Thursday, April 18, 2024
Smart Phones

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Fold 5: The Fold and the Beautiful


The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is just around the corner, likely coming very, very early in 2024 to take on the iPhone 15 series with a revamped design, hardware and camera improvements. 
However, the most recent top Samsung phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, is also one party that will have more to lose when the next Galaxy flagship comes forth, as it will no longer be the most exciting device in Samsung’s roster.
Of course, both will be occupying different niches, but then again, both are vying for the coveted spot in your pocket or purse, and with comparable prices and features, it’s totally okay to ponder which one to get. 
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Fold 5 expectations:

  • Traditional candy-bar vs foldable phone
  • 6.8-inch vs 7.6-inch main / 6.2-inch external displays
  • 2,500-nit peak brightness vs 1,750-nit peak brightness
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
  • Built-in S Pen vs S Pen support (Sold separately)
  • 5,000mAh vs 4,440mAh
  • 200MP vs 50MP main camera
  • 3X and 5X telephoto cameras vs 3X telephoto camera
  • 12MP vs 4MP under-screen and 10MP external selfie cameras
  • 45W wired charging vs 25W wired charging

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Big changes for the Galaxy S24 Ultra might have huge repercussions for the future of Samsung design

First things first: both the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 won’t differ too much from what one could expect, at least visually.

However, things could be very different for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Gone will be the Armor Aluminum frame that was used on the Galaxy S23 Ultra; instead, we are getting a titanium frame like the one on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. This one will boost the premium status of the phone and add some robustness to the whole package, though the potential weight savings are dismal – just a single gram difference versus the Galaxy S23 Ultra
The Galaxy S24 Ultra will also be scoring a flatter frame with minimal side curve for the display. Somewhat ironic, seeing how Samsung was the company that popularized curved displays in the first place. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 5, on the other hand, scored some important design revisions in contrast with the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Gone is the unsightly wedge gap between the top and bottom panels when the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is in its folded state, which finally brings Samsung’s foldable up to speed with most of its foldable competitors. There’s a palpable and clearly visible display crease when you unfold the device, so no improvements in this area. 

A major difference between the two phones is the S Pen situation. While the Galaxy Z Fold 5 technically supports an S Pen, you have to buy it separately. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will come with an S Pen tucked inside a silo in the bottom.

Both the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 have IP68-rated water and dust resistance, which should give you a very solid peace of mind when it comes to their overall durability. In the case of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 that’s particularly impressive, as having such an ingress protection on a foldable phone is still the exception rather than the norm. 

In terms of colors, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will be available in Black, Gray, Violet and Yellow. There will be some exclusive online-only color options, like Orange, Light Blue, and Light Green. A more diverse selection in comparison with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes in Cream, Phantom Black, Icy Blue, Blue, and Gray.

Display Differences

Aside from the fact that we are comparing a foldable versus a candybar phone, the single big difference between the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 could be the much higher peak brightness that’s coming to the Galaxy S24 Ultra. According to the hearsay, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will be able to hit around 2,500 nits of peak brightness, which is significantly higher than the 1,750-nit brightness that the main display of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 can potentially achieve. 

Aside from that, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will be a 6.8-inch phone with high QHD+ resolution and the superb quality properties of Samsung’s OLED displays: great colors and superb viewing angles.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 unfolds to a rather large 7.6-inch nearly screen with a visible crease in the middle, which shouldn’t take away from the fact that we are dealing with a display perfect for multitasking. And with an LTPO support, it can ramp up between 1 and 120Hz of refresh rate for one smooth experience. The external screen, however, is slightly less impressive with LTPS support of 48-120Hz dynamic refresh rate. 

In terms of biometrics, both phones rely on fingerprint sensors. While the Galaxy S24 Ultra will surely have a ultrasonic one in the display, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 boasts a fingerprint sensor embedded into the side-positioned power button, which means you can conveniently unlock the phone no matter if it’s folded or not. Face Unlock as a secondary biometric system is available on both phones. 

Performance and Software

Qualcomm’s finest stock for a second year in a row
Unlike the more affordable Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in all regions around the globe. What’s more, the specific flavor of the Qualcomm chip on board will carry the “for Galaxy” suffix, meaning it will be ever-so-slightly spiced up in comparison with the regular Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
The Galaxy Z Fold 5, on the other hand, relies on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip, which is on its own a slightly tuned-up version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Would the difference between the chips inside the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy S24 Ultra be that major? Of course not!

In terms of memory and storage, we are looking at 8/256GB, 16/512GB, and 16/1TB options, whereas the Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes with 12GB of RAM in all its 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage versions. 

In terms of software, both devices will receive four major Android updates followed by five years of security patches. 


One of the most versatile cameras on Android versus just an okay performer

The focus with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 isn’t on the camera, but even then, it is potentially severely outclassed by the upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 relies on a capable, but rather “regular” camera system that pairs a 50MP wide-angle camera with a 10MP 3X telephoto and a 12MP ultra-wide snapper, which deliver coherent image quality that still suffers from the over-processing plague that has been hurting most recent Galaxy flagships. 

At the same time, we expect the Galaxy S24 Ultra to come with a 200MP wide-angle camera (like its predecessor), a 12MP ultra-wide, and 3X and 5X telephoto cameras for long zoom. Yes, the 10X periscope is most likely getting axed in favor of a shorter, but equally capable 5X solution that should still allow for the 100X Space Zoom feature to make an appearance. 

When it comes to selfie cameras, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will rely on a 12MP one, but the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has two on deck. The external camera measures at 10MP, while the internal 4MP under-display one delivers questionable image quality and is best avoided.  

Audio Quality and Haptics

When it comes to audio quality, Galaxy flagships usually have a very solid audio performance that rivals the best in the area and often sets new benchmarks. Surely, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will be yet another exemplar performer in the area, remains to be seen how much exactly.  

The same applies to the haptic feedback situation. We don’t have anything negative to say about Galaxy flagships and their feedback, it’s always superb. 

Battery Life and Charging

The Galaxy S24 Ultra might snatch an easy victory

With a more efficient chipset and a larger 5,000mAh battery, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will likely best the battery life of the Galaxy Z Fold 5, which doesn’t fare exceptionally well with its petite 4,400mAh battery. 

As a refresher, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 fared okay in our custom battery tests, but didn’t impress. In particular, the foldable phone lasted for 6 hours and 30 minutes in our video streaming test, 9 hours and 22 minutes in our web browsing test, and just 5 hours and 34 minutes in the gaming test. Totally not impressive and definitely bested by the Galaxy S23 Ultra, so the Galaxy S24 Ultra will most certainly beat it as well.

Charging-wise, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is very likely to retain the 45W wired charging speeds of its predecessor, which would likely to a full charge in roughly an hour or so. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 does the same exercise in an hour and twenty minutes. In terms of wireless charging, both phones support 15W Fast Wireless charging. It’s certainly slower, with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 requiring a 133-minute rendezvous with the wireless charger. 

Specs Comparison


Overall, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is shaping up to be one of the more important phones to be released in 2024. Seemingly, it will have all the bells and whistles to continue Samsung’s unwavering domination on the Android top-flagship market. 

At the same time, if you’re just too fed up with regular phones, then the Galaxy Z Fold 5 might be the one to consider. Its form factor is still novel, albeit not executed in the best way possible. With capable hardware and software tailored towards the multi-tasking experience, it’s certainly a very decent phone. However, when compared with the upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra, it will most likely be of worse value. 

Which one should you get? It’s the form factor and the camera that will likely be carrying the brunt of the differences, so at the end of the day, the question should be: “A novel foldable or a capable regular phone”?


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