24 hours with the Galaxy Flip 4: Flex Mode is upgrading my kitchen experience

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review on kitchen table
(Image credit: Future)

Yesterday, I walked away from Samsung's August 10 Unpacked watch party – held at its pop-up store in central London's Piccadilly Circus (open till the end of the month) – with one of the hottest new smartphones in the world: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.

After weeks of leaks and teases (both unofficial and official), Samsung was ready to introduce fans to its new foldable duo – the Galaxy Fold 4 and Flip 4 – as well as a new series of wearables; comprised of the Galaxy Watch 5 and the intriguing new Watch 5 Pro, along with the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro too.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – successor to one of 2021's most interesting and best foldables, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 – is a device that I've been particularly keen to get up close with, especially as I spent far more time with the Z Fold 3, last year.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review unboxing contents laid out

(Image credit: Future)

While the Fold series sits at the top of the ladder, both in terms of functionality and price, amidst Samsung's current phone line-up, the Flip line offers a similarly impressive folding form factor at a much more approachable price; even with the slight increase the Z Flip 4's price tag brings compared to its predecessor (in some markets, at least).

Of the four launch colors this year's Galaxy Z Flip 4 arrives in (customizable Bespoke Edition notwithstanding), the device I'm testing comes in the line's signature Bora Purple; which is an attractive pastel hue, reminiscent of blueberry yogurt... honestly. Google 'blueberry yogurt', I dare you.

In the hand, the Flip 4 feels reassuringly sturdy, with a mechanism that seems happiest when the phone is fully unfolded. Don't expect to flick the Flip 4 open and closed with one hand, like the clamshells of yesteryear. Samsung's made a feature of the fact that the phone can hold its position through the new svelter hinge's full range of motion though, with what it calls Flex Mode.

Flexing like no other

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review kitchen closed in-hand

(Image credit: Future)

Existing Flip 3 owners will already be familiar Flex Mode's toolset, but for everyone else, it's a smart use of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4's unique form factor that rival clamshell foldables – like the Huawei P50 Pocket and Motorola Razr 2020 (the Razr 2022 has just launched in China but we're yet to test it out) – have failed to capitalize on.

While Samsung has worked with the likes of Google and Meta to improve the native Flex Mode experience of apps like Google Meet (formerly Google Duo) and Messenger, the nice thing is that you can actually apply Flex Mode to almost any app installed on the Flip 4, using toggles found in the Labs section of the phone's Settings menu.

Some work better than others – with TikTok's UI covering a little too much of the cropped videos that remain visible on the upper half of the display, while certain apps like Netflix and Instagram just refuse to support the feature outright (with the exception of Instagram's in-app camera) – generally though, the ability to simply set the phone down on any flat surface and more readily angle your chosen app feels both novel and useful, as is becoming most obvious to me in my kitchen.

Kitchen companion

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review kitchen Flex Mode next to iPhone X

(Image credit: Future)

I have a tendency to watch videos and catch up with family over video calls whilst I'm cooking or washing up, but finding something to rest my phone against is a constant hassle.

If I place it against the wall on a countertop, it's then always off-angle from the sink or stove that I'm standing at. To combat this, I often reach for a tin of baked beans or something, which lets me better angle my device, but it's a hamstrung solution.

There's also an ever-present potential of my phone sliding down and landing face up, while my hands are soapy or I'm holding a hot pan, which has made enjoying the latest shows or committing to a video call something of a risky business.

The Flip 4's form factor and Flex Mode functionality solve both of these problems instantly, and I'm excited to see how living with this new foldable will enhance my kitchen-based real-world multitasking just as much as it will on the device itself.

Alex Walker-Todd
Senior Phones Editor

Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews.