Technology

Galaxy Z Fold 4: Samsung is getting a better idea of ​​what foldable phones are for

What is happening

Samsung announced its latest large format foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

why it matters

Samsung considers foldable phones the key to the future of its mobile device lineup. As one of the largest smartphone makers in the world, Samsung influences a broader market.

what will happen next

Samsung will release the Galaxy Z Fold 4 on August 26 for $1,800.

Samsung is furthering its foldable phone ambitions with the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which goes on sale on August 26 and starts at $1,800 (£1,649, AU$2,499).

The new Book-style foldable phone, announced at Wednesday’s Unpacked event, has a revamped design that should be easier to manage in phone mode. It is also getting new software that takes advantage of its foldable screen and regular upgrades to the processor and camera.

According to estimates from Display Supply Chain Consultants and Omedia, Samsung made an early entry into the market in 2019, launching its first Galaxy Fold device. It leads the foldable phone market by a huge margin in terms of shipments. But foldable phones still account for the broader mobile phone market. The new Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 are Samsung’s latest attempt to make foldables more appealing to a potentially larger audience, by removing some of the biggest criticisms of previous models.

For example, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a wider cover screen that looks like a regular, non-folding phone when closed. The change makes apps more natural because the Z Fold 4’s screen isn’t as narrow. The difference is certainly noticeable compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but the display still isn’t quite as wide as standard phones like the Galaxy S22 or iPhone 13.

Samsung is doing more to make the Galaxy Z Fold 4 useful when its display is folded in half. Flex Mode, which splits an app between the top and bottom of the screen when the Z Fold is held open, is getting a new feature. Similar to the touchpad on laptops, you’ll be able to use the bottom half of the screen as a trackpad, with the top half to control content.

Running now: See this: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 First take: Large cover screen,…

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This should make it easier to navigate apps in flex mode, as you won’t have to obscure the top part of the screen with your finger while scrolling. The recently announced Galaxy Z Flip 4 is also getting this feature, and Samsung says it will be evaluating bringing it to older Galaxy Z Fold and Flip devices. Samsung also says that the Z Fold 4 is the first device to ship with Android 12L, the version of Android optimized for tablets. One of the most noticeable Android 12 additions is the Z Fold 4’s new task bar, which should make switching between apps more convenient.

Samsung Unpacked . Other Movies-TV Shows of

The overall design of the Z Fold 4 is generally similar, but Samsung claims that the Z Fold 4’s build is sturdier. The exterior is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus Plus, while the inner tablet-sized display is said to be 45% more durable. Samsung also says that the Z Fold 4’s internal screen is brighter than its predecessor, and the internal under-display camera is less noticeable. Like the previous version, the Z Fold 4 is also compatible with the S Pen.

Otherwise, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is getting the camera and processor upgrades you’d expect from an annual phone update. The camera is particularly noteworthy; Samsung is upgrading the Z Fold 4’s triple lens camera system to a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens. That telephoto lens will support optical zoom up to 3x and digital zoom up to 30x. Samsung is also bringing the Galaxy S22’s improved low light photography to the Z Fold 4 and Flip 4.

The cover screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is wider than that of the Z Fold 3.

Lisa Adicico / CNET

Most people interested in the Galaxy Z Fold probably care more about the phone’s massive internal screen than the camera. But at such a high price, the Z Fold 4 should have a camera that at least matches or exceeds the one found on Samsung’s non-folding phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s cameras are certainly a step in the right direction, representing a notable upgrade from the Z Fold 3’s 12-megapixel wide, telephoto and ultrawide lenses. But the Galaxy S22 Ultra is still Samsung’s top-of-the-line camera phone.

The Z Fold 4 will also run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, which is a new and slightly upgraded version of the chip found inside the Galaxy S22 lineup. Battery capacity is also the same at 4,400 mAh, which is a shame – CNET’s Patrick Holland was disappointed with the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s battery life.

Lisa Adicico / CNET

Overall, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a more refined and polished version of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Samsung is gaining a better understanding of what these devices are for, having been around for almost three years now. With its larger screen and S Pen compatibility, Samsung is positioning the Z Fold 4 as a productivity tool, much like the extinct Galaxy Note. Setting that direction means Samsung can focus on adding new features that are unique and exclusive to the Z Fold, not just making sure apps run smoothly across the Fold’s various screen sizes. work.

At $1,800, the Z Fold 4 is still a tough sell. And while these new features are a sign of progress, they might not be enough to entice non-foldable phone users. But it’s one step closer to discovering what role foldables can play in our lives.

For more details, take a look at the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy See 5, Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and everything else Samsung has announced.

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