Samsung unveils Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 folding phones | life & knowledge

Samsung is doing everything it can to make smartphones with foldable screens a success. On Wednesday, the Koreans introduced a new generation of their folding phone models, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

This year, Samsung wants to sell around 500,000 mobile phones with flexible displays in Germany alone. It would be a big leap after only 180,000 such models were sold in this country last year. The smartphone market leader has been trying to establish the product category practically single-handedly since 2019, but is now supported by companies such as Microsoft and the Facebook group Meta.

The software giants have adapted a whole range of their apps to the technical possibilities of folding cell phones. This should ensure that the folding cell phones are finally really worthwhile.

The Flip 4 (front) is the third generation of this type of folding phone, the Fold 4 is already the fourth generation

Photo: Christian Spreitz

Mobile phones to clap and fold

Nothing has changed in the principle of the two folding cell phones: the Fold and the Flip are folded and carried around with you, and a number of functions can be controlled on a screen on the outside of the devices. When you open the cell phone, a larger screen unfolds that was previously hidden between the two halves of the device.

When folded, Fold 4 (left) and Flip 4 can be operated via screens on the outside

When folded, Fold 4 (left) and Flip 4 can be operated via screens on the outside

Photo: Christian Spreitz

► The Flip 4 is reminiscent of a classic clamshell phone that, when folded, fits comfortably in your pocket. If you open it, a 6.7-inch (approx. 17 cm) touchscreen opens.

► The Fold 4 has a 6.2-inch screen on the outside, making it look like a regular smartphone. If you open it, a larger touchscreen opens, which is similar to a small tablet at 7.6 inches (approx. 19 cm).

The hinges used to fold the phones have been further optimized

The hinges used to fold the phones have been further optimized

Photo: Christian Spreitz

The Fold 4 (left, here in beige) and the Flip 4 (here in Bora Purple) are each available in four colors

The Fold 4 (left, here in beige) and the Flip 4 (here in Bora Purple) are each available in four colors

Photo: Christian Spreitz

When folded, Fold 4 (right) and Flip 4 are about

When folded, the Fold 4 (right) and Flip 4 are about 1.6 and 1.7 centimeters thick, respectively

Photo: Christian Spreitz

What’s new in the Flip 4?

A number of technical improvements can be found in the details: More functions than before can be operated on the small outer screen (1.9 inches or approx. 5 cm) of the Flip 4, including the settings for WLAN, Bluetooth or flight mode. Calls can be started directly from the outside screen via widgets and smart home devices can also be controlled from here.

Various widgets can be used on the small screen of the Flip 4

Various widgets can be used on the small screen of the Flip 4

Photo: Christian Spreitz

The front camera of the Flip 4 still shoots with 10 megapixels, the rear camera with 12 megapixels, both wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle. However, the sensors of the cameras should be able to capture 65 percent more light. Video recordings should also be possible even at night with more brightness and less shaking.

When filming videos, the Flip 4 can be folded halfway so that it resembles a camcorder

When filming videos, the Flip 4 can be folded halfway so that it resembles a camcorder

Photo: Christian Spreitz

In flex mode you can put the Flip 4 down and control it using buttons in the lower half

In flex mode you can put the Flip 4 down and control it using buttons in the lower half

Photo: Christian Spreitz

The foldable screen on the inside, the edges of which have become slightly narrower, can still be used in the so-called flex mode. The device is not fully opened, but set up like a mini notebook. Content such as videos is displayed in the top half of the screen, while controls are displayed on the bottom half.

Until now, only a few third-party apps supported Flex mode. Important apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Zoom or Google Meet are now being added. This should make the Flip 4 more attractive for many users.

If you take selfies with the Flip 4's main camera, you have to use the outer screen for control

If you take selfies with the Flip 4’s main camera, you have to use the outer screen for control

Photo: Christian Spreitz

While the Flip 4 (right) has a camera with two different lenses, the Fold 4 has three lenses

While the Flip 4 (right) has a camera with two different lenses, the Fold 4 has three lenses

Photo: Christian Spreitz

What’s new in the Fold 4?

As with the Flip 4, there are no radical technical changes with the Fold 4 either.

The main camera has undergone two changes: the wide-angle lens can now take pictures with a resolution of up to 50 megapixels (previously 12 MP), the zoom lens (3x optical, digital up to 30x) now has a resolution of 10 megapixels (previously 12 MP) . The ultra-wide-angle lens continues to photograph at 12 megapixels. The technical data of the fold camera are now the same as those in the Samsung Galaxy S 22.

The flexible screen of the Fold 4 measures 7.6 inches diagonally

The flexible screen of the Fold 4 measures 7.6 inches diagonally

Photo: Christian Spreitz

In the previous model Fold 3, Samsung installed a selfie camera (4 megapixels) under the display for the first time. According to Samsung, it should have been improved. In any case, the pixel structure above the camera is less conspicuous and can only be seen against a light background.

Like the Flip 4, the Fold 4 can be set up in a flex mode where content is shown on the top half of the screen while controls are on the bottom half. Frequently used apps such as Disney+ or Microsoft Teams have now been optimized for this mode.

Two apps (here YouTube and Chrome) can be conveniently used side by side on the Fold 4 screen

Two apps (here YouTube and Chrome) can be conveniently used side by side on the Fold 4 screen

Photo: Christian Spreitz

Apps can be started or changed via the new start menu at the bottom of the screen

Apps can be started or changed via the new start menu at the bottom of the screen

Photo: Christian Spreitz

And other third-party apps have also been adapted for working on the big screen, such as Microsoft Outlook or Facebook and Facebook Messenger. They can also be arranged side by side on a split screen.

To switch to this multitasking mode, all you have to do is drag and drop an app from the new start menu at the bottom of the screen onto an open app. It’s one of the new features of Google’s Android L operating system, which Samsung has pre-installed on one of its folding devices for the first time.

A selfie camera (4 megapixels) is hidden behind a pixel grid under the folding screen

A selfie camera (4 megapixels) is hidden behind a pixel grid under the folding screen

Photo: Christian Spreitz

When zooming with the Fold 4, you can display an additional overview on the left side of the screen to better target the subject

When zooming with the Fold 4, you can display an additional overview on the left side of the screen to better target the subject

Photo: Christian Spreitz

The Flip 4, on the other hand, ships with Android 12. Both new models are waterproof, have a fingerprint sensor on the side and work with the current Qualcomm processor Snapdragon 8+ Gen1. While the Flip 4 is available with either 128, 256 or 512 gigabytes of memory, you can buy the Fold 4 with 256, 512 or 1024 gigabytes. The Flip 4 costs from 1099 euros, the Fold 4 from 1799 euros.

BILD reporter Sven Stein (50) was able to take a look at the two folding cell phones

BILD reporter Sven Stein (50) was able to take a look at the two folding cell phones

Photo: Christian Spreitz

New watches, new headphones

In addition to the two folding smartphones, Samsung has introduced two smartwatches: the Galaxy Watch 5 (40 and 44 millimeters) and the Watch 5 Pro (45 millimeters). According to Samsung, they measure heart rate, blood oxygen content and stress level more precisely than the previous model and also have an improved sleep analysis. The watch should also be able to provide information on body fat and muscle mass.

The Pro version of the Watch 5 has a larger battery that should last up to 20 hours even with GPS tracking switched on. It offers special navigation functions for outdoor activities.

The two folding phones with the Galaxy Buds 2Pro, Galaxy Watch 5 (right, middle) and Watch 5 Pro (left)

The two folding phones with the Galaxy Buds 2Pro, Galaxy Watch 5 (right, middle) and Watch 5 Pro (left)

Photo: Christian Spreitz

The Galaxy Watch 5 costs from 299 euros (Bluetooth only) or 349 euros (with LTE), the Pro version from 469 euros (Bluetooth) or 519 euros (LTE).

Also new: the in-ear headphones Galaxy Buds2 Pro. According to Samsung, they are 15 percent smaller than their predecessors, offer improved active noise cancellation and automatically switch to a transparency mode when they detect a conversation. For the first time, you can play music with very high sound quality (24-bit sampling) from appropriate sources. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro cost 229 euros.

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