Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Which should you buy?

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Which should you buy?

Samsung took the wraps off of its 2023 flagship smartphones, and while every device in the series brings some upgrades, all eyes are on the Galaxy S23 Ultra and its brand-new 200MP camera. The top-of-the-line phone is the one to get if you’re after the best smartphone experience. But despite its new features and hardware, it’s not particularly flashy or unique in a world where foldable smartphones are slowly becoming mainstream. Luckily, Samsung has a foldable that’s not only unique but also cheaper than the company’s latest flagship. How do the two compare? Here’s a look at the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4!

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: At a glance

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a power user’s dream. And while the Z Flip 4 may not win the fight on the spec sheet, its unique form factor is more than enough to sway many buyers. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the significant differences between the two smartphones.

  • The Galaxy S23 Ultra is more expensive than the Z Flip 4.
  • The S23 Ultra offers better drop protection and scratch resistance with Gorilla Glass Victus 2.
  • When unfolded, the Z Flip 4 is slightly taller but not as wide as the S23 Ultra. It is also not as heavy.
  • The S23 Ultra has a quad-camera system with a new primary shooter, which should be better than the Z Flip 4’s dual cameras.
  • The base model of the S23 Ultra has more storage that the base version of the Flip 4. The Ultra also comes with a 1TB storage option that isn’t available on Samsung’s foldable device.
  • Higher-end variants of the S23 Ultra have more RAM than the Z Flip 4.
  • The S23 Ultra’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip is more powerful than the Z Flip 4’s processing package.
  • The S23 Ultra has a much larger battery and features faster wired charging.

Keep reading to know more about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4 and which phone you should buy.

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Specs

Galaxy S23 Ultra Galaxy Z Flip 4


Galaxy S23 Ultra

6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
Edge display (curved)
19.3:9 aspect ratio
QHD+ resolution (3,088 x 1,440)
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (1Hz to 120Hz)

Galaxy Z Flip 4

– 1.9-inch Super AMOLED
– 512 x 260
– Gorilla Glass Victus Plus

– 6.7-inch Super AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate
– 2,640 x 1,080


Galaxy S23 Ultra

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Galaxy Z Flip 4

Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1


Galaxy S23 Ultra

8GB or 12GB

Galaxy Z Flip 4



Galaxy S23 Ultra

256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
No microSD card support

Galaxy Z Flip 4

128GB, 256GB, or 512GB
No microSD card support


Galaxy S23 Ultra

5,000mAh battery
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box

Galaxy Z Flip 4

3,700mAh battery
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
No charger in box


Galaxy S23 Ultra

– 200MP wide
– 12MP ultrawide
– 10MP 3x telephoto
– 10MP 10x telephoto

– 12MP wide

Galaxy Z Flip 4

– 12MP wide
– 12MP ultrawide

– 10MP wide


Galaxy S23 Ultra

Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

Galaxy Z Flip 4

Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor


Galaxy S23 Ultra

Android 13
One UI 5.1

Galaxy Z Flip 4

Android 12
Upgradable to Android 13

S Pen support

Galaxy S23 Ultra

Yes, embedded with storage slot

Galaxy Z Flip 4


IP rating

Galaxy S23 Ultra

IP68 certified

Galaxy Z Flip 4

IPX8 certified


Galaxy S23 Ultra

163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm

Galaxy Z Flip 4

– 84.9 x 71.9 x 17.1mm (measured at hinge)

– 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm


Galaxy S23 Ultra


Galaxy Z Flip 4



Galaxy S23 Ultra

Phantom Black

Galaxy Z Flip 4

Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, Blue

Bespoke Edition:
– Front/back: Yellow, White, Navy, Khaki, Red
– Frame: Silver, Black, Gold

The Galaxy Z Flip 4’s unique form factor doesn’t lend itself to a direct comparison. When folded, it has a low-resolution 1.9-inch AMOLED display on the outside, which takes up around half the space of the folded front and is great for notifications and quick device controls. Things are much closer when the Z Flip 4 is unfolded, though. Both come with AMOLED screens and 120Hz refresh rates, but the S23 Ultra has a leg up on the resolution. The Ultra’s 6.8-inch display has a Quad HD+ resolution, while the Z Flip 4’s 6.7-inch screen is limited to Full HD+.

Under the hood of the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor. The “for Galaxy” isn’t just a shiny suffix, either. The modified chip version comes with higher peak clock speeds, an upgraded GPU, and other performance and network connectivity hardware enhancements to make it faster than other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-toting smartphones. Of course, the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor is no slouch, so there won’t be a huge difference in everyday performance. But the best is understandably available with Samsung’s latest and greatest.

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Galaxy S23 Ultra maintains its advantage in other hardware areas. While the base model of the Ultra comes with 8GB of RAM, you can get higher-tier variants with 12GB of RAM. Samsung has also doubled the storage available with the S23 Ultra, with options starting at 256GB and going up to 1TB. On the other hand, all versions of the Z Flip 4 come with 8GB of RAM paired with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage.

The Z Flip 4’s form factor causes a few other differences. The foldable comes with an IPX8 rating for water resistance, while the S23 Ultra also adds protection from dust with its IP68 rating. The Flip 4 also has a side-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner, while the Ultra sticks to a standard under-display fingerprint sensor. And, of course, the S23 Ultra’s most significant advantage over the Z Flip 4 and all its competitors remains the S Pen. The upgraded stylus returns with even more software features to make the phone a productivity powerhouse.

samsung galaxy z flip 4 home screen crease in focus

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

What stays essentially the same is the software experience. Both phones run Samsung’s One UI 5 based on Android 13 and will get similar software support. Granted, the S23 Ultra has the advantage of being newer and will get an extra year of OS and security updates. But Samsung’s commitment to four years of major OS upgrades and five years of security updates holds for both smartphones.

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Size comparison

samsung galaxy s23 ultra home screen

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a big phone, but it’s not that different from the Z Flip 4 when unfolded. With unfolded dimensions of 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm, the Flip 4 is slightly taller, less wide, and thinner than the Galaxy S23 Ultra (163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm). It’s also lighter than the S23 Ultra at 187 grams vs 229 grams, respectively.

The Z Flip 4 is tiny when folded and around half the length of the S23 Ultra with dimensions of just 84.1 x 71.9mm. Of course, it’s much thicker since it’s essentially the same as stacking two phones on top of each when folded. Even then, its thickness of 17.1mm shouldn’t cause any problems with putting the phone in your pocket, courtesy of its small footprint overall.

samsung galaxy z flip 4 half open on table

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Not much has changed in the design of the Galaxy S23 Ultra compared to its predecessor. It retains an industrial look with a flat top and bottom, a slightly curved display, and with the rear cameras housed in individual islands on the otherwise plain back. It’s not a particularly exciting look, with function the preference over form. The phone will survive accidental bumps, drops, and scratches better, though, with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 panels on the front and back.

If unique is what you want, get the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

If unique is what you’re after, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the way to go. A flip phone isn’t a new concept, but the modern take with a foldable screen is as different as it comes in a sea of standard, candy bar-style smartphones. The Z Flip 4 may not be as powerful or feature-packed as its 2023 flagship counterpart, but where you can’t go wrong is with its distinctive look.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Camera

samsung galaxy s23 ultra advanced camera features landscape

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Ultra variant of the Galaxy S-series has stuck with a 108MP primary shooter since 2019, with the S20 Ultra. So moving to a 200MP unit is a significant upgrade coming with the S23 Ultra. The other cameras in its quad-camera setup carry over from last year, though, with a 12MP ultrawide camera and two 10MP telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom, respectively.

The jump in the megapixel count isn’t the only upgrade. There is also plenty of software features and improvements to back up the new camera. The Galaxy S23 Ultra can now record video in 8K/30fps, along with 4K/60fps and 1080p/120fps. Samsung says there are significant improvements to low-light photography, or Nightography as it calls it, and 30x and 100x zoom photos. We’ll have to test the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s photography capabilities more before passing a final verdict, but there’s plenty to be excited about.

samsung galaxy z flip 4 folded camera interface

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

On the other hand, the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s dual 12MP rear cameras seem decidedly mid-range in comparison. That’s not to say that these are bad cameras by any means. In our Galaxy Z Flip 4 review, we found that the cameras delivered impressive photos, with excellent detail, highlights, and shadows, and solid portrait and low-light photos.

The Z Flip 4 comes with a 10MP selfie camera. It’s a solid camera with exciting software tricks, a portrait mode, and the ability to make quick edits. The 12MP front-facing shooter of the Galaxy S23 Ultra should also deliver impressive results. It seems like a major downgrade on paper, though, from the 40MP selfie camera of its predecessor. But it has a few tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to shoot video at 4K/60fps, while the Z Flip 4’s selfie camera is limited to 4K/30fps.

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Battery and charging

samsung galaxy s23 ultra display

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn’t get a battery capacity upgrade compared to its predecessor. But its 5,000mAh unit is still much bigger than the 3,700mAh battery you get on the Galaxy Z Flip 4. The 2023 flagship also offers faster 45W wired charging (vs 25W on the Flip 4). Both come with 15W wireless charging with a compatible charger. You can also use 4.5W reverse wireless charging to charge accessories like wireless earbuds and smartwatches. It’s far from the fastest charging speeds we’ve seen on current smartphones, but any extra speed will be appreciated.

We’ll have to test the Galaxy S23 Ultra battery, but there shouldn’t be any surprises here. Not much has changed from the Galaxy S22 Ultra, so we can expect similar battery life. In our review, we managed around 6.5 hours of screen-on time with the S22 Ultra, with between 20 to 35% battery to spare at the end of the day. The S23 Ultra has a more power-efficient processing package, so you can expect at least similar, if not better, battery life with the new flagship.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 with water droplets

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Even the Z Flip 4’s small battery impresses. In our review, we found that the device offers around four to five hours of screen-on time with average use. Charging speeds aren’t as impressive, though. The Z Flip 4 requires about 75 minutes to fully charge when plugged in. That goes up to 100 minutes when using a compatible wireless charger.

The S23 Ultra comes with the same battery capacity and fast charging capabilities as its predecessor. And charging should be equally as fast. The S22 Ultra took around 50 minutes to get to a full charge from 25%. However, wireless charging was slow, with two hours required to charge the large battery. We’ll have to test the S23 Ultra, but the charging durations should be around the same.

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Price

samsung galaxy z flip 4 hinge

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra price:

  • 8GB RAM/256GB storage: $1,199
  • 12GB RAM/512GB storage: $1,299
  • 12GB RAM/1TB storage: $1,399

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 price:

  • 128GB storage: $999
  • 256GB storage: $1,059
  • 512GB storage: $1,179

The good news is that Samsung hasn’t changed the US prices of the Galaxy S23 series this year either, so it keeps the prices of the last two S-series generations. The bad news is that starting at $1,199, the S23 Ultra remains one of the most expensive Android smartphones around.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is cheaper, but not by much. It starts at $999, but with the equivalent storage as the S23 Ultra’s base, it will set you back $1,059. It’s not cheap, but it is the most affordable foldable smartphone you can get right now. However, you are paying for the design rather than over-the-top hardware. On the other hand, the S23 Ultra is packed to the brim with high-end hardware features to justify its price tag.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is available for pre-order starting today and will go on general sale on February 17. Samsung offers excellent pre-order deals, and it’s no different this time. Anyone who pre-orders the device will get a free storage upgrade. So during this limited time period, you can get the 512GB version for $1,199. Samsung sweetens the pot further with the addition of a $100 store credit if you buy the phone from Samsung’s website.

If you’ve made up your mind and don’t want to get the S23 Ultra, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is available now from Samsung, Amazon, and other retailers.

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Flip 4: Which should you buy?

samsung galaxy s23 ultra cameras close up pink

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is arguably the better phone in almost every way. It has a faster processor, more RAM and storage if you want it, a larger battery with faster charging, much better cameras, and better protection. Samsung offers the same software commitment with both phones. But the S23 Ultra has the advantage of being newer. So its four years of major updates and five years of security updates offer more longevity. The latest high-end Samsung flagship is the way to go if you want the best of the best.

The S23 Ultra is the obvious choice, but the Z Flip 4 just looks so good!

But the Z Flip 4 is a flip phone with a folding display! If you want to turn heads, pull out a flip phone in 2023. Its design might admittedly be the only reason to recommend the Flip 4. But that might be all the reason you need. Especially when compared to the rather dull look of the S23 Ultra.

Which of the two phones would you rather get?

3 votes

It’s also not that far behind when it comes to everything else. You’ll get impressive performance, solid battery life, and good cameras. It is a little cheaper, but that’s not the selling point. My practical side knows that the S23 Ultra is the better phone. And you should get it if you want a powerhouse that can do it all. But my tech geek side can’t help appreciating how unique the Flip 4 is.

$999.99 at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Efficient performance
Solid primary camera
Compact design

$1,199.99 at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

New 200MP main camera
Beautiful display
S Pen functionality

Source link