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Samsung unveils Galaxy Z Fold 4, first foldable to launch with Android 12L

The new foldable touts a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, improved multi-tasking features, Galaxy S22-level cameras, and Android 12L out of the box. The price of entry? $1,799.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor

Samsung today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 4, during its virtual Unpacked event. After selling nearly 10 million foldables in 2021, the Galaxy phone-maker is pushing its foldable revolution further, with quintessential improvements that make the latest Z Fold model the most refined one yet.

Same displays, better dimensions

On the hardware front, the new Z Fold 4 pairs an outer 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with an interior 7.6-inch panel. That's the same size as last year's Z Fold 3, with the same 120Hz adaptive refresh rate tech to dial between 120Hz and 48Hz. What's different this year is the brighter display output, according to Samsung, and wider (but shorter) dimensions throughout. 

Ergonomics, or lack thereof, has been a longstanding issue with phone-to-tablet foldables, and Samsung is tackling the problem head-on with the Z Fold 4. Compared to last year's 25:9 aspect ratio, the Z Fold 4's 23.1:9 scaling should feel more comfortable to use one-handed. Samsung has also cut down the weight of the new foldable by eight grams, putting its lighter 263g figure in line with current-gen large-screen phones. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 All Colors

From left to right: Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige.

June Wan/ZDNET

Near-Ultra camera array

For cameras, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is equipped with a triple-lens setup at the rear: a 50MP wide-angle, 12MP ultra-wide, and a 10MP telephoto. Folks who have considered Samsung's early-year devices like the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus will find this configuration familiar -- and that's because it's nearly the same. The only exception is that the Z Fold 4's ultra-wide has a 123-degree field of view, versus the S22's 120. The under-display selfie camera that Samsung introduced with the Z Fold 3 remains, though. The company says the new 4MP shooter is less noticeable when not in use. 

While the upgraded camera array is a significant step-up from last year's Z Fold 3, it remains a tier below Samsung's class-leading S22 Ultra. We'll have to see how picture and video quality fares in our full review.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 front camera
June Wan/ZDNET

Latest processor for the latest software

Another major change with this year's Z Fold 4 is the integration of Qualcomm's hot-off-the-press Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. The new chipset warrants across-the-board improvements to power efficiency and performance, which should be music to the ears of the foldable faithful who thrive on multi-tasking and demanding apps. 

The flagship processor should also come in handy for the Z Fold's numerous productivity features, including a new Flex Mode that supports trackpad-like gestures, quick app-accessing via Taskbar, and all the large-screen quirks of Android 12L. Yes, the Z Fold 4 will officially be the first foldable/tablet to ship with Google's Android 12L straight out of the box. 

More: Android 12L features coming to Samsung, Lenovo, and Microsoft devices

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Software
June Wan/ZDNET

Same battery, new expectations

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 retains the same 4,400mAh, dual-cell battery as its predecessor, which means depending on your experience with the Z Fold 3, that could be good news, bad news, or just ... news. Keep in mind that this year's model now has a more power-efficient Snapdragon chip at the helm. If existing Androids with the Snadragon 8+ Gen 1 are any indication of what we can expect from the Z Fold 4's battery life, then there are good times ahead.

To top up, the foldable can make 0% to 50% gains with a 30-minute charge via Samsung's 25W adapter. It's not the fastest charging on the market, but good enough for most people. 

Pricing and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799 for the 12GB RAM/256GB variant and is available for pre-order starting today, August 10. For colors, customers can choose between Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige, and Samsung's website exclusive, Burgundy. Storage tiers will go as high as 1TB. 

From now until August 25, Samsung will bundle a complimentary memory upgrade, doubling your storage configuration at no cost, a year's worth of Samsung Care+, up to $1,000 off in trade-in credit, a Standing Cover with Pen case, and $100 worth of Samsung store credit. It's quite a deal for early bird buyers.

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