If the Flip4 is the fun, stylish, hip younger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 is definitely the older, richer one which has already made it in life! Everything about the smartphone says “I’ve arrived and you know it”. 

The first thing I do is gently pry open the phone to reveal the massive 7.6-inch AMOLED 2X display. It remains a stunner of a screen, with the same specs as the Fold3 - rates of upto 120Hz and a maximum of 1200 nits brightness. There’s so much space that for a second one might wonder what you’re supposed to do with it apart from consuming media or responding to mails. Now, here’s where new possibilities lie. 

Think of the Fold4 in any of the following ways - two smartphones side-to-side, a mini-tablet, or the smallest PC-like smartphone you’ve ever seen. With the support of Android 12L to make the most of bigger screens on tablets and foldables, the Fold4 is optimised for multitasking. In portrait mode, I can basically use the display as two smartphones side-by-side, with multiple windows on.

The Taskbar on the left, from where you can access apps to multitask with

The Taskbar on the left, from where you can access apps to multitask with

There’s a collapsible taskbar peeking out on the side from which I can drag, drop, and position apps wherever I want on the screen. Some apps are not compatible with this multi-tasking mode, however, there’s enough and more apps optimised already to keep me busy experimenting. The combinations I tried using a fair bit are Google Meet and Samsung Notes during webinars, Google Chrome and Google Docs while writing my copies, and sometimes YouTube playing videos on a small third window to distract me from writing my copies. 

When I type, even with multiple windows open, the full-size keyboard pop-ups. The virtual keyboard is split across two sides, and although the keys are positioned quite naturally where your thumbs might land while typing, it still takes me a bit of getting used to.

When it comes to watching media on apps that don’t effectively optimise content for the screen, the experience can be a bit underwhelming. Watching ‘Everest’ on Netflix, there was a lot of empty space both at the top and the bottom of display, and the moment I pinch-to-optimise to full screen, there’s significant footage cut out of the screen. The in-app ‘Brightness’ toggle and the ‘Rewind’ icon also overlap, and it’s tricky to use either accurately in one tap.

While multitasking across screens, it would have been much easier if the smartphone came with a stylus along, however Samsung doesn’t include one in the box. If you’re investing in one anyway, do note that only the Fold Edition S Pen and the S Pen Pro are compatible with this device.

Cover Screen

I used the 6.2-inch cover screen quite minimally during the review. While I could access it quickly for calls and checking notifications, typing on it was pretty much a no-go for me because the keyboard feels cramped and I ended up making too many typos. The cover screen is meant to enable more one-handed interactions with the phone, but I held it on both hands anyway - if for nothing else, just to support the heft of the phone.

Like the Flip4, the frame and hinge on the Fold4 too have been upgraded with aluminum and are protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the cover screen and rear glass, making the screens more scratch-resistant. The IPX8 water resistance rating on both phones means you can just about manage to have it exposed up to 1.5 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. Exposing it to water at your next beach holiday or even a pool party is definitely not recommended! And, it’s definitely not safe from dust either. 

Camera capabilities

The Dual Preview mode is fun to use especially if the subject of your click wants to approve of the photo you’re taking of them! The camera customisation pretty much covers all bases, and there are no complaintsabout the quality it delivers in photos and videos. 

Under the hood is the same Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 processor as the Flip4, and it scored a total of 8,93,955 on the AnTuTu benchmarking tests, landing a spot in the top 10% percentile. The unit I reviewed has 256 GB of storage and 12 GB RAM, and a 4,400 mAh battery that lasted me a full day easily with moderate usage, including full-screen browsing, multitasking and watching videos. 

Verdict

Samsung claims with new foldables it is “changing the way we interact with smartphones”, and it couldn’t be more true, especially with the Fold4. There is no denying that despite minimal hardware upgrades, the Samsung Fold4 is still one of the most innovative smartphones available in the market right now. It is costly - even for a premium phone - starting at ₹1,54,999 for 12 GB + 256 GB variant and ₹1,64,999 for 12 GB + 512 GB variant. However, if you have deep pockets - literally and figuratively, engage in a lot of multi-tasking on-screen and want to get that little dopamine hit each time someone does a double-take when they see you pull out the Fold4, then go for it!

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