The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a gadget I enjoyed using enough to make it my personal smartphone, taking the foldable formula one step closer to perfection. I do, however, find up moving to a Samsung phone every year and lose out on features from my customary Google Pixel.
One user interface is excellent, but it ignores the best aspects of Google software. Before a few years ago, Samsung’s skin on top of Android was considered to be the lowest form of the platform. One UI is rather good, and One UI 4.1.1, which is based on Android 12L, dramatically enhances the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s user experience.
Frankly, at this point I’m not sure if I’d want to use a foldable with any other experience. Samsung has created something that is simple to use, quick, and makes excellent use of the larger screen area.
Despite how nicely done Samsung’s One UI is, it is completely different from Google’s strategy. For better or worse, Samsung crams in practically every function. Google, on the other hand, offers a more streamlined and enjoyable user experience. Additionally, Google’s experience doesn’t seem to be competing with third-party apps, but Samsung’s appearance and functionality can stand out sharply from other apps on your phone.
Of course, that does not imply that Google or Samsung are perfect in their execution. One of the major issues is that Google updates frequently appear to include the weirdest glitches, whereas Samsung upgrades typically don’t.
Even so, the list of tiny things I miss from a Pixel whether I’m using my Fold or any other Samsung phone has been significantly reduced over time.
Of course, the cameras. Without discussing cameras, this wouldn’t be a Pixel post, and this is what I always miss the most when switching to a Samsung phone.
The camera experience on Google is reliable. Not Samsungs.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Pixel 6 Pro both have 50MP primary cameras, a 12MP ultrawide lens, and a telephoto lens, but the Pixel consistently produces better pictures in all situations. Why? primarily software.
In certain cases, Samsung’s photo processing is too saturated and doesn’t accurately capture real life. Until you examine the subtleties, your shot will likely seem pleasant. But there are probably a few subpar outtakes for every excellent shot. capturing a dog in a photo? You’ll have motion from when the shutter was snapped if it’s not a statue. In the evening, are you attempting to capture some dramatic lighting? Most likely, Samsung’s processing will completely negate the effect and blast it out.
The real bummer, though, is that the Samsung camera software still can’t display anything resembling the finished product in the viewfinder. Several times, after taking a shot that I was fairly happy with through the viewfinder, Samsung’s software over-processed it, rendering the image useless. Not often, but frequently enough to be really upsetting.
On the other hand, when you actually take the shot, pixels display an HDR image that is fairly accurate. Although it could be altered to enhance certain aspects or adjust the exposure, what you see in the viewfinder is generally what you’ll receive in the finished image.
Because I know I’ll still obtain a decent image at the end of the day, I don’t dislike using the Galaxy Z Fold 4 , but I don’t trust it to take a great shot very often. That’s possibly what I miss most about my Pixel 6 Pro now that I’ve switched to Samsung’s newest model.
THE DIGITAL WELLNESS VERSION OF GOOGLE IS ACTUALLY USEFUL This is a somewhat minor issue, but it truly annoys me whenever I leave a Pixel. Actually, Google’s perspective on digital wellbeing is very helpful.
The concept of “digital wellbeing” typically takes the form of understanding your online behaviors so you may try to reduce screen time, turn off distractions, or simply strike a better balance between what’s going on on your phone and what’s going on in the real world. I typically have conflicting views about this concept.
Personally, I couldn’t give a damn about how frequently I unlock my phone each day, how many notifications I get, or anything else of the sort. I simply want to be able to swiftly log out of Twitter or unplug from work so that I may have a relaxing afternoon at home or perhaps a trip.
Google makes this really simple on Pixel. I can easily pause my email, Slack, and Twitter applications from my homescreen if I’ve had a long day and simply don’t want to hear from them. With a few easy clicks, they are all off for the day. I didn’t need to set anything up beforehand or dive into the options. And it only takes one extra click if I do need to dive back in for any reason.
I mean, all I have to do is flip my phone over to silence it completely. There isn’t much simpler than that.
On a Samsung phone, though, this procedure is by no means as convenient.
It all comes down to navigating through several levels of settings on a Samsung device and using Focus Mode to block off a pre-selected list of apps. But such applications are on an allow-list rather than a block-list. I have to manually allow every other app on my phone if I only want to disable a few of them. The only other tool I have is App Timers, which is undoubtedly a fantastic choice but, as I’ve already indicated, it just isn’t helpful for what I’m trying to accomplish.
This is a small issue for most folks, as I indicated. The idea is that with a Google Pixel smartphone, these tools are there to support you on the fly, but Samsung really only permits them in a way that’s constructed in advance. I’d be ready to guess that most people don’t use Digital Wellbeing capabilities in any capacity.
BUT IN THE END, THE FOLD 4 IS A UNIQUE ITEM. There’s a reason Samsung’s foldables have been my primary yearly smartphone buy, despite the few features I miss from Google’s phones. Like its predecessors, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still unique, at least in the US. Samsung is the finest in the market until Google finally releases their own foldable, which has been a rollercoaster to this point.
These software annoyances are just outweighed by the advantages that a foldable brings me, particularly the sheer joy of carrying about such a large screen in such a little package. Having said that, I’m sure things will change in a few months when I use the Pixel 7 Pro for a while. I’m just intrigued to see whether Samsung’s upgraded offering can tempt me away from that phone in the future.
How are you doing? Have you ever changed your phone from a Pixel to a Samsung, or the other way around? Let’s discuss it in the comments section below!
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