Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: Better Cameras, Battery Life and Software Features

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: Better Cameras, Battery Life and Software Features
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What’s happening

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the newest version of its foldable clamshell phone.

why is it important

Foldable phones have been around for about three years now, but they still make up only a fraction of the smartphone market. The Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 are Samsung’s attempt to change that.

what’s next

Samsung will launch the Galaxy Z Flip 4 in August. 26, starting at $1,000.

SAMSUNG It announced the Galaxy Z Flip 4 on Wednesday. Unpacked event as part of its latest efforts to popularize foldable phones. The Z Flip 4 has new software that takes advantage of its foldable design, improved cameras that take better low-light photos, and a larger battery. It goes on sale in August. It starts at $26 and $1,000 (£999, AU$1,499).

this Galaxy Z Flip proved to be most popular foldable yet according to market research estimates. But across the industry, high prices compared to standard phones, below-average cameras and battery life, and a lack of attractive features have hindered the overall appeal of foldables. With the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung is addressing some – but not all – of these concerns. More importantly, it’s also making progress in understanding the target audience of foldable devices like the Z Flip.

Samsung is trying to prove that the appeal of the Z Flip 4 goes beyond its compactness. That’s why it leans into Flex Mode, the feature that splits apps between the top and bottom of the screen when folded in half. You will now be able to use the bottom half of the screen as a trackpad to navigate the top of the screen; this is an update that will make it easier to switch apps in Flex Mode.

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While this feature is new for both the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4, Samsung said it would consider bringing it to older foldables as well. In my short time with the Z Flip 4, this seemed to work pretty easily after turning this feature on in the settings menu.

The Z Flip 4’s cover display also gets a few new additions. You will be able to send quick replies to text messages, make phone calls and take portrait mode photos from the external display.

Samsung foldable

Cover screen of Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Taken together, these upgrades are a step in the right direction for the Z Flip 4. It is unclear whether the expansion of Flex Mode and the extra functionality of the cover screen will be enough to convert those who are not currently interested in foldable phones. But it does show that Samsung is paying more attention to software in addition to hardware, which is crucial to proving the promise behind foldable phones.

Otherwise, the Z Flip 4 is getting a handful of routine updates you’d expect to see on any new smartphone – foldable or not. to be continued Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 slightly upgraded version of the chip that powers the processor Galaxy S22 to line up. Although the main camera resolution is the same as before from Flip 3 (12 megapixel wide and ultra wide lenses), Z Flip 4 Enhanced night photography of Galaxy S22. This means it will have a brighter wide lens and larger pixel size, as well as support portrait mode photos in the dark. The battery size of the Z Flip 4 also increases to 3,700 mAh compared to the 3,300 mAh battery of the previous model.

These are all welcome changes that cut down on the compromises you have to make when choosing between the Z Flip and Samsung’s non-folding Galaxy S phones. The battery life of the previous Z Flip 3 was lackluster, and the camera system felt like “the equivalent of cameras you’d find in a $700 phone,” as my colleague Patrick Holland put it.

The design of the Z Flip has not changed much, except for some improvements. The hinge is slightly smaller and now has a brighter finish than the Z Flip 3. The inner screen of the Z Flip 4 is 45% more durable, while the outside is covered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus Plus. Among the color options, there is the new bora purple used by Samsung. Newly introduced for Galaxy S22 in combination with rose gold, blue and graphite. These differences are not immediately noticeable when you pick up the device, but you can see them when you look at the Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 4 side by side.

Samsung foldable

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The $1,000 price of the Z Flip 4 is still too high for many people, especially as there are so many attractive standard phones on the market that cost hundreds of dollars less. With a few new software improvements and routine upgrades to the camera, processor and battery, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 doesn’t look like a massive upgrade.

But it still represents a milestone for Samsung’s foldables. Samsung has gone beyond making apps run smoothly on bendable screens. Finally, it’s trying to find new ways to interact with apps that you can’t get with a non-folding phone.

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