Galaxy Z Fold 5, Flip 5 might miss out on performance improvements compared to S23 series

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Galaxy Z Fold 5, Flip 5 might miss out on performance improvements compared to S23 series
Current high-end Android models are powered by the 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. As you might know by now, a special overclocked version of this chipset will be found under the hood of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series. While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was just introduced last November, a rumor has the successor greeting the light of day earlier this year.

This year's Galaxy Z foldables might be forced to use the same chipset employed by the Galaxy S23 line

A post on Chinese social media site Weibo by tipster Digital Chat Station (via, who correctly leaked the new Snapdragon naming format back in 2021, says that  the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC should be introduced before November. One possibility to consider is that an earlier release schedule for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 probably indicates that we won't see a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2. It also could mean a shorter window of opportunity for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Where this might matter the most is under the hoods of the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5. Last year's models (the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4) were powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. If there is no Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 chipset, will a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC be available in time for the next generation of Sammy's foldables? If the answer is "no," the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 might feature the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC found in the Galaxy S23 line.

This doesn't seem like the end of the world because, after all, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC is a powerful chipset so there is no shame if Samsung's 2023 foldables are powered by the same silicon used by the Galaxy S23 series. But there could be a difference in performance.

Remember, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipsets are produced using a 4nm process node. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 probably would have used the 3nm node which could have resulted in the addition of more transistors inside the chip. And the higher the transistor count, the more powerful and energy-efficient a chipset is.

Based on an alleged Geekbench test, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 scored 1,930 and 6,236 in the single and multi-core tests respectively. That topped the score posted by Apple's current A16 Bionic SoC. It also topped the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2's Geekbench scores of 1,491 for single-core by 29% and 5,164 for multi-core by 20%.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC will feature ARM's new high-performance X-4 CPU core

With a 1+5+2 core configuration, and led by the new high-performance X-4 CPU core developed by ARM, the next top-of-the-line Snapdragon chip will be reportedly 20% more power-efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. That would be an improvement that Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 buyers would love to experience.

But if you ask whether buyers of the 2023 Galaxy foldables will miss out if the devices are launched too early to be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the answer is a resounding "Yes." We do need to point out that this is all conjecture at this point and even considering that the original post came from a tipster with a good track record such as Digital Chat Station, we would await confirmation from Qualcomm or Samsung before we can definitively figure out the silicon that will be driving this year's Galaxy Z foldables.

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Last year's foldables were released by Samsung in late August so if the time frame suggested by Digital Chat Station's social media post is legit, and Qualcomm decides that there is not enough time to produce a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 this year, the bottom line is that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 could end up with a chipset delivering slightly less performance and battery life than what might have been possible. And that might be difficult for those laying out the big bucks for the upcoming Galaxy Z phones to deal with.

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