The all-new Galaxy Z Fold 5 might not necessarily be interesting to the average user because there isn’t anything screaming about the device this year apart from the fact that the hinge now allows the device to close flat unlike the weird gaps seen on previous models.
However, I think I get the point that Samsung is definitely the leading name when it comes to the foldable smartphone market even though other brands might in fact be catching up really fast.
The philosophy of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” definitely applies to this device in many ways which is why I made that bold claim about the device not screaming for anyone’s attention.
And why would it when it’s surely a niche smartphone that isn’t meant for everyone? The price remains the same, the design is the same except for some tweaks regarding the hardware components here and there.
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While the concept of a foldable smartphone is in itself interesting, the remote-shaped outer screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 much like the previous models isn’t convenient for me to use personally which is why I often praise the Chinese models like the Huawei Mate X3 and thankfully, Google did the same with the Pixel Fold.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 measures 6.1 x 2.64 x 0.53 inches when folded and 6.1 x 5.11 x 0.24 inches when unfolded. Weighing just 8.92 ounces (253 grams), this foldable device remains remarkably portable, fitting comfortably.
Speaking of the hardware and components, below are things you get on this US$1,800 smartphone.
As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 builds upon its predecessor’s aesthetic with a touch of modernity. The durable Armor Aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass Victus rear panel make a strong statement about its sturdiness.
The new integrated dual-rail Flex Hinge enhances the foldable experience, minimizing the pesky crease found on previous models.
The price tag isn’t so enticing to me but as it starts at a whopping $1,799, however, the device is interesting because as I mentioned above, it’s definitely a niche smartphone. In fact, all foldable smartphones are still niche products as far as I’m concerned currently.
Spec Sheet of the Galaxy Z Fold 5
|Starting price||$1,799 / £1,749|
|Inner Display||7.6-inch QXGA+ (2176 x 1812) Dynamic AMOLED, 21.6:18 aspect ratio|
|Outer Display||6.2-inch HD+ (2316 x 904) Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 23.1:9 aspect ratio|
|Refresh rate||Up to 120Hz (Inner), 60Hz (Outer)|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|Rear cameras||50MP main wide-angle, f/1.8,85 ̊ FOV + 12MP ultra-wide F2.2, 123 ̊ FOV + 10MP telephoto f/2.4, 36 ̊ FOV, 3X optical zoom|
|Selfie camera||10MP f/2.2 85 ̊ FOV (outer) 4MP f/1.8 80 ̊ FOV (inner)|
|Size||6.1 x 2.64 x 0.53-inches (folded) and 6.1 x 5.11 x 0.24-inches (unfolded) / 67.1 x 154.9 x 13.4mm (folded) and 129.9 x 154.9 x6.1mm (unfolded)|
|Weight||8.92oz (253 grams)|
|Colors||Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray, Blue|
Improved display Hardware
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 boasts a dual-display setup that is both functional and visually stunning. Samsung always excels in the display sector. That’s a fact.
The inner display sports the same 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED panel, with a resolution of 2176 x 1812 pixels and a 21.6:18 aspect ratio. This expansive screen delivers vibrant colors and immersive visuals, perfect for enjoying multimedia content, productivity tasks, and gaming.
It’s also super-bright now at 1750 nits of peak brightness compared to the previous model. That is a visible change but it’s also quite subtle.
On the outer display is the tall remote-shaped 6.2 inches, featuring an HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with a resolution of 2316 x 904 pixels and a 23.1:9 aspect ratio.
While slightly smaller, this external screen is equally vibrant and facilitates easy access to essential information and notifications even when the device is folded.
Moreover, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 embraces versatility with its adaptive refresh rates. The inner display can reach an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, offering buttery-smooth animations and interactions.
On the other hand, the outer display boasts a 60Hz refresh rate, ensuring efficient power usage while maintaining a smooth user experience.
The 6.2-inch Cover Screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 5, though smaller than the main display, is no slouch either. Sporting a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with a 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate, it’s capable of seamlessly transitioning between tasks.
Although narrower than the Pixel Fold’s external display, the Cover Screen is practical for typing and quick glances at notifications. I just personally think it could get wider if that’s okay by Samsung which seems to have already settled for that look.
Powerful Performance and Ample Storage
Under the hood, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, ensuring remarkable performance and responsiveness. Paired with a generous 12GB of RAM, this device handles multitasking with ease, making it a powerhouse for productivity and entertainment.
I never expected myself to face any issues while using the device considering the price tag but also the RAM. The base storage starts from 256GB which is also a good thing to have but optionally, you can switch to the 512GB or 1TB variant which will cost in the region of US$2,000.
There’s still no support for external MicroSD so don’t think about it. Alternatively, I often encourage people to try out cloud storage options as they’re cheaper and even more reliable in the case of device loss or misplacement.
Cameras are the same
So Samsung retained the same triple rear setup with the primary camera having a 50MP wide-angle lens with features such as an f/1.8 aperture.
Although the device is mainly a productivity device, the camera output is still outstanding.
Accompanying this is a 12MP ultra-wide lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a 123° field of view which makes taking panoramic images swift and easy.
Then there’s a third camera which is a smaller 10MP telephoto sensor with f/2.4 aperture and 3x optical zoom allowing you to take pictures of objects that are a bit farther.
Samsung still retained the 4MP under-display camera with an f/1.8 aperture and an 80° field of view which isn’t bad at all. It’s in fact getting better. There is also an outer 10MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and an 85° field of view guarantees delightful selfies.
In short, this device has about five cameras in total.
Battery and Charging speed stays the same
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is equipped with a 4,400mAh battery just like the previous model. I can literally place this device and the previous side by side and there will barely be many differences in terms of its hardware specs.
However, Samsung promised well-optimized software capabilities. That way, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 should be able to last a bit longer relative to the previous Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Also, the charging speed stays the same within the 25W wired charging capacity which Samsung claims can reach about 50% charge in just 30 min. Wireless charging is about 15W and thankfully, there’s a reverse wireless charging even though it’s just 4.5W.
More colors to pick from
The new Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes in new colorways to cater to individual preferences. The new options are Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, Gray, and Blue.
Moreover, the exclusive colors Gray and Blue are available exclusively on Samsung.com, so if that’s how you want it, head over there now.
This is still a foldable device so it can only take so much violence from JerryRigEverything if you know what I’m saying. The device sports an Armor Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 both at the front and back of the device.
Also, it has an IPX8 rating which means it can resist freshwater submersion up to 1.5 meters even though I still wouldn’t advise getting a foldable smartphone close to water especially saltwater or even dust because the inner foldable screen’s UTG is still not as durable as the outer Gorilla Glass protection.
But in terms of overall rigidity or durability regarding the toughness of the hinge, I think Zack from JerryRigEverything can conduct those mean tests.
Galaxy Z Fold 5 S Pen
To begin with, Samsung has reduced the new S-Pen by a whopping 40% in terms of size but it still doesn’t get tucked away inside the device’s silo like the Galaxy S23. Instead, there’s a casing for it if you don’t mind.
As mentioned, the slim design ensures comfortable usage, but I can’t help but wish for an integrated solution to avoid additional costs, I mean the main device is costly already.
One of the few hardware upgrades of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset which is the same found on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
This gives the device the speedy performance it needs to ensure enhanced productivity. Remember I mentioned that the RAM is 12GB which is also similar to the previous model, however, due to its optimized system, you can now expect even more buttery-smooth performance as I did.
I love gaming on this device but the immersive display even makes media consumption more enjoyable.
In fact, during a series of benchmark tests, the device’s CPU outperformed most Android smartphones, especially in Geekbench 5.4 and the Adobe Rush Premiere video transcoding test. With its impressive performance, it holds the potential to be one of the most powerful Android smartphones on the market at the moment.
The device is powered by the current Android 13 update with the One UI 5.1.1 skin offering the Samsung look and a few bloatware that Google already has. I like the fact that some of this bloatware can be removed which is an interesting thing.
Samsung also promised four years of OS support with five years of security updates.
However, Samsung did a number of important software tweaks to ensure a well-optimized experience to enhance both the battery life as well as the CPU.
Other cool usable features include the ability to drag chosen apps down diagonally from the top to the floating window in order to pin them for quick access.
The company also tweaked the drag-and-drop functionality. For example, you can now drag an image from the Samsung Gallery with one finger while using another to launch the Samsung Notes app to drop the image. It’s little tweaks like that can make a big difference in the quality of life for devices like these.
All in All
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is undoubtedly a top-tier foldable smartphone with compelling features carried over from previous iterations which shows how far Samsung has gone in the foldable smartphone technology, such as the S Pen support and powerful performance. Its brighter displays, multitasking capabilities, and improved durability make it a strong contender in the foldable market.
However, for users like me, who cherish the Galaxy Note series for its productivity features, the absence of an integrated S Pen within the device itself as the Galaxy S23 Ultra solution may be a deal-breaker for some even though there’s a casing well-designed for this hardware.
Moreover, despite the device’s allure, the premium price and limited fast charging might leave some users contemplating their options.
Personally, I’m cautiously optimistic about the Galaxy Z Fold 5. While it boasts many bells and whistles, I’ll reserve my final judgment until I’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly test and explore its potential in full detail.