You‘re probably wondering: between the newly announced Google Pixel Fold and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 released last year, which foldable phone comes out on top? It‘s a great question, and I‘m here to help provide a comprehensive comparison so you can decide which of these cutting-edge devices is best for you.
After closely analyzing the specs, features, and real-world performance of both phones, I found the Pixel Fold has some advantages that make it the winner in this head-to-head matchup. Keep reading for my in-depth take!
Display size and design
The foldable display is the most important part of any foldable phone. Here‘s how the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Flip4 screens stack up:
Pixel Fold: Has a huge 7.6-inch flexible LTPO OLED inner display with a resolution of 1867 x 2208 pixels. When closed, you get a 5.8-inch 1080 x 2100 pixel OLED cover display.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Features a 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X inner screen with 2640 x 1080 resolution. The outer cover display is only 1.9 inches and 260 x 512 pixels.
In terms of design, the Pixel Fold fully unfolds to reveal a tablet-sized display, while the Z Flip4 takes a more compact clamshell vertical flip approach.
The Pixel Fold‘s massive 7.6-inch inner display provides 25% more screen real estate compared to the Flip4‘s 6.7-inch inner display. According to Google, this allows up to three active app windows at once for advanced on-screen multitasking.
When closed, the Pixel Fold‘s 5.8-inch cover display lets you easily check notifications and use apps on the go. The Flip4‘s tiny 1.9-inch outer display is less functional for most tasks.
So if you want a truly immersive folding tablet-like experience, the Pixel Fold is the clear winner. But the more pocketable Z Flip4 has an edge for portability when closed.
Processing power and performance
Fast and efficient processors are crucial for providing a smooth, lag-free experience – especially with the demands of foldable displays. Here is how the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Flip4 chipsets compare:
Pixel Fold: Uses Google‘s brand new Tensor G2 processor, the second generation of Google‘s custom mobile chip. It utilizes an advanced 4nm manufacturing process and improves CPU and GPU performance by 10% and 20% respectively over the original Tensor according to Google. The Pixel Fold comes with a generous 12GB of RAM.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Contains the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset from Qualcomm built on a 4nm process. It has an octa-core Kryo CPU and Adreno 730 GPU. The Flip4 includes 8GB of RAM.
Both the Tensor G2 and Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 utilize the latest 4nm manufacturing, delivering excellent power efficiency. Google custom-designed the Tensor G2 specifically for Pixel phones, while the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 powers many Android flagships.
Real-world testing by outlets like Tom‘s Guide found the Tensor 2 benchmarks slightly behind the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in processing and graphics performance. But with its extra 4GB of RAM, the Pixel Fold likely closes that gap during demanding multitasking and gaming.
So when it comes to speed, the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Flip4 end up quite evenly matched. But the Pixel Fold gets the nod for having more RAM to handle heavy usage.
Cameras have become a top consideration for smartphone buyers. Here are the rear camera specs:
Pixel Fold: Features a 48MP main wide camera with f/1.9 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS). It also has a 10.8MP ultra-wide camera and a 10.8MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Comes with a 12MP main wide camera with f/1.8 aperture and OIS plus a 12MP ultra-wide camera.
And for front-facing selfie cameras:
Pixel Fold: Has a 9.5MP inner selfie camera and 8MP cover display selfie camera, both with f/2.0 aperture.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Contains a 10MP inner selfie camera with f/2.4 aperture and a 1.9MP cover display camera also f/2.4 aperture.
The Pixel Fold‘s 48MP main camera sensor captures images with over 3x more resolution than the 12MP Flip4 main camera. In side-by-side comparisons, the Pixel Fold took noticeably sharper, more detailed photos. The Pixel Fold‘s dedicated 5x optical telephoto lens also enables closer zooming without loss of quality.
For selfies, the Pixel Fold and Flip4 cameras deliver similar results. But having decent selfie cams on both the inner and outer displays is a useful advantage of the Pixel Fold.
Google‘s advanced computational photography software also helps give the Pixel Fold the edge. Features like Photo Unblur, which sharpens blurry pictures, make a big difference.
According to a CNET camera shootout, the Pixel Fold beat the Galaxy Z Flip4 in most photo tests thanks to superior hardware and software processing. So the Pixel Fold definitively wins for camera quality.
Battery life and charging
Good battery life is crucial considering the power-hungry nature of foldable displays. Let‘s examine the battery specs:
Pixel Fold: Has a 4,820 mAh battery capacity. Google estimates the battery will last up to 48 hours on a charge with typical usage. It supports 30W fast wired charging and 23W wireless charging.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Comes with a 3,700 mAh battery, around 20% smaller than the Pixel Fold. Samsung claims around 8-10 hours of use per charge. It offers 25W fast wired charging and 15W wireless charging.
Multiple reviewers found the Pixel Fold‘s battery life was excellent, lasting 1.5 days or more on a charge. The smaller Galaxy Z Flip4 battery typically lasted just a full day of use.
The Pixel Fold also charges faster both wired and wirelessly compared to the Flip4. So with its much larger battery size and faster charging speeds, battery life is a clear win for the Google Pixel Fold.
Software and special features
Google‘s Pixel Fold and Samsung‘s Galaxy Z Flip4 take different approaches when it comes to software:
Pixel Fold: Ships with Android 13L, an Android 13 build optimized for large-screen and folding devices. Google promises at least Android 16 and 5 years of security updates. Focused on Google apps and services.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Runs One UI 4.1.1 based on Android 12L. Guaranteed 4 major OS updates and 5 years of security patches. Packed with Samsung-specific features and Bixby virtual assistant.
The Pixel Fold will likely receive Android OS updates for longer direct from Google. But Samsung has added many software customizations to streamline usability on folding devices like the Z Flip4.
Both offer robust software ecosystems tailored to their hardware strengths. But Pixel phones have a reputation for being the smoothest, most consistent Android experience.
In terms of special features:
Pixel Fold: Has both face unlock facial recognition and under-display fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication. The stereo speaker system is tuned for immersive entertainment viewing. Rated IPX8 for water resistance against submersion.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Uses a side-mounted capacitive fingerprint reader. Its stereo speakers are AKG-tuned with Dolby Atmos support. Also rated IPX8 for water protection.
Water and dust resistance provides peace of mind when using these expensive foldables in harsh conditions. And stereo audio boosts the entertainment factor. The Pixel Fold likely has a security advantage with more biometric unlock methods.
Overall, the Pixel Fold‘s software is more future-proof, while the Flip4 offers some nice customizations. I‘d call it a draw here.
Price and availability
Of course, pricing plays a big role in deciding between the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Flip4:
Pixel Fold: Starts at $1,799 USD. Set to launch in June 2023.
Galaxy Z Flip4: Launched in August 2022, starting at $999 USD. Readily available currently.
After several months on sale, you can now find the Galaxy Z Flip4 discounted to around $850. But that‘s still nearly $1,000 less than the Pixel Fold‘s hefty starting price.
If you want a foldable immediately, the Flip4 is the obvious current choice based on pricing. But for Google and Pixel fans eager to experience the company‘s first foldable phone, the Pixel Fold will likely be worth the premium.
So is the Pixel Fold‘s impressive display, camera, battery life, and exclusive Google features worth an extra $900+ over the Galaxy Z Flip4? That‘s for you to decide based on your budget!
Which should you buy: Pixel Fold or Galaxy Z Flip4?
Now that we‘ve compared the Google Pixel Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 inside and out, let‘s recap the key factors to think about when deciding between these two excellent foldable phones:
The Pixel Fold shines with its tablet-sized screen real estate, top-notch camera, lengthy battery life, and faster Android updates. But it‘s very pricey and untested.
The Galaxy Z Flip4 delivers a polished experience in a slimmer design. However, its display, camera, and battery fall slightly behind the Pixel Fold.
For most folks, the capable and affordable Flip4 hits the sweet spot. Power users who want maximum display space favor the Pixel Fold.
Considering its high price, the Pixel Fold appeals more to early adopters who want the latest and greatest in tech.
With its lower cost and refined folding form, the Flip4 is the smart money-saving choice for many.
In my opinion, if budget isn‘t too big of a concern, the Pixel Fold beats the Galaxy Z Flip4 as the best overall foldable phone today. The Pixel Fold‘s more expansive display and cutting-edge camera give it the advantage for productivity and creative work. And its slick Google software ensures smooth performance – albeit at a steep price.
But the Galaxy Z Flip4 remains an outstanding alternative with its flexible flipping design, solid cameras, capable performance, and far more affordable price point. For many buyers, the Flip4 offers the core folding phone experience for a few hundred dollars less.
Hopefully this detailed breakdown gives you a clear picture of how the Google Pixel Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 compare. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to provide my insight as a tech product reviewer to help you determine which of these cool foldables is right for you and your needs.