Samsung Galaxy Z Flip vs. Galaxy Fold: Which is right for you?

The folding phone revolution is still in its infancy, but Samsung has already pushed out two devices with foldable screens. There are some clear design differences between the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip, and you’ll find plenty to set them apart on the spec sheet. If you’ve decided to take the plunge and dive into folding phones, how do you choose between them? Read on for all the important details on how these phones measure up.

Specs

Galaxy Z Flip Galaxy Fold
Size Unfolded: 167.3 x 73.6 x 7.2mm

Folded: 87.4 x 73.6 x 17.3mm

Unfolded: 160.9 x 117.9 x 7.5mm

Folded: 160.9 x 62.9 x 17mm

Weight  183 grams (6.46 ounces) 263 grams (9.28 ounces)
Screen size 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED and 1.06-inch Super AMOLED 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED and 4.6-inch Super AMOLED
Screen resolution 2636 x 1080 pixels and 300 x 112 pixels 2152 x 1536 pixels and 1680 x 720 pixels
Operating system Android 10 Android 9.0 Pie
Storage space 256GB 512GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay, Samsung Pay Google Pay, Samsung Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
RAM 8GB 12GB
Camera 12-megapixel and 12MP ultrawide rear, 10MP front Triple-lens ultra-wide-angle 16-megapixel, standard 12MP with OIS and variable aperture, and telephoto 12MP with OIS rear, 10MP front closed, 10MP and 8MP front open
Video 2160p at 60 fps 2160p at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 960 fps
Bluetooth version 5.0 5.0
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes (side) Yes (side)
Water resistance None None
Battery 3,300mAh

Fast charging (15W)

Qi wireless charging

Wireless Powershare

4,380mAh (4,325mAh 5G model)

Quick Charge 2.0 (18W)

Qi wireless charging

Wireless Powershare

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support AT&T, Sprint AT&T, T-Mobile
Colors Mirror Purple, Mirror Black Cosmos Black, Space Silver, Martian Green, or Astro Blue
Price $1,380 $1,980
Buy from Samsung Samsung, AT&T
Review score Hands-on review 3.5 out of 5 stars

Design, display, and durability

They might both be folding phones, but there are some major design differences between these two devices. The Galaxy Z Flip is obviously riffing off the old clamshell-style phones, though it brings a unique modern look to the form. There’s a very small outer display to break up the mirror finish and it unfolds to reveal a vibrant 6.7-inch screen with a hole punch camera at the top center. The Galaxy Fold has a bigger outer screen, though it’s still not big enough to comfortably use for things like typing, and it opens like a book to reveal a huge 7.3-inch screen inside with a sizable notch at the top right. Both have a spine with the Samsung logo and are quite fat when folded shut.

The Fold is obviously bigger and heavier, like a phone that folds out to be a small tablet, while the Z Flip is a phone that folds down to be portable for your pocket. The main display of the Galaxy Z Flip is significantly sharper than the main screen in the Fold, and it feels more like a conventional large screen phone when unfolded, whereas the Fold has a much bigger and squarer main screen when opened. Neither offers water resistance and durability is likely to be an issue, so a case is advisable. You’ll also have to be very careful to avoid trapping anything inside when you close these phones and we don’t yet really know how the hinges will fair in the long term.

The better choice here depends on what you’re looking for.

Winner: Tie

Performance, battery life, and charging

Jake Sofaer / Digital Trends

There are some surprising differences between the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Samsung Galaxy Fold in this category. For a start, the Z Flip has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, which is slightly faster and more capable than the regular Snapdragon 855 in the Fold. However, the Fold boasts 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, while the Z Flip makes do with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Neither phone supports MicroSD card expansion. Based on these specs, they’re both going to be capable of running all the latest apps and games no matter how demanding and they should be adept at multitasking, allowing you to dip in and out of apps and pick up where you left off most of the time.

With a much larger battery and slightly faster wired charging, the Fold has an edge, but it also has two much larger displays to power. We have found that the Fold has enough power in the tank to see you through a busy day and even beyond with lighter use. We haven’t had enough time with the Z Flip yet, but we expect its battery life to be good. Both support Qi wireless charging and can be used to wirelessly charge other devices in a pinch.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Fold

Camera

samsung galaxy fold
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

With no fewer than six camera lenses, the Fold packs a great deal more camera hardware in than the Z Flip. The main triple-lens camera comprises a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a standard 12MP lens with optical image stabilization (OIS) and variable aperture, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. On the front with the Fold closed you’ll find a single 10MP camera and inside when opened there’s a dual-lens camera in the notch that pairs a 10MP lens with an 8MP lens. It’s a comprehensive, versatile camera suite that should tick all of your boxes.

The Z Flip has a dual-lens main camera that combines a standard 12MP lens with an f/1.8 aperture and OIS with a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens. The secondary selfie camera at the top of the screen when you open it is rated at 10 megapixels.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Fold

Software and updates

The newer Samsung Galaxy Z Flip comes with Android 10 and has Samsung’s One UI 2.0 on top, while the Galaxy Fold is still running Android 9 and the previous version of One UI. Current estimates are that the Fold will catch up in April, but for now it lacks some features and the slicker software look that you’ll find on the Z Flip. Samsung can be a bit slow when it comes to software updates, but that’s likely to be an issue for both devices going forward.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Special features

samsung galaxy fold
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Not only does the Galaxy Fold have a bigger screen, which gives you room for three apps on-screen at once for multitasking, it also supports Samsung’s DeX mode, which enables it to double up as a PC, something the Z Flip lacks. Both phones have Bixby, Knox, and a smattering of other Samsung apps and services like Samsung Pay.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Fold

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Fold costs $1,980 and you can get it from Samsung or AT&T. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is a lot cheaper at $1,380 and you can pick one up from Samsung, AT&T, or Sprint.

Overall winner: Samsung Galaxy Fold

With a bigger screen, a better camera suite, and a few other extras, the Galaxy Fold takes the win, but it’s a great deal more expensive than the Z Flip and truth be told these devices probably aren’t aimed at the same people. Samsung has crafted a smarter design in the Galaxy Z Flip and it certainly looks like less of a first-generation product. If you’re in love with the look, or just find the Fold too big, then the Z Flip will be the better choice for you. It’s still early days for foldables, so for most people it may be better to wait, let the manufacturers work out the kinks, and see what comes along over the next year or two.

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