While many other smartphone makers have yet to even attempt selling a foldable device, Samsung is already four generations deep. And on the new Galaxy Z Fold 4, instead of redesigning the entire device, Samsung is tweaking its formula to create a faster, more powerful and slightly sleeker phablet for all your multitasking needs. There’s also a newly redesigned taskbar, revamped cameras, and perhaps most importantly, even more apps have been optimized to take better advantage of the phone’s flexible display.
In terms of hardware, new components on the Z Fold 4 include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, an upgraded 50MP main camera, a longer telephoto cam with a 3x optical zoom (up from 2x on the previous model) and a brighter 7.6-inch flexible display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Z Fold 4’s durability has also improved, with Samsung using its Armor Aluminum alloy on the phone’s hinge and frame and moving up to Gorilla Glass Victus+ on both its front and rear panels. And just like you got on the previous model, the Z Fold 4 features IPX8 water resistance that can withstand submersion of up to 5 feet for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, even though the Z Fold 4 will still be a somewhat bulky device compared to more traditional handsets, Samsung says it has slimmed down its dimensions with thinner bezels and a slightly smaller hinge. And all this comes in a body that’s just a touch wider than before, which is meant to make stuff like typing on the exterior Cover Screen a bit easier while also improving one-hand usability.
That said, the biggest change on the Z Fold 4 may be its software. Not only does Samsung claim the phone is the first device to ship with Android 12L, the company also redesigned the Z Fold’s taskbar for enhanced multitasking. Now, instead of being positioned to the the side, the taskbar spans the bottom of the phone which provides more room for apps while new swipe gestures help you quickly switch between full-screen, windowed and split-screen views. And for those who like drawing or taking handwritten notes, the Z Fold 4 still supports stylus input and has a new Standing Case with built-in S Pen storage.
Additionally, Samsung has continued its partnership with Google and Microsoft to expand the number of apps that support Flex Mode, which are special functions that are available when phone is half open. On top of that, both Chrome and Gmail now support drag-and-drop functionality for sharing things like files and links, while Outlook has gotten a more tablet-like UI to better utilize the phone’s large main display.
Finally, other tweaks include an updated UDC (under display camera) that features a new “scatter-type sub-pixel arrangement” that should make it a bit less noticeable. There’s even a new virtual touchpad that works with apps that haven’t been fully optimized for the Z Fold 4’s screen that’s intended to make it easier to zoom in and out of media or control playback while watching videos. And you’re the type of person who always needs more room for apps and media, a 1TB model is available exclusively from Samsung.
The one downside is that with a starting price of $1,800 for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the Z Fold 4 is still expensive and has not received a price drop compared from last year’s Z Fold 3. The phone will be available in four colors: “Graygreen,” Phantom Black, beige and burgundy, the latter of which is exclusive to Samsung.com. Pre-orders start today at Samsung, Amazon and other retailers ahead of the phone’s official release on August 26th and will include free upgrade to 16GB of RAM, $100 of Samsung store credit, a Standing Cover case and a discount of up to $1,000 with eligible trade-ins.
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