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

Should you invest in Samsung's new Z Flip 4 or stick with last year's Z Flip 3? Here are the key differences to aid your buying decision.
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Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor on
Reviewed by June Wan
A row of Galaxy Flip 4 phones in different colors, open, sitting on coasters
Jason Hiner/ZDNet

Samsung on Wednesday officially released the latest generation of its best-selling Galaxy Z Flip smartphone, the Z Flip 4. While the clamshell handset brings changes to the camera system, processing power, and battery life, current Z Flip 3 owners may be on the fence about its similar-looking, similarly priced successor. If you're wondering whether the new changes are worth upgrading to, here's our take.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Display (main screen)

6.7 inches, Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 120Hz refresh rate

6.7 inches, Dynamic AMOLED 2X with 120Hz refresh rate

Display (cover screen)

1.9 inches, Super AMOLED 

1.9 inches, Super AMOLED

Dimensions (unfolded)

130.1x155.1x6.3mm

71.9x165.2x6.9mm

Weight

183g

187g

Cameras

12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP front 

12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP front

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

Memory and storage

8GB RAM with 128GB, 256GB 

8GB RAM with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Battery

3,300mAh 

3,700mAh

Durability

IPX8

IPX8

Software

One UI 4.1 over Android 12

One UI 4.1.1 over Android 12

Colors

Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Gray, White, Pink

Graphite, Bora Purple, Pink Gold, Blue, Bespoke

Price

Starting at $899

Starting at $999


You should upgrade if... 

1. You want a longer-lasting battery 

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 4 is the latter's bigger, more efficient battery. With the Flip 4's battery capacity of 3,700mAh (versus the Z Flip 3's 3,300mAh), Samsung says the Z Flip 4 should last 3 hours longer. It also charges faster, with Super Fast Charging capable of juicing up to 50% in about 30 minutes. If battery life is one of the main downers of your Z Flip 3 experience, the Z Flip 4 should bring you a little more zen. 

2. You want the latest Samsung cameras

While both phones feature a 12MP ultrawide lens and a 10MP selfie camera, the main lens, which you're probably taking the most pictures and videos with, has been updated. Using 1.8 micron pixels instead of the Z Flip 3's 1.4, the Flip 4 can take sharper photos -- no matter the lighting conditions.

The Z Flip 4's dual-camera setup at the rear is also nearly identical to that of this year's Galaxy S22 Plus, which ZDNet's Jason Cipriani reviewed with positive remarks. Flex Mode also sees some new benefits like continuous video recording, and the new Cover Screen can now serve as a viewfinder for photos in every aspect ratio. 

A hand holding A Z Flip 4 and recording video of a band playing in a meadow

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 allows you to use your phone like a camcorder and record from multiple angles. 

Image: Samsung

3. You want faster and more powerful performance 

With the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, the Z Flip 4 operates with the newest and fastest Qualcomm processor at the helm. The Z Flip 3, on the other hand, uses last year's Snapdragon 888 chipset. While only one generation behind the Snapdragon 8 Plus, the 888 is not as battery-efficient and snappy as its successor. From our testing of other Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 handsets, we have high expectations for the performance and output of the Z Flip 4 -- as should you. 

You shouldn't upgrade if... 

1. You want a smaller or bigger handset 

If you were expecting a smaller or larger clamshell this time around, I have bad news. The dimensions of the new Z Flip are practically identical to the Z Flip 3's, from the display sizes to the thickness. You can expect hand-feel (both flipped open and closed) to be the same with this year's model.

2. You want a larger cover screen 

Like the handset sizes, the cover screen size is identical at 1.9 inches diagonally. That means that the physical functionality on the Z Flip 3 carries over to the Z Flip 4. Samsung has introduced a few software tweaks to the cover screen, like the ability to personalize its appearance, add new widgets, and actually reply to text messages from the smaller display. We expect the same features to come to the Z Flip via software updates, though. 

Several personalized Samsung Flip 4 phones
Image: Samsung

3. You're expecting a cheaper price 

If you were hoping that the Z Flip 4 would come at even a slightly cheaper price than the Z Flip 3, I'm sorry to tell you that it, too, is debuting with a $999 price tag. While the Z Flip 3 has lost a year's worth of resale value, Samsung currently is offering enhanced trade-in credits when you purchase the Z Flip 4. In the Samsung store, the Z Flip 3 is valued at $900 if you trade it in for the Z Flip 4, which is as good as it'll get. 

More: The best Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 deals

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