“Is that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 or Flip 4?”

If someone asked that question – I would dare them to guess. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 are nearly identical on the outside. There are a few differences in the fit and finish but otherwise, they’re almost the same. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily I’ll explain.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Nearly a year ago – I reviewed the Flip 3 and loved it. It was the 3rd iteration of the Galaxy Z Flip and I feel like Samsung pretty much nailed it. I loved the size, the cameras and the form factor. My biggest complaint was the battery life and after using it for a few months, I stood by that pain point. Well, as they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That seems to be the approach that Samsung took with the newest Z Flip and I’m not mad about it.

If it’s the same, what’s different?

Samsung improved some key features inside the Z Flip 4. First and foremost, the processor is faster. The Flip 4 uses the Snapdragon 8+. The OS feels as fast as you’d expect, games run without a hiccup and the Flip 4 zips along as any modern smartphone should.

The cameras on the Flip 4 are also improved from the previous generation. While the Flip still sports a 12 Megapixel wide angle and a 12 Megapixel Ultra wide angle camera, Samsung says the sensor is 65% brighter. This essentially means you can take better pictures in low-light situations. 12 Megapixels won’t leave much room for digital zoom especially when compared to some of Samsung’s other phones packing 50 Megapixel camera sensors combined with a 3x optical zoom. More on this later…

Another major improvement, and my biggest complaint about the Flip 3, is a larger battery. The battery in the Flip 4 has about 12% more capacity. For me, this is the most important upgrade from last year’s model. The Flip 3 was an awesome phone but battery life was a struggle during my testing. In my limited testing the Flip 4 is an improvement when it comes to battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Software Evolving

Something else that is hard to put our finger on but you will defaintely notice is that the software designed for the “flip” phone is evolving. With the previous models of the Flip, there were some cool tricks that worked well when you folding the phone but it still felt like a work in progress. The software on the Flip 4 finally feels like it’s starting to grown into it’s own. The camera app adapts when you start folding the phone, so you can take pictures with the phone half folded into an L shape. Even 3rd party apps like Youtube know how to optimize for the folding nature of the Flip. The software has also been improved to make the screen on the outside of the Flip more useful. You can now reply to text messages and make phone calls without ever opening the phone.

Things I’d change

I really do like the Flip 4, just as I did the Flip 3. I’m glad that Samsung fixed a few things but I still wish they’d pack in a better camera. While I’m not a Megapixel addict, I have used the S22 Ultra and I love the ability to zoom in and still get a good quality picture. It would be nice to see some of that tech passed off to the Flip models.

Overall

Samsung owns foldable screens. That’s it. If you’re looking for a “folding” phone, Samsung is the one to get. Samsung’s larger model, the Fold, is too big for me. I think the Flip 4 is the perfect size and it finally feels like flip phones are back!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is $1,000 (before discounts, trade-ins or incentives). It’s available for pre-order and hits store shelves on August 25th on Samsung.com, at most major retailers and through all 3 major cell phone carriers.