Galaxy Z Flip 4: The foldable phone most will buy has a few issues you need to know

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After a string of high-res leaks and tons of rumours, the brand new Galaxy Z Flip 4 has now finally launched (alongside its bigger brother, the Fold 4). If this is the first Flip 4 story you come across, not much has changed from the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

As it stands, we’ll have to do some more testing before we’re ready to deliver our full review, but I think the biggest improvement from the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will be in battery life. That’s thanks to the more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 chipset and the slightly larger 3700 mAh cell (vs. 3300 mAh on the Flip 3). That may not seem like much, but it can help the Flip 4 get through a full day of use – something the Flip 3 struggled with.

The rest of the changes to the Flip 4 are minor refinements over the previous generation, but won’t necessarily change the experience of using the Flip. You can find more information in our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Hands-on Review.

What I want to focus on in this story are a few conflicting ideas like my opinion the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the foldable phone that makes more sense (compared to the Fold 4), but still doesn’t seem to be as good, and as compact and as affordable as it should be. Especially when compared to some flat phones on the market…

Let’s see…

Galaxy Z Flip 4: Is it as compact as you really need?

To make one thing clear, from a long-term perspective, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or clamshell foldable devices as a whole make more sense than the Fold 4 or foldable mini-tablets, which could eventually be replaced by something more practical like rollable phones.

Of course, we’re yet to see a roll-up phone ready for sale, but despite this, it feels like the Flip form factor is more likely to stick around, while the Fold may be a transitional product before we get anything better – whatever that something turns out to be. Such as punch-hole cameras and under-display cameras.

However, this does not mean that it the compact phone of your dreamsand you realize that when you put it next to an iPhone 13 mini, a phone designed to be light and compact for one-handed use always.

On the contrary, the primary focus of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 seems to be business. While it’s certainly one of the most pocketable phones, I’d say the overall volume is still more noticeable in your pocket compared to something like a mini iPhone or even the Asus Zenfone 9. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is in fact a larger version of a large flagship phone when unfolded, which goes against the idea of ​​​​the whole … compactness factor.

The Z Flip 4 (187g) is also significantly heavier compared to other compact phones such as the Asus Zenfone 9 (169g), Samsung’s own Galaxy S22 (167g), and especially the iPhone 13 mini (141g). In my experience switching from a Pixel 6 Pro to an iPhone 13 mini, I could say that wight plays a big role when it comes to portability, pocketability, and extended one-handed use.

The Galaxy Flip 4 is still too expensive for a phone with (almost) zero flagship features and a niche-like audience

Now, despite being much less impressive technically than the Fold, the Flip is by far the most popular foldable phone on the market when we look at it. sales figures, and make no mistake – price has a lot to do with that. Compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which starts at $1,800 in the US, the Flip 4 looks reasonably priced, at “just” $1,000. However, that is far from making it “affordable”.

If you remember, Samsung’s entire self-assigned mission with the Flip and Fold 3 series was to make them more accessible to the masses. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G (basically the Flip 2) launched for $1,400, while the Flip 3 dropped to $1,000.

This time around, both the Fold 4 and Flip 4 will become even more expensive in some markets outside the US, such as the UK, where Samsung’s new foldable devices will cost £50 more compared to their predecessors. Inflation could be to blame, although the price hike feels a bit unfair to UK buyers, given that US prices remain the same.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a flagship price, but no flagship features?

But the biggest concern with the Flip 4’s price seems to be that this seemingly niche-like device that’s only compact when it’s in your pocket is that phones like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro exist. or… will exist.

The Flip 4 won’t give you the best camera system on the market, the biggest battery, the fastest charging, the best screen, or the best… basically anything. And that’s a lot of sacrifice for a phone that just sits compactly in your pocket and still feels like a normal (large) phone when you use it unfolded.

Why not get the latest, greatest and most durable Samsung phone out there, which costs just as much right now? Or the best iPhone? Or the best Pixel? However, I have strong reservations when it comes to recommending Google phones that we haven’t tested extensively.

The sales figures of the Galaxy Z Flip are positive, but the Flip remains a difficult sale: can Samsung do something about it?

It was a few months ago when we first heard rumors about a more budget-oriented Galaxy phone that folds. That makes me wonder if Samsung should make the Flip a more affordable mid-range device to make it more attractive to the masses. Isn’t that the whole purpose of the Flip, at least from now on?

Doing so would also make it easier for Samsung to justify going for a Flip that costs… $700 over a Galaxy S23 Ultra, which will be much more expensive. For the record, Samsung is not expected to release a “budget foldable” until 2024-2025, at least according to rumors. That could be because making a foldable phone isn’t very cheap at first.

Maybe Samsung could make the Galaxy Z Flip A / Galaxy Z Flip Lite out of hard plastic instead of Gorilla Glass; use a mid-range Qualcomm chip and ditch some RAM to bring the Flip down to $700. This would make it much more appealing to the masses and maybe even show me from a different perspective, and not as a device that competes with the Pro and Ultra flagships.

For now, and for me, the big challenge in getting fully onboard with the flagship-priced and compact Galaxy Z Flip 4 is that it’s not quite a flagship phone, and it’s not quite as compact when unfolded. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an audience for it.

Ultimately, not everyone needs a set of flagship cameras, and perhaps many will like that unfolding the Flip gives you a decent-sized screen on which to enjoy content. I even know two people who have already asked me about the Flip 3 and who will definitely be interested in the new Flip 4 – my mother and aunt. So, despite my own reservations, the love for the Flip is real.

Speaking of pre-orders, you can pre-order the brand new Galaxy Z Flip 4 right now and enjoy a host of discounts, including incredible trade-in opportunities. Samsung has some of the best trade-in deals I’ve ever seen. I’ll give them that.

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