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

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Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Fold 5

Intro


With the Galaxy S24 Ultra out, the quintessential Samsung flagship experience has been redefined for 2024. Titanium, top camera, and the S Pen make the new Galaxy S24 Ultra the phone to beat in the high-end segment. 

Unmistakably, it resides over there alongside another top Samsung phone, albeit slightly different. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is no longer the most exciting device in Samsung's roster. While it wasn't the sure-fire success that Samsung surely hoped it would be, the foldable still ranks among the best foldable devices you can consider. 

Thus, a comparison is in order! Here's a brief summary of the two devices:


Galaxy S24 Ultra with 512GB is now $181 off on Amazon

The S24 Ultra is at discounted prices on Amazon. You can now save $181 on the model with 512GB of storage. Not all colors arrive at the same discount.

Galaxy S24 Ultra: up to $990 off with a trade-in

You can purchase a fully unlocked Galaxy S24 Ultra via the official Samsung store. The almighty AI genius arrives for up to $750 off with an eligible phone trade-in. You also get double the storage on Samsung for select colors.
$429 99
$1419 99
Buy at Samsung

Galaxy Z Fold 5, 256GB, at Amazon

Right now, Amazon sells the Galaxy Z Fold 5 with 256GB at its standard price. You can save with a trade-in, though.

Galaxy Z Fold 5 (256GB): now up to $540 off with a trade-in

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 with 256GB of storage is available for up to $540 off with a trade-in at the official Samsung store. Right now, no discounts are available without a trade-in.
$1259 99
$1799 99
Buy at Samsung

Design and Size

Significant changes for the Galaxy S24 Ultra might have massive repercussions for the future of Samsung design


First things first: both the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 don't differ too much from their predecessors, at least from a visual standpoint.

With the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Samsung has introduced some massive changes. Gone is the Armor Aluminum frame that was used on the Galaxy S23 Ultra; instead, we have a titanium frame like the one on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. This one surely boosts 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 has also scored 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. Recently, the Galaxy S24 Ultrawas featured in a leaked hands-on video, revealing everything there is to know about the phone. 


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 comes 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 is available in numerous colors:Titanium Yellow, Titanium Violet, Titanium Black, and Titanium Gray; Titanium Orange, Titanium Green, and Titanium Blue exclusive to Samsung.com. . 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, but you might get some exclusive colors at Samsung.com as well. 

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. The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a much brighter screen than before, highly boosting the legibility in bright daylight conditions.
 
Aside from that, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is 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.

Display Measurements:



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 a 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 has an 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 comes 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 carries the "for Galaxy" suffix, meaning it is 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!

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
Single
Higher is better
Geekbench 6
Multi
Higher is better
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better3DMark
Extreme(Low)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra2187
6669
4960
2710
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 52062
5531
3886
2158

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, Samsung offers four years of major Android updates for the Galaxy Z Fold 5, while the Galaxy S24 Ultra offers an industry-leading seven years of software support, which is a major development! 

Camera

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. 

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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. 

There's a chance we could see a bump in the output size of the images from the main camera. The S24 Ultra is expected to output 24MP photos as a default, potentially resulting in better quality images, but also larger ones as well.

When it comes to selfie cameras, the Galaxy S24 Ultra relies 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 is yet another exemplar performer in the area, delivering excellent audio quality out of its stereo speakers. The sound is a little bit richer and more pronounced in comparison with the Galaxy Z Fold 5, so that's how it goes. 

The same applies to the haptic feedback situation. We don't have anything negative to say about Galaxy flagships and their haptic 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 has a battery life than 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. 

What about the Galaxy S24 Ultra? Well, here are our benchmark results. A total domination in favor of the Galaxy S24 Ultra is what we get. 

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra8h 18 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 56h 30 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra20h 6 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 59h 22 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra6h 28 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 59h 27 min

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.

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:


15 MinsHigher is better30 Mins(%)Higher is betterFull Charge(hours)Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra40%
68%
1h 9 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 529%
56%
1h 20 min


PhoneArena Wireless Charging Test Results:


15 Mins WirelessHigher is better30 Mins Wireless(%)Higher is betterFull Charge Wireless(hours)Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra17%
33%
1h 58 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 514%
27%
2h 13 min

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


Wondering about the Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Galaxy Z Fold 5 specs? While preliminary, the specs in the table below broadly outline the differences:


Summary



Overall, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is shaping up to be one of the more important phones to be released in 2024. Seemingly, it has 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 flagship phone. 

Which one should you get? It's the form factor and the camera that carry 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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