It’s been quite some time since the first foldable smartphone was released, and to date, Samsung is still leading the mainstream foldable market. This is especially so in Malaysia, where we don’t get as many foldable phones as, say, the US market.
But despite the lack of competition in Malaysia, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a certainly a fantastic flip-style foldable phone. The bigger Flex Window cover screen adds much-needed practicality to the phone, there’s finally no more gap when the device is folded, and of course, it is faster than ever.
While the Z Flip 5 still needs to improve in certain areas, it’s a foldable phone I’d be more than happy to recommend.
What It Is
|Main: 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X (2640 x 1080), 120Hz
Cover: 3.4-inch Super AMOLED (748 x 720), 60Hz
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 3.36GHz octa-core
|12MP f/1.8, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
12MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide)
|3,700mAh with 25W charging
|Unfolded: 165.1 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm
Folded: 85.1 x 71.9 x 15.1 mm
|One UI 5.1.1 based on Android 13
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
|RM4,499 (256GB), RM4,999 (512GB)
Compared to last year’s Z Flip 4, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 brings three big upgrades to the table. There’s the aforementioned bigger cover screen, improved hinge for a gapless design, and faster performance, courtesy of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. It also sees only a RM100 price increase over its predecessor, which is justifiable (in my opinion) with all of the upgrades the phone brings.
Unfortunately, other hardware of the Z Flip 5 remain the same as its predecessor. It still has a largely unchanged dual camera system, no major changes to the primary screen – yes, the crease is still quite obvious – and the same 3,700mAh battery capacity. While there is some improvement in battery life, it could be better; more on this further down the review.
The Good Stuff
The most noteworthy upgrade – and my personal favourite feature – of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the much improved cover screen. Thanks to the larger 3.4-inch Super AMOLED display, checking through my notifications is much easier now. On top of that, I can even type out a reply with a full-size keyboard.
There are a couple of caveats, however. For one, only the Samsung keyboard is supported on the cover screen, and it can be a tad tricky to type on this…compact keyboard if you’ve got bigger hands. But for the most part, I certainly appreciate this feature to quickly reply to messages without needing to flip open the phone.
Speaking of flipping open the phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a solid hinge. Compared to my review unit of the Flip 4, the Flip 5’s hinge isn’t quite as stiff; this is a good thing, in my books. Not only is it easier to open up the phone now, the tension of the hinge is also consistent throughout the folding and unfolding motion. So yes, it’s still stiff enough to be propped up at an angle.
Of course, it’s also worth noting that the Z Flip 5 has a new hinge design now that leaves no gap when the phone is folded. Not only does this look aesthetically better, it should be able to minimise dust that gets in between the two halves of the screen when the phone is kept in my pocket; an issue that I faced with the Z Flip 4.
Despite sporting a new hinge, the display crease of the Z Flip 5 is still very much there. It’s especially visible when the display is switched off – or viewing it at an angle – and you can definitely feel the crease if you run your finger over it. But for what it’s worth, the crease doesn’t really bother me (too much) in everyday use.
As for the display quality of the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s two screens, they are both great-looking panels, especially the primary one. It would’ve been nice if the 60Hz cover screen matches the main display’s 120Hz refresh rate, but at least it’s bright enough for comfortable use even under bright sunlight.
In the performance department, the Z Flip 5 is without a doubt a fast, zippy phone. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset allows for seamless multitasking, and it can run demanding games like Honkai: Star Rail quite handily with minimum stuttering in more intense gameplay sequences.
Now, let’s move on to not so great aspects of the Z Flip 5.
The Bad Stuff
Given that the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s camera hardware doesn’t see much change, its camera performance remains…relatively the same. Don’t get me wrong, the dual camera system (12MP main + 12MP ultra-wide) can still take great-looking shots in various lighting conditions, but the image quality of the ultra-wide sensor does have room for improvement in more challenging lighting situations.
The lack of a dedicated telephoto camera on the Z Flip 5 is quite a big omission too. Granted, I do find the ultra-wide shooter more useful than a zoom lens, but I think it’s justified to expect a more sophisticated camera setup from a premium, high-end phone that sits at this price point.
And then there’s the battery life of the Z Flip 5, which is ever so slightly better than last year’s model. On average, I can get between four to five hours of screen on time out of the 3,700mAh battery with a couple of gaming sessions thrown in throughout the day. Not the worst battery life, but could definitely be better.
Is It Worth It?
Retailing from RM4,499, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is undoubtedly positioned as a premium foldable smartphone, and…I do think the price tag is justified for a device of this calibre. It has a much bigger, much more practical cover screen now, a more refined gapless design, and it is just as fast as any other flagship phone in the market now.
Yes, the Z Flip 5 doesn’t have the best camera performance or battery life. But it can still take good-looking shots – albeit without the versatility of a telephoto camera – and it can still provide all-day battery life…provided I don’t do too much gaming in my free time. In short, it still performs reasonably well in these two regards.
If you want one of the most refined clamshell foldable phones in the market now, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is an excellent option to consider. Yes, even when compared to the Oppo Find N2 Flip, especially when it comes to the usefulness of the cover screen and software experience.
Though the Find N2 Flip does have better battery life.