Samsung just launched its Galaxy Z Flip 4 — ever since last year, the Flip’s price fell to a position where it’s comfortably priced as a “high-end smartphone that also happens to fold”. Unlike the Z Fold 4, which is still way up there at $1,800.
It’s positioned to rival many other mainstream flagships, though its price may be slightly north of what the competition has to offer. For example, Apple’s “mainstream” phone would currently be the iPhone 13 — not as expensive as the Pro, not as small as the mini, still packed with all the core elements that make an iPhone good.
- Foldable clamshell vs classic candybar
- Similar camera setups on both phones
- Cases and screen protectors will be more widely available for iPhone
- Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers more customization — physical shell and software
Table of Contents:
Design and Display Quality
Can you do this?
(Image Credit – PhoneArena) Don’t Flip out
We can’t really go on without noting that one of these phones folds — with no extra pressure needed. However, the Galaxy Z Flip’s clamshell form factor only assures that it can get in a more compact shape to fit more different types of pockets. Once its unfolded — it’s pretty much a regular smartphone.
Still, this comes with some pros and cons. The good thing? You can slap the phone shut to end calls, you can keep it half-folded so it props itself up for video calls or selfies (or… *shudder* TikTok videos), and you still have a tiny screen on the outside to get your notifications and even perform quick replies with simple swipes and taps.
The bad — your choice in cases will be a bit more limited, as manufacturers are trying to figure out what exactly to wrap around a phone that’s basically two halves. And if you want a screen protector, you can only go for the extra-thin plastic ones.
But hey, at least the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available in a plethora of different color combinations — you can use Samsung’s Bespoke Studio to customize your purchase and choose separate colors for the shells and the exposed hinge element of the phone.
(Image Credit – PhoneArena) The non-Pro iPhones are always colorful now
(Image Credit – PhoneArena) Dynamic AMOLED x2 is pretty
Now, both screens have their own cons. For example, all rumors point to the iPhone 14 still having the notch. Let’s be fair, most iPhone users have either learned to live with it or never saw it as an issue in the first place. The Z Flip 4 still has a shallow crease across the middle, you know — due to having a fold there —, and is a soft material, which Samsung may call “super-thin glass”, but it’s still very easy to dig into it with a fingernail or something hard-ish. So, it’s still not ideal on its own part.
(Image Credit – PhoneArena) Notch bad!
And since we are on the topic of durability, the iPhone 14 is expected to be fully dust- and water- protected with a high IP68 rating. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has IPX8, which is extremely impressive for a foldable phone with a hinge. It means it can survive splashes and submersion of up to 1.5 meters, but there’s no particle or dust-resistance guarantee, so only keep it around fresh water.
The iPhone 14 will, again, come with a Lightning port — hopefully for the last time — but it also has the MagSafe magnetic connector on the back. MagSafe for iPhones has been around for a couple of years now and a lot of manufacturers have made some cool accessories for it — wallets, magnetic stands, and even HiFi DAC interfaces.
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a USB Type-C port, which is more widely used and supports faster data transfer speeds and you know… more devices.
When it comes to biometric scanners, the iPhone 14 will have Apple’s signature Face ID, which unlocks the phone with a look, the Z Flip 4 uses a classic fingerprint scanner, nested in the power button on the side.
Performance and Software
Bionic versus Dragon
Obviously, the iPhone 14 will be powered by an Apple chip on the inside — Cupertino has become quite the silicon slinger recently. However, word on the street is that the iPhone 14 will keep running on last year’s platform, meaning a redo of the Apple A15 Bionic chip.
Dual camera module on both phones
Apple likes to keep things basic on its non-Pro iPhones. All leaks agree that the iPhone 14 will — like its predecessors — have a regular wide-angle camera and an ultra-wide camera. The same setup can be found on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 — no telephoto for optical zoom or natural portraits.
Audio Quality and Haptics
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 speakers sound OK — not fantastic, but also not tinny. Obviously, it’s not easy to fit meaty drivers and have good acoustics in a phone that also needs to fold in half, but we appreciate that they are at least OK.
If the iPhone 14 has the same speakers as the 13 — it will already sound slightly better than the Z Flip 4, with deeper bass and more details in the mids.
As for haptics — Apple’s Taptic engine is sweet, clicky, and responsive. But Samsung’s vibration motors have also been on point in the past few years, and such is the case with the Flip 4 as well.
Battery Life and Charging
Power the day
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 already went through our battery benchmark test and passed it with flying colors. Well, it seems to chew through its 3,700 mAh cell quite fast when gaming, however, for video streaming or browsing we got about 10 hours of screen-on time.
Apple’s iPhones have consistently good battery life, but also sometimes suffer in the gaming department. However, the iPhone 14 will probably have a 60 Hz screen, which will help it with lasting longer. Yeah, you can also choose to limit the Z Flip 4’s screen to 120 Hz as well, but hey — would you?
Bottom line, “all-day battery” is going to be an applicable tag line for both these phones, or so we believe.
As for charging, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 supports a 25 W Fast Charger — nothing crazy, but it does top the phone up in 90 minutes. Apple is also in no hurry (a-haa!) to upgrade its fast charging, with its latest iPhones supporting 20 W over the wire. We don’t see this getting much faster with the next iteration.
Orange text is expectations, as we don’t have leaks or concrete evidence yet.
Summary and Expectations
Obviously, we have two different devices here — on one hand, it’s the good old Android vs iPhone ordeal. On the other, it’s a foldable versus a classic bar.
So, for one, if you are someone in the iPhone camp, wondering whether or not it’s worth experimenting with a foldable — specifically the Z Flip 4. Sure — it’s a performer, it has that cool factor with the futuristic folding glass, and its cameras are good — they may turn out being better in some aspects, but we’ll save that judgment for when the iPhone 14 comes out.
On the other hand, if you are not in any camp right now and are wondering if you should jump for the novelty of the Flip or bet on the dependable iPhone… Tough choice, really! We may have a better response when the iPhone 14 comes out, but right now, these two are neck in neck. They are different, yes, but they bring different types of value on the table, especially if we start talking about the iOS vs Samsung ecosystem (laptops, tablets, watches, smart home appliances).