Big, bold, and beautiful. That seems to be the blueprint for almost all smartphones at the moment. In the landscape of beautiful bricks, the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 are changing the narrative by luring consumers in with compact form factors, and ironically offering fewer reasons than ever to actually flip open the phone. I’ve been vacationing with the latest foldable, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5, which was launched in Korea recently, and here’s the lowdown on it.
While the compact form factor of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 remains more or less the same, the cover screen, or the ‘Flex Window’ as Samsung calls it, is now 3.4-inches across. The internal hinge on the foldable has also been improved upon which results in a fairly flush finish once I fold the phone shut. The phone opens up to a 6.7-inch full display, which I talk about later on.
- Also read: Samsung Galaxy F54 Review
I love all the extra space now on which the widgets render beautifully. Apart from the usual suspects of last year such as music, calendar, weather, there are some new widgets too. Google Finance, Smart Things, and Direct Dial all find a space along with the older widgets. I can also pinch toward the centre of the cover screen to activate the Multi Widget View which lets me see all the active widgets at a glance.
What’s unique about the cover display is that it’s almost a Windows folder-icon shape and not a perfect rectangle. As I scroll up to access more content the little extra space gives me a preview of what’s coming next.
I also love how customisable the Flex Window is. Not only do I have access to a ton of display options pre-installed, but I can also choose among my own photos and even videos as the cover display background, which is damn cool to see in action.
Giving me, and everyone else, even fewer reasons to flip open the phone is the quick reply function along with chat history visible on the cover screen. Samsung Wallet has also been integrated so when I swipe up on the screen, I can pay on the go, view my boarding passes and membership cards.
The company has also introduced what feels like the coolest set of accessories to adorn a smartphone - a Flipsuit Case with changeable NFC cards. These are funky slip-in cards that can be inserted into the protective case and can be used for making payments and exchanging information. However, this is not available to Indian users at the time of writing.
As I’d written last year, while reviewing the Flip4, there are two types of people in the world - some who can ignore the crease and some who cannot see past it. The crease is as “visible” as it was on last year’s model. For someone like me, it really isn’t an issue because, from most viewing angles, the crease more or less ceases to exist. It definitely doesn’t get in the way of me capturing endless photographs and videos while travelling, nor does it bother me while catching up on the latest episode of What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? The speakers remain loud and punchy
The set of cameras on the Flip5 hasn’t been updated from last year’s Flip4 model. And while an upgrade would have been nice, I have to admit the setup continues to deliver some stunning photographs. There’s a 12-MP ultra-wide lens and a 12-MP wide lens at the rear and an under-display 10-MP lens on the main display. The stills taken on this are nothing short of stunning. The colours are just a bit amped up, delivering vivid but natural-looking vistas. The video recordings are smooth and a bunch of beautiful hyperlapses I captured in Galle turned out beautiful. The camera also performs well with macro shots of food, with many details and lovely colours.
Selfies taken indoors, even without the beauty mode on, seem half a shade lighter than I’m used to on my primary, the Google Pixel 7 Pro. In natural light outdoors, the skin tones are super accurate. If you’re someone looking for a flagship foldable which delivers beautiful snaps for the ‘gram and beyond, look no more!
- Also read: Samsung Galaxy A54 review: a good-looking device that takes care of ‘everyday needs’ with ease
The smartphone runs on the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 octa-core processor, customised for Galaxy smartphones. All units have the same configuration of 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage, although there’s a 512 GB option as well. Performance has never really been an issue with the Flip series, and Flip5 is no exception. The smartphone runs on Android 13 and has the latest version of the Samsung One user interface (Ver 5.1.1). The phone has an IPX8 rating making it water-resistant for shallow submersions for less than 30 minutes. The company has also said that the device will receive five years of software support. The phone is powered by a 3,700 mAh battery, which specs-wise is the same as the one on the Flip4. However, it does go on for much longer. The discharge is slow and steady. I’ve been using it during my Sri Lankan holiday and after a day of heavy-duty photography and capturing the occasional video, the charge had dropped to 50% by 4 PM. In my experience, the device did tend to get a bit warm when I had the hotspot on for more than 30 minutes or so, while travelling.
If you’ve been waiting to get your first foldable-display flip phone, now’s a great time and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is a great option. With meaningful additions to cover screen functionalities, decent battery life, and a fairly stunning set of lenses, you’d have more than your hands full of deep personalisation and fun experiments to do!