4 things I wish I'd known before buying a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The pros and cons of buying Samsung's flagship folding phone, the Galaxy Z Fold

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

It's folding phones season, with the best foldables in 2022 from Samsung now almost available – the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4, both of which I've reviewed from a first impressions hands-on session, go on sale this Friday, 26th August.

It's the latter of that folding pair, the Z Fold 4, that's the focus of this particular feature, however, as I've now been using Samsung's flagship and largest folding phone as my own for almost full two weeks now.

Here are a number of all-important pointers worth paying attention to if you're considering buying a Z Fold 4 – which many could see as the best Samsung phone if you're all about futurism and, well, folding functionality.

1. There's a great trade-in deal

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

If you've been investigating the Galaxy Z Fold 4 then you'll no doubt know that it's a pricey bit of kit, starting at £1,649 in the UK ($1,799 in the US). It's a whole chunk of change, but then you are getting a whole lot of phone – quite literally. 

Don't want to pay that much? Then Samsung is offering some pretty decent trade-in deals (opens in new tab) on its official website. Have an S22 Ultra, for example, and you could take up to £720 off the asking price, bringing the total to £929 – still a lot, I know, but it's also a whole lot less. More 'normal' devices, such as a OnePlus 8 Pro will net you £440 off the asking price.

However, it's a limited-time deal. You'll need to act fast, before the on-sale date, to take advantage. And Samsung needs to receive your trade-in, in good condition, within 7 days from sale. But that's still potentially better than buying outright. 

2. It doesn't come with a case... or a plug

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

When I first pulled my Z Fold 4 from its box, I was in awe, as expected, but then having such a heavy and screen-dominant phone started to get me nervous. This isn't a device you'll want to slip out of a pocket and go 'crunch' on the floor – especially as there's no protective case in the box. 

What I'd suggest buying – and, again, this is a free add-on after purchase if you pre-order from Samsung – is the Note Pack. Samsung usually charges £89.99/$99.99 for this package, which not only contains a case, but also a 25W charger, and an S Pen stylus (which conveniently clips into the case). 

If you've not pre-ordered, don't care about the S Pen, and don't want to fork out a further £90, however, then I'd seriously suggest buying a decent Z Fold 4 case for your new device. Yes, it'll add yet more bulk, but it'll add a layer of security that you won't regret. Trust me. 

3. The larger storage models add no spec perks

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

The entry-level Z Fold 4 comes with 256GB of built-in storage, which is pretty decent in my view. You can opt for a 512GB or 1TB version instead, but as I already wrote upon the device's announcement – the top Galaxy Fold model costs over £2,000!

My advice: don't bother. You're not likely to need that much on-board storage, especially with cloud storage so dominant these days, and those larger capacities add literally nothing else except to the asking price. 

While many phone makers will increase RAM to a higher level along with the storage, Samsung doesn't in the Z Fold 4. All variants come with 12GB RAM as standard, so paying the extra for increased on-board storage will only net you that added capacity  – which, for most people, I doubt will be worthwhile. 

4. You'll want an S Pen stylus too

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

I know we've already touched upon the Note Pack bundle in subheading two of this very feature, but it's something you'll really want to consider – because the Z Fold 4 is compatible with Samsung's S Pen stylus (including the S Pen Fold Edition) doesn't mean you'll get one in the box. Indeed, the box just has the phone, SIM tool, and a charging cable.

I think that's a bit of a shame: the Z Fold 4 is really well equipped for multi-tasking, as you can run two or three apps across that large unfolded screen easily, and switching them around, or moving components between apps where applicable, is really great in conjunction with an S Pen and Samsung's Notes app. It's fine with fingers, too, but the S Pen makes this a whole other productivity tool. 

I think the Z Fold 4 is a great workhorse thanks to leveraging cool Android 12L features, such as Task Bar, and that's one of the things that really helps it stand apart from your everyday 'standard' phone. The Z Fold 4 is anything but 'standard' and, now almost two weeks into use, if you pay attention to these advisory pointers than I think you'll be well happy with your new folding purchase. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.