The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has been an absolute joy to use, or rather, not to use. See, the Z Flip 4 from Samsung has become the perfect digital wellness device for me in that it makes me pick it up and use it less. While that sounds odd, that’s far from a bad thing
Foldables in general are divisive and leave users either very much liking them or avoiding them at all costs. In our review of Samsung’s Z Flip 4, we outlined a lot of pros to the device itself, though the premise of a clamshell doesn’t exactly suit everyone. One arguing point is the true value of having a foldable, though that’s a different discussion. Another is the durability of a folding phone since even Samsung recognizes there is a lifespan of only so many folds – 200,000 to be precise.
Personally, I find the Z Flip 4 an absolute pleasure to use. Once you get past the overhanging novelty aspect of the Flip 4 and start to use it as a device for everyday needs, you might find that the foldable does everything just as well as a flagship phone.
A healthy dose of Flip
If there’s one thing where Samsung’s Flip 4 excels, it’s digital wellness. In effect, that cover screen does a lot more than just show you the time. Rather – depending on how you use the Flip – it can sort of replace the inner display, to an extent.
While not as large and useful as the Fold 4’s outer display, the cover screen contributes to the overall usefulness of the device.
As far as functionality goes, the cover screen accomplishes several things. The main cover screen face – or whatever you want to call it – is more like a watch face. It shows you the time, battery level, and date. If you have a notification, you’ll see a small orange dot to the left. If you swipe in that direction, you can read previews of all of your active notifications.
To the right of the clock are several widgets, which you can tune to fit your needs. You can have pages like the calendar, music playback control, and even the weather. Of course, those widgets are basic and Samsung-specific, but they do come in handy.
With mainstream devices, you have one screen and one screen only. That screen handles everything, including showing you notifications from the lock screen. The issue I find myself coming across often is seeing notifications and unlocking my phone, only to wander off to some other app and spend time there. While it’s become a natural way to use my other devices, I found myself becoming more aware of that habit when I began using the Flip 4 in daily use.
With the Samsung Z Flip 4, that cover screen displays all of your notifications as a filter, wherein you can decide if something is worth opening the device for a deeper look; that physical action of needing to open the Flip brings more attention to your digital wellness habits and sort of becomes a barrier after some use.
To clarify, opening the Z Flip 4 every time I want to use it is nowhere near a hassle. It becomes second nature and even takes less time than some other fingerprint sensors take to get a good reading. The opening motion just makes you a little more conscious of what you’re opening the device for.
Using a device less is not a bad thing
With the digital wellness effect, the Z Flip 4 has on daily use, I find myself also using the device less. The cover screen, while limited in function, can give you a lot of information about the state of your device and what’s going on notification-wise.
In reality, that’s all that’s needed at any given moment. Of course, opening the device is easy – not to mention satisfying – to do, but I find that I use the cover screen at a glance almost as much as I would the inner display.
The entire structure of the Flip 4 focuses your attention on what matters most in your notifications; whatever is irrelevant doesn’t exactly warrant opening the device. In those cases, simply swipe the notification away and be done with it.
That itself lends to the Flip 4 being wonderful for digital wellness since it limits how much you actually wander through your phone aimlessly. I found myself doing less of that, and rather having more concise phone use that had more of a purpose. In my book, that’s a benefit to Samsung’s Z Flip 4 that I hadn’t initially considered in my first days of use. With that in mind, the foldable has a secret strength in digital wellness.
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