Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Which should you buy?

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 enjoyed a few years as the go-to book-style foldable phone in the US. Unless you were willing to import a competitor from China and work around certain limitations, it was your only option. Now, Google’s long-awaited rival is here. The Pixel Fold is an enticing option for anyone who wants to reach outside of One UI while still having access to US-based apps and services, but is it the foldable for you? Let’s compare the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold to see which one you should buy.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: At a glance

  • Both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold are expensive. You’ll pay $1,799 for either device with 256GB of storage, while the 512GB upgrade will set you back $1,919.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 supports faster wired charging than the Pixel Fold, topping out at 25W to Google’s 21W, but neither foldable comes with a charger in the box.
  • It’s tough to compare the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold cameras as they take opposite approaches. Samsung’s trio of sensors offers plenty of flexibility and manual control, while the Pixel Fold’s setup lets the Tensor G2 do much of the heavy lifting.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a bit more powerful than the Google Pixel Fold, at least on paper. Its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy put up better benchmarking numbers in our testing, though the Pixel Fold’s Tensor G2 is all about machine learning and using AI to make life easier.
  • Both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold pack 7.6-inch internal displays, though Google’s panel has a slightly higher resolution. The main difference is whether you prefer a taller (Samsung) or a wider (Google) aspect ratio.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Google Pixel Fold

Displays

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Exterior:
– 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate
– 2,316 x 904 resolution
– 23.1:9 aspect ratio
– Gorilla Glass Victus 2

Interior:
– 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate (LTPO)
– 2,176 x 1,812 resolution
– Ultra Thin Glass

Google Pixel Fold

Exterior:
– 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate
– 2,092 x 1,080
– 408ppi
– 17.4:9 aspect ratio
– Gorilla Glass Victus cover
– Up to 1,550 nits brightness
– HDR support

Interior:
– 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate
– 2,208 x 1,840
– 380ppi
– 6:5 aspect ratio
– Ultra-thin glass cover with plastic protection
– Up to 1,450 nits brightness
– HDR support

Processor

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy

Google Pixel Fold

Tensor G2
Titan M2 security coprocessor

RAM

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

12GB

Google Pixel Fold

12GB LPDDR5

Storage

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

256GB, 512GB, or 1TB
No expandable storage

Google Pixel Fold

256GB or 512GB UFS 3.1 storage

Power

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

4,400mAh dual-battery
25W wired charging
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
No charger in box

Google Pixel Fold

4,821mAh
~21W wired charging
7.5W wireless charging
No charger in box

Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Exterior rear:
– 50MP wide, 1.0μm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF, ƒ/1.8
– 12MP ultra-wide, 1.12μm, ƒ/2.2
– 10MP telephoto, 1.0μm, OIS, 3x zoom (30x digital), ƒ/2.4

Exterior front:
– 10MP ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm

Internal UDC:
– 4MP, 2.0μm, ƒ/1.8

Google Pixel Fold

Rear:
– 48MP wide main sensor (ƒ/1.7, 1/2-inch sensor, 0.8μm, 82° FoV, OIS, CLAF)
– 10.8MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.2, 1/3-inch sensor, 1.25μm, 121.1° FoV, Lens correction)
– 10.8MP telephoto (ƒ/3.05, 1/3.1-inch sensor, 1.22μm, 21.9° FoV, 5x optical zoom)

Front:
– 9.5MP wide (ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm, 84° FoV, Fixed focus)

Internal:
– 8MP wide (ƒ/2.0, 1.12μm, 84° FoV, Fixed focus)

Audio

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

No 3.5mm headphone port

Google Pixel Fold

Spatial audio support
Stereo speakers
Triple-microphone

SIM

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Dual nano-SIM tray
eSIM support

Google Pixel Fold

Nano-SIM tray
eSIM support

Biometrics

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor

Google Pixel Fold

Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor
Face unlock (cover screen only)

Software

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Android 13
One UI 5.1.1

Google Pixel Fold

Android 13

Dimensions and weight

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Folded dimensions:
– 154.94 x 67 x 13.4mm

Unfolded dimensions:
– 154.94 x 129.8 x 6mm

Weight:
– 253g

Google Pixel Fold

Folded:
– 139.7 x 79.5 x 12.1mm

Unfolded:
– 139.7 x 158.7 x 5.8mm

Weight:
– 283g

Colors

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Global: Cream, Icy Blue, Phantom Black

Samsung Exclusive: Gray, Blue

Google Pixel Fold

Obsidian
Porcelain

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold show how differently two companies can approach one central idea. Both are book-style folding Android phones, but they’re as different under the hood as the Pixel 7 Pro and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Where Google prefers to keep things in-house and let its powerful assistant be your guide, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 gives you granular control over every little setting.

Google’s second-generation Tensor G2 chipset is the heart of all things Pixel Fold, offering slightly better thermal management and overall performance than the original Tensor. It’s backed by a solid 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage, which should be plenty for most users, given the lack of a microSD slot. On the other hand, Samsung stuck with its overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy — the same slightly modified chipset introduced with the Galaxy S23 series. Samsung’s foldable also comes with 12GB of RAM and the same storage options, though you can bump up to a full 1TB for an extra cost.

What the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold have in common — or at least almost share — is their durability. Samsung gets a slight edge for its combination of Armor Aluminum and Gorilla Glass Victus 2 to the Pixel Fold’s multi-alloy steel frame and Gorilla Glass Victus. Both devices also have IPX8 ratings, so water shouldn’t be an issue, but you’ll want to stay away from dust.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Size comparison

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold closed

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

Left: Galaxy Z Fold 5, Right: Pixel Fold

We dug into some key differences between the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold above, but if you need a size comparison, you can think of the two as Mario and Luigi. One is short and stout, while the other is tall and thin. We’re not talking about a millimeter’s difference, either — the size differences are clear as day.

Google’s Pixel Fold — the Mario in our scenario — offers a wider 5.8-inch cover display that’s comfortable to hold with one hand and could easily be used as a standalone device. It’s the more pocketable device, measuring just 79.5mm wide and 139.7mm tall when closed. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 — our Luigi — uses its slender 6.2-inch cover display in service of the larger inner panel. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is significantly taller at 154.9mm but slimmer at just 67.1mm wide.

Choose your fighter: Short and stout or tall and thin.

When you open either book-style foldable, you get a premium reminder that not all 7.6-inch displays are created equal. While both foldables offer the same amount of real estate, Samsung opts for a taller, portrait-oriented panel, whereas the Pixel Fold has a wider, almost passport-shaped aspect ratio. This means the Pixel Fold opts for landscape-oriented apps, though you can rotate it 90 degrees to get the portrait experience. The Pixel Fold remains just 139.7mm tall when opened but balloons to 158.7mm wide. By comparison, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 jumps to 129.9mm wide.

Regardless of size, both internal OLED displays pack 120Hz refresh rates, as do both cover screens. However, Google has a slight advantage in terms of resolution, with its 2,208 x 1,840 panel offering just a few more pixels per inch than Samsung’s 2,176 x 1,812 option.

It’s not a size comparison, but it’s worth mentioning that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold come with two very different sets of color options. Google keeps things pretty simple with either Obsidian or Porcelain, while Samsung has both exclusive and widely available colors. Samsung’s exclusive colors include Gray and Blue, while you can get the Galaxy Z Fold 5 in Cream, Icy Blue, and Phantom Black from carriers and third-party retailers like Best Buy.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Camera

Google Pixel Fold vs Galaxy Z Fold 5

Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Sticking with our theme of opposites attracting, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold’s camera setups are as different as possible. For example, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 packs an identical trio of sensors to Samsung’s traditional flagships, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus. That means you get a 50MP primary sensor backed by 10MP telephoto and 12MP ultrawide snappers. On the other hand, Google opted for a completely unique grouping, pairing a 48MP primary camera with 10.8MP telephoto and ultrawide sensors that don’t appear on any other Pixel device right now.

The software experiences are opposites, too, with Samsung offering in-depth manual controls and the ability to download its Expert RAW app. Essentially, Samsung’s approach gives you more ability to fine-tune your image before you tap the shutter button, relying less on post-processing (though there is some, of course). The Galaxy Z Fold 5 also has one camera that Google hasn’t bothered to match — the 4MP under-display selfie shooter. It’s not a lens you’ll probably use to capture memories, but it’s good enough for video calls, and the effect of not having a visible camera on the internal display is nice.

Would you rather have manual controls or next-level processing?

Over on the Pixel Fold, it’s time to let the Tensor G2 do some heavy lifting. Google is happy to let you choose your lens and shooting mode — such as Night Sight or Motion Mode — but you won’t be able to adjust the white balance, ISO, or much else. Instead, you can tap the shutter button and let Google do the rest, such as unblur your image, check for accurate skin tones, and add a long exposure effect. Google’s 8MP internal selfie camera is ever-present in the top bezel, but the quality easily tops Samsung’s hidden sensor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold closed comparison

Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

Top: Pixel Fold, Bottom: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Charging isn’t typically a strength of foldable phones. Split batteries and hinged hardware make cramming the latest and greatest speeds under the hood challenging. Those same size limitations usually mean that foldable phones have smaller batteries than their slab counterparts, too, but the gap is slowly shrinking. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 has an identical 4,400mAh battery to its predecessor, while the Google Pixel Fold punches a bit higher with a 4,821mAh cell.

Despite its larger battery, the Pixel Fold doesn’t run circles around its Galaxy rival regarding battery life. You should be able to push just beyond a day of use with either foldable, but you’ll almost always have to reach for a charger every day and a quarter or so. We managed decent screen-on time with both devices with pretty mixed usage, so there won’t be any issues if you’re just after some extra real estate to stream Netflix or browse social media.

No matter which foldable you choose, the battery will eventually run out. When it does, Samsung has the edge in getting you back up and running. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a slightly smaller battery, but it offers quicker 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging, the former of which lags well behind Samsung’s traditional flagships with their 45W charging. Google’s Pixel Fold, on the other hand, boasts the best charging speeds with Google’s 30W charger — though those speeds top out at around 21W. The Pixel Fold’s wireless clip isn’t excellent, either, only reaching 7.5W. Neither foldable comes with a charger, so you’ll probably have to shell out a few bucks to pick up a compatible USB PD PPS-enabled one to hit top speeds.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Price

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Starts at $1,799

Google Pixel Fold: Starts at $1,799

If there’s one thing that won’t set the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold apart, it’s the price. Both book-style foldables are expensive, costing closer to a high-end laptop than a premium smartphone. You can expect to shell out around $1,800 for the base model of either foldable, with the 512GB storage upgrade costing just over $1,900 from both Google and Samsung. If you need the absolute most onboard storage, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes in a 1TB configuration, though it’ll push you past the $2,000 mark.

Perhaps the best way to narrow your pricing options is to trade your current device to Google or Samsung. Right now, Google is offering somewhere in the neighborhood of $620 in credit for top-end trade-ins, while Samsung will give you a cool $1,000 for certain devices. Samsung will also give you a free storage upgrade, bumping from 256GB to 512GB for no extra money. That said, you may have better luck trading your device to a carrier for a little extra cash.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold: Which should you buy?

Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5 in black

Damien Wilde / Android Authority

Choosing between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs the Google Pixel Fold might come down to which software experience you prefer. If you’re a One UI diehard, the customization and multitasking of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will be right up your alley, while Pixel users will gravitate toward the comfort and familiarity of Google’s Pixel UI on the Pixel Fold. You’ll also have to consider whether you want your internal layout to match your external one or prefer two custom experiences. Samsung will let you set up both panels differently, while Google bonds the two together, sharing one wallpaper and one layout for apps and widgets.

Would you rather buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 or the Google Pixel Fold?

0 votes

If you want to base your decision on the sections above, the most important factor might be the size. Google’s smaller, wider cover screen is more comfortable to use day-to-day, but Samsung’s taller design is a bit more forgiving when it comes to app layouts. Both devices offer similar battery life, identical prices, and excellent cameras, you just have to narrow down the finer points. We’re still split as to which foldable we prefer — the Google Pixel Fold and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 are floating around in our team’s pockets. If you’re still not sure which book-style foldable you prefer, it might be time to read more in either our Google Pixel Fold review or our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review.

Thankfully, it’s not up to us to choose between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Google Pixel Fold; it’s up to you. Let us know which one you’d rather buy in the poll below, and then check out the current deals on both phones.

See price at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

New hinge finally folds flat
Bright, vibrant displays
Powerful multitasking features

See price at Amazon

Google Pixel Fold

Google Pixel Fold

Excellent cameras
Comfortable displays
Pixel-exclusive features

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Google Pixel Fold FAQs

No, neither the Galaxy Z Fold 5 nor the Pixel Fold come with a pen, but you can get a Galaxy Z Fold 5 case with an S Pen slot.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold offer IPX8 ratings. They aren’t truly waterproof, but both can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes.

Yes, both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold have visible creases in the middle of their displays.

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold have single nano-SIM slots, and both support dual-SIM via eSIM.

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold come with screen protectors that you should not remove for any reason.

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