I used the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to bring back my old PC gaming memories | Job Binary

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is an impressive 2-in-1 device. It’s easily billed as a capable smartphone, but the foldable also doubles as an Android tablet. It serves as a high productivity device and packs the latest and most powerful hardware that can power any Android device. Despite its internal specifications, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has remained out of the hands of mobile gamers.

The biggest challenge for gaming on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the screen size. The ratio aspect of the two screens is unusual—to say the least—and this can lead to numerous compatibility or cropping issues. The solution to this problem, however, also lies in the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Instead of playing these games on a smaller screen, we throw them onto a bigger screen so you can enjoy them.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 games with keyboard and mouse.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

The setup can be as simple or as complex as you want. As I like to keep all my bases covered, it instinctively leads me to rely on some stylish gear. Here is what my setup includes:

My Galaxy Z Fold 4 gaming setup

At the heart of this miniature gaming setup is a powerful USB Type-C dock. That’s what we’re using it for . The Ugreen dock is perfect for this setup, as it has two HDMI outputs, including one with 8K resolution, a DisplayLink-certified DisplayPort connector, a Gigabit Ethernet port, multiple USB Gen 3.2 Type-A and Type-C ports, and 3.5. mm audio jack. All of these ports combine to provide the connectivity options of a primitive desktop setup.

Ugreen USB Type-C dock DisplayLink, gigabit Ethernet, USB port.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

For convenience, I use the following:

  • DisplayPort instead of HDMI port because the former offers a smoother and lag-free experience, especially while streaming the screen at 4K (3840×2160) resolution.
  • Ethernet port for faster ping while playing online games.
  • USB Type-C port to connect charger to eliminate power drain.
  • USB Type A ports for connecting keyboard and mouse. I’m using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to facilitate switching between different devices, which may increase latency somewhat.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack to reduce audio lag compared to a Bluetooth headset.

You can also use a less fussy USB Type-C dock, or opt for one altogether. and connecting other peripherals via Bluetooth. This may be a simpler setup, but it may introduce some latency, which can be a disadvantage while playing high-tempo games.

Along with the Ugreen dock, I use a 27-inch LG 4K HDR monitor. You can use any large screen, including a TV, projector or computer monitor. I recommend using something with DisplayPort support, but that’s not necessary for the setup to work.

A mechanical keyboard on the front of the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

In addition to the hardware, I use the Panda Mouse Pro app which allows you to map keyboard and mouse controls so that you can play a game without touching the screen. You will need to allow the app to display on top of other apps and activate the app using a PC or Mac with ADB. The app is paid, but you can also find some free alternatives, such as Mantis Gamepad Pro. The complexity of the app setup may differ, but you can easily find tutorials online.

Even if the application can be run in DeX mode, it may not be able to manipulate the keyboard and mouse controls very effectively. As a result, the application can crash several times, so I throw the screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 on the monitor.

I played the games

While the setup allows me to play any game using keyboard and mouse, I chose to play three classics that were popularized by the PC versions and eventually ported to Android. Game options include:

  • Minecraft
  • GTA: San Andreas
  • Call of Duty: Mobile

I mapped the keyboard and mouse controls using Panda Mouse Pro GTA and KoD: Mobile. Meanwhile, Minecraft It natively supports keyboard and mouse input, and no additional steps were required. All other features of the interface can be manipulated using the mouse to replace the touch controls.

It should be noted that Samsung’s DeX and screen mirroring options are inherently limited to the highest resolution supported by the phone (1440p in the case of the Galaxy Z Fold 4). The higher screen resolution (4K here) can be unlocked by installing the MultiStar module in Samsung’s Good Lock app.

So what’s the gaming experience like?

As I rely on casting the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s display to a larger screen, the narrow 5:4 aspect ratio can be bright, especially if you’re using a widescreen monitor. I use a standard 16:9 monitor, which you see in the photo below. The limitation is forced due to the key mapping software, it does not work as intended in DeX mode. Other than that, however, there’s nothing stopping you from using a keyboard and mouse to run games like you would on a regular PC. Games run more smoothly without any limitations.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 with gaming keyboard, mouse and USB Type-C docking.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

It is very useful for Ethernet setup as it reduces online ping from 30ms on a 5GHz Wi-Fi network to 3-5ms over LAN. The lower ping allows you to register responses faster and is very useful in online multiplayer games.

If you have a USB or Bluetooth gamepad, you can play games with a unified controller with this setup. It includes popular titles such as game lists Asphalt 9, Real Racing 3, Brawlhalla, etc., which can be enjoyed wirelessly in a game console-like arrangement. If you’re willing to spend more time optimizing this setup, you can even load archaic controller games for Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Portable (PSP), GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and GameBoy Advanced devices using an emulator like All In One Emulator.

Take better care of your gaming PC

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 games with keyboard and mouse.
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

While it’s unfair to compare this experience to a full-fledged gaming PC, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor certainly makes the Galaxy Z Fold 4 a worthy competitor to ARM-based Windows machines when it comes to multi-platform gaming. What makes this experience so enjoyable is the ability to play Windows games ported to Android thanks to the efforts of responsible game publishers.

This configuration is also very suitable for cloud gaming platforms such as Nvidia GeForce, which will allow you to enjoy the same high-intensity gaming without real equipment. The Gigabit Ethernet on the Ugreen dock I use is adequate for fast charging and easily ignored lag.

This arrangement has one more advantage, even if you don’t want to use a monitor with it. Game progress is saved on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, so you can continue without fear of losing anything. Add all that up, and the Z Fold 4 ends up being an incredibly good gaming rig.

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