Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: To fold or not to fold, that is the question
Samsung’s Galaxy S and Fold series may still pack superior tech, but the Z Flip series has lowkey become the breakout star of the South Korean tech giant’s mobile family. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was the first foldable phone to achieve mainstream sales status, and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 looks to continue the momentum. A major reason the Flip is winning over customers is that it is essentially a very good flagship phone that can fold in half to fit easier into pockets and purses. And while it’s not fair to compare the Z Flip 4 against the top dog Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Z Flip 4 does hold up very well against Samsung’s base model flagships.
Let’s take a look at the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and how it compares against Samsung’s own Galaxy S22 Plus.
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Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus vs Galaxy Z Flip 3: Specifications
|Specification||Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus||Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4|
|Dimensions & Weight||
|RAM & Storage||
|Battery & Charging||
|Security||Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor||Side-mounted fingerprint sensor|
|Front Camera(s)||10MP, 1.22µm, f/2.2, 80° FoV||10MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide)|
|Port(s)||USB Type-C||USB Type-C|
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: Hardware and design
Despite the fact one is an exciting foldable and the other is a somewhat standard slab, these two phones actually have a lot in common, and the overall user experience will be similar. Unlike the Galaxy Z Fold phones, which take on two forms (phone and tablet), the Flip 4 really is just a normal slab phone that can bend in half. Considering the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy S22 Plus run on the same software and have similar screen sizes (Flip 4 has a 6.7-inch screen to S22 Plus’ 6.6-inch). This means when the Z Flip 4 is unfolded, it operates almost exactly the same as a Galaxy S22 Plus.
The Z Flip 4 is a bit thinner and lighter than the S22 Plus, but that’s due to the latter packing a bigger battery and a better camera system — more on this later. Otherwise, they both have back sides crafted out of Gorilla Glass and Samsung’s so-called “Armor Aluminum” frame (it just means aluminum that’s been toughened). The display material is different, obviously, with the S22 Plus using a typical glass panel while the Flip 4 uses flexible bendable OLED.
The Z Flip 4, as a foldable, has a secondary screen on the outside, which Samsung calls Cover Display. This 1.9-inch is just large enough to allow the Flip 4 to do some smartphone things when closed, such as view notifications and control music playback.
One trick for the Flip 4 that sets it apart from any other slab phone is it can be used while folded up, and also when it’s halfway opened, in an L-shaped form that Samsung calls “Flex Mode.” This opens up a bunch of new ways to use the phone, including hands-free selfies or video recording.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is one of the most durable foldables around, with an official IPX8 rating and a screen that’s been tested to fold six-figure times without damage. But no matter how you cut it, the Galaxy S22 Plus is just a bit more durable. It has an IP68 rating, which means it’s protected against dust and water, while the Flip 4 only protects against the latter. And a hard glass screen is still going to be more durable than a soft bendy one, no matter how much Samsung tries to enforce the foldable OLED display.
Let’s be clear here: we don’t think the Flip 4 is fragile at all, but the S22 Plus in theory can take more damage.
SoC, Battery, and Memory
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, while the older Galaxy S22 Plus is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Usually, I wouldn’t care about a minor mid-year iterative chip upgrade, but this year is different. The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has proven to be noticeably more energy efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. If both of these phones had the same sized battery, the Z Flip 4 would certainly have longer battery life. But since there’s quite a sizable battery capacity difference (4,500 mAh for S22 Plus; 3,700 mAh for Z Flip 4), further testing will have to be done before we know which phone offers better battery life. The odds are stacked in the Galaxy S22 Plus’ favor due to the sheer size of the battery; after all, it doesn’t have to deal with moving parts internally to accommodate a hinge.
Both phones come with 8GB of RAM. The Galaxy S22 Plus only has two storage options: 128GB or 256GB, while the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has both plus an additional 512GB option.
Due to the size constraint and more complex foldable structure, the Galaxy Z Flip series has never shipped with Samsung’s best camera system, and that remains true this year. The pair of 12MP shooters (covering main and ultra-wide) in the Z Flip 4 are just decent camera hardware by 2022 standards, and definitely not on the level of the Galaxy S22 Plus’ triple-lens array consisting of a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP telephoto lens. The main camera of the S22 Plus not only packs more pixels but also has a large image sensor as well. The telephoto zoom lens takes the win by default, considering the Z Flip 4 doesn’t have a zoom lens at all.
But the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s foldable nature allows more ways to use the cameras. The aforementioned Flex Mode allows the Z Flip 4 to serve as its own tripod, so you can take selfies, or group photos, or time-lapse videos, without needing to prop the phone against something.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: Software
When the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is opened all the way, its software experience is completely identical to the Galaxy S22 Plus, as both phones run Android 12 with Samsung’s One UI on top. Samsung’s Android skin is intuitive, with lots of customization options and a great set of multi-tasking tools such as the ability to open apps in a floating window.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 does have additional software features for when the phone is folded, or in Flex Mode. In folded form, you can take selfies with the Flip 4’s main camera system and the smaller second display as a viewfinder. When the Flip 4 is in Flex Mode, several apps will take adapt to this form. For example, in the camera app, the viewfinder will move to the upper half of the screen, leaving the bottom half for camera controls. Some third-party apps like YouTube will also behave the same way, moving the video to the top half of the screen and leaving the bottom half for comments.
Since the Galaxy S22 Plus does not support an S Pen as the Galaxy S22 Ultra does, it does not have any particular software advantage over the Galaxy Z Flip 4. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 most certainly does hold an advantage over the S22 Plus thanks to the host of Flex mode features that only a foldable can enjoy.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: Performance
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a more capable phone as it has a newer chip. The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is better at handling heavy loads without throttling, so this would be noticeable if you’re a heavy gamer. The sustained performance is where the newer chip shines, and for those workloads, you will sip lesser battery and generate lesser heat. However, if your smartphone usage consists of more casual tasks like surfing the web or texting, then you won’t be able to notice the difference between the two phones.
What you will notice is the Galaxy S22 Plus’ better camera system. If you snap a lot of nighttime photography or like to zoom into things, the S22 Plus will just produce superior photos every time.
The Galaxy S22 Plus also has louder and fuller speakers than the Galaxy Z Flip 4. But the latter is lighter and can sit on a table in laptop shape, so it may still be a more convenient on-the-go media consumption device.
Battery life, as mentioned, we can’t give a final verdict yet as we haven’t had enough time with the Galaxy Z Flip 4. But with the more efficient chip, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 should be able to last a day for all but heavy users. The Galaxy S22 Plus, from my personal experience, can definitely last an entire 12-, 13-hour day on a single charge.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus: Which phone should you buy?
Even though the two phones are the exact same $999.99 price, this one is pretty straightforward, in my opinion. Are you enamored by the idea of a foldable phone? Do you often have to ask random strangers in public to take photos of you? Do you find modern-day flagship phones too big for your pocket? Do you find smartphones boring and want to try something new? If you answered yes to any of those, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is definitely worth considering over the Galaxy S22 Plus. There are plenty of good deals for the Galaxy Z Flip 4 right now too, and using our link in the product box below to pre-order the Flip 4 will fetch you up to $200 of extra benefits over and above other deals, making it an even sweeter sell.
However, if you do care about taking low-light photography or zoom photos often, or if you want a phone that’s more durable, particularly against dust, or a phone that more confidently lasts an entire day, or just don’t want to unfold every time you want to use the phone, then the Galaxy S22 Plus is the better option.
We don’t think you’ll go wrong with either phone if you’re on the market for a new flagship. But you do have to really think about if you want the foldable form factor or not.