If you’re in the market for a new premium Galaxy phone, you have a couple of interesting options this year. Gone is the Galaxy Note series, and in its place, Samsung gave us two premium devices that support the S Pen, namely the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the new Galaxy Z Fold 4. But despite the common ground they find in the S Pen, these two phones couldn’t be more dissimilar if they tried. So, which one is right for you? If you haven’t made up your mind yet, we might be able to help out.
Far be it for me to tell anyone how they should spend their hard-earned cash, but if a premium Android smartphone is on your “to buy” list, there really aren’t that many choices available. The Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 are virtually the best, and since they’re vastly different, they both have their own pros and cons.
Reasons to buy the Galaxy Z Fold 4 instead of the S22 Ultra
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the most ambitious Samsung smartphone to date, and it’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before — assuming you haven’t used a foldable device yet. It’s essentially a 7.6-inch foldable tablet with a second external display that has a standard smartphone UI.
Samsung’s book-like foldable phone is perfect for anyone who wishes their mobile devices offered a better workflow with advanced multitasking and productivity capabilities, complete with an S Pen (sold separately). The Z Fold 4 is designed for fans who want to experience the latest technologies and get a taste of the future, as well as for smartphone users who feel like the high-end mobile market no longer has anything exciting to offer.
There’s no denying that the foldable form factor is the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s most attractive feature. It’s a tablet that can fold into a pocketable phone, which makes it an excellent choice for multimedia consumption and entertainment applications on the go. Furthermore, Android 12L and One UI 4.1.1 Maximizes the potential of the foldable display with new desktop-class features, multi-window and pop-up window options, and a taskbar.
Finally, if you reside in an Exynos market and want to experience Qualcomm’s chipsets, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 carries the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 globally. And even though it has a smaller battery than the S22 Ultra, the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 can somehow perform better on a full charge — presumably due to improved thermal management on account of its size, the more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, and dual-battery system.
The Z Fold 4 is a fantastic all-around phone that makes little-to-no compromises to achieve its foldable form factor. Even so, the Galaxy S22 Ultra has the upper hand on the Z Fold 4 in a couple of areas.
Reasons to buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra instead of the Galaxy Z Fold 4
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is Samsung’s best ‘candy bar’ smartphone to date. ‘Candy bar’ means it’s rigid and has a rectangular, bar-like design with no hinges or other moving parts. Most smartphones today fall in this category, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra is no different.
While the Galaxy S22 Ultra lacks flexibility, it makes up for it in the camera department and the fact that it ships with an S Pen embedded in its body. Galaxy Z Fold 4 customers have to buy the S Pen or an S Pen Case separately and they don’t get to enjoy the convenience of a dedicated S Pen holster.
Galaxy S22 Ultra customers miss out on the foldable form factor and cool features like Flex Mode in favor of a bonkers mobile camera system with a 108MP primary camera, a 10x periscope-style zoom camera, and a 40MP selfie shooter with Phase-Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) to name a few. It offers even higher resilience with better display protection than the Z Fold 4, as well as an IP rating against dust ingress.
All in all, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is recommended for Samsung customers who want the best mobile camera experience and a solid build. It’s also probably the best smartphone for Galaxy Note fans looking for a new S Pen flagship. And it’s cheaper — or rather less expensive — than the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Should you buy the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Galaxy Z Fold 4, or neither?
If you’re a big S Pen fan and don’t want to make compromises, then you might already know the answer. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is probably your safer bet. It’s practically a Galaxy Note flagship for 2022 and looks like one, too. Its design is tried and tested, and its build quality is top-tier. But should you buy this candy bar flagship this late into 2022?
It’s worth keeping in mind that the Galaxy S23 Ultra is roughly 5-6 months away, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not the Galaxy S22 Ultra is worth spending money for at this point in time.
In the opposite camp, if you’d like to own a foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is more of a longer-term investment. The Z Fold 4 just hit the shelves, and we won’t see a sequel for another year. Then again, the Z Fold 4 is not a cheap smartphone. The entry-level model costs $1,799, and that’s without an S Pen.
To cut the long story short, the Galaxy S22 Ultra might be a more practical choice due to its lower price, better cameras, and a dedicated S Pen. However, keep in mind that it’s around six months old, and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 offers newer software, a better chipset, and more battery life. The Z Fold 4 also doubles as a tablet and is a better fit for mobile gaming, document editing, movie watching, web browsing, and general media consumption.
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Bar: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm
Unfolded: 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3 mmFolded: 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3 mm