The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is so good I could see myself skipping the iPhone 14 Pro. It's that versatile.
The iPhone 14 Pro is expected to be a beast of a smartphone when it's unveiled next month at the Apple September event. In fact, based on our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro preview, we’re talking about some of the biggest upgrades in years.
The iPhone 14 Pro rumors so far point to an upgraded 48MP main camera, an always-on display (a first for the iPhone) and replacing the notch with a punch hole and pill-shaped cutout. Plus, Apple is reportedly doubling the storage to 256GB.
Add it all up and the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max should be very formidable and have what it takes to top our best phones list. And that’s even with a reported $100 price hike for both models.
But now that I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 for a few days, there are some features here that actually make me want to switch from an iPhone to this ultra-premium flagship. And it is very premium at $1,799.
For one, I’m loving the new task bar on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which makes it easy to jump between open apps. You don’t have to swipe up first to see what else is open. Just tap the task bar at the bottom of the screen.
I also like that you can customize the taskbar. You just set the home row of apps the way that you want them on the main Home Screen, and that gets mirrored on the taskbar.
Here’s another thing the iPhone 14 Pro probably won’t be able to do: run two apps side by side on the huge 7.6-inch main display. You can just drag an app icon off the taskbar to open an app on other side of the display. Then you open another app and place it where you like.
Samsung gives you another way to use Multi Active Window if you activate the Swipe for split screen feature under Settings. You can just swipe with two fingers from the bottom of the screen and then select a second app you want to use. Yes, you can run up to three apps at once, but to me that’s kind of overkill.
When you have two apps open you can easily drag content from one window to another. For example, you can drag photos from the Gallery app to an outgoing Gmail. And I love that I could drag and drop pics directly into a specific Google drive folder.
At least based on what we know about iOS 16 and the iPhone 14 Pro so far, Apple won’t be offering anything close to this kind of multitasking capability. And if you’re looking to do more on your phone the Galaxy Z Fold 4 could be the ticket.
Another perk of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is that Samsung is working closely with developers to better optimize their apps for the large display. For example, you can hold a Google Meet call while folding the phone in half like a laptop, so you can chat hands-free. And if you have the Facebook app open, you can open Facebook and Messenger side by side.
I’m less convinced that Flex mode is that useful for watching video apps. It’s nice to have the option to see the content up top and controls and info down below in YouTube and Netflix, but to me that’s just wasting the big screen.
In a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, Samsung’s chief mobile architect Ron Tae-moon said that foldable phones are drawing in three times more brand switchers than Samsung’s S series handsets.
“This is about switchers from other brands, not Samsung Galaxy device users switching to another Galaxy device,” said Roh.
And at least for those with deep pockets, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 could very well tempt shoppers away from the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.