There’s something special about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 that makes it feel like more than just the sum of its foldable parts. Of course, much of that charm is inherited from the Galaxy Z Flip 3, as the two phones are nearly identical. If you’re choosing between the two, we’re breaking down the differences to help you choose.
There are good reasons to compare the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the older Z Flip 3 5G. Samsung still sells both phones as new models, and Amazon has great deals on renewed devices if you want a deal on an old phone.
If you already have a Galaxy Z Flip 3, we’ll discuss whether the Z Flip 4 is worth the upgrade. Mobile carriers offer great deals that get you a new Z Flip 4 for free with a contract agreement and a payment plan. If you can add an upgrade to your budget, is it worth buying your latest phone? Probably not, and we’ll explain why.
If you’re in the market for a brand new foldable and decide whether you want to shell out more money for the new phone, or whether a deal on the older Z Flip 3 makes more sense, we can help. We generally say to buy the newest phone, but there are just a few advantages you’ll find with the Z Flip 4 over its predecessor.
Samsung has new phones on the way; The Galaxy S23 is likely to be launched in February. Foldable phones are coming later in the year, so the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will be new for a while. If you want to get the lowdown on the latest and greatest foldable phones, check out our comparison of the Galaxy Z Flip models and see if they’ve improved enough to pay more for the new hotness.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: Price and availability
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 arrived August 27, 2021. Not every new model from Samsung is currently available in every region, but you can find a 128GB Z Flip 3 5G for $899.99 / AU$1,349, or a 256GB one for $959.99 / UK United £749. Buying a renewed model from Amazon cuts the price roughly in half.
The latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 went on sale on August 26, 2022 (September 2 in Australia). Pricing starts at $899.99 / £999 / AU$1,499 for the 128GB model, although Samsung has long been giving US buyers a free storage upgrade. The 256GB model is priced at $899.99 / £1,059 / AU$1,649, while the new 512GB model is $1,079 / AU$1,849.
With the Galaxy Z Flip 4, you can purchase a “custom” version with a customizable color combination and 256GB of storage. That’s a $40 / £40 / AU$80 premium over the regular 256GB model, and it takes a few weeks for the phone to arrive.
The Galaxy Z Flip is an expensive device no matter which model you buy, but we’ve seen plenty of bargains over the past year. However, at full price, we’d never recommend buying last year’s phone if it priced the same as the newer model. Even if the hardware is an exact match, which it isn’t, you’ll still be missing out on a full year of promised software upgrades.
We’ve seen deals from mobile carriers that give you both of those phones for free, usually under a contractual agreement that spreads the payments out over two to three years. If you’re buying directly from Samsung, the phone maker has a habit of offering extra value for trade-in hardware.
As a general rule, we suggest buying Galaxy Z Flip 3 if the price is 40% cheaper than Z Flip 4 or more, and if you need to save money.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 3: Design
If you are not a Samsung expert, you will not be able to tell which phone is Galaxy Z Flip 3 and which phone is the latest Galaxy Z Flip 4. The design is almost completely unchanged. The hinge is a little smaller, and the curves are a bit sharper, but other than that, the newer phone looks just like the older one.
Both phones have the same remarkably large screen when opened, as well as unexpectedly thin bezels. The sides are flat and sharp. The back is made of Gorilla Glass Victus on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and tougher Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the Flip 4.
Samsung’s foldable phones have side-mounted fingerprint sensors, and they work pretty well in practice. They can be hard to aim for, as they are so small and sit on the thin edge of the phone.
Currently, the color options are a bit limited depending on the phone you’re buying and your region. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 can be found in black, cream, green, pink, and lavender, but availability has been limited. You can still custom-order the Galaxy Z Flip 3 with custom color combinations in certain regions, including the US and UK, but not Australia.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is currently available in Purple, Graphite, Rose Gold and Blue colours. Custom models with custom color combinations shall be widely available. Samsung also likes to partner with luxury designers to design its foldable phones, so stay tuned if you’re willing to spend a fortune on a phone with a fashion brand’s logo.
My Galaxy Z Flip is basically the same size. Measuring 165.2 x 71.9mm, the Flip 4 is slightly shorter and narrower than its predecessor at 166 x 72.2mm, thanks to slightly shrunken edges and a slimmer hinge. Both are 6.9mm thick and the newer phone is 4g heavier at 187g.
With the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the logo-etched hinge doesn’t stand out as much as on the latest model, but the improvements are minimal.
Both phones offer IPX8 ratings, which means they’re water resistant, but the “X” stands for dust, and Samsung offers no protection. Both phones need to keep away from sand and fine particles.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 3: Display
The display on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is slightly improved over the older model, but you’ll need scientific gear to prove it. Every Galaxy Z Flip uses a foldable AMOED panel that measures 6.7 inches when unfolded. It runs in Full HD+ (2640 x 1080) with a 120z refresh rate.
You also get the same 1.9-inch display with a resolution of 260 x 512 and a 60Hz refresh rate. The Z Flip 4 is capable of variable refresh rates on the main screen, which can equate to some power savings, but the larger batter would probably make a bigger difference in this area.
On a foldable phone like the Galaxy Z Flip, you might be concerned about creases in the screen, but it never really bothered us on any of these models. Having the ability to close the phone, or position the cameras with half the phone open, far outweighs any inconvenience of a slight bump on the screen.
The cover screen is also more useful than you might expect, because it can act as a viewfinder for the selfie camera. This means that you can use the better main camera to take a selfie, rather than the smaller hole-punch camera at the bottom of the main screen. This made quite a bit of a difference, especially in the darker selfie shots.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 3: cameras
With the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung is offering a beginner’s course on how to improve the camera without adding more pixels. Although the Z Flip 4 and Z Flip 3 both offer a 12MP main camera, the Flip 4 has a much larger camera sensor.
When the size is larger but has the same number of pixels, it means that each pixel is larger, so it can capture more light when shooting. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 uses 1.8 µm on the sensor, up from 1.4 µm on the Flip 3. This results in up to 65% more brightness for still photos and videos.
Combined with improved OIS (optical image stabilization) and VDIS (video digital image stabilization), the Flip 4 performs better in all shooting conditions, especially in low light.
In practice, you might not notice much of a difference unless you compare the photos directly, which no one except a phone reviewer will. The Galaxy Z Flip has good cameras, but these aren’t the best camera phones Samsung makes. Samsung keeps real shots of the Galaxy S range, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is our favorite camera phone ever.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: Specifications and performance
The older Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Flip 3 were both launched with the best Qualcomm mobile platform available at the time. In our experience, the improvements made by Qualcomm between the Snapdragon 888 on the Z Flip 3 and the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 on the Flip 4 are noticeable.
Both phones also have 8GB of RAM as the only RAM option available, but make no mistake, the Flip 4 is a much faster device. Performance is snappy, whether we’re playing games and running apps, or just browsing Samsung’s overworked OneUI interface.
In testing, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 had a multi-core Geekbench 5 score of 3980, lower than some similar competitors but still beating the Flip 3 by a notable margin; That produced scores closer to 2800. That equates to a 42% increase in the CPU for the newer phone, which is a whopping high.
Having a more powerful phone makes the phone last longer. As new software and system features tax the processor more, a newer phone will be better able to keep up with updates. Also, buying a newer phone instead of the last generation means you get an extra year of OS updates.
In terms of storage, both phones offer 128GB and 256GB options, but the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 also offers a 512GB option on the higher end.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 3: Battery
Besides the larger camera sensor, the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s most significant improvement comes with the battery. The Z Flip 4 weighs more than the Flip 3, likely thanks to its 3,700mAh battery. This represents a 12% increase in capacity compared to the Flip 3’s 3,300mAh.
We’d cheer for more weight if it meant a double-digit battery improvement. In our review, we called the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s small battery the “biggest drawback,” as it never really lasted beyond the second day of use.
Honestly, the Flip 4’s power management still needs improvement, but it’s undoubtedly better. It lasts for a day with very little hassle, though we still splurge when we don’t want to sweat the last few hours.
Samsung has also improved charging on the Flip 4, with up to 25W wired and 15W wireless, compared to 15W wired and 10W wireless on the Flip 3. None of that is particularly fast compared to most other flagships, of course, and you’ll need To need to save wart wall shipping no matter what face you buy.
Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy Z Flip 3: Which should you buy?
You can’t see the differences from the outside, but Samsung has improved the Galaxy Z Flip 4 enough to make it worth choosing over the Galaxy Z Flip 3, unless you can save a bundle. The phones look nearly identical, in the hand or on the spec sheet, but there are a few key areas Samsung has fixed with the newer model.
The camera is undoubtedly better on the Galaxy Z Flip 4, with better low-light photos. You also get a bigger battery, which is a necessary improvement. Both phones use fast Qualcomm processors, but the Z Flip 4 really impressed us with its performance, and felt like a step up.
This is not to say that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a bad buy right now. Galaxy Z Flip 4, like all foldable phones, is very expensive. If you can find a significant price cut that makes the Z Flip 3 a bargain, go for it. You may have to charge it more often, but you still get a lot of style, and you won’t miss out on other upgrades as often.
The Galaxy Z Flip is the best foldable phone for most buyers, and Samsung got it straight with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Flip 4. While we wait for the next big flat phone, it’s time to pick up the latest foldable model, or last year’s model, if it’s The price is right.