.com.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

The overall shape of the phone is slightly shorter and wider. The hinge also got a tiny change as the gap when the phone is folded is now slightly wider than before and I think that is a quick fix to alleviate some of that stress introduced to the flexible display when the display is folded.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

This bigger gap also somewhat decreased the crease a little bit? I know that’s a bad pun but yeah, the crease is less noticeable and can’t really be felt when swiping my finger across.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

Also, the hinge also feels a bit stiffer compared to the Z Fold3.

Screen

As for the screens, they’re actually very different this time. On paper, it looks like the same size as before – but they did change quite a lot in terms of the dimensions – as in the height and length.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

Let’s start with the cover display. I immediately realized that this phone is a lot boxier than before and the edge of the cover display is now less curve compared to before. That means finding screen protectors is easier – and that is important since Samsung didn’t pre-install any screen protector for the cover display.

It has the same diagonal 6.2-inch screen that can go up to 120Hz refresh rate but with a resolution of 2316×904.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

And this tiny change made to the cover display dimension has a huge implication on the entire phone. The entire device needs to conform to this shape as well, which means the inner display also changed in terms of resolution, to 2176×1812 pixels. Again, it’s a little shorter and wider – but the width is much more apparent now since the change in width is doubled when unfolded.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

One more upgrade that Samsung did for the inner display is the under-display camera area. It has a much higher pixel density and the entire display just looks like there is no selfie camera to begin with. Even our Sony camera is having a hard time capturing that under-display camera.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review
Very difficult to even locate the under-display camera.

As for the refresh rate, this inner display still goes up to 120Hz but we need to talk about the efficiency for a while. Samsung did say that the new Galaxy Z Fold4 has a larger variable refresh rate range and it can go all the way from the maximum 120Hz to just 1Hz for both the unfolded and folded displays.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

This is also a part of the reason why the Galaxy Z Fold4 can squeeze more time out of that same 4,400mAh battery.

Color accuracy

Okay, with that out of the way – how’s the color accuracy of the Galaxy Z Fold4? We did a total of 3 different tests, actually. The first test is for the cover display, the second test is for the inner display’s left section, and the third test is for the inner display’s right section.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

I have to tip my imaginary hat to Samsung because the color accuracy between all 3 tests is just amazing. Tested at 100 nits of brightness, all three tests reported virtually 100% of sRGB and DCI-P3 coverage. And I should also highlight that the brightness between the cover display and the inner display is also nearly identical. 100 nits of brightness on the cover display also mean about 100 nits of brightness for the inner display. That’s a level of detail that I wasn’t expecting.

Maximum brightness

I also need to highlight the maximum brightness achievable by the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. In the settings menu, if we go back to manual brightness, there is an extra option for us to toggle – it’s called “extra brightness”.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

If we enable this, then both the cover display and the inner display can reach around 750 nits of brightness.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

That is supremely impressive given that the cover display and the inner flexible display are two different panels but Samsung manages to make it look and feel the same. That is just amazing.

Cameras

Okay, moving forward – one more change that Samsung did is on the cameras. The new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 still has a total of triple cameras, but the main camera has been upgraded to a 50MP sensor and the telephoto camera is now at a lower resolution of 10MP but changed to a 3x telephoto zoom lens. Both the main and telephoto camera lenses still have OIS, so don’t worry about having shaky hands.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

To have a look at all the pictures taken with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, watch our video at the top of this review.

Software – Android 12L a.k.a. Android 12.1

Okay – here comes the most fun part about the Galaxy Z Fold4 – the software. We still have the usual Flex Mode and whatnot, but I want to highlight the Android 12L, also known as Android 12.1. This is the first-ever device to be shipped with Android 12L, which I was honestly looking forward to since its announcement earlier this year.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

The reason why I am looking forward to Android 12L is because of its emphasis on bigger displays like tablets and you guessed it – foldable devices like the Galaxy Z Fold4. The most important features are right in front of you – if you open an app, every app you have on the bottom of the home screen will be moved into a taskbar. You can hide or reveal the taskbar by tapping and holding on it as well.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

With this taskbar, it means we can switch between apps as really quickly. But that’s not the only thing we can do. We can even hold the apps on the taskbar and move to whichever part of the screen we want to use two apps side-by-side.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

And we’re still not done. Heading into the settings menu, we need to go into advanced settings and head into Labs. Here, we have one more multitasking gesture to enable and we can also use two fingers to swipe from either side to do the same thing as before, and we can also swipe from the corner to trigger floating window mode.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

I mean, that’s only the benefits of Android 12L that we can use now. There is a whole new list of guidelines for app developers to follow to make their apps work properly with devices like this – and I can see that the future is bright for foldable devices like this. Even the Facebook app works better now.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

Of course, the entire set of features shown today that is available on Android 12L will also be integrated into Android 13 as well.

But once we fold the device, the cover display looks and feels like any other Android 12 phone. That is because Android 12L is made to optimize tablets and foldable devices to work better.

Few more things to mention

And we still have a few more things worth highlighting. The Galaxy Z Fold4 has a USB 3.0 port at the bottom of the phone, which means we can use Samsung DeX with this device as well.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

We still have IPX8 rating so you can literally immerse the entire phone underwater.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review
The fishbowl barely fits the phone.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4?

So in conclusion – I know that this review is long because there are lots of details that we need to talk about – the price. For the US, it’s exactly the same as the Galaxy Z Fold3 – which I think is amazing.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

For us here in Malaysia, the price has increased by RM100 from last year and it is now at RM6,799. However, I think that’s perfectly fine because we got two huge perks:

  • 1 extra year of warranty
  • 3x inner screen film protector replacement for free

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

I’d say if you’re already eyeing to get the Galaxy Z Fold3 but decided not to, then this is the perfect time to get the Galaxy Z Fold4. You can also trade in your current device to get some rebates – which I’ll leave all the links down in the description for you to see.

Where to buy? (Affiliate links)


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