Samsung Galaxy Z Flip phone finally gets a bigger cover screen, making that $1,000 price easier to swallow. Here is a crisp review for Samsung foldable lovers.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is an awesome phone. That larger cover screen alone is a major attraction, and improvements like longer battery life, better pictures from the cameras despite the camera hardware remaining the same, and faster performance thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip all add up to make this phone a more complete package compared to previous models.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s larger new front screen, which Samsung calls the Flex Window, is hard to miss. It measures 3.4 inches, making it much bigger than the miniscule 1.9-inch screen on the front of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, but smaller than the Razr Plus. 3.6-inch cover display.
NO GAP WHEN CLOSED:
Samsung’s new foldable phone also has an upgraded hinge that allows the device to close completely with no gap when shut. This is another area where Samsung is playing catch-up; Motorola and Google both launched foldable phones in June that have no gap when closed.
It’s clear that Samsung focused most of its resources on the Z Flip 5’s cover screen and hinge. The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s camera is largely the same as last year’s model, except it has a new coating that should reduce lens flare. That means the Z Flip 5 has 12-megapixel wide and ultrawide cameras, and a 10-megapixel selfie camera. As was the case with previous generations of the Z Flip, you shouldn’t expect to get the same top-notch camera quality you’d find on a phone like the Galaxy S23 Ultra or Google Pixel 7 Pro.
SOFTWARE, PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE:
A foldable design doesn’t mean much without useful software features. Samsung’s answer to this is Flex Mode, which shifts apps to the top portion of the display when the device is positioned half open like a laptop.
There isn’t much new with Flex Mode this year, but it’s still more functional than Motorola’s equivalent feature for the Razr Plus, which only worked in the camera app for me.
Performance on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is what’s expected from a phone at this price. Apps launch quickly, I didn’t notice any lag or stuttering and supported apps seamlessly switch from the cover screen to the main display.
Battery life on the Z Flip 5 is long enough to make it through a busy day of wandering around Seoul snapping photos, looking up directions, and discovering nearby points of interest. I typically took my phone off its charger in the late morning, between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., and still had 25 to 30% of my battery left between midnight and 1:30 a.m.
The $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes with 256GB of storage, meaning you get double the space for same starting price as its predecessor.
AUDIO AND CALL QUALITY:
The Z Flip 5 sports a stereo speaker setup, with one dedicated speaker at the bottom and the earpiece acting as the other channel. That’s the case with every flagship Samsung smartphone except the Galaxy Z Fold lineup, and quality is more or less similar as well.
The one noticeable difference is that the Z Flip 5’s speakers are less bass-heavy, but other than that, they do a good job. They get quite loud and remain distortion-free at maximum volume and are more than adequate for occasionally enjoying videos and music without reaching for your headphones or Bluetooth speakers.
Every Galaxy Z Flip smartphone has been prettier than the last, and the Z Flip 5 is the most beautiful yet, partly because of the all-black front when the cover display is turned off. The design has received a lot of love from Samsung, and while you can’t see them all, there are plenty of design upgrades on the new Flip.
The biggest of those upgrades is a new hinge. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 folds without leaving any gap. It doesn’t always look like it’s 100% gapless, but that’s just the black bezels around the folding display playing tricks on your eyes. All the dust and grime on the inner display will come from using the phone unfolded – nothing gets through when it’s folded, at least in our experience.