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5 reasons not to upgrade your Galaxy Z Flip 5 to the Z Flip 6

Opinion
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Last updated: June 14th, 2024 at 13:52 UTC+02:00

I love the Galaxy Z Flip 5. I think it's one of the best phones that Samsung has ever made. It's beautifully designed, has a very solid build quality, respectable specifications, and is sufficiently durable. The device does have a few shortcomings, but it's as close to a complete clamshell foldable phone as one could ask for.

With the launch of the Galaxy Flip 6 just around the corner, many Galaxy Z Flip 5 owners like me will be faced with the choice of whether they're going to upgrade to the latest model. In my humble opinion there are a few reasons, five to be precise, why upgrading to the Galaxy Z Flip 6 may not be a no-brainer.

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It's got more power than I need

Yes, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 is going to come with the brand spanking new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset with improvements in performance and power efficiency, but the difference isn't going to be night and day. It rarely is these days. The technology has advanced so much in recent years that every new generation of a chipset brings iterative improvements, we don't get massive jumps in performance and efficiency like we used to in the past.

I've used both the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy S24 Ultra, which features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, side-by-side and there's really no noticeable difference in performance unless you push the device really hard through some heavy games, and even then the difference is negligible as best. There can't be a fair comparison for battery life since the Ultra has a much larger battery.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has ample muscle to power all of the apps and games that most users will need to run on a daily basis. It handles all of my social media, content consumption, content creation, communications, and more without breaking a sweat. The power that it has will be power than enough to get me through another year without making it feel like my phone is getting bogged down when I ask it to do what I need it to do.

There's no Galaxy AI handicap

Introduced this year with the Galaxy S24 series, Galaxy AI will be integral to the Samsung smartphone experience going forward. One reason to consider an upgrade would be to get Galaxy AI features, but the Galaxy Z Flip 5 already has all of them. If any new features are introduced alongside new foldables next month they'll likely be released through an update for the 2023 models as well.

It's unlikely that Samsung will limit the availability of new Galaxy AI features to the immediately preceding generation of devices. On the contrary, it has been rather generous with its expansion of support for Galaxy AI. You'll remember how Galaxy AI was released for more than 100 million devices this year, including some features for the Galaxy S22 models from 2022, and that will likely be its approach going forward.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 isn't going to be handicapped for Galaxy AI at least for another year. Samsung will probably keep any major Galaxy AI upgrades for the Galaxy S25 series anyway and even when they do arrive, there's a good chance that we'll get all of those upgrades on the Flip 5.

I'm not worried about durability

Samsung has done an incredible job of improving the durability of its foldable devices in the past few years. These devices have been water-resistant for a few years now, the hinge mechanism is more durable than ever before, and the display substrate has become tougher over time, thereby reducing many of the durability concerns people had with the device.

I've owned the Galaxy Z Flip 5 since it came out last year. It's been my daily driver since then. It has suffered falls, drops, bumps, splashes, scratches, and more with incredible resilience. There are no lingering doubts about durability in my mind, so I'm not rushing to get rid of the device before something breaks for good and then I'm unable to get a good trade-in value.

In the absence of any such consideration whereby I don't have to limit any potential downside in case something goes wrong with the device and I'm unable to sell it for a good price, I really don't feel any urgency in getting rid of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 as long as it's capable of doing everything that I need it to do.

The camera upgrade I need isn't there

Samsung has never intended its foldable phones to be true camera phones. Yes, they're good enough, but if you want the best cameras you'll need to buy the Galaxy S Ultra models. With that being said, there's one obvious shortcoming with the clamshell foldable's camera setup that I had hoped Samsung would rectify with the new model, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

There's no dedicated zoom camera on these devices and while I had hoped that the Galaxy Z Flip 6 would finally get a telephoto lens, reports have suggested that it won't. Samsung is going to add an upgraded 50-megapixel primary sensor but that will be the extent of the camera upgrade. I would have gone for the device without a second thought if it had a zoom camera but without it, I can live with the negligible difference that the otherwise regular camera upgrades will bring.

It's likely going to be more expensive

Reports about the Galaxy Z Flip 6 pricing have revealed that there's going to be a $100 increase, with the base model starting at $1,099. All previous Galaxy Z Flip base models have started at $999, making this Samsung's most expensive clamshell foldable yet, if the price hike rumors turn out to be true.

Again, there's not much to justify this price increase, particularly when you consider how closely matched the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is to the new device. Yes, there are some minor improvements and new chipsets, but the extent of the improvements is very limited and not enough to spend the extra money.

This price hike will likely contribute to a wider gap between the trade-in values as well, since I don't anticipate Samsung or third-parties providing a much higher trade-in value for the Galaxy Z Flip 5, meaning that upgrading will require more money out of pocket.

We know the cyclical nature of Samsung's upgrades. Galaxy Z Flip 5 brought major upgrades with the cover display size, camera and durability improvements. The Galaxy Z Flip 6 was always going to be an iterative model as Samsung would save up the good stuff for next year's model. Here's hoping the Galaxy Z Flip 7 gives us all the reasons we need to make the upgrade.

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