Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: What's the best foldable phone?

If you're looking for a phone and mini tablet in one device, our Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold face-off will help you decide which is truly the best foldable phone for you. And it's important to do some research because we're talking about parting with at least $1,799 for both devices.

Don't worry. We'll do the hard work for you in this in-depth comparison. While both of these foldable phones sport huge 7.6-inch main displays, they take very different approaches to their overall design. As you'll see in our Galaxy Z Fold 5 review, Samsung essentially refines its mostly winning formula with an improved hinge, lighter design and new chip.

Meanwhile, our Google Pixel Fold review shows that this device is a formidable competitor with a wider display, more powerful zoom camera and thinner design. That said, there's certainly signs that this is Google's first foldable. 

So let's dig in to see who wins our Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold battle, and be sure to watch our video face-off below as well. 

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Price and availabilty

Google Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5 on a marble bench

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 starts at $1,799 / £1,749 for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and you can upgrade to 512GB for $1,919 and 1TB for $2,159. See our Galaxy Z Fold 5 deals page to get the lowest price.

The Pixel Fold price starts at $1,799 / £1,749 for 256GB of storage and $1,919 for 512GB. There is no 1TB option. 

Samsung also offers an optional S Pen carrying case for the Z Fold 5, which costs $99, or you could buy the S Pen by itself for $54. 

Winner: Draw

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy Z Fold 5Google Pixel Fold
Starting price$1,799 / £1,749$1,799 / £1,749
Inner Display7.6 inches OLED (2176 x 1812) 7.6 inches OLED (2208 x 1840)
Outer Display6.2 inches OLED (2316 x 904) 5.8 inches OLED (2092 x 1080)
Refresh rateUp to 120Hz Up to 120Hz
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 2Tensor G2
Rear cameras50MP (f/1.8) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 123 ̊ FOV + 10MP telephoto (f/2.4, 3x optical zoom)48MP (f/1.7), 10.8MP ultrawide (f/2.2, 121.1˚ FOV), 10.8MP telephoto (f/2.2, 5x optical zoom)
Selfie camera10MP f/2.29.5MP (f/2.2)
Inner camera4MP (f/1.8)8MP (f/2.0)
Battery4,400 mAh4,821 mAh
Size open6.1 x 5.11 x 0.24 inches 6.2 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches
Size closed6.1 x 2.64 x 0.53 inches 5.5 x 3.1 x 0.5 inches
Weight8.92 ounceds (253 grams)10 ounces (283 grams)
ColorsIcy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray, BlueObsidian, Porcelain

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Design

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold cover displays

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel 5 have very different designs, with pros and cons to each approach. The good news is that both phones fold full flat thanks to smart hinge designs. 

Samsung's foldable has a narrow 6.2-inch display up front and a large 7.6-inch display on the inside in a portrait orientation. The Pixel Fold has a smaller but wider 5.8-inch screen up front and a 7.6-inch inner screen with a landscape orientation.

I prefer the cover display on the Pixel Fold, but I like the inside orientation of the Z Fold 5 because the taller aspect ratio is better for the web and apps like TikTok and Instagram.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unfortunately, some apps display with black bars on either side of the screen in the Pixel Fold's default position, such as Facebook and Instagram. Turning the phone sideways fixes the issue, but you shouldn't have to do that. 

Another strike against the Pixel Fold relates to the very large bezels around the inner display. It's not that distracting while you're engaged in content, but it's an overall eyesore.

The Pixel Fold is thinner than the Galaxy Z Fold 5, though, measuring just 0.2 inches thick when open compared to 0.24 inches for the Samsung. And Google's Fold is also thinner when closed (0.5 vs 0.53 inches).

However, the Pixel Fold is noticeably heavier than the Z Fold 5 at 10 ounces vs 8.92 ounces. 

Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Displays

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold display The Marvels trailer

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the phone you want if you're looking for the brightest foldable. Its inner screen measured 1,356 nits in our testing when playing HDR content, compared to 900 nits for the Pixel Fold. 

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Display Test results: Main display
Row 0 - Cell 0 Brightness DCI-P3 (color gamut)Delta-E (accuracy)
Galaxy Z Fold 51,346140.6%0.09
Google Pixel Fold 90088.4% 0.05

In addition, the Z Fold 5's inner panel registered more of the DCI-P3 color space, although the colors on the Pixel Fold's screen proved slightly more accurate in our testing. 

Google Pixel Fold next to Galaxy Z Fold 5 in direct sunlight

(Image credit: Future)

Just as important, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 proved to have the brighter panel when we took it and the Pixel Fold outside on a warm, sunny day. The Pixel Fold's screen dimmed after just a few seconds while the Z Fold 5's screen stayed brighter longer. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold 5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy Z Fold 5's cover display turned in lower numbers than the  Pixel Fold in our brightness testing, and the panels were just about as colorful. But once again the hues are more accurate through the Pixel Fold. 

Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Software and special features

Google Pixel Fold split-screen mode

(Image credit: Future)

Both the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold are tailor-made for multiaskers. The Pixel Fold's approach is streamlined and simple: Just load an app and then drag another app off the taskbar to whichever side of the screen you want. The taskbar is not always present, which some may prefer, but swiping up to make it appear is an extra step I don't need.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 taskbar

(Image credit: Future)

You can also drag and drop content from one window to the other on both the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Samsung's foldable goes even further than the Pixel Fold. The taskbar houses not only your favorite apps but the last-used apps, and you can run up to three apps on the screen at once while also turning any app into a floating window. You can swipe up with two fingers or swipe in from the side with two fingers to start a multi-window session.

Both the Pixel Fold and Z Fold 5 double as mini laptops in tabletop and Flex mode, respectively. So you'll see the content of your apps on the top part of the display and controls down below. 

On top of all this, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 offers S Pen support, while the Pixel Fold doesn't support stylus input. You will have to pay more to get an S Pen with your Galaxy Z Fold 5, though. 

Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Cameras

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 packs the same camera specs as the Galaxy Z Fold 4, including a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide and 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom. This is joined by a 10MP selfie camera and low-res 4MP camera on the inner display that I would avoid except for video calls. 

Meanwhile, the Google Pixel Fold has a 48MP main camera, 10.8MP ultrawide and 10.8 telephoto with a more powerful 5x zoom. There's also a 9.5 front selfie shooter and 8MP camera on the inner display. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes out swinging with this shot of the Bryant Park fountain. I like how it exposes the bits in the shadows more, but the Pixel Fold does a better job of not blowing out the flowers bathed in sunlight. It's a more even exposure overall. 

In this photo of a globe amaranth flower, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 delivers sharp details in the pink petals and the bee that decided to do a cameo. The Pixel Fold's shot looks even more detailed on the edges, but the paler pink is not quite as attractive.

It's a toss-up with this portrait. The blue checkered shirt pops more on the Samsung and it's a brighter overall pic. But the Pixel Fold does a better job handling the sun and the bokeh effect is more compelling. 

The Pixel Fold was the winner with zoom at 20x. The top of the Chrysler building looks way sharper through the Pixel Fold and the Z Fold 5 is a blurry mess. 

While neither the Z Fold 5 nor Pixel Fold has a proper macro mode, the Samsung takes a much crisper close-up here of this fruit tart. All of the berries look brighter and more detailed. 

In this shot, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 delivers a much better selfie than the Pixel Fold. My face and eyes are brighter and my shirt pops more, too. The Pixel shot looks blah by comparison. 

How about ultrawide? The blue sky, grass and surrounding trees look more vibrant through the Z Fold 5. I also prefer the Samsung's pic because there's more contrast. 

I give the nod to the Pixel Fold in this low-light shot. While the lantern looks more colorful through the Z Fold 5, the rest of the image is brighter with the Pixel, including the concrete in front of the pool and the chairs in the background. 

Indoors, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 takes a brighter image of this bar. The labels and glasses look clearer than they do in the Pixel Fold shot, which has more of a blue cast to it. 

To test the video quality of the Z Fold 5 I recorded this clip of a fountain at 4K and 30 fps with both the Samsung and Pixel Fold. The Pixel's footage looked a bit too warm for my tastes, but I appreciate the 5x optical zoom for getting in close vs the 3x zoom for the Z Fold 5. 

Overall, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 produces brighter and more vibrant images, while the Pixel Fold wins on zoom and in some low-light situations. I give a very slightly edge to Samsung here, as the Pixel can produce overly dim shots at times. 

Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Performance

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 playing Mortal Kombat game

(Image credit: Future)

As you would expect, both the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold deliver solid performance when switching between apps, surfing the web and playing games. But the Z Fold 5 felt more responsive when I raced the same track in Asphalt 9. 

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Galaxy Z Fold 5 benchmarks
Row 0 - Cell 0 Geekbench 3DMark Unlimited Video transcoding
Galaxy Z Fold 51,995 / 5,342 13,579 / 81.3 fps 41.7 seconds
Google Pixel Fold 1,390 / 3,291 6,755 / 40.4 fps 1 min

On Geekbench 6, which measures overall performance, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 scored 1,995 on single-core and 5,342 on multi-core. The Pixel Fold was well behind, hitting 1,390 and 3,291 on the same tests. 

You can also expect better graphics performance from the Galaxy Z Fold 5. On the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited test, Samsung's phone hit 81 frames per second. The Pixel Fold was about half as fast. 

We also ran a video transcoding test using the Adobe Premiere Rush app, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 finished in just 41 seconds. The Pixel Fold needed a minute. 

Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Battery life

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Galaxy Z Fold 5 battery life results
Row 0 - Cell 0 Battery sizeHours:Mins
Galaxy Z Fold 54,400 mAh10:55
Google Pixel Fold 4,821 mAh10:21

Yes, the Pixel Fold has a bigger battery, but the Galaxy Z Fold 5 lasted longer on a charge in our testing. With its 4,400 mAh battery, the Samsung endured for nearly 11 hours in the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G. The Pixel Fold lasted a good but not quite great 10 hours and 21 minutes.

So neither of these phones are quite good enough to make our best phone battery life list. In terms of charging, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 supports 25W wired charging while the Pixel Fold can handle a 30W charger. 

Winner: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel Fold: Overall Winner

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 wins this face-off against the Pixel Fold, and it really comes down to a few areas. Samsung's phone is lighter to carry around, features a brighter main display and offers faster performance. I also like the narrower bezels around the inner screen and the fact that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 on a charge.

If you're into multitasking, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the better pick because you can run three apps at once and the taskbar is always there at the ready. However, there are some reasons to buy the Pixel Fold instead. 

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Galaxy Z Fold 5Google Pixel Fold
Price and availability (5 points)33
Design (20 points) 1614
Displays (15 points) 1312
Software and special features (15 points)1412
Cameras (20 points)1817
Performance (10 points) 97
Battery life (15 points)1211
Overall 8576

I much prefer the wider cover display on the Pixel Fold, as it's easier to type on and use apps. And I also like the Pixel Fold's cameras in low-light situations. Plus, some will prefer the wider internal display and Google's thinner overall design.

So the Galaxy Z Fold 5 takes the crown this time, but the Pixel Fold is still a very impressive foldable phone, especially for Google's first effort. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • Keng Yuan
    I think large bezels should be a "For" for Pixel Fold, my Galaxy Fold 4 constantly mistaken my palms as my inputs, quite annoying
  • RichieHH
    Why are you so incompetent that you actually link the Fold 3 5g in the purchasing options? This is disgraceful and could land a lot of people in hotwater when they order old gen tech. Come on, Tom's People - do your job properly.
  • RobDownUnder
    I am 82, so only objective is to make stuff easier to see (IE Not interested in multitasking, using split screen, etc).
    Thus my desire is for commonly used apps to fill the inner (opened) screen.
    I am sure that there are apps that are not yet designed to fill the width of the opened screen.
    QUESTION - Which of the phones has more apps capable of the wide view ?
    I decided to compare the phones (read your article), as I had a suspicion that Pixel would have more of it's app designed to fill the opened screen ?