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Home / Features / Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 vs Z Fold5: what’s the difference?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 vs Z Fold5: what’s the difference?

New kid on the folding block meets its predecessor

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 vs Z Fold5

The latest and greatest Samsung foldable is now official. The Galaxy Z Fold6 is looking to stake a claim as one of the best smartphones with a book-style fold, courtesy of faster internals, a subtle style makeover, and more software smarts than ever – including Galaxy AI fresh from the box.

This isn’t a ground-up reimagining, though. Plenty has been carried over from the previous generation. Could than mean the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is still worth your attention – or should owners of that phone already start salivating over its replacement? While I’ve yet to fully review the Z Fold6, I tried one out extensively ahead of the official unveiling, and have spent plenty of time with the Z Fold5 since its launch. Here’s how the two stack up on paper.

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Design & build: Ultra inspired

This year’s Galaxy Z Fold has gone for a squared-off look, which is clearly a spin on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The sides have been flattened and the corner curves cut right back. The phone itself is a tiny bit shorter and wider than before, but not so much it’ll transform how easy that outer screen is to use on the regular.

Samsung has managed to slim the phone down quite a bit, to 5.6mm when open and 12.1mm when folded shut. The Z Fold5 is 6.1mm and 13.4mm respectively. At 239g, the Z Fold6 has also dropped 14g, making it feel a lot more like a traditional phone when sat in your pocket.

You get three colour options: silver shadow, pink, and navy. The Samsung web store has a few extra bespoke ones, too. The matte finish does a better job at hiding fingerprints than the polished metal frame found on the taller, slimmer, curvier Z Fold5.

Both phones use Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for their rear panels, have side-mounted fingerprint sensors built into their power buttons, and a trio of cameras stacked vertically at the rear. The Z Fold6 has a slightly smaller bump, with more stylised trim around the lens barrels than before, but it’s a very subtle change.

Screen & sound: thinner – just

With a slight shape change, the Galaxy Z Fold6 has a different pair of panels to the Z Fold5 – but other than size they’re still very similar. There’s a 6.3in panel up front, which is 1mm wider than before; inside the 7.6in flexible AMOLED is 1.4mm shorter but 2.7mm wider than before. Resolution now tops out at 2376×968 and 2160×1856 respectively.

The Z Fold6’s 6.2in and 7.6in screens have 2316×904 and 1812×2176 resolutions, so there’s very little in it in terms of pixel density. Both phones have adaptive 120Hz refresh rates, and are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2 glass on the outside. The Z Fold6 should have the edge for display crease subtleness, and a new non-removable screen protector should withstand shock a little better than before.

Display brightness has taken a sizeable step forward this year. The Z Fold6 can hit a claimed 2600nits peak, whereas the Z Fold5 managed 1750nits. That should make the newer phone easier to use outdoors under bright sunshine.

Cameras: familiar trio

Samsung hasn’t exactly been quick to phase out the camera sensors found on its foldables in favour of newer ones. The Z Fold6 is the third generation with a 50MP lead snapper, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto good for 3x optical zoom. A 10MP punch-hole camera on the outer display and a 4MP webcam hidden underneath the inner screen complete the set.

The main and telephoto lenses have optical image stabilisation, which give the firm’s ‘Nightography’ low-light mode a helping hand. There’s no macro close-up capabilities for either the zoom or ultrawide lenses. Officially Samsung has upgraded the ultrawide sensor, but its lens aperture is unchanged from the last-gen model.

Any image quality differences between the two will be largely down to processing, as the Z Fold5 has an otherwise identical setup. Given it has since been surpassed by foldable rivals with better camera hardware, I’m expecting the Z Fold6 to end up somewhere in the mid-table too. Neither can match the very best non-folding flagships, but results should still be easy on the eye in most lighting conditions.

Performance & battery: year on year upgrade

The Z Fold6 lands with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset, paired with 12GB of RAM and either 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of on-board storage. Qualcomm’s latest silicon has been fine-tuned specifically for Samsung, giving it a performance edge over similarly-equipped foldables. There’s also a much larger vapor chamber keeping it cool while under load, so in theory sustained use or long gaming sessions aren’t going to slow it down at all.

Naturally the previous-gen model also has a previous-gen chip: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. It’s still a top-tier chipset, paired with 12GB of RAM and either 256GB, 512GB or 1TB of on-board storage. It still feels perfectly snappy and responsive today, even after an Android version upgrade and several smaller OneUI version additions.

Both the Z Fold6 and Z Fold 5 have 4400mAh batteries that can charge at 25W over USB-C. They each support wireless and reverse wireless charging, too. Neither are setting any records for longevity or speed here, with rivals having larger capacity batteries and much faster wired charging abilities.

Initial verdict

Going purely by spec sheets and a few quick first impressions, the Galaxy Z Fold6 looks like a worthy year-on-year upgrade over the Z Fold5 – but not one that breaks any new ground for foldable phones. The more powerful, more efficient CPU should have enough oomph for both productive multitasking and the latest games, without sapping much more power than the outgoing model, and the sharper design is a much better match for the Galaxy S24 series.

Dimensions are only a tiny bit different, though, and with no major camera upgrades or a bigger battery, though, Z Fold5 owners shouldn’t have buyer’s remorse. It’s still a fast phone that takes great photos (for a foldable, at any rate), and will eventually get most – if not all – the software additions Samsung launched on the Z Fold6. Shop around and you might be able to pick one up at a bargain price, too.

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