Before I begin the article, I must acknowledge that, yes, I am indeed a very privileged and lucky individual. I review smartphones for a living, so I get access to literally every major phone that goes on sale, and I often travel for work too. And in the past few months, whenever I’ve had to fly, I have taken the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, even though I have access to every single flagship phone released in 2022. The Fold 4 is a must-carry-on item for me, along with a pair of active noise-cancelling headphones.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the best overall foldable phone, and right now, if you trade in two phones, you can get the normally $1800 phone for as low as $150.
Why the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a must-carry for me
You may assume the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is my must-carry travel item because I think it’s the best phone, or my favorite phone. It isn’t. I’ve been using either the Google Pixel 7 Pro or Xiaomi 12S Ultra as my main phone for the past few months, because I snap a lot of street photography and these are the two best camera phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s triple-lens camera system is no slouch, but it can’t match the large sensor magic of Xiaomi’s phone or Google’s awesome Periscope zoom lens.
But the reason I always make sure to put my SIM card back into the Fold, even if it’s just for the durability of a flight, is because of the fact that I can get a mini tablet-sized screen in a pocketable package. The large screen comes in handy not just for obvious reasons, like watching movies on a flight, but also for showing digital boarding passes at airport gates, or for quickly pumping out emails while in transit. It is also these latter two use cases that make the Fold 4 so ideal — its foldable nature makes it more portable than just carrying, say, an iPad.
What makes the Fold 4 better than other foldables then?
As I said, I have access to every major phone released, including ones not sold in the US, so the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is not my only foldable. I also have Xiaomi’s excellent Mix Fold 2, which is thinner and lighter, and Vivo’s X Fold, which has a more capable camera system. But neither of those phones can beat the Fold 4, at least for travel use, because of a couple of factors.
The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2’s lack of a flex mode — a fully articulate hinge — means I can’t just place the device on an airplane tray table and watch content hands free, I must either hold the phone myself, or prop it against something, or bring a dedicated phone stand.
The Vivo X Fold, meanwhile, is a bit too heavy, and its software isn’t nearly as polished as the Fold 4, particularly when it comes to multi-tasking.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is just the most polished and functional foldable, which is what makes it so great as a travel phone.
Why the deal is so good right now
Some readers are probably scoffing at the notion of buying a Galaxy Z Fold 4 just for travel use. And I concede right off the bat I am in a privileged spot. However, there are significant Black Friday deals right now that shaves a chunk off the Fold 4’s normally high $1,800 price. In fact, with the right offer and trade-in, you can get a Fold 4 for as low as $150.
Right now for Black Friday, Samsung is offering an immediate $350 discount for any phone (regardless of condition) you trade in. This is on top of whatever value your phone fetches. So even if you trade in a six-year-old iPhone 6S with a cracked screen, you’re still getting that immediate $350 off, plus the value of the cracked 6S (which Samsung’s website lists as $300). Just like that, you shaved $650 off the Z Fold 4’s price.
But you can trade in a second device, and while you don’t get the immediate $350 discount again, Samsung’s trade-in can be quite generous. For example, even a three-year-old iPhone 11 Pro will fetch you $300. Essentially, if you pair the right devices to trade-in, you can get the Galaxy Z Fold 4 down to $150. This is a juicy enough offer to perhaps try your first foldable, or if you’re privileged enough to have multiple devices, make it a travel phone too.