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Here's our verdict on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a divisive but capable device. It's powered by hi-tech internals and offers great performance, but is more expensive than it would be were it not a folding phone. That being the case, the whole thing hinges on the design, if you'll pardon the hinge pun. If you want a compact foldable phone with a sleek design and a versatile camera — and you have a fairly sizeable budget — then this is a fantastic smartphone. However if you're looking for the absolute best in terms of performance at a similarly premium price-point, then you'd be better off paying the extra £100 or so and getting the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Want a phone that stands out from the crowd and offers high-performing internals? Samsung reckons its new Z Flip 4 is ideal for users who want to express themselves with their phone choice. Now, the RadioTimes.com team has been hands-on with the phone to put it through its paces and figure out if it's worth your money.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Series offers Samung's most innovative folding technology. In the case of the Flip, this allows for a remarkably compact form-factor when folded closed, as well as promoting some interesting camera features. It's packed with high performing tech too, but all this comes at a price — a pretty hefty price, too — which starts at £999. Be sure to check out the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Carphone Warehouse deals too.
So, is the Flip 4 a gimmick, or is it genuinely innovative? Let's dive in and find out.
Alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, this is one of Samsung's latest foldables. As ever, it's packed with good internals and useful features, as we've come to expect from Samsung.
The design is a little divisive and won't please everyone, but it's sleek too and ideal for those who want a more compact handset.
It's also got an interesting array of camera modes and uses, which flex even further thanks to that foldable display.
The Z Flip 4 is one of Samsung's latest pair of foldables, having released alongside the Samsung Galazy Z Fold 4.
Both are innovative, powerful and expensive. We've put the Flip through its paces to see if it's worth your cash.
One of the drawbacks of the Z Flip 4 is that it's quite expensive, starting at £999 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
It's £1,059 for the 256GB of storage version and £1,199 for the 512GB handset. They all have the same 8GB of RAM.
The 'bespoke edition' is more customisable, but only comes in the £1,099 configuration.
As you'd expect of a phone in this price bracket, the Flip 4 is feature-rich.
It's got IPX8 water resistance, a 120Hz folding AMOLED display, the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and much more.
It's got fingerprint and face recognition for security too, and these largely work smoothly and reliably. Though once the phone offered only the words "no face detected" on an attempted opening. Our writer tried not to take too much personal offence.
All joking aside, the Z Flip 4 really has a lot to offer. The design is slightly divisive, but in terms of internals and features, it's a very strong offering. That said, you can get even better in the S22 Ultra. Check out our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review for more info on that handset.
As a side note, Samsung seems to have acknowledged some user irritation around bloatware. During set-up, we were given the option to 'review additional apps' as a final part of the process. This gave the option to untick unnecessary apps like Samsung Internet Browser and Samsung TV Plus, which most users will likely already have preferred alternatives in mind for. One or two bloatware apps still snuck onto the device though — for example, Samsung Free, which seemed determined to offer us podcasts in languages we don't speak. However, this is a minor gripe and overall the setup experience with the Flip was smooth and easy, even though we transferred data from a non-Samsung Android phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers two displays. The classic 6.7-inch inner display and a small 'cover display' which offers notifications and background app updates.
Samsung claims the outer display is positive from a wellness point of view, in that it cuts down your screen time by allowing you to quickly check messages, the time or background apps without diving headlong into the device's full function set — and likely getting distracted by social media, or similar.
Certainly, it has its uses and offers a level of handiness for pausing and playing music and similar tasks.
As regards the main display, it's a nice 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED panel. The only complaint really is that the crease in the middle is fairly noticeable. Whether or not this irritates you is very much a personal reaction. During our tests, we didn't mind the crease. But I've spoken to other users and testers who found it drove them to distraction at times.
The battery capacity is improved from the Z Flip 3, up from 3300mAh to 3700mAh.
Fast charging is also improved. From 15W to 25W, which Samsung claims can charge 50 per cent in just 30 minutes.
However, as per Samsung's new tradition, there is no fast charger in the box, just a cable. On the one hand, this is more environmental, but on the other, you'll have to shell out more if you want fast-charging facilities.
Ultimately, thanks to its compact size, the Z Flip 4 has to compromise a little on battery size and hence battery life. It's not its strongest asset.
When it comes to firepower, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4's camera arsenal isn't going to astound anyone. There are two 12MP sensors on the back and a 10MP selfie camera, but don't count out the Flip 4 just yet.
What backs up those cameras is Samsung's ever-impressive image processing facilities, meaning it's easy to take fantastic, colourful, well-lit shots.
Plus there are plenty of intuitive, fun and unusual ways to use the camera, thanks to the folding screen. Partially fold the phone while using the camera and one half will essentially become a second display, showing you the shots you've just taken, allowing you to edit and discard shots, or informing your next shooting choice. Likewise, you can hold the phone sideways and shoot 4K video with it in a camcorder-esque style, or lay it on the ground partially folded, for a low-angle shot.
In terms of shooting quality, the phone really can't best its big non-folding brother, the S22 Ultra, but photos look nice, crisp and colourful.
Say what you like about the design. Divisive as it may be, it is sleek. The action of closing the phone shut — sometimes accompanied by a small sound — is satisfying and you're left with a wonderfully tactile little block. Slip it into your pocket and you'll barely know it's there, especially when compared to the in-fashion 6.7-inch flagship displays on offer everywhere else.
So, if you've been dying to find a more compact phone to carry on your person, the Flip 4 could be the answer, but it's worth remembering the Google Pixel 6a if size is a key criteria for you. At less than half the price it delivers a fantastic Android experience in a small and tactile package, albeit a less premium one. Check out our Google Pixel 6a review for more info.
Samsung says the hinge and bezels are slimmer and they are, slightly. It's not an earth-shattering re-design, but a re-development of a phone that already looked and felt pretty good.
In terms of internals, power and performance, the Flip offers less than Samsung's £1,149 S22 Ultra, but capably competes with the standard S22 and S22 Plus. Really, the difference-maker is its design and those who choose it will likely do so on that basis.
In terms of that design, the Flip is an acquired taste. Realistically the hinge and folding screen still add more in cost than they do in practicality, because they are still relatively new and innovative technologies. All the same, that doesn't stop the phone from being very good indeed.
So, if you've got a little room in your phone budget and you want something that's both capable and compact, then the Z Flip 4 is a great option.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available from a wide range of UK retailers right now, starting at £999.
Samsung is also offering 12 months of Disney Plus for those who buy before 30th September, or £250 off when you trade in any smartphone until 31st October.