Becoming more flexible
A love letter to the most versatile gadget around
APOLOGIES to anyone who might be sick of my regular gushing over Samsung devices this year. It’s a recent phenomenon—I spent the last ten years before joining Maximum
PC as a card-carrying iPhone fanboy, but this year, I had my head turned—first by the S22 Ultra, then by the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the latter of which I reviewed in the May 2022 issue. But now I have a new device that’s so good and so versatile, I’m going to happily trade both of them in.
That device is the Galaxy Z Fold4, which this month has comfortably replaced my mobile, tablet, and nearly my work laptop as well. If you’re familiar with the device, you probably know one thing—that it’s outrageously expensive, with a launch price of around $1,650. Thankfully, that price dropped to less than $1,000 at Christmas, meaning that after coveting it since launch in August, I could finally take the plunge.
I won’t dwell on the phone’s multitasking capabilities made possibly by that 7.6-inch screen, as that’s been well covered by our sister publications, such as TechRadar, and, besides, it isn’t really relevant to a PC magazine.
What’s more interesting is just how much the Fold4 can replicate a laptop, from the Flex mode where you can bend the phone at 90° degrees and use the lower half of the screen as a trackpad, to the Windows-like DeX mode, which more closely replicates the Windows experience.
I visited my family over the Holiday period with the phone, a Bluetooth keyboard, and a mouse, and was able to wirelessly connect to my parents’ spare television, from where I wrote this very article. As a result, the Fold4 feels like the most versatile device out there and very close to being the one gadget to rule them all.
Of course, there are flaws and limitations— the battery life is cripplingly low if you’re using the Fold4 in DeX mode, you really need a USB hub and HDMI cable for stable, hi-res computing, and I wouldn’t want to do anything too demanding like video editing on a phone— although LumaFusion makes a really good stab of it!
But if like me, you were holding off from getting yourself a foldable while their manufacturers worked out the kinks, I’d say now is the time to take a closer look.