This year’s Summer Galaxy launch had special significance to it as it brought significant changes to Samsung’s foldable smartphones. The event saw the unveiling of two models: the Galaxy Z Flip5 and Z Fold5. The Galaxy Flip5 underwent notable changes (for an in-depth look, refer to our review), while the Galaxy Z Fold5 also brought some improvements.
This year, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 boasts a new processor, a hinge with no gap, and a sleeker, lighter design. Although these changes might not appear groundbreaking on paper, they greatly enhance the overall user experience. However, these improvements come at a cost, with the starting price of the Galaxy Z Fold5 now set at INR 1,54,999. So should you upgrade to the new Galaxy Z Fold5? Let’s find out in our review.
Samsung’s engineers dedicated substantial effort to enhancing the look and feel of the latest foldable iteration. The Galaxy Z Fold5 maintains a familiar appearance to its predecessor but gets a significantly improved hinge. While past models exhibited slight creakiness and an awkward gap upon closing, the new hinge offers a smoother operation, allowing for a no-gap look when closed.
This refined hinge design not only contributes to aesthetics but also contributes to the device’s slimmer and lighter profile compared to its predecessor. When folded, the Z Fold5 measures 13.4mm in thickness and weighs a mere 253g, making it relatively lightweight for a premium device. The phone now boasts a broader color range including Cream, Phantom Black, and Icy Blue as standard choices, alongside exclusive Gray and Blue shades available only on Samsung.com.
While the Z Fold5 retains its previous dimensions, including the narrow external display and square-ish inner screen, Samsung ensures durability through Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection on both front and back surfaces. The proprietary thin glass safeguards the inner display. The button arrangement remains consistent, with volume rockers on the right side, housing a fingerprint scanner that doubles as the power button which is both fast and accurate.
However, the challenge of incorporating the SPen within the device’s body remains unsolved; instead, users must purchase a separate proprietary case for storing the stylus. The phone upholds its IPX8 rating, equipping it to withstand up to 1.5 meters of freshwater immersion for 30 minutes. Although the Z Fold5 stands as a polished addition to Samsung’s lineup, a more substantial design evolution would have been welcomed this year.
Maintaining the same overall design as its precursor, it’s unsurprising that the Z Fold5 will stick with the same display features. The phone still gets the narrow 6.1-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED external display and the large 7.6-inch 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED foldable display.
The external displays’ lofty 23.1:9 aspect ratio, even taller than a standard smartphone, needs an adjustment period. Although typing on this display proves intensive, it’s still preferable to using the main display with two thumbs.
With an increased brightness of 1,750 nits, the 7.6-inch primary screen offers exceptional readability even under direct sunlight. While its peak brightness might not be the highest on the market, its average brightness and HDR capabilities stand among the industry’s finest. The display impresses with vibrant visuals, crisp imagery, fluid motion, and remarkable responsiveness. The inclusion of HDR10 further enriches the overall viewing experience, pushing it to new heights.
The main display’s square aspect ratio makes it ideal for split-screen multitasking, comfortably accommodating two full-sized apps side by side, along with space for a floating third window. While multitasking remains a niche, it’s a valuable tool for power users. Despite the improved hinge mechanism, the display crease remains visible; however, this minor imperfection becomes easier to ignore over time.
Software & UI
Running on the One UI 5.1 operating system, built upon Android 13, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 delivers a refined user experience. The interface is elegant, featuring seamless animations and transitions throughout. While the phone arrives with essential applications, certain pre-installed apps like LinkedIn, Outlook, Facebook, Spotify, and Netflix are included, which can be easily uninstalled.
The phone significantly enhances the foldable experience with a specialized app switcher. The introduction of Flex mode dynamically adapts app layouts, as seen in apps like Camera and YouTube, when the device is half-folded. The improvement extends to split-screen multitasking, with an expanded list of compatible apps. Concurrently, the phone can now accommodate three parallel apps alongside a floating window. Even while multiple full-screen apps are active, users can swiftly transform one into a floating window.
Also added is a drag-and-drop feature that allows users to extract a photo from the Gallery and seamlessly transfer it to the Notes app. Notably, popular apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Spotify offer dedicated layouts tailored for the main boxy display, thereby improving the usability of the primary display.
The Galaxy Z Fold5 comes powered by a special variant of Qualcomm’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, boasting increased clock speeds of up to 3.36 GHz. Samsung says that this processor integrates an enhanced GPU, branding it as the fastest mobile graphics processor in the market. The phone’s performance, proven by various benchmarks, reinforces these claims, as the Galaxy Z Fold5 surpasses competing flagships equipped with the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.
Impressively, the phone manages to score 11,79,528 points in the AnTuTu benchmark, while Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core scores come out to be 1,513 and 4,626 points, respectively. The Galaxy Z Fold5’s performance in everyday use is also noteworthy, with the phone being highly responsive and gliding smoothly through the UI when using the app switcher and moving in and out of open apps.
Regarding graphics prowess, the phone is more than capable of running most games at the highest possible resolution, with no stutters or frame drops. Scoring 65fps in GFXBench’s Car Chase test and approximately 75fps in the 3DMark Wild Life tests, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a solid gaming performance.
The camera arrangement on the Galaxy Z Fold5 mirrors that of its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold4. The phone gets a triple camera setup on the rear, comprising a 50MP primary sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS), a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 10MP 3x optical telephoto lens.
The camera efficiently captures sharp, vibrant, and rich images, particularly with the primary 50MP sensor. The photos definitely come out better on the Z Fold5 compared to the Z Fold4 despite sporting the same camera hardware. Now this is possible due to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s advanced ISP and Samsung’s refined image processing algorithms.
The primary 50MP sensor also proves its might in various scenarios, such as the improved portrait mode, yielding exceptional results. The night mode effectively brings out details in low-light environments. The 12MP ultra-wide and 10MP telephoto lenses produce well-balanced images with commendable dynamic range, sharpness, color vibrancy, and saturation. Although minor limitations exist with the ultra-wide sensor in low-light conditions, these are negligible when looking at the overall performance.
Contrarily, the under-display selfie camera on the inner screen continues to generate washed-out images. The tech is still in its infancy stage and certainly needs polishing. On the other hand, the outer display’s selfie camera performs admirably, making it ideal for video calls and self-portraits.
Shifting the focus to video capabilities, the Galaxy Z Fold5 records up to 4K at 60 FPS, unlike the 8K at 30 FPS option offered by the Galaxy S23 series even after sporting the same internals. While advanced features such as Dolby Vision HDR capture are absent, the video quality remains among the industry’s finest on a foldable.
Sporting a 4,400mAh battery, identical to its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold5 comes with the advantages of the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip in terms of battery performance. Despite retaining the same battery capacity, the phone impressively lasted two straight days with moderate use. Even during intense usage, the battery lasts a full day.
The phone still supports 25W charging, but the charger is not included with the device and must be separately purchased from Samsung. Using the proprietary charger, the battery takes just under 2 hours to top up fully.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Review – The Verdict
For those on the lookout for a high-end foldable phone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 presents as an ideal choice. The phone excels in the fundamentals, featuring an innovative flat hinge, polished aesthetics, and robust internals.
A noteworthy change is the phone’s newfound capability to fold perfectly flat, removing the gap that was previously present all thanks to the new hinge. Provided the external display meets your requirements and you’re not already using the Z Fold4, opting for the Galaxy Z Fold5 would prove to be a sound investment.