Samsung has updated their foldable lineup with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and Flip5 last year. While the Flip5 does have a major aesthetics and feature update, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 just had a minor one. A boring one actually.
Design and build
One of the biggest changes done on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is the hinge. There’s zero gap hinge now and Samsung promises it to be stronger and better than the previous generation. Honestly, I barely notice it since the gap hinge on the previous generation wasn’t really an issue for me as well. But at least, some people will tend to avoid objects or dirt getting in the gap of the display.
As for the body and design, it’s still pretty much the same except that the rings at the camera of the smartphone are more protruding which is in line with their design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series. While the body is still Armor Aluminum which is solid and tough just like before. As for the material, it’s still matte glass at the back and it’s still recommended that you use a case with the smartphone.
With foldable smartphones popping out in the market, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 surprisingly didn’t have a big aesthetic change. Other smartphones from competitors now pack a thinner and lighter design while the Galaxy Z Fold5 is still thick and not so ergonomic especially with a case
There’s a fingerprint scanner on the side along with the volume rocker and as expected. Below the smartphone is where we can find the USB-C port and it still supports 45W of charging which is still disappointing considering that a lot of smartphones are already supporting faster charging.
First, there’s the 6.2-inch cover display and it packs a 2316 x 904 resolution and also a 120Hz refresh rate. For a 2023 foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is still narrow and too tall which is just fine for browsing feeds such as Instagram and Facebook but it’s too narrow when you need a wider display. So, for playing games, you’ll opt for the foldable display of the smartphone.
As for the quality, this one is just good enough and yes, it’s very visible outside and it’s an excellent display when it comes to colors, brightness and vividness. It’s just that the aspect ratio is still too weird for 2023.
Inside the smartphone is the 7.6-inch foldable display with a 2176 x 1812 resolution and also a 120Hz refresh rate. The crease is still there despite the change in the hinge but nonetheless, you won’t even notice the crease once you’re using the smartphone.
The display is bright as well and the aspect ratio might be good for productivity as you can open apps side by side with a taller aspect ratio on two apps but it’s not the best when it comes to watching videos as the black borders are really noticeable when watching on YouTube. There’s the 4MP under-display camera at the top as well which isn’t really noticeable unless you really look at it closely.
As for the quality, it’s good, bright, and vivid as well. It’s perfect for playing games as you have a larger screen estate but when I was playing Honkai: Star Rail, I noticed that the smartphone does have little black borders at the top and bottom. Not really an issue but do expect some games are not perfectly fit for the foldable display.
Overall, the display is almost the same as the previous generation. It’s a bit brighter but you’ll probably notice it when you’re in direct sunlight as the display of the smartphone is more legible.
For the battery life of the smartphone, there’s the 4400mAh battery and for charging, it supports up to 45W of charging. Not the fastest and not the biggest battery either. In our PC Mark Work 3.0 Battery test, we got a score of 10 hours and 14 minutes. It’s not that bad considering we benchmarked it on the foldable display.
In our usage, the smartphone definitely last a single day. But if you’re planning on heavy gaming on the smartphone on the foldable display, you might want to bring a powerbank with you most of the time.
Software and Performance
For the processor, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. It’s a little bit faster than the normal Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on most smartphones but for some people, you might not feel the difference.
In the benchmarks, you could definitely see that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 can really perform in this department. As for gaming, I didn’t had any problems with most of the games but I do notice that there were framedrops on the highest settings at Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail when using the phone on the foldable display. It’s not really drastic and it didn’t affect my gameplay. As for the thermals, the smartphone gets warm at heavy usage but it’s pretty much cool most of the time on lighter and casual games.
Samsung has done a lot of software improvements on the smartphone. Including better drag and drop functionality on the smartphone and when you’re using it in flex mode, you’ll get better functionalities on apps and also a touchpad for navigating on apps like Gallery.
Other than that, there’s still support for multi-tasking with multiple windows opened on the smartphone simultaneously and since we have a taskbar on the smartphone, drag and dropping apps to open are easy and faster compared to other foldable smartphones.
There are multiple cameras on the smartphone and the camera is just one of the upgrades done on the Galaxy Z Fold5. There’s the 50MP main camera, a 10MP telephoto camera and also a 12MP ultrawide camera. For the cover display, there’s the 10MP front-facing camera and there’s the 4MP under display camera on the foldable display.
Selfie camera (Cover display):
Most of the shots that we took are great and as expected, it’s definitely different from the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Nonetheless, the Galaxy Z Fold5 will do great if you’re a typical consumers who just wants to take good photos of landscape, portraits and even at night shots.
Most of the shots are excellent but the oversaturation is still here and the dynamic range is still pretty good. It’s definitely a bit of an upgrade versus the Galaxy Z Fold4 but man, the under display camera of the Galaxy Z Fold5 is still terrible. Better use it only for video calls.
In my usage of the smartphone, I’ve noticed that I’ve been using it more on productivity especially with multi-window. I’ve been using it most of the time for multi-tasking and of course for watching videos. The performance has been the same and the recent updates have definitely made the Galaxy Z Fold5 even better. The camera has also improved but it’s definitely below S23 until now.
However, after using the OPPO Find N3 and also the HONOR Magic V2, I can definitely say that the next fold’s hardware from Samsung should be drastically improved and updated. In today’s standards, the Fold5 is thick and the aspect ratio isn’t the best anymore.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is a great foldable smartphone without a doubt. But the minor changes done on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 makes the smartphone a little bit disappointing. There were no major changes on the smartphone aside from the performance and also the zero gap hinge. While other smartphone manufacturers are focusing on making their foldable smartphones thinner and lighter, the Galaxy Z Fold5 is pretty much the same from the predecessor.
Make no mistake, despite the little changes, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is still a pretty good foldable smartphone. Samsung just followed the proverb “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold smartphones does have a powerful processor, great camera, and a reputation for having stable and great software for foldables so Samsung didn’t make a big gamble on this one.
Yes, it’s great but the minor changes done on the smartphone means that even the previous generation is still a good buy. And with the steep price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5, I will still consider the Galaxy Z Fold4 up to this day.