Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: Plenty to love still one thing to loathe

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: Is this the foldable phone to buy? (Image: SAMSUNG)

Samsung has recently been bragging about just how popular its foldable phones have become and it’s no surprise that users are so smitten. We were very complimentary in our  last year, and there’s something even more loveable about the new Galaxy Z Flip 4. From the moment you flip it open the 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen, this device just oozes wow factor. And the fact it’s now powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor means there’s little, if anything, it can’t cope with.

Faster charging, a more robust design, and an improved dual-lens camera system are also welcome additions. Likewise, the upgraded hinge mechanism, which makes it even easier to prop-open on your desk (like a laptop) and take hands-free selfies or video calls.

There’s so much to love about the Flip 4 …but we do still have one big issue that won’t go noticed by anyone who buys it.

Despite rumours suggesting a big update was coming to the screen, Samsung still hasn’t managed to get rid of the horrible crease that blights the viewing experience. It’s impossible not to see this fold that runs across the width of the bendy screen. There’s also no expandable storage and, at £999 for the 128GB model, it’s still ludicrously expensive. Of course, the latter is helped slightly by the , which include £250 off the price and a free subscription to Disney+ …but these promotions aren’t around for much longer.

Clearly, we do still have a few niggles. That said, there’s nothing else quite like the Galaxy Z Flip range (baffling considering Samsung has just launched its fourth iteration on the design) and this latest upgrade is definitely one to consider if you want to stand out from the crowd …or have small pockets.

Galaxy Z Flip4: Full Review

This new Flip4 foldable is now faster, more robust and will take better pictures via the dual-lens camera plus there’s improved wireless charging and more functionality from the mini Cover Display on the case.

The big question is… is it really worth £1,000 of your hard-earned cash? Express.co.uk has been putting it through its paces and here’s our full review.

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4 includes a small Cover Screen (Image: SAMSUNG)

Design and Display

The new Z Flip4 looks almost identical to last year’s Flip3 but that’s no bad thing. You still get the two-tone coloured case that’s covered in tough Gorilla Glass Victus. There’s also the mini Cover Screen on the front which is now improved with more widgets and useful glances at your notifications – you can even make calls, reply to texts and control your home’s smart devices without ever opening the phone.

A slimmer hinge makes things look neater and it’s launching in some new colours including Bora Purple, Pink Gold and Blue – plus there’s the option to design your own style via the Bespoke Edition service.

Samsung is promising that the durability has been improved slightly this year which should mean it survives years of being stuffed in your pocket. We’ve been using our review device for a couple of weeks and it certainly seems to be made of pretty sturdy stuff and, so far, our device still looks box fresh despite heavy usage.

These are all nice updates but it’s not a major overhaul and it’s pretty hard to tell old from new.

So that’s the design but what about that flexible display?

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

The phone flips open to reveal a 6.7-inch screen (Image: SAMSUNG)

Throw open the screen and you’ll be treated to an expansive 6.7-inch screen with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. That means you get a silky smooth experience without it taking a massive dent out of the battery.

Like all Samsung displays the Z Flip4 looks sublime with blacks appearing rich and colours looking vibrant. The fact this stunning screen folds neatly in half still blows our mind and there’s no question that this technology is incredibly clever.

However, we have to be careful about getting too carried away with this gimmick as we do have one huge niggle with the Flip4. Samsung still hasn’t managed to iron out the horrible crease that sits slap bang in the middle of the screen. Watch Netflix in a dark room and you won’t notice it but start getting a daylight reflection on the display and it stands out like a very sore thumb.

This is also a very tall panel which makes it hard to use one-handed and also looks a bit odd when watching movies as the action doesn’t fill the whole area.

It’s not perfect but we’re still bamboozled by how Samsung creates these foldable screens and there’s no denying that the Flip’s unique design is way more exciting than all of its rivals.

Battery Life and Charging

There’s some good news about the battery tucked inside the Z Flip4 as it’s not only bigger than the Flip3 (up from 3,300 to 3,700mAh) but can be charged more quickly. That combined with the efficiency of the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset ensures you get a decent amount of time between charges.

We’ve easily managed to get through a day without going near a plug and our video tests have also been impressive with two hours of streaming on YouTube sucking just 15 percent out of the battery.

That quicker refilling means it’s able to go from flat to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. Of course, you will need to buy a powerful plug to use this feature as, like all new Samsung phones, the Flip4 only ships with a USB-C lead and no charger in the box.

One final thing to note about this device is that, just like the Flip3, it’s fully compatible with wireless charging so you can pop it on any Qi pad for a hassle-free top-up.

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review (Image: SAMSUNG)

Power and Processor

Tucked under the glass and metal case of the Galaxy Z Flip4 is the cutting-edge new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 system-on-a-chip, which offers supreme performance whilst also being incredibly efficient.

Qualcomm’s latest processor brings big gains over the older Snapdragon 888, which can be found inside last year’s Galaxy Z Flip 3, and makes switching between apps, running resource-intensive games, and multitasking feels much more fluid. In fact, this new brain is around four times faster than Qualcomm’s older chipset and can also handle much more intensive graphics all without hurting battery life.

It’s a great update from Samsung and means the Flip4 really is future-proofed for years of Android updates.

The Camera

Along with the new Qualcomm brains, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 also gets some big improvements to the dual-lens rear camera with this phone now able to shoot much brighter images especially when the sun goes.

The two 12MP cameras, which include the main lens and ultra-wide option, also get enhanced Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) for shake-free photos and smoother video capture. OIS also promises to improve night photography, when the shutter is open for much longer and any wobble can result in a blurry image.

There are some other clever features including the option to automatically keep everyone in the frame when shooting hands-free selfie videos – something also made possible thanks to the clever design which allows the phone to stand up on its own.

We’re still fully testing the Z Flip 4 camera and will update this review in the coming days but here are some early test shots taken on the phone.

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: Camera sample (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: Camera sample (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: Camera sample (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

There are plenty of nice extras on the Z Flip4 including a fast side-mounted fingerprint scanner, loud speakers and full access to speedy 5G network technology which allows you to whizz movies and files to the device at speeds in excess of 300Mbps.

The new hinge, which has been redesigned from the ground up, allows you to open this phone like a laptop, so that it can be propped up for the perfect selfie or so the handset can stand on its own when you’re watching a YouTube video. It works really well and stiffness in the hinge means it can be moved to any position that takes your fancy.

Sadly, there’s no microSD card slot and we’d probably have preferred the fingerprint reader to be tucked under the screen but these are small niggles on what is otherwise a feature-packed phone.

Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

s small eThe design means the phone enough to fit in a tiny bag (Image: SAMSUNG)

The Price

The Galaxy Z Flip4 is certainly not a bargain. Prices start from £999 for the 128GB model and rise to £1,199 for the version with 512GB of storage. As we mentioned earlier, there’s no microSD slot so it’s vital you choose the model carefully before hitting the buy button.

To ease the pain, Samsung is offering some generous trade-in deals when you hand over your old phone and there’s a year of Disney+ for anyone who buys the Flip 4 before August 25.

It is worth noting that the Z Flip3 is now £100 less than the Flip4 and expect some even better deals on this older device when its newer sibling hits shelves this Friday.

Samsung Galaxy Flip 4 review

Samsung Galaxy Flip 4 review (Image: SAMSUNG)

Galaxy Z Flip4: Final Verdict

This new phone from Samsung is flippin’ brilliant. Even years after we first got our hands on this cutting-edge flip phone, the foldable design still dazzles – and looks completely different to every other smartphone on store shelves.

Galaxy Flip 4 review – at a glance

What We Loved

  • Ludicrously Clever Folding Design
  • Blisteringly Fast Qualcomm Processor
  • Bigger Battery
  • Faster Charging Speeds 
  • New Hinge Feels Strong
  • Better Cameras Than Flip 3

What We Didn’t

  • That Horrible Crease In The Screen
  • No Expandable Storage
  • Very Expensive

Thanks to the upgrades in the Galaxy Z Flip 4, this foldable is now supremely powerful and more robust than ever. For those who are worried they’ll have to sacrifice some processing power for the foldable form-factor, that’s no longer the case. As such, Galaxy Z Flip 4 should enjoy Android updates for years to come.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 also enjoys an improved dual-lens camera for stunning ultra-wide and Portrait Mode shots, longer battery life, faster charging, and a more useful Cover Screen.

Upgrades to the hinge make it feel more refined and it still turns heads when you pull it from your pocket and throw open that expansive 120Hz screen. Being able to watch boxsets on Netflix and Sky Go or enjoy the latest mobile games on that stunning 6.7-inch screen – without straining your pocket with an enormous handset like the still feels revolutionary.

There’s so much to like to about this foldable, but it’s not faultless. While prices have dropped since Samsung unveiled its first foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is still very expensive and that crease in the middle of the screen still drives us mad each time our fingertip runs over it (which is a lot).

Are we completely smitten with the Galaxy Fip 4? Absolutely! Would we spend £999 on one? Erm, that’s open for debate…

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