Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: Upgrade time?

Samsung’s Z Flip series is helping foldables into the mass market. For $999 you get a flippy phone with an AMOLED display, good cameras, special features, and a snappy processor. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is no different. While it looks similar to the predecessor, there are meaningful improvements under the hood. But does that mean you should upgrade from the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to the Z Flip 4?

We put the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 against the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to see if the new version packs enough weight to be worthy of an upgrade.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Size Unfolded: 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm (6.5 x 2.83 x 0.27 inches)

Folded: 84.9 x 71.9 x 17.1mm (3.34 x 2.83 x 0.67 inches)

Unfolded: 166 x 72.2 x 6.9mm (6.53 x 2.84 x 0.27 inches)

Folded: 86.4 x 72.2 x 17.1mm (3.4 x 2.84 x 0.67 inches)

Weight 187 grams (6.60 ounces) 183 grams (6.46 ounces)
Screen size Main: 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED (1Hz-120Hz)

Cover screen: 1.9-inch Super AMOLED

Main: 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED (1Hz-120Hz)

Cover screen: 1.9-inch Super AMOLED

Screen resolution Main: 2640 × 1080 pixels

Cover screen: 512 x 260 pixels

Main: 2636 × 1080 pixels

Cover screen: 300 x 112 pixels

Operating system Android 12 with One UI 4.1.1 Android 12 with One UI 4.1
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay, Samsung Pay Google Pay, Samsung Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAM 8GB 8GB
Camera Rear main: Dual-lens 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide

Front: 10MP ultra-wide

Rear main: Dual-lens 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide

Front: 10MP ultra-wide

Video 4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+

4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps, HDR10+

Bluetooth version 5.2 5.1
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes, side-mounted Yes, side-mounted
Water resistance IPX8 IPX8
Battery 3,700mAh

25W fast charging

10W fast wireless charging

4.5W reverse wireless charging (Wireless PowerShare)

3,300mAh

15W fast charging

10W fast wireless charging

4.5W reverse wireless charging (Wireless PowerShare)

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support All carriers All carriers
Colors Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, Blue, Bespoke Edition

Cream, green, lavender, Phantom Black, white, pink, gray

Prices $1,000 $1,000
Buy from Samsung, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart

Samsung, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart

Review Hands-on 4 out of 5 stars

Design and display

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a tad bit narrower than the Z Flip 3 at 165.2mm vs. 166mm. But it feels the same in hand, which means it has a solid in-hand feel and can be folded and unfolded with a single hand. At 187 grams, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is 4 grams heavier than the Z Flip 3, but it is still one of the lightest flagship smartphones in the market. And you won’t feel the weight difference when you hold both of them side by side. Both of them have a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and are IPX8 rated for water resistance that can protect your Flip from splashes but don’t take it underwater or on the beach.

Both devices feature a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. But the Z Flip 4 can go down to 1Hz instead of 10Hz on the Flip 3. The duo has the same resolution at 1080 x 2640 pixels and a similar screen-to-body ratio. On the front lies a 1.9-inch cover display on both the Flip 4 and Flip 3. It can be used as a glace screen to look at notifications, date and time, and more. While we would have preferred a bigger cover display, Samsung’s design philosophy with the Flip 4 seems to be “why fix what ain’t broke.”

Winner: Tie

Performance and battery

samsung galaxy z flip 4.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is powered by 2021’s flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 888 chipset. It was paired with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. However, the high power consumption of this Qualcomm processor resulted in mediocre battery life on the Flip 3. It packed a 3,300mAh battery with support for 15W fast charging.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 runs on the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. It is more power efficient and has better NPU, GPU, and CPU performance. This could result in a better camera, battery, and day-to-day performance. The SoC is paired with 8GB of RAM, and Samsung is offering three storage variants this time. You can get the Galaxy Z Flip 4 in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. As for the battery, it gets a big boost to 3,700mAh with 25W fast charging capabilities.

Both devices can be charged wirelessly as well. While they can reverse wirelessly charge your smartwatch or earbuds, the battery capacity may limit this. However, we expect the Flip 4 to last longer than the Flip 3 due to the bigger battery and more efficient SoC.

Winner: Galaxy Z Flip 4

Camera

samsung galaxy z flip 4.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Samsung hasn’t changed the camera configurations from the Flip 3 on the Flip 4. Both foldable smartphones sport a dual rear camera setup that includes a 12MP primary camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens with a 123-degree field of view. On the front lies a 10MP shooter with an 80-degree field of view.

While there is no change in the camera hardware for the Flip 4, it may perform better than the Flip 3, thanks to the new processor that can help in image processing. However, it’ll be hard to choose a winner until our review goes up and we have tested the phone for ourselves.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

samsung galaxy z flip 4.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 shipped with Android 11 but it is now upgradable to Android 12 based on One UI 4.1. On the other hand, the Z Flip 4 ships with Android 12 based on a more advanced One UI 4.1.1 out of the box. The new device should last a year longer with major Android updates as well as security patches.

Winner: Galaxy Z Flip 4

Price and availability

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was launched at $999 for the base 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. Samsung is keeping the $999 price tag for the Galaxy Z Flip 4, with the same amount of RAM and storage. However, you can customize your Flip 4 with Bespoke Edition. It is available in Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, and Blue color options. But the color options’ availability will depend on the markets. Both devices are available across all major retailers.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

samsung galaxy z flip 4.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is an iterative upgrade over the Galaxy Z Flip 3. It sports the same design, display, and camera hardware. But there are meaningful improvements under the hood that can result in vastly different results in day-to-day usage.

The Z Flip 4’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 could not only result in better camera performance, but combine it with the 4,000mAh bigger battery, and you are probably looking at a solid one-day phone on a single charge. While we are yet to give our final verdict on the Flip 4, we expect it to perform better than the Flip 3.

That being said, if your Z Flip 3 is going strong after a year, and you don’t need a new smartphone, you can stick with it. But with the tempting trade-in offer of $900, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will only cost you $99, which makes it an exciting deal and a no-brainer of an upgrade.

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