Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: What we know so far
Choosing the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 versus the Galaxy S23 Ultra champion will be tough. Although both are Samsung flagship phones, they likely have distinct target audiences.
We’re currently only working with rumors about the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but fortunately, it looks like there will only be small changes from the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which currently tops our best foldable phone rankings. Combine that with our time using the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which has been available for a few months already, we can get a good idea of how these phones stack up.
We expect the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to drive flexibility both literally and figuratively, giving users even greater capabilities for dual-screen multitasking. But it will likely cost significantly more than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, while likely not performing as well, and likely offering worse imaging and battery life.
Read on for more details on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy S23 Ultra, and also take a look at the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold showdown for an early comparison of what could be the two biggest foldables of the year.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Release date and price
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 should arrive in August 2023, if Samsung’s earlier Z Fold release dates are anything to go by. No pricing rumors have surfaced for the new foldable device yet, but we expect a starting price of $1,800 / £1,600 / AU$2,500, the same as the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra went on sale in February 2023, so you can buy it now if you like. It’s cheaper than Samsung’s regular Z Fold, starting at $1,199 / £1,249 / AU$1,949, though it’s not a cheap phone. Check out our Galaxy S23 deals page for the latest discounts.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Design and Display
We expect the same screens inside and out on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 had, which is a 6.2-inch external screen and a 7.2-inch internal screen, both of which use AMOLED technology and have 120Hz refresh rates. This can be updated with a new water hinge that provides a smaller crease and a more compact frame when folded, as well as lighter materials To help offset the volume of the phone.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra hasn’t changed much from the Galaxy S22 Ultra in terms of design. Its square face, curved (but slightly flat) edges, and separate rear cameras are still decidedly Samsung.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s display is also unchanged from last year, a 6.8-inch QHD AMOLED display with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. It can’t really compare to the rumored Galaxy Z Fold 5’s large internal screen, but compared to the external screen, it should be slightly taller and noticeably wider, making it easier to type on.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Cameras
Samsung is believed to be outfitting the Galaxy Z Fold 5 with the cameras it now uses on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which is a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 10MP zoom camera, a 10MP selfie camera, and a 4MP internal camera. Selfie camera view.
A 108MP main camera upgrade, which would give the Z Fold 5 a significant megapixel advantage over any competing foldable camera, has been rumored, but now that seems unlikely.
Compare that to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. It sports a 200MP Samsung main camera along with a 12MP ultrawide, 10MP ultrawide, 3x, 10x telephoto cameras, and a 12MP selfie camera. It’s currently the best camera phone of any we’ve tested, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 isn’t likely to beat it.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Performance
As the rumors are out at the moment, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy S23 Ultra will share the same chipset, and thus will likely offer almost identical performance.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, which is a slightly enhanced version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip used by other Android flagship phones. We’d be glad to see this in the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but since the Galaxy Z Fold 4 was equipped with the Plus variant of that year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, it would be a shame if the new foldable lost some extra performance as a result.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 should at least come with the RAM feature. Samsung gave the previous Z Folds 12GB of RAM by default, while you’ll have to select a higher storage variant of the Galaxy S23 Ultra to get 12GB of RAM instead of the standard 8GB.
Speaking of storage, we should see identical options for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy S23 Ultra: 256GB by default, with 512GB and 1TB as well.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Battery and Charging
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 battery and charging system remain unchanged from the Galaxy Z Fold 4 so far. If Samsung really stops making changes, we’ll end up with a total battery capacity of 4,400mAh and 25W fast charging.
Even if we get a surprise upgrade, we don’t expect it to top the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 5,000mAh battery, or its 45W charging speed. The S23 Ultra is likely to be the phone to last, too, since it only has to sport one full-size screen rather than one smaller, larger screen like the Z Fold.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Special Features
We expect the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to offer S Pen compatibility like the previous Galaxy Z Folds, but in a different way than the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The S23 Ultra has an S Pen included in the box, which can be easily stored inside the phone. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 currently requires the separately sold S Pen Fold version that can be clipped onto the phone with a specially designed case, but not stored inside.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 should make good use of its size with some unique software features you don’t get on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We expect things like the taskbar and split apps on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to get some improvements or new capabilities with the arrival of the Z Fold 5 to add more value to the foldable display.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs. Galaxy S23 Ultra: Outlook
There seem to be many similarities between the rumored Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy S23 Ultra, such as the chipset that powers them, their S Pen capabilities, and the One UI 5.1 software. But the differences are really big.
Much of that comes down to the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s folding capabilities, which will give it dual screens and additional multitasking features. But its foldability also leads to a much larger body, smaller battery, lower-quality main and selfie cameras, and of course, a higher price than the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Assuming the Galaxy Z Fold 5 turns out as the rumors suggest, it will still be a suitable product for users with bigger budgets. While the Galaxy S23 Ultra isn’t nearly every user’s phone with its 200MP camera and its hefty price tag, its more traditional design and features will likely mean it’s the right phone unless you’re sure you’ll use the Z Fold 5’s foldable powers.