Samsung Z Flip 4 launch: popular hi-tech flip phone gets upgrade

Cutting-edge folding phone unveiled with Z Fold 4 folding tablet, Galaxy Watch 5 and Buds 2 Pro earbuds

Samsung has unveiled updated versions of its cutting-edge folding-screen devices, including its popular reinvention of the flip phone, the Galaxy Z Flip, adding better cameras, bigger screens and slimmer bodies.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 were announced on Wednesday during a live-streamed event alongside revamped versions of Samsung’s top Buds Pro earbuds and the Galaxy Watch 5, all containing recycled materials such as ocean-bound plastic.

Galaxy Z Flip 4

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 pictured folded and open at 90-degrees.
The Z Flip 4 looks very similar to its popular predecessor with small refinements all round. Photograph: Samsung

The Z Flip 4 is the star of the show, building on the success of last year’s model with a more compact body that is smaller in almost every direction with a slimmer hinge and smaller bezels around the 6.7in folding OLED screen.

It also has the fastest Android chip from Qualcomm, a larger battery and an improved pair of 12-megapixel cameras producing brighter and sharper photos, addressing one of the criticisms of its predecessor. It can also be customised with 75 different colour combinations for its frame and glass with matching interface themes.

“In a homogenous market of black touchscreen rectangles, it makes sense for Samsung to have products for users that want something that stands out from the crowd,” said James Manning Smith, senior analyst at CCS Insight. “The Z Flip range has been particularly successful in that context, and we expect the Z Flip4 will help further boost Samsung’s growth aspirations in foldables.”

Galaxy Z Fold 4

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 pictured open, closed and face down on a table.
A larger outside screen and shorter body aims to make the Z Fold 4 easier to use when shut. Photograph: Samsung

Samsung’s folding tablet, the Z Fold 4, has also been refined with a slimmer hinge, thinner bezels and an 8g weight reduction compared to its ground-breaking predecessor.

When closed the phone is shorter and the screen on the outside is wider to aid in using it like a regular smartphone. The Android 12L software has been developed with Google to better use the folding form and large 7.6in internal screen, featuring a more desktop-like experience and a greater number of third-party apps such as Facebook optimised for its tablet size.

Upgraded cameras on the back bring it up to par with the Galaxy S22 series released earlier this year, including a brighter 50MP main camera and a 3x optical zoom camera.

“The Z Fold is a more challenging form-factor and arguably is a much more experimental device compared to the Z Flip,” said Manning Smith. “Samsung will be hoping the improvements to its foldable smartphone line up make the phones a more reliable rather risky purchases in the eyes of consumers and it should be applauded for its tireless work in developing the category.”

Galaxy Watch 5

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 pictured in multiple different colours on a table.
The Galaxy Watch 5 builds on Samsung’s relaunched partnership with Google and its Wear OS smartwatch software. Photograph: Samsung

Samsung’s smartwatch based on Google’s Wear OS has also been upgraded with the Galaxy Watch 5 and bigger Watch 5 Pro. Both new watches have longer battery life, more scratch-resistant screens and durable bodies, now available in 40mm, 44mm and 45mm cases to better fit a range of wrists.

They track a greater number of health metrics, offering guidance and coaching plans building on the reboot of Samsung’s smartwatch efforts from last year.

Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro pictured in multiple different colours.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are Samsung’s top of the range earbuds, now smaller with better audio and noise cancelling. Photograph: Samsung

Samsung’s top Buds 2 Pro earbuds are 15% smaller than their already compact predecessors, with a new pressure vent and improved shape for better comfort.

The upgraded earbuds support 24bit high-resolution audio and noise cancelling, which now removes an extra 3dB of unwanted sound. They feature Dolby head tracking for immersive movie audio, too.


Samuel Gibbs Consumer technology editor

The GuardianTramp

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