Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review: A Flipping Good Upgrade

In the ever-evolving world of smartphones, Samsung is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of innovation. With the release of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung continues its foray into the world of foldable devices.

Building upon the successes of its predecessors, this new iteration boasts several notable improvements, but the question remains: are these enhancements enough to solidify its position in the competitive smartphone market?

Cover Display and Flex Window

Foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 5 offer a unique take on smartphone design, allowing for a collapsible form factor that transitions from a standard smartphone to a compact square clamshell. One of the most significant improvements in the Z Flip 5 is its cover display, referred to as the “flex window.” Unlike its predecessors, this year’s model features a larger 3.4-inch OLED display that fills almost the entire top surface of the folded phone, with a cutout for the front-facing cameras.

This expanded cover display brings a breath of fresh air to the foldable design. With a pixel density of 306 PPI and a 60Hz refresh rate, it offers a significant upgrade over the Galaxy Z Flip 4‘s 1.9-inch cover screen. The flex window is highly customizable, allowing users to access notifications, quick settings, and even respond to texts without unfolding the phone. Furthermore, its larger size enhances its role as a viewfinder for taking selfies with the main cameras.

Functionality and App Support

Samsung has made strides in improving the utility of the flex window. While the Motorola Razer 40 Ultra’s cover display focused on Android app compatibility, the Z Flip 5 prioritizes widgets for its secondary screen. A variety of widgets, such as a calendar, weather information, and a compass, can be easily accessed and customized. Additionally, the option to run select Android apps on the flex window is available, although the process might be a bit cumbersome and not all apps are compatible.

To unlock extended app functionality, users can delve into Samsung’s ecosystem and enable features like the launcher widget through the Good Lock app. This potentially opens up the door for a wider range of apps and games, albeit with some effort and compatibility considerations.

Design and Build Quality

The design of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 retains familiarity, but Samsung emphasizes its eco-friendliness by incorporating more recycled materials. The cover panels are fortified with Gorilla Glass Victus, lending durability to the device. Its aluminum hinge, now featuring a dual rail structure, ensures enhanced sturdiness and allows the phone to fold flat without a visible gap.

The foldable inner screen measures 6.7 inches and boasts a 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. While not a departure from the previous model, its brightness has been improved, reaching almost 800 nits manually and 1100 nits in auto mode, making it easily readable even in bright sunlight.

Performance and Software

Under the hood, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 houses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, currently among the most powerful available for Android devices. The upgrade in processing power from the previous generation is apparent, bolstered by ufs 4.0 storage and lpddr5x RAM. However, it’s essential to note that the phone’s thermal management still leaves room for improvement, as heavy stress tests revealed notable thermal throttling.

The user experience is driven by Samsung’s OneUI 5.1.1 atop Android 13. Capitalizing on the device’s unique form factor, OneUI brings features such as split interfaces and widget support for the secondary screen. It’s clear that Samsung is committed to software support, offering four years of OS upgrades and five years of security patches.

Camera Capabilities

The camera setup on the Z Flip 5 is consistent with its predecessor, featuring a 12-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide unit. In daylight conditions, the main camera delivers excellent detail, vivid colors, and a wide dynamic range. Selfies taken with the main camera using the flex view screen as a viewfinder are impressive, outshining most other smartphone selfie cameras.

The ultra-wide camera performs admirably as well, capturing vibrant colors and a wide dynamic range. While some softness is present at the edges, it still offers a fresh perspective for capturing creative shots.

Battery Life and Charging

With a 3,700mAh battery, the Z Flip 5’s endurance rating of 87 hours in battery life tests is commendable. The improved cover screen’s utility contributes to preserving battery life by minimizing the need to unfold the device frequently. The support for 25W wired charging enables a 50% charge in just 30 minutes, although it’s disappointing that Samsung no longer includes a charger in the box. Additionally, wireless charging is now a part of the package.

Verdict and Alternatives

In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 successfully refines the flip design with a larger cover display, better performance, and improved battery life. While the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra remains a strong contender, boasting a higher resolution cover screen and out-of-the-box Android app support, the Z Flip 5 holds its own with a more powerful chipset, enhanced cameras, and IPX8 water resistance.

As for alternatives, potential buyers might consider the Motorola Razer 40 Ultra or the Oppo Find N2 Flip, both of which offer unique features and design choices. In the ever-evolving landscape of foldable devices, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 stands as a well-rounded contender that appeals to those seeking innovation without sacrificing essential smartphone functionality.


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Simon is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the FCB. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or reading political news.