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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: The best flipping phone

Published Dec 4th, 2023 12:02PM EST
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Front
Christian de Looper for BGR

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Galaxy Z Flip 5

Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 builds on the last-gen model with a serious of helpful upgrades. How much better is it?

Pros

  • Relatively durable
  • Great performance
  • Sleek design
  • Good interior display

Cons

  • So-so camera
  • Battery is only fine
Buy FromList PriceSale Price
$999.99See It

The flip phone is well and truly back. Samsung is one of a number of companies that have been putting time and effort into the flip style of foldable phones, culminating in the fifth-generation Galaxy Z Flip. At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel compared with the Z Flip 4 — but it does build on the previous-generation device in a number of key ways.

I personally have been more of a Fold fan than a Flip fan. I don’t mind having a larger device in my pocket — especially if it means having access to a tablet-size screen on the go. But after using the Galaxy Z Flip 5 for a while now, I have to say, it makes a seriously compelling case for itself.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 specs

Dimensions85.1 x 71.9 x 15.1 mm (folded)
IP ratingIPX8
Display resolutionExterior: 720 x 748
Interior: 1080 x 2640
Display sizeExterior: 3.4 inches
Interior: 6.7 inches
Display typeLTPO AMOLED
Display refresh rate120Hz
Display brightness1750 nits (peak)
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Memory8GB
Storage256GB, 512GB
Rear camerasWide: 12MP, f/1.8
Ultrawide: 12MP, f/2.2, 123-degrees
Video4K at 60fps
Front cameras10MP, f/2.2
PortsUSB-C
Battery size3,700mAh
Charging25W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6e, 5G
ColorsMint, Graphite, Cream, Lavender, Gray, Blue, Green, Yellow
Price$999.99

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 design

Samsung is on its fifth generation of foldable phones, and that’s immediately obvious when you look at the Galaxy Z Flip 5. The device is well-built, looks great, and seems to be reasonably durable.

Folded up, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is very portable. I found it relatively easy to forget that the device was in my pocket at all, though as a man, I tend to have larger pockets to begin with. Using a phone like this is a totally different experience to using a fold-style phone, though. While you can get by using the front display of a fold-style phone for most basic tasks, the front display on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is tiny, and really only usable for certain, very specific tasks — like checking the time. We’ll get into the software of the display a little later.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 PortImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

As you would expect, on the bottom of the phone can be found a USB-C port. On the right side, you’ll find the power button and the volume rocker. The power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor and seemed reasonably accurate and quick.

I particularly liked the feel of the hinge on this device. Samsung has put a lot of effort into hinge design, and at this point, it’s engineered in a way that eliminates a gap between the screen when folded up, which is nice. The hinge was durable and supported the phone at almost any angle.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 display

Samsung consistently builds some of the best-looking screens in the business, but while the display on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is quite good, it’s not necessarily the best in the business. That, however, is perhaps to be expected given the fact that the device is built to hit a slightly lower price point than some of the top-tier foldable devices out there.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 DisplayImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The front display, as mentioned, is built for specific purposes. It’s a 3.4-inch display with a 720 x 748 resolution. It’s 60Hz, but that’s not a big deal — you don’t need a high refresh-rate experience for the types of content you’ll be viewing on the front screen.

The interior screen is a little nicer, thankfully. It has a 1080 x 2640 resolution, and thankfully it does have a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s an LTPO panel too, so it can range between 1Hz and 120Hz, helping preserve the battery life of the phone. It gets quite bright, at 1,750 nits, and I found that while it’s not the brightest panel out there, it’s certainly bright enough for the vast majority of situations.

Generally, the display experience on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is quite good, especially when it comes to the interior display, which is obviously the most important screen.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 performance

While the display on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 won’t compete with some higher-end phones, the performance will. The device comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and while at the time of this writing that chip was on the way out, it’s still one of the best-performing chips out there. In this phone, the chip is coupled with 8GB of RAM.

Generally, the phone can handle everything you can throw at it in 2023. It can multitask relatively easily, and it handles mobile gaming with no issues. In benchmarks, the phone actually performed a little better than some other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-equipped devices, but generally, expect the phone to perform perfectly fine. Here are the results we achieved.

  • GeekBench 6: 2,096 single-core, 5,286 multi-core
  • 3DMark Wild Life Extreme: 3,681

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 HingeImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Powering it all is a 3,700mAh battery, which is large enough for most use, but not necessarily as long-lasting as I would have liked. I found that the device was able to get me through a moderate-use day, with around 15% remaining — but a heavier-use day killed the phone before the end of a full day. I suspect most will have a similar experience.

The phone can charge at up to 25W with a wired connection, which isn’t bad — but could be better. Other Samsung phones can charge at 45W, which itself is fine, but pales in comparison to some super-fast charging Android phones. Thankfully, it supports wireless charging at up to 15W, and it can be used to reverse wireless charge devices at up to 4.5W.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 camera

On the back of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, you’ll find a dual camera array, comprised of a 12-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. Unfortunately, there’s no telephoto camera here.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 cameraImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Despite the lack of a telephoto camera, I found the camera quality on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 to be solid. Images were generally vibrant and detailed, and while it’s perhaps not the most versatile camera out there, it’ll still produce serviceable images the majority of the time.

It is a little disappointing to get a camera system that isn’t excellent in a $1,000 phone. Most other phones in this price range offer great cameras, not to mention a telephoto camera.

The front-facing camera is 10 megapixels, though considering the fact that you can use the rear-facing camera for selfies, the front-facing camera is mostly for video chatting. Again, it was fine though not necessarily great.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 software

When using the main screen, the software experience of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is more or less the same as other Samsung phones. One UI, Samsung’s Android skin, isn’t necessarily my favorite approach to Android — but plenty of people love it, and if that’s you, you’ll find it easy to make your way around the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 SoftwareImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Much more interesting is the software experience of the cover display. By default, Samsung treats the cover display similar to a Galaxy Watch. That’s to say, it’ll show the time, and then you can swipe between widgets for things like the weather, notifications, and more. It’s not a bad approach, considering how small the screen is. There is a workaround to that though — you can run certain apps full-screen on the cover display by enabling a setting. It works fine, but I tended to stick with the widget approach.

Conclusions

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 still feels somewhat like an experiment, in that the fact that the device folds up is the big selling point. So much so, that Samsung is a little lax on things like camera quality. That said, it’s still among the better flip-style phones out there, and if buying a flip device is the most important thing to you, you’ll love what’s on offer here.

The competition

These days, the biggest competition in the world of flip-style phones comes from the Razr Plus, which offers a slightly thinner design and a slightly more usable cover screen. It also has a slightly better battery life. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is still probably a more well-rounded flip-style phone, though, and most should go for it over the Razr device.

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5?

Yes, if you want a flip-style phone.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper is based in sunny Santa Cruz, California. He has been expertly reviewing tech products for more than 8 years, and brings experience in deep technical analysis of consumer electronics devices to BGR's reviews channel.

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