Original topic:

Review after switching from iPhone 13 Pro Max to Z Fold4

(Topic created: 10-03-2022 07:57 PM)
SolidBoss7
Astronaut
Options
Galaxy Fold
Hello, everyone! I hope this review can provide some insight and inform some people coming from iPhone or upgrading from another android device. Let's get to it! 

I would consider myself an uber nerd when it comes to consumer electronics. I'm one of those people who take complete advantage of my carriers upgrade service and move to a new phone every year like clockwork, granted trading in my old device each time. For the last several years I've loyally stuck with Apple's iPhone. This isn't brand loyalty as much as it's personal preference and ecosystem related. The main things I've looked for in a phone up until now has beenbuild quality, OS, photo and video capture quality, display quality, resolution and refresh rate, processor strength, ease of use, battery life, and most important to me, consistency. This wasn't the first, or even the first few times I've switched to an android phone. Prior to my last few iPhone's I'd owned several Samsung Galaxy devices. I always choose the flagship of any make as I don't want to miss out on any potential features at the top of the spec list. For example, being able to capture Pro Raw footage only at a certain sku on the latest iPhone 13 line. 

This was a HUGE decision for me to switch back to Samsung/Android after having my expectations on iPhone/iOS exceeded for many years at this point. What better way to write this review than sitting here with my Z Fold 4 unfolded, using the split keyboard, allowing me to comfortably write an in-depth review on a mobile phone. The unfolded, tablet-like display is truly a treat to interact with. That's the perfect place to start, considering the novelty of a folding display is what got me thinking to begin with. If you're wondering why I waited until the fourth generation, well, we all know what happens when we adopt brand new technology early. I had to let most, if not all of the kinks be ironed out. 


Display/Build Quality/S Pen

The Z Fold 4's main display (tablet mode) is a 7.6" QXGA+ 2176x1812 AMOLED with 374 Pixels Per Inch (ppi) with HDR10+ and a Variable Refresh Rate of up to 120hz. The VRR display allows the phone to dynamically lower the refresh rate, where it makes sense, to save on battery life. If you're wondering what QXGA+ means, just know it's in between a display resolution of 1440p(QHD) and 2160p(UHD) and has an 21.6:18 aspect ratio. In other words, it's pretty **bleep** crisp. The 120hz refresh rate is immediately recognizable as someone coming from the 120hz Pro Motion Super Retina XDR display on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. For general navigation, web browsing, scrolling, and multitasking they're both near identical in terms of snappiness, but the Z Fold's animations seem to be ever so slightly shorter, edging it out as a win for me in overall responsiveness at my fingertips. We can't leave out what's arguably the most handy part of the Fold's display configuration, and that's the cover display that allows you to easily use the Fold as a conventional, regular sized smartphone, that is if you're willing to overlook the almost obnoxiously chunky feel while in that mode. This is further exacerbated by a particular phone case, but more on that later. The cover display is what you'll likely use the majority of the time you're out and about once the initial excitement for the main display wears down a bit. Both of the Fold's displays get bright enough to easily see what's going on, even in direct sunlight. Text is easily legible, and texting is easy work, especially on the main display. 

One of the most enjoyable experiences on the near tablet sized display, besides being able to comfortably watch all your favorite content from any streaming service, believe it or not, is the extra S Pen functionality.I highly recommend buying the Samsung Fold Edition Case with S Pen included for $90. Normally, a quality case will run you $50 and the Fold Edition S Pen costs another $50, so that's a $10 saving for something that's almost half the reason you'd buy this phone to begin with. The other upside to this particular case is the satisfying soft but sturdy material that is a pleasure to touch regularly. It also has a protruding hump on the back that holds the S Pen in place, but also acts as a handle that makes the Fold much easier to hold onto. I can't emphasize quite how much this truly improved my experience holding the phone, but I can say, without a dount, I'd NEVER use it any ither way. The S Pen technology in general has come a long way, with very precise stroke detection, as well as being able to detect pressure for light or dark strokes. Personally, as somewhat of a mediocre artist, I truly enjoy drawing and coloring in the built in PenUp app. Handwriting messages and notes in Samsung Notes is also satisfying, and offers up a criminally underused feature introduced with the earliest Samsung Note series phones back in the day, and that's the scrapbooking feature that allows you to drag and drop pictures or excerpts from web pages directly from a browser with the URL embedded into the note. There's tons of hidden S Pen features I highly recommend watching a YouTube video on. Also, keep in mind, you want to purchase the S Pen Fold Edition ($50) or S Pen Pro ($100) because the Note series S Pen has a tip designed specifically for that phone and could damage the Fold display much easier. 

Panel Type:
Fold - AMOLED HDR
13 Pro Max - OLED HDR

Resolution:
Fold - 7.6" 2176x1812 @374ppi 
13 Pro Max - 6.7" 2778x1284 @458ppi 

Fold Cover Screen - 6.2" 2316x904 @402ppi 

Refresh Rate:
Fold - 120Hz
13 Pro Max - 120Hz

Peak nit Brightness:
Fold - 1200 Nits 
13 Pro Max - 1200 Nits 


SoC/OS/Sound/Battery Life

Next order of importance for me is the Sytem on a Chip (SoC); the processor running the operating system, gaming, multitasking, cameras, and inevitably what it's all wrapped.up in, the User Interface (UI). Samsung has opted for one of themost powerful processors in an Samsung phone, and one that's used in the majority of recent gaming phones, the first generation 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ (SM8475). The chip has an octa-core CPU with variable multi core clock speeds, and an Adreno 730 GPU. I chose the base model with 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM which is the standard across all storage capacity configurations. 

What this means for real world performance is absolutely breezing throughmultitasking,which is better than ever on the main display, where you can now have three, and technically even four applications open at the same time. With three application windows open, you have one taking up half of the main display vertically, and two other applications, square shaped, taking up the other half of the display. So two squares and one vertical rectangle. Picture having a YouTube video in one square, a text box in another, and Samsung Notes in the vertical rectangle. 

As far asgaming goes, there's not a single mobile game,whether it be on the Play Store or an external APK that this device can't completely max out at its highest supported frame rate. Games that run at 60FPS are a cake walk and the few supported 120FPS games are a near flawless experience as well.One thing I underestimated was just how much of a delight gaming would be on the large main display and just how many games and applications "just work" and fill up the entire display. Out of 75 or so applications I've tested on the Fold, only one of them had to be manually adjusted to fill the entire display, and even then, it somehow just magically knew how to translate into the display's odd aspect ratio. 

Unfortunately, Samsung's arguably most interesting phone has only received Android version 12L, while some of the other latest Android devices have received the brand new Android 13. I imagine this wouldn't matter as much given Samsung is still opting for itsproprietary secondary overlay UI, One UI 4.1.1, which is likely necessary to tie in the seamless multitasking and S Pen features, as well as some other niche features like DeX. I won't get into DeX much in this review because it's an impractical feature if you ask me, allowing for a user to use their Fold somewhat like a laptop. "Google it."

Hands down, one of the best features of this device is the extremely reliable and consistent fingerprint reader built into the side power button, below your volume rocker. I am truly blown away by how fast an unlock is. There's also a fairly quick and somewhat consistent facial recoginition unlock that you can use in conjunction with any other unlock method, if that floats your boat. 
A side note I won't spend much time on is the sound quality. Enable Dolby Atmos for a boost in overall volume and call it a day. It also has decent directional audio that simulates surround sound. This is truly great for any video content. 

I do miss some features I began to become accustomed to on iOS, like iMessage, FaceTime, and the ability to send large files without having to upload them to Google Drive, and the fact that the majority of the people I know use iPhone. One annoyance is having to invite my family and friends to download Google Meet or use another third party video call application, and vice versa, they have to send me a link for FaceTime browser app. While I can live without not seeing when my iPhone people are typing or have read my messages and vice versa, I would've at least liked for Android's version, Advanced Messaging and Chat Features to at least work with my Android people. For some reason my friends who have android and even some with the same.exact phone as myself are unable to utilize these features, even though they're supposedly supported and definitely activated on all of our devices. Overall it's also just a hassle to set these things up instead of just working. There's other ups and downs, like predictive text being far better on iOS, while I believe Google's AI helper is more accurate and more helpful than Siri in a lot of ways. Map navigation is something that's come a long way on iOS and I'd say Google Maps and iPhone's native Maps application are neck and neck. Neither will get you safely through NYC or Chicago. I did mention consistency in the beginning of this review, and one thing I'm still not sold on is how loose Android is as an OS. I experience far more crashes and glitches during simple navigation of the device during daily use, and that's definitely an area Samsung should work on. Android also no longer has the upper hand on customizing the look of your UI either, so I think it's time Samsung and Android work together to really tighten up everything left that it can. 

The last note for this section of my review is battery life. Overall, I'd say iOS being far more lean as an operating system allows for a much more optimized experience, thus allowing for somewhat better battery life, despite the similar battery sizes. On my 13 Pro Max I truly felt like I never had to worry about charging my phone mid day. On the Fold there's zero doubt I will need to juice up somewhere, whether it be my car or house, at some point during a full day. The one thing that drastically makes up for this is the Fold's ability for super fast charging. I can charge this device from near complete depletion to 100% in an hour and fifteen minutes flat. 

Battery Capacity:
Fold - 4400mah
13 Pro Max - 4352mah

Fast/Wireless Charging:
Fold - Yes
13 Pro Max - Yes

Camera

This is the one area I was truly worried would hold me back from switching back to Samsung or Android in general. I've known about the over processed Android photo captures, the underwhelming video capture, and ultimately iPhone's most recent offerings always exceeded my expectations, especially with how consistent the shudder speed and low light captures were. Low light shots and "quick pull out your phone and snap a photo" experiences I feel were unmatched.So it really came down to whether or not the photos and videos I would be able to capture would just be acceptable. I did a fair bit of research on real world scenarios and loomed at some direct comparison photos and videos from who I'd consider reputable sources, and I realized, even with the slower shudder speed and substantially worse low light captures, I could still live with the most important captures to me.That's the Portrait Mode photos and the Cinematic and HDR capable videos. I'll attach some shots to this review if it let's me. I was a bit more impressed than I thought I'd be. I've been able to capture similar if not somewhat better stills and some creative cinematic videos.The Fold 4 can do 4K/60FPS and 1080/60FPS non HDR videos, and both nifty those resolutions at 30FPS with HDR. There is also a 8K/30FPS video capture mode, as well as 1080/60 cinematic capture with decent Depth of Field. There's also some Pro capture features, panorama, and slow motion capture that have seen interative improvements over the years.One thing I found while doing research is that the Fold 4 takes substantially more stable in-motion videos than even the S22 Ultra, showing off just how well its Optical Image Stabilization is. It also offers a super steady gimble like feature at the expense of image quality, though only offered in select shooting modes. 

The cover display selfie camera on the Fold 4 is 10MP f/2.2 lens with serviceable quality for snapchat if that's your thing. The main display also has a selfie camera underneath the panel at 4MP f/1.8 which is as bad as you would expect for a tiny lens that has to shoot through an entire layer of display. The triple cluster main.camera setup is where things start to finally shine and are comparable.to many ither flagship devices. There's one 50MP f/1.8 wide lense thar will be your regular every day general shot, a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens for your Portrait Mode shots with the previous industry flagship standard of 3x Optical Zoom, and a third ultra wide 12MP f/2.2 lens for.your zoomed out .5 shots. One cool feature if the trile cluster setup is being able to use it as your main selfie camera in conjunction with the cover display being used as a view finder!

Portrait Mode Stills:
Fold - Yes
13 Pro Max - Yes

Ultra Wide Stills:
Fold - Yes
13 Pro Max - Yes

FHD/60 Cinematic Video Capture:
Fold - Yes
13 Pro Max - Yes

4K/60 and 1080/60 Video Capture:
Fold - Yes (no HDR)
13 Pro Max - Yes (with HDR)

4K/30 and 1080/30 HDR Video Capture:
Fold - Yes
13 Pro Max - Yes

Uncompressed Raw Capture Modes:
Fold - Yes
13 Pro Max - Yes

Hope you enjoyed this review

Pro Tips:
  • Enable Dolby Atmos for maximum volume Settings>Sound&Vibrations>Dolby Atmos
  • Enable Swipe Gestures for quick multitasking navigation and a more clean homescreen layout Settings>Display>Navigation Bar
  • Enable Full Screen mode on unsupported apps like Instagram for better viewability Settings>Display>Full Screen>16:9 to Full Screen
  • Play with Labs features Settings>Advanced Features>Labs
  • Continue Apps on Cover Screen Settings>Display>Continue Apps on Cover Screen
  • One Handed Mode Settings>Features>One Handed Mode
Best Free Wallpaper App: BackDrops on Google Play Store - remember to set separately for cover display by folding phone and going to wallpaper settings a second time. I attached a few wallpaper examples from that app. *Hold "set" to get a preview of what it'll look like on your home screen. You can also save wallpapers to device with one press for free. 

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11 Replies
Jacobbbb
Sun
Options
Galaxy Fold
This review was great! Thanks for taking time out of your day to write this.
danb4
Asteroid
Options
Galaxy Fold
Great review especially coming from a apple user. Thanks very much!
ZeusD
Comet
Options
Galaxy Fold
The device is great. Their(Samsung) support for updates on it: abysmal, terrible, and ridiculous.. I had the fold 3 and it was nothing like this. I would not have upgraded(and will not upgrade after this), had i known it would be treated like a reject..
0 Likes
notebook
Astronaut
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Galaxy Fold
This is my 3rd android phone but this doesn't have the stick to type with. I can't get my wallpaper straight there's so many apps I can't figure them all out I use my phone for a telephone ,pictures Facebook and messenger to FaceTime my grandkids. So my g daughter had me download duo which now has been changed to meet. No I can not see my phone in the sunlight. My daughter said I need mymobile data on always my sonsays I don't. I have Walmart straight talk. I'm confused to say the least.
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SolidBoss7
Astronaut
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Galaxy Fold
You do need mobile data on at almost all times if you're doing anything other than making telephone calls. As far as being able to see in sunlight I suggest going to settings>Display and turning adaptive Brightness on.

It is unfortunate that android doesn't have a dedicated active FaceTime app like iOS, but Google Meet works just as well, though slightly less image quality. You do need mobile data on to make video calls.
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z-ram
Astronaut
Options
Galaxy Fold
Z-Ram
0 Likes
K87
Comet
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Galaxy Fold
My husband randomly without any thought upgraded to the iPhone 13 max from a galaxy s10e (he's never had anything but Samsung and definitely always android). I found out when the dumb thing came in the mail. He's not great with phones or technology in general, I am but I literally know nothing about iPhones because I would never consider switching from Android (the hassle is too much).
That brings me to my question, how, if it's even possible, do u switch from android to Apple? Also which apps from Android (all Google apps, Samsung apps, basically whatever the Google play store has... Are they compatible with iPhone)?
Also, how exactly does the play store work on iPhone and can u transfer music and pictures from galaxy to iPhone?
Thank u, I'm sorry for sounding like I am missing a ridiculously amount of common sense, I just never thought this would become a problem.
He's confused so rather than return it in the alloted time, he instead claimed he'd figure it out. It's too late to return it and I'm going to have to figure it out, he won't stop whining about how it's not fair that he doesn't know how to work it and it's irritating lol, I don't know anything and any help would be soo appreciated.

Verizon wasn't very helpful because he didn't get it in the store which would've been common sense in my opinion, so the store wasn't to helpful and I'm ready to smash it with a hammer lol
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SolidBoss7
Astronaut
Options
Galaxy Fold
So, this may take a few replies to cover everything, but I'll try my best.

Going from Android to iOS (Apple iPhones operating system) isn't too painful. The hardest part is figuring out the main differences in services. For example, coming from android/Google Play, there's Spotify, YouTube Music, or individually downloaded MP3's off the internet, and on iPhone you have iTunes (now Apple Music), YouTube Music and Spotify. You can, however, download YouTube music or any other music streaming app from the App Store on iPhone and continue your subscription. In order to move any media, whether it be pictures, videos, or indivially downloaded songs, he will need to download iTunes desktop application to get those files onto the iPhone. Android is only nice because it's as simple as dragging and dropping files into a folder that's on the phone via your computer. Iphones folders are essentially locked down and will only allow compatible files and it has to be done through iTunes on your PC. If he purchased movies or music through specific applications on his samsung phone, like Vudu, YouTube, or any other widely used application, then its just a matter of downloading those apps from the app store and signing in to his account. Everything is usually tied to an email and password these days. Just a matter of the application actually being on iphones app store, which it likely is. I highly recommend if he wants to listen to music on iPhone, to use any of his already standing subscriptions, as all of those services can be downloaded through the App Store on iPhone. There is no Google Play Store application on iPhone, though there is just about any other Google service, such as GMail, Calendars, Google Photos, etc.

At the end of the day, he's going to have far less micromanagement over his phone, but it comes with the benefit of simplicity. He will, in time, become accustomed to Apple's version of whatever he was experiencing on Android.

Last thing is, if he had photos, videos, or contacts backed up with Google, those can easily be downloaded to the iPhone with minimal effort. Just tell him to YouTube it!
K87
Comet
Options
Galaxy Fold
Thanks, I appreciate it