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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy Z Fold 4: Should you upgrade?

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Samsung and June Wan/ZDNET

Smartphones keep getting larger and larger, and so does our dependency on them. What initially was used only for phone calls is now used to do everything from sending work emails, streaming videos, creating social media content, playing games, and more. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold line packs the screen size of a tablet into the portability of a smartphone, giving users the best of both worlds, especially for multi-tasking and productivity nuts.

Also: How to preorder the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Flip 5, Tab S6 and more

If you are deciding between the just-announced Galaxy Z Fold 5 and last year’s Z Fold 4, here is a guide to help you pick between the two and whether or not the former is worth the upgrade.

Specifications

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Display

External: 6.2-inch AMOLED, Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz 

External: 6.2-inch AMOLED, Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED 120Hz 

Weight

253g

263g

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

RAM/Storage 12GB RAM with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 12GB RAM with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 
Battery 4,400mAh  4,400mAh
Camera 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto, 4MP front (inner), 10MP front (outer) 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto, 4MP front (inner), 10MP front (outer)
Colors Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray and Blue Phantom Black, Beige, Graygreen, Burgundy
Price Starting at $1,799 Starting at $1,719

You should buy the Galaxy Z Fold 5 if…

fold-5-open-with-zdnet

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. Portability is a major buying factor 

The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s clamshell design left a gap between the upper and bottom halves of the display, which not only let unwanted debris into the phone but also made it less compact to hold

Also: Every new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 feature (and what hasn’t changed)

To address these issues, the Z Fold 5 has a gapless design that closes completely flush when folded. This helps the phone fit more comfortably in your pocket or other small spaces.  

fold-5-hinge-comparison

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s hinge gap (left) compared to the Z Fold 5’s (right).

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

In addition, the Z Fold 5 is lighter and thinner, making it ideal for taking everywhere with you without weighing your pocket, purse, or hand down. By reducing hand fatigue, the Z Fold 5 can be used for longer.

2. Better performance and battery life

The Z Fold 5 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a big upgrade from the Z Fold 4’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. With the newer chipset, expect an improvement in the phone’s overall performance, from battery efficiency to camera captures, as proven with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Although the Z Fold 5 has the same battery and camera array as its previous model, the incorporation of this new processor will help improve both aspects. We’ll put it to the test in the full review.

3. Multitasking is a priority 

The Android 13 software found in the Z Fold 5 gives the phone some serious productivity upgrades, especially in terms of multi-app usage. With the latest OneUI software, there’s wider support for gesture navigations that ease the transition from multiple active windows.

Also: Samsung just fixed its most important Galaxy Z Fold accessory, and I’m sold

For example, sliding in from the corner of the screen prompts a split-screen effect, you can drag and drop apps from the Taskbar, and the Taskbar itself can now hold four windows at a time. 

You should buy the Galaxy Z Fold 4 if…

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Hero

June Wan/ZDNET

1. You want a less expensive foldable 

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still a solid phone-to-tablet alternative. Although it doesn’t have the latest processor or software, its hardware is mostly the same, including the rear camera system, display sizes, and battery. The biggest advantage of it not being the latest model is that it will likely decrease in price, especially as retailers make room for the flashier new kid on the block.

Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a high-priced ticket to productivity bliss

If you are okay with dealing with a slightly heavier and thicker foldable that doesn’t close flush, then save yourself some money and stick with the tried and true Z Fold 4 instead. 

Alternative to consider

Google Pixel Fold on a table.

BEST FOLDABLE ALTERNATIVE

Google Pixel Fold

Google launched its phone-to-tablet with the Pixel Fold just a month ago, and it’s the best alternative to the Z Fold experience.




Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Z Fold 4

Samsung and June Wan/ZDNET

Smartphones keep getting larger and larger, and so does our dependency on them. What initially was used only for phone calls is now used to do everything from sending work emails, streaming videos, creating social media content, playing games, and more. 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold line packs the screen size of a tablet into the portability of a smartphone, giving users the best of both worlds, especially for multi-tasking and productivity nuts.

Also: How to preorder the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Flip 5, Tab S6 and more

If you are deciding between the just-announced Galaxy Z Fold 5 and last year’s Z Fold 4, here is a guide to help you pick between the two and whether or not the former is worth the upgrade.

Specifications

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Display

External: 6.2-inch AMOLED, Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X 120Hz 

External: 6.2-inch AMOLED, Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED 120Hz 

Weight

253g

263g

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

RAM/Storage 12GB RAM with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 12GB RAM with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 
Battery 4,400mAh  4,400mAh
Camera 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto, 4MP front (inner), 10MP front (outer) 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto, 4MP front (inner), 10MP front (outer)
Colors Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray and Blue Phantom Black, Beige, Graygreen, Burgundy
Price Starting at $1,799 Starting at $1,719

You should buy the Galaxy Z Fold 5 if…

fold-5-open-with-zdnet

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. Portability is a major buying factor 

The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s clamshell design left a gap between the upper and bottom halves of the display, which not only let unwanted debris into the phone but also made it less compact to hold

Also: Every new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 feature (and what hasn’t changed)

To address these issues, the Z Fold 5 has a gapless design that closes completely flush when folded. This helps the phone fit more comfortably in your pocket or other small spaces.  

fold-5-hinge-comparison

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4’s hinge gap (left) compared to the Z Fold 5’s (right).

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

In addition, the Z Fold 5 is lighter and thinner, making it ideal for taking everywhere with you without weighing your pocket, purse, or hand down. By reducing hand fatigue, the Z Fold 5 can be used for longer.

2. Better performance and battery life

The Z Fold 5 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a big upgrade from the Z Fold 4’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. With the newer chipset, expect an improvement in the phone’s overall performance, from battery efficiency to camera captures, as proven with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Although the Z Fold 5 has the same battery and camera array as its previous model, the incorporation of this new processor will help improve both aspects. We’ll put it to the test in the full review.

3. Multitasking is a priority 

The Android 13 software found in the Z Fold 5 gives the phone some serious productivity upgrades, especially in terms of multi-app usage. With the latest OneUI software, there’s wider support for gesture navigations that ease the transition from multiple active windows.

Also: Samsung just fixed its most important Galaxy Z Fold accessory, and I’m sold

For example, sliding in from the corner of the screen prompts a split-screen effect, you can drag and drop apps from the Taskbar, and the Taskbar itself can now hold four windows at a time. 

You should buy the Galaxy Z Fold 4 if…

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Hero

June Wan/ZDNET

1. You want a less expensive foldable 

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still a solid phone-to-tablet alternative. Although it doesn’t have the latest processor or software, its hardware is mostly the same, including the rear camera system, display sizes, and battery. The biggest advantage of it not being the latest model is that it will likely decrease in price, especially as retailers make room for the flashier new kid on the block.

Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a high-priced ticket to productivity bliss

If you are okay with dealing with a slightly heavier and thicker foldable that doesn’t close flush, then save yourself some money and stick with the tried and true Z Fold 4 instead. 

Alternative to consider

Google Pixel Fold on a table.

BEST FOLDABLE ALTERNATIVE

Google Pixel Fold

Google launched its phone-to-tablet with the Pixel Fold just a month ago, and it’s the best alternative to the Z Fold experience.

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