Samsung recently launched its fifth-generation foldable smartphones – the Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5. Samsung has made iterative upgrades over the years since the first Galaxy unveiled at MWC 2019.
The Samsung Galaxy Z foldables now come with an improved hinge, better screen, better cameras, faster processors and an overall refined design for both the Z Fold5 and Z Flip5.
Before the Galaxy Z Fold5 and the Z Flip5, all its rivals had zero-gap hinges and that pressure finally got to Samsung. Both phones come with a waterdrop hinge, which means that the Flip5 and Fold5 have a slimmer and flatter design. The new hinge lets the phones close completely.
The two phones share most design choices. They have IPX8 rating which is the highest for water resistance. There’s no dust rating hence the X but the new hinge has brushes to keep the dust off.
The phones feel very sold and premium – the build makes them feel worth the high price Samsung put on them. Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protects both the display and the glass back. Armor Aluminium material is used for the frame that Samsung says provides tougher scratch and drop resistance.
The wider radius water drop hinge locks the phone which makes it have a wider range of angles and smooth friction between angles.
The Fold5 come with a slimmer S Pen(IP68 rated) but the thicker stylus from its immediate predecessor can also work on it.
The screens are relatively brighter at 1750 nits. Samsung says that they included a new shock-absorbing layer beneath the screens to prevent them from cracking over time. The crease is still visible – something its rivals have already solved.
The Fold5 has a 7.6-inch AMOLED main screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, an 1812 by 2176 pixel resolution and HDR10+ support. The cover display is a 6.2-inch AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 904 by 2316 pixel resolution.
The Flip5 has a 6.7-inch AMOLED main screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 1080 by 2640 pixel resolution and HDR10+ support.
The cover display is a 3.4-inch SuperAMOLED screen with a 720 by 748 pixel resolution. It’s bigger than its predecessor’s 1.9-inch cover screen. Samsung is calling it Flex Window. It is stuck at a 60Hz refresh rate when its competitors like the Razr+(Razr 40 Ultra) have 144hz on their cover screens.
The large screen real estate makes the Z Flip5 more usable as you get access to multiple small screen widgets, notifications, a camera viewfinder and some apps(Google Maps, YouTube, Messaging apps).
Full-screen app support is hidden under Samsung’s Good Lock app which is region-locked as I sadly couldn’t access the app – even after sideloading it and going through multiple steps. This is disappointing as these apps should be readily available without going through hoops.
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.
Flex mode panel allows some apps to split their controls to the lower bottom when the phone’s screen is folded halfway. Apps such as YouTibe, Phone, Camera, Gallery, Zoom, Samsung TV Plus, Samsung Free, Samsung Health, and Calendar.
You also get access to a laptop-style touchpad with a cursor and they work just as their PC counterparts – tap to click, pinch to zoom, and scrolling by using two fingers.
Also, while you can quickly reply to texts on the cover screen, you are stuck with a Samsung keyboard even if you use Google’s Gboard on the main screen.
Besides all that, both screens(Z Fold5 and Z Flip5) are really great and get really bright even when you’re out and about.
Always-on Display comes in handy for both cover screens as you can easily see the time, notification icons and battery percentage without the need to wake the screen.
Support for HDR10+ streaming, Widevine L1 certification and its dual stereo speaker setup(bottom and top) make consuming multimedia content more enjoyable on both foldables.
Overall, you are getting your money’s worth when it comes to design and build quality with the Z Fold5 and Z Flip5
The Z Fold5 and Z Flip5 are powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processors for Galaxy paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage(UFS 4.0). The Fold5 has 12GB of RAM with storage options going all the way to 1TB.
Android 13 and OneUI 5.1.1 come baked inside for both with support for up to four major Android OS updates meaning that Android 17 will be its last upgrade. Android 14-powered OneUI 6 is already available for both.
These two phones are no slouches with all that software and hardware combination. Absolute multitasking champs – from gaming to light tasks – their performance won’t be impacted.
OneUI has implemented support for multiple windows really well on the Z Fold5 as you can open several apps in a multi-window view and pin them to the home screen, side panel or taskbar.
Some apps support a two-column view interface such as Gmail as well so you can get things done relatively quickly.
I had no qualms about the performance of the Z Fold5 and Z Flip5. The powerful chipsets in charge, the smooth software support for big screens and the update cycle easily make Samsung’s foldables the ones to pick when you’re looking to switch from the normal slab format of regular smartphones.
Battery life performance on the Z Fold5 and Z Flip5 is pretty impressive as well. Battery capacities are the same as their predecessors – at 4400mAh and 3700mAh for the Fold5 and Flip5 respectively.
I was getting a full day with the Fold5 with heavy use to be left by around 15% by the time you lay to bed. Flip5 struggled a bit to stay up – light use would give me a full day but with mixed-use, you’ll need to top later that day to serve your late-night binge-watching needs.
Both phones support 25W wired charging(the retail box will only include the cable, no charging brick). Wireless charging is supported as well at 15W and 4.5W reverse wireless. the reverse wireless charging comes in handy if you have accessories that charge wirelessly including Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch.
25W is relatively slow as 30 minutes charge only gets you to 50% for the Flip5 and Fold5. To get to full charge, you’ll need an hour and 19 minutes for both of them.
Cameras are still the same as their predecessors. The Z Flip5 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.
The Z Fold5 has 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+.
The front cameras are a 4MP under display in the main screen and a 10MP selfie camera on the outer screen. Video capture is capped at 4K 60fps.
Both phones take impressive photos and videos even in low light as you’ll see below. Pictures and videos come out looking great, with nice colour saturation, sharp and well-detailed. Portraits and selfies also turned out amazing.
Also, video stabilization is available in all modes on all cameras.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Gallery(Link to full-resolution photos below)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 Gallery(Link to full-resolution photos below)
All in all, the new foldables make taking photos and videos more fun thanks to the flex mode which is ultimately the Z Flip5’s goal.
- Full Resolution Photos – Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Photos
- Full Resolution Photos – Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 Photos
Even with rivals tailing from behind, Samsung is still making pragmatic progressions with their foldables that gives them an ever so slightly edge over their competitors. The Z Fold5 and Flip5 still lead the pack but the gap is closing in really quickly on them.
Nevertheless, the two foldables make for great upgrades especially if you’re coming from the older Z Fold3 and Z Flip3.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing starts from Ksh 193,000 for the Z Flip5(256GB) and Ksh 325,000 for the Z Fold5(256GB) available at Samsung Experience Stores and online as well.
The devices come with a manufacturer’s warranty period of 24 months.
Samsung is working with strategic third-party partners like ABSA Kenya, Badili, and Watu Simu to make the phones more accessible through their various device financing plans at Samsung’s Experience Stores.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 FE and Z Fold6 FE
Samsung is switching to its FE strategy not only for the flagship S series(S23 FE) but now for the Z series as well.
It is rumoured that starting next year, the Foldables will see a two-time release – one for the premium flagship versions and a later one for the more affordable FE versions. This means we might see a Galaxy Z Flip6 FE and Z Fold6 FE launch months later.