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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Z Flip 5: Should you upgrade?

The new Flip isn't a lot more powerful, but it does come with a few interesting upgrades.
By
July 26, 2023
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
MSRP: $999.00
Check price
Positives
Improved battery life and faster charging
Efficient performance
Solid primary camera
Negatives
Crease is still visible
No telephoto camera
Still not a battery champ
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
MSRP: $999.99
Check price
Positives
Huge new Flex Window
Excellent build quality
Solid rear cameras
Water protection
Class-leading software support
Negatives
Just-okay battery life
No dust protection
Good Lock can be confusing
Iffy sustained performance
The Bottom Line.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is Samsung's thinnest and most refined clamshell yet. It still has the best hardware around, and the new Flex Window opens up a world of possibilities once you've tackled all of Good Lock's quirks. Fresh competition in foldable flip phone space is keeping the heat on Samsung, but the Z Flip 5 shows there's still room for the Galaxy Z Flip series to grow.Read full review...

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is easily the most popular foldable flip phone in the United States, in part because there’s not too much competition out there. It’s a great device, but it’s no longer the latest one with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. So what’s new here, and is it worth the upgrade? We take a closer look in this Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Z Flip 5 comparison.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Z Flip 5: At a glance

Curious how the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Flip 4 compare? Here's a quick summary of the key differences:

  • The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 trades the Cover Screen in for the new Flex Window.
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5's outer screen has much more functionality than the outer display of the Flip 4.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a faster processor than the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 has an improved hinge over the Flip 4.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 comes with more base storage than its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Z Flip 5: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Display
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Exterior:
- 3.4-inch Super AMOLED 60Hz
- 720 x 748

Interior:
- 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X
- 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
- 2,640 x 1,080)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Exterior:
- 1.9-inch Super AMOLED
- 512 x 260
- Gorilla Glass Victus Plus

Interior:
- 6.7-inch Super AMOLED
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2,640 x 1,080)
Processor
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
RAM
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
8GB
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
8GB
Storage
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
256 or 512GB
No expandable storage
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
128, 256, or 512GB
UFS 3.1
No expandable storage
Power
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
3,700mAh battery
25W Super Fast Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
No charger in box
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
3,700mAh battery
25W Super Fast Charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
No charger in box
Cameras
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Exterior:
- 12MP wide, 1.8μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
- 12MP ultra wide, 1.12μm, f/2.2

Internal:
- 10MP, 1.22μm, ƒ/2.2
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Exterior:
- 12MP wide, 1.8μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
- 12MP ultrawide, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2

Internal:
- 10MP, 1.22μm, ƒ/2.4
Audio
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
IP rating
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
IPX8
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
IPX8
Biometrics
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
SIM
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Single nano-SIM tray
eSIM support
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Single nano-SIM tray
eSIM support
Software
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Android 13
One UI 5.1.1
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Android 12
One UI 4.1
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Folded dimensions:
- 72 x 85.09 x 15mm (measured at hinge)

Unfolded dimensions:
- 71.9 x 165 x 6.9mm

Weight:
- 87g
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Folded dimensions:
- 71.9 x 84.9 x 17.1mm (measured at hinge)

Unfolded dimensions:
- 71.9 x 165.2 x 6.9mm

Weight:
- 87g
Colors
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Mint, Graphite, Cream, Lavender
Samsung.com exclusives: Gray, Blue, Green, Yellow
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Global: Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, Blue

Bespoke Edition:
- Front/back: Yellow, White, Navy, Khaki, Red
- Frame: Silver, Black, Gold

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 was a great phone in many ways, but it was also fairly iterative. That’s not the case for the Z Flip 5, which sees quite a few design changes, including a massive change to the outer display. We’ll focus more on the aesthetics in the next section, but the important thing is these changes are much bigger than just visual improvements.

Let’s start by discussing the new Flex Window, which replaces the cover screen from the Z Flip 4. I love the Cover Screen on my Flip 4, which was a huge jump from the display on my original Galaxy Z Flip. There are plenty of useful widgets that let me track steps, check directions, check messages, quickly take a pic, and even change a song. The new Flex Window retains all of the Cover Screen’s old tricks, but its much larger 3.4-inch display also opens up some new doors (or should we say windows?). For reference, the old Cover Screen comes in at just 1.9 inches.

The Flex Window is shaped differently from its predecessor. Gone is the rounded rectangle display, which is replaced by a panel that is shaped like a folder with a notch at the top left. I honestly prefer the old look, but I can’t deny that the added real estate will come in handy. It’s not just bigger, the Flex Window also has a higher 720p display and a 60Hz refresh rate this time around.

The Flip 5's Flex Window opens up new abilities that weren't possible on the smaller Cover Screen.

Taking a page from phones like the Motorola Razr Plus, the Z Flip 5’s Flex Window is no longer limited by the simple widgets of its predecessor. You can now run any app using a Good Lock-based system, though the actual functionality of each app will vary due to the small display size. Of course, there are still widgets.

The Z Flip launches with 13 widgets, all redesigned to take better advantage of the larger display. There are even some extra features locked beyond Samsung’s experimental Labs section, such as full-screen optimized versions of WhatsApp and Google Maps. The Flex Window has a few other smaller additions, such as the ability to customize your color schemes to match your phone and NFC support right from the Flex Window.

Another design change that is beyond cosmetic would be the new hinge. Samsung improved the hinge a lot over the years, but the Flip 5 takes a big step forward with its new teardrop design, which allows the hinge to shut fully flat for the first time.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 ports and gaps
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Z Flip 5

While the Z Flip 4’s gap didn’t bother me cosmetically, the zero gap fold should greatly improve durability by preventing dust and debris from getting to the display. It also makes the phone a full 2mm thinner when folded, which should make it more comfortable when in your pocket.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 upgrades from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 over to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The latter SoC has several improvements, including a larger L3 cache and higher memory bandwidth, though it’s worth noting the 8 Plus Gen 1 does have a higher GPU frequency. Backed by the same 8GB of RAM, we’d expect similar performance in real-world use, but we’ll be sure to put the phone through its paces in our full review that’s coming soon.

The performance difference won't be much, but the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 should still provide a faster experience than the 8 Plus Gen 1 in the Flip 4.

The RAM size might be unchanged, but the good news is that the Galaxy Z Flip 5 now comes with 256GB of base storage, versus the 128GB of its predecessor. Just like the Z Flip 4, you’ll also find a 512GB model if you’re willing to pay a bit extra.

Before we talk about cameras, batteries, and charging, let’s talk briefly about software.

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 originally launched with Android 12 and One UI 4.1 but has since received an update to Android 13 with One UI 5.1. As you’d guess, the software experience on the Galaxy Flip 5 will be similar as the phone launches with Android 13 and One UI 5.1.1 out of the box. The biggest differences will come down to the Flex Window. While Samsung will likely continue to refine its apps on the Galaxy Z Flip 4, don’t expect to see full future parity here. The larger screen allows it to do things that just wouldn’t work on the older Flips, such as displaying a keyboard.

Aside from having great software, Samsung’s Z Flip 5 also continues the company’s commitment to Android updates with four years of OS updates and five years of security fixes. That means it will get updated all the way up to Android 17, while OS support for the Z Fold 4 will end with Android 16.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Z Flip 4: Size comparison 

When folded, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 measures 72 x 86mm and has a thickness of 15mm. Unfolded, it is 71.9 x 165mm, while the thickness comes in at 6.9mm. Meanwhile, the Flip 4 is marginally smaller when unfolded at 71.9 x 84.9mm, but it’s actually 2mm thicker as the Flip 5 has a new hinge that folds truly flat. Unfolded, the older Flip has almost the exact same footprint as its newer brother.

Overall the two phones still look pretty similar, with the same two-camera configuration and general design language. Of course, the Flip 5 stands out thanks to a much larger front display with a new unique screen shape. When folded, you’ll also be able to tell a difference between the two thanks to the near-zero gap between the Flip 5’s display.

The Flip 5 also has plenty of new colors to help make it clear this isn’t last year’s Flip. The Flip 5 comes in color choices of Graphite, Cream, and Lavender. There are also Samsung.com exclusives: Gray, Blue, Green, and Yellow. Unfortunately, there are no Bespoke Edition colors this year. For those that want the reminder, the Flip 4 came in Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold, and Blue, but there were Bespoke models that came in either Yellow, White, Navy, Khaki, or Red and had your choice of a Silver, Black, or Gold frame.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Z Flip 4: Camera

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 flex window
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a good camera, though it’s not quite in the same class as the Galaxy S23 series, the Pixel 7 series, or the latest iPhones. If you’re hoping for a big change here, we are sorry. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 and 5 have the same camera specs, including a main 12MP shooter and a second 12MP ultrawide shooter.

The hardware might be identical, but there are still a few tiny changes. The rear lenses now have an updated spray coating that helps prevent lens flares. There are also likely small improvements to the post-processing and AI that could hopefully improve quality a little.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 sample photos:

Even if the cameras are almost identical, even with software, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As we said in our Galaxy Z Flip 4 review last year, the cameras have great details with excellent highlights and shadows. The colors are a bit on the punchy side, but the details are still well-preserved. Just be aware the colors in photos appear a bit bolder than they are in real life. The phone also takes great portrait mode photos with little trouble identifying the edges, no matter what background is used.

Night mode is another area where the Z Flip 4 performed great, and the Flip 5 should do the same. All three of our sample images were taken in vastly different lighting conditions, yet each has solid detail levels. You can check out the samples below:

One area where these cameras are less performant is zooming. You can digitally zoom up to 10x, but the results aren’t always the best. I’d stick to around 4x zoom for best results.

What about the selfie experience? The Flip 5 again uses the same camera, so expect similar results. Not only will you get decent selfies with the main camera, you can also use the Flex Window to take quick photos using the main camera.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Z Flip 4: Battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 flex window youtube
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The battery life and charging speeds on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 are best described as okay. It was a major improvement from the Galaxy Z Flip 3, which could hardly make it through even one day. With Flip 4, you’ll still find it impossible to push into a second day, but during our tests, we constantly found we could make it to bed with at least 10-20% charge left. In my own use case, I typically make it to around 15-25% of battery life before bed, though my use is relatively modest.

As for the Flip 5? You get the same 3,700mAh battery from last year, though the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 might sip battery life a little less greedily. We’ll be sure to put the battery through its paces in our full review that’s coming soon.

Charging standards remain the same as last year, with 25W Super Fast Charging, though a charger isn’t included in the box with either model. Let’s be honest; Samsung doesn’t have the fastest charging. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 took us around 75-80 minutes to charge from empty in our tests, and we’d expect similar performance from the Flip 5. For reference, the 5,000mAh battery of the OnePlus 11 can go from zero to 100% in less than 30 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Z Flip 4: Price

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (8GB/256GB): $999
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (8GB/512GB): TBC
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (8GB/128GB): $999
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (8GB/256GB): $1,059
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (8GB/512GB): $1,179

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and 5 start at the same retail price, but the latter is actually a better deal as you get double the storage at 256GB. Of course, you can often find the base Flip 4 on sale for as little as $900 if you’re looking to save money on the older model. You can pre-order the Galaxy Z Flip 5 now, with general sales starting on August 11.

Those who pre-order get a free storage upgrade, so you’re basically getting the 512GB variant of the Z Flip 5 for the price of the 256GB model. There are also great trade-in deals available.

See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Efficient performance
Solid primary camera
Compact design
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Huge new Flex Window
Excellent build quality
Solid rear cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Z Flip 4: Should you upgrade?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 incoming call
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a good phone, but the Flip 5’s bigger display and improvements to design are very hard to ignore.

Normally I always advise holding on to a phone longer if it’s just a year old, but the Flip 5 could be an exception. In fact, I’m looking to pre-order one myself, despite having a Flip 4 already. The Flip 5 won’t be much (if any) faster or more powerful, but the improved Flex Window and zero-gap close are huge improvements that make the phone experience better and could help protect the phone from damage. With new, emerging tech, it’s not always just about what’s fastest. Sometimes small changes can make big differences. Whether these changes are worth the upgrade comes down to personal preference.

Don’t own either yet? I would hands-down recommend picking up the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 over the older Flip unless you really care about savings. Right now, the Flip 4 is around $900 but will likely fall further in the coming weeks, not to mention the used prices for the Flip 4 are already as low as $400-$500. If you want a flip phone but can’t really afford to pay $1,000 or more, the Z Flip 4 could still be worth the purchase over its predecessor.

Is upgrading from the Galaxy Flip 4 to the Flip 5 worth it?

84 votes