Samsung's stylish flip phone has been an eye-candy ever since the Flip series was introduced in 2020. In just two years, the series underwent some notable improvements while keeping the clamshell foldable design intact. More refined than ever, the Galaxy Z Flip4 is sure to make heads turn, but it's also more practical than before.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 may be the cheapest foldable smartphone in the market right now, it's not affordable by the masses. It is priced at Rs 89,999 for the 8GB+128GB variant and Rs 94,999 for the 8GB+256GB variant, which means it's still a luxury purchase.
For the price, you get:
- 6.7-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED Infinity Flex Display
- 1.9-inch AMOLED cover screen
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB, 256GB storage
- Android 12-based OneUI 4.1.1
- Dual 12MP rear cameras; 10MP selfie camera
- 3,700mAh battery with 25W charging support
- IPX8 certification, 5G support, Wi-Fi 6, eSIM support and more
- 187 grams
Samsung sent us the Galaxy Z Flip4 in 128GB storage and 8GB RAM configuration in Graphite colour. The phone was running Android 12-based OneUI 4.1.1 with July 1, 2022 security patch. We have used the device for about two weeks now and the findings from our usage are shared in the review below.
Design and display
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 hasn't fallen far from its sibling in terms of display, drawing major similarities. There are minor differences, which can be labelled more as refinement by shedding less than a millimetre in width and height. But we didn't notice any major difference in the compact form factor as the Flip 4 in its folded state is easily the handiest phone to carry around.
The Flip 4 has a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED display, which is bright and vibrant even at a measly 260x512 pixel resolution. But the tiny display cannot be used for much, except for a few limited tasks and most importantly taking selfies using the rear camera.
The physical buttons, including the volume and power/lock, are located on the right edge. The fingerprint scanner is integrated in the power button, which unlocks the phone almost immediately without any lag. But reaching the biometric sensor when it is flipped open requires a bit of stretching. But as we got used to the positioning of the buttons, which are higher than usual, it wasn't a daunting task.
When flipped open, the Flip 4 reveals the rather terrific 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 1080x2640 pixels and 1200 nit peak brightness. But the large display also shows the crease, which is still there, but you'll rarely notice it when the display is lit. You'll still feel the crease while using the touch display around the centre of the screen. Put that aside and you get a really beautiful display, which is an absolute delight to watch HDR content. The colours are vibrant and lively, suitable for binge-watching your favourite TV show on OTTs. In fact, the Flip 4 is more suitable for multimedia consumption than its pricier sibling — the Galaxy Z Fold4.
The bezels around the display are minimal, and there's a layer of protection, which keeps the display from getting damaged when folded, even if it is slightly fiercely. The display also houses a hole-punch selfie camera, right below the earpiece, which turns into a stereo speaker like the one at the bottom. The audio is suitable for casual listening and maximum volume didn't seem to crack the audio.
Another noteworthy point about the display is its 22:9 aspect ratio, which is too tall to easily navigate the top area of the phone with one hand. Though the cover display gets Gorilla Glass Victus+ protection, which is an expected decision, the inner display gets an ultra-thin glass. Samsung advises not to put too much pressure of fingernails, which is why didn't try flipping open the phone with a single hand. Even if we tried, the hinge is rigid enough to prevent that cool one-hand flip-open swag. Alas! If that's the reason you wanted the Flip4, look elsewhere.
Like its elder sibling and predecessors, the Flip4 also gets IPX8 rating, which is some level of water resistance but nothing for the dust.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is undoubtedly a cool lifestyle phone, but it's also got some practicality element attached to it, earning the extra brownie points. It's a foldable phone that you'll fold and unfold a lot more than the Fold 4. It's a good thing the Flip 4 can survive "200,000 folds before failing." To put that into some perspective, that's about a 100 folds a day for around 5 years. Even Samsung's software support maxes out at five years. So you're good there.
The dual-tone colour of the Flip 4 looks stylish, but the grey shade compliments the black glass cover the best. Overall, the Flip 4 wins on the design front, as it has carved a niche for itself in the vertically-folding phone category.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 has a dual 12MP rear camera setup and a single 10MP selfie camera. The Flip4 hasn't got major camera upgrades like the Fold4, but the set-up isn't all bad. One of the dual cameras on the back is an ultra-wide sensor covering a 123-degree field of view whereas the main sensor has an f/1.8 aperture with OIS. Naturally, the main sensor was able to capture better shots, with good details, but the ultra-wide was surprisingly good. The lack of a telephoto lens in the setup is rather disappointing at this price range.
The photos shot using the Flip 4 come out bright and nice in daylight, with typical punchy colours. Post-processing has a big role to play in bringing out the lost highlights. Even in low light, the camera holds up well but loses its balance in the dark. In ideal lighting, you will not be disappointed with the pictures.
The ultra-wide lens is surprisingly good, especially when used with night mode. The low-light photography has been well-tuned to produce some dramatic shots. The colours are saturated, but the image doesn't lose the overall feel of the ambience. In daylight, the ultra-wide loses a touch of quality compared to the main sensor, but you cannot spot the difference unless you zoom in close.
The lack of a telephoto sensor means you don't get good zoom or even portrait zoom. Otherwise, the portraits come out nice, with accurate outlining of the subject in the foreground and adjustable bokeh for the background. Once the portrait shot is processed, it comes to life as it looks vibrant and rich in colour.
The Flip 4 isn't a phone you can rely on for zoom. At 2X, you can get decent results, but anything beyond that is just unusable. Even though there's a 10MP selfie camera, the ease with which you can use the main camera for selfies is just remarkable. You get far better shots clicking the selfies from the cover screen. But you can block the camera sensor if you try to tap the cover screen to click, instead, you can use the volume button to capture.
But the best part throughout the journey of clicking photos is how easily the phone can be handled. Firstly, the Flex mode is a blessing in disguise. It not only allows you to shoot images by folding the phone into L-shape and using either the front or the rear camera for stills or videos. But then you can also use the phone in the L-shape to capture videos like you would on a handicam. The viewfinder covers half the screen whereas the controls are placed on the other half. The Flip4 is by far the easiest phone to handle for vlogging.
To conclude, the Flip 4 isn't the best camera phone out there, but the novelty factor it brings around the camera usability is truly remarkable.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is a powerful device, capable of delivering heavy tasks with ease. It shares the flagship chipset Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 with the Fold 4, but the RAM capacity is capped at 8GB RAM. The phone is capable of handling day-to-day tasks, all the way from browsing to internet, binge-watching TV shows and gaming besides the regular calls and IMs. The 120Hz dynamic refresh rate makes everything smooth and we did not run into any lags or crashes in the short time we've been using the phone.
Besides the top-notch performance, the Flip 4's software is packed with magical features. The flex mode has won us over. It unlocks new ways to use the phone, something we haven't seen in other phones. Just fold the phone into L-shape to unlock new possibilities. You can go into the Flex Mode panel and enable the feature for various apps, which is pretty cool.
The bottom half of the phone turns into a trackpad, mimicking mouse pointer complete with double click, and sometimes it is used for typing or accessing useful screenshots.
We went ahead and enabled Flex Mode on all the supported apps, you just cannot go wrong with this feature. In the camera, the Flex Mode works wonders. Get all your controls at the bottom half of the screen and the top half remains the viewfinder. The silver lining for using the Flex Mode is you don't see or feel the crease anymore. Kudos to Samsung for bringing these out of the box ideas into execution.
Unlike Fold 4, there's no taskbar at the bottom of the display. It's not a loss here as there's no use for a special taskbar in the Flip 4.
The overall user interface is refined, even though there's a generous dump of bloatware. Many of these pre-installed apps are actually useful, so it's not quite bothersome. After all, the 128GB or 256GB storage isn't going to run out so soon.
Overall, the Flip 4 doesn't compromise on performance and goes the extra mile to unlock some unique possibilities.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4's compactness appears to come at a price. The phone has a 3,700mAh battery, which given its specs and performance capabilities, cannot last a whole day. If you're a heavy user, a mid-day charge is deemed essential. The Flip 4, unlike the Fold 4, cannot be used only with the cover screen, which means you'll be using the main screen a lot more.
With our usage, which involves a lot of internet browsing, social media, IMs, calls, emails, mild gaming and music, the phone can last till about the evening. We managed to get on-screen time of around 5 hours. But to binge-watch some TV shows in the night, we needed to charge the phone again.
The Flip 4 supports 25W fast charging, but doesn't come with an adapter. It takes around 80 minutes to fully charge the phone, which is essential given the battery performance. We only wished for faster charging support, which would have compensated for the battery life.
Samsung Galaxy Flip 4 is not for all, most certainly not for those who already have the Flip 3. The Flip 4 has its ups and downs, but it's a leader in its category so nothing comes close to it in terms of value. The phone is incredibly compact, and it can be unfolded to enjoy the beautiful 6.7-inch display in its full glory. The performance is truly remarkable and the cameras can get you by. The software game is incredibly strong in the Flip 4 in its current stage, so just imagine what the five years of software updates can bring to the table. To top it all off, the Flip 4 is unique, fun and stands out in the crowd with a sensible price tag.
There are some limitations as well. For instance, the cover screen's functionality is still limited, more so than a smartwatch. The battery could use some improvement and the lack of a telephoto lens is surely felt.