Samsung Updates its Foldables with Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4

Once again, Samsung is back in the fold with another foldable smartphone duo, unveiling the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 at its virtual Unpacked event.

Much like the company’s other launches in 2022, these two devices are following a similar path, which means iterative and modest upgrades. Samsung is sticking to a familiar design that saw both devices take a big leap forward last year, opting not to change things too much this time around. There are a few differences though, and one concerns the rear camera array.

Resemblance

Take away the colors, and you could mistake these phones for their predecessors, so close are the similarities. Although Samsung won’t admit it, it looks like it used the same chassis as the Fold 3 and Flip 3, but with a few cosmetic changes and mostly different guts inside. This extends to the IPX8 water resistance of the two devices initially received, now carried over to the latest models. The glass is thinner, but just as tough as before, with new shock absorbers underneath to keep it intact in case of accidental drops. A thinner and lighter hinge also makes the folding process easier.

Specifications do not undergo major revisions and most upgrades follow a predictable cycle. The new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor is found in both of these foldables, but memory and storage options are unchanged, with 128GB and 256GB variants for the Flip 4, and 256GB, 512GB and 1TB for the Fold 4. The Flip 4 will go with 8GB of RAM, while the Fold 4 sticks to 12GB, keeping things lined up for both regardless of storage capacity.

2022 Samsung Foldables

The Fold 4 and Flip 4 also retain the exact same displays, respectively. That means a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x on the front of the Fold 4, plus the 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x when you unfold the device inside. The Flip 4 has a 6.7-inch 2x Dynamic AMOLED, along with the 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display on the other side. All displays support 120Hz adaptive refresh rates for smoother browsing.

Battery life is always a point of contention with foldables like these, and while the Flip 4 increases in size, Samsung also claims better efficiency for both. Without testing, it’s hard to say how true this is, but if the new Snapdragon chipset can do its job, there’s a chance these two devices won’t sip as much juice as before.

Installing the S Pen

Samsung continues to push its own stylus to do more with the Fold 4 (it doesn’t work on the Flip 4), but you’ll have to pay extra to get it. Not just for the pen, but also for a case to hold it. And that’s assuming you opt for the S Pen Fold Edition, which is the smaller of the two compatible options. The S Pen Pro is larger and not as easy to store with the phone.

It was the same situation last year with the Fold 3, but this time the new styluses take advantage of the increased accuracy and speed of the S Pen released with the Galaxy S22 Ultra earlier in 2022. On a larger canvas like the Fold 4 when spread out, writing and drawing can feel a bit more natural because of it.

Cameras

The most obvious change is in the Fold 4 and its main camera. Samsung has opted for its 50-megapixel (23mm equivalent) Isocell GN5 image sensor, already equipped in the Galaxy S22+ and S22. By default, it takes a resolution of 12.5 megapixels, helped by the f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization to get better shots in low light conditions. The familiar sensor should provide clues as to what the output may look like, much like the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, which are carryovers from the Fold 3.

2022 Samsung Foldables

History is a carbon copy with the Flip 4, which recycles the entire camera array, front and rear, of its predecessor. Still no telephoto lens to work with, although the ultra-wide can be very handy for selfies with the cover screen acting as a preview to properly frame the shot. What role Samsung’s software might play in improving image quality has yet to be determined through testing. The company claims that larger Micron pixels and better processing will yield better results in night shooting.

It’s worth noting that both phones use the same selfie camera, a 10-megapixel (26mm equivalent). For the Fold 4, it’s the selfie camera inside when unfolding. A separate 4-megapixel selfie camera is integrated into the screen on the cover screen of the device.

Perhaps the real usefulness of these two devices lies in their respective hinges. Shooters can support them in a way that isn’t as easy to do with standard phones. Samsung hasn’t always mentioned it in previous launches, but seems to get the picture now (pun intended) and points to creative positioning and deployment as a plus for its foldable phones.

A price to pay

As you’d expect, none of the new devices will be cheap. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799 and will be available in Grey-Green, Moon Beige, and Phantom Black. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 starts at $999 and will be available in bora purple, graphite, rose gold, and blue. There will also be a bespoke edition only in 256 GB offering customization options.

These prices don’t continue the drop we saw with last year’s models, which initially started at $200 less than their own predecessors. Still, Samsung’s foldables are slowly but surely moving into price points in line with other midrange and flagships.

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