The appeal of folding phones is that they are small enough to fit in your pocket. It is easy to see that the Z Fold 4 is too expensive for the majority of people. It doesn't take a lot of searching to find stories of random cracked Fold screens.
It is hard to see the value in a folding phone until you commit to using it for a while. It took me three months of time with the Fold 4 to really appreciate it, even though I owned it for a year before I upgraded to the Fold 4.
The Fold 4 is the most versatile item you can purchase. It isn't the best at every task, but it can be better than anything else. It's the only way to rule them all.
The first use case for the Fold 4 is a high end phone. Anything you use a phone for, the Fold 4 does it.
You don't have to give up conveniences like wireless charging, for example, and the Fold 4's camera system is very capable on its own. One of the biggest drawbacks to using the Fold 4 as a phone is its narrow front screen, which makes it hard to type on. The thickness of the Fold 4 allows it to be versatile.
The Fold 4 is a good phone, if not an amazing one, but the point is that the Fold 4 story is just beginning.
You can open the Fold 4 and use it with a nearly eight-inch diagonal, almost square tablet screen. The S22 Ultra has a 17.98 square inch screen, whereas the Fold 4 has a 28.42 square inch screen.
It is difficult to say how much more room it gives you in practical terms, but it is a big enough canvas to make a wide variety of tasks easier and more comfortable. Two apps can be displayed side-by-side at the same time on the Fold 4 without having to switch between them for multitasking. You can comfortably watch long-form video content on either YouTube or the streaming service of your choice thanks to the Fold 4's best-in-smartphone-class speakers.
The tunnel vision you get on a standard phone's display is not comparable to the experience you get on a big screen. When you have a large area for your thumbs, it's easier to type out long emails.
The width of the Fold 4 makes it easier to read long-form articles or navigate large PDF's. I have a folding phone that I use to read e- books. The Fold 4 is portable and always connected.
The added benefit of using an iPad mini on the Fold 4 is that it can be folded in half and put in your pocket when done.
The Fold 4 is an excellent device for taking hand-written notes because of its large inner display and support for the S Pen stylus. You can mark up screen shots, make artwork, and send it wherever you want. It is easy to have a digital note taking system in your pocket.
There is room for improvement here, for example, there is no way to store the S Pen on the Fold 4 without a bulky and annoying case, and the pen doesn't work on the outside display at all. The Fold 4 is a better device for drawing than any other device.
The Fold 4 can be used to replace a computer for many tasks. You can use the Fold like a PC by plugging it into a desktop monitor and using a wireless keyboard. If you are going to be using it for a long time, you will want it plugged in for power and the lowest latency.
It has been on its phones for a long time, but now it is much more usable. You can run multiple apps, have control over window sizes and placements, and access a web browser that can handle many tabs. The built-in internet connection on the Fold 4 makes it possible to use it without having to use other networks.
Dex is better now than it used to be because of the work done by the internet giant. The Fold 4 was launched with a new version of the operating system. There are more and more apps that support larger layouts. There is a growing list of keyboard shortcut for window management. There are still a few holdouts that can be improved, but there are less and less areas where you can expect to get work done.
It is fast, supports extensions, loads desktop versions of apps, and has multiple ways to manage tabs. I can use it to write, edit, and publish articles in our content management system, or to browse sites like Feedly, which don't have a great experience on large screens.
It is possible to pair a wireless mouse to the Fold 4 for snoozing, but it is more convenient to use the Fold's internal display as a trackpad. If you want to go back with a three-fingered tap or fourfingered pull up the app launcher, you can do it with a preset gesture.
Unlike Apple and its adventures with Stage Manager on the iPad, Samsung isn't trying to change the game when it comes to windowed app environments. You can place apps and windows in a variety of ways, you can resizing them, and you can snap windows to the left or right side.
The Fold 4 isn't going to replace a gaming PC and I wouldn't want to use it for heavier tasks. If you push the system with a lot of running apps and tabs, you will hit its performance limits and you will see browser tabs reloading more often than on a full desktop OS.
It's not as convenient as a laptop that you can just open up and work on, since it requires accessories like an external display, keyboard, and a hub. It can do basic PC tasks with the right set up. You can use a dedicated app or two, but most of your time is spent in the browser.
I can simply put my phone in my pocket and leave.
None of these capabilities are new to the Fold 4, and even the very first one could perform many of the same tasks.
The Fold 4 is able to do all of this better than its predecessors because of it's constant review. To bring an idea to market that is good in concept, but lacking in execution, and then relentlessly iterate on it until all the rough edges are sanded away and what is left is a genuinely good experience, is a typical order of operations for the company.
You can have all of these options in a device that fits in your pocket.
Finding ways to make the price more accessible and addressing the concerns of reliability and durability are some of the things that need to be addressed by the company. If the inner screen on my Fold 4 cracks in the future, I will not praise it. There isn't much competition for devices like this in the US, but the few other folding phones that have hit the global market recently have sleeker and thinner designs.
The first Fold felt like a proof of concept, but four generations in, the Fold 4 now provides a very good experience that you just can't get from a standard phone. It's not that the Fold 4 is the best at any particular task, but it is good at all of them and having all of those options in a device that fits in your pocket can't be overstated. Future iteration will likely improve it further and maybe one day we will all be carrying such versatile devices in our pockets. The Fold 4 is the way to go for that future.