Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: The best foldable phone yet

Samsung has been leading the foldable phone market with its innovative and premium devices. The latest addition to its Z series is the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which offers a refined design, a larger cover screen, and improved performance. Is this the foldable phone you should buy in 2023? Here’s our review.

Design and build: Sleek and sturdy

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 retains the clamshell form factor of its predecessor, but with some notable improvements. The phone is made of Armor Aluminum, which Samsung claims is more durable and scratch-resistant than before. It also has an IPX8 rating for water resistance, which is a first for a foldable phone.

The phone has a glossy glass back that comes in four colors: Cream, Graphite, Lavender, and Mint. You can also get some exclusive colors like Blue, Gray, and Green from Samsung’s website. The phone looks elegant and premium, but it can also attract fingerprints and smudges easily.

The main attraction of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is its 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, which folds in half with a hinge mechanism. The display has a full-HD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support, and a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera. The display is bright, sharp, and smooth, and it supports Flex mode, which lets you use the top and bottom halves of the screen separately for different tasks.

The biggest upgrade on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the cover screen, which is now 3.4 inches in size, compared to the tiny 1.1-inch screen on the previous model. The cover screen lets you view notifications, control music playback, check the weather, take selfies, and even use some apps like YouTube and Google Maps without opening the phone. You can also customize the cover screen with widgets and wallpapers.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that doubles as a power button, a volume rocker on the right side, a USB-C port and a speaker grille on the bottom, and a SIM tray on the top. There is no headphone jack or microSD card slot on this phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: The best foldable phone yet

Performance and battery: Smooth and fast

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is a custom-made processor for Samsung’s foldable phones. The chipset is based on a 4nm process and has an octa-core CPU and an Adreno 740 GPU. The phone also has 8GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of internal storage.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 delivers smooth and fast performance in everyday tasks as well as gaming. The phone can handle multitasking, web browsing, social media, video streaming, and photo editing without any lag or stutter. The phone also supports 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and Samsung Pay.

The battery life of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is decent but not exceptional. The phone has a 3,700mAh battery that supports 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. The phone can last for a full day of moderate use on a single charge, but heavy users may need to top up before the end of the day. The wired charging speed is also not very impressive compared to other flagships.

Cameras: Good but not great

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a dual-camera setup on the back, consisting of a 12MP main camera with an f/1.8 aperture, dual-pixel autofocus, optical image stabilization (OIS), and HDR10+ video recording; and a 12MP ultra-wide camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 123-degree field of view. On the front, there is a 10MP selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture.

The cameras on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 are good but not great. They can capture decent photos in good lighting conditions, with accurate colors, sharp details, and balanced exposure. However, they struggle in low-light situations, producing noisy and blurry images. The ultra-wide camera also suffers from distortion and softness at the edges.

The selfie camera is adequate for casual selfies and video calls, but it lacks autofocus and portrait mode. You can also use the cover screen as a viewfinder to take selfies with the rear cameras, which offer better quality and more options.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 can record videos up to 4K resolution at 60fps with both the rear and front cameras. The videos are smooth and stable thanks to OIS and electronic image stabilization (EIS). However, they lack dynamic range and detail compared to other flagships.

Software: One UI 5.1.1

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 runs on One UI 5.1.1 based on Android 13, which is Samsung’s custom skin for its devices. One UI 5.1.1 offers a clean and intuitive user interface, with various features and customizations to enhance the foldable experience.

Some of the features include Flex mode, which lets you use the top and bottom halves of the screen separately for different apps; Multi-Active Window, which lets you open up to three apps simultaneously on the main screen; App Continuity, which lets you switch between the cover screen and the main screen seamlessly; and Cover Screen Mirroring, which lets you mirror the main screen on the cover screen.

One UI 5.1.1 also comes with Samsung’s own apps and services, such as Bixby, Samsung Health, Samsung Notes, Samsung DeX, and more. You can also access Google’s apps and services, such as Google Assistant, Google Photos, Google Maps, and more.

Verdict: The best foldable phone yet

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the best foldable phone yet from Samsung, and arguably from any other brand. It offers a sleek and sturdy design, a larger and more useful cover screen, a smooth and vibrant main screen, a powerful performance, and a decent battery life. It also has water resistance, wireless charging, and 5G support.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is not perfect, though. It has mediocre cameras, average battery life, no dust resistance, no headphone jack, no microSD card slot, and a high price tag. It also faces competition from other foldable phones, such as the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra and the OPPO Find X Fold.

However, if you are looking for a foldable phone that can fit in your pocket and offer a unique and versatile experience, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the one to get.

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