Test Drive Gadget Reviews with Bill and Phil

The Fabulous, Foldable ZFlip Smartphone

We love our smartphones. Phil always has the latest Samsung Ultra phone. Bill always has the latest iPhone and an Android model, but now he’s found a “new phone in town.” 

Bill & Phil

After Bill noticed Phil’s Samsung Galaxy ZFlip phone with a foldable screen, he immediately got a bad case of phone envy. So when Samsung announced the release of the ZFold 4, Bill had to have one because it has a giant screen when it unfolds, much larger than the ZFlip.

Bill immediately began shopping for his ZFold. The retail price for the phone ($1,800) gave Bill a temporary case of sticker shock, but he soon discovered he could get $900 off when he traded in his old phone. He bought it and immediately fell in love. Here is why.

The ZFold actually has three screens — a front screen and a foldable inner “double” screen that converts into a 7.6-inch display. It is almost as large as the screen on an iPad Mini, which means you get a regular smartphone and a nice tablet that doubles as a smartphone — all in one phone. In fact, when you use it as a tablet, it is practically a minicomputer.

You can connect it to a keyboard and a mouse, and it serves well as an Android computer. It even has a taskbar at the bottom of the screen, like a Windows computer or an iPad.

“The ZFold excels when you are reviewing Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or emails ... the large on-screen keyboard makes it easy to respond to emails or edit documents.”

And that is just the beginning. You can open up to three apps simultaneously on the inner screen and copy and paste information from one app to another. You can open an app in “Flex Mode’ and fold the upper part of the screen at an angle, then control the app with a trackpad pointer and use the phone as a mini laptop. The large screen is also ideal for gaming. 

The ZFold excels when you are reviewing Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or emails. When you are old like Bill and your eyesight is failing, the large screen does wonders for your ability to review complicated documents or lengthy emails. The large on-screen keyboard makes it easy to respond to emails or edit documents. You can place the screen at most any angle for your comfort and convenience, but we really like using the screen fully open to take advantage of the very bright and sharp OLED screen. There is a “fold” in the center of the screen, but you barely notice it once you begin using the ZFold as a tablet.

There have been rumors that the camera is not up to the standard of the cameras on iPhones or the other Samsung Galaxy phones. We have found that not to be the case. The telephoto camera shots were amazing. The front-facing camera on the foldable screen took great pictures and it makes for a great camera to use for Zoom calls. The screen is large enough to accommodate a Zoom session easily. The speakers on the phone are loud enough to provide clear conversations in a Zoom session or a speakerphone call.

There are a few drawbacks. The phone is a bit bulky — certainly thicker and heavier than an iPhone or a regular Samsung Galaxy phone. The outside screen is a bit small, making typing and texting a bit awkward. But all of this is overshadowed by the cool factor of the large screen when the phone is folded out. Bill walks around to everyone — even strangers on the street — and makes them stop to watch him fold out the screen and play a YouTube video.

Yes, Bill is in love with “the new phone in town.”