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

The differences are more than skin deep.
By
August 10, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 violet vs blue
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung’s foldable phone launches are turning into a late summer tradition. We now have a new Flip and Fold to look forward to just as vacations are winding down and it’s time to head back to school. With those launches comes an ever-popular question: do you really need the latest foldable from Samsung? For the new Galaxy Z Flip 4, the design hasn’t changed much, but the upgrades under the hood might tempt you if you’re hanging on to 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

We could summarize this section with the pointing Spider-Man meme and you probably wouldn’t have any further questions. It’s nearly impossible to tell whether you’re looking at the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in the images above because they are so similar, especially from the front. The differences mainly come down to millimeters, but we’ll run through a few of the 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. We’re bound to see some new widgets as the device rolls out, but they’ll likely come to the older model too. The display is 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 the build quality and finish feel almost identical between the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 4. The 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 your 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 models sport 6.7-inch Super AMOLED displays, with 2,640 x 1,080 resolutions and 120Hz refresh rates. The Infinity-O punch hole camera remains the only interruption, though Samsung has made the bezels slightly thinner for the Galaxy Z Flip 4. As a result, the newer foldable is a few millimeters smaller than its predecessor. It was trimmed 0.3mm in width and about 0.8mm in height when unfolded.

Our early verdict: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 hands-on


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 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 carries Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor. It moved 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 latest foldable also 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 the extra space 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, 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, however, are the same.

The 12MP external shooter and 10MP punch hole 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 won’t support Samsung’s Expert RAW app, which requires 2x optical zoom capabilities. We’ll need to test the Z Flip 4’s cameras in more detail, but based on the specs, we wouldn’t expect it to challenge the best camera phones but it also shouldn’t be massively far behind.

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 by a few fractions of millimeters, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with an upgrade in terms of the battery. It finally grew beyond the 3,300mAh capacity and now sits 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 the top charge power.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 share identical software, with Samsung’s One UI onboard. 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’s launching 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 lack of overall change is that the pricing hasn’t changed either. Samsung’s clamshell foldable 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, but that’s because it didn’t exist in previous generations.

Save some money: The best Samsung Galaxy deals

Samsung’s color options might be the best way to tell the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 apart. The 2021 model was launched in select global colors like Cream, Lavender, green, and black, with Samsung-exclusive options like white, pink, and gray. Now, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes in Bora Purple (which just launched on the Galaxy S22 series), Graphite, Pink Gold, and Blue.

We’ve also been given a taste of the Bespoke Edition options: Yellow, red, white, navy, and khaki for the front and back, and silver, black, and gold for the frame. There may be more interchangeable options in the future, but this is a solid start if you want a more custom clamshell experience.

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. Samsung’s pre-order bonus also includes a storage upgrade, so you can upgrade to the 256GB Galaxy Z Flip 4 at no extra cost.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Excellent build quality
Compact when folded
Improved displays
IPX8 rating
Top-tier performance
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
10%off
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Compact clamshell design
Upgraded cameras and battery life
Long-term software support
$897.48 at Amazon
Save $102.51

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 for the last year, probably not. The differences between the two are minimal, with iterative updates to the battery, processor, and minor tweaks to the camera. If you have to have the hefty 512GB version, you might be able to justify the cost, but the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is still good enough for most users.

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.

While the primary camera is slightly larger, the improved battery capacity and charging might be the biggest temptation for an upgrade. The saved millimeters here and there will barely make a dent, as the clamshell foldable should still fit in just about any pocket, large or small.

However, if you’ve been charmed by Samsung’s clamshell but have yet to grab one, or are coming from the original Flip, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers enough incremental improvements and retains the same reasonable price tag to make it the better option for first-time 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?

348 votes