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

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Galaxy Z Flip 4: The foldable phone that most will buy has a few problems you need to know about
After a series of high-res leaks and tons of rumors, the brand new Galaxy Z Flip 4 has finally launched now (alongside its bigger brother, the Fold 4). In case this is the first story about the Flip 4 that you've come across, not much has changed compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

As it stands, we still need to do some more testing before we're ready to deliver our full review, but my guess would be that the biggest improvement to the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will be in the area of battery life. That'd be thanks to the more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 chipset and the slightly bigger 3700mah cell (vs 3300mah on the Flip 3). That might not seem like much, but it might help the Flip 4 get to you through a full day of use - something that the Flip 3 struggled to do.

The rest of the changes to the Flip 4 are small refinements over the previous generation but won't necessarily make the experience of using the Flip any different. You can find out more in our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Hands-on Review.

What I'd like to focus on in this story are a few conflicting ideas such as my opinion that 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 of a value, and as compact and as affordable as it's supposed to be. Especially when compared to some slab phones on the market...

Let's take a look…

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

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

Sure, we’re yet to see a rollable phone that’s ready for sale, but despite that, it feels to me like the Flip form-factor is more likely to stick around, while the Fold might be a transitional product before we get something better - whatever that something turns out to be. Like punch-hole cameras and under-display cameras.

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However, this doesn't mean that it's the compact phone of your dreams, and you realize that when you put it next to an iPhone 13 mini, which is a phone that's designed to be light, compact, and used with one hand at all times.

On the contrary, the Galaxy Z Flip 4's primary focus seems to be pocketability. While it's certainly one of the most pocketable phones around, I'd argue its overall volume would still be more noticeable when in your pocket compared to something like a mini iPhone or even the Asus Zenfone 9. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is basically a taller version of a big flagship phone when it's 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 like the Asus Zenfone 9 (169g), Samsung's own Galaxy S22 (167g), and especially the iPhone 13 mini (141g). In my experience of 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 prolonged one-handed use.

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

Now, despite being much less technically impressive than the Fold, the Flip is by far the most popular foldable phone on the market if we look at sales figures, and make no mistake - pricing has a lot to do with that. Compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which will start at $1,800 in the US, the Flip 4 looks sensibly priced, at "only" $1,000. However, that's very far from making it "affordable".

If you recall, Samsung's whole self-assigned mission with the Flip and Fold 3 series was to make them more accessible to the masses. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G (effectively the Flip 2) launched at $1,400, while the Flip 3 dropped to $1,000.

This time around, both the Fold 4 and the Flip 4 will actually be getting more expensive in some markets outside the US, like in the UK, where Samsung's new foldables will cost £50 more compared to their predecessors. Inflation might be to blame, although the price hike does feel a bit unfair to British buyers, given the fact that prices in the US are staying the same.

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

But the biggest concern with the Flip 4's price seems to be that this seemingly niche-ish device that's compact only 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 display, or the best… anything really. And that's a lot of sacrifices to make for a phone that's just compact in your pocket and still feels like a normal (big) phone when you use it in its unfolded form.

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

Galaxy Z Flip sales figures are positive, but the Flip is still a tough 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 question whether Samsung should turn the Flip into a more affordable mid-range device in order to make it more appealing to the masses. Isn't that the entire goal of the Flip, at least as of right now, anyway?

By doing so, Samsung would also more easily justify going for a Flip that costs… $700 over a Galaxy S23 Ultra, which will be way more expensive. For the record, Samsung isn't expected to bring a "budget foldable" to the market until at least 2024-2025, at least according to rumors. That might be because making a foldable phone isn't very cheap to begin with.

Perhaps Samsung can make the Galaxy Z Flip A / Galaxy Z Flip Lite out of hard plastic rather than Gorilla Glass; use a mid-range Qualcomm chip, and do away with some RAM in order to get the Flip down to $700. This would make it much more appealing to the masses and maybe even make me view it from a different perspective, and not as a device that's competing with the Pro and Ultra flagships.

For now, and for me, the big challenge when it comes to getting fully on board with the flagship-priced and compact Galaxy Z Flip 4 is that it isn't really a flagship phone, and it's not all that compact when unfolded. But that’s not to say that there isn’t an audience for it.

In the end, not everyone needs a set of flagship cameras, and perhaps many will like the fact that unfolding the Flip gives you a properly big screen on which you can enjoy content. In fact, I know two people who’ve already asked me about the Flip 3 and will certainly be interested in the new Flip 4 - my mum and aunt. So, despite my own reservations, the love for the Flip is real.

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

Get Galaxy Z Flip 4 for up to $500 off with trade-in

Samsung is currently offering the former foldable perfection with the Z Flip 4 name at up to $500 off. The deal applies with trade-ins, where you can trade in an eligible phone or tablet.
$399 99
$899 99
Buy at Samsung

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