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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Review

There’s lots of talk about the all-new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5, with its new larger cover screen. But at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event, the company also introduced the new Galaxy Z Fold5.

Unlike the Galaxy Z Flip5, the changes Samsung made to the Galaxy Z Fold5 are slightly more subtle. In fact, it’s rather hard to tell what’s new with the phone just by looking at it from the outside. Rather than making major changes, it seems Samsung decided to improve user experience on the Galaxy Z Fold5 from its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold4.

In this review, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and whether or not you should consider it as your next phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 13

Design and Construction

At first glance, it’s a bit hard to distinguish the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Fold5 from each other, especially when the phones are unfolded. The only telltale sign would be the position of the rear camera housing. The flash has been relocated to the side as opposed to being at the bottom of the triple rear camera system.

But if you look closer, you’ll notice that Samsung did make a big change to the design of the Galaxy Z Fold5. Specifically, the phone now closes flush without any gap, preventing any debris from entering the phone.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 4

Samsung uses a Flex Hinge, also found on the new Galaxy Z Flip5, allowing it to close fully flat. At the same time, there are fewer moving parts as compared to the previous model.

Thanks to the design change, the Galaxy Z Fold5 is now thinner when closed, measuring only 13.4mm. It has also become lighter, weighing only 253g. Samsung claims the phone is more durable, and retains the IPX8 water resistance from its predecessor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 3

The rest of the phone’s construction remains unchanged. You still get the beautiful and tough aluminum frame. With the phone unfolded, you get the power and volume buttons on the right side, while the dual-sim card slot can be found on the left side. At the bottom, there’s the USB-C port and a loudspeaker, while the other loudspeaker is located at the top.

Our review unit is in the Icy Blue color, which is a perfect blend of classy and subtle. But there is a more sedate Phantom Black color and a louder Cream color available. There are even online exclusive colors – Blue and Gray.

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Display and Multimedia

While Samsung made some major changes to the design and structure of the Galaxy Fold 5, the same can’t be said about the display. Like the Galaxy Z Fold4, you have two 120Hz high-resolution OLED displays – a 6.2-inch cover screen and the larger 7.6-inch foldable main screen. Both displays are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

Personally, there’s nothing wrong with the displays being a carryover. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right? Like before, the screens are great for watching videos or playing games. You also get really nice vivid colors and deep blacks as you would expect from a phone of this caliber. Together with the 120Hz refresh rate, you can definitely enjoy watching shows or playing games on this phone.

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Interestingly, Samsung claims the main screen is brighter than before. Specifically, it now has a maximum of 1750nits, allowing it to be easily used even under direct light. Although from experience, you do have to turn on Extra Brightness in the settings to take advantage of this new feature.

The loudspeakers are still great and not to mention loud. So even though you’re in a group, they’ll definitely be able to hear what’s happening.

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Similar to the display, the changes to the camera on the Galaxy Z Fold5 are almost non-existent. The triple rear camera mainly consists of a 50MP wide camera, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom. While the hardware remains unchanged, the image quality seems to be improved.

The photos look a lot more vivid and sharp now, similar to what you’d find in the Galaxy S23. Personally, I find it too vibrant and enhanced for my liking, but I’m sure others will like these kinds of photos. What did surprise me is the photo quality when shooting in low light to almost no-light conditions. At the same time, the photos still look quite sharp even when shooting zoomed in.

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Like the photos, there’s also an improvement in video quality, which is noticeable at night and in low light. The phone can still shoot at 8K@30FPS maximum, and there’s Super Steady which is great. Although I don’t recommend using Super Steady at night since the camera has a hard time focusing.

The front-facing cameras are still the same with a 4MP under-display camera on the main display and a 10MP selfie camera on the cover screen. Although, Samsung did make it easier to engage rear selfie mode now.

Check out some of our sample photos below.

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Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset for Galaxy along with 12GB RAM. It’s essentially the same overclocked chipset used in the Galaxy S23 series.

As we saw in the S23 Ultra, the Galaxy Z Fold5 is capable of playing almost any mobile game you can think of without any issue. You can even leave multiple tasks running in the background, and it still runs smoothly.

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It’s perfect if you plan to play competitive games with the phone since you won’t encounter any lag whatsoever. Not to mention you also have a larger screen with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and bright backlight. This means you can play anytime, anywhere without having to worry about the phone slowing down.

Our unit comes with 256GB of internal storage, which I find lacking given the size of the photos and video this phone can take. At the same time, installing several games will eat up even more space. Thankfully, Samsung does offer the Galaxy Z Fold5 with 512GB and 1TB storage.

To give you a better idea, check out our benchmark scores of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 below.

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OS, Apps, and UI

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 runs on Android 13 skinned with One UI 5.1.1. One UI on the fold has been tuned for optimization and multi-tasking, making it easy to use especially if you’re working on the go.

There are also various multi-screen options allowing you to become more productive. You can now even view some websites on desktop mode as opposed to mobile when you flip it to the side.

Unlike previous versions of One UI, there’s also noticeably less bloatware that comes with the phone. You only get the usual Samsung apps, which are quite helpful if you have other Samsung gadgets.

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Battery and Connectivity

The battery on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is a 4,400mAh unit, identical to the one in the Galaxy Z Fold4. With the new chipset though, the phone seems to be less power-hungry. In my time, it is capable of lasting nearly half a day of use before needing to recharge.

Although, I was disappointed that the wired charging speed is still slow, rated only at 25W. Meanwhile, wireless charging is rated only at 15W.

Using the PCMark Battery Test, the phone was able to last 10 hours and 23 minutes. Not the best, but it’s okay considering the small battery size of the phone.

In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Z Fold5 includes 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and NFC. There’s also a dual-sim card slot.

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Overall, there are not a lot of changes to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 from its predecessor, and it’s rather easy to tell. As such, it’s hard to recommend it especially if you currently own the Galaxy Z Fold4. Even with the trade-in discount, it’s a hard pill to swallow since the phone starts at PHP 98,990 for the 256GB variant. Meanwhile, the 512GB variant retails for PHP 105,990 and the Samsung.com exclusive 1TB variant is priced at PHP 119,990.

Nonetheless, we won’t stop you from upgrading from the Galaxy Z Fold4 if you want the more powerful chipset and improved cameras. But if you’re using a Galaxy Z Fold3 or older fold model, then moving to the Galaxy Z Fold5 is definitely a good move. You can even take advantage of the pre-order bonuses such as the free storage upgrade and discounts on the new Galaxy Watch Series 6.

There are also a bunch of nice accessories and covers available from the official Samsung site. The one we have includes an S-pen, which is nice to have if you want to scribble down notes or draw on the phone.

But what do you think of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5? Would you consider it if you’re in the market for a foldable smartphone? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 specs:
6.2-inch HD+ (2316 x 904 pixels) Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, 120Hz refresh rate
7.6-inch QXGA+ (2176 x 1812 pixels) Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex Display, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Made for Galaxy SoC
256GB, 512GB, 1TB UFS 3.1
12MP f/2.2 ultrawide
50MP f/1.8 OIS, dual-pixel main camera
12MP f/2.4 telephoto, OIS, PDAF, 3x optical, 30x Space Zoom
10MP f/2.2 cover camera
4MP f/1.8 under-display camera
Dual nano SIM w/ e-SIM
5G, 4G LTE
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
Fingerprint scanner
Face Unlock
IPX8 water and dust resistance
Android 13 with One UI 5.1.1
4,400mAh dual battery, 25W fast charging, 10W wireless, 4.5W power share
154.9 x 129.9 x 6.1 mm (dimensions, closed)
154.9 x 67.1 x 13.4 mm (dimensions, open)
253 grams (weight)
Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream

What we liked about it:

  • Great performance
  • Improved camera quality

What we did not like:

  • Marginally insignificant design changes
  • Expensive, as usual
  • Behind from competition in terms of thickness and weight
  • Same old charging tech

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