Highlights

  • Upgraded rear cameras, inherited from the S22 series
  • Stellar performance from the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • Priced starting at ₹1,54,999 in India

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Review: No Compromise!

The Galaxy Z Fold4 is the latest, large folding phone from Samsung, and with new hardware under the hood, it just might be the best one ever

Key Specifications
Price : ₹1,54,999
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip 50MP triple rear cameras IPX8 rating
4,400mAh battery 7.6" inner folding screen 6.2" cover screen
Our Review
9 / 10
Design9/10
Utility9/10
Performance9/10
Cameras9.5/10
Battery8/10
Display9/10
Pros
  • Dual displays, including large inner folding screen
  • Great on-the-go productivity & performance
  • One of the best camera systems in the business
Cons
  • Lack of accessories
  • No pre-applied cover screen protector

Whenever you buy any product, there are usually three things you have to look out for. Let’s think of it as a pyramid. You have one side for Quality, one for Features, and one for VFM or value for money. Now, you're probably asking yourself--"why is he talking about all this right before a phone review?" Well, that's because Samsung has taken this theory, and torn it up, to make the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4.

Now despite my dramatic intro, I must admit—I didn’t have high expectations from the Fold4. Let’s face it—the Fold3 wasn’t exactly a huge upgrade over the Fold2 despite all its improvements, but this new Fold? It makes all the previous Folds feel obsolete, in a way that’s quite hard to describe, but I am going to give it my best shot.

So let’s start with the major things that are new on the Fold4.

You get the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, displays that 'feel' larger, a new hinge, and a I cannot stress this enough—a much, much better set of cameras. If you’ve been thinking of getting a Fold device for a while and the cameras have been holding you back, you’re gonna want to watch the camera section of this video when I get to it.

Anyway, that new chipset—it’s obviously great, we know that about the 8+ Gen 1 by now. It offers really smooth performance, doesn’t really heat up much and thermal throttle, which is all similar to what we’ve seen on other phones with this chipset. Being a Fold device, it also has 12GB RAM, so things like three-window split-screen multi-tasking are a breeze to run. I even tested DeX mode on the Fold4 a bit, it’s something I use occasionally at home for doing research and writing scripts, and it performed really well, and barely lost any battery life during a couple of sessions.
Neither screen on the Fold is really made for gaming, and I definitely won’t recommend doing it on the inner screen if you’ve got slightly long nails, but if you want to, you can play COD Mobile and other graphic intensive games on it quite easily.

Now, speaking of the screens, I said before that they both “felt” slightly bigger.

The cover display is still 6.2-inches across, gets that same HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, but it spreads further into the frame than ever before. So the bezels are much, much smaller, and if you compare it to the previous gen, you can see that the lining for the hinge on both the front and back is practically gone. It’s still the same width as the Fold3, but crucially, it’s a few millimetres shorter, and just that little change makes the cover display feel bigger. It’s now a lot easier to type on and use one-handed, and I found myself using the inner display almost only for multi-tasking or watching content.

Speaking of which, the inner screen, like the cover display, feels slightly larger thanks to smaller bezels. It also looks quite different visually, because the bezels around the plastic lip of the display have been reduced, and it just amplifies that large screen experience.

Specs-wise though, the display seems to be the same, it still offers great colours for watching content, and has that 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling. It’s still plastic and feels like it could get pierced by long fingernails, so that’s worth keeping in mind. Now Samsung hasn’t explicitly said that the display resolution has been boosted, they still say it’s a QXGA+ panel, but if you look closely at that under-display selfie camera, it certainly seems a bit more circular than the one on the Fold3. Selfies taken using that camera do leave something to be desired, most pictures still end up looking quite hazy and lack detail, but if you really want high quality shots of yourself you can just use the cover display camera, or the rear cameras, using the cover screen as a viewfinder.

The screen still has a crease, which is still just as pronounced, so a crease-less design might be on the cards in a future generation of the Fold. It is surprising though that the crease is the same, considering the Hinge this time is new, and when I first saw that announcement at the launch event I thought maybe it’ll also have some effect on the crease.
But it hasn’t, and everything new with the hinge is geared more towards making the Fold4 lighter and slimmer. It has made a bigger difference than you’d think, and again, it ties into what I said before about making the phone easier to use.

Also watch: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 Review: it's flipping fun!

Then there’s the fourth new thing I mentioned—the upgraded cameras. So Folds in the past have always had pretty decent cameras, but never anything close to the flagship S-series phones, and that was always a bit of sore point considering the money you need to spend on buying a Fold. But, with the Fold4, Samsung has fixed that, and they’ve given it the same cameras as the S22 and S22+.

So there’s still a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, but that primary sensor is now a 50MP unit, and the telephoto has been upgraded to a 10MP sensor with 3x optical zoom.

Now I’ve used hundreds of smartphones by now with all manner of hardware and software processing, so trust me when I say this—the Fold4 has possibly the best camera system I’ve ever used to date.

Daylight shots were very well exposed, with controlled highlights and balanced HDR. Colours were vibrant, in true Samsung fashion, but processing rarely felt overdone, which was quite surprising to see. What was even more surprising though, was how well the processing for the 3x portrait mode was, because no matter what subject I put in front of it, I got extremely clean edge detection and natural depth of field that I can honestly say could go up against some mirrorless cameras out there.

Low-light performance was equally impressive, with highlights not getting blown out, and very little grain or noise in really dark images.

Even when it came to videos, I was really pleased with the results. In daylight, exposure and white-balance were managed well, with smooth stabilisation even at 60fps. Low-light videos also turned out pretty great, with excellent colour reproduction without any major grain or lens flare.

Basically, no matter what the situation, I got a great shot from the Fold4 on a consistent basis, and if you ask me, this is the camera system that the Fold series deserved to have from day one.

Anyway, apart from everything that’s new, there’s still some things worth mentioning that make the Fold experience a step above a regular phone. For example, you can still run multiple apps in split-screen on a massive canvas one minute and fold the phone shut to take a long call the next, which is still a very cool thing, even after four generations.
Then there’s the IPX8 rating so you can rest easy about minor splashes, and Gorilla Glass Victus+ on both the front and back that helped keep the phone scratch-free when I accidentally dropped it on a marble floor.

Another notable mention is the stainless-steel sides, which don’t look as cool or smudge-free as the previous matte-finish we’ve seen, but they do make the phone a lot grippier to hold and use with just one hand.

While the Fold4 is amazing in many, many ways, there are a couple of drawbacks. For example, it still doesn’t sit right with me that a phone that costs ₹1,54,999, doesn’t come with a charger—Samsung can say what it likes about saving the environment, but the simple fact is that the first Fold shipped with a charger, case, and a pair of wireless earbuds and at this price point, that should have never changed.

Another slightly sore point for me is the lack of a pre-applied screen protector for the cover display, which Samsung now sells separately at a cost of ₹1,699. Now, sure, anyone spending this much a phone is probably not going to think twice about spending a bit more on a screen protector, but this just feels like a blatant cost-cutting strategy.

On the plus side, you still get a respectable 4,400mAh battery, you still get wireless charging, and of course, reverse wireless charging as well.

You also get One UI 4.1.1 based on Android 12L, and the Fold4 is incidentally one of the first devices out there to ship with this version of Android, which is optimised for tablet and foldable screens, so you’ll get this permanent taskbar at the bottom which you can toggle on or off, and better optimisation for how apps look on the inner screen by default.

Also, being a Samsung flagship, you’re sure to get four major OS upgrades, which is always a great thing to see at a time when other brands have begun to settle for less.

Also watch: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Review: Evolution is a beautiful thing!

So, that about rounds up the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. Better hinge, better screens, and finally, cameras worthy of a foldable phone. There’s a lot of people out there this year that have complained about Samsung becoming complacent due to its position in the foldable market, but honestly? They had no reason to make the Fold4 this good, but they did it anyway, and to me, that makes all the difference.

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