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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: the biggest upgrades

A split image with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 on the left, and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 on the right
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a battle between Samsung's outgoing and incoming small foldable phone, and one with a clear winner. However, the newer model may not necessarily be the right one for you.

The new Galaxy Z Flip 4 shares a whole lot of the Galaxy Z Flip 3's DNA, but makes lots of changes under the hood to get more out of the existing design. As a result, it's hard to pinpoint one must-have feature that would inspire an existing Z Flip 3 user to upgrade, or someone keen on saving money to go for the new model instead of a discounted older one.

If you're in the position of trying to pick between these two flexible phones, then we've got you covered. Below we've got comparisons for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 3's main features so you can see exactly how they stack up, and hopefully come to a decision based on the facts.

When you've decided which Z Flip's right for you, check out our hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the other stars of Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event.

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

Galaxy Z Flip 4Galaxy Z Flip 3
Starting price$999/£999$999/£999
Outer display1.9-inch AMOLED (260 x 512)1.9-inch AMOLED (260 x 512)
Inner display6.7-inch FHD AMOLED (2640 x 1080)6.7-inch FHD AMOLED (2640 x 1080)
Refresh rate120Hz adaptive (inner only)120Hz adaptive (inner only)
Outer cameras12MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2)12MP main (f/1.8), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
Inner camera10MP selfie (f/2.4)10MP selfie (f/2.4)
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1Snapdragon 888
RAM8GB8GB
Storage128GB/256GB/512GB128GB/256GB
Battery3,700 mAh3,400 mAh
Charging25W15W
Dust/water resistanceIPX8IPX8
Size (folded) 3.3 x 2.8 x 0.62 - 0.67 inches3.4 x 2.8 x 0.63-0.67 inches
Size (unfolded)6.5 x 2.8 x 0.27 inches6.5 x 2.8 x 0.27 inches
Weight6.5 ounces6.5 ounces
ColorsBora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, BlueCream, Green, Lavender, Phantom Black

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

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 impressed us last year by going on sale at $999. The good news is this is the price that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will also be sold for. 

You can buy a Galaxy Z Flip 3 already from various retailers. Currently you can only pre-order the Galaxy Z Flip 4, but doing so from Samsung will get you a free memory upgrade and a free case, although other retailers and carriers will no doubt have their own deals. The Z Flip 4 goes on sale on August 26, so make sure you check out the best Galaxy Z Flip 4 deals so you can get the best offer.

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

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a much-refined version of the original Galaxy Z Flip, and the Z Flip 4 is a small improvement on that.

galaxy z flip 4 in pink

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The cameras on the Z Flip 4 stick out more from the body of the phone, and also uses a flatter frame design for a more modern look. More importantly for durability, the Z Flip 4 swaps out the Z Flip 3's Gorilla Glass Victus panels for Gorilla Glass Victus Plus, which should make it more scratch and crack-resistant. Both phones use Armor Aluminum frames too, and are rated IPX8 for water resistance.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 hands-on review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung also offers slightly different colors on the Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 4. The Z Flip 3 comes in Cream, Green, Lavender, and Phantom Black, while the options for the Z Flip 4 are Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold and Blue. You can customize both phones using the Galaxy Bespoke service too, letting you pick a mix of frame, top panel and bottom panel colors for a more unique.

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

Both the Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 4 use a 1.9-inch AMOLED outer display for notifications and a 6.7-inch FHD AMOLED inner display with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. But there are some smaller differences to be found.

galaxy z flip 4 sitting on a table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The bezels around the inner display on the Z Flip 4 are slimmer, making it look more modern than the Z Flip 3. That display's now tougher on the Z Flip 4 too, which is good news given how fragile foldable screens can be.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 hands-on review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

For the cover display, the Z Flip 4 adds more functions you can use without opening the phone, such as sending messages or controlling smart home devices. You can also add a video or GIF background. Overall though, it still serves the basic purpose of displaying notifications that the Z Flip 3's does.

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

There's been no change to the Z Flip 4's cameras from the Z Flip 3. Both phones have 12MP main and 12MP ultrawide cameras on the outside, and a 10MP selfie camera on the inside.

galaxy z flip 4 cover display

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You should still have a better time taking photos on the Z Flip 4 though, thanks to enhancements below the surface. Samsung's equipped it with its Super Night Solution software for improved low-light photography, tweaked its lighting and stabilization AI and given the Quick Shot function (taking selfies using the outer cameras and the cover screen) more modes to match the regular camera app.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 hands-on review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

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

Samsung has swapped out the already potent Snapdragon 888 chipset in the Galaxy Z Flip 3 for the latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip in the Galaxy Z Flip 4. You only get an average RAM capacity of 8GB with either phone, but it's all but guaranteed that the Z Flip 4 will be faster and more responsive when using multiple, processor-intensive apps.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4's other performance advantage is its higher ceiling for storage. Both the Z Flip 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 offer a base 128GB model and a 256GB model, but there's now a 512GB capacity on offer for the Z Flip 4 if you want all the space you can get.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs. Galaxy Z Flip 3: battery and charging

Although the Galaxy Z Flip 4 still has a small battery in comparison to other modern phones, it's still larger than what you get in the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The two-part battery in the Z Flip 3 had a 3,400 mAh total capacity, while the Z Flip 4 has a 3,700 mAh total capacity. That should make for enhanced battery life but we'll have to run the TG custom batter test first to make sure.

The Z Flip 4 also improves on the Z Flip 3's charging. You can only charge the Z Flip 3 at a maximum of 15W, but the Z Flip 4 boosts that to 25W, the same as the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and most other Samsung flagship phones. We'll expect to see a good charging speed boost once we've tested the Z Flip 4 in the lab.

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

galaxy z flip 4 in pink unfolded

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is undoubtedly better than the Galaxy Z Flip 3. While the hardware's not changed much, the toughened body, more versatile cameras, larger battery, new chipset and more useful cover screen all seem to be worthwhile upgrades that we look forward to trying out in full in the coming days.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 hands-on review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You can still make a couple of arguments in favor of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 though. There's been no killer upgrade to the Galaxy Z Flip 4, so if you already own a Z Flip 3, there's probably no reason for you to upgrade. Also, while the base price of the Z Flip 4 hasn't increased from that of the Z Flip 3, we may start to see some more Z Flip 3 deals that could tempt users to save money and buy the older hardware.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.