Samsung Galaxy Z-Flip 4: First Impressions & 2-Week Review

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Great Phone, but why?

Flip Phone
Photo of Flip Phone by Onur Binay on Unsplash
I’ve been daily driving the Samsung Galaxy Z-Flip 4 for almost 2 weeks and if truth be told, I don’t know what to make of it. Yes, it’s portable and fits well in your pocket, but over the past 2 weeks, I’ve been struggling to find a benefit of the phone being foldable.
Hopefully, it’s just a time thing and I will eventually find a decent use for the phone, but as far as my first impressions go, I simply find the phone to be confusing. I mean the main advantage of the Samsung Z-Fold 4 is the fact that it can effectively turn into a tablet, which is perfect for working on the go. But I just don’t get that feeling with the Z-Flip 4. It’s a different product targeted at different people. 
On the flip side, the phone itself is actually quite good. No pun intended, but my experience with the phone is actually quite good, particularly as someone coming from the Google Pixel 6 Pro.
In this article, I want to share my experience and first impressions of the phone. Mainly because I know many people who have considered the phone due to the fact that it’s foldable. Since I know many people personally, I thought that a wider audience may benefit from this even more. 

Why Did I Get The Z-Flip 4?

With many great phones being released over the last few months, such as the Google Pixel 7 series, you’re probably wondering why I decided to go with the Z-Flip 4 and rightly so! 
The truth of the matter is that I wanted to try something new. I was getting bored of the traditional design of phones and the Z-Flip series seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new. I was considering the Z-Fold 4 but my budget just didn’t allow me to treat myself to such an extent.
The second reason I decided to get the Z-Flip 4 is due to the fact that I record the majority of my YouTube content on my phone and the Z-Flip 4 is absolutely ideal for recording content on the go and even at home. The fact that I can flip the display means that I don’t always need to carry a tripod with me. 
Finally, the third reason I decided to get the Z-Flip 4 was because of the fact that I recently purchased the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, as a replacement for my TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, which was a great watch.

Unboxing & Setup

Unsurprisingly, the phone arrived in a rather thin box that didn’t include a charging block. In fact, all that came with the phone was a thin USB-C cable, which I found to be low quality, particularly if we compare it to the one that came with the Pixel 6 Pro. But, as someone who owns multiple USB-C charging cables, I didn’t really find that to be an issue. I tend to recommend getting braided cables such as this Anker set anyway as they tend to last longer.

Setting up the phone

I know I’ve said this before, but smartphone manufacturers have seriously perfected their switching process and Samsung are no different. I found it very easy to switch from my Pixel 6 Pro using the Samsung Smart Switch app, which I had to install on my Pixel 6 Pro. But the entire process was fast and easy. The phone literally did all the work for me.

Switching eSims

Since we’re in 2022, almost 2023, it would be a crime not to talk about my experience switching eSims! With my Pixel 6 Pro, my main sim happened to be an eSim, it was what was provided by my network provider when I signed up for the contract. 
For those who are interested, I’m currently on the EE network here in the UK, simply because they can offer me the fastest data speeds in my area.
I found that switching was surprisingly easy and fast too! Yes, I know that it’s not as fast as simply taking out the sim from one phone and putting it into another. But the entire process was actually simple.
All I needed to do was log in to my EE account and scan the QR code to download the sim onto my phone. Within minutes, I could use the eSim. Now I appreciate that this process was simple for me, I don’t think it will be easy for others.
If we are to take this route with eSims, I seriously think that the process should be further simplified – no pun intended! But at the end of the day, I know people that struggle to change their physical SIM cards and I can’t imagine what they would do if they tried to set up an eSim. I mean, I’ve heard some horror stories even from technical people.
Yes, I know starting fresh is just so much better, I argue that it depends on what you are transferring over. For example, I tend to back up all of my photos on Google Photos, so there was no real need to move them to the new phone.  

Getting used to the phone

If you are familiar with Samsung’s approach to Android, then you practically know the phone, or how to use the system. It doesn’t really differ in any way. Usability-wise, it’s very similar to any standard smartphone, not much has changed there.

The Flip Side Of Things

Let’s start by talking about the elephant in the room, the flip. As someone who used a flip phone back in the day, I wouldn’t say that it resembles a traditional flip phone, especially since you can’t just fling it open with one hand. The phone is a lot more firm in that regard.
This can become quite inconvenient especially if you are out and about and are holding a coffee in one hand and you need to open the phone to perform a task in the other hand. You will either struggle to open your already occupied hand or you will need to find a place to place down your cup. 
Moving on to the crease, it’s very noticeable but at the same time, you don’t tend to notice it when using the phone. Samsung has really perfected this well because as a whole the screen feels very nice to use. And as for the crease, you forget that it’s there. 
As for the mini screen next to the camera, I’m not sure what to make of it, I mean for people like me who create content, it can be a blessing as it means we can use the rear cameras, which are considerably better. But, if recording with the phone placed in the landscape, the little screen will replicate that and will only show you half of the screen. Which I guess is still good as you can make sure you have the phone positioned correctly.
The mini screen is also great for showing basic information such as the clock, notifications as well as a handful of other applets. But let’s not get too excited here because, at the end of the day, the same sort of thing can be achieved with the Lock Screens of most smartphones without the fold option. You simply access your screen to get the same information without unfolding your phone.


How does the phone perform in everyday life?

Another important aspect worth talking about is how the phone performs in everyday life.  In summary, the phone has actually been performing quite well and it’s nice to be using a phone that actually fits in your hands and in your pocket. 
In terms of battery life, I know that the phone doesn’t have the biggest battery, but at the same time it lasts pretty well throughout the day. I’m thinking of doing a day in the life review which I will post on my YouTube channel. 
Just so you get a better idea of my usage, I’m not really a heavy user and I don’t tend to play games on my phone but I do tend to listen to Spotify, and watch TikToks as well as YouTube videos. I also record content from time to time.
On a normal day, when I catch an hour’s train to work, I constantly use the phone for watching YouTube videos as well as replying to emails and browsing social media. When I get into the office the phone is usually at around 75% and that’s with 5G enabled. But I will show you a better picture in an upcoming video.
Other than the flip, the phone feels like any normal Android smartphone available on the market.

What are my overall first impressions?

So as far as my first impressions are concerned, I think that the Z-Flip 4 is a well-presented phone and I don’t think I would have expected anything different. I mean at the end of the day, it would be nice if I received a charging block with the phone, especially with the asking price in mind, but I guess we live in different times right now.
One thing that I did find disappointing, particularly as I’m coming from the Pixel is the fact that this phone is still running on Android 12, hopefully, we will see Android 13 soon!
The other thing I find disappointing is the lack of DeX support which allows you to transform your smartphone into a mobile workstation and connect external monitors too. I mean, it’s not necessarily a feature I would use every day, but it can be helpful.
Overall, the phone itself feels pretty good in your hand and is a joy to use, but one question remains that maybe you could help me with and that question is; why would you have one?
I mean the flip technology is pretty impressive and the phone fits well in my pocket but other than that, I’m not really sure what to make of it. Maybe I was expecting too much? Not sure.