Having used Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip3 for a year now, I’ve noticed its pickup rate in Malaysia isn’t great.
Confirming my observation was the Galaxy Unpacked event in August 2022. Samsung shared statistics that customers are interested in its foldables for their novelty. Yet, there’s still hesitation with forking out a minimum of RM4,000 for the clamshell phones.
One complaint Samsung highlighted was that customers are sceptical about the durability and functionality of the foldables. However, the brand has made notable improvements with each new model released.
Previously, I shared my first impressions of the Galaxy Z Flip4 in the ever-so-elegant Bora Purple. Having used the phone for more than a week now, here’s a more in-depth review of the phone and how it fares against the Z Flip3, which I’ve used for a year now.
Real durability improvements
Right off the bat, the Z Flip4 definitely feels sturdier with a good weight to it at 187g, perhaps due to its external shiny metal frame from its predecessor’s plastic one.
Unfolded, the Z Flip4 stands 165.2mm tall, making it 1.5mm shorter than its predecessor.
Its 6.7-inch, Dynamic AMOLED 2X interior Ultra Thin Glass display (the one that folds) also feels much thicker and less plasticky. The Z Flip3’s screen feels more like the latter, which makes me nervous to keep my nails a little too long for fear of scratching the screen.
I’m still waiting on JerryRigEverything to confirm my hypothesis that the Z Flip4’s screen will scratch at level four or five (the Z Flip3 scratches at a level two).
The scratch test done by JerryRigEverything uses the Moh’s Scale of Hardness which goes from levels one to ten. One is the softest material, being equivalent to Talc powder and ten, the hardest, being as hard as a diamond. In general, glass screens scratch around level six.
Speaking of the interior screen, the dent where the hardware folds is much shallower, making it less of a bother when scrolling through social media, playing games, and watching videos.
Although, you’d think that with an improvement to the device’s hinge, Samsung would’ve made the gap when the phone folds a little smaller. It’s still present, and as obvious as it was on its predecessor.
The Z Flip4 carries over its IPX8 water resistance rating which is supposed to withstand 1.5 metres of water for up to 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, the device still lacks dust resistance. But from experience, dust isn’t as damaging to the interior screen as I thought anyway.
Overall, the Z Flip4’s sturdiness is also helped by the tighter feel of its hinges when folding it open and closed.
More functionality leveraging its foldability
Using my Z Flip3, there were some areas where I felt that the functionality of having a phone that flips could do much more. I mean, you’re essentially getting two screens in one phone, might as well make the most of it, right?
It seems that Samsung is addressing these requests for the Z Flip4.
For one, there are now more functions added to the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus cover screen. Samsung has expanded its cover screen options, along with more themes and clock designs to choose from.
Previously, the cover screen on the Z Flip3 remained limited. While the phone is folded, you can check the time and notifications, set a 10-minute timer, and start a voice recording. However, these conveniences came off rather surface-level.
Some new additions include “quick reply” options for texts, toggling quick settings (e.g. turning on and off your torch light, WiFi, and Bluetooth), and speed dialling three of your favourite contacts, all without flipping your phone open.
The cover display’s Quick Shot function still remains, where you can take a quick selfie using the phone’s main cameras by clicking the lock button twice. Furthermore, Quick Shot now allows you to switch between the portrait or normal mode to snap the photo.
Meanwhile, Samsung has added Flex Mode for apps to the Z Flip4, a productivity feature only available to the Z Fold models prior.
Flex Mode is essentially a split screen mode where apps will reorient themselves to fit two halves of the screen when you fold the phone.
For example, when I bend the screen to sit on the table, Flex Mode will pop up and allow me to use the bottom half of the screen to text while the top is playing a video from YouTube.
Slight boost to the cameras and battery
The Z Flip4 carries the same camera specs as its predecessor with a 12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP selfie camera. But the upgrade appears to lie in its post-image processing where the photos taken with the Z Flip4 definitely come out with more depth and vibrancy.
However, some shots may come out looking a little too overcorrected sometimes.
In terms of battery life, there is a small upgrade from 3,300mAh on the Z Flip3, to 3,700mAh on the Z Flip4.
It’s admittedly a small upgrade, but it does make a difference while in use.
I’ve now been able to benefit from the phone’s 120Hz screen refresh rate. This was something I had to forgo on its predecessor if I wanted its battery to last me a full day of regular use, which involves picture taking, social media scrolling, and texting.
Tech reviewers believe the battery efficiency on the Z Flip4 has something to do with its upgraded 4nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor and updated Android 12 OS.
There’s no question that Samsung made some notable improvements to the Z Flip4. Some might call them incremental ones, but they are steps worth commending.
Perhaps I’m biased because of how much I’ve been a fan of the Galaxy Z Flip models. Is the RM4,099 price tag for the Z Flip4’s lowest-spec variant, 8GB RAM with 128GB internal storage, worth the purchase?
Maybe for those who’ve been eyeing the Z Flip3 for a while, as the Z Flip4 offers slightly better specs around the same price point (at the time of the Z Flip3’s initial release).
|Improved durability of its interior screen, cover, and hinge||Camera specs are the same as its predecessor|
|More functionality with Flex Mode, cover, and screen options||There’s still a noticeable dent and gap where the phone folds|
|Better image processing for pictures|
|More efficient battery to accommodate the phone’s specs|
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.