Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 and Fold5 review – the time to move to foldables is now

90%
  • VERDICT

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5 bring you the future of smartphones today with stunning features, remarkable design and functionality that will suit a variety of users and offer them a completely new way of using a smartphone.

Samsung’s new fifth generation foldable smartphones – the Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 – go on sale this week and there will be many inspired to take their first bold step into the world of foldables.

Samsung, of course, has been leading the way in this growing category and these latest models represent years of development and improvement.

Tech Guide was lucky enough to go into Samsung’s design studio after the launch in Seoul and heard about the design philosophy behind the products.

These units had gone through countless versions before deciding on the versions we see today.

The design team said they wanted a product that was inspirational, functional and that solved a problem for customers. And they’ve achieved that.

And it’s not just about the design but also the materials and colours that turn the product into a thing of beauty.

The Z Flip5 and Z Fold5 are both foldable smartphones but they are aimed at totally different customers.

What they do have in common is the same design language, eye-catching colours and surprising durability.

For a folding device – that’s quite an achievement.

The other huge improvement for the Flip5 and Fold5 is with the hinge.

This has been a work in progress since the first device was introduced back in 2019.

This time out, the hinge mechanism is even smaller and more compact and, for the first time, the devices now fold completely flat.

Previously there was a slight gap close to the hinge which was there to reduce the strain on the screen.

A new waterdrop design can both now reduce that strain while still offering no gap when it’s folded.

This improvement has reduced the thickness of the devices by 2.4mm which is massive in the smartphone world.

There is no doubting the Flip5 and Fold 5’s credentials when it comes to performance – they’re both power houses thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip built just for Galaxy devices.

And being made from armour aluminium you know that despite being foldable devices, they can still take the usual knocks and scrapes from being used every single day.

SAMSUNG Z FLIP5

The product that’s going to steal the Samsung foldable limelight this year is the Flip5 which has seen the most improvement year on year in the line-up.

The biggest change is the new Flex Window which is 3.78 times larger than last year’s front screen.

It nearly takes up the entire front folded face of the phone and offers so much functionality that you can get a lot of things done, receive notifications, while taking control of your media then you can use it in the folder position for extended periods.

Users will also be able to use the Samsung wallet, scan QR codes and take selfies and videos without the need to open the device.

There is no doubting the build quality of the Flip5 – it has that solid feel in your hands and a reassuring thunk when you fold the device shut.

The Flip5 solves the biggest problem smartphones face today where customers are after a large screen but not a large phone.

Typically having a large screen means you’re lugging a large device in your pocket or your bag.

But with the Flip5 you have a glorious 6.2-inch internal display which allows you to use the phone as you would any other regular device but when it’s time to pack up you can literally fold it in half and put a much smaller product in your pocket.

The main screen is clear and bright and you’ll think you’re looking at a regular smartphone display.

The crease could be less prominent, but you’ll soon forget about it when using your apps or watching content on the screen.

The Flex hinge also adds to the product’s versatility because it allows you to position the device so you can easily and more comfortably watch your content or set up your selfies and videos.

One of our favourite features is the ability to activate the shutter for a selfie simply by raising your palm towards the lens. This sets off a three second timer so your selfies will be flawless.

The onboard cameras – a 12 megapixel wide angle and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera – won’t match the quality of the Galaxy S23 or the Z Fold5, but they still take respectable images and videos that you can share instantly on social media platforms.

Even in low light situations Samsung ‘s Nightography sensors offer excellent results when shooting images and videos without much light.

The onboard 3700mAh battery easily got us to the end of the day when we were using this as a daily driver.

Even though we were doing everything on the device including checking emails, using apps and social media, web browsing and consuming content – there was still enough charge to take us well into the night.

SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD5

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 has the same slimmer hinge technology as the Flip5 but it’s a completely different beast to its foldable sibling.

The Fold5 has a 6.2-inch front screen that unfolds to reveal a beautiful 7.6-inch main display.

Design-wise, apart from the slimmer hinge, there really isn’t much difference to last year’s model.

But the 2.4mm saving in thickness is significant enough to attract people to the device who had previously been holding back thinking it was too bulky.

It is now noticeably thinner thanks to the trimmed down hinge and can fit in your pocket even easier.

The Fold5 customer is a high-end user who wants to create and consume content and multitask on the move.

The front screen is useful for most of your needs including calls, messaging and responding to notifications.

The Fold5 has a narrow and tall display, but we would have loved to have seen a slightly wider screen.

For us, the screen wasn’t wide enough to comfortably type and we found ourselves opening the device to complete tasks that we would have preferred to do on the front screen.

Our suggestion to the Samsung design team was adding 5mm of width to the front screen to get us to that tipping point where it was a lot easier to operate.

That added space would also allow the device to accommodate the S Pen to fit inside the chassis rather than having to carry it separately.

We understand that having a wider display would also mean a wider rear panel but it would also give us an even larger internal screen.

This would no doubt add to the cost of the device but if you’re already willing to spend more than $2500 you’d be willing to invest a little more if it offers a huge improvement and easier use.

One impressive improvement with the displays is the increased brightness of up to 1750 nits.

The difference is noticeable and really makes what you’re viewing on the display pop.

This also helps when viewing the device outdoors in direct sunlight, you’ll still able to see quite clearly on both the front and inside screens.

For multitaskers, the inside screen offers plenty of space to run up to three apps at the same time.

Another new feature we liked was the taskbar which allowed us to access the apps we use the most.

We were able to drag the apps onto the main screen and use up to three at the same time.

You don’t miss out on camera quality with the Fold5 thanks to the 50-megapixel wide angle, 10-megapixel telephoto with 3X optical zoom and 12-megapixel ultra-wide cameras on the rear panel.

These join the 10-megapixel front camera and the 4-megapixel under display camera on the main screen.

A favourite feature was the dual preview which allows the subject of your photo to see themselves on your front screen while you are framing them up from the main screen.

And if you have other Galaxy devices, Multi-control lets you use a keyboard and mouse to move across all of them.

For example, you may have the fold five and the Galaxy Tab S9 and able to link a keyboard and mouse to both devices to easily move between them and drag content to and from each device as well.

PRICING

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is priced from $1,649 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 starts at $2,599.

These prices are higher than last year’s starting prices, but the base models now offer 256GB of storage which was actually the price of that variation last year.

VERDICT

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5 bring you the future of smartphones today with stunning features, remarkable design and functionality that will suit a variety of users and offer them a completely new way of using a smartphone.

Featured