/>
X
Innovation
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Three things I love about Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 (and two things I wish were better)

From a new software experience to an improved camera setup, there's a lot to like about the Z Fold 4.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer on
Z Fold 4 Taskbar
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a worthy successor to the Galaxy Z Fold 3. And while it's still an expensive entry into Samsung's high-end foldable experience, it's a multitasking powerhouse that's left to compete with itself. 

Review: The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a high-priced ticket to productivity heaven

I've been using the Z Fold 4 for the last couple of weeks, after using a Galaxy Z Fold 3 for the past year. There are some pretty big upgrades in the latest Fold, and some aspects of the Z Fold 4 that feel stagnant and are worth pointing out. 

Below, I'll walk through three of my favorite features of the Z Fold 4, and a couple of things that I wish Samsung would push the envelope forward with.

Review: The Galaxy Z Flip 4 solves these two big problems for me

z-fold-4-taskbar

Samsung Z Fold 4

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Android 12L's Taskbar

By far my favorite feature that's currently exclusive to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the fact that it runs Android 12 -- a tablet and foldable optimized version of Android -- which includes a new taskbar. The taskbar lives on the bottom of the Z Fold 4's main display and houses up to eight of your favorite apps for quick access at all times. 

The apps are available in the taskbar mirror of those that you put in the main app dock on your home screen. But instead of having to go back to your home screen to switch to an app, it's always there and waiting for you. 

I've found myself routinely using multiple apps on the Z Fold 4's main display because of the taskbar and its always-on availability. Opening multiple apps is easy now -- drag and drop an app's icon from the taskbar to the screen. That's it. 

On the Z Fold 3 I would randomly use multiple apps at the same time, but pinning the edge panel to the side of the screen wasn't as convenient or intuitive as the taskbar. 

Also: How to get the most out of the Galaxy Z Fold 4's new taskbar

The best way to say it is that the taskbar makes the Z Fold 4's main display feel more like a tablet that begs to be used as a multitasking tool. Prior to the taskbar, the Fold's larger screen felt, at times, like a really big phone display that was only sometimes used to do more than a single task at a time. 

z-fold-4-gboard
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Gboard is finally optimized for foldables

This isn't a feature that's specific to the Z Fold 4, but it's one I discovered while using Samsung's latest large-screen foldable. Google's keyboard, Gboard, finally has a split-screen option that greatly improves the overall typing experience on the Z Fold 4 — and my personal Z Fold 3. 

Samsung's keyboard comes preinstalled and activated on the Z Fold 4, but I've always hated typing on it because it feels like you're typing on very small keys, especially on the cover screen. Gboard, however, has always been my go-to Android keyboard because it feels more accurate, and it has larger individual keys. 

Also: The 7 best foldable phones

z-fold-4-cameras
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The cameras are a welcome upgrade

For a device that's priced at $1,800, it's always been a bit of a head-scratcher why Samsung hasn't included a better camera system on the Fold. 

Samsung has finally brought a high-end camera system to the Z Fold lineup with the three-camera setup on the Z Fold 4. Instead of three 12-megapixel shooters like the Z Fold 3 has, the Z Fold 4 has a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. It's a camera setup that's nearly identical to what's used in the Galaxy S22 Plus, but falls short of the S22 Ultra's camera setup. 

Review: The Galaxy S22 Plus

When testing the Z Fold 4, I had zero hesitations in taking photos with the foldable phone instead of reaching for my iPhone 13 Pro Max, which is what I've been doing for the last year while carrying the Z Fold 3. 

z-fold-4-crease
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Two things I don't like…

As cool as it is to have a smartphone with a foldable display, I do wish the technology was further along. It's a minor nitpick, but it's something I feel that's worth pointing out — the Z Fold 4's display still has a crease, and it doesn't fold flat when closed. 

To be clear, the crease in the Z Fold 4 is less visible than the Z Fold 3's, but it's still there. Writing on the screen with an S Pen, you still feel a dip when you go across the crease. 

Also: The 5 best stylus phones

As far as the phone folding closed and not being flat, well, that's still a thing. You can see there's a larger gap on the side nearest the hinge, while the opposite side is nearly touching and closed flat. 

z-fold-4-closed

Larger gap on the hinge, while closed flat on the other side.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Again, I admit I'm nitpicking here -- the Z Fold lineup is proof of Samsung's continued work and dedication to innovating foldable display tech in smartphones, but as the fourth generation Fold, I had hoped for at least one of these two complaints to be resolved. 

If you have the Z Fold 4 in your hands now, what are your favorite features? Or what do you not like about Samsung's $1,800 foldable? Let me know in the comments below.

Editorial standards

Related

Samsung's sweet foldable phone, Galaxy Z Fold 4, is $429 off
Write a description of product in one sentence.

Samsung's sweet foldable phone, Galaxy Z Fold 4, is $429 off

These are the best Samsung phones for every kind of user
20200206-samsung-reaction.jpg

These are the best Samsung phones for every kind of user

She wasn't sure about the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Verizon took care of that
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 phone

She wasn't sure about the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Verizon took care of that