Skip to main content

Galaxy Z Flip 4 battery life results are in — the iPhone 13 mini is in trouble

Galaxy Z Flip 4
(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Z Flip 4's battery life results are in, and we're impressed. It's not so much the runtime that wowed us — it's the fact that it more or less matched Samsung's claims. As you can see with our damning "Laptop battery life estimates are rarely accurate" report, it's unwise to accept manufacturers' claims at face value.

However, this time, Samsung pretty much hit the nail on the head. The Korea-based tech giant claimed that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 offered three more hours of battery life compared to its predecessor, and as it turned out, Samsung wasn't too far off target.

Galaxy Z Flip 4 battery life vs. competitors
Battery runtime (default settings)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 48 hours and 33 minutes
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 35 hours and 43 minutes
Apple iPhone 13 mini8 hours and 54 minutes

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 battery life

According to the Laptop Mag battery test, which involves the phone browsing the web continuously over the T-Mobile network at 150 nits of brightness, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 powered down after 8 hours and 33 minutes. It's worth noting that this was tested while the Samsung foldable's adaptive refresh rate setting was on (this is the default).

Galaxy Z Flip 4

Galaxy Z Flip 4 (Image credit: Future)

For the uninitiated, the adaptive refresh rate allows the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to, well, adapt to your workflow. For example, if you're gaming, the screen's refresh rate can skyrocket to maximum of 120Hz. If you're engaging in a task that doesn't require the display to catch up with your fast-moving gestures, the refresh rate could drop down to as low as 1Hz.

The adaptive refresh rate feature is an excellent way to preserve battery while still offering 120Hz panels when users need it. 

We also tested it without the adaptive refresh rate (Standard Mode), which ensures that the display remains at 60Hz. As it turns out, this is the more power-efficient feature of the two. With Standard Mode, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 lasted 8 hours and 57 minutes.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3, on the other hand, only lasted 5 hours and 43 minutes with its adaptive refresh rate on. Compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 4 on the same mode, that's an extra two hours and 50 minutes

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

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

Running at 60Hz, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 delivered a slightly better 6 hours. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 with the same setting offered an extra two hours and 57 minutes. Nice!

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. iPhone 13 mini

We pitted the Galaxy Z Flip 4 against the iPhone 13 mini because they both cater to users who are sick-and-tired of the humungous phones that dominate the market. The Galaxy Z Flip 4, of course, folds into an ultra-compact square (it becomes as tiny as a pack of Post-it notes). The iPhone 13 mini is the bite-sized variant of Apple's popular flagship line, and it lasted 8 hours and 54 minutes in our testing

iPhone 13 mini Cinematic Mode

iPhone 13 mini (Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

On its default setting (up to 120Hz), the Galaxy Z Flip 4 falls short of that runtime, tapping out 21 minutes earlier. However, this isn't the best apples-to-apples comparison. Why? The iPhone 13 mini doesn't offer a 120Hz refresh rate of any kind. As such, with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 on 60Hz, the Samsung foldable outpaced the iPhone 13 mini by three minutes (8:57).

What's the culprit behind the longer runtimes? The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is outfitted with a bigger 3,700 mAh battery (its predecessor packed a 3,300 mAh battery). On top of that, Samsung claims that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 inside the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is more power-efficient — and we believe it.

Galaxy Z Flip 4

(Image credit: Future)

Outlook

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 beat the Galaxy Z Flip 3, but truth be told, that's not saying much. Five to six hours of battery life these days is atrocious. No, the new-generation Samsung foldable won't land on our smartphones with the best battery life list, but we're glad that Samsung finally got with the program!

Now, the Galaxy Z Flip 4's 9-hour-ish runtime can compete with the foldable big wigs. It beat the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 (7 hours and 38 minutes), but it doesn't hold a candle to its pricier sibling, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (11 hours and 31 minutes). It also narrowly outlasts the iPhone 13 mini (8:51), which is one of the few small flagship alternatives to the diminutive Z Flip 4.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max don't run dual screens like their foldable rivals, but it's worth noting that their runtimes are approximately 10 hours and 12 hours, respectively.

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!