Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: which new foldable is better?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 versus Galaxy Z Fold 5.
(Image credit: Future)

Yet another Galaxy Unpacked event has passed, where we got our first hands-on looks at the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5. Even though Sammy has maintained a strong hold over the last several years in the foldables market, this year marks the first time it's faced respectable challengers, with the likes of the Motorola Razr+ and Google Pixel Fold thrown into the *ahem* fold. You know Samsung’s not apt to relinquish its crown, but it certainly adds more urgency for its new foldables to succeed.

Whether you’re looking to buy your first foldable smartphone, or perhaps upgrading from previous models, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 are shaping out to be some of the best foldable phones to consider. Just as before with their predecessors, there are many things to consider apart from the obvious that one folds much like the flip cell phones of old, while the other does it like a clutch bag.

Now that they're official and we've spent some time using them, we'll dial into how these foldable phones are different from each other in our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 faceoff.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 Specs
Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy Z Flip 5Galaxy Z Fold5
Starting price$999 / £1,049$1,799 / £1,749
Inner Display6.7-inch FHD+ (2640 x 1080) Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 22:9 aspect ratio7.6-inch QXGA+ (2176 x 1812) Dynamic AMOLED, 21.6:18 aspect ratio
Outer Display3.4-inch (720 x 748) Super AMOLED6.2-inch HD+ (2316 x 904) Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 23.1:9 aspect ratio
Refresh rateUp to 120Hz (Inner), 60Hz (Outer)Up to 120Hz (Inner), 120Hz (Outer)
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 2Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Rear cameras12MP f/1.8 main (83 ̊ FOV) + 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (123 ̊ FOV)50MP main wide-angle, f/1.8,85 ̊ FOV + 12MP ultra-wide F2.2, 123 ̊ FOV + 10MP telephoto f/2.4, 36 ̊ FOV, 3X optical zoom
Selfie camera10MP F2.2, 85 ̊ FOV10MP f/2.2 85 ̊ FOV (outer) 4MP f/1.8 80 ̊ FOV (inner)
Battery3,700 mAh4,400 mAh
Size3.35 x 2.83 x 0.59-inches (folded), 6.5 x 2.83 x 0.27-inches (unfolded)6.1 x 2.64 x .53-inches (folded) and 6.1 x 5.11 x .24-inches (unfolded) / 67.1 x 154.9 x 13.4mm (folded) and 129.9 x 154.9 x6.1mm (unfolded)
Weight6.6oz (187 grams)8.92oz (253 grams)
ColorsMint, Graphite, Cream, Lavender, Gray, Blue, Green, YellowIcy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray, Blue

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Design

Alleged leaked press renders of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5

(Image credit: MySmartPrice)

There shouldn’t be any surprises about how these foldables are different from each other. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the more pocketable one, since its clamshell design follows the aesthetics that the series is known for — like last year’s Galaxy Z Flip 4. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is best suited for power users with its tablet-esque size when it’s unfolded.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

(Image credit: Future)

One design change that the two share is the new Flex Hinge that Samsung developed, resulting in zero gaps when they’re close or folded. Advancements in hinge designs have advanced significantly in the last year, which is how the Motorola Razr+ and Google Pixel Fold are able to have gapless designs — so it's great that Samsung stepped to the plate with its new foldables.

Image of Samsung's patented water drop hinge design

(Image credit: Naver)

Despite the new Flex Hinge design, we can still visibly see a crease running through the displays in the areas where they're folded. So far, they're not as pronounced as the creases we see with their predecessors, the Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 respectively, but only time will tell whether they'll be similar after months of continous use.

Another interesting tidbit about their designs relates to their water resistance. Samsung has this area locked down over its rivals because Samsung’s foldables are the only ones accompanied by IPX8 ratings. While we were hoping for an interative improvement here due to their gapless designs, perhaps up to an IP54 rating, it still remains IPX8. That's still good enough for the two to withstand minor splashes, or if you fancy using them in the shower.

We're actually more excited by the Flip 5's design this time around because of one particular change that gives it more utility than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Displays

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 multi window feature.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 receives a more significant change with its display than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. That’s because Samsung responds to the competition by increasing the size of the Z Flip 5's outer cover display to 3.4-inches, which is a big step up over the Z Flip 4’s tinier 1.9-inch Super AMOLED panel.

It's a welcome upgrade for the smaller foldable, since the Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn't have a whole lot of changes with either of its display. Tentatively, we should be seeing a 6.2-inch cover display and a 7.6-inch inner display, both using 120Hz refresh rates and AMOLED panels. You shouldn’t be too hung up about it, especially if you crave watching videos or playing games — because the Z Fold 5's main display is much more satisfying than the Z Flip 5's 6.7-inch main display.

All told, we recommend the Z Fold 5 if you intend to be multi-tasking or watching videos a lot. It’s suited more for those things because of the larger display.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Software

Closeup of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 outer display.

(Image credit: Future)

Speaking of productivity, it's the Galaxy Z Fold 5 that's the better choice to go with. That's because of the enhancements made to its vast productivity suite, which now lets us use two-handed drag and drop gestures between two apps, updated taskbar that lets us switch between four apps that remain running in the background, more optimized layouts for third party apps, and a slimmer S Pen for those who buy the optional stylus.

Outside of productivity, the latest version of Samsung’s OneUI maintains the same clean looking experience as before, so when it comes to their core functions, they're largely the same on both phones.

As for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, the biggest change to its software relates to its outer display. While you can 100% rely on just using the Z Fold 5's cover display without having once to open the phone to use its inner display, the Z Flip 5 can now access full apps through its cover screen — albeit, it's only a handful at the moment. We're hoping that Samsung will be aggressive in bringing support for more apps, because right now it's still handy for mostly its widgets and notifications. We emphasize support for some apps because it doesn't do it much like how the Razr+ does with its external screen.

Add even more utility for the Galaxy Z Fold 5, it continues to be the foldable with support for Samsung DeX, giving us that desktop-esque experience by simply connecting a monitor to it.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

(Image credit: Future)

Initially, there was a lot of hype around the cameras in these two upcoming foldables, but we got more or less the same set of cameras on both foldables. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is still shaping out to be the superior phone, primarily for the fact it retains the same triple-camera setup as before. which consists of a 50MP main, 12MP wide angle, and a 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom. 

Of course, the Z Fold 5's triple-camera system adds more utility than the Z Flip 5's dual-camera arrangement, which boils down to a 12MP main camera paired with a 12MP ultrawide one.

We love that both foldables make it really easy to capture selfies in Flex Mode with their better rear cameras, as opposed to using their front-facing ones. We're eager to see the performances out of these new cameras, but if last year's phones are indication, we bet it's going to be a win for the Galaxy Z Fold 5. It could perhaps be good enough to be a top contender in the best camera phones we've tested this year.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Performance

Samsung Galaxy Fold 5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Having leveraged Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for the Galaxy S23 lineup earlier this year, it’s not a surprise that the same silicon is powering Samsung’s new foldables. This extra processing muscle is helpful for all the new productivity functions of the the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5.

We're still in the process of testing out how they handle graphics processing and rendering videos to get a true outlook on their performanes. Another benefit of having the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip powering the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 are the improvements to their battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Battery

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

(Image credit: Future)

The new chipset makes a big differece here, showing marked improvements over their predecessors. In Tom's Guide's battery benchmark test, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 reached 9 hours and 53 minutes, while the Z Fold 5 pulled in an even better mark of 10 hours and 55 minutes.

These are the gains that they need to enter the conversation in our best phone battery life list, so we're glad that they last even longer than before.

Last year’s Galaxy Z Flip 4 packaged a 3,700 mAh battery, which is the same capacity inside of the Z Flip 5. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 gets the same 4,400 mAh battery cell as its predecessor, but with a slimmer design.

There's no arguing about how we're glad about these battery life gains, but it's a shame that Samsung kept their charging to 25W wired and 15W wireless.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Outlook

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Galaxy Z Fold 4.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unlike previous years, this is the first time Samsung has serious competition in the foldable space. Both the Motorola Razr+ and Google Pixel Fold have proven to be worthy contenders, which means added pressure for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 to exceed expectations.

Between the two, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 feels like the fresher one, mainly due to how Samsung graces it with a larger external display. It's fun, even better for capturing selfies, and recording video, but power users will still want to stick with the Z Fold 5 for its enhanced productivity.

You'll still fork over a whopping $1,799 for the base model of the Galaxy Z Fold 5, versus the $999 for the Z Flip 5. It's worth noting that these base models come with 256GB of storage, which is notably doubled for the Z Flip 5 this time around versus last year's model.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.