This year is shaping up to be a fold-tastic one where phones are concerned, as Samsung Galaxy Unpacked revealed the Korean giant's latest top-tier folding phone – the Galaxy Z Fold 5 – as the next step in its evolution, replacing the Galaxy Z Fold 4 from last year.
I've already tried out the Galaxy Z Fold 5 – as you can read in my linked feature – and think it outdoes even the Google Pixel Fold. But that goes to show the strength of 2023's best folding phones and what a treat users are in for (if you've got the bankroll anyway).
That said, however, as you can see even from the versus picture at the top of this very page, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn't look very different to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, does it? They're certainly similar, but there are differences, which I'll get into in the feature below...
It goes without saying, really, that flagship folding phones such as these aren't cheap. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 will go on sale from 11 August 2023 priced at £1,749 in the UK, $1,799 in the US, and TBC in Australia.
Compare that to the earlier Z Fold 4's launch price of £1,649 / $1,799 / AU$2,499 and there's clearly been a jump for the UK market: a six per cent rise, roughly speaking, which seems to be the typical inflation-resulting price rise for all tech products year-on-year at present. That said, as you can see in the shopping widget above, the earlier model is available at considerable discounts at present.
Both Z Fold 5 and Z Fold 4 come with a base 256GB RAM, there's no 128GB option. And if you're quick off the mark then pre-orders for the Z Fold 5 include a free storage upgrade, i.e. buy the 256GB and you'll get 512GB; opt for 512GB and you'll get the (maximum capacity) 1TB model.
Size & Weight
I've assembled a table below of all the critical information showing how the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is marginally different from the Z Fold 4.
How so? It's got a newly designed hinge, meaning it closes even flatter, and thanks to shaving decimals off the millimetres of measurement the newer unit is also lighter by 10 grams.
It is also worth pointing out, however, that the Z Fold 5 features Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (an upgrade on the 'Plus' version of the Z Fold 4), and is now water-resistant thanks to an IPX8 rating. So it's a more robust design overall.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Z Fold 4||Z Fold 5|
|Thickness||6.3mm / 14.2-15.8mm||6.1mm / 13.4mm|
|Folded||155.1 x 67.1mm||154.9 x 129.9mm|
|Unfolded||155.1 x 130.1mm||154.9 x 67.1mm|
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is available in Icy Blue (new for this generation), Phantom Black, and Cream. There will also be exclusive online-only colours.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is available in Grey-Green, Phantom Black, Beige, and Burgundy. So quite a different palette!
Both Galaxy Z Fold 5 and its predecessor feature a 6.2-inch external display and a 7.6-inch display inside. The resolutions are the same, too, at 904 x 2316 external and 1812 x 2176 internal.
But they're not the same screens, with Samsung squeezing more brightness out of the newer model's internal screen, offering 1200 nits (up from 1000 in the Z Fold 4) and 1750 nits of peak brightness (up from 1300). So there's more to cut through those reflections.
As Samsung has a now longstanding agreement with Qualcomm, it's Snapdragon chips that you'll find in both foldables. It's just the case that one is more recent and therefore comes with an updated and marginally more powerful offering.
The Z Fold 5's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is tuned for Galaxy, while the Z Fold 4's Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is the mid-year chipset release – so not massively different. Both house 12GB RAM whichever your storage configuration of choice too.
Battery capacity is 4400mAh in both devices, too, so no likely change in longevity per charge.
Wanted some big changes? Well, you don't get them here. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 features the same camera setup as its predecessor, meaning each device is as follows:
- Main camera: 50-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture, optical stabilisation (OIS)
- Zoom camera (3x): 10MP, f/2.4, OIS
- Wide camera: 12MP, f/2.2
- Selfie camera: 12MP f/2.2
- Under display: 4MP, f/1.8
So there we have it: the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is marginally slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, adds IPX8 water-resistance, a slightly more powerful processor, and comes in a new Icy Blue colour option.
There's no changes to the cameras or battery capacity this generation, making for an altogether similar device to its predecessor. It's also more expensive, naturally, so you might want to shop around – especially as the Z Fold 4 is so much cheaper now and still a great foldable.