Samsung has announced a new version of its folding phone – the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. The new model is simply called the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, which is a major giveaway when it comes to the changes in this phone.
But what else has changed? We’ll quickly run you through the details.
What’s the same?
Before we point out the differences, let’s cover off what’s stayed the same. Because this is essentially the same phone, we’ll just give you a quick bullet list of all the things that are identical:
- Design – both the same size, shape and measurements
- Display – both have the same 6.7-inch, 2636 x 1080 pixels, 425ppi, 21.9:9 display
- Camera – same 12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP selfie cameras
In most areas you can see that this phone is the same in many ways. On the spec sheet, Samsung does say that the 5G version is 17.4mm thick in the hinge whereas the LTE version is 17.3mm thick, although we think that’s just how it was measured.
So what’s different?
Of course there are colour differences with the new model coming in Mystic Bronze and Mystic Grey, while the original comes in Mirror Purple, Mirror Black and Mirror Gold, with the new phone finish designed to reduce fingerprints. The new phone looks better, it’s as simple as that.
Hardware and performance
- Z Flip 5G: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus, 8/256GB, 3300mAh
- Z Flip: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus, 8/256GB, 4G, 3300mAh
Getting to the meat of the changes, the new Z Flip 5G makes a change to the platform that powers the phone. It moves to the Snapdragon 865 Plus, the latest version of Qualcomm’s hardware.
That’s effectively two version up over the previous model of Z Flip, which had the 2019 Snapdragon 855 Plus. While all these platforms are flagship grade, there’s now more power in this phone.
The change is likely to have come in because the Snapdragon 865 is better optimised for 5G according to Qualcomm, but it also brings with it more power across the device, with more powerful graphics processors, for example.
- Z Flip 5G: 5G
- Z Flip: LTE
As the name dictates, the move to 5G means that the new model is compatible with 5G networks which the original phone isn’t. That doesn’t mean that the new model doesn’t support those LTE bands, in means it expands coverage giving you increased connectivity.
That also means that you’ll be able to access data much faster on the new model, assuming that you have access to faster networks. There’s also support for Wi-Fi 6 in the new model that’s not in the original – although according the spec sheet, there’s no longer support for ANT+ in the new model. That’s only going to bother you if you’re planning to connect something like a heart rate monitor using that format.
- Z Flip 5G: $1449.99/£TBC
- Z Flip: $1379.99/£1300
The price difference between these phones is minimal, only accounting for $70 in the US. Full pricing is yet to be revealed, with the new model not due on sale until 7 August.
Of course, the price you pay will very much depend on how you buy the phone and it might be that in some case a 5G tariff will make the phone seem more expensive than the LTE version.
Cutting through these minor changes, the decision is really whether you want 5G or not. There’s a core hardware change in the 5G phone that will mean it’s faster, but speed isn’t a limitation of the original handset.
The limitation that this phone experiences is in the size of the external display – because it’s only really good for notifications – and that the camera performance doesn’t quite match this phone’s lofty price. Neither of those things will change in the new model.
So, on first appearance, this is very much about connectivity and little else. The internal hardware change will bring things up to date, but we can’t see that’s going to change the experience to a huge degree. If you’re after the Z Flip and don’t see the need for 5G, the original model will probably serve you just as well.