Samsung has been releasing devices left and right this whole week. The smartphone manufacturer added two new models to its Galaxy Z lineup, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 in addition to two new smartwatches — the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro as well as some new earbuds in the form of Galaxy Buds Pro 2.
That said, the company now has three flagship devices, the two foldables in the Z lineup as well as its S22 Ultra, the slab phone flagship. In this article, we’re comparing all three devices to help you decide which one’s the better pick for you.
Probably the biggest differentiating factor between the three phones, the design varies significantly here with each phone service a particular need. The Fold 4 opens up into a big screen for productivity enthusiasts, the Flip 4 folds into a smaller device for those who want that ultra portability and the S22 Ultra kind of tries to be the best of both worlds.
The S22 Ultra has been talked up a lot as probably the last of the Galaxy Note-like devices that used to be insanely popular up until a few years ago. The phone has a slot for the S-Pen and a large enough screen for the stylus to work perfectly. The Fold 4 also supports the S-Pen (although a different ‘Fold’ edition of it) but misses out on a slot to carry it around. The Flip 4 is in a different league altogether.
One thing to keep in mind though is that the S22 Ultra will be much more durable than the Fold 4 or Flip 4 thanks to its IP68 water resistance rating. While all three phones have Gorilla Glass Victus+ protecting their screens, the two folding phones from Samsung only get an IPX8 water resistance rating and are more likely to break due to the nature of folding displays.
Just like the design, the displays also serve three different use cases. The Fold 4’s large 7.6-inch inside display coupled with the 6.2-inch covered display, both AMOLED and both up to 120Hz, will work just fine when you need a small or big screen. The Flip 4 does its own thing there; its 6.7-inch display folds into half to make the phone more pocketable, and then there’s the S22 Ultra, flaunting its 6.8-inch, 120Hz, HDR10+ display in all its glory with no bends, folds or creases.
Of course, depending on what you want to do with your phone, you might find the Fold 4 or the Flip 4 more interesting. Not to mention that folding phones carry their own wow factor around (unless they become mainstream).
None of the phones will leave you wanting when it comes to the display, it’s just a matter of whether you want your phone to fold into a bigger display, fold into a smaller one, or remain the same size.
Performance and Software
All three phones will give you top-notch performance and their spec sheets back this fact. Since the S22 Ultra launched back in February, it gets the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 while the two new foldables are powered by the newer and slightly more powerful Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. It’s not really that big of a difference in real life, but on paper, the foldables beat the S22 Ultra in terms of performance.
Memory and storage options too remain similar between the devices. The Fold 4 gets 12GB of LPDRR5 memory, the Flip 4 gets 8GB and the S22 Ultra comes in both 8GB and 12GB variants of the same speedy LPDDR5 RAM. Both the S22 Ultra and Fold 4 come with 1TB memory variants, while the Flip 4 maxes out on 512GB.
That said, the S22 Ultra is the only device that covers the entire range from 128GB all the way up to 1TB when it comes to storage. It’s also UFS3.1 on all three devices so apart from the actual storage capacity, there aren’t many other differences.
In terms of software, all three phones are running Android 12 at the moment supported by Samsung’s One UI 4.1.1. The Fold 4 however gets Android 12L for better productivity features to make full use of its bigger folding display. The Fold 4 and S22 Ultra also support Samsung DeX, which allows your phone to turn into a full-blown laptop. The Flip 4 however continues to miss out on the Samsung-exclusive feature.
The S22 Ultra beats both the Fold 4 and Flip 4 by a significant margin here. Yes, the cameras on Samsung’s foldables, especially the Fold 4 have improved quite a bit since these devices first came out and thanks to the better image processing powered by that Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, their images are better than ever, but none of them come even close to what the S22 Ultra can do with its 108MP main camera.
And that’s not all. The S22 Ultra has three more cameras apart from the monstrous main sensor. You get a 10MP 230mm telephoto lens with 10x optical zoom which blows the Fold 4’s 3x optical zoom camera out of the water. There’s another 10MP 70mm telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and a 12MP 120-degree ultrawide lens.
The front is the same story. The S22 Ultra’s 40MP front camera beats the Fold 4’s two 10MP and 4MP cameras as well as the Flip 4’s 10MP front camera by a lot. It’s safe to say that if camera quality is your first preference, the S22 Ultra is the absolute winner here.
Battery and charging
The S22 Ultra has a 5,000 mAh battery which paired with its 45W fast charging once again beats both foldables. The Fold 4 maxes out at 4,400 mAh with 25W wired charging and the Flip 4 has an even smaller 3,700 mAh batter (20% bigger than the Flip 3) with 25W fast charging.
This isn’t to say that the foldables have bad battery life for devices of that form factor, but the S22 Ultra is just better in that regard. Wireless charging is also the same story, although it’s not that big of a difference with the S22 Ultra getting 15W wirelessly and both foldables maxing out at 10W.
Here’s a head-to-head hardware specification comparison between the three phones.
|Specifications||Galaxy Z Fold 4||Galaxy Z Flip 4||Galaxy S22 Ultra|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1||Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (international)|
Exynos 2200 (Europe)
|Memory||12GB LPDDR5 RAM||8GB LPDDR5 RAM||8GB/12GB|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB UFS3.1||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|128GB, 256GB, 512GB. 1TB|
|Display (Main)||7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED|
2176 x 1812
S Pen Support
Gorilla Glass Victus
2640 x 1080
1440 x 3088
|Display (External)||6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED|
2316 x 904
Gorilla Glass Victus
260 x 512
|Rear Cameras||50MP Wide, F/1.8|
12MP Ultra-wide, F/2.2
10MP 3x Zoom, F/2.4
|12MP main camera|
|108MP main camera F/1.8|
10MP 230mm telephoto with 10x optical zoom
10MP 70mm telephoto with 3x optical zoom
12MP 120-degree ultrawide
|Front Cameras||10MP punch hole, F/2.2|
4MP under display
|10MP F/2.4||40MP F/2.2|
|Battery and Charging||4,400 mAh|
|Software||Android 12L with One UI 4.1.1||Android 12 with One UI 4.1||Android 12 with One UI 4.1|
Which one to buy?
As mentioned before, the Fold 4 is for people who want their phones to fold out into a bigger screen, the Flip 4 is for people who want a smaller, more pocketable phone and the S22 Ultra tries to be the best of both worlds.
The prices of the three devices also play an important role here. The Fold 4 is the most expensive of the three coming in at $1,799, followed by the S22 Ultra at $1,199 and then the Flip 4 which starts at $999. Depending on what configuration you end up buying, you will be spending north of $1000 no matter the device you pick.
Also read: Samsung remote blinking red: 7 Fixes
Someone who writes/edits/shoots/hosts all things tech and when he’s not, streams himself racing virtual cars. You can reach out to Yadullah at [email protected], or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.