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Now that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is out, you should buy the Z Fold 4

You really aren't missing out by opting for a discounted Galaxy Z Fold 4 over the Z Fold 5.

Published onJuly 30, 2023

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is officially here and the final product seems very much in line with what we expected from those rumors and leaks. Although Samsung is bringing a few improvements to the table, it’s clear that the Z Fold 5 is merely a minor upgrade from the Z Fold 4. That’s why, with bigger deals and discounts, we think the best Galaxy Fold to buy right now is the older Galaxy Z Fold 4.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Marvelous multitasking
Large internal display
Long-term software support
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
New hinge finally folds flat
Bright, vibrant displays
Powerful multitasking features

Few upgrades on paper

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 google discover
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

You only need to compare the spec sheets to realize that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an incredibly minor upgrade, akin to a Galaxy Z Fold 4S. You’re looking at the same display sizes and resolutions, the same battery capacity, identical wired and wireless charging speeds, and identical camera specs across the board. In fact, you’re also looking at the same RAM and storage allocations as the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a ton of specs in common with last year's foldable phone.

It’s far easier to tell you what’s actually new with the Z Fold 5. The biggest upgrade is easily the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor. Otherwise, we’ve also got higher peak brightness at 1,750 nits, as well as Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the phone screen and rear cover.

Samsung is also touting a marginally thinner design when folded, courtesy of the smaller, waterdrop hinge in use.

Even these upgrades are ultimately minor

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 propped up
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We’re glad to see at least some upgrades here then, but even most of these changes are nothing to write home about. For one, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside the Z Fold 5 is a beast of a chipset, but the Z Fold 4’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is still an extremely powerful processor.

Samsung is also hyping up the increased peak brightness, but the all-important high brightness mode is still pegged at the same 1,200 nits level as last time. And the latter figure is what matters when using your foldable outdoors in the sun.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5's few upgrades don't warrant paying extra for it over the Z Fold 4.

Finally, that thinner design isn’t as big a deal as Samsung is making it out to be. The new foldable effectively has the same dimensions as the Z Fold 4, but the zero-gap hinge means the two halves of the phone are sitting closer together when folded. You’re otherwise looking at a virtually identical thickness when the two phones are opened up.

Even the Galaxy Z Fold 5 software changes are few and far between, such as two-handed drag-and-drop functionality and four recent apps in the taskbar. Plus, these are features that will almost certainly come to the Z Fold 4 in an update down the line.

The Fold 4 will be cheaper

samsung galaxy z fold 4 home screen open
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Z Fold 4 (unfolded)

Since these are virtually the same phone, one of the biggest reasons to get the Galaxy Z Fold 4 instead is that it’ll likely be available at a cheaper price in the weeks following the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s release.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 in particular dipped well below the $1,500 mark in the months after the Z Fold 4’s launch, even breaching the $1,250 barrier. So there is a precedent for price cuts on Samsung’s older foldables.

In fact, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 could be had for as low as $1,349 on the likes of Amazon earlier this year. So we’re expecting similarly, if not more, enticing deals in the coming weeks and months.

Would you rather buy a discounted Z Fold 4 or new Z Fold 5?

281 votes

It’s also worth noting that Samsung offers the best software update policy in the business among all major Android OEMs. That means the Z Fold 4 should be upgraded all the way to Android 16. The Korean brand has also done a good job of bringing new foldable software features to old devices where possible, such as the taskbar, app pairs, and Flex Mode enhancements.

We, therefore, can’t stress enough that you aren’t really missing much (if anything) by opting for a cheaper Galaxy Fold 4 over the Fold 5 in the next few months. So unless you’re going to take advantage of Samsung’s admittedly generous trade-in offers, you’re better off waiting for that discounted Z Fold 4.

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