Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra: Which phone is best for you?

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

A Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra comparison will prove what's the best phone for those big bucks when you're willing to pay top dollar for one of the best Android phones around. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is all about refining one of the best foldable phones yet. You get a brighter and more durable 7.6-inch display, a beefier 50MP main camera, slimmer bezels and a wider cover screen that's easier to use. Plus, the multitasking is top-notch, complete with a new taskbar. 

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra remains one of the best camera phones, thanks to its super sharp 108MP sensor. You also get a built-in S Pen, fast 45W charging and a super-bright 6.8-inch display in a sleeker design.

So which Samsung flagship is right for you? Here's how the Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra stack up. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display6.2 inches AMOLED (120Hz, 2316 x 904) / 7.6 inches AMOLED (120Hz, 2176 x 1812)6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED (3088 x 1440)
CPUSnapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US), Exynos 2200 (UK)
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Wide camera50MP (f/1.8)108MP (f/2.2)
Ultra-wide camera12MP (f/2.2)12MP (f/2.2)
Telephoto camera10MP (f/2.4)10MP (f/2.4)
Selfie camera10MP (f/2.2) / 4MP (f/1.8)40MP (f/2.2)
Battery4,400 mAh5,000 mAh
Size6.1 x 2.6 x 0.55-0.62 inches 6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches
Weight9.28 ounces8 ounces
ColorsGraygreen, Phantom Black, Beige, Burgundy ( only)Phantom Black, Phantom White, Burgundy, Green

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra price

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra started at $1,199 when it launched in February, for the model with 128GB of onboard storage and 8GB RAM, rising to $1,599.99 for the version with 1TB of internal storage and 12GB RAM. Of course, in phone terms, the S22 family is now middle-aged, so you can probably get a lower price with one of the best Samsung Galaxy S22 deals

Starting at $1,799, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 costs $600 more than the Galaxy S22 Ultra. So you could get an S22 Ultra and Google Pixel 6 for the same price as the new Fold. There are discounts available for the Fold, such as up to $1,000 with trade-in. Check out our how to preorder Galaxy Z Fold 4 page for more. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra design and display

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future)

There's a reason the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 costs so much more. It combines both a phone and a small tablet into one device thanks to its innovative folding screen design. Not only is this technology expensive in itself, but it also requires a whole additional screen to be used when the device is in its folded state.

When closed, the Z Fold 4 has 6.2-inch panel with a tall and thin resolution of 2,316 x 904. When opened, the internal screen is 7.6 inches with a resolution of 2,176 x 1,812 — slightly more squared off than the previous generation. Both use AMOLED technology and can refresh at 120Hz.

All of this makes for a device that’s undeniably chunky: 6.1 x 2.6 x 0.55-0.62 inches, and tipping the scales at 9.28 ounces, although the Z Fold 4 does weigh a bit less than the Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra display

(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra follows the more conventional phone design that we’re used to, with just the one screen — a large 6.8-inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 3,088 x 1,440. 

In addition to being thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (it’s 6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches and 8 ounces for reference), the S22 Ultra has one other key advantage. While both handsets support the S Pen stylus, the S22 Ultra not only includes one in the box, but it docks neatly inside the phone when not in use.

The S Pen is sold separately for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and you need a special case to hold it on the go. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future)

Cameras have been a weak spot of Samsung’s previous Galaxy Fold devices, but the company has upped its game with the Z Fold 4, essentially matching the array on the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus. A 50MP main camera is paired with a 12MP ultra-wide lens sensor and a 10MP telephoto lens, with 3x optical zoom and 30x space zoom.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra goes one step further than this, with a 108MP main lens (albeit with a drop to 10MP on its ultrawide one). We’ll have to do some side-by-side tests to see whether this offers a boost to photography that the average user would notice.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra rear and cameras

(Image credit: Future)

But the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has the advantage when it comes to selfies, giving you both a 10MP camera on the front, and an under-screen 4MP one on the internal tablet. Pleasingly, you can also use the better quality rear cameras for selfies, if you’re happy using the front screen as a viewfinder. 

The S22 Ultra, by contrast, has just one selfie camera, albeit a very impressive one. It’s 40MP and offers an 80-degree field of view.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra performance

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future)

This is a clear win for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 features the newer Plus version of the chip.

With peak speeds of 3.2GHz, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 offers a 10% boost in performance over the regular chipset, but its real advantage could be in efficiency, where Qualcomm says it’ll consume 30% less power.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Asphalt 9

(Image credit: Future)

And with 12GB of RAM on even the based Galaxy Z Fold 4, it’s safe to assume that it’s the winner in terms of performance.

On Geekbench, which measures overall performance, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 turned in a multi-core score of 3,831, compared to 2,292 for the S22 Ultra. And on our video editing test, which involves transcoding a 4K video to 1080p in the Adobe Premiere Rush app, the Z Fold 4 needed 45 seconds, which was a bit faster than the 47 seconds from the S22 Ultra. 

Surprisingly, the S22 Ultra turned in higher results in the 3DMark Wild Life graphics test, hitting 57 frames per second to 53 fps for the Fold 4. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra battery

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra packs a larger 5,000mAh battery against 4,400mAh on the Z Fold 4 — but the latter has a larger screen to power when you want the tablet canvas. 

Historically, stamina on Samsung’s foldables has left a bit to be desired. The Z Fold 3 lasted just 7 hours and 52 seconds in our test on 60Hz mode, with the same 4,400mAh capacity. For comparison, the S22 Ultra lasted 10 hours and 18 minutes in the same conditions.

But the adoption of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset and the subsequent efficiency savings appear to help greatly, as the Z Fold 4 lasted 11 hours and 34 minutes in 60Hz screen mode. We are still running tests and will report back about adaptive mode. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra software and special features

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future)

This is where the Galaxy Z Fold 4 really stands out. The main 7.6-inch display on the Fold lets you run up to three apps at once, and you can easily drag and drop content between windows. We also like the new taskbar that makes it easy to jump between apps.

The Z Fold 4 also benefits from Flex mode, which puts the content at the top of you screen and controls down below. This lets you take hands-free video calls, take pictures without a tripod and more.  And with Android 12L on board, there are more apps coming online that take advantage of the Z Fold 4's larger canvas.

The main Galaxy S22 Ultra special feature is the S Pen, which lets you take notes, draw and more on the display. And, unlike the Z Fold 4, you can store the pen in the phone when you're not using it. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra outlook

This is a strange face-off, because on many metrics the cheaper Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra remains the better option. It has a brighter screen, superior camera performance and a built-in S Pen — all on top of being easier on the wallet.

But the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the more versatile flagship. It gives you a phone and small tablet in one device, and the large display combined with the software makes it easy to multitask. It's like having a PC in your pocket in terms of sheer productivity. 

For most, the Galaxy S22 Ultra will be the phone to get because of its relatively affordability and portability. But the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is very impressive if you're willing to live with a bulkier design. 

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.