Since the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, I’ve been a Fold guy. Earlier this year, I used the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as my daily driver for about six months and got so used to it that transitioning to my iPhone 13 Pro Max was a heartbreaking move. After all, I need that screen estate!
I want to be able to put a compact tablet in my pocket. I like it when my phone folds in half and limits me to certain tasks so I don’t end up doom-scrolling on social media. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is all of that, and it’s been my go-to handset since it arrived on my doorstep.
However, Samsung had also sent over the Galaxy Z Flip 4. At first, I was hesitant to try out a clamshell phone. As a big screen guy, I want the biggest of displays to fit in my pocket. But I gave Galaxy Z Flip 4 a go. And now, while I still love the Galaxy Z Fold 4, the Flip 4 is winning my heart.
While I’d prefer the bigger cover display on the Motorola Razr, the tiny 1.9-inch AMOLED display adjacent to the camera works in the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s favor. I can take out the phone, see the time and date at a quick glance, and swipe through my notifications without engaging with anything else on my phone.
On a big-screen phone when there’s a useless notification from a food delivery app, you swipe to remove it. But before you know it, the phone is unlocked, and you are arguing with strangers on the internet. By contrast, I can swipe through the notifications on the Flip 4’s cover display, and unless it’s important, I don’t need to unlock my device (unfold, actually). Thus, saving time and energy that I’d have spent wasting time on Twitter.
The one gripe I have with the Fold 4 is that it doesn’t fit well in my pocket alongside my secondary phone, the OnePlus 7T (why I’m still using a device from 2019 is a whole other story). But with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, I can carry two phones with ease. And when you need to take the Flip 4 out of your pocket, it’s an easier process than the usual glass slab phone.
After using the Flip 4, I now realize why my female friends prefer the Flip over the Fold. Women generally have tiny pockets in their trousers, and the Flip 4 fits easily in the tiniest of them. It’s one of the most easy-to-carry phones on the market right now. And no matter who you are, that’s something I’ve come to really appreciate.
Flex mode allows Samsung foldables – both Fold and Flip — to stand upright while being half-folded. It lets you use the phone hands-free by standing it up on a surface. You can take selfies with new perspectives, make video calls, or capture long-exposure images without the use of a tripod. Samsung also allows you to try Flex mode with any app you have to see what works and what doesn’t.
In my experience, the feature works better on Flip 4 than the Fold 4. And there are two main reasons for it, in my opinion.
First, the under-display camera on the Fold 4 is just too low-quality when compared to the Flip 4’s 10MP selfie shooter. As such, video calls are a lot better on the clamshell foldable than its larger sibling. And for selfies, you can always click them with the rear cameras using the cover display as a viewfinder.
Secondly, if you are using Flex Mode on any of the apps, the aspect ratio is much better on the Flip 4 than the Fold 4’s horizontally narrow one. Twitter and the camera app are great examples. The horizontal layout of the Fold 4’s Flex mode makes Twitter’s timeline and the camera’s viewfinder feel incredibly awkward, but on the Flip 4, they’re surprisingly useful.
Samsung’s latest clamshell foldable has its limitations. I’d have preferred a bigger cover display and a flagship-esque camera setup. You might not get those features, but design-wise, the Flip 4 is a charming device. Fair trade-offs, in my opinion, as I’ve really enjoyed my time with the clamshell foldable.
If you are planning to make the jump to foldables but without spending over $1,000, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 should be on your list. It lasts an entire day now, has zippy performance, and sports dual rear cameras that will serve you well. You’ll be hard-pressed not to like it, especially if you’re someone who has small pockets or has trouble using phones with huge displays. I’m not sure I’m ready to completely ditch my Fold 4 quite yet, but the Flip 4 is making me think about it in a way I hadn’t anticipated.