Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3


Intro

The upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 4 foldable phone builds up on the foundation set by the Z Fold 3 last year, and that one was the first foldable phone on the market that we could recommend without fearing it would feel compromised or somehow lacking.

So what has Samsung changed in a year and what’s new with the Z Fold 4?

On the outside, it looks very similar, more refined maybe, but it follows the same blueprint. This means you get a smaller “Cover Screen” on the front, but then you can unfold the phone revealing the larger, nearly tablet-sized main display. This year, Samsung allegedly has perfected the hinge, reduced the crease in the middle of that big screen, and given the Z Fold 4 a performance and camera boost.
But is that enough of a reason to upgrade? And will we get another price drop this year as well? Let’s find out!

Z Fold 4 vs Z Fold 3 in a nutshell:

  • Refined design
  • Less visible crease
  • More powerful chip on Fold 4
  • Improved cameras
  • Lower price

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

A less noticeable crease is the big improvement

While the Fold 4 and Fold 3 may look very similar, look closer and you’d notice the differences. The most important one might be that Samsung has managed to kind of hide the hinge, so the Fold 4 looks more compact, plus that phone is expected to be lighter, and by nearly 6%! The new Fold will weigh 254 grams versus 271g for the previous generation, and at this weight it will be very close to your typical Max or Ultra sized regular phone. This style of foldable phones comes with quite the heft and seeing an improvement in this area is great.

Rumor has it, Samsung is making big moves in order to make the next Fold slimmer too. Allegedly, a new “single” hinge has been developed, which would be much less bulky than the one employed in the Z Fold 3.

In terms of biometrics, rumors claim different things, but we’d expect the fingerprint scanner to remain embedded in the power button on the side. That worked great on the Fold 3, and we don’t think Samsung is likely to change this.

Performance and Software

No Exynos model is actually good news for most

Considering the premium price, you should not be surprised to see only high-end components under the hood on the Fold 4.

All buyers, regardless of their country, will get the Snapdragon 8 Gen1+ processor on the Z Fold 4. This is great news for those who live in the UK and Europe where Samsung S series flagships usually get the less powerful Exynos processor, but that won’t be the case with the fold.

Compared to the Fold 3, this is an upgrade from the Snapdragon 888 chip used there. Both the Fold 4 and Fold 3 also come with 12GB of RAM and a plentiful 256GB of on-board storage (no microSD card support here). One detail to that: the storage used in the new model is UFS 4.0 which delivers big-time gains in speed and efficiency. UFS 4.0 offers a bandwidth of up to 23.2Gbps per lane, double that of UFS 3.1. Samsung also claims that UFS 4.0 is “perfect for 5G smartphones requiring huge amounts of data processing.”

The Z Fold 4 is expected to come with Android 12 on board, but should receive the new Android 13 version soon after launch. Samsung has taken a commitment to deliver 4 major software updates to most of its devices, and 5 years of security updates, so that is great news and applies for both these phones.

The coolest new software feature coming to the Fold 4 might be “swipe for split screen”, which is pretty self evident and will make multitasking a breeze.

Camera

Upgrades all around

The Fold 4 is expected to use that new camera styling we saw on the S22 Ultra, with each camera lens protruding from the back of the phone, and kind of like this new look.

Rear cameras on the Fold 4 include a 50MP main shooter, a 12MP ultra-wide and a 10MP 3X telephoto lens. That is a slight change over the triple camera system on the Fold 3, as it had a 2X zoom camera and a 12MP main shooter. Unfortunately, Samsung does not include a periscope zoom lens and that remains a unique feature of its S22 Ultra.

Audio Quality and Haptics

The Fold series have always had some of the most impressive loudspeakers on a smartphone, probably because of the larger form factor that allows the speakers more space to really shine. We are curious to see if the Fold 4 brings an improvement in audio quality, but we have not heard anything specific yet.

Neither the Fold 4, nor the Fold 3 have a headphone jack, but that is the trend on most modern phones.

We still don’t know much about the vibration motor on the Fold, but we will be updating this section as soon as information appears.

Battery Life and Charging

Same sized battery on both

One thing that has not changed in the Fold 4 is battery size, as the phone will have the same 4,400mAh cell as the last year model. This worked out just fine in our experience, so we can’t say we are disappointed.

Charging speeds on the Fold 3 max out at 25W and it is possible that Samsung gives us faster, 45W speeds to match the rest of its high-end phones, but there has been no official information on that count.

Wireless charging is expected to be available on both the new and older-gen Folds.

Specs Comparison

And here is a quick overview of the specs on these two powerful foldable phones:

The most notable change might just be the lower price. Last year, Samsung cut $200 off the price on the Fold 3 in comparison to the previous model, and we hope to see a similar price cut this year too. Getting the price down to more reasonable levels will help the company boost sales of this foldable dramatically. 

Summary and Final Verdict

Summing it all up, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is expected to bring a bunch of refinements to the design and key elements of the folding mechanism. With a more discreet hinge and less noticeable crease, it will come one step closer to that futuristic folding phone ideal.

You will also get a welcome boost in performance speeds, as well as in the camera, but at the same time we have to say that these upgrades do not convince us that an upgrade from the last year model is necessary at all.

Of course, if Samsung brings the price down and you are looking for a new foldable, the Fold 4 will be the first thing to come to mind, so here’s to hoping.





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