Two $1,799 foldable phones were tested, and one emerged as the clear winner due to its basic specification.

Two $1,799 foldable phones were tested, and one emerged as the clear winner due to its basic specification.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

2023 is truly the year of foldable phones. With the introduction of the Motorola Razor Plus, Samsung’s two Galaxy Z models, Google’s Pixel Fold, and the upcoming OnePlus Open (Fold?), consumers now have an abundance of options to choose from. However, if you’re looking for performance and power, there are two models that stand out: the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold. Both priced at $1,799, these devices transform into 7.6-inch mini-tablets when unfolded and showcase the best offerings from their respective manufacturers in a foldable form factor.

For me, these two foldables have been my constant companions throughout the summer. From June to August, I relied on the Pixel Fold as my daily driver, while the Galaxy Z Fold 5 took over in the past month thanks to AT&T. After extensively testing both devices, there is one aspect that makes the Galaxy Z Fold 5 stand out as the clear favorite for me, and I believe many others would feel the same.

If you’ve ever held a foldable phone before, particularly the phone-to-tablet style ones, your first impressions may have involved excitement about the design, curiosity about how to use it, and perhaps even a sense of awe at its weight. It’s a common sentiment every year when I showcase the latest models at the dinner table, and it was especially true with the Pixel Fold.

Weighing in at 283 grams, the Pixel Fold is noticeably heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, which comes in at 252 grams, and even heavier than Apple’s latest iPhone Pro Max model, which weighs 240 grams. Now, some basic math tells you that the weight difference between these devices isn’t substantial, so what’s the big deal?

Well, from my years of using foldable phones, I’ve learned that hand feel is often overlooked in the user experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the multitasking features and immersive viewing of a pocketable tablet, but at the end of the day, these are gadgets we hold for hours on end.

As you lift the device to scan a map, read the news on the subway, or watch videos at night, the tension and stress placed on your wrist by a heavier device becomes increasingly noticeable, and I haven’t even touched on the potential long-term effects.

Having performed all of the above tasks with both the Pixel Fold and Galaxy Z Fold 5, I can confidently say that if you value a comfortable mobile experience, the latter is the way to go. In fact, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the first big-screen foldable that didn’t elicit a “Wow, this is heavy!” remark when passed around the dinner table. That was the moment I knew Samsung had something special this year.

Perhaps it’s the improved hinge design or the use of lighter yet still durable materials, but the difference in hand feel between the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold is night and day. This alone makes the $1,799 Galaxy Z Fold 5 the foldable I would recommend to shoppers right now. When you decide to invest in a foldable phone, it’s crucial to ensure that hand fatigue won’t deter you from fully enjoying the device.