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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review

Samsung’s latest foldable is here – the Galaxy Z Fold4 once again aims to redefine mobile productivity. It also comes with much-needed camera upgrades and some subtle design changes. The camera setup is basically the same. Wide angle, ultra wide angle and telephoto are on board. However, the main camera has a larger sensor and the telephoto has a slightly longer optical range. The bezels have been reduced and the aspect ratio of the outer display has been slightly adjusted. At the same time, the weight has decreased minimally. On the other hand, there is little that is new with the 4,400 mAh battery, which should charge a little faster with the same size. However, only in the first 30 minutes – after that the charging power remains at the well-known 25 watts. Samsung, on the other hand, claims real progress in the more energy-efficient display technology and the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. Our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 test clarifies how well the changes work.

Unboxing

The unboxing of the Galaxy Z Fold4 brings few surprises. The Samsung smartphone comes unfolded in a large square black box. However, the pack is only half the size of the usual because there is no charger included. After all, you will find a USB-C cable in the scope of delivery.

Design

Large display on the inside, smaller one on the front, waterproof, cameras that point in all directions, S Pen support – the Galaxy Z Fold4 is still so far ahead of a conventional phone that Samsung could focus on improving details. This includes things like optimizing aspect ratios, minimizing bezels, or shaving a few grams off the overall weight.

The inner display stays at 7.6 inches diagonally but has a slightly squarer form factor. The flexible layer over the OLED pixels is still just some kind of glass. Samsung and the manufacturer Schott call it UTG (Ultra-Thin Glass). The crux of the matter is that you can bend glass if you make it thin enough (below 100µm, but 30µm is typically used on smartphones). Of course, the low material thickness entails other problems.

Aside from myriad structural layers, the sandwich also houses Wacom’s electromagnetic resonant grid, which enables the S Pen functionality. Like last year, the Fold requires a dedicated S Pen due to the softer surface. A Galaxy Note or S22 Ultra pen does not work. Either you use the S Pen Fold Edition or the S Pen Pro. The pens feature soft tips and internal dampeners to ensure you don’t scratch your fold.

After all, the top display layer is made of plastic. It’s a screen protector in a way, but don’t even think about removing it. As plastic as the plastic may be, it is a very pleasant protection and almost as smooth as real glass. There aren’t any odd cutouts for dust to collect in, and the protection extends almost to the bezels, so there’s hardly any nuisance edges to be found either.

Under normal conditions, you don’t see much of the internal selfie camera either. The under-display camera is most visible when the display is off and less so when the OLED pixels above it are lit. It is practically never invisible, but not annoying either. What’s harder to ignore is the still-present crease along the vertical axis of the main display. It has been with Samsung’s foldables since the first generation and has unfortunately also settled into the Z Fold4.

The competition has since developed other hinges that produce smoother and flatter panels when unfolded. Apparently, such designs cannot be made waterproof. In fact, the Galaxy Flips and Folds are the only foldable devices with an IP rating – waterproof IPX8, albeit without dust resistance. Samsung therefore seems to have sought and found the best compromise.

Another outstanding feature is the new hinge design without gears. It closes the Fold4 with a satisfying clack along the Armor Aluminum outer frames, but also stays securely at any angle between 75 and 115 degrees. This enables some use cases that other foldable devices that can only be opened or closed completely do not offer.

The external display is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus+ and has undergone a slight change in aspect ratio – from 25:9 to 23.1:9. The width has grown by 3mm, which is pretty good news. The power button is installed on the right/rear half and also contains the fingerprint sensor. The latter always worked quickly and reliably in the test. The volume rocker is directly above it, the SIM slot on the opposite half (dual nano SIM, no microSD slot). The stereo speakers are located in the left/top part of the fold. Samsung has installed a single microphone at the bottom and three more at the top. The USB-C port is located in the middle of the right/rear area on the bottom.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 measures 155.1 x 67.1 x 14.2-15.8mm when folded. It’s the same width as the old model, but 3mm shorter and 0.2mm thinner. Unfolded, the Fold4 is 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3mm, 2mm wider than the Fold3. The change in height is negligible and the reduction in thickness is barely seen or felt. The weight has dropped from 271 g to 263 g, which is also not noticeable. Only the wider front display is really positive in this respect.

Display

The Galaxy Z Fold4 basically comes with the same display setup as its predecessor. The inner panel changes from a 4:5 aspect ratio to a more square 5:6 aspect ratio. The diagonal is still 7.6 inches, the resolution is 1,812 x 2,176 pixels and the pixel density is 373 ppi. The refresh rate reaches a maximum of 120 Hz, the brightness with activated automatic brightness 1,000 nits. This is a small upgrade over the already class-leading Z Fold3 and well beyond the reach of the other foldables on the market.

The cover display has also undergone a page adjustment and now stands at 23.1:9 as opposed to 25:9 on the Fold3. The aspect ratio is still larger than any other phone display, but it’s a tangible step in the right direction. The diagonal remains unchanged at 6.2 inches. The resolution is now 904 x 2,316 pixels with a pixel density of 401 ppi. The outer panel also achieves a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a brightness of 1,000 nits. A minimum of 0.9 nits is possible on both displays.

When it comes to color reproduction, the Fold4 takes Samsung’s usual Vivid/Natural approach. In the natural mode, you get an excellent representation of the sRGB color space from both displays. Vivid mode extends the color space to DCI-P3 with slightly less accuracy. Here it helps to move the color temperature slider one step further towards warm from the five possible positions. As usual with Galaxy phones, Samsung lists the Fold4 as HDR10+ capable. HDR content on YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix worked without any problems in the test.

In terms of refresh rate, there are the expected two options – Adaptive and Standard. Adaptive caps at 120Hz, while Standard caps the refresh rate at 60Hz. In both modes, however, the software varies depending on the content, interaction with the cell phone and display brightness. This applies to both displays.

Depending on the mode, you can count on the highest refresh rate as long as you touch the display. A few seconds of no input results in 24Hz. Videos are usually given a refresh rate that matches the frame rate – typically 24, 30, 48, and 60 fps. Browsers get 120 Hz in Adaptiv as long as you interact with them. If only the content moves without touching the display, the frequency falls to 60 Hz. Static websites fall back to 24 Hz without input. However, it is only switched down from a certain display brightness. If the panel is dimmed darker, the full 120 Hz is constantly present.

Games with support for high frame rates are usually allowed to use the full 120 Hz in adaptive mode. However, some games remained at a maximum of 60 Hz in the Fold4 test, although they achieve higher frame rates on other devices.

Battery

The Galaxy Z Fold4 has the same total battery capacity of 4,400mAh as the Z Fold3, split across two cells – one in each half of the phone. It’s a bit less than the Oppo Find N (4,500 mAh) or the Huawei Mate Xs 2 (4,600 mAh). On the large folding display, that was enough for almost exactly 14 hours of web browsing via WLAN and 14:25 hours of video playback. That’s almost two hours more in the browser test compared to the Fold3 and half an hour more in the video test. The same tests returned 14:59 hours and 16:33 hours on the front display, a relatively small improvement.

Charging speed

One of the main criticisms of Samsung devices in recent years is the slow charging speed. Alongside phones that go to 100% in under 20 minutes with over 100 watts, the world’s galaxies are still struggling to get there in the 60 to 80 minute range. The foldables made an exception, if any, further down the line.

With a regular 25 watt Samsung PPS charger, the Fold4 went to 100% in pretty much exactly 1:19 hours. 50% were already after half an hour. In comparison, the Fold3 needs 1:46 h for a full charge and is only at 33% after 30 minutes. That’s good news, but on the other hand, a Mate Xs 2 can do 85% in 30 minutes and 100% in just 43 minutes. The Oppo Find N isn’t quite as fast, but it’s still faster than the Fold.

The Galaxy Z Fold4 also supports wireless charging. Samsung doesn’t reveal much more than that, so you can assume a basic power profile with up to 4.4 watts. In fact, up to 15 watts are possible with Samsung’s own wireless charging hardware. Wireless reverse charging, on the other hand, remains at 4.5 watts.

Speaker test

The speaker setup of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 basically corresponds to that of the previous model. There are two speakers, located in the left half of the foldable when unfolded (upper half when folded). The top speaker doubles as an earpiece for voice calls when the device is folded.

As far as the pure volume is concerned, the Fold4 was in the middle in the test. The sound, on the other hand, is great, with clearly present basses, nice mids and clear highs. The Find N, on the other hand, clearly lacks bass, while the Mate Xs 2 is clearly superior to the Fold4 in all situations.

Android 12L with One UI 4.1.1

The Galaxy Z Fold4 runs Android 12L with Samsung’s One UI 4.1.1 interface. Android 12L is the tablet and foldable version of Google’s operating system, introduced earlier this year for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3. We’ll start with the Always On display. First, because it’s the first thing you usually see before unlocking the fold. Second, to illustrate a point.

It’s a good example of a feature that works identically on both the inside and front display whether the Z Fold4 is open or not. That goes for most display settings, including refresh rate, brightness, and color. Samsung has done an exceptionally good job of distinguishing between the two displays for some features where it makes sense. Other settings work for both panels without breaking the overall UX experience.

Always-on-Display settings

The lock screen is also shared between the two displays in almost every aspect, including clock style, widget selection, and notification logic. Only the background image can be selected individually for both panels. However, the home screen and app drawer are excellent examples of how Samsung seamlessly separates customization for the two panels. While the options here look deceptively identical, they can be set independently for the open and closed states. That includes everything from the app grid, widget selection and layout to wallpapers. You can even save different shortcuts on the two panels.

Front display / main display / start screen, app drawer and Google Discover

If you prefer identical layouts, you can simply activate the display mirroring function. This syncs changes between the two interfaces. And since the internal display is essentially two side-by-side cover screens, you’re basically always seeing the first two cover screens on the main screen. The same function is also available on the Fold3.

Front-display mirroring

The toolbar is one of the new Android 12L features and so far only available on the Galaxy Z Fold4. It shows a minimized view of the dock icons when not on the home screen. You can also view recently used apps and drag apps from there onto the display to open them in multi-window mode. There is also a shortcut to the app drawer in the left corner.

Toolbar

One of the main attractions of the Fold4 is Multi Window. This allows you to display multiple apps simultaneously in a variety of configurations, which is currently unrivaled in the foldable world. For example, you can not only display two apps, but also switch the orientation between vertical and horizontal. Dragging is also a quick and easy way to move content from one window to another. Text and image dragging, probably the most commonly used feature, is supported almost everywhere.

Multi window

If you click on the dots in the middle in split-screen mode, more options will appear. This includes switching the two apps and changing the orientation of the split. The third button saves this multitasking configuration as an entry in the app drawer, on the start screen or in the toolbar.

Each app gets its own small oval control bar at the top in multi-window mode. These can be used to grab and drag the app to reposition it, or to reveal more options with one click. These include the ability to set the app in question to full screen or turn it into a floating window.

Samsung refers to the floating windows as pop-up view. Some apps resist major changes, others refuse completely in rare cases. To fix this, One UI has a tab called “Labs” under the Advanced Features menu. There you can force multi-window and pop-up view for any app, regardless of whether the app supports the view.

Labs with additional features

But that’s not all – the Galaxy Z Fold4 supports up to three apps in the split view. It’s a bit trickier to set up, but once you’ve found your setup, it’s also easy to save as a shortcut to your toolbar, home screen, or app drawer.

However, there are a few limitations. For example, Android can only play one video at a time due to limitations in the Android video decoding pipeline. Some apps, which normally update in real time, can slow down the rate. Or they go completely to sleep if they are in a small window and not in focus. It all depends on how they are coded. Basically, Android and thus most apps are designed to only run a single app.

Multi window with three apps

Nonetheless, one can even go beyond these three apps and multitask even further with pop-up windows. Up to five of these can be distributed across the three-app split, resulting in a total of eight active apps at the same time. The individual floating windows can be freely resized and moved, and you can even adjust the transparency. You can also fold the windows into a so-called “chathead”. If you minimize multiple apps in this way, they will be grouped in a folder-like way.

There are other nuances and limitations to consider and discover as well. For example, certain apps refuse to run more than once, which Android developers can explicitly request in an app manifest for one reason or another. Overall, however, Samsung has done everything it can in the multitasking department. And if you are looking for even more productivity, you can also activate Samsung DeX support on the Z Fold4. And then work wired and wireless with a monitor or TV, as well as a Windows PC with a specific client.

Then there is Samsung Flex mode or Flex view. This is a UI concept introduced on the Fold2 once the hinge is opened to angles between 75 and 115 degrees. The phone is aware that it is in this physical state and communicates this to the Android operating system and any running app. Then, for example, the video player and the gallery app can move the content up and the respective controls down. The Gallery app simply switches to a trackpad-like area on the bottom display for navigating between images.

The Camera app is the best example of the benefits of Flex View. The controls are at the bottom, the viewfinder is on the top display. In addition to the simple control, the Galaxy Z Fold4 also stands firmly on a flat surface and you can adjust the angle of view in a relaxed manner.

Another productivity theme is the Edge panels, and in particular the Apps panel, which is the only one enabled by default. The apps panel is handy for a number of reasons. It contains a bunch of app shortcuts in two groups – those you’ve saved there yourself and those you use frequently. The latter can also be deactivated. If you have eight or fewer icons in the apps panel, it shrinks to a single row, saving some screen real estate.

Apps panels

A specific multitasking configuration can also be saved there as a shortcut. This includes the apps, their relative position and the window size. Both dual and triple split multitasking setups can be saved. In addition, recently used setups are automatically suggested.

CPU / Benchmarks

The Galaxy Z Fold4 is powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset – Qualcomm’s latest and fastest processor. The Samsung foldables no longer have a regional split like the Galaxy S flagships, so there is no Exynos variant.

The SD 8+ Gen 1 is already known from various models from different manufacturers. However, the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Fold4 are the first foldable devices with the CPU. It is therefore interesting to see how the form factor affects the test results. The Galaxy Z Fold4 comes in three storage configurations. Our test device is the basic version with 256 GB of storage and 12 GB of RAM.

GeekBench 5 Single-Core-Test

The benchmark tests produced predictably excellent results for CPU performance in both the single-core and multi-core tests on Geekbench. The single-core rates in particular are at the upper end of the range. The Oppo Find N, with its older Snapdragon 888 chip, is of course much further down the table. The Huawei Mate Xs 2 is even lower, which is a surprise considering the hardware. It remains to be seen where the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 will fit in.

GeekBench 5 Multi-Core-Test

In the Antutu benchmark, the fold outperforms the flip even more. The same applies to the superiority over the Find N and the Mate Xs 2. The result is almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with an Exynos processor. Other SD 8+ Gen 1 phones, on the other hand, perform slightly better on AnTuTu tests.

AnTuTu 9-Test

Since AnTuTu rates graphics performance more heavily than Geekbench, the results also depend on whether you test the Fold4 closed on the cover display or open on the foldable main display. The specified values ​​refer to the open state.

Camera setup

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 has a very similar main camera setup to the Galaxy S22 and S22+. The selfie situation is the same as the previous Fold – an under-display camera masked by a checkerboard-like pixel pattern on the flexible panel, and a regular punchhole camera on the cover display.

Samsung borrowed the rear camera trio directly from the S22. At least that’s what you might think at first glance, but that’s only half the truth. The fine print starts with the fact that the Fold4’s main camera is based on the Samsung GN3 sensor, while the S22 uses a GN5. Both sensors have an optical format of 1/1.56 inch, 50 million 1.0 µm pixels and a tetrapixel filter array (Quad Bayer at Sony).

However, the two sensors differ in terms of autofocus. The GN5 uses Dual Pixel Pro, while the GN3 in the Fold4 uses the slightly less sophisticated regular Dual Pixel. This official Samsung video explains the differences. At its core, the Z Fold4 sees phase differences worse from top to bottom and focuses more on differences from left to right. While the Pro versions have a very good reputation, the bottom line is that there are just as few complaints compared to standard Dual Pixel autofocus.

The lens in front of the wide-angle sensor has an equivalent focal length of 23mm, the aperture is f/1.8 and there is optical stabilization. The Ultrawide relies on a Sony IMX 258. This is a fairly old chip with an optical format of 1/3.06 inches and 1.12 µm pixels. Its native resolution is 13 megapixels, but Samsung lists it as 12 megapixels, which is also the size of the resulting images. Unfortunately, while the sensor itself has autofocus, the ultra-wide-angle camera doesn’t support the feature. According to Samsung specifications, the lens covers a field of view of 123 degrees and has an aperture of f/2.2.

That leaves the telephoto lens. It uses the same S5K3K1 sensor (1/3.94-inch, 10 MP, 1.0 µm) with the same stabilized lens with an f/2.4 aperture as the S22. The actual focal length is also the same (7.0mm). However, the Fold4 reports an equivalent focal length of 66mm (69mm for the S22). It allows for 3x optical zoom, which is a much-needed upgrade over the Fold3’s 2x zoom.

On the selfie side, there’s a traditional 10-megapixel punchhole camera on the cover display. It also comes from the Galaxy Z Fold2 and is based on the Sony IMX 374 sensor (1/3-inch, 1.22 µm). There is also a fixed focus lens with an equivalent focal length of 25 mm and an aperture of f/2.2. Then there’s the under-display camera under the main panel. A checkerboard arrangement of pixels lets through just enough light for the underlying 16-megapixel sensor (IMX 471, 1/3-inch, 1.0 µm) to output 4-megapixel still images and 1080p video. The aperture is f/1.8.

Camera app and use of the form factor

Leaving the Galaxy Z Fold4 folded, the camera app UI is essentially the same as any other Samsung phone. Only the unusual aspect ratio is noticeable. Swiping left and right toggles between all available modes, which you can also rearrange or remove from the viewfinder. Swipe vertically to switch between the rear cameras and the front camera in both directions.

The settings icon is in the top left corner. There aren’t separate settings for photos and videos as there aren’t too many options overall. Grid lines, location data and the like can be found there. Full resolution mode on the primary camera is activated via the aspect options, which is unintuitive.

Camera app front display

There’s also a Pro mode where you get granular exposure controls (ISO, shutter speed, and exposure compensation) and manual focus with peaking. A live histogram, on the other hand, is missing, as is the option to select a lens other than the main camera.

The only thing that sets the UI apart from other Samsung phones is the selfie icon in the top left corner above the settings cog. It activates the main camera’s selfie mode and first prompts you to unfold the Galaxy Z Fold4. The user interface and the viewfinder then migrate to the cover display, while the main display, which is now open, is largely deactivated.

Camera app main display

Holding the Fold4 with one hand and typing on the display in this mode isn’t exactly comfortable. But you can just work your way up to the shutter release with your right index finger or left thumb. More complex operations, on the other hand, are best done with both hands. The self-timer via hand gesture is of course also available or you can use a Bluetooth remote trigger.

Then there’s the viewfinder on the large panel. Taking pictures in this mode is reminiscent of tablet photography. But it also allows preview images during recording. With a single tap, you can activate the front display, which then only shows a live feed from the sensor apart from a button for switching to the rear selfie mode. Note that this feature is not available on the Fold3.

Camera: photos

Image quality in daylight

In bright daylight, the main camera of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 took attractive pictures in the test. Rich colors meet a balanced white balance. The high contrast also contributes to the expressive overall picture and both shadows and highlights show many details.

The resolution of 12.5 megapixels offers the expected level of detail and is rendered very well without excessive sharpening. Foliage looks natural and there are no halos around contrasting edges. Noise pops in here and there, visible in the lower mid-tones even at base ISO (ISO 20).

The full 50-megapixel resolution doesn’t offer significant detail benefits to justify the typically triple file size compared to the regular 12.5-megapixel photos. However, the 50 megapixel mode has an additional sub-mode to improve detail and depth of field, which actually captures more image information. Processing takes a few seconds, suggesting more image stacking is occurring. But the wait is worth it.

Enlarged images of the Fold4 also looked very good in the test. Details are crisp, with no obvious signs of upscaling going from the camera’s native 10-megapixel resolution to the resulting 12-megapixel photos. The sharpening remains within limits and the noise is minimal here. Colors are well matched to the main camera and dynamic range is excellent.

The ultrawide takes on the positive impression and also snaps very good photos. It’s not the sharpest ultrawide on a flagship phone, but it’s not bad either and works well right down to the corners. It also resolves a lot of detail unless you go into macro space. In this case, the lack of autofocus made itself felt in the test. Color reproduction is the same as the other two lenses, no complaints there.

However, shadows tend to be rendered too dark. With such a wide field of view and the Fold4’s generally high-contrast approach, there are bound to be areas of the image that get misexposed. However, the results are neither particularly extreme nor particularly disturbing.

Image quality in low light

In low light, the Galaxy Z Fold4 activated automatic night mode under certain test conditions, which is indicated by a crescent moon icon in the viewfinder. But he doesn’t work overly aggressively. Without night mode, however, the HDR processing is still active, so that the dynamic range is good. There’s no sign of desaturation, so you’ll still get vivid colors in enough light. Details are easy to see in the better-lit areas, while the darker parts struggle with soft and noisy elements.

There is a noticeable improvement in shadow rendering in night mode. The darker the scene overall, the better. Slightly better conservation of highlights can also be seen, although it’s still not the most dramatic night mode overall. Noise performance is improved, resulting in smoother solid color areas. However, some texture may be lost in the process.

We didn’t encounter the crescent moon of the automatic night mode when taking photos with the telephoto camera, so it is entirely up to the user to choose between photo and night mode. The differences are not dramatic, but not insignificant either. In general, the night mode can also be recommended here. In photo mode, there’s a little more noise, a little harsher highlights, and muddier shadows.

Night mode improves the reproduction of tonal extremes, shows some detail in the shadows and lower midtones, and also minimizes halos around point light sources. The somewhat stronger sharpening is still within limits. In any case, the color reproduction remains error-free.

The ultrawide camera was a little more inclined to invoke automatic night mode. This is a good idea here too, as the images tend to look dark, soft and noisy without the night mode. Once activated, the images show a greater dynamic range, especially in relation to the shadows. The images are sharper and the noise is polished up by the software.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 ReviewSamsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Review

Here is a comparison between the Galaxy Z Fold4 and one of the best camera phones on the market, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. While the Xiaomi doesn’t produce any noise, the Fold4 struggles with both dynamics and transitions.

Portrait mode

The Fold4’s portrait mode works with the main and telephoto cameras. The triple magnification is recommended thanks to the better perspective on the subject. The quality is good, especially in reasonable lighting conditions, but the processing is also quite adequate in weaker situations. The subject separation is excellent, the bokeh looks natural and HDR works at full speed. The main camera works for wider shots rather than portraits. The image section just fits much worse.

Selfies

Selfies with the main camera are one of the great strengths of the Galaxy Z Fold4 – both in portrait format and in normal photo mode, the test produced pleasing results. It is worth emphasizing that the portrait mode also knew how to deal competently with messy hair. We also liked the ultra-wide-angle selfies with the viewfinder. This makes it easy to take selfies with more people or other elements in the picture, although the ultrawide camera’s lack of autofocus limits its usefulness for close-up shots.

If you don’t want to take pictures with the phone open or prefer not to draw attention to your selfie, the front camera is also a good choice. It also lacks autofocus, but this was hardly noticeable in the test. However, the color reproduction is clearly weaker than that of the main cameras. That leaves the under-display camera under the foldable main display. Here the other cameras are technically clearly superior. The 4 megapixel selfies look passable, if more than a little blurry. From our point of view, the only sensible use case is video calls.

Camera: videos

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 supports video recordings with a resolution of up to 8K on the main camera – but only with 24 fps, as is usual with Samsungs. Both the main and telephoto lenses shoot 4K 30fps and 4K 60fps videos. The ultrawide, on the other hand, is capped at 4K 30fps. The under-display selfie camera supports 1080p at up to 60 fps. The outer selfie camera goes up to 4K 60fps.

Video stabilization is available in all modes on all cameras. One can use the h.265 codec instead of the default h.264. However, 8K only works with h.265. Audio is always recorded in stereo at 256 kbps.

4K footage from the Fold4’s main camera looked good but a little lackluster in testing. Detail is more ok than great as a result of relatively heavy resharpening. The contrast is quite high and the colors could use more saturation. There are hardly any differences between frame rates of 30 and 60 fps.

The Tele leaves a more positive impression. Footage is respectably sharp but looks less processed than that of the main camera. The colors also look good. The still high contrast works better for that tighter framing where you’re less likely to be filming a wide dynamic range scene. Again, there is no significant difference between 30 and 60 fps. The ultrawide also struggles with the right contrast, but complements the main camera very well. The situation is similar with the color reproduction. We would rate the sharpness and detail as acceptable.

Although slow-motion videos with the main camera are limited to 240 fps at 1080p, the test showed great colors and, with a little patience, also sharp images. Both EIS (electronic image stabilization) and OIS (optical image stabilization) are available.

In general, the stabilization of the Galaxy Z Fold4 is excellent. Both the ultrawide and the main camera (30 and 60 fps alike) competently compensate for minor wobbles. However, if the scene gets more noisy, the Fold4 quickly reaches its limits, as can be seen in our action video test against a GoPro Hero 8 Black.

The main camera of the Fold4 also performs well in low-light scenarios. Detail is good, dynamic range is nice and wide, and halos around light sources are well controlled. Colors sometimes look better than during the day. The Ultrawide is nowhere near that level of performance, though. It produces noticeably smoother videos with more noise. The telephoto lens doesn’t work wonders at night either, struggling to properly expose darker scenes or darker areas in higher-contrast scenes. However, a little more light leads directly to respectably sharp film material with beautiful colors.

Selfie videos

When it comes to selfie videos, there are again a number of options with some fundamental differences. Shooting with the main rear cameras should generally result in better image quality, although that’s not necessarily always the case. In any case, there are blurred backgrounds for a nice subject separation. With stabilization on, however, the field of view can get pretty narrow.

The ultrawide camera helps a lot with framing and offers a much wider field of view. On the other hand, the lack of autofocus, the lower image quality and the lack of a 60fps option limit the possibilities considerably. Perhaps the best choice for selfie videos is the front camera, which captures a wider field of view than the main camera.

Alternatives

The Galaxy Fold4 keeps the retail price of last year’s model. In view of the current inflation, the price of 1,800 euros is almost good news. A Galaxy Z Fold3 is now available for less than 1,200 euros. And at Samsung itself – in our Galaxy Z Fold3 price comparison you can save even more money. Sure, the 2022 version loads faster, maybe lasts a little longer and has better cameras. The Z Fold4 isn’t a camera phone either, though, and shares essentially the same form factor and displays, S Pen support, and IP rating as the Fold3.

The Huawei Mate Xs 2 is generally sold in Europe. However, availability and prices are clearly inferior to the Fold4. The Huawei is also, by definition, more vulnerable. Its flexible plastic display is exposed at all times and it doesn’t have the water resistance of the Fold4. It doesn’t have to carry an extra display with you everywhere, it’s great to use and look at when it’s open and also scores with the minimal crease compared to the Samsung foldable. The Galaxy also loses in charging speed but clearly wins in battery life and software suite. The cameras are tied.

Galaxy Z Fold3 / Huawei Mate Xs 2 / Oppo Find N / Galaxy Z Flip4 / Huawei P50 Pocket

In terms of pros and cons, the Oppo Find N is in a similar boat. However, the Oppo foldable is only available in China, although it works flawlessly with the Google suite. Strictly speaking, the Find N is also not a camera phone. Battery life looks better on the Galaxy, the Oppo charges faster, the Galaxy has better displays, but the Oppo’s are also premium. But the Fold4 is much more productive thanks to the large display. However, the Find N does not want to be the most productive device in the world and is aimed at a different target group with a more compact form factor.

If you are looking for a foldable for your pocket, you should also take a look at the Galaxy Z Flip4 and the Huawei P50 Pocket. Productivity and battery life aren’t top priorities here, but the appeal of next-gen tech is still there.

Verdict

9.3Expert Score
Verdict Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4

In the test, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 scored with two very good displays, the currently fastest chipset and unrivaled productivity.

Design
9.5
Display
10
CPU / Benchmarks
10
Battery
9
Camera photos
8.5
Camera videos
8.5
Pros
  • currently fastest chipset on the market
  • Displays about twice as bright as the foldable competition, on par with traditional flagships
  • Android 12L and One UI 4.1.1 with unrivaled multitasking features and S Pen support
  • Camera system improved, selfie options with the main camera are a big plus
  • impressive battery life for a foldable device
  • Samsung remains the only manufacturer with waterproof foldables (IPX8)
Cons
  • Hinge largely unchanged – gap and crease still present
  • Loading speed has been improved but still lags far behind the competition
  • practically the same camera system as in the much cheaper Galaxy S22

Foldables are now well past the proof-of-concept point. While there are still concerns about durability with regular reports of blistering under the screen protector along the crease. However, Samsung’s solid warranty cover largely dispels these justified fears.

Still, some of the criticisms of the previous models remain for at least another year. The large column when folded is one of them. The loading speed, which is not up to date, is different, especially for a flagship smartphone. Exactly the same applies to the camera setup. The Galaxy Z Fold4’s priorities may lie elsewhere. But if Huawei can launch a Mate X2 with a large main sensor, 10x zoom and an ultra-wide angle with autofocus, then Samsung should be able to too.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for mobile productivity, you probably won’t find a better package than the Fold4 – at least in a smartphone format. The combination of the new Android 12L, Samsung’s proprietary One UI add-ons and stylus support is simply unrivalled.

The superiority of Samsung displays is also evident in the Galaxy Fold4 as the internal display is not only flexible but also as bright as regular flagship screens and much brighter than other foldable panels. In addition, they work very efficiently and get a good battery life from the comparatively small cells.

The Fold4 isn’t perfect. However, the alternatives are neither readily available nor without problems of their own. The Fold3 was the best overall foldable package out there last year and now the Fold4 can easily claim that title.

Stefan Andres

Stefan Andres

Contact | Android, iOS, Apps | Cell phone: Google Pixel 7

5 Comments
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  1. Prices already down 🙂

  2. Freakin device. Next level multitasking.

  3. I thought about it for a long time and have now ordered it. See it similar to the test – some things other cell phones can do better. But no other normal cell phone can do other things apart from the Z Fold4.

  4. I am sorely tempted. My only concern is the display and the protective film over it. Actually, every normal protective film would give up at some point, so after a year at the latest the first scratches would be on it. But 1 year is not an issue at all with UTG, otherwise Samsung wouldn’t add 1 year of Samsung Care with free display replacement for free. Believe the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the technology is just too new and people don’t dare yet.

  5. The prices have gone down so drastically that you can compare it with other flagships. And the cameras are a bit worse, but the rest are just as good or in a class of their own. For me the best mobile device you can currently buy.

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