Samsung’s foldable phones are getting an update.
The Z Flip4 and Fold4 were announced Wednesday by the South Korean electronics giant.
They both feature a redesigned hinge which looks smaller, and the gadgets have better processors.
“I think this is a strong line up from Samsung in terms of its two foldable phones. I also think it’s an iterative line up and I think that’s kind of inevitable,” says Dominic Preston, Deputy Editor, Tech Advisor.
“You always see these two-year cycles and last year saw Samsung really reinvent both of them in a big way. The Flip got a whole new design last year. The Fold got the addition of S-Pen support and the under-display camera and other tweaks like that. This year is a smaller step forward. I don’t think anyone who owns last year’s model should really be rushing for an upgrade.”
The Fold4 folds vertically in a book-like format, transforming into a tablet once open.
The flexible display keeps the same diagonal — 7.6 inches — but changes in aspect ratio for a wider, more square-like surface.
The Fold4 will be the first smartphone to use Android 12L, a modified version of Android 12, taking advantage of larger screens, and adding a task bar at the bottom of the screen.
It’s a simple new feature which should enhance multi-tasking, according to Samsung.
And the flagship foldable phone is also getting a camera makeover.
Once lagging behind the competition with poorer quality lenses, the Fold4 is finally catching up, according to Preston.
“Samsung has taken a refreshingly simple approach to upgrading its rear camera, which is just to basically take the camera from its Galaxy S22 phone and put it in this one, which makes sense. It was a good camera in the S22 and the S22+. It’s almost the exact same camera setup as those phones. You’re getting a main, an ultra-wide and a three times telephoto zoom,” he says.
The Fold4 now houses a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 50MP wide angle lens and a 10MP telephoto lens — equivalent to a 3x zoom.
The younger sibling of the Fold4, the Z Flip4, still folds horizontally in a clamshell way.
This feature allows users to take selfies hands-free, as the phone can stand on its own, and the camera can be triggered by hand gestures.
The Flip4 also has a bigger battery — 3,700mAh, compared to the Z Flip3’s 3,300mAh — which combined with improved energy efficiency, add up to three hours of battery life, according to the manufacturer.
And another welcome improvement is on the outside, where the screen folds.
“The design hasn’t changed a whole lot. They’ve redeveloped the hinge, which makes it a bit smaller from the outside and also makes the crease on the middle of the screen just a bit less tactile. You don’t notice it as much when you’re scrolling, which matters for the Flip because you’re swiping over that line all day, every day. So you do notice that a lot, and making that a little subtler is definitely a benefit,” says Preston.
Finally, Samsung has unveiled its latest generation of smartwatches, the Watch5 and Watch5 Pro.
But just like the foldable phones, the smartwatches are not getting a major upgrade.
“Certainly if you look at the Galaxy Watch5 regular model and compare it to the Galaxy Watch4, you won’t see radical changes in terms of the design, in terms of the feature set. Samsung is talking about things like better battery life, more durable materials and more scratch-resistant display, more accurate tracking. But it’s doing the same kind of tracking it was doing before, which is all the usual fitness stuff sleep tracking, blood oxygen levels,” says Preston.
The Watch5 will come in 40mm and 44mm sizes, while the Watch 5 Pro will be available in just the 45mm size.
The Fold4 and Z Flip4 will respectively retail from $1,209 and $1,996.
The Watch5 and Watch5 Pro will sell from $362 and $568.