I opted for a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 on this 72-hour trip to check if it’s ready for the multi-tasking rigours of a 2022 traveller.
‘Bleisure’: portmanteau of business and leisure. Can refer to a business trip with sightseeing
thrown in or a leisure trip where you need to stay plugged in to work.
My recent trip to Kandima Maldives fits into the second broad definition of a bleisure trip. A trip to explore the potential of Maldives as a solo traveller destination. In many ways most leisure trips now involve a bleisure element; very few of us can truly disconnect from work. We need to stay connected via email or WhatsApp, type the occasional long email or edit documents or sheets on the go. These are trips where we choose a tab over a laptop. It’s not just the lighter form factor but a declaration of independence of sorts from your laptop, albeit temporarily. I opted to ditch my iPad Pro for a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 on this 72-hour trip to check if the foldable smartphone is ready for the multi-tasking rigours of a 2022 traveller.
If you’ve been to the Maldives, you will know that your photo opps start even before you set foot on your chosen island getaway; you have to score a window seat. I snapped the customary touchdown shots from the seaplane that took me to my final destination – Kandima Maldives. The Z Fold 4 has an improved camera system over its predecessor. There are two key changes. This one comes with a 50MP primary lens and the 10MP telephoto lens now offers 3X Optical zoom. It’s not in the league of the S22 Ultra with its 10X Optical Zoom but I managed great aerial shots of the atolls and multiple shades as long as I didn’t
stretch (you can go as far as 30X zoom) beyond 10X of digital zoom. I know I would have snorkelled with the S22 Ultra, but I didn’t quite feel comfortable enough to jump into the ocean with the Fold 4, despite its IPX 8 waterproof certification. It had to be a GoPro for this ocean adventure.
My decision to travel with the Fold 4 was largely driven by its cover display. For perspective, the iPad Mini (2022) display is 8.3 inches and the Fold’s primary display stretches to 7.6-inches. Except this one’s truly immersive (120 Hz / 1812 x 2176 pixels/ 373 PPI) with a screen: body ratio of 90.9%. I particularly enjoyed flipping through eBooks on the Kindle app with the black screen and white text. Gaming was fun, although I didn’t spend too much time at the Maldives in gaming mode. I watched the third episode of House of the Dragon. Colours were brilliant but it’s tough to ignore the black bands caused by the screen size. You do have the option of ‘zoom to fill’. While it’s easy to watch videos when you’re in the couch and the device is resting on your hand or thigh it’s tough to prop it up on full screen mode without a stand or case. Apps like Hotstar or Netflix work differently once you try watching it on a partially folded mode. The best option is to watch it on full screen mode. This where a Samsung tab or a smaller tab like an iPad mini with a back case is easier to manage.
I had to create a word doc as well as edit a Google Sheet that were both quite easy with the split screen option that allowed me to use one half of the screen to type. It’s certainly no competition for a large Samsung Tab or an iPad Pro with a dedicated keyboard but those don’t fold and slip into your shorts when you are chilling on the beach.
Yes, I think the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 scores with its multi-tasking capabilities. It’s not quite ready to replace a large screen tablet like a Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 or an iPad Air but can match up to a smaller tab on the work and play fronts. Samsung has worked on the build quality; I didn’t worry too much about scratches. Aside from being careful about sand on the beach, I handled this just like any other smartphone. It’s the user experiences that make this an interesting travelling companion. I could chill on the pool deck at the Kandima all afternoon reading an eBook and then switch to camera mode and capture a serene Maldivian sunset.
(The Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 starts at Rs 1.54,999 and is available in Graygreen, Phantom
Black and Beige)