It claims that the Z Flip4 takes better quality photos in low light thanks to an improved Wide Camera. There are also more third-party apps optimised for Flex mode, and more ways to use multiple windows on one screen.
As a long-time user of the Z Flip3, here are the upgrades to the Z Flip4 that I feel actually improved my user experience of the foldable phone series, after a month of usage.
1. Its improved battery life means I don’t have to keep carrying a power bank around
- Having a power bank on hand;
- Keeping it on power-saving mode, which means being a commoner by sticking to a 60Hz refresh rate.
On the other hand, the Z Flip4 comes with a 3,700mAh power capacity, and the slight boost is actually noticeable.
Of course, the upgrade comes off as incremental when looking at the numbers alone. Throughout my month-long usage so far though, I’ve been able to enjoy the 120Hz screen refresh rate for a full day before the phone needs to be charged back up.
This involves me using the phone for my regular tasks, which means plenty of picture-taking, social media scrolling, texting, Samsung Pay-ing, and playing light puzzle games.
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 too. Similarly, the software might be behind the improvements on my next point too.
2. Despite similar camera specs to its predecessor, the processor actually makes significant photography differences
If you were to compare the specs at a glance, both the Z Flip3 and Z Flip4 come with the same 12MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP selfie camera.
However, looking at the side-by-side comparison of pictures taken, the Z Flip4 is able to produce more vibrant photos with better depth and colours.
Perhaps it’s the improved post-image processing AI doing the work via its updated, faster processor?
Samsung also said that it introduced Nightography to the Z Flip4, but in the settings, it looks like your regular Night Mode, unless I’m missing something. Though I rarely take photos in dimmer lighting situations, I noticed that the Z Flip4 does have better night photography than its predecessor, at least.
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.
3. A cover screen that finally lets you do more without having to unlock your phone
Previously, the cover screen on the Z Flip3 remained limited. You could check the time and your notifications, set a 10-minute timer, and start a voice recording, but these were surface-level conveniences.
You could also use Samsung Pay through the cover screen, but I’ve had trouble with using it reliably this way.
Samsung has now expanded its cover screen functions on the Z Flip4, along with more themes and clock designs (these are customisable too).
Some new additions include “quick reply” options for texts, the ability to switch on and off your flashlight, WiFi, and Bluetooth, and speed dialling three of your favourite contacts, all without flipping your phone open.
One thoughtful feature worth commending is that before you actually make the call via speed dial, the Z Flip4 instructs you to “confirm” this action by scanning your fingerprint on the lock button.
This works the same with the flashlight as well, where the phone actually informs you to turn the flash away from your eyes, for safety.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the cover screen and how Samsung has made very sensible choices on the functions featured on the 1.8-inch mini preview screen on the foldable.
4. Its sturdier build makes it feel less fragile (and it’s prettier too)
Holding the Z Flip3 and Z Flip4 in both hands, the Z Flip4 definitely feels sturdier with a better weight to it at 187g. This may be due to the Z Flip4’s external shiny metal frame, in contrast to its predecessor’s plastic one.
The rear cameras that sit on the Z Flip4’s cover screen now have a higher bump as well, thanks to the metal frame protecting the lenses.
Its 6.7-inch, Dynamic AMOLED 2X interior Ultra Thin Glass display also feels less plasticky, compared to the Z Flip3’s.
However, the screen can still be scratched if you press down too hard on it with your fingernails. This was proven by JerryRigsEverything, who debunked my initial suspicion that the interior screen may be made with a thicker material.
In terms of the phone’s hinge, there is a tighter feel to it when folding it open and close, making it less flimsy. Only time will tell if the hinges will loosen up over repeated use, but that’s a problem for future me to face.
5. Flex Mode has been added, with more compatible apps too
Flex Mode has been added to the Z Flip4, a productivity feature only available to the Z Fold models prior.
Samsung has upgraded this feature too by including more third-party apps that will reorient themselves to fit two halves of the screen nicely when you fold the phone.
Flex Mode can be activated when your phone is folded and in an upright position. The app you’re using will appear at the top of the screen, and a panel with additional controls will appear at the bottom of your screen.
Admittedly, I’m not a frequent user of Flex Mode. But it is a sensible feature that will be appreciated by those who rely on their phones for productivity.
With an RM4,099 price tag for the Z Flip4’s lowest-spec variant, 8GB RAM with 128GB internal storage, the cost is still a steep one.
But the upgrades made to the Galaxy Z Flip4 are a step in the right direction for this clamshell phone series. It shows that Samsung is open to feedback from user complaints to keep creating better phones with each new successor.
Therefore, it’s likely that the trend will only go up from here: better clamshell phones with every year, and lowered price tags to be more consumer-friendly.
- Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 here.
- Read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 here.
All image credits: Vulcan Post