It's the latter of those devices, which I like to call 'the flip phone', that's the foldable of focus in this comparison piece. I've seen and handled both the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 and last-generation Z Flip 3, so I've got hands-on knowledge of how these two foldable phones differ and which you might therefore want to buy.
Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs 4: Price
A key differentiator, as ever, may come down to price. In the UK the newest Z Flip 4 starts at £999 (AU$1,499) for the 128GB storage model, increasing to £1,059 (AU$1,649) for 256GB, and £1,199 (AU$1,849) for the 512GB version. All offer 8GB RAM.
By comparison the Z Flip 3 went on sale starting at £949 (AU$1,499) back in August 2021. That price has only come down, as you can see in the real-time price widget below, so I reckon you'll find the older handset for at least £100 less.
Samsung Flip 3 vs Flip 4: Colours and design
So why the difference in price and what do you actually get in the Galaxy Z Flip 4 compared to the Z Flip 3?
In terms of design the answer is "not a lot". I've handled both phones and they feel much the same, despite the newer device shaving sub-1mm from its width and height thanks to a newly designed hinge.
The Z Flip 4 introduces a new Bora Purple colour, too, but as the Flip 3 is available in Lavander I don't think that's enough of a difference.
The displays on both foldables are identical too: that's a 1.9-inch exterior Cover Screen display; and a 6.7-inch interior panel. There's no resolution or refresh rate differences either, although the Flip 4 is said to have improved ultra-thin glass.
In short: there's very little to differentiate the Z Flip 4 and Z Flip 3 at first glance.
Z Flip 3 vs Z Flip 4: Spec and battery
Where things do change more considerably is with what's inside. That tweaked design means the Z Flip 4 houses a 3,700mAh battery. Not massive, sure, but it's 400mAh larger than the 3,300mAh cell in the Z Flip 3 – which equates to just over a 12 per cent boost.
That larger battery will be key for longevity, which was never the Z Flip 3's strong suit. But as the newer clamshell foldable gets Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 platform on board, I wouldn't be surprised if that'll be more demanding on the battery life compared to the Snapdragon 888 found in the Z Flip 3. Realistically, however, I wouldn't anticipate you'll achieve much better/worse on either device.
Software-wise, both the Flip devices run Samsung's One UI over Google's Android operating system. However, the Flip 4 can do more with its Cover Screen display, with the ability to make/receive calls and texts, and interact with more widgets, including Samsung Pay/Wallet and other quick settings. A small change, really.
Galaxy Flip 4 vs 3: Cameras
Both the Z Flip 4 and Z Flip 3 house dual cameras above that exterior screen – and both of them at 12-megapixels in resolution across the board. One is a wide-angle, the other an ultra-wide in both instances.
The difference? The Z Flip 4's main camera has a larger sensor, upping the pixel size from 1.4 microns to 1.8. That should assist with low-light capture, permitting more light to enter the sensor for a cleaner signal to provide the processor. Samsung says you'll achieve better 'Nightography' shots as a result.
However, it's a small change overall – and not of the resolution increase stature, as seen in the larger Z Fold 4's feature set (which has instead opted for 50-megapixels for its main camera).
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2021 vs 2022: Verdict
So there you have it: the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is slightly more expensive than the Z Flip 3 was at launch, but it adds more battery capacity into a design that's so similar you're not going to be able to spot the difference. Tweaks to software, including the Cover Screen display's features, and a minor main camera update and processor change are otherwise the summary of the 2022 update. Not a major step-change by any means, so if you can land the Z Flip 3 for less then, well, it's the more obvious purchase – if you can cope with the smaller battery capacity anyway.