There is nothing groundbreaking for a smartphone that can be folded. Does the technology impress? Absolutely. Are they just cool? Total. But while these devices make certain tasks easier in some cases, they are not completely overtaking the way we use smartphones. That was my experience with Samsung’s fourth-gen Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold.
These foldable phones feel just as unique as the original models Samsung launched a few years ago, but more refined and durable. I took the Galaxy Z Flip4 to the beach and it came out unscathed by the sand and salt. I love that it’s small enough to fit in my shirt pocket too. The Galaxy Z Fold4 accompanied me on a road trip to Washington, DC – having a messaging app on one side of the big screen and Google Maps on the other was a huge benefit. Are the amenities they afford worth the asking price of $1,000 and $1,800, especially when you can get a great phone for as little as $450 these days? Most likely not, but it says a lot that after two weeks I still don’t want to part with these phones.
I’ve already mentioned all the upgrades Samsung has added in the latest generation of foldable devices, but in short these are more durable devices all round. Both are fast thanks to the latest Qualcomm processor and both have wonderfully sharp screens that get really bright on the sunniest days.
In use, the smaller Z Flip4 feels the most “normal” of these two foldable phones. That’s because when it’s unfolded, you get a traditional smartphone experience. Fold it in half and it fits in small pockets and small purses. It also looks cute, especially if you customize its shell colors with it Samsung’s tailor-made studio.
Battery life might be one of your biggest concerns for the Flip4 given its predecessor’s lack of runtimes. The 3,700mAh capacity cell in the new model is larger and typically lasts about a full day, but not much more. It hit 10 percent at midnight the day I took it to the beach, where I used it for photos, navigation, and reading in the sun. It’s reliable enough, but heavy users might still want to bring a portable battery.
IPX8 water resistance means a drop in the pool or fresh water won’t destroy it, and I’ve yet to see a scratch on the display, which has been upgraded to be tougher than ever. When I was at the beach I was concerned that some sand had gotten into the Flip4’s hinge mechanism, but it was perfectly fine. (You should be careful though, as the “X” in IPX8 means Samsung hasn’t tested it for dust resistance, although the lack of testing doesn’t mean it’s vulnerable).
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