If you‘re considering a cutting-edge foldable phone in 2023, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 is the champ for now. But Google‘s rumored Pixel Fold could give it a run for its money later this year.
After comparing all the leaks and rumors so far, the Galaxy Z Flip4 still comes out on top. Its winning combo of performance, design, cameras, and battery life edge out what we expect from the Pixel Fold based on current information. However, I‘ll walk you through all the key details so you can decide which phone best suits your needs.
Foldable Display Tech Compared
The foldable display represents the biggest innovation in these devices. So let‘s dive into how the displays compare based on leaked specs.
The inner display on the Galaxy Z Flip4 measures 6.7 inches corner to corner. When unfolded, the 22:9 aspect ratio provides a tall, immersive canvas well-suited to scrolling social feeds or web pages. The resolution comes in at 2640 x 1080 pixels for a pixel density of 425 ppi.
Samsung outfitted the Galaxy Z Flip4 with their latest Eco2 OLED panel. Using subtle pixel geometry tweaks, Samsung improved brightness by up to 16% compared to the prior generation Flip3 display panel. Tests by DisplayMate confirmed the Z Flip4 display hits an impressive peak brightness of 1000 nits.
Leaked specs suggest the Pixel Fold‘s inner display will stretch to around 7.69 inches diagonally with a resolution of 1840 x 2208 pixels. This equates to a pixel density of 361 ppi, which lags the Z Flip4 slightly. With a rumored 5.78-inch cover display, the Pixel Fold may opt for a more square-shaped inner display compared to the Z Flip4‘s tall, narrow display.
Both phones are expected to boast 120Hz high refresh rate displays for smooth scrolling and animations. But the Galaxy Z Flip4 apparently edges out the Pixel Fold in terms of maximum brightness based on early leaks.
|Spec||Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4||Google Pixel Fold|
|Inner Display Size||6.7 inches||7.69 inches (rumored)|
|Resolution||2640 x 1080 pixels||1840 x 2208 pixels (rumored)|
|Pixel Density||425 ppi||361 ppi (rumored)|
|Max Refresh Rate||120Hz adaptive||120Hz (rumored)|
|Peak Brightness||1,000 nits||Unknown|
When folded shut, the Z Flip4 switches to a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED cover display with 512 x 260 resolution. You can customize widgets and view notifications without opening the phone. The Pixel Fold is tipped to have a larger 5.78-inch cover display enabling more useful at-a-glance info.
In the performance department, both phones pack cutting-edge flagship specs and 5G connectivity.
The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 mobile platform inside the Galaxy Z Flip4 represents a modest upgrade over the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. In benchmarks, it delivers around 10-15% faster CPU speeds and up to 10% faster graphics rendering. Combine that with 8GB of RAM, and you get buttery smooth multitasking.
Google‘s rumored Pixel Fold appears set to match that with the next-gen Google Tensor G2 processor expected to power the Pixel 7 family later this year. Built on a 4nm process, the Tensor G2 should bring performance gains over the already impressive first-gen Tensor. Reports point to up to 12GB RAM in the Pixel Fold giving it an edge for intense multitasking.
While the Pixel Fold processor remains unconfirmed, you can expect flagship power that at minimum matches the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 based on Google‘s track record.
Battle of the Camera Hardware
Foldables introduce unique camera challenges with their unconventional designs. Let‘s see how the Galaxy Z Flip4 and rumored Pixel Fold camera specs compare.
The Galaxy Z Flip4 sports dual 12MP cameras on the rear: one wide angle and one ultra-wide. Samsung upgraded the main wide sensor making it 65% brighter than the previous generation according to their testing. This helps with low light photography, an area the Flip3 cameras sometimes struggled.
Upfront, you‘ll find a 10MP selfie camera built into the top bezel of the inner foldable display. You can also easily snap selfies with the rear cameras since the Z Flip4 folds closed vertically.
|Camera Hardware||Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4||Google Pixel Fold|
|Rear Wide Camera||12MP, f/1.8, OIS||50MP (rumored)|
|Rear Ultrawide Camera||12MP, f/2.2||12MP (rumored)|
|Telephoto Camera||None||12MP (rumored)|
|Front Camera||10MP, f/2.4||8MP or 9.5MP (rumored)|
Rumors point to more impressive camera specs for the Pixel Fold, potentially matching the Pixel 7 Pro‘s camera setup. That would mean a 50MP wide angle camera, 12MP ultrawide camera, and 12MP telephoto camera around back. The telephoto lens could give Google‘s foldable an edge for optical zoom. For selfies, leaks suggest either an 8MP or 9.5MP front facing camera.
While specs don‘t tell the full story, Google‘s computational photography expertise gives them an advantage. The Pixel Fold is likely to deliver superior image processing and camera software optimization compared to Samsung‘s foldable.
Battery Life and Charging
The Galaxy Z Flip4 gets a nice bump in battery capacity to 3,700 mAh compared to 3,300 mAh in the Flip3. Combined with a more efficient processor, Samsung says this delivers around 3 hours of additional runtime versus the prior generation.
In lab tests, the Galaxy Z Flip4 lasted just over 8 hours on a charge playing back continuous video. That‘s a decent battery life score for a modern flagship smartphone. The phone supports 25W wired charging, with a compatible charger sold separately.
Leaked specs tip the Google Pixel Fold will pack an even more sizeable 5,000 mAh battery. This should help power the larger inner display and deliver excellent endurance. One rumor indicates 30W charging support, which would charge faster than the Galaxy Z Flip4.
Overall, early clues suggest the Pixel Fold could pull ahead of the Z Flip4 for battery runtime thanks to its giant battery pack. But we‘ll have to wait for real world testing to know for sure.
My Take on Google vs. Samsung Foldables
Samsung deserves props for kickstarting the foldable phone trend and iterating year after year to refine the user experience and durability. The Z Flip4 delivers their most polished foldable phone yet for a reasonable $999 starting price. For anyone interested in stepping into the world of foldables, the Galaxy Z Flip4 makes the most sense right now.
That said, I‘m super intrigued by the rumored Pixel Fold‘s potential. Google‘s hardware and software integration could enable a foldable experience greater than the sum of its parts. Running stock Android tuned to take advantage of the unique foldable format could be a joy for Pixel loyalists. And with flagship power plus Google‘s imaging skills, it could hold up against Samsung‘s foldable champ.
Of course, I‘ll have to get my hands on an actual Pixel Fold unit before I can offer a definitive verdict. But on paper, Google seems poised to leap into the foldable arena in a big way in late 2023 based on what we know so far. It sets up a fascinating Samsung vs. Google foldables showdown.
Foldable Phone Innovations On the Horizon
Foldables still occupy a niche corner of the smartphone landscape today, but their future looks bright. Here are some of the most exciting innovations in development that could take foldable tech mainstream:
Foldables today stick to a single horizontal or vertical fold. But we‘ve already seen concepts of devices with dual folds, tri-folds, or even accordion-style multi-folding displays. These complex designs can morph a device from phone to tablet sizes while expanding the display area. Brands like TCL and Oppo have prototypes that hint at the potential for multi-fold gadgets.
Rollable displays represent another take on flexible screen technology. Rather than folding, they expand outwards, unrolling from a contained tube within the device chassis. This approach offers a high degree of versatility and durability. LG and Oppo have both demoed rollable phone prototypes, though consumer availability remains scarce.
Micro-Folded Glass Displays
Ultra-thin glass offers durability and scratch resistance superior to the plastic polymer films used in current foldable displays. Corning and other brands are developing glass folds thinner than a human hair using specialized micro-folding methods. This glass could eventually enable foldable devices as hard and rigid as a typical smartphone display.
Several companies like Oppo and ZTE have already demonstrated under-display cameras obscured below the screen. Paired with foldable displays, this tech can remove display notches and cutouts to create a truly uninterrupted canvas. As the tech advances, under-display cams could become ubiquitous in foldables.
The foldables segment still feels like the wild west of phone design. But steady improvements in durability, performance, and pricing point towards a day when flexible devices dominate the mobile landscape. Between trailblazers like Samsung and rumored entries from Google, the future looks bright for folding phones.
Well, there you have my complete breakdown of the Galaxy Z Flip4 versus the mysterious Pixel Fold. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to chat more about flip phones.