Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 still retails its crown as one of the best flip smartphone in 2023 with its hardware and software upgrades

Galaxy Z Flip 5 review
3.9 Great
Review Overview

At first when Samsung reduced the price of the Galaxy Z Flip 3, I knew the Korean giant was planing something immaculate especially with its foldable lines

Even though the current models aren’t necessarily cheaper than those released last year, it’s worth noting that the devices are getting more practical even though the competition is becoming fierce and it might be time for Samsung to innovate or get ousted by the likes of Xiaomi’s foldable smartphone.

Speaking of the growing number of competition in the world of clamshell flip foldable smartphones, Oppo and Motorola set the stage with their impressive offerings, the Find N2 Flip and then the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra (also known as the Razr Plus in the USA).

As the market leader, all eyes were on Samsung, eagerly awaiting their response to the trend of larger cover display sizes.

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July 2023 brought the highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event, where the tech giant unveiled its most significant upgrade yet: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Throughout the past fortnight, I’ve had the pleasure of using Samsung’s 2023 clamshell flip phone, and let me tell you, it’s a game-changer for real. It’s been a game-chnager from inception but Samsung did better this time yet again so I won’t complain too much.

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I’ve previously highlighted its superiority over the larger-screen Razr 40 Ultra, but upon further exploration, I am convinced that this Galaxy device stands out as the best folding phone in its design format.

When the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 hit the market at the US$999 price point, it shook things up. A flip phone that’s barely more expensive than the entry-level Samsung Galaxy S23 model? Count me in! It injected a new sense of choice into the foldables market, which had previously been dominated by exorbitant price tags.

Even though I’ve been hyping up the device without necessarily saying much, the device is expected to become available by August 11th. While there is a slight price increase in some regions, this makes a 6% year-on-year price rise especially in the UK, while aligned with inflation, places this handset in direct competition with the slightly more expensive Motorola Razr 40 Ultra.

Ok back to the impressive things about the device, its design has set the trend in the clampshell market and it’s left for competitors to meet up or beat Samsung in the game.

The device now has a bigger cover screen which can do more now than just checking time. With a couple of swipes, you can switch from one widget to the other.

The performance of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 leaves little to be desired. Powered by the latest Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4nm) processor and equipped with an ample 8GB of RAM, it handles multitasking and demanding apps with ease. Gaming is a delight, with smooth frame rates and minimal lag thanks to its 120Hz screen which has now gotten even brighter at 1750 nits in peak brightness.

Samsung’s attention to detail shines through in the camera department. The Z Flip 5 boasts a capable dual 12MP camera setup that captures stunning photos in various lighting conditions. Not the best in the camera department but it certainly did great to some degree which is commendable. The versatility of the cameras, combined with Samsung’s image processing prowess, results in exceptional shots especially in a well-lit condition.

Battery life is another area where the Z Flip 5 excels. Despite its compact form factor, Samsung managed to fit in a robust 3700mAh battery that easily lasts a full day of moderate usage. I’m just not entirely pleased with its 25W fast-charging capabilities but it seems Samsung doesn’t ever want to go pas that number.

But apart from those, Samsung has now reworked the hinge so the Galaxy Z Flip 5 now closes flat like its Chinese counterparts and the is impressively durable. I also like the fact that the device can still be folded into different angles whether to watch movies or record videos.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 specs

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  • Dimension: Unfolded: 165.1 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm, Folded: 85.1 x 71.9 x 15.1 mm
  • Weight: weighs 187 g (6.60 oz)
  • Build Quality: Plastic front (opened), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame (Armor aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance)
  • Protection: IPX8 water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min)


  • Outer Screen size: 3.4 inches Super AMOLED with a 720 x 748 pixels of resolution
  • Main Screen Size: 6.7 inches (Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X)
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2640 pixels (425 ppi density)
  • Display Features: 120Hz refresh rate, 1750 nits peak brightness,


  • SoC: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)
  • Processor: Octa-core (1×3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510)
  • GPU: Adreno 740

Storage capacity

  • Primary Storage: 256GB and 512GB
  • RAM: 8GB


  • Rear Camera: 12 MP wide-angle sensor with an f/1.8aperture, Dual Pixel PDAF, and OIS. Second 12 MP ultrawide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture.
  • Front-facing camera: 10MP sensor

Battery capacity

  • Battery Capacity: 3700mAh (Li-Po)
  • Fast Charging: 25W wired, 15W wireless, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging
  • Charging speed: 50% in 30 min

The phone doesn’t have support for microSD if you were expecting one and its 8GB of RAM did a lot of interesting wonders during my time with the smartphone so I wouldn’t complain. Also remember that the storage capacity ranges between 256GB and 512GB.

The hardware of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 seems very sturdy and firm in every direction. When held and wiggled while unfolded, there wasn’t any unnecessary flex or wiggle which could point to the weakness of its hinge. But as mentioned earlier, the hinge has been improved. There is still a slightly noticeable crease though.

Galaxy Z Flip 5 Display

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  • Cover display: 3.4-inch OLED, 60Hz, 720 x 748 resolution
  • Foldable display: 6.7-inch OLED, 120Hz, 1080 x 2640 resolution
  • Dimensions: 71.9 x 165.1 x 15.1 (6.9mm unfolded)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 boasts a compact 3.4-inch OLED cover screen, featuring a refresh rate of 60Hz and a resolution of 720 x 748. Despite its modest size, the cover display serves as a handy glanceable panel for quick notifications and essential information. It no has a number of widgets to pick from for quick overviews.

Unfold the device, and you’ll be greeted by its larger 6.7-inch OLED display. This flexible screen steals the show with its smooth 120Hz refresh rate and impressive 1080 x 2640 resolution.

The larger real estate provides a captivating canvas for your content, making media consumption and multitasking a delightful experience.

As seen above, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a sleek and slim design, measuring 71.9 x 165.1 x 15.1mm when unfolded, and it weighs in at just 187g. These dimensions make it effortlessly portable and pocket-friendly.

Although I appreciate the ingenuity of having a cover display, I must admit that its functionality leaves room for improvement. As a user, I expected seamless access to apps and enhanced features right on the cover screen.

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Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, and I had to navigate through settings to enable main screen navigation and access more apps. It’s a bit of a letdown that this potential powerhouse feature feels somewhat underutilized and hidden from casual users.

On the other hand, the Korean brand seems to be taking a cautious approach to the cover display’s capabilities, unlike its competitor, Motorola.

While the Z Flip 5 allows certain apps like Google Maps, Messages, Netflix, WhatsApp, and YouTube to run on the cover screen, I believe it should offer a more expansive selection. I’d love the freedom to customize my cover screen experience, making it more versatile and tailored to my preferences.

Where the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 truly shines is in its design and build quality. The robust hinge mechanism provides a satisfying and springy feeling, enhancing the overall user experience.

Comparing it to the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, I found the Galaxy’s hinge to be more responsive to use. The combination of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and Armour Aluminum gives the device a premium look and feel.

Admittedly, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 doesn’t fully resolve the reflective quality and crease issues inherent in foldable phones.

While I don’t find them particularly bothersome, there are moments when the crease’s shadow distracts me while scrolling through content on light backgrounds. Dark mode did excellently on the display even at that. It’s a minor trade-off for the convenience of a foldable device, but it’s worth noting for potential buyers.

The device comes in different colorways such as Lavender, Cream, Graphite, or the exclusive Yellow, Grey, and Blue options.

When compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 doesn’t introduce groundbreaking changes, and that’s perfectly fine.

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The Z Flip series had already mastered the close-flat hinge design, which Motorola had been striving to match. However, Samsung managed to make the Z Flip 5 even slimmer when folded, reducing the thickness from 17.1mm to a mere 15.1mm, thanks to clever hinge tweaks.

While the cover display’s potential isn’t fully realized in its current form, I believe such can be fixed with software updates later on.

The phone’s elegant design, robust hinge, and premium build quality make it stand out in the market. Reflective issues and creases are inherent to foldable devices, and the Z Flip 5 isn’t exempt, but these are minor inconveniences considering the device’s overall performance.

Performance and Battery Life

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Designing a flip phone presents unique challenges compared to creating the typical flagship Android phones. The battery division and placement, along with the weight distribution between the two halves, require careful consideration.

I had the opportunity to discuss the intricacies of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 with Mr. Won-Joon Choi, Samsung’s Head of R&D Office, Mobile eXperience Business, who shed light on the team’s efforts to overcome these hurdles.

Their success is evident in how effortlessly the handset performs in everyday use.

Under the hood, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 boasts a formidable Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a mid-year upgrade over the previous 8+ Gen 1.

Teamed up with 8GB of LPDDRX5 RAM for speedy loading, this device is undeniably flagship-worthy. Keeping a processor of this caliber cool poses a challenge, especially in a folding device like this. However, during my use, I never encountered excessive heating issues.

My initial concern was that the Z Flip 5 might suffer from throttling, as I’ve experienced with the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra.

In extended gaming sessions, the performance tends to dip noticeably. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case with the Z Flip 5.

Whether I was immersed in Mighty Doom for half an hour or tackling my weekly challenges in South Park: Phone Destroyer, the gaming experience remained smooth and uninterrupted. Kudos to Samsung for ensuring a top-notch gaming experience.

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Samsung’s collaboration with Qualcomm has resulted in a distinct advantage: Snapdragon chips tuned differently to extract even more potential from the processor’s maximum capabilities.

The processing power of the Z Flip 5 stands strong, outperforming the extended use experience of the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra. This gives Samsung an edge in the competition.

Now, when it comes to battery life, the Z Flip 5 comes equipped with a 3700mAh battery, matching the capacity of the older model.

While this figure might not sound impressive, considering that today’s flagships boast 5000mAh cells, it’s understandable due to the Z Flip 5’s compact and slender form factor. There’s simply no extra space to accommodate larger batteries.

I wouldn’t want the handset to be much bigger either, although a slightly wider design would make typing on the keyboard feel more comfortable.

But how does the battery hold up in real-world use? Surprisingly well, actually. While it may not break any longevity records compared to mainstream devices, it performs admirably.

Even after indulging in gaming sessions and handling work-related tasks, social media, and video watching, the Z Flip 5 managed to last me around 14 hours with approximately 20% battery life remaining.

As for charging, it could be faster. The included 25W wired charger falls behind the current crowd in terms of charging speed. However, with the right plug (unfortunately not included in the box), you can charge up to 50% in just half an hour.

The 15W wireless charging option is decent, though not exceptional. Samsung hasn’t been leading the battery race game for some time now, but their charging solutions remain perfectly functional.

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While the battery capacity may not be the highest in the market, it manages to provide adequate usage time for everyday tasks and gaming sessions.

The collaboration with Qualcomm yields excellent results, and the Z Flip 5 outshines its competition in gaming capabilities. Despite charging speeds falling behind current standards, it remains functional and sufficient for most users.

Camera Capacity of the Galaxy Z Flip 5

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As I dive into the camera capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, I can’t help but notice the familiar setup carried over from its predecessor, the Z Flip 4.

While there have been some minor adjustments, such as a new lens to mitigate flare in the main camera, the overall configuration remains quite similar.

I must confess that during my time reviewing this device, I haven’t been as trigger-happy with the camera as I usually am.

Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the exceptional camera phones that have graced the market recently, from the Google Pixel 7 Pro to the Vivo X90 Pro. Even Samsung’s own Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts one of the best camera systems out there.

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Comparatively, the Z Flip 5 doesn’t quite match up to these top-tier competitors, and that might be why I find myself taking fewer photos than usual.

Before the Z Flip 5 was unveiled, I had high hopes for its camera setup. It was one of the critical aspects I was looking forward to seeing improved. However, I was somewhat surprised to find that Samsung decided to stick with a relatively low resolution for the device.

Implementing high-end camera units can be costly, and it seems that the Z Flip series aims to strike a balance between offering a premium experience without reaching the exorbitant price levels of devices like the Google Pixel Fold.

One missing feature that has been particularly bothersome during my usage is the absence of a dedicated zoom camera.

The Camera app only presents two options: ‘1x’ and ‘.5x’, leaving users to resort to digital zoom, which has its limitations given the 12-megapixel sensor’s resolution. I often find myself yearning for a simple ‘2x’ button to facilitate zooming, even if it’s only a digital zoom option.

Now, let’s talk about the image quality produced by the Z Flip 5’s cameras. Overall, the results are consistent and decent, considering the given resolution.

The shots come out bright and sharp, with vibrant colors that sometimes verge on being oversaturated. However, upon closer inspection, there is noticeable grain and oversharpening around the edges of subjects, even in well-lit conditions.

The camera’s performance in low-light situations and night shooting, which Samsung calls “Nightography,” is commendable.

The Z Flip 5’s cameras are part of a responsive system, capturing moments swiftly, unlike some other devices I’ve used recently. Night shots turn out well, especially if you stabilize the phone using the hinge as a makeshift tripod to avoid blur.

One of the delightful aspects of the Z Flip 5’s camera is its versatility as a flip phone. It comes with some fun features that take advantage of its unique design. You can use the foldable hinge to prop it up for selfies or shoot videos in an old-school camcorder style with the device folded at a 45-degree angle, known as “Flex Cam.”

While these tricks add a touch of playfulness, they might not be game-changing for most users, including myself.

The cameras are reliable for what they are. They produce decent results, although they may fall short compared to the best cameras on the market. However, considering this is a flip phone, the camera capabilities are in line with expectations for a device of its kind.

While it may not be a top-tier camera phone, the Z Flip 5 still manages to capture memorable moments with satisfactory quality.

Software and User Experience

The new Galaxy Z Flip 5 runs on the current Android 13 OS with Samsung’s own OneUI 5.1 laced on top of it. The software is based on the Galaxy S series but also offer some additional foldable features to buttress the aesthetics.

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The lockscreen is now customizable…a feature that has since been present across the recent OneUI updates which is a shade at Apple’s own iOS 16 updates.

The screen can be customized with several features and widgets such as clocks, weather widget, and notification summary.

You can access the stack by merely long-pressing on the homescreen, and you can then scroll through the different widget cards all of which can be customized directly from the main screen.

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Still on customization, you can swipe to the side in order to open up a long-list of widget-based applications all of which can be used to fill different sections of the cover screen if you want.

Long pressing on either of them allows you to edit the task switcher in order to be able to either remove or rearrange widgets, though adding new ones from the list of available options requires a trip to the main screen. Another way to interact with the widgets is by pinching which gives you a thumbnail view of all active widgets to pick from.

There’s also the option to operate complete applications on the cover display, although to a certain extent, through one of two methods.

The initial approach involves activating a switch in the Galaxy Labs. The caveat, however, is that there are about five applications which are available for this feature – Google Maps, Netflix, YouTube, and the test messaging apps from both Google and Samsung. While this is a start, it falls short of being the full-fledged functionality users might desire.

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To access most other apps on the cover screen, you’ll need to take some technical steps.

Firstly, head to Samsung’s Galaxy store and download Good Lock, an advanced tool that grants access to hidden features on Galaxy phones through separate modules. This powerful tool enhances your Galaxy experience, but it’s worth noting that its availability is limited to certain countries, which may explain why you haven’t come across it before.

In my case, we had to sideload it manually as it didn’t appear in the Store.

Once Good Lock is up and running, locate the ‘Multistar’ module and install it. Within ‘Multistar’, navigate to the ‘Life Up’ tab and further into the ‘I ♡ Galaxy Foldable’ menu. Here, you’ll find the ‘Launcher Widget’; simply tap it and enable all the apps you wish to use on the cover screen.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 have been devoid of DeX functionality even though there exists a Link to Windows feature that grants you access to your phone’s interface from your computer.

This nifty feature allows seamless image exchange, notification management on your PC, and even the possibility of making calls straight from your computer.

In addition to this, Samsung has retained some of its long-standing proprietary features. Take the Edge panels, for instance – those handy panes that appear when you swipe in from the side, offering a plethora of tools and shortcuts to apps and contacts.

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Samsung also retained the Game Launcher, one of my favorite which serves as the central hub for games on a Galaxy smartphone. It also now comes with options to help you limit distractions during your gaming sessions.

Samsung Internet web browser is still my favorite mobile web browser which retains its presence on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 to further buttress Samsung’s product ecosystem.

Samsung as usual also made the pledge to provide constant updates to this device for half-a-decade period which would be great for those looking to latch onto the device for a lengthy period before upgrading.

Galaxy Z Flip 5 versus…

Galaxy Z Flip 5 versus Galaxy Z Flip 4
Galaxy Z Flip 5 versus Galaxy Z Flip 4

The main contender of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in my opinion is the previous Galaxy Z Flip 4 even though there are some feature tweaks that certainly places this device ahead of the previous model.

When it comes to the hardware differences, there isn’t so much to be said except for the few tweaks such as the hinge which has been remodeled to help the device fold flatter compared to the Z Flip 4 which often had a tiny gap at the towards the middle and can serve as a spot for debris.

Then there’s the newer and bigger outer display compared to the tiny one featured on the previous model. Apart from those two, there isn’t any loud and banging difference between both devices.

The new Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a price tag of US$999 at the moment for US-based buyers why those in EU and the UK will pay much more.

While there is an ongoing pre-order discounts, bundles, and promotions that can sweeten the deal, that doesn’t mean you should outright throw out the Galaxy Z Flip 4 out of the window unless of course, if you can afford to.

However, taking into account that the former Galaxy Z Flip4 is now available at just over half the price, it becomes challenging to justify paying the entire MSRP for a Z Flip5.

Granted, the enhanced cover display offers much more utility, the seamless design is more aesthetically pleasing, the additional battery life is welcome, and the cameras show slight improvements, although they remain largely unchanged.

But the last generation is about as cool and is almost as good in most respects. Perhaps the Flip4 could still build a case for itself, with price at the foundation.

Motorola Razr 40 Ultra
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra

But on the other hand, we have the likes of Motorola Razr 40 Ultra or Razr Plus (depending on your region), OPPO Flip N2, Vivo X Flip, and I can’t forget about Hauwei’s own P50 Pocket all of which are great in their own realms.

I’d personally say the Razr offer some great aesthetics as well especially its cover screen which is well-integrated across the back of the device with the primary cameras puncturing through the screens unlike the Galaxy Z Flip 5 which left the camera section to create a unique design on the outer part of the screen.

The Razr also had a better software implementation for the outer display compared to the Z Flip 5 but since this is a software-based thing, I believe it can be fixed via a future update.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 on the other hand offers an IPX8 water resistance which is very useful and puts it at a great advantage compared to its close competitors on the market.


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The all-new Galaxy Z Flip 5 has captivated a lot of people across the globe even though it faces a steep competition int he Chinese smartphone market which is ridden with formidable competitors as mentioned above.

But that doesn’t mean the device cannot be the best in the clampshell foldable market. While its competitive price tag is still one of its advantage, that seems to have been stifled-out in Europe and the UK due to inflation.

On the other hand, Samsung continued on an upward trajectory in terms of upgrades and improvement across its foldable smartphones which yet another interesting reason why the brand dominates the market…at least across the globe.

The hinge is better now, the display is brighter, and the battery is stronger. It can only get better as there is a lot of room for improvement especially with future models. Which is why I believe this is a solid B+ smartphone.

Galaxy Z Flip 5 review
Review Overview
Great 3.9
Display 5
Camera capacity 3.5
Battery Life 3.9
Durability 3
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