Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: It’s the Reason Why This Form Factor Should Be Standard

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review
John Velasco | SPY

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.

During my first look at the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, a wave of nostalgia hit me as I opened and closed the foldable phone. It brought back memories of the last flip phone I owned, the Motorola V300, at a time when the form factor was widely adopted by most phones. That was back in 2004 and as we’ve seen, the slate design has become the de facto standard among today’s best smartphones.

It’s amazing what today’s technology has been able to do. I’m instantly drawn by the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s flexible display, but on the other hand, it has made me wonder about other advantages and what else it has to offer — especially with its flagship-esque price of $1,000.

However, after spending weeks testing it out, I’m happy to report that there’s far more to it than the foldable novelty.

  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: At a Glance

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

Pros:
  • Compact design
  • Well-built, solid construction
  • Cover Screen helps tremendously with self captures
  • Modestly priced
Cons:
  • Crease is very visible
  • Battery life is a little short
Specs
  • Dimensions: 71.9 x 165.2 x 6.9 millimeters (unfolded), 71.9 x 84.9 x 15.9 millimeters (folded)
  • Weight: 186 grams
  • Main Display: 6.7-inch FHD+ (2640 x 1080) Dynamic AMOLED
  • Cover Screen: 1.9-inch (260 x 512) Super AMOLED
  • Rear Cameras: 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide camera, 12MP F1.8 wide-angle camera with OIS
  • Front Camera: 10MP F2.4 selfie camera
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Battery: 3,700 mAh
  • Water Resistance Rating: IPX8
  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Design: Folds In Half

First off, here’s what’s included when you unbox the new flip 4:

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
  • Data Cable
  • Ejection Pin
  • Quick Start Guide

Between the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4, I prefer the design of the former because it brings back that flip phone form factor that I used to love so much. Even better is the fact that it’s essentially the size and weight of today’s slates, but it becomes incredibly compact when it’s folded over. Given the moving parts involved here, Samsung gets credit for the solid construction of this phone, which is more impressive knowing it’s rocking an IPX8 water-resistant rating.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

You can feel some resistance with the hinge. I totally understand it’s meant to carefully fold the display, but it’s not like the olden days when I used to quickly flip open and close my phone. Nevertheless, I do appreciate that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available in four main colors, with even more combinations if you end up getting a Bespoke Edition.

Naturally, there’s a unique aesthetic quality to the folding design. It’s the kind of thing that instantly commands attention — and trust me, you will get it whenever you fold it in half. More importantly, I realized that there was utility behind the design as well.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

The folding design conjures up new ways of using the phone that you couldn’t get with traditional slate designs. For example, I’m able to capture selfies with the rear cameras instead of the front-facing one, which we all know produces better quality. Not only is it a polished design, but a functional one that I appreciate.

  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Display: Love That AMOLED

The biggest draw of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is its main 6.7-inch FHD+ (2,640 x 1,080) Dynamic AMOLED. That’s because it’s able to fold in half, something few phones (these days) can say they do. However, there’s a noticeable crease where it folds. It’s hard to overlook because it’s painfully obvious when the display is turned off. When on, however, it’s harder to discern.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

For some, I can understand how this can be a distracting element. Thankfully, I was able to overlook it in most instances due to its peak brightness output of 1,460 lux in my testing, its wide viewing angles with minimal distortion and its sharp detail at a pixel density of 425 PPI (pixel per inch).

As for the cover screen, the 1.9-inch (260 x 512) Super AMOLED display is handy at displaying notifications, as well as previewing self-captures with the rear camera, but it’s not as detailed or sharp. Despite this, it served its utility purpose of displaying these visuals — something that you can’t do with most phones.

  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Software: Just What You Need

In all honesty, the software running in the Galaxy Z Flip 4 doesn’t significantly differ from the One UI experience I’ve checked out on other recent Galaxy smartphones, like the Galaxy S22 Ultra for example. Functionally, it covers all the basics, including simultaneous app-by-app stacking for those that need it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Screenshot, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

The only minor change to this particular version of Samsung’s One UI experience running on top of Android 12 is the interface of the Cover Screen. I like the convenience of seeing relevant notifications and details with a quick glance. Double tapping on the Cover Screen turns it on, showing the time, date, battery level and a neat animation.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Screenshot, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

There are also widgets you can scroll through, like the music player, timer, and weather widgets, that all provide details at a glance without having the need to open the phone fully. Compared to its sibling in the Z Fold 4, the Z Flip 4’s experience is paired down. In fact, it doesn’t have access to Samsung DeX much like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 4.

  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Performance: Gets the Job Done

What irks me about the software is that the Flip 4 is powered by the same silicon used by the Fold 4. I would’ve thought that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform would’ve been sufficient to run Samsung DeX, but I suppose that Samsung kept it exclusive to its pricer phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

While the overall performance of the Z Fold 4 is responsive and fast, I would still say that the Z Fold 4 has a slight edge. The difference is minor, especially when I ran GeekBench’s multi-core test on the Flip 4, which earned a respectable score of 3,709 versus the Fold 4’s 3,949 .

I did play quite a few graphically intensive games with the Flip 4. I honestly didn’t notice too much difference with its performance, which kept animations nice and the action smooth.

  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Camera: FlexCam Utility

One distinctive quality that I’ve found true among flagships is that they often tack on triple-camera systems. You won’t find that with the Flip 4, which instead features a dual-camera setup consisting of a 12MP F2.2 ultra-wide camera and a 12MP F1.8 wide-angle camera.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

Not surprisingly, it can deliver fantastic results — just as long as it’s sunny out, or if there’s a lot of light in the scene in general. The colors are nice and punchy, while details are often sharp. Of course, I’m referring to the quality of the main camera, since the ultra-wide cam’s performance isn’t as good.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

Yes, it adds the convenience of capturing more of the scene, especially when it comes to capturing selfies with the rear camera and the help of the Cover Screen. However, details often come out light, which are even worse under low light. Grainy details were far too common whenever I used the ultra-wide camera.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

Interestingly, though, Samsung has coined yet another term with the unique flexing ability of the Z Flip 4 called the FlexCam. With the phone semi-folded, you can wield it much like an old-school camcorder. It’s yet another novelty with a newfound purpose, but I actually found it far more effective using this mode to prop up the phone for self-captures.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Camera Sample John Velasco | SPY

As for video recording quality, I wasn’t impressed. It’s good, but nothing great in my opinion. The 4K at 60 FPS recording looks extra sharp and smooth, but the 1080p recordings just seemed too flat for my liking. Not surprisingly, low light was a struggle with both cameras and not just with the ultra-wide camera.

  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Battery Life: A Bit Short

Now, this part is interesting because the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is carrying a 3,700 mAh battery. It’s not a high-capacity battery when you compare it to some of its peers in the flagship space, so I wasn’t all too surprised to find it well under the 10% mark right before bedtime. Frankly, you’ll want to charge it throughout the day if you’re a power user.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

 

this phone took 81 minutes to recharge from 1% to 100% using a 160W charger I had lying around. It’s fast, but other phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro and Galaxy S22 Ultra clocked in at under 60 minutes. Nevertheless, I like the fact that wireless charging is built-in and, interestingly enough, you can charge it wirelessly while it’s folded.

  

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review: Our Verdict

Samsung priced its phones with just enough spacing in between them to justify their individual worth. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is no exception either because this $999.99 foldable phone balances form and functionality into a proper flip phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review John Velasco | SPY

It may lack the Z Fold 4’s outstanding productivity suite or the utility of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s quadruple camera system, but you can’t discredit how the Z Flip 4 is priced just right to give more people a taste of the advantages that foldable phones offer.

  

So Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4?

Of course. This phone is not overpriced. It has a coolness factor to it and it checks off all the marks that the average consumer needs in a smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Review Courtesy of Samsung

  

First Look: The Galaxy A23 5G Is Samsung’s Low-Cost Answer to the Google Pixel 6a and iPhone SE