The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is the flip phone. Whether you look at a Motorola Razr or Oppo Find N2 Flip, if you know this market at all, there’s something in the back of your head. That is, Samsung makes the best flip phone. And that’s not likely to change with this new handset.
In spite of this, it seems like the new Flip, with its larger cover screen, almost makes less sense than its predecessor – or maybe it just highlights a limitation with this sort of design. Maybe things change in the future with the rumored Xiaomi Mix Flip or something different, but who knows? Either way, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is ace, even if it confuses slightly.
But before we pick all the nonsense apart, here are our key Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 review sections:
- Great performance
- Pretty design
- Better battery life
- Average cameras
- Visible hinge
Price and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is available across multiple network providers and retailers globally. It’s among the best AT&T phones in the US, and you can grab it from all of the best UK phone providers. If you buy it directly from the Samsung website, there are four exclusive colors – Grey, Blue, Green, and Yellow – alongside the standard Mint, Graphite, Lavender, and Cream. All models come with 8GB RAM.
- 256GB – $999.99 (£1,049)
- 512GB – $1,119.99 (£1,149)
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 specs:
|Inner display||6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED (1080 x 2640)|
|Cover display||3.4-inch 60Hz AMOLED (720 x 748)|
|Cameras||Wide: 12 MP
Ultrawide: 12 MP
|Dimensions||Folded: 85.1 x 71.9 x 15.1 mm
Unfolded: 165.1 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm
|Chipset||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
The big news with the Galaxy Z Flip5 is the cover display. Rather than a little slither of a screen designed for notifications and little else, the cover display now covers most of the outside of the phone. It’s not quite Motorola Razr levels – it doesn’t wrap around the cameras – but it’s pretty much there.
Beyond that, however, the phone is very similar to the Z Flip4. It has nice polished rails, a simple color on the screenless side of the outside, and remains a neat little package. One thing that is still more noticeable compared to tablet-style foldables, however, is the hinge.
This is the sort of thing that doesn’t really matter after you use it for a while, but it does feel a little too mechanical – you can see the mechanism, which isn’t something I personally want from a flagship phone. It’s also a ridiculous nitpick given that there aren’t many alternatives as of yet – but it’s something I’m not a fan of.
All in all, however, the design of the Z Flip5 is still my favorite of the flippers. It’s neat and clean, with stylish colors and nice, shiny rails. This sort of phone is a bit of a fashion statement, far more so than a standard handset, and it fits the bill nicely.
Once you open the device up, it’s a well-sized 120Hz edge-to-edge beauty with only two blemishes: a hole punch camera at the top which does the job and the inevitable crease in the middle of the screen. The former disappears in no-time, the latter is a bit different.
The issue with these sorts of folding phones is something you’ll find with all of them, so it’s just a drawback of the design. This central crease becomes invisible quite quickly as your eyes get used to it, but as you’re always moving your finger across it, you’re always aware of it physically.
Whether this is an issue really depends on the person – I know lots of folks who just want a flip phone because it’s a neat, throwback design. But if you’re like me, someone who wants the best display possible, it’s more of an issue. It’s not hard to get over, but it’s something to note.
If we ignore all that however, the colors are incredibly crisp, the refresh rate keeps everything running smoothly, and the size and shape are ideal. It’s the best inner display on any flip foldable, in my opinion.
The outer display, however, makes a little less sense. It brings some new features as we get into below, but not really enough to make it any more than what it was last year with the Z Flip4’s far smaller outer display. It’s still just a notification center in practical usage, which makes the larger size a little pointless.
The biggest new feature of the Z Flip5 is the Flex Window, a.k.a. the cover display. As it’s larger, it can now do more things. Out of the box, there are weather, alarm, phone, stopwatch, timer, voice memo, smarthome, and stocks widgets. Sounds like a lot, right?
Well, in my own day-to-day use, I didn’t really use any of them except for the weather widget. Now, my own personal use is, of course, specific to me, but I’d put good money on the average user not getting all that much more mileage out of the Flex Window.
For me, I have very few situations where I want to start a timer and I don’t use a voice assistant, even fewer situations where I make a phone call with the phone folded up, and literally zero situations where I check stock prices (like most people, I’d assume). I only ever used the Flex Window to see a notification or if it was going to rain. And I could do both those things on the Z Flip4 or 3. So, the larger screen doesn’t do all that much for me.
You can get more creative, however, as there are some apps you can open on the Flex Window even if you’re not really meant to. You can add maps, messages, Netflix, YouTube, and WhatsApp just by flicking a toggle in the settings. Only two of them really make sense, though it is good fun watching all of Tenet on the tiny cover screen – the way Chris Nolan intended.
When I managed to drag myself away from the thrilling YouTube highlights of the most recent F1 race in a tiny postage stamp format, I found far more fun to be had. If you head even deeper into the modding abilities, you can download Good Lock. This is a launcher that lets you add anything to the Flex Window, and this is hilarious.
Whether you boot up Genshin Impact or flip through tiny TikTok videos, it’s all a bit pointless, really. But it’s also great fun. And, if you do have a specific use-case where a certain app needs to be available on the cover display, you can do it here. Which is nice.
The story of foldable phones is often flagship-priced phones with far more drawbacks – the primary benefit being the foldability. One of the key drawbacks of this small form factor is the camera setup. The processing is more than clever enough for passable shots, but the lack of detail is very noticeable.
It’s not an issue for someone like me who really doesn’t mind all that much, but if you’re a super keen snapper, dropping $1000 on this might leave you a tad disappointed. They’re more than good enough for social media, but anyone with higher ambitions may want to think again.
Beyond the lack of detail, however, Samsung’s clever computational gubbins do a good enough job for different situations. There’s speedy autofocus, excellent night mode, and an overall well-rounded camera setup. Oh, and the selfie camera is more than good enough, too.
You can check out our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review for some more photos by the way – every photo of the Fold5 is taken with the Flip5. It’s the same vice versa, too: every photo of the Flip5 here is taken with the Fold5. It all sounds quite confusing, and we probably won’t do this sort of gimmick again, but maybe someone likes it…
While foldables are a story of flagship prices with a handful of drawbacks, there are some ways that Samsung is improving the experience. One of the best benefits of the Z Flip5 is the fact that the battery life is actually quite decent now. While it has the same size battery as its predecessor, it gets about an hour and a half more use time from my testing.
What this means is that the Z Flip5 can reach the end of the day without you worrying too much about it, depending on how much you use it, of course. In my experience, which involved lots of texting, podcasts, and photos, alongside a little bit of casual gaming and other gubbins, I only had to charge the phone every night. This, for me, is the minimum.
How the Z Flip5 achieves this longer battery life without a larger battery isn’t totally down to Samsung, however, as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is more efficient than its predecessor, meaning better performance and longer battery life. On the former, it’s the same old story.
Performance in the Z Flip5 is more than good enough for almost anyone. If you’re a true mobile game fanatic, you’re probably not looking at a foldable phone. If you are, maybe you shouldn’t be (check out our best gaming phone guide for some advice). But if you just need to potter about in Genshin and crush some candy in Candy Crush, you’re looked after here.
Genshin Impact is rock solid at around 60fps on medium to high settings. If you push it really high, the dips become quite noticeable and the device heats up quite a bit after a while, but it’s more than performant enough.
Casual games are an even simpler story. There are no graphical settings to fiddle with, just big bright colors in Candy Crush and smooth animation. Clash Royale is the same story, and so is pretty much any light game you can think of.
Shooters are a little weird on the softer, ultra-thin screen, mainly because you can get a bit more aggressive with your fingers. This doesn’t stop PUBG from looking great at any settings if you’re fine with 30fps, while CoD: Mobile can go all the way up to 60.
This same performance translates to slick animations when using the device, too. It feels like using a S23 Ultra in terms of its speediness. The only drawbacks come with the outer hardware limitations, not the chipset or the software.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is an excellent flip phone – in fact, it’s probably the best clamshell foldable you can buy right now. If your heart is set on this style of phone, this is the one to go for.
Still, improvements over the Flip4 are minimal, and the new Flex Window feels only a tiny bit more useful than previous versions. All that extra screen real estate doesn’t really translate to more usefulness when you actually use the thing, which is notably disappointing.
The Motorola Razr isn’t as performant as the Flip5, but it does have a slightly better battery life and a prettier design overall. It’s a good alternative, often findable at a lower price, though we’d be wary of how long it’s going to last.
Oppo Find N2 Flip
Oppo is basically completely removed from the European market now, but if you can find one, the Oppo Find N2 Flip is a great alternative. It’s got competitive performance and a really neat design, but its best boon is the slimness of its crease – the best we’ve seen.
For more beyond our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 review, check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 review, Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review, and Samsung Galaxy A54 5G review if you want to see the full range from the Korean tech giant.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 review
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is the best flip phone you can buy right now. But it’s only a tiny improvement on its predecessor, and the improvements it does bring might not be all that useful to you. The best news is the battery life bump, though that’s still a minimal change.