Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3 is a battle between old and new. And while the new Fold is better, how much better it is than the previous model is another matter.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is already the best foldable thanks to its dual screens, S Pen compatibility, and dedicated software tweaks. However, it’s far from a perfect device due to its high price, rugged build, and weak battery. Although the upgrades are hard to spot at first glance, Samsung has made some nifty changes to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, such as using, and closer to non-foldable phones in terms of capabilities.
There were many interesting Galaxy Unpacked announcements today, including the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. But here we will take an in-depth look at how the Galaxy Z Fold 4 compares to its predecessor. Read on to see how much of a difference a year can make with a collapsible.
Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3: Price
In the US, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 costs the same as the Galaxy Z Fold 3: $1,800 at launch. Unfortunately for UK readers, the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s starting price is £1,649, up from the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s £1,599. That’s only a small increase considering the overall cost of the phone, but it’s still an increase.
You can buy the Galaxy Z Fold 3 now if you want, but the Z Fold 4 isn’t quite on sale just yet. It’s available to pre-order now, and if you buy through Samsung you’ll get a free storage upgrade and an S Pen stand-up case, but it won’t hit shelves until August 26.
Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3: Design
You won’t be able to tell the Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 apart from afar, but here are some welcome changes.
Starting with the phone closed, the Z Fold 4 is slightly more compact than the Z Fold 3, making it easier to fit in your pocket or purse. It’s also lighter, albeit only at 17 grams.
Nevertheless, the Z Fold 4 should theoretically be stronger. It uses Gorilla Glass Victus Plus like the Galaxy S22 series which is an update of the Gorilla Glass Victus used on the Z Fold 3. Both foldable devices offer IPX8 water resistance, which hopefully means both phones can be submerged in a pool, pond, or sink if necessary.
However, the outer display also has smaller bezels, making it much easier to use the Z Fold 4 without opening it. The Z Fold 3’s cover display was usable but too narrow for comfortable use.
Samsung also shakes up the colors a little from year to year. Both folding models are available in Phantom Black, but the Z Fold 3 is also available in Phantom Silver and Phantom Green, while the Z Fold 4 is available in Gray Green and Beige.
Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3: Display
Both screens of both phones are technically the same size: 6.2 inches on the outside and 7.6 inches on the inside. However, the difference is in the aspect ratio. The Z Fold 4 is slightly shorter and slightly wider than the Z Fold 3, making it easier to get the most out of the phone whether it’s open or closed.
The bit of screen covering the camera underneath the Z Fold 4’s screen is now more densely packed with pixels, making it harder to spot than the Z Fold 3’s hidden camera. Combined with the less visible crease in the middle, it is Z Fold 4’s screen that is better to simulate a regular non-foldable screen.
The other big update to the Z Fold 4’s screens is brightness. Samsung claims it can now max out at 1000 nits brightness, which is significantly higher than the 422 nits we measured for the Z Fold 3.
Both phones use a 120Hz refresh rate for both screens to ensure a smooth scrolling experience. There is a slight difference in the exact screen resolution, but both phones still share the standard WQGA indoor/HD+ outdoor display quality.
Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3: Cameras
The changes to the Z Fold 4’s camera gear mean it now matches the Galaxy S22 or Galaxy S22 Plus. The main sensor is now 50MP (up from 12MP) and the telephoto camera is now a 10MP sensor with 3x optical zoom, an increase from 12MP, and 2x optical zoom on the Z Fold 3. Both phones feature a 12MP ultra-wide camera that rounds out the rear camera block, but the Z Fold 4 should offer superior snaps to the Z Fold 3.
However, both the Z Fold 3 and 4 use identical front cameras. That’s a 10 MP sensor on the cover display and a 4 MP under-display camera on the inside. Whether Samsung has made any software changes to these cameras to make them better on the Z Fold 4 compared to the Z Fold 3 remains to be seen.
If you’ve been craving a better camera, the Z Fold 4 finally delivers.
Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3: Performance
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes with a Snapdragon 888 chipset, which is still a powerful chip. However, the Z Fold 4 uses a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which is the updated version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that followed the 888. This should give the Z Fold 4 a nice performance boost over its predecessor.
The Z Fold 4 also has the option for additional storage compared to the Z Fold 3. The Z Fold 4 offers 512GB and 1TB storage options, the latter being a first for a Z Fold model. The maximum you can get on the Z Fold 3 is 512GB.
Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3: Battery and charging
Samsung has left the battery and charging capabilities of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 untouched in the Z Fold 3. Both phones have a total battery capacity of 4,400 mAh and can charge at up to 25 W when plugged in.
One of the worst parts of the Z Fold 3 was its battery life, which was pretty poor for the number and size of screens it was meant to use. We’re currently working on the Z Fold 4, so we’ll soon let you know if Samsung was able to upgrade without changing the battery capacity.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy Z Fold 3: Specs
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4||Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3|
|Main display||7.6 inches AMOLED (120Hz, 2176 x 1812)||7.6 inches (120Hz, 2208 x 1768)|
|Cover display||6.2 inches AMOLED (120Hz, 2316 x 904)||6.2 inches (120Hz, 2268 x 832)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1||Snapdragon 888|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB||256GB, 512GB|
|Wide camera||50MP (f/1.8)||12MP wide (f/1.8)|
|Ultra-wide camera||12MP (f/2.2)||12MP ultrawide (f.2.2)|
|Telephoto camera||10MP (f/2.4)||12MP telephoto (f/2.4)|
|Cover camera||10MP (f/2.2)||10MP (f/2.2)|
|Under-display camera||4MP (f/1.8)||4MP (f/1.8)|
|Battery||4,400 mAh||4,400 mAh|
|Size closed||6.1 x 2.6 x 0.55-0.62 inches||6.2 x 2.6 x 0.56 to 0.62 inches|
|Size open||6.1 x 5.1 x 0.21 inches||6.2 x 5 x 0.25 inches|
|Weight||9.28 ounces||9.55 ounces|
|Colors||Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige, Burgundy (Samsung.com only)||Phantom Black, Phantom Green, Phantom Silver|
Samsung Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3: Overview
We won’t know for sure until we review the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but on the face of it, it’s the superior model over the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Extra power, a more user-friendly shape, and true flagship-class cameras are major reasons to go for the Z Fold 4 if you can afford it.
It’s a shame that the Z Fold 4 lacks some elements, such as the battery size, which has not improved, but we are also happy that the price remains (almost) the same as last year. While the Z Fold 3 is likely to get deeper discounts now that it’s no longer Samsung’s latest and greatest foldable device, you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on a brand new foldable at a great price.
Be sure to watch this duel again when our Z Fold 4 review is ready to see what the bottom line of this comparison is. In the meantime, check out our take on the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and see what else Samsung has to offer in its recent launch.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Galaxy Z Fold 4: Should You Upgrade?
If you spent nearly $2,000 on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 last year, you almost certainly don’t need to upgrade to the Z Fold 4 this year unless you can snag a great trade-in deal.
There are a handful of differences between the two, but nothing fundamental. You’re still done with flagship performance with the Z Fold 3, but the Fold 4 is slightly faster. Both come with Samsung’s excellent software support of four versions of Android and five years of security updates. That means you get a newer version of Android with the latest Fold. The nip and tuck design changes aren’t significant, but each refinement is an improvement. You also have the option for more storage and you get slightly faster wireless charging with the Fold 4.
New cameras are perhaps the most notable upgrade for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but other minor tweaks will tempt folding fans.
The most notable changes are in the camera department, although a better primary shooter is a much-requested upgrade. The camera isn’t the selling point of a phone-turnable tablet, but it’s great to finally see an improved camera setup, at least on paper. Especially at such a high price as the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
The slight differences combine to make a better handset, but their understated nature makes it difficult to justify the Z Fold 4 as an upgrade. Foldable enthusiasts, by definition, love being on the cutting edge of smartphone tech, so existing Z Fold 3 owners might be able to coax themselves into buying a new one. However, the phone makes a lot more sense for first-time buyers of foldable devices, but even then the pricey price tag should get them thinking.
Will you be upgrading from the Galaxy Z Fold 3 to the Galaxy Z Fold 4?