The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 camera is a lot of fun

This year, I had the honor of taking photos with amazing smartphones. I was blown away by the 10x zoom of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, marveled at the massive sensor and gorgeous portraits from the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, and saw the Google Pixel 6A accomplish the impossible: take sharp photos of a noisy toddler in the dark with light. I could reach into a cupboard drawer, take out any of those phones now and use them as my main camera. But I won’t! Right now, I’m rocking my Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, and I’m here to tell you it’s damn fun to take photos.

That’s right. The foldable you saw advertised in flashy colors and catchy pop music while watching Dynamite AEW is now my riding or dying apparatus.

The camera hardware is completely bland. The internal display houses a 10-megapixel camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide and a slightly improved 12-megapixel main camera. Samsung’s promo material says the sensor is “65 percent brighter,” which means real nonsense – the sensor collects light; it cannot be “brighter”. Samsung is trying to say that the pixels are a bit bigger so they can collect the light a little better. Anyway, that’s all to say that the reason why I copy with the Z Flip 4 camera doesn’t have much to do with… cameras.

It is stock folding. I must be a sucker because I’ve tried to take pictures in all the ways Samsung advertises with the Z Flip 4, and I like it the reader. I opened the L-shaped phone on the microwave and filmed me making a latte. Why? I do not know. But I sped it up in the camera app, set it to The King Khan & BBQ Show I love you so, and posted it on TikTok. To my utter despair, it was viewed over 200 times. I don’t know what I really achieved here, but it was fun.

Low-angle portraits of your toddler in flight? Why not!

I would like a 3x zoom, but that’s okay.

Flip is also an absolute gold mine to create content for grandparents. I can put Flip on the table – safely out of reach of a toddler’s dirty hands – and film my grandson doing valuable things like hitting mugs, screaming loudly and farting. Grandparents love this shit.

The Fold is helpful here because I don’t have to a) try to film this selfie b) play with some other mechanism like PopSockets to prop it up and c) I can precisely adjust the angle to get the right framing. When I’m done, I can just (gently) latch this device to stop recording – at least the end of the video clip will be have a phone shutting itself so maybe trim it a bit.

It’s all very fun, but if you don’t have a toddler and don’t feel like showing off your latte art skills on TikTok, I probably haven’t convinced you that the Flip 4 is really good. But consider this use case: with the camera app open and the L-shaped phone open, you can tap the icon to move the image preview to the bottom half of the screen. You’re taking photos of what’s in front of you, but you’re looking down at the image viewer like you would in an old dual-lens reflex camera.

The best camera is one that folds in half.

This is a candid photo of my friends who are ghosts.

It also means that you can comfortably take pictures from a lower angle or take candid social photos without putting your phone in front of your face and embarrassing everyone, as you obviously take pictures of them. Please note that I do not tolerate being weird or weird to strangers; it’s just fun to take pictures of your friends without taking them all so suddenly.

I’m not a huge selfie taker either, but it’s fun to be able to use the phone’s main cameras when I want to take them. Sure, you have to compose it on the cover screen with the image preview, which is the actual size of the postage stamp, but I’ll choose this tradeoff for much better image quality, especially in low light. And who knows, maybe my home espresso bar will really take off on TikTok and I’ll have to improve my selfie game. If so, you can bet I’ll have Flip 4 ready.

Photography: Allison Johnson / The Verge

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