Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Review: Sticking to Familiarity Without Surprise

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Samsung’s journey into the world of foldable phones has been like a roller coaster ride of changes. It all started with the first Galaxy Fold, which was a big step forward in making smartphones that could fold, even though it had some issues. But within a year, Samsung fixed those problems with the Z Fold 2, making the design and how it works a lot better. Then, the Fold 3 went even further by adding support for the S-Pen and making it so the phone could resist water. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 made the camera on the phone even better. And now, with the Fold 5, Samsung is focusing on making sure there are no gaps when the phone is folded, which makes using it even better.

But as time has passed, other companies have been catching up quickly. Brands like OPPO, vivo, Honor, and OnePlus are all trying to challenge Samsung in the world of foldable phones. The question is, can the Galaxy Z Fold 5 help Samsung keep its title as the title of undisputed king of foldable? Is the Galaxy Z Fold 5 the best foldable phone you can get? Let’s find out in this review.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Review Snapshot

Editor’s rating: 4.2/5

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Camera

Battery

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Pros

  • Larger and improved Flex Screen
  • Solid build quality with minimal hinge wobble
  • Powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Assured four-year software updates
  • Enhanced camera capabilities compared to competitors

Cons

  • No DEX support
  • Average battery life and charging speeds
  • Absence of dust protection feature

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Price


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review: Design

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a lot in common with its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold 4, especially in how it looks. When you first glance at them, they seem almost the same, with only tiny differences setting them apart. Some noticeable changes in how they look include moving the LED flash on the back to make the camera bump smaller, making the camera lenses a bit taller, and having fewer holes in the speaker covers. If you’re really attentive, you might also notice that the left edge of the front screen is a bit narrower on the older model.

But there’s a big difference that you’ll see when you unfold the phones. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a new hinge that makes the two parts of the phone fold completely flat, getting rid of the gap at the hinge side that the Z Fold 4 had. This change is a big deal. The new design makes the phone feel smooth and put-together, not like a work in progress. The new hinge makes the phone slimmer and more comfortable to carry in your pocket. And since there’s no gap in the middle of the phone anymore, there’s no issue with dust getting stuck, like there was in the older model.

The new hinge also means that when you fold the Galaxy Z Fold 5, it’s thinner than before. It’s now 13.4mm thick at the hinge end, which is thinner than the 15.8mm of the older model. This sleeker design makes the phone look better and feel nicer to hold.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 keeps its high-quality materials, like the Armor Aluminum frame and the tough Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection on the front and back. It can handle a bit of water, thanks to its IPX8 rating. So one of my friends decided to take his Fold 5 under the water, and it worked without any trouble.

The fingerprint scanner is still in the power button on the side, which makes unlocking the phone easy. The speakers on the phone are cool too. They make the sound feel like it’s coming from all around you, making games and videos sound really good.

CHECK: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review: Displays


The Galaxy Z Fold 5 keeps the same screen sizes and shapes as the Z Fold 4. The smaller cover screen is 6.2 inches and looks longer, while the bigger folding screen is 7.6 inches and feels wider. Both screens use something called Dynamic AMOLED 2X tech, which makes colors and brightness look really good, like those fancy AMOLED screens. The main folding screen is even brighter now, so it’s easier to see outside, and it doesn’t get as reflective.

When the screen is turned off, you can still see a line down the middle where it folds. But when it’s turned on, you can’t really notice it. The line doesn’t really get in the way when you’re using the screen. Folding phones have this line because of how they work, and that’s just something we accept for the cool design.

The inside screen is almost square, which is great for doing different things. Samsung has made sure that apps work really well on it, which is different from other phones like the Google Pixel Fold. Sometimes on the Pixel Fold, apps don’t fit the whole screen, but on the Galaxy Z Fold 5, they do. This makes the experience of using the apps more fun and engaging. Apps like Instagram look especially cool because they use the whole big screen.

To sum up, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has better screens than the Z Fold 4. The screens are the same shape, they’re brighter, and apps work better on them. There are still some things like the crease in the middle and the outside screen design that could be better, but the big screen and the way apps work on it make the Z Fold 5 a really cool choice for a folding phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review: Cameras

The camera on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is not meant to challenge the Galaxy S23 Ultra camera supremacy, which is still the best Samsung camera phone out there. However, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 camera on its own is right up there with the best in the business. The Z Fold 5’s cameras are kind of similar to the ones on the older version, but they’ve made some changes in the software and they also have a better chip inside called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. This makes the Z Fold 5 take better pictures than the older model.

The main camera has a lot of megapixels (50 MP), which means it can take pictures with lots of details and colors that really pop. If you want to zoom in, the Z Fold 5 has a special lens that can make things look three times closer (3X optical zoom). If you use digital zoom, you can get really close, up to 30 times, but the picture might not be as clear after 10 times.

This is useful for things like portraits or far-away objects. If you like taking pictures where the background is blurry, like in portraits, the Z Fold 5 can do that with the main and zoom cameras.

The ultra-wide camera is good for taking pictures of wide scenes, like landscapes or big groups of people. The wide camera captures more in the picture, but the colors might not be as strong, and some parts of the picture might not be as sharp, especially around the edges. They use the software to fix this and make the picture look more normal.

For selfies, there are two cameras. The one on the outside of the phone takes decent pictures, making skin tones look good, but it might make things look a bit too sharp, especially facial hair. The one on the main screen is okay for video calls, but the pictures might not look as nice because it has fewer megapixels. And if you’re into videos, the Z Fold 5 makes them look sharp and colorful, and it’s really good at keeping the video steady, even if you’re moving a little bit.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Review: Software

Over the years, Samsung has offered the most reliable software experience on folding phones which remains the case with new foldables. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes with Android 13 and One UI 5.1.1 which is arguably the most feature-rich and fluid custom UI in the market today.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 has two different ways of showing its screen. When it’s closed, it looks like a regular smartphone, and when you open it, it turns into a tablet with a special taskbar. Samsung has made the taskbar even better by showing up to four of your most recent apps on it. This is an improvement from the older model, which only showed two.

They’ve also made many popular apps work really well on the big screen. These include apps like Instagram, Twitter, and various Microsoft apps like PowerPoint, Outlook, and Word. They’ve even added a feature where you can use two fingers to drag stuff between apps and screens more easily.

All these features add to what the phone could already do, like making it easier to switch between apps, use multiple apps at the same time, or have small windows floating around on the screen. These are all things that help you get more done and use the phone in different ways.

The new “Flex Mode” is really cool. When you fold the phone in a special way, it splits the screen into two parts. The top half can show an app, while the bottom half has things like buttons for videos or even a tiny mouse cursor for some apps. It’s like having a mini laptop.

And there’s something even cooler called Dex mode. When you connect the phone to a big screen, keyboard, and mouse, it can turn into a full computer, just like a regular desktop. Some people might find that the Z Fold 5 is all they need for their computer tasks.

What’s really important is the support the Z Fold 5 gets from Samsung’s software. The phone will keep getting updates for a long time. It’s promised to get updates up to Android 17, and security patches for five years! This is even longer than most other phones get updates these days.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Review: Performance

The new Galaxy Z Fold 5 is much faster and more powerful than its predecessor. It’s because it has a special brain inside called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. Basically, Samsung has sourced a higher-binned 8 Gen 2 chipset for its flagships. It runs at a higher speed, which means it can do things faster and better compared to other Android flagships in the market. Samsung also used this same processor in their Galaxy S23 Ultra, and it did really well. So, by using this powerful processor in the Z Fold 5, Samsung is making sure it performs at its best.

The Z Fold 5 also has a lot of memory (12GB) and can store a lot of things (up to 1TB). This means you can use many apps at once and keep a lot of pictures, videos, and other stuff on your phone. Having this new processor makes the Z Fold 5 perform really well and efficiently. Even though it has the same size battery as the older model, the new chip helps the phone use less power, making the battery last longer. The Z Fold 5 is ready for multitasking, running demanding apps, or playing AAA gaming titles.

A really important improvement in the hardware is the bigger vapor chamber they added. This new chamber is 38 percent larger than the one in the older model. This change makes the phone better at getting rid of heat, which is important when the phone is working really hard. Because of this bigger chamber, the phone can stay at the right temperature even when you’re doing things that need a lot of power, like playing games or doing many things at the same time.

It’s really hard to make the Z Fold 5 slow down, even if you’re using three apps on the screen all at once or playing a game that needs a lot of power. The Fold 5 doesn’t get too hot, no matter what you’re doing. Whether you’re playing games, or running Maps for a long time, the phone stays cool and doesn’t overheat.

PhoneGeekbench 6 single-coreGeekbench 6 multicoreGeekbench 6 GPU3D Mark Wild Life Extreme
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 52,0535,4279,494 (OpenCL)
9,562 (Vulkan)
3,708
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra15955,0099003 (OpenCL)
9,574 (Vulkan)
3,802
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip51,9995,0666,194 (OpenCL)3,287

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review: Battery and Charging

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a battery with a capacity of 4400mAh, which might not be as large as some other flagship phones. However, the way the phone uses power efficiently helps it have good battery life. This means that even though the battery isn’t the biggest, the phone can still last a decent amount of time on a single charge.

The big screen on the inside can be used for a long time, but how long the battery lasts depends on how bright you set the screen and how much you use it. If you’re using the larger inside screen for streaming Netflix or YouTube, the battery might only last half a day. The big inside screen uses a lot of power, so using it with low brightness indoors and at 60Hz can help the battery last longer. But if you are spending most of your time using the smaller front screen, it will last you for more than a day.

However, there’s a downside. The Z Fold 5 charges slowly, at only 25W. And you need to use a cable for that. It takes around one hour and 45 minutes to fully charge, which might feel really slow for such a powerful and expensive phone.

Review Verdict: Should you buy Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5?

At present, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 continues to be the best foldable phone you can buy in India. Among all the options available, it provides a polished and sophisticated user experience. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 stands as a productivity powerhouse equipped with the performance capabilities to handle any task effortlessly. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 excels in productivity tasks, effortlessly handling various challenges thanks to its powerful performance. Its versatile features cater to a wide range of unique uses. Notably, it offers an immersive display that fits comfortably in your pocket. The improved hinge design, allowing for a completely closed fold without gaps, enhances its overall appeal. Should you buy Galaxy Z Fold 5? Certainly, especially for those who already own a Galaxy Z Fold 2 or Z Fold 3, or for those venturing into the world of folding phones for the first time.

Reasons to buy

  • Gapless hinge design
  • Incredible performance
  • Excellent screens
  • Impressive multitasking capabilities
  • Good speakers setup
  • Apps optimized
  • Excellent rear cameras

Reasons to not buy

  • Crease still visible
  • No dust resistance
  • Slower 25W charging
  • S-Pen limited support
Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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1 Comment
Sathish Mechy
Sathish Mechy
@sathish_mechy
10 months ago

Thank you for an impeccable review!

Reply