When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Features / Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 vs Z Flip5: what’s the difference?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 vs Z Flip5: what’s the difference?

Clamshells collide - how does the new Flip compare to the old one?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 vs Z Flip5 lead

Flexible screens brought clamshell-style flip phones back in a big way, with Samsung leading the charge. The Galaxy Z Flip6 is the latest and greatest, aiming to usurp other upcoming phones with faster internals, slicker styling, uprated camera hardware and a bigger battery that puts it on par with Samsung’s more mainstream Galaxy S24.

It’s not like the outgoing Galaxy Z Flip 5 is any sort of slouch, though – and with both the inner screen and cover display virtually unchanged between generations, do those under the hood upgrades make enough of a difference? I’ve yet to fully review the Z Flip6, but spent some time with one ahead of Samsung’s official reveal, and have lots of experience with the Z Flip5. Here’s how they stack up on paper so far.

How we test smartphones

Every phone reviewed on Stuff is used as our main device throughout the testing process. We use industry standard benchmarks and tests, as well as our own years of experience, to judge general performance, battery life, display, sound and camera image quality. Manufacturers have no visibility on reviews before they appear online, and we never accept payment to feature products. Find out more about how we test and rate products.

Design & build: minor modifications

Samsung hasn’t reinvented the Flip series for 2024; the Galaxy Z Flip6 is more of a subtle refresh, borrowing its squared-off sides and matte finish from the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Its four colour options – blue, yellow, mint, and silver shadow – have a similar hue to that phone’s titanium frame, except here it’s Samsung’s Armor Aluminium holding things together. Apparently it’s 10% better at resisting scratches than the outgoing phone.

The other design giveaway is the colour-matched trim around the outer camera lenses, instead of the black/silver seen on the Galaxy Z Flip5. Size and weight are largely the same, and the hinge hasn’t changed much either.

That means the Z Flip5 still looks sharp, with its polished frame, more rounded corners and different colour options being the only clues it’s actually the previous-gen model.

Screens: quite the pair

Both the Galaxy Z Flip6 and Flip5 have a 3.4in Flex Window outer display and a 6.7in inner screen. It’s AMOLED all the way, of course, with 720×748 resolutions up front and 2640×1080 panels underneath. The latter have adaptive 120Hz refresh rates for smooth scrolling.

Viewing angles are on point and colours are the usual Samsung levels of vibrancy and punch, at least based on my early testing. The firm hasn’t made any big brightness claims this year, or promised slimmer bezels, so there’s very little to separate the two phones.

The Z Flip6 gets a handful of extra widgets optimised for the outer screen, which still has an angular cutout that makes room for the outer camera lenses. There’s no word on when these will make their way back to the Z Flip5 – if at all – but Samsung’s track history with updates suggests owners shouldn’t have long to wait.

Cameras: nifty fifty

It’s been a long time coming, but Samsung has finally given a Z Flip phone the 50MP main camera from its mainline Galaxy S series. There’s an f/1.8 aperture lens, dual-pixel PDAF autofocus and optical image stabilisation, which is about as good as it gets for photography hardware on a clamshell-style foldable. It’s paired with a 12MP ultrawide with f/2.2 aperture and 123-degree field of view, and there’s also a 10MP, f/2.2 punch-hole selfie cam on the inner display.

The Galaxy Z Flip5 has a 12MP lead lens, which won’t be able to match the newer phone for low light performance or fine detail – at least on paper. Its ultrawide and selfie cameras are otherwise very similar.

Samsung’s image processing is still up there with the best camera phones, going big on dramatic HDR and delivering particularly punchy colours – which aren’t always true to life, but are usually very easy on the eye. On paper the Z Flip6 takes it, but I expect the difference will be very lighting-dependent. If you’re a regular Instagram user, you’ll also appreciate the newer phone is able to use its low light mode when filming Stories within the Instagram app.

Performance & software: generation game

Samsung’s multi-year deal with Qualcomm means the Galaxy Z Flip6 arrives with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy. This specially-tuned chipset runs faster than rival models using off-the-shelf components, and is cooled by a vapor chamber – the first time one has ever been fitted inside a Galaxy Flip model. That should mean it’ll withstand demanding apps and games for longer without thermal throttling, though I’ve yet to test that properly. You also get 12GB of RAM, which will help with multitasking, along with either 256 or 512GB of onboard storage.

The other big upgrade is battery capacity. The Flip6 has a 4000mAh cell, which is on par with the non-folding Galaxy S24. Seeing how the clamshell design should mean you spend less time looking at the main screen, it could last even longer between charges – though confirmation will have to wait for a full review. Charging speeds are still fairly slow, though, at 25W over USB-C and 15W through a Qi wireless pad.

The Z Flip5 uses a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, which is now a generation old – but still a flagship chip that had a speed advantage over its contemporaries. It’s paired with 8GB of RAM and 256 or 512GB of storage. It won’t exactly be left in the dust by the newer model, but will fall behind in benchmarks.

It also uses a 3700mAh battery, which is nearly 10% smaller than the Z Flip6. Combined with the less efficient CPU, its lifespan won’t be quite as good. That said, I always saw full days of use when I reviewed it. Charging speeds match the newer phone, at 25W wired and 15W wireless.

Initial verdict

On first inspection the Galaxy Z Flip6 looks like a slam dunk upgrade. The styling is familiar yet different enough to make it clear you’re rocking the 2024 model, rather than the previous generation; the faster, more efficient CPU bodes well for both performance and battery life, especially in light of the vapor chamber cooler and larger capacity cell; the 50MP camera finally brings the Flip series on par with the mainline Galaxy, at least as far as main sensors are concerned.

That said, there are still good reasons to consider a Galaxy Z Flip5 instead – not least the price. The Z Flip6 launches at £1049 for the 256GB model, but if you shop around you can find the Flip5 for £750 SIM-free. Considering it still has many years of software support left, and that the new phone’s features will eventually be ported back, it’s something of a steal for anyone wanting a Samsung flip phone.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming