Which should you buy? –

Samsung galaxy s22 ultra black vs samsung galaxy z fold 3 front on table

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

It’s 2022, and Samsung has launched its latest premium S series phones like clockwork. While the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus further the aesthetic and specs of last year’s Galaxy S21 models, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra sits at the top of the pile with a major redesign and posh specs to match. The phone marks an all-important strategy shift for Samsung by incorporating elements from the now-defunct Galaxy Note line, including an embedded S Pen and a large, boxy display with curved edges.

However, if you’re looking for a premium Samsung phone, the S22 Ultra isn’t the only fish in the pond. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, launched not too long ago, also offers enviable screen real estate, the smoothness of a high refresh rate, S Pen support, and of course, a foldable design. So which is the best premium Galaxy phone for you between the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3? Let’s find out in this in-depth comparison.


Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Design and display

Samsung galaxy s22 ultra black vs samsung galazy z fold 3 open on table

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3 are poles apart when it comes to their design.

With the new Ultra, you get a large 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s very reminiscent of the screen we saw on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, complete with curved edges and a centrally placed punch hole camera. The phone also has a glass and metal slab-like construction like the last Note standing.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offers not one but two displays. The outer screen of the foldable phone measures 6.2 inches and carries a high 120Hz refresh rate. The inner display gets the same high refresh rate but stretches 7.6 inches for all the multitasking and media consumption your heart desires.

Needless to say, if more screen is what you’re after, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is your best bet. That in no way means that the Galaxy S22 Ultra has a bad display. It’s quite the contrary. The S22 Ultra offers the same bright, punchy, and colorful screen you’re so used to getting on premium Samsung flagships. It’s also quite large and offers a QHD+ resolution, so your content should look pretty good on it.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra hands-on — A Note in all but name

Elsewhere, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is bulkier. It weighs 271g, about 40g more than the Galaxy S22 Ultra. The foldable phone is also thicker than the S series flagship, but unfortunately, it doesn’t have a dedicated S Pen slot. So if you’re planning on using the Samsung stylus, you’ll have to store it separately, which is a huge inconvenience. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, on the other hand, comes with a parking space for the S Pen at the bottom of its body.

What can be an issue in long-term use is the folding panel of the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

When it comes to construction, both phones use Armor Aluminum and glass. However, the Galaxy S22 Ultra gets the upgraded Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus compared to the regular Gorilla Glass Victus on the Galaxy Z Fold 3. That said, it shouldn’t make much of a difference in durability.

What can be an issue in long-term use is the folding panel of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Even though Samsung has made huge improvements to its folding screen since the original Galaxy Fold, repeatedly folding and unfolding it could hamper the experience in the long run. The folding screen is also not scratch-resistant, so you’ll probably see more damage to it in the course of your usage than you would on the display of the S22 Ultra.

See also: The best Samsung phones you can buy

Hardware and cameras

Samsung galaxy s22 ultra black vs samsung galaxy z fold 3 closed rear on table

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

There are significant differences in the hardware of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 3. For one, the former comes with the all-new 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. Of course, not all regions will get the Qualcomm chipset. The phones will also be available with Samsung’s own 4nm Exynos 2200 chip in regions outside the US.

Also read: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Exynos 2200 vs Dimensity 9000

Both are brand new SoCs that promise a performance boost over the Snapdragon 888. Of course, we’ll have to pit the chips against each other to know that for sure. However, both silicons offer upgraded specs compared to their respective predecessors. They feature a single Cortex-X2 CPU core, two big Cortex-A710 cores, and four energy-efficient Cortex-A510 cores. Samsung hasn’t disclosed the clock speeds of its new Exynos processor. Still, as per Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 offers 20% performance improvement and 30% more power saving than the Snapdragon 888 that resides within the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

The Exynos 2200 also features the exciting new Xclipse 920 GPU with AMD’s hardware-based ray tracing technology and variable rate shading. We haven’t tried it yet, but we’re keen to see how it compares to the Snapdragon 888’s Adreno 660 GPU and the one that comes with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

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Clearly, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has more going for it regarding overall performance. However, the Snapdragon 888 is still very powerful, and we’re sure you are not going to be disappointed with the performance of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. In our review of the device, we noted that “the day-to-day experience of using the phone proved to be excellent.” Still, if you want the latest and greatest from Qualcomm (or Samsung), the S22 Ultra is the phone to get.

Samsung galaxy s22 ultra black vs samsung galaxy z fold 3 black rear open on carpet

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Core hardware aside, photography is yet another area where the Galaxy S22 Ultra could leave the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in the dust.

You get a total of four shooters at the back of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. There’s a 108MP wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultrawide camera, and two 10MP telephoto lenses, one that offers 10x optical zoom and 100x Space Zoom and another that features 3x optical zoom.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 misses out on 8K video recording capabilities.

Samsung is also playing up some new camera tech here. For instance, the phone offers what the company calls “adaptive pixels.” It lets you capture 108MP images and combines them with 12MP pixel binned shots to bring out more detailed photos with better exposures in low-light settings. Samsung claims it’s the best camera system they’ve developed so far.

If video capture matters to you, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra can record 8K videos at 24fps. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 misses out on 8K video recording capabilities. It caps out at 4K 60fps videos.

We haven’t had the chance to test the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera yet, but we’ll be sure to include those details for you here once we have our review out.

Also read: The best camera phones you can buy

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 makes do with three 12MP shooters in a wide + ultrawide + telephoto setting. It’s the same configuration Samsung put out in 2020, so the phone is about two years behind the curve in the camera department.

The 40MP selfies snapper on the Galaxy S22 Ultra also outshines the 4MP under-display and 10MP cover cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

The Fold series is also not where Samsung puts its best foot forward when it comes to imaging. So if having the latest and greatest camera tech from Samsung is important to you, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the way to go.

Battery and water-proofing are other hardware areas where the Galaxy S22 Ultra is better. It comes with a 5,000mAh battery and 45W charging compared to the 4,400mAh battery and 25W charging on the Z Fold 3. It’s also IP68 certified instead of the foldable phone’s IPX8 rating.

Price and colors

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (8GB/128GB): $1,199.99
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/256GB): $1,299
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/512GB): $1,399
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (12GB/1TB): $1,599
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 (12GB/256GB): $1,799
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 (12GB/512GB): $1,899

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will be available starting February 25 on Samsung.com, as well as third-party retailers and Samsung’s carrier partners. The phone comes in four colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Burgundy. There are also four configurations of the phone — 8GB of RAM + 128GB of internal storage priced at $1,199.99, 12GB of RAM + 256GB of storage at $$1,299 12GB of RAM + 512GB of storage at $1,399, and 12GB of RAM + 1TB of storage at $1,599.

The price of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 remains too high for most people. It costs $1,799 for the 12GB RAM + 256GB variant and $1,899 for the 512GB version with the same amount of RAM. As far as colorways go, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, and Phantom Green options.

Which should you buy? -

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a throwback to the days of the Galaxy Note.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra looks like a Galaxy Note phone. It has an S Pen just like a Note, a boxy shape just like a Note, and…well, you get the picture. It is by far the top dog in the Galaxy S22 lineup with the best display, biggest battery, best cameras, and most options for RAM and storage counts.

Samsung galaxy fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

The first foldable with an IP rating for water resistance.

Samsung’s latest foldable flagship looks a lot like the 2020 model but boasts some new design elements and some better specs. It also has an IPX8 rating and supports the use of an S Pen, all at a lower entry price than previous years.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Specs

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Display

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

6.8-inch Edge Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
QHD+ resolution
120Hz refresh rate

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Outer
6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
2,268 x 832 resolution
387ppi
25:9 aspect ratio
120Hz refresh rate

Inner
7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity X Display
2,208 x 1,768 resolution
374ppi
22.5:18 aspect ratio 120Hz refresh rate

Materials

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Armor Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus Plus

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Armor Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus

Processor

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

US: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Global: Exynos 2200

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Snapdragon 888

RAM

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

8GB/12GB

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

12GB

Storage

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

256GB
512GB

Battery and power

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

5,000mAh
45W wired charging
15W wireless charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

4,400mAh
25W wired charging
10W wireless charging
4.5W reverse charging

Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Rear
12MP ultra-wide, 1.4µm, 120-degree field of view, 13mm, f/2.2
108MP Wide, 0.8µm, 85-degree field of view, 23mm, f/2.2
10MP Telephoto, 10x Optical Zoom and
100x Space Zoom
10MP Telephoto, 3x Optical Zoom
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Rear
12MP, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF, f/1.8, 1.8μm
12MP ultrawide, 123-degree field of view, f/2.2, 1.12μm
12MP telephoto, OIS, 2x optical zoom, Dual Pixel PDAF, f/2.4, 1.0μm

Selfie
Under-display camera: 4MP, f/1.8, 2.0μm
Cover camera: 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22μm

Video
4K 60fps

Security

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Side-mounted fingerprint sensor

Water-resistance

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

IP68

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

IPX8

Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
USB-C

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
USB-C

Software

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Android 12
One UI 4.1
Eligible for Android 13, 14, and 15

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Android 11
One UI 3.1
Eligible for Android 12, 13, and 14

Dimensions and weight

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
229g

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

158.2 x 67.1 x 16mm (folded)
158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm (unfolded)
271g

Colors

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Phantom Black
Phantom White
Green
Burgundy

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Phantom Black
Phantom Silver
Phantom Green

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Which should you buy?

Samsung galaxy s22 plus vs samsung galazy z fold 3 open front on carpet

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is undoubtedly a superior phone. Not only does it offer the fastest processor, the best cameras, and the latest features, it’s also cheaper than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Your decision rests on the form factor you want. If you’re looking for a foldable phone, you should be in good hands with the Galaxy Z Fold. But honestly, we would recommend you go for specs and value over form, and that is where the Galaxy S22 Ultra shines.

The new Ultra will also last you longer in terms of software updates and could prove to be more durable in the long run. Its close resemblance to the Note phones and the addition of an embedded S Pen further solidifies our belief that it’s a better purchase.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Which do you prefer?

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