Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review: strong despite fewer innovations
Samsung is still pretty much the only manufacturer offering foldable smartphones for the European market. With the P50 Pocket and Mate Xs 2, Huawei delivers a similar setup to Samsung, but it should be clear to everyone that the foldables from Huawei unfortunately play almost no role here in Europe. Samsung isn't under pressure, which is probably why they're sitting back and not giving the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 too many upgrades compared to its predecessor.
At first glance, hardly anything has changed in terms of design, and neither has the display or the battery. Samsung promises the biggest changes in the cameras and the Proprocessor. In this test report you will find out whether these are not just empty promises, but actually come true in everyday life.
Jump to section
- 1 tl; dr
- 2 Haptics & design
- 3 The small outdoor display
- 4 The large interior display
- 5 Software—OneUI
- 6 Performance – flawless
- 7 Battery - solid runtime
- 8 Camera - good quality, but still not enough for the price
- 9 Miscellaneous - Today's best speakers, best-in-class vibration motor and more
- 10 Prices and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 is a compelling foldable with very few weaknesses. Both the design and display as well as the performance, the camera and the speakers are on a high level and the battery life is finally decent, so that most people proget through a day without a charge.
Even if the leap compared to the predecessor is not huge, Samsung need not worry because unfortunately there is no serious competition in the foldable market here in Europe.
I can recommend the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 to anyone who really wants to use a foldable smartphone on a daily basis and who appreciates the advantages of the form factor profit and can and want to spend 1.799 euros. Otherwise, I would rather advise against a purchase and go for a non-foldable or the Z Fold3.
Haptics & design
Samsung has left the dimensions almost unchanged. When closed, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 measures 160,9 millimeters in height and 62,8 millimeters in width, which is relatively unusual for a smartphone because it is simply too narrow when closed. However, the Z Fold4 has something completely different when it is folded Proproblem, namely the thickness. It's a whopping 15,7 millimeters thick, which you get used to, but it's still annoying. In addition, there is an enormous weight of 263 grams, which together with the thickness and the form factor means that I do not like using the smartphone when it is closed. It feels anything but appealing in the hand.
However, as soon as you open the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, you don't want to put it down. It is now only 6,9 millimeters thick, which is very pleasant for a small tablet.
The frame is made of aluminum with a high-gloss finish, which leaves a beautiful and high-quality impression. Compared to its predecessor, it has become a bit more angular, but this in no way leads to a sharp-edged feeling in the hand. Together with the matte glass back and the beautiful colors (black, gray-green and beige), we are dealing with one of the highest quality smartphones on the market.
Thinner borders & new aspect ratio
Samsung has made the first visible changes to the front. Both the inner and outer displays are surrounded by slightly thinner bezels, which is a nice upgrade. In addition, the outer panel is finally a bit wider so that it can be used more sensibly. Nevertheless, I still find the screen to be a bit too narrow to be able to type on it properly.
As with the Fold3, the inner display is of course not protected by glass but by plastic, because this is a foldable, flexible panel. You definitely notice the difference to normal screens, but it didn't bother me at any time during use. The bend and the front camera under the display didn't bother me at any time either, but I would have expected more, since almost nothing has changed compared to the predecessor. OPPO, Huawei and Xiaomi have the edge on the kink.
Good workmanship and great folding mechanism
There is absolutely no reason for criticism when it comes to processing. The processing is just great. The keys are well placed, have an excellent pressure point and sit firmly in the case.
The folding mechanism has become noticeably more stable and better. Folding still works as good as day one. I just noticed that it only creases the first time after not using it for a long time, minimal creaks. That always leaves me with an uneasy feeling.
The small outdoor display
The outer display is a 6,2-inch diagonal OLED screen. Due to the long aspect ratio, the result is a rather unusual resolution of 2.316 x 904 pixels, which results in a dot pixel density of 402. I think the resolution is sufficient. In everyday use, no individual pixels can be seen. The panel also supports a smooth refresh rate of 120 Hertz, which makes scrolling and all animations look buttery smooth.
Depending on the mode, colors are reproduced in a pleasantly realistic way, although I see Apple and Huawei a little further ahead in this regard. The brightness is decent, but not top class, and the viewing angle stability is also okay, but could be even better, because the display looks slightly bluish when tilted to the side.
The large interior display
The inner screen measures 7,6 inches and has a resolution of 2.176 x 1.812 pixels, resulting in a dot pixel density of 374. That sounds like little, but since this is a small tablet display - which is usually held further away from the eyes - the resolution is quite sufficient. 120 Hertz is also supported here.
Colors are also very appealing here, but not quite as natural as on the iPhone 14 Pro played back. As is typical for OLEDs, the black value is convincing across the board and I even like the white value very much. Only when viewed from the side does the color change extremely - especially white content. Samsung must finally step up here, because this ProThe predecessor also had problems. The brightness, on the other hand, is convincing across the board. Even in bright environments I never had Proproblems with readability.
The software used is the in-house One UI, based on Android 13. One UI is a heavily customized user interface that has relatively little to do with stock Android. It is quite colorful and adorned with a number of additional functions. For example, one of the currently best always-on displays and double tapping for switching on and off is offered. Gesture control is also on board, but unfortunately the animations look anything but nice and smooth. In my opinion, the Samsung smartphones have the worst gesture controls in the Android camp.
In addition, Samsung has adapted some apps, such as the camera or settings app, for the larger interior display. The settings app is shown in two parts, so that all menu items are displayed on the left half and all associated sub-items appear on the right half. If you open the camera app and close the smartphone a little, the app splits into two halves.
Performance – flawless
The computing power is provided by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 from Qualcomm, which is supported by 12 GB of RAM. Depending on the version, there is also 256 or 512 GB of internal memory, which unfortunately cannot be expanded with a microSD card.
Battery - solid runtime
Unfortunately, the battery capacity of 4.400 mAh has not changed compared to the predecessor, but the battery life should still be due to the more efficient Processors will be noticeably better. Is that true? Yes, fortunately Samsung doesn't have too few versprochen. During my test phase, I usually had between 5 and 6 hours with a screen-on time of 1 to 30 hours Procent battery left, which is not a top value, but still solid. However, users who almost exclusively use the large interior display or are even heavy users will definitely not be able to get through a day without charging with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4.
Unfortunately, the battery can only be charged with up to 25 watts, which is extremely embarrassing for a smartphone for almost 2.000 euros. Unfortunately, no power supply is included.
Camera - good quality, but still not enough for the price
The same triple camera setup as on the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus can be found on the back. The S22 Ultra goes one step further, because the 108 megapixel main camera is significantly larger than the 50 megapixel main sensor in the Z Fold4. Additionally, the S22 Ultra's setup supports up to 10x optical zoom, which is of course more impressive than the 3x optical zoom in the Z Fold4. After all, there are no differences in the 12 megapixel ultra wide-angle camera.
Selfies can be shot in different ways. On the one hand, the 10 megapixel front camera can be used when it is closed and, on the other hand, the 4 megapixel under-display camera can be used when it is opened. However, if you attach great importance to a really good image quality, you can also use the main camera as a front camera when it is opened.
All three cameras take very good pictures, which are particularly impressive with respectable sharpness and a great dynamic range. The sharpness is decent, but Huawei and Apple are a bit ahead here. The competition from Huawei, Xiaomi and Vivo has a lot more to offer, especially when it comes to zoom. As has been the case for a number of years, Samsung is exaggerating with the colors on both the main and the ultra-wide angle cameras of the Fold4. They're rendered a bit too oversaturated for my taste, but there are certainly some people who prefer this look.
As soon as the light conditions get worse, only the main camera can really convince. While the results with the zoom and ultra-wide-angle camera are too dark and blurry, the main camera's photos are convincing with decent sharpness, good exposure and solid colors. To be fair, however, one must also say quite clearly that one can expect a little more here for a price of just under 2.000 euros.
Videos in 4K with 30 or 60 FPS look really good in daylight. Samsung is at the forefront here. Unfortunately, as soon as it gets dark, the videos are no longer usable. Pictures taken with the 10 megapixel front camera are particularly convincing with a sufficiently realistic color reproduction and good dynamic range, but there is room for improvement in terms of sharpness. The 4 megapixel front camera under the inner display can be used to some extent for one or the other zoom meeting, but selfies should definitely be taken with the other front camera or preferably with the main camera, because the sharpness and color reproduction in particular are poor with the under -Screen camera much to be desired.
Miscellaneous - Today's best speakers, best-in-class vibration motor and more
Samsung installs a speaker on the top and bottom, which creates a stereo sound. The speakers get extremely loud and deliver a very full, balanced sound with a surprising amount of bass, as long as one can speak of bass in smartphone speakers. For me, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 has the best speakers of the current flagships.
The built-in vibration motor has received a decent upgrade compared to its predecessor. It now ensures even more precise vibrations. In this respect, too, the Fold4 is one of the best on the market.
The smartphone can be unlocked via the fingerprint sensor placed on the side of the frame, which is easy to reach and makes the smartphone quick and easy to useproreliably unlocked.
Finally, I would like to emphasize that the Galaxy Z Fold4 is actually protected against water ingress according to IPX8. However, you should keep it away from dust, because it is understandably not dustproof due to the folding mechanism.
Prices and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 has come onto the market in the smaller memory version with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB internal memory for a recommended retail price of 1.799 euros. In the meantime, however, only about 1.400 euros have to be put on the table for this. At the market launch, Samsung asked a whopping 1.919 euros for double the memory, but today you only have to pay around 1.500 euros. The foldable smartphone is available from Amazon, Saturn, Sparhandy and, of course, directly from Samsung.