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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Should you upgrade?

The differences are more than skin deep, but not huge.
By

Published onApril 21, 2023

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 violet vs blue
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung’s foldable phone launches are turning into a late summer tradition. With those launches, though, comes an ever-popular question: do you really need the latest foldable from Samsung? With the Galaxy Z Flip 4, design hasn’t changed much, but upgrades under the hood might tempt you if you’re hanging onto the previous generation. If you’re still not sure, let’s compare the ins and outs of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 4 to get you on the right track.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 4


Design and display

It’s nearly impossible to tell whether you’re looking at the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or the Flip 3 in the images above, especially from the front. The differences mainly come down to millimeters, but we’ll run through a few highlights anyway.

Samsung gave the 1.9-inch external AMOLED display a nice boost on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 over previous generations, and it’s unchanged for the Galaxy Z Flip 4. It packs the same number of pixels (512 x 260), though it graduates to Gorilla Glass Victus Plus for some extra durability. It’s still nestled next to a trusty pair of camera lenses, and both phones offer capacitive fingerprint readers and volume rockers in their familiar home on the top right-hand side.

Comparing Samsung's two most recent Galaxy Z Flips is like comparing apples to slightly smaller apples.

Even build quality and finish feel almost identical. A glossy metal frame and hazed — but fingerprint-loving — glass back are slim, stylish, and reliable enough for another year. In fact, the only real differences come in color options and the freedom you get in the Bespoke Edition platform.

Once you open the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s new, slimmer hinge, the similarities continue. The 2021 and 2022 Flips each sport 6.7-inch Super AMOLED displays, with 2,640 x 1,080 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The Infinity-O punch-hole camera remains the only screen interruption, though Samsung has made bezels slightly thinner for the Galaxy Z Flip 4. As a result, the newer foldable is a few millimeters smaller than its predecessor. It’s trimmed 0.3mm in width and about 0.8mm in height when unfolded.


Hardware and cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 cameras
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Alright, so we’ve established that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 look almost identical from the outside. However, there are a few differences to note under the hood. Thank goodness — otherwise the déjà vu might be overwhelming.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 carries a more advanced Qualcomm processor. It upgrades from the previous generation’s Snapdragon 888 to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which should bring a slight kick on the power front and greater sustained performance over phones packing the non-Plus variant of the chipset — including the Galaxy S22 series. The foldable stays at 8GB of RAM with 128GB and 256GB storage options, though Samsung has added a high-end 512GB version for those who need it. There’s no microSD slot, so it might be worth investing in extra space from the get-go if you plan to load up on photos and videos.

The newly added 512GB Galaxy Z Flip 4 variant might be good for power users, but it's probably overkill for most people.

Mentioning photos, let’s come back to the camera setup. Although it looks the same on both devices and is again a pair of 12MP lenses on the rear, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is slightly ahead in the photography stakes, at least on paper. Its primary lens has a much larger pixel size, moving from 1.4μm to 1.8μm compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 3, which should result in better low-light images. The ultrawide and selfie cameras are the same, however.

The 12MP external shooters and 10MP selfie are tried and tested, even if they fall behind more advanced setups on the Galaxy S22 series and Galaxy Z Fold 4. Unfortunately, the lack of a telephoto lens also means that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 doesn’t support Samsung’s Expert RAW app, which requires 2x optical zoom capabilities.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 cover screen detail in hand
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Galaxy Z Flip 3 (L) vs Galaxy Z Flip 4 (R)

Despite shrinking slightly in size, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with a battery upgrade. It’s finally beyond the 3,300mAh, now sitting at 3,700mAh. Perhaps more importantly, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 also supports Samsung’s Super Fast Charging, which fills at up to 25W instead of the 15W rate from previous generations. However, you’ll need a USB PD PPS-compatible charger to hit peak speeds.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Flip 3 share identical software, owing to Samsung’s One UI. Both pack excellent update commitments, with four years of Android OS coverage and five years of security patches. In fact, the only difference is that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will stay up to date longer since it launched a year later.


Price and colors

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 colors
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (8/128GB): $999 / £949 / €999
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (8/256GB): $1,049 / £999 / €1,049
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (8/128GB): $999 / £999
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (8/256GB): $1,059 / £1,059
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (8/512GB): $1,179 / £1,199

The bright side of the Galaxy Z Flip’s minimal evolution is that pricing hasn’t changed either. The Flip 4 still starts at $999 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Doubling your storage to 256GB still comes at a $60 premium, while the top 512GB version is $200 more than the base model at $1,179. That 512GB version is the only example of a new price tier, simply because it didn’t exist in previous generations. You should be able to find the Flip 3 at a discount, since it’s no longer a state-of-the-art device.

Samsung’s color options might be the best way to tell the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 apart. The Flip 3 was launched in select global colors like Cream, Lavender, green, and black, with Samsung-exclusive options like white, pink, and gray. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, and blue. Bespoke Edition options include yellow, red, white, navy, and khaki for the front and back, and silver, black, and gold for the frame.

If you’ve been looking for any more encouragement to upgrade, Samsung’s trade-in deals are almost unbeatable. You can get up to $900 in value for your Galaxy Z Flip 3 — at least as long as you have the 256GB version. If you have the 128GB Galaxy Z Flip 3, you’ll still get $700 back, which isn’t half bad.

See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Efficient performance
Solid primary camera
Compact design
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Excellent build quality
Compact when folded
Top-tier performance

Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Displays
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Exterior:
- 1.9-inch AMOLED
- 512 x 260 resolution at 303ppi
- Gorilla Glass Victus

Interior:
- 6.7-inch AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,640 x 1,080 resolution at 425ppi
- Foldable display covering
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Exterior:
- 1.9-inch Super AMOLED
- 512 x 260
- Gorilla Glass Victus Plus

Interior:
- 6.7-inch Super AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,640 x 1,080)
Processor
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
RAM
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
8GB
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
8GB
Storage
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
128GB or 256GB
UFS 3.1
No expandable storage
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
128, 256, or 512GB
UFS 3.1
No expandable storage
Power
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
3,300mAh battery
15W wired charging
10W wireless charging
4.5W reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
3,700mAh battery
25W Super Fast Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
No charger in box
Cameras
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Exterior:
- 12MP wide, 1.4μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
- 12MP ultrawide, FF, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2

Internal:
- 10MP, FF, 1.22μm, ƒ/2.4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Exterior:
- 12MP wide, 1.8μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
- 12MP ultrawide, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2

Internal:
- 10MP, 1.22μm, ƒ/2.4
Audio
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
SIM
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Single nano-SIM tray
eSIM support
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Single nano-SIM tray
eSIM support
Biometrics
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
Software
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Android 11
One UI
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Folded dimensions:
- 72.2 x 86.4 x 17.1mm (measured at hinge)

Unfolded dimensions:
- 72.2 x 166.0 x 6.9mm

Weight:
- 183g
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Folded dimensions:
- 71.9 x 84.9 x 17.1mm (measured at hinge)

Unfolded dimensions:
- 71.9 x 165.2 x 6.9mm

Weight:
- 187g
Colors
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Global: Cream, green, black, lavender

Samsung only: White, pink, gray
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Global: Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, Blue

Bespoke Edition:
- Front/back: Yellow, White, Navy, Khaki, Red
- Frame: Silver, Black, Gold

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Should you upgrade?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 crease detail
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Galaxy Z Flip 3 (L) vs Galaxy Z Flip 4 (R)

Now, for the big reveal — should you upgrade from the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to the Galaxy Z Flip 4? If you’ve been careful to keep your clamshell in good shape, probably not. The differences between the two are minimal, with iterative updates to the battery and processor, and even more minor tweaks to the camera. Saved millimeters here and there will barely make a dent, as the Flip 3 should still fit in just about any pocket, large or small. If you have to have the hefty 512GB version of the Flip 4, there might be some justification.

Minor tweaks mean that you probably won't need to upgrade from the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 to the Galaxy Z Flip 4 — unless you really want to.

If you’ve been interested in Samsung’s clamshells but have yet to grab one, or are coming from the original Flip, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 does offers enough improvements to make it the better option for foldable buyers. Just make sure you act quickly while Samsung’s trade-in offers are at their best.


Do you think the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is worth the upgrade? Let us know in the poll below.

Which is the better buy: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 or Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4?

593 votes