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  • Bryan Tan

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Review: Chasing Productivity!

Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? No, it's both! The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 is the latest refresh of their premium foldable with a slightly improved display and refreshed internals but unless you're out to maximise productivity with your phone, you'll probably want to give this supersized device a miss.

Let's talk design, there are not a lot of visual differences as compared to the Fold3, the display and sides are much flatter now with glossy sides and matte textured back, this design direction makes it more consistent with the Z Flip4. In terms of physical dimensions, although the Fold4 is almost identical to its predecessor, it's lighter now at a good 263g, to be honest though, it isn't that much of a difference coming from a Fold3 and it's still a heck of a heavy boy but hey, that's the price of having a tablet that can fit into your pocket.

Similar to the Flip4, it's also IPX8 water resistant and sports the same armour aluminium frame that allows it to withstand tougher drops, with Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the front and back for resisting scratches.

On the inside, the glass houses a 7.6-inch, 1812 by 2176 pixel display along with a 6.2-inch, 904 by 2316 display on the cover. Both displays are AMOLED based with a variable refresh rate of up to 120hz. The bezels are now slightly thinner on the Fold4, although it won't amount to much in terms of real-world use, it does look much better.

The crease is pretty much only unnoticeable at very specific angles so don't set your expectation too high on that as well. Along with that, the inner selfie camera is now under-display, also not the most well hidden but it will only improve from here on out.

For content consumption, using the inner display will subject you to a good amount of letterboxing due to its square-ish aspect ratio. You may use the outer display as well but you're not helping yourself much as it is smaller than most smartphones. You can also fold it halfway and use it like a laptop with one half playing your content and the other for browsing your socials.

Nothing to "sound" out about its stereo speakers, it's adequate with distinct highs, lows and mids but definitely could improve in the separations, especially at higher volumes.

Multi-tasking is where it's at for the Fold4. On the surface, what seems like your usual One UI is now modified to have a taskbar at the bottom for quick opening of apps in split screen mode or picture-in-picture. Its upgraded Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SOC with 12GB RAM will allow it to even run two games simultaneously on a split-screen if you are into that.

Benchmark numbers are right where it's at for the updated SOC with no apparent throttling of performance in games even over sustained hour-long sessions. Due to the folding design, heat is mostly distributed to the camera side but most users will probably be holding the tablet around the middle section anyways so it won't be a major issue unless you are playing your games with the outer display where it will get toasty but not unbearable.

On a side note, not all games will be able to seamlessly transition between the displays when opening or closing the Fold so a reboot will usually be required. Similar to the Flip 4, if you can't find your games anywhere after installing it, it's automatically kept within the Game Launcher.

Like the Fold3, the Fold4 retains a triple camera setup with 50MP f/1.8 Main, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto and a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, along with two selfie cameras on the outer and inner display. Performance is similar to any other premium Samsung phone with processing done to the images to give them sharpness, contrast and saturation. It also shoots video at up to 8K 24fps for those that need it.

With the outer display present, you can also use the outer screen preview to take selfies with your main cameras, although it's going to be pretty tough trying to reach that shutter button with accidental touches to the inner display.

Last but not least, with a 4400mAh battery, it's at the same capacity as the Z Fold3. Battery life isn't the best per se but it will barely get you through the day with general phone usage. If you're multitasking all the time like it's your laptop, 4 to 5 hours is pretty much all you'll get before needing to charge, either with 25W fast charging or 15W wireless.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 starts at S$2,398 or RM6,799 for 256GB and goes up to S$2,938 or RM8,299 for the 1TB version. All models come with 12GB RAM and are available in Grey-green, Phantom Black and Beige.

While the sales number Samsung claimed for its foldable units did come initially as a surprise, you do kinda understand why people would want to pull the trigger for the Z Fold despite its hefty price tag, its phone-tablet hybrid provides a high utility for working-class people of any industry and it's premium look will turn heads and start conversations. But in actuality, when's the last time you saw someone rocking a Z Fold? Let us know!

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