Thursday, September 28, 2023

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs. Z Fold 3 Comparison: What’s the Difference?

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After seeing incremental changes and updates to the Galaxy S22 line in February, it’s now the turn of the ultra-flagship Galaxy Z Fold. Samsung announced the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro at its latest Samsung Unpacked event — all of which will arrive on August 26 — and, well, the new Fold is sure to see looks like a Galaxy Fold.

While this new version isn’t very different from last year’s model in terms of looks, it does bring some new features, including improved durability and a wider outward-facing cover. But how does the Galaxy Z Fold 4 stack up to the Z Fold 3 when we get to the heart of the matter on paper? Here we compare them spec by spec to see how different Samsung’s upcoming Fold is.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs. Z Fold 4: Small, Iterative Improvements

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold line has certainly come a long way since its disastrous origins. While the cheaper Z Flip has become the new option for those curious about foldability, the Galaxy Z Folds remain the flagship-level premium phones in Samsung’s lineup. Last year’s Z Fold 3 helped break new ground in the normality of folding phones with features like water resistance, which still pale in comparison to traditional flat phones. That said, the new Z Fold 4 retains many of the improvements from last year’s Fold 3, such as that IPX8 resistance, a 7.6-inch foldable OLED, and a thin but usable outer display – which are now cheaper to repair in the case of an accident.

The Z Fold 4, like the S22 generation, offers numerous small improvements that repeat the latest model. The outer screen is now about 3mm wider, offering an aspect ratio that feels a little less clunky and slim. The selfie camera below the display should also fit the screen better, and that inner screen is more durable than last year’s model, despite the phone being slightly lighter. Samsung says this lighter construction helps with one-handed use.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 weighs less than its predecessor, yes, but only eight ounces.
Photo by Allison Johnson / The Verge

There’s also a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that delivers faster performance, and the main camera has been upgraded with more megapixels and a larger sensor for improved nighttime performance. Sadly, the Samsung coined term “Nightography” will remain for now, but if the trade-off for that word crime is better photos, well, okay.

All of these changes to the Z Fold 4 are still the same price as the outgoing model, meaning it starts at $1,799.99 with 256GB of storage. Aside from all the ongoing pre-order promotions that get you a free storage bump up to 512GB, there’s no denying that this is an expensive phone. So if this generation doesn’t mean enough change for you, maybe there’s something to be said about looking for a discounted Z Fold 3 before it’s long gone. But to better judge how the two compare on paper, below is a side-by-side comparison that outlines the finer details of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 4.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 vs Z Fold 4 Specs

Specification Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Specification Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
OS Updated to Android 12 android 12
Main screen size 7.6″ OLED 7.6″ OLED
Main screen resolution 2208 x 1768, 374 ppi 2176 x 1812, 374 ppi
Main screen aspect ratio 22.5:18 21.6:18
Screen cover size 6.2-inch OLED 6.2-inch OLED
Cover screen resolution 2268 x 832, 387 ppi 2316 x 904, 402 ppi
Covering screen aspect ratio 24.5:9 23.1:9
Max. refresh rate 120Hz 120Hz
Dimensions (open) 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3mm
Dimensions (closed) 158.2 x 67.1 x 16 (hinge) – 14.4 (folding side) mm 155.1 x 67.1 x 15.8 (hinge) – 14.2 (folding side) mm
Weight 271g 263g
Battery capacity 4.400mAh 4.400mAh
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Storage 256GB, 512GB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Ports USB-C charging port USB-C charging port
reversing camera 12MP, f/1.8, 1.8μm (main), 12MP, f/2.2, 1.2μm (ultra wide), 12MP, f/2.4, 1.0μm, 2x (telephoto) 50MP, f/1.8, 2.0μm (main), 12MP f/2.2, 1.12μm (ultra wide), 10MP, f/2.4, 1.0μm, 3x (telephoto)
Front camera 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22μm (cover), 4MP, f1/8, 2.0μm (main) 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22μm (cover), 4MP, f1/8, 2.0μm (main)
Video HDR, 1080p and 4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps, slow motion 1080p video support at 240 fps, super slow-mo 720p video support at 960 fps, hyperlapse 4K video support at 30 fps HDR, 8K video recording at 24 fps, 1080p and 4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps, slow motion 1080p video support at 240 fps, super slow-mo 720p video support at 960 fps, hyperlapse 4K video support at 30fps
biometrics Fingerprint scanner in power button Fingerprint scanner in power button
Water and dust protection IPX8 rating IPX8 rating
5G mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz
Wireless Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Wireless charging? Yes Yes
S Pen support? S Pen Fold Edition S Pen Fold Edition
Color options Phantom silver, phantom black and phantom green Gray Green, Phantom Black, Beige and Burgundy (Exclusive
Availability utilities August 26
Starting price $1,799.99 $1,799.99

While the Fold 4 certainly looks cool, it’s hard to deny that on paper it feels like a modest bump over the Fold 3. Aside from the upgrade to the main camera sensor, telephoto magnification, the new CPU and a slightly wider cover screen, you’ll need a Squint a bit to see some differences. (I’m looking at you, aspect ratios.)

Yes, it now shoots 8K video, but only at 24 frames per second – and most people may not want to deal with those huge file sizes. The durability improvements and cheaper repairs are a welcome change, but Samsung’s claim of a 45 percent stronger main display is one of those numbers that sounds big at first, but it’s hard to say how much of a difference it makes in the long run.

Perhaps the obvious improvements will become more apparent in our full review. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments about what you think of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4.



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