Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra: Early comparison
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is one of the most anticipated gadgets of 2022, and for a good reason. Samsung's top foldable is expected to bring important upgrades to the table (including an integrated S Pen), while trying to lower the asking price, compared to its predecessor - the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
Would this be enough for people to hop on the foldable train and choose the Galaxy Z Fold 4 over a more conventional Galaxy S22 Ultra, for example. That's what we'll try to find out. Because today we're pitting against each other the upcoming ultra-premium foldable - the Galaxy Z Fold 4 - and the current top-tier model in the more "stiff" category - the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
At first glance these two shouldn't be put together in a sentence but there's more similarities than you suspect. For one, the S Pen support and potential integration in the Z Fold 4, is a clear crossover point between the two. There's overlap in other categories that we will review in detail - such as the camera system, hardware and software, battery life and so on. Let's get this thing going and see what's what.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs Galaxy S22 Ultra in a nutshell:
- Dual screen (7.8-inch flexible + 6.2-inch conventional, 120Hz) vs 6.8-inch Super AMOLED 120Hz display
- Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
- 50/12/10MP camera system (S22) vs 108/12/10/10MP camera system
- 4,400mAh battery (25W fast charging) vs 5,000mAh battery (45W fast charging)
Table of Contents:
Design and Display Quality
To fold or not to fold
Well, this is the question, right? When it comes to design, Samsung has obviously tried to remain true to its philosophy and design the Z Fold 4 (and other foldables) in the same fashion as the company's non-folding models.
When folded closed the Galaxy Z Fold, just like its predecessors, resembles a conventional Galaxy phone from the S-series. Granted, there's a hinge and a space between the two parts but overall the design is the same glass/metal sandwich we all know (and some of us love).
One of the main differences between the Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra (other than the folding part) is the display. The S22 Ultra is one of the last mainstream and popular phones to feature a curved display on the sides, while the Z Fold 4 not only can't pull this off with its main flexible display but also steers away from it with its flat conventional secondary display.
Of course, we're yet to see the official Galaxy Z Fold (we only rely on leaks and rumors at this point) but it's safe to say that Samsung would probably go for an evolution - shedding some weight and making the device more streamlined.
Regarding the colors involved, the initial reports point toward an understated color scheme for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, with hues such as Beige (that's correct), Black, and Gray. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, on the other hand, is available in Burgundy, Green, Phantom White, and Phantom White.
Moving to the display section, and this is another interesting one - according to the latest leaks, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 should come with two displays - a main flexible 7.6-inch QXGA+ AMOLED, 120Hz panel, and a secondary 6.2-inch HD+ AMOLED, again featuring a 120Hz refresh rate.
The display of the Galaxy S22 Ultra on the other hand is a well-known entity - a giant 6.8-inch panel with peak brightness of 1,750 nits, 1-120Hz refresh rate, and great color reproduction. You can check out the test results above for more details.
Again, comparing these two is hard in this category - you need to decide for yourself whether you absolutely need an 8-incher with a strange aspect ratio or you'd be fine with a huge, almost 7-inch big regular display.
Performance and Software
liberté, egalité, fraternité
When it comes to performance, most modern flagships will breeze through your regular smartphone tasks, and also ace mobile games (as they're made to work on any phone anyway). We don't expect huge difference in performance between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 4, even though the latter will be coming equipped with the overclocked version of Qualcomm's latest silicon - the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
Now, we have benchmark scores for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and we also did a test on Qualcomm's reference Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 device, so the picture is pretty clear, even though the foldable is still some months away. You can check out the scores below but bear in mind that the reference devices tend to score lower than the final, fine-tuned brand-version, equipped with the same processor.
Regarding the software, aside from some clever multi-window tricks, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will rely on the same OneUI over Android as its non-folding cousin. Samsung is expected to lean heavily on the multi-screen aspect of the Z Fold 4, as reports say that a new feature will allow us to open split-screen multi-tasking mode with a single swipe on the screen. The large screen estate will allow users to run 3-4 apps simultaneously, something that's kind of hard on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, despite its huge 6.8-inch screen.
One step behind
The camera system inside the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still a mystery, although rumors said that Z Fold 4 would get the camera system from the Galaxy S22 line. Great, then both phones would have identical camera systems, right? Not so fast - it's believed that it's the S22 camera system we're talking about here - not the S22 Ultra.
So, in practice - the camera system in the Z Fold 4 could be a step behind its more conventional cousin - the Galaxy S22 Ultra. In the table below you can take a quick glance at the camera systems in the three models from the S22 lineup.
If the rumors turn out to be true, then the big difference between the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 4, regarding the camera situation, will be the lack of a periscope 10x zoom lens, as well as a more modest sensor for the main camera. The ultrawide and 3x zoom cameras should be exactly the same in both phones. Below you will find some sample images from the Galaxy S22 Ultra cameras for reference.
It's also worth mentioning that we expect the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to have two under display selfie cameras - one in the main screen, and one in the secondary display.
Battery Life and Charging
Advantage S22 Ultra
It seems that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 battery will have a typical capacity of 4270 mAh, consisting of two packs - the 2002 mAh B-BF936ABY one and the larger 2268 mAh EB-BF937ABY battery(2,268mAh) - that's according to the latest info straight from the Korean certification database. Even though the resulting capacity is 4,270, it's more likely Samsung would rate this battery as a 4,400mAh one.
This isn't great news, given the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ processor, and the two displays onboard. We can't comment on battery life at this point but the Galaxy S22 Ultra should have an advantage, at least on paper, with its huge 5,000mAh battery, and more conventional single screen setup.
PhoneArena Battery Test Results:
When it comes to charging, things are looking more or less the same way. The Galaxy S22 Ultra still has an edge over the Galaxy Z Fold 4, as the former supports 45W fast charging and is able to fully charge its 5,000 mAh battery in one hour. The Z Fold 4 on the other hand would probably retain the 25W charging speeds from its predecessor, which means a full charge in about an hour and 20 minutes
Summary and Final Verdict
It's very hard to compare these two phones - they serve a completely different purpose. One is a foldable tablet-like device, the other is an ultra-premium conventional flagship. In the end, it all boils down to one thing - whether or not you want a foldable tablet. There's a price difference of about $500 between the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the S22 Ultra, and all other aspects of both phones could be viewed as secondary in this comparison.
The hardware and software is very similar and should yield a similar real-life experience, and in the camera, battery, and charging departments, the S22 Ultra seems to be winning. So, should you buy the Galaxy Z Fold 4? Well, of course - if you can afford it, it's shaping out to be one of the best foldable phones out there. On the other hand, you won't regret opting for the conventional Galaxy S22 either. It's a win-win situation that depends on how deep your pocket is and how passionate you are about folding phones.