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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Z Flip 3: What are the differences?

Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4
Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4 (Image credit: Future/Samsung)

The Galaxy Z Flip 4, unveiled at Samsung’s August Unpacked event, is a polarizing, pioneering phone — a device that compels us to nostalgically swoon over the ol’ flip phone design, but adds a futuristic, foldable twist. Not everyone digs the Z Flip series’ form factor; many prefer their gigantic, unbending phones. However, others are warming up to the idea of slamming one’s phone shut with a satisfying “snap.”

The Galaxy Z Flip 4, starting at $999, is one of the best phones that emulates the beloved flip-phone era (though the Motorola Razr 2022 may disagree). When it comes to next-generation launches, many people wonder, “how does it differ from the previous phone?” It’s a fair question, especially if the predecessor is available significantly cheaper. Why pay extra if the generational leap is imperceptible?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (Image credit: Samsung)

If you want to see the similarities and differences between the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3, you’ve come to the right place. This fierce face-off pits both phones against each other, giving you a better understanding of whether Samsung’s Z Flip 4 upgrades are noteworthy.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: Price  

All configurations of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 come with 8GB of RAM. The cheapest model (128GB of storage) starts at $999. Typically, an upgrade to 256GB of storage would cost an extra $60, but as of this writing, Samsung is offering this model at the same price as the 128GB variant. A maxed out Z Flip 4, equipped with 512GB of storage, has a price tag of $1,180. Whew!

Samsung is also offering a trade-in credit of up to $900 for the Z Flip 4. For example, if you trade in the Z Flip 3 for the Z Flip 4, you’d only have to shell out $99 for the new-gen foldable.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (Image credit: Samsung )

On Samsung.com (opens in new tab), the starting price for the 128GB Galaxy Z Flip 3 is no different from its predecessor. Amazon happens to be selling it (opens in new tab) for $949 — a whopping $50 off. The 256GB Z Flip 3 requires you to shell out a cool $1,050. If you’re wondering about the price of the 512GB model, it doesn’t exist; you only have two configurations to choose from.

Currently, Samsung’s max trade-in credit for the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is $825. For example, you’d pay $175 if you traded in your Galaxy Z Fold 2.

With Samsung offering attractive promotional discounts for the Galaxy Z Flip 4, slashing its price significantly (especially if you have a qualified trade-in device), it’s a no brainer. The Z Flip 4 is the winner here.

Winner: Galaxy Z Flip 4 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: Specs 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3
Galaxy Z Flip 4Galaxy Z Flip 3
Main screen6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, HDR10+, 120Hz, 1080 x 2640-pixel foldable display6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X, HDR10+, 120Hz, 1080 x 2460-pixel foldable display
Cover display 1.9-inch Super AMOLED, 260 x 512-pixel screen fortified with Gorilla Glass Victus+1.9-inch, Super AMOLED, 260 x 512-pixel screen
CPUQualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G
RAM8GB8GB
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras12MP, f/1.8, 1.8µm (wide) 12MP, f/2.2, 1.12µm (ultrawide)12MP, f/1.8,1.4µm (wide) 12MP, f/2.2, 1.12µm (ultrawide)
Front camera10MP, f/2.4, 1.22µm10MP, f/2.4, 1.22µm
Battery size3,700 mAh 3,300 mAh
Water resistanceIPX8IPX8
ColorsBora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold and BlueCream, Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, Gray, Pink
SizeFolded: 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.9-17.1 mm Unfolded: 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9 mmFolded: 86.4 x 72.2 x 15.9-17.1 mm Unfolded: 166 x 72.2 x 6.9 mm
Weight6.60 oz6.46 oz

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 4: Design 

Forget a magnifying glass. Hand me a microscope! To the naked eye, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 isn’t much different from the Z Flip 3. Both have the same compact, clamshell design with a 1.9-inch, Super AMOLED, 260 x 512-pixel cover screen. Flipping them open reveals a foldable, Dynamic AMOLED 2x, HDR10+, 6.7-inch, 1080 x 2640-pixel display with a 120Hz variable refresh rate.

Galaxy Z Flip 4

Galaxy Z Flip 4 (Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung claims that the Z Flip 4 has more solid modeling, a smaller hinge, and a bolder camera housing compared to the previous generation. The Korea-based conglomerate also boasts that the frame is “glossier,” which is, erm, certainly what foldable fans have been begging for — shinier edges (yes, that was sarcasm). However, what may actually interest you is that the aluminum frame is the Z Flip series’ toughest yet, so if you have butterfingers, the Z Flip 4 should be more resistant to the occasional drop. (You may also be relieved to know that the Galaxy Z Flip is the world’s first water-resistant foldable phone line thanks to its IPX8 rating.)

Looking at their unfolded dimensions, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 (165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm) is negligibly less lengthy than the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (166 x 72.2 x 6.9 mm).The Galaxy Z Flip 4 weighs 6.6 ounces, a mighty 0.14 ounces heavier than its predecessor — a mind-blowing difference that should make or break your buying decision for sure (yes, more sarcasm). 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (Image credit: Samsung)

The color options are different this time around. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers finishes in Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold and Blue. The Galaxy Z Flip 3, on the other hand, comes in Cream, Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, Gray and Pink. You can customize the front, back, and frame of both phones with various colors using the Bespoke Studio on Samsung.com, giving the Z Flip series a, in my opinion, hideously tacky two-tone look.

Winner: Draw

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 4: Display 

Unlike the Z Flip 3, the Z Flip 4’s cover display is fortified with Gorilla Glass Victus+ — music to the ears of those who consider themselves clumsy. On top of that, Samsung claims that the main display has “improved ultra-thin glass.” It didn’t elaborate on how, exactly, it’s been improved, which leads me to believe it’s just marketing mumbo jumbo.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

Upgrades to the Galaxy Z Flip 4 are more salient on the software side. Users can add more personality to the cover screen with new backgrounds in various formats (i.e., images, GIFs and video).

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 had a more impressive upgrade from its predecessor; it got a larger cover screen that took over a third of the phone. Samsung didn’t change a single thing about the Z Flip 4’s cover screen (hardware-wise), but hey, why fix something that’s not broken, right? 

Whether you have the Z Flip 3 or the Z Flip 4, you can use the cover screen to view notifications, check texts (and reply to them), remotely control smart-home gadgets via SmartThings, and more.

Winner: Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Z Flip 3: Battery Life  

As it turns out, there’s a good reason why Samsung decided to slim down the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s hinge. It wanted to make room for a bigger battery. The new-generation, foldable flip phone sports a 3,700 mAh battery, a step up from the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s 3,300 (that’s a lot of 3s!) mAh battery.

We don’t have battery results yet (we’ll update this page when we do), but let’s cross our fingers that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has the lead when it comes to battery runtime. Nothing makes us cringe more than discovering that a next-generation device took a hit on power efficiency.

Winner: Draw

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Flip 3: Cameras  

Samsung focused all of its upgrade efforts on the Z Flip 4’s cameras, which is fair because that’s what users typically care about. Many want an edge when it comes to social media. Consequently, the Z Flip 4 meets users’ needs by giving them influencer-friendly tools.

Galaxy Z Flip 4

Galaxy Z Flip 4 (Image credit: Samsung)

For example, Samsung partnered with Meta to optimize FlexCam mode (the handless position that makes the Galaxy Z Flip phones look like a futuristic lawn chair). Aspiring influencers can easily record and share FlexCam mode videos for Instagram Reels and WhatsApp.

You can use the cover screen on both the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Flip 3 as a viewfinder for selfies, but unlike the Flip 3, the Flip 4 offers a preview of your photos (and videos) in their accurate aspect ratios.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (Image credit: Samsung)

As far as camera hardware is concerned, almost all the specs match. Both phones sport a 12MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP selfie camera. The only difference is between the wide-angle cameras. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a 1.8µm pixel size while the Z Flip 3 has a 1.4µm pixel size. This ensures that you’ll capture more vivid and detailed photos with the Z Flip 4.

Winner: Galaxy Z Flip 4

Overall winner: Inconclusive

How can I confidently choose a winner? We still have to test the performance of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, which is packed with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset (compared to the Z Flip 3’s Snapdragon 888 processor). Plus, we’re still waiting on battery life results, which is crucial to determining which phone truly reigns supreme. 

As it stands now, though, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has the edge with its eye-catching, time-limited discounts, and according to Samsung, a more solid chassis that benefits accident-prone users. Still, the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s “edge” is hanging by a thread. Samsung’s updates on the Z Flip 4 are, dare I say it, yawn-inducing and boring this year. 

If you have a Z Flip 3 and are wondering whether you should upgrade, only do it if the $900 trade-in credit is still available (you’ll only pay $100 for the Z Flip 4). If not, keep your Z Flip 3; it’s not much different from the new kid on the block.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!