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Samsung unveils Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 foldable phones

Samsung debuted its Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4 on Wednesday, revealing foldable smartphones that go on sale Aug. 26 and start, respectively, at $1,799 and $999.

Foldable phones make up a relatively tiny slice of the overall smartphone market, though Samsung and other Android device makers hope consumers will see them as a unique alternative to normal rectangular smartphones.

The Z Fold4 features a book-style design that opens up to a spacious 7.6-inch AMOLED 2x display. When closed, the phone’s features are accessible by its 6.2-inch AMOLED 2x display. Samsung says the Z Fold4’s interior screen is 45% stronger than its predecessor.

The Z Flip4, meanwhile, opens up like an old-school clamshell phone. The tiny 1.9-inch front-facing screen features a Super AMOLED display that you can use as a photo and video viewfinder; it also lets you receive notifications, check messages, and make mobile payments.

The Galaxy Z Fold4 features a foldable design that allows you to control multiple apps at once. (Image: Samsung)
The Galaxy Z Fold4 features a foldable design that allows you to control multiple apps at once. (Image: Samsung)

Flip the Z Flip4 open and you’ll be met by a 6.7-inch AMOLED 2x display. The idea is that you can use the outside screen for your basic tasks, then pop open to the larger screen to take care of things like browsing the web, scrolling through TikTok, or checking your email.

Both the Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 share the same overall look and design as the Z Fold3 and Z Flip3. Samsung, however, says it shaved a bit off of the phones’ sides and edges to make them just a hair slimmer. Practically speaking, though, you’re not likely to notice the change very much.

This time around, Samsung has given the Z Fold4 a new interface that’s more akin to what you might find on a PC. A new Taskbar mode lets you run up to three apps at the same time or two windows of the same app at once. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) apps support drag and drop capabilities, as well, so you can copy and paste links and photos between apps.

Around back, the Z Fold4 gets a 50-megapixel wide-angle lens, 10-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and up to 30x Space Zoom, and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens. An under display camera allows you to take selfies and video chat with friends and family when you’re using the Z Fold4’s main screen.

The Galaxy Z Flip4 is designed like a clamshell smartphone. (Image: Samsung)
The Galaxy Z Flip4 is designed like a clamshell smartphone. (Image: Samsung)

The Z Flip4’s special feature is that you can use certain apps when the device is half open. Prop the Z Flip4 up on a table and open a chat app, and you can talk to your friends and family while the phone stands on its own with the bottom half serving as a base. You can also access certain app controls from the lower half while it’s in this configuration as well.

The Z Flip4 gets a 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera and a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera. There’s also a 10-megapixel front camera, though it’s not an under-display-style camera like the one found on the Z Fold4.

Both phones run on Qualcomm’s (QCOM) Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip. The Z Flip4 uses Google’s Android 12 software, while the Z Fold4 uses Android 12L.

Inside, the Flip4 gets 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage, while the Z Fold4 gets 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. Most important of all is the fact that both phones are water resistant, so you can drop them in the sink or, God forbid, the toilet, and not have to worry that your $1,000 plus gadget is sunk.

I’ll let you know how the Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 perform in the real world when I get my hands on them in the coming weeks.

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