Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22: Which phone should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S22
(Image credit: Future)

A Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 comparison is good to have if you're on the fence between Samsung's newest foldable phone and its more traditional flagship.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (from $999) is generally an incremental update, the latest foldable flip phone does improve on its predecessor in a few key ways. It offers a fast Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, a 65% brighter camera sensor and versatile FlexCam mode for shooting photos and videos, a bigger battery and more versatile cover display. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 (from $799) and Galaxy S22 Plus (from $999) don't fold or flip, but they offer a sharper 50MP main camera and a telephoto zoom lens that the Flip 4 lacks. And the Galaxy S22 Plus delivers an even bigger battery for the same money as the Flip. 

So which Samsung flagship is right for you? Let our Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 face-off help you decide. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4Samsung Galaxy S22Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Pricefrom $999from $799from $999
Display6.7-inch FHD AMOLED (2640 x 1080) / 1.9-inch AMOLED (260 x 512)6.1-inch AMOLED (2340 x 1080)6.6-inch AMOLED (2340 x 1080)
CPUSnapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
Wide camera12MP main (f/1.8)50MP (f/1.8)50MP (f/1.8)
Ultra-wide camera12MP ultrawide (f/2.2)12MP (f/2.2) 12MP (f/2.2)
Telephoto cameraN/A10MP (f/2.4)10MP (f/2.4)
Selfie camera10MP (f/2.4)10MP (f/2.2)10MP (f/2.2)
Battery3,700 mAh3,700 mAh4,500 mAh
SizeUnfolded: 2.8 x 6.5 x 0.27 inches. Folded: 2.8 x 3.3 x 0.62 - 0.67 inches5.7 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches
Weight6.5 ounces5.9 ounces6.9 ounces
ColorsBora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, Blue (plus 71 bespoke combinations)Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold, Bora Purple Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 price

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 starts at $999 with 128GB of storage, but you can get 256GB and 512GB versions for $1,059 and $1,179, respectively. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is quite a bit cheaper than that. Back in February, it started at $799 for the version with 128GB, jumping to $849 for 256GB. 

There’s also the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, which is almost identical except for its faster charging, ultra-wideband, and larger screen and battery. It starts at $999 for 128GB, rising to $1,049 for double the storage.

Of course, the Samsung Galaxy S22 family is now seven months old, so it pays to shop around for the best Galaxy S22 deals

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 design and display

The Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus have a pretty familiar design. The metal camera hump offers a classy contrast to the rest of the body, but it’s not too dissimilar to other Android flagships.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, on the other hand, is going to get admiring looks wherever you go. Reviving the spirit of the early 2000s flip phone, this is a handset that can be folded in half like a compact mirror to take up less space. It’s a trick that still hasn’t lost its novelty, even in its fourth generation.

This compact design means it actually has a larger screen than both the non-Ultra S22 models, with a 120Hz 6.7-inch AMOLED display when unfolded. The S22 and S22 Plus have 6.1-inch and 6.6-inch screens, respectively. All three are 1080p panels, though the Z Flip 4 is 2,640 pixels tall, compared to both S22s’ 2,340. 

On top of the foldable screen, the Z Flip 4 also has a thin cover display to be viewed when closed. This 1.9-inch, 260 x 512 strip is designed to give you at-a-glance notifications, but can also be used as a viewfinder for better-quality selfies.

In terms of weight, at 6.5 ounces the Galaxy Z Flip 4 sits between the standard S22 (5.9 ounces) and S22 Plus (6.9 ounces). 

One final thing to note: while the S22 range come in a handful of colors, the Z Flip 4’s bespoke range lets you create your own combination, for a total of 71 different color combos.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 cameras

Aside from the (admittedly neat) ability to use the main camera for selfies, the Z Flip 4’s photography credentials are not as good as the S22 series. The Z Flip 4 packs dual 12MP lenses, albeit with 1.8μm pixels rather than the 1.4μm specs found on its predecessor. 

That’s a clear win for the Samsung Galaxy S22 phones, then. Both the S22 and S22 Plus have triple-camera arrays comprising a 50MP main camera, a 10MP telephoto lens and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. You don't get optical zoom on the Z Flip 4.

All three phones feature a 10MP front-facing camera for selfies, though again the Z Flip 4 also lets you use the main lens for this if you’re happy using the cover display to line things up.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 performance

This is a straightforward area where the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 wins.

While the Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, the Z Flip 4 uses an enhanced ‘Plus’ version. With all three handsets using 8GB RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, this should be the only difference in terms of performance.

The newer Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset offers peak speeds of 3.2GHz, theoretically giving it a 10% boost in performance, but we’ll have to see how it performs in benchmarks. 

Perhaps more significantly, Qualcomm has made big improvements in efficiency for the chipset, with the chipmaker saying it will consume 30% less power. That could be all-important for battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3’s biggest disappointment was definitely its battery, which only lasted a little under six hours in our tests. 

The good news is that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 somehow manages to pack in an extra 400mAh, taking it to 3,700mAh. Hopefully, this will combine with the efficiency improvements of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset to offer markedly better stamina.

That could well leave it in a better place than the Samsung Galaxy S22, which shares the same 3,700mAh capacity. But it’s likely to be some way behind the Galaxy S22 Plus, which packs a beefier 4,500mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Galaxy S22 outlook

The S22 and S22 Plus offer better cameras, likely stronger battery life and (in the case of the regular S22) a savings of at least $200. They’re slower, but not by much.

But what the S22 handsets can’t do is fold, and that’s clearly the main appeal of the Z Flip 4: it’s compact and undeniably cool, especially if you do a lot of content creation on the go.

If having a fashionable, futuristic handset is important to you, then paying for the Z Flip 4 could make sense.  

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.