Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 And Z Fold5 Hands-On: Refining The Folding Phone Formula
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip5 And Z Fold5: Familiar Folding Phones With A Few Welcome Tweaks
It’s summer time, which means it’s time for new folding phones from Samsung. Today at its Galaxy Unpacked event in Seoul (South Korea), the company unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip5 ($999) and Galaxy Z Fold5 ($1799). But as you’ll soon discover, “new” is a bit of a stretch here. These two handsets are evolutionary in every way – even more so than Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series were back in February. So what’s really new?
Watch our hands-on video for a quick TL;DR answer:
Still with us? Let’s summarize the changes, then. The Z Flip5 and Z Fold5 are the same folding flip- and book-style phones we’ve come to love from Samsung, just slightly refined. You’ll find a larger 3.4-inch cover screen on the Z Flip5, plus new fold-flat hinges (hurray!) and a faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy inside both handsets. There are no significant changes to the displays, cameras, battery sizes, or memory configurations.
Say Hello To The New Galaxy Z Flip5
On the Galaxy Z Flip5, the new cover display is the most significant improvement. This square 3.4-inch (720 x 748 pixels, 306ppi) 60Hz Super AMOLED panel spans almost the entire cover. It comes with thick bezels and a half notch to make room for the dual 12MP shooters. While it’s much bigger than the 1.9-inch cover screen on last year’s Z Flip4, it’s smaller than the 3.6-inch cover display on the Moto Razr+ (2023).
Samsung calls this new cover screen the Flex Window, and – in addition to delivering the same (now larger) camera viewfinder and widget functionality as before – it lets you run some Android apps. For the time being, you have to enable this feature in the settings under Labs, and it only supports “blessed” apps – currently a handful of Google and Samsung apps. But you can also install Samsung’s Good Lock app if you want to run any Android app.
Confusing? Yes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to try this out yet, so you’ll have to wait for our thoughts. Still, Samsung’s curated 2-stage (Labs + Good Lock) approach seems a lot more complicated than what Moto offers with the Razr+ (2023). Speaking of those twin 12MP shooters, they are identical to last year – an f/1.8 1.8-micron main camera with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS, and a f/2.2 1.12-micron 123-degree ultrawide.
Ditto the main display. The Z Flip5 inherits the Z Flip4’s beautiful 6-7-inch FHD+ (2640 x 1080 pixels, 426ppi) LTPO AMOLED panel with a 22:9 aspect ratio, 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, and 1200nits peak brightness. The 3700mAh battery carries over as well, along with the 25W USB-PD wired charging and 15W Qi-compatible wireless charging (plus 4.5W reverse wireless charging). Sadly, there’s still no charger in the box.
Under the hood, the Z Flip5’s SoC has been upgraded to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, a binned 4nm chip, manufactured by TSMC, that’s capable of 3.36GHz peak clock speeds. Memory options are similar to last year, with 8GB of RAM across the board, and either 256 or 512GB of storage, but no microSD support. The 128GB option is gone, so you now get twice the storage for the same $999 – plus WiFi 6e.
Design wise, the big change is with the new fold-flat hinge. There’s no more gap between the two halves of the Z Flip5 when it’s folded, which makes the phone look and feel more premium – more complete. You still get the same Armor Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass Victus surfaces (now Victus 2), and IPX8 water resistance. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the 10MP selfie camera is almost identical to the Z Flip4’s (f/2.2 1.22-micron).
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Closes The Gap
Changes to the Galaxy Z Fold5 are more subtle. It pretty much inherits the Z Fold4’s outer and inner screens. You get a 6.2-inch HD+ (2316 x 904 pixels. 402ppi) LTPO AMOLED cover display with a 23.1:9 aspect ratio and 48-120Hz variable refresh rate, plus a 7.6-inch (2176 x 1812 pixels, 374ppi) LTPO AMOLED main panel with a 21.6:18 aspect ratio, 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, and 1750nits peak brightness (up from 1200nits previously).
The shooters are unchanged, and include a 50MP f/1.8 1.0-micron main camera with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS, 12MP f/2.2 1.12-micron 123-degree ultrawide, 10MP f/2.4 1.0-micron 3x telephoto with PDAF and OIS, 10MP f/2.2 1.22-micron front shooter, and 4MP f/1.8 2-micron under-display selfie camera. That under-screen shooter is still as noticeable as ever, so let’s hope that Samsung switches back to a punch-hole next year.
As for the battery, it’s the same 4400mAh dual-cell setup as last year, with 25W USB-PD wired charging and 15W Qi-compatible wireless charging (with 4.5W reverse wireless charging). Once again, there’s no charger supplied in the box. The Z Fold5 is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy as the Z Flip5, and comes with the same 12GB of RAM and 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options as the Z Fold4 (no microSD).
From a distance, the Z Fold5 and Z Fold4 are difficult to tell apart. While the design is almost identical, there are a couple of obvious differences. First, the new fold-flat hinge means you won’t find a gap between the two halves of the Z Fold5 when it’s closed. As a result, this phone looks and feels more finished than its predecessor. It’s a welcome improvement. Second, the LED flash was moved from the camera pod to the back glass.
Overall, the Z Fold5 features the same tall and narrow form factor, Gorilla Glass Victus surfaces (upgraded to Victus 2), Armor Aluminum frame, and IPX8 water resistance as before. And while the new fold flat hinge makes this handset noticeably less bulky when folded than before, it’s still nowhere as thin as Google’s Pixel Fold, Xiaomi's Mi Fold 2, or Honor's Magic V2. Maybe Samsung will surprise us with thinner folding phones next year?
Pre-orders for the Galaxy Z series start today and ship August 11. Both devices are available from Samsung, major retailers, and carriers. The Galaxy Z Flip5 ($999 and up) comes in Mint, Graphite, Cream, and Lavender – with Blue, Gray, Green, and Yellow being available only from Samsung. The Galaxy Z Fold5 ($1799 and up) comes in Icy Blue, Phantom Black, and Cream – with Blue and Gray available only from Samsung.