Review, Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: A Step in the Right Direction

The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, at a glance, isn’t remarkably different from its predecessor. It still retains the same look and design, with some slight changes to the finish of the foldable phone. All in all, not a very…exciting successor.

But under the hood, the Z Flip 4 got a slew of upgrades, making it a more complete smartphone. While this iteration of the foldable phone is more of a refinement exercise, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; consumers are still getting a more polished device.

If you’re looking to get your very first foldable phone, the Z Flip 4 should certainly be in your shortlist.

What It Is

DisplayMain: 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X (2640 x 1080), 120Hz
Cover: 1.9-inch Super AMOLED (512 x 260), 60Hz
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 3.18GHz octa-core
GPUAdreno 730
RAM8GB
Storage128/256/512GB, non-expandable
Camera (rear)12MP f/1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
12MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide)
Camera (front)10MP f/2.4
Battery
3,700mAh with 25W fast charging
DimensionsUnfolded: 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm
Folded: 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.9~17.1 mm
Weight
187g
OSOne UI 4.1.1 based on Android 12
Connectivity5G
LTE
NFC
Bluetooth 5.2
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
USB Type-C
PriceRM4,099 (128GB), RM4,399 (256GB), RM4,899 (512GB)

For the Malaysian market, the Z Flip 4 is offered in three different storage capacities: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Technically, there’s also a fourth variant, the Bespoke Edition. It’s essentially the 256GB model, but the colour of the phone is customisable. Of course, this does come with a premium: it retails at RM4,599.

Compared to last year’s Flip 3, the Flip 4 features a number of upgrades, including a faster Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, a larger 3,700mAh battery (finally), and an improved 12MP primary camera. These are meaningful changes to the phone, but not all of them perform as expected – more on these further down the review.

The Good Stuff

The moment you pick up the Galaxy Z Flip 4, you’ll immediately notice the flatter sides and matte finish on the front and back panels. These make for a more ergonomically-friendly foldable phone, and the matte panels feel much nicer to the touch than the glossy covers of the Flip 3.

Another noteworthy improvement is the hinge of the Z Flip 4. Compared to last year’s model, the Flip 4’s hinge feels much tighter and solid, whereas the Flip 3’s hinge feels “looser,” especially when it’s folded. With this in mind, I imagine the Flip 4’s hinge will hold itself well over the years.

Just like last year’s model, the Z Flip 4’s display crease – right where the panel folds – is still very much there. Yes, it’s quite visible, and yes, you’ll feel it when you run your finger over it. But in normal use, the crease is really not that visible. To me, this is a non-issue, though you may not share my sentiment.

And then we have the display quality of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, which is excellent (as always). The 6.7-inch 1080p Dynamic AMOLED 2X is bright, vibrant, and this being an AMOLED panel, it also features deep, true blacks. This makes it great for content consumption.

Naturally, the fast 120Hz refresh rate of the Flip 4’s screen lends to a responsive, fluid user experience as well.

Gaming on the Z Flip 4 is quite fun as well, thanks to the aforementioned 120Hz display. On top of that, the phone’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset can also run most mobile games well, though there are some noticeable frame rate drops in Genshin Impact. The graphically demanding game is still very playable on the phone, of course.

One other feature of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 that’s actually quite useful is Flex Mode. Depending on the app, using the phone in an L-shape can move the content to the top screen, with controls in the lower half. Apps that don’t support this feature natively can be forced to do so, where the bottom screen can even act as a touchpad.

While this feature may seem…well, gimmicky, it’s actually quite useful in certain scenarios. I find it quite convenient to watch YouTube videos in Flex Mode while I’m having lunch, for example. I don’t have to strain my neck as much looking down on the phone if it was placed flat on the table.

The Bad Stuff

Despite its slew of improvements, there are still a few aspects of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 that could use some work, such as its camera performance. Even though its 12MP primary camera has been improved, its 12MP ultra-wide angle shooter is still largely similar to its predecessor’s. On top of that, there’s still no zoom lens either.

Now, without a doubt the Z Flip 4 can still take good-looking shots, but its camera performance is still a step below that of a proper flagship smartphone, especially it’s ultra-wide shooter. My daily driver is a Galaxy S22 Ultra, so I find myself missing a telephoto lens too when I switched to the Flip 4.

Aside from that, the battery life of the Z Flip 4 could still be better, even with the larger 3,700mAh cell; a 400mAh improvement over its predecessor. I did manage to get between four to five hours of screen on time with the phone now – versus only four hours with the Flip 3 – but I can just barely get through a typical work day if I also throw in a couple sessions of Genshin Impact into the mix.

My last qualm with the Z Flip 4 is its cover screen, which is still not as useful as it should be. There’s more than enough screen real estate to make it more functional, such as the ability to interact with notifications in a more meaningful way.

Instead, all I can do with notifications on the Flip 4’s cover screen is to pick from a list of pre-set texts to reply to a message. I mean, even Samsung’s own range of smartwatches can do much more than just that.

Is It Worth It?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is by no means the “perfect” foldable phone, but if you can live with its shortcomings – and there aren’t too many of them – then the Flip 4 could just be your first foldable phone. Retailing from RM4,099, it’s not too expensive either, even if it costs RM100 more than last year’s Flip 3.

It would’ve been fantastic if the Z Flip 4 is a more revolutionary change over its predecessor, but refining an already practical foldable phone (that is also IPX8 water-resistant) is not a bad strategy either. Hopefully, we’ll see some real innovations from Samsung with the Z Flip 5 – I’m personally excited for the next big thing from the Korean company.

After all, Samsung is the leading player in the foldable smartphone market now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.