Samsung’s shiny new foldables are finally here – the Z Flip5 and Z Fold 5. They come with slight design changes. We checked both of them during the Kenyan launch on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Here are our hands-on and first-look reviews.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 and Z Fold5
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 and Z Fold5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5

Samsung gave the Z Flip 5 the most attention during the presentation and for good reason – it now has a large cover screen which makes it more usable in comparison to other clamshell-style foldable.

Right from picking it up, the phone screams and feels premium with its glossy glass back protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and Armor aluminium frame that Samsung says sports even tougher scratch and drop resistance.

The Z Flip5 comes with an IPX8 water resistance rating.

It has the same weight as the Z Flip4 but it is now thinner by 2mm thanks to the new Flex Hinge. The new hinge now allows the phone to shut completely when folded – something its rivals already do.

The tiny 1.9-inch cover display gets upgraded to a large 3.4-inch outer screen in what Samsung is calling Flex Window. This is a 720p(60Hz) Super AMOLED screen protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 Cover Screen
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 Cover Screen

The inner display is a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen rocking a 120Hz refresh rate and 1200 nits peak brightness. It is also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

Both screens are relatively bright even when outdoors where we tested them. So you’ll have no issue using the phone when you’re out and about.

This means you can use the cover display for most of your tasks. Besides showing native widgets, quick settings, and notifications – you now have access to the keyboard for quick replies. Google partnered with Samsung to optimize its apps such as Maps for use on the cover screen.

Very few apps can use this aspect ratio and are usable as widgets when you add them to the cover display. Pin to Zoom feature allows you to view your widgets in a grid.

Samsung powers the Z Flip 5 with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processors for Galaxy paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage(UFS 4.0). It comes with Android 13 and One UI 5.1.1 upgradeable to up to four years of major OS updates.

The Z Flip 5 comes with the same dual 12MP sensors – a wide with OIS and an ultrawide with the ability to shoot 4K video at 60fps. The front-facing camera is a 10MP selfie camera with the ability to shoot 4K 30fps video.

As usual, you get really sharp and detailed photos with a nice dynamic range. In comparison, it took saturated photos that you can post directly to Instagram with no edits.

Selfies and portraits look good as well.

The Flex Window allows you to see live previews on the cover screen for hands-free shots. Your subjects can also view themselves on the screen when you take a picture or a video of them.

To keep lights up in the Z Flip 5 is a 3700mAH battery that supports 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. It can also do 4.5W reverse wireless charging.

Our test unit came in Graphite but you can pick yours in Lavander in Kenya.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

While all the attention has been drawn to the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5, I was drawn more to the Z Fold5. I want more screen real estate!!

The Z Fold5 didn’t get major changes apart from the new Flex Hinge. It is now lighter with the same premium feel as the Z Flip5 sporting a glass front and glass back protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and Armor aluminum frame.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Hinge
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Hinge

It is rated IPX8 for water resistance.

The cover display is a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support. The inner display is a 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen with similar features. It is even brighter than its predecessors at 1750 nits compared to 1000 nits of the Z Fold4. The inner display supports the S Pen which is IP68 rated.

The crease is still present but less distracting.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Unfolded
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Unfolded

Like the Z Flip5, the Z Fold5’s screen is still readable outdoors under the sun. At 1750 nits it is the brightest coming close to the iPhone 14 Pro Max 2000 nits.

It has the same processor as the Z Flip5 and the S23 series – the slightly overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor and 12GB of RAM with UFS 4.0 storage options starting from 256GB, 512GB and 1TB.

Android 13 and OneUI 5.1.1 come baked inside. It comes with up to four major Android OS updates meaning that Android 17 will be its last upgrade. It is scheduled for Android 14 later this year.

For optics, we have five cameras. The main triple setup of a 50MP with OIS, 12MP Ultrawide and 12MP telephoto with OIS and 3x optical zoom. Video capture is capped at 8K 24fps and 4k 60fps with support for HD10+.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Cameras
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Cameras

The front cameras are a 4MP underdisplay in the main screen and a 10MP selfie camera in the outer screen. Video capture is capped at 4K 60fps.

You get the same Samsung quality photos – slightly oversaturated which some of you will love to share on Instagram posts and stories. Portraits and selfies come out looking really good. The under-display camera is still inferior but usable.

The cover screen continues to let you take selfies with the superior 50MP main as you can see the live preview on it.

The battery capacity is the same as last year’s – sitting at 4400mAh battery with support for 25W charging. It also has 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging.

Our test unit came in Phantom Black. Other colour options include Icy Blue and Gray Blue.

Pre-order and Availability Details

Pricing starts from Ksh 193,000 for the Z Flip5(256GB) and Ksh 325,000 for the Z Fold5(256GB).

Samsung has opened pre-orders for the new devices starting today and each pre-order gets a bundle that includes a Watch 5 for the Fold5 and Buds 2 for the Flip5.

You can buy them at Samsung’s experience stores, official retail stores, their brandcart store and partner e-commerce sites.

ABSA Credit Card holders can pay for the new gadgets thanks to the bank’s partnership with Samsung. the payments can be done in 3 monthly instalments, 6 months or 12 months installments. This financing plan is available at Samsung Experience stores.

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George Kamau
I brunch on consumer tech | first.last at techweez dot com