The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 arrives in the face of many new foldable competitors, but none perhaps as challenging as its own predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Whether you are looking to save a little money by picking up a Galaxy Z Fold 4 after the Z Fold 5 launch or you are considering whether to upgrade from the Galaxy Z Fold 4, we'll help you determine which is the right choice for you.
As you'll see in this comparison, the specs of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 are quite similar, so for those coming from the Fold 4 it will be a tall order to pay for that
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Google Z Fold 5||Galaxy Z Fold 4|
|External display||6.2-inch, AMOLED 2x, 2316 x 904 pixels||6.2-inch, AMOLED 2x, 2316 x 904 pixels|
|Internal display||7.6-inch, OLED, 2208 x 1840 pixels||7.6-inch, AMOLED 2x, 2176 x 1812|
|Refresh rate (internal)||Up to 120Hz||Up to 120Hz|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|RAM||12GB of RAM||12GB of RAM|
|Rear cameras||50MP, f/1.8, 1.0µm; 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 10MP f/2.4 telephoto||50MP, f/1.8, 1.0µm; 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 10MP f/2.4 telephoto|
|Front cameras||10MP, f/2.2, 1.22µm; 4MP f/1.8 under display||10MP, f/2.2, 1.22µm; 4MP f/1.8 under display|
|Dimensions (unfolded)||6.1 x 5.1 x 0.24 inches||6.1 x 5.1 x 0.24 inches|
|Weight||9.28 oz||9.28 oz|
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4 price
Despite some rumors to the contrary, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 arrives at the same $1,799 price point as the Z Fold 4. We keep hoping to see the high-end foldable drop in price like the Galaxy Z Flip line. Still, given the ongoing supply chain issues across the industry, Samsung probably views holding the line on pricing as a victory.
So once again the base Galaxy Z Fold 5 for $1,799 comes with 256GB of storage. Stepping up to 512GB is $1,919 and finally, the massive 1TB option is $2,159.
While this should be an easy tick in the win column for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which can be found discounted, it's worth noting that Samsung always has enticing offers at launch. Currently, you can pre-order the Z Fold 5 and get a free storage upgrade to the next highest tier, up to $1,000 off with an eligible trade-in, up to $540 off when bundling with a Galaxy Tab S9 and Galaxy Watch 6, and 30% off Samsung Care+.
After the pre-order period ends on August 11 the price advantage should tip back to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 while you can still find them.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4 design
From many angles you would be forgiven for thinking that nothing had changed from the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but lay them down next to one another on a table and one alteration will stand out.
Samsung's new Flex Hinge design allows the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to fold flat when shut, eliminating that slight taco shape of the Z Fold 4 and its predecessors. Now this may also be a cause for alarm for some as we've seen slightly disastrous results for some Pixel Fold units attributed to its fold-flat design, but Samsung maintains a slight ridge around the display that it claims will prevent small debris from getting trapped between the glass and causing damage. We'll obviously have to see how this holds up in practice, but it seems reasonable in theory.
Beyond allowing the phone to fold flat, its new dual rail structure also helps reduce the effects of external impacts. We'll let someone else drop a Galaxy Z Fold 5 to test that out, but anything that goes toward enhancing the durability of a foldable will be welcome.
Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4: Cover Screen
The lone change to the cover display for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an upgrade to Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 from the Victus+ on the Z Fold 4. In a test of Victus 2 on the Galaxy S23 Ultra by YouTuber JerryRigEverything he observed the same scratch resistance between the two generations, but various tests have shown that it may offer improved drop protection.
The rest of the specs remain identical, and while I wish Samsung would go slightly wider with its cover display, it's otherwise hard to complain about this panel. The AMOLED 2x display offers a 2316 x 904-pixel resolution and a ppi of 402. And you can face shockingly bright environments thanks to its 870 nits in our testing of the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It's sharp, bright, and vibrant with an adaptive 120Hz display, which is ticking all of the boxes.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4: Inner display
You'll be shocked to hear that there are no changes to the internal display on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Again while it is hard not to see regular upgrades, I'm not sure what upgrades we would be pushing for on this panel.
It sports a 2176 x 1812-pixel, AMOLED 2X display, a 21.6:18 aspect ratio, and a 373 ppi. That same adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz keeps things sipping battery life or maximizing performance as needed. According to our test results, the Galaxy Z Fold 4's internal display has a peak brightness of 905 nits and it covers 159% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. We'll need to get the Z Fold 5 through our labs to verify that it still reaches those same heights, but for now, we'll assume Samsung didn't take a step back.
Viewing them side-by-side during my hands-on I thought the color accuracy and brightness of the Z Fold 5 were slightly superior, but we'll update with the official results when available.
Winner: Draw (for now)
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4: Processor
Here is the one clear-cut advantage for the Galaxy Z Fold 5, the move to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor from the 8 Gen 1+ in the Z Fold 4. Now once again we will need to see how it fares in our lab testing, but every 8 Gen 2 device we've tested has delivered notably superior performance and power efficiency over the previous generation.
Now I will perpetually argue that flagship smartphones are more powerful than we need them to be right now, but the power efficiency side is a different matter. I will never turn down more battery life in my phone and particularly on the Z Fold with its power-hungry displays.
While we await our Galaxy Z Fold 5 testing, we can take a look at the Galaxy Z Fold 4's Geekbench 5 score of 3,831 compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra's 5,081. Presumably, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is going to come in close to its single-screened sibling, so while I wouldn't ditch my Z Fold 4 over this, it is something that will make an impact if you hold on to the phone for 4-5 years, so it's worth considering as you weigh going with the old or the new model today.
Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4: Cameras
We will have our Galaxy Z Fold 5 review unit in our hot little hands soon and be able to weigh in on whether anything has changed from a camera performance standpoint, but when it comes to hardware there are no differences to speak of.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Galaxy Z Fold 4 and 5|
|Main camera||50MP (f/1.8 aperture, 1.0 µm)|
|Ultrawide||12 MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.12 µm, 123-degree field of view)|
|Telephoto||10MP (f/2.4 aperture, 1.0 µm, 3x optical zoom)|
|Cover display camera||10MP (f/2.2 aperture, 1.22 µm)|
|Inner display camera||4MP (f/1.8 aperture, 2.0 µm)|
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 cameras were an excellent upgrade over their predecessor, but we were hoping to see the Galaxy Z Fold 5 borrow more from the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 still arguably offers the best camera array of any foldable, but it was an advantage that Samsung could have pressed to ensure that remained true through its competitors' next upgrade.
We'll update this section with side-by-side samples from both phones soon to determine if any of the new camera optimizations in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 make a difference in the photos you get from each.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4: Battery life
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 retains the same 4,400 mAh battery as the Galaxy Z Fold 4. In the Laptop Mag battery test, which runs down phones at 150 nits of brightness on a major carrier network the Fold 4 made it 9 hours and 6 minutes with its main display on. That's not bad, but typically we look for phones to cross the 10-hour mark.
This is where I'm looking for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to deliver a larger impact than even its performance gains given that we have seen it boost battery life on phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and OnePlus 11 by between 1-2 hours with the same battery size.
Again this needs to await our testing for a final ruling.
Unsurprisingly it looks like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will be the winner, but there are certainly plenty of asterisks on that win. The changes to the overall hardware this year are marginal. I do prefer the fold-flat look of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 when closed, but if you are either squeamish about it shutting all the way or just not bothered by the gap on the Z Fold 4 then that's not going to be an upgrade for you.
A lot of the upgrades we are anticipating noticing on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 center on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which means we'll need to wait and see what happens when our lab testers get their hands on these phones. Based on previous results it's hard not to bet on both a notable performance and battery life boost, but it's not likely to be enough to warrant an upgrade for a current Galaxy Z Fold 4 owner.
If you are looking to buy your first foldable though, this is a solid entry point, if you can stomach the $1,799 starting price. With that in mind I would recommend picking it up during the pre-order timeframe as it's typically months before we see deals that match these early sales.
We'll finalize this face-off in the coming days as our test results start to come in, but for now the Galaxy Z Fold 5 notches itself a narrow victory over the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Stay in the know with Laptop Mag
Get our in-depth reviews, helpful tips, great deals, and the biggest news stories delivered to your inbox.
Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.