Let’s face it: Most smartphones look the same these days. While they all do things a little differently, most are solid slabs of glass meshed with either aluminium, steel, or plastic—most of them, that is, except for foldable phones, like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5.
If you’re in the market for one of these two phones, however, you might be a bit overwhelmed by which to get. The names are similar, but the phones themselves are quite different in both design and price tag. But there’s a right foldable here for you: Let’s find out which one it is.
Both of Samsung’s foldables are powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor—the same chip powering the Galaxy S23 series from earlier this year.
Where the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 differ are storage options and RAM. The Z Flip 5 comes in 256GB or 512GB of internal storage along with 8GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the Z Fold 5 offers 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options with 12GB of RAM. In terms of battery, the Z Flip 5 has a 3,700 mAh cell while the Z Fold 5 has a 4,400 mAh battery inside.
Display and design
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 features a 6.7-inch main folding display that has a 120Hz refresh rate. New for the Z Flip 5 is the larger 3.4-inch cover screen, compared to the 1.9-inch front screen on the Flip 4. With the larger cover screen, you can check the weather, respond to messages, control music, use Google Maps, and more without ever opening the phone.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s vertical folding screen gives the phone a more traditional candy bar design, rather than the book-folding look of the Z Fold 5. It also means that the Z Flip 5 is more compact and can easily fit into any pocket.
On the other side, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a 7.6-inch main folding screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. The larger main screen on the Z Fold 5 is perfect for productivity, including large split-screen multitasking, because you have so much screen real estate to work with.
The cover screen on the Z Fold 5 is 6.2 inches, and also runs with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Z Fold 5’s larger outer display makes it easier to quickly respond to messages or check an email or two. But it’s not as drastic an improvement as the Fold 4 was over the Flip 4, as the Flip 5’s larger outer screen is much more usable.
Both the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 support Flex Mode, which lets you fold the device halfway and prop the phone up for taking photos and videos or watching videos. Each phone can be tilted at an angle between 75° and 115°, a huge advantage these foldable phones have over standard smartphones. If you want to prop up your iPhone, Pixel, or Galaxy S phone, you’ll need to get a tripod or some other object to lean it up against.
Both of Samsung’s new foldables have similar equipment in the camera department, but the Z Fold 5 definitely wins. On the Flip 5, you have the 12MP ultra-wide and 12MP wide-angle lens, along with a 10MP selfie camera. Being the larger phone, the Z Fold 5 comes with a 12MP ultra-wide, 50MP wide angle, and 10MP telephoto on the rear. There’s also a 4MP selfie camera on the main screen and a 10MP selfie on the cover screen, so you can take a selfie no matter which position the phone is open to.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 are both running the latest version of Samsung’s One UI 5.1.1 based on Android 13.
The Z Fold 5 comes with a number of multitasking features that take advantage of the large display, such as running more than one app side by side, a taskbar to quickly switch between apps, and drawing and note-taking with an S Pen.
While the Flip 5 doesn’t offer all the multitasking software as the Fold 5, it supports some of the Fold 5’s best features. There’s a touchpad feature built into Flex Mode which turns the bottom half of the screen into a trackpad, effectively transforming your Z Flip 5 into a pocket laptop. The Z Flip 5 can also run two apps at once using multi-window, just like the Z Fold 5.
Samsung previously announced that both the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 would get four years of OS updates and five years of security patches, which means both phones should receive Android 14 to 17, as well as any subsequent OneUI updates.
As mentioned earlier, both the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 are great folding phones, but made with different people in mind.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is for those who want the latest and greatest when it comes to smartphones, and are willing to shell out for the $1,800 price tag. It’s perfect for those who want a phone that essentially turns into a small tablet, who can take advantage of its multitasking features and don’t mind that it takes two hands to use.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is for those looking for a foldable phone that doesn’t break the bank (as much) with its lower starting price. The Z Flip 5 is also great for one-handed use, and is more comfortable to travel with than the Z Fold 5.