The successor of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 we reviewed last year, the new device features similar technical specifications except for the new gapless Flex Hinge, the larger vapor chamber, the 41% thinner S-Pen, the brighter inner display, and the latest Qualcomm’s flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (see our benchmarks).
On the user experience side, Samsung enhanced the “Flex Mode”, to provide better multitasking features when users are watching videos or placing calls with Google Hangout when the handset is half folded.
Price and Availability
As usual with Samsung, the industrial design is excellent and solid. Thanks to the re-engineering of the hinge, the phone is now gapless and thinner when folded, just like its nemesis, the Honor Magic Vs that we reviewed in March.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 will be available on August 11, starting at $1799.99 in Icy Blue, Phantom Black, and Cream. To get the S Pen Fold Editon, you will have to buy the Slim S Pen Case available in blue, gray, or black.
Pre-orders start on July 26th (U.S.time), and offers include $1,000 off with an eligible trade-in and 30% off Samsung Care+. Buyers can save up to $540 when bundling Galaxy Fold5 with Tab S9 series and Galaxy Watch6 series.
AT&T new and existing customers can get up to $1,000 off the Galaxy Z Fold 5 with a trade-in of a Galaxy phone from any year and in any condition. For pre-orders placed by Thursday, Aug. 10, AT&T is offering twice the storage.
The $1799 Google Pixel Fold (released on June 27th) features a smaller form factor which may be more suitable for some users. The most significant competitive advantage of the new foldable Pixel smartphone over the Z Fold 5 is its slightly better main camera system that features a great 5X optical zoom (vs. 3X for the Fold 5). On the other hand, the Google phone features a slightly lower-quality inner display with larger bezels, however, the viewing experience is awesome.
Thanks to the hinge redesign, the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is on par with the Honor Magic Vs on the industrial design side. The Z fold 5’s camera system hardware is exactly the same as the Z Fold 4, so the Magic Vs keeps its slight advantage on that side since both devices feature the same Gen 2 Snapdragon 8 SoC
The Honor Magic Vs Ubergizmo CAMERA HW score is 161, while the Galaxy Z Fold 4 CAMERA HW is 155. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 CAMERA HW score is the same at 160. The CAMERA HW score for the Google Pixel Fold is 166.
Please note that our Ubergizmo CAMERA HW score only evaluates the main rear camera systems and does not rate the selfies.
At 1599 euros (about $1700), the Honor Magic Vs wins the price contest, and at that price tag, the 66W fast charger provided (a $40 value) is one of the top benefits of owning the foldable Honor phone.
On paper, the Z Fold 5 delivers a brighter inner display (1200 vs. 800 NITs) with a higher refresh rate (120 Hz vs 90 Hz). The Honor Magic Vs lacks certification for water resistance which is a noticeable disadvantage over the Fold 5’s IPx8 rating (immersion for up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes).
The New Flex Hinge Design Makes The Phone Flat When Folded.Samsung totally revamped its hinge design to remove the gap when the handset is folded and applied the same re-engineering to its sibling the new Galaxy Z Flip 5. The device is now 0.59” (14.98mm) thin instead of 0.62” (15.8 mm) and is lighter (8.92oz / 253g) vs. 9.3oz / 263g).
With a 1750 NITs peak brightness, the gorgeous 7.6-inch foldable Infinity Flex display is brighter than the previous model (1600 peak brightness). Other than that, it features the same technical specifications such as the 2176 x 1812 resolution, Dynamic AMOLED 2X technology, and 1 to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate.
Similarly, the 6.2-inch cover screen gets the same 2316 x 904 resolution with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate (1-120 Hz) as the one in the Z Fold 4. However, the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 covering the external chassis is supposed to be stronger than the Victus+ found in the previous version, especially for resisting drops on asphalt and concrete.
Flex Mode and multitasking enhanced
Samsung pushed the envelope on the user experience side specifically for multitasking and the Flex mode. In Flex mode, the new interface features new digital buttons that allow users to switch between the control panel and the list of videos on the bottom half of the screen when watching movies on the upper half. (See photos above and below)
Additionally, users can convert the bottom half of the inner display into a virtual trackpad and use the pointer displayed on the video to fast forward 10 seconds by tapping twice on the trackpad.
There are many more new UI features that brought the multitasking user experience to the next level, including an improved Taskbar, the enhanced two-handed drag and drop, and the hidden pop-up that allows chatting with friends and watching a video simultaneously.
Triple Rear Camera System and Two Selfie Cameras
The rear camera system has the same hardware as the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and features a 50MP (wide) primary sensor, a 12MP ultrawide sensor, and a 10MP 3x optical-zoom camera.
Similar to the Z Fold 4, there is a 10MP selfie camera when using the screen cover, and there’s another 4MP selfie camera built into the 7.6” foldable display for a total of five camera modules.
Despite having the same camera hardware as before, the new Snapdragon processor should bring enough power to deliver more image filter options that would make photography generally more convenient. From an image-quality standpoint, there’s a good chance the noise reduction could be somewhat improved by software. We are looking forward to seeing it during live photo testing.
SoC, enhanced gaming performance, and battery
Besides the hinge, the most significant upgrades are inside, with a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (12GB RAM, 256GB/512GB/1TB storage) processor and a larger vapor chamber for better cooling. If you’re curious, read our Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 overview, which most high-end smartphones use in 2023.
The battery size remains at 4400 mAh, which is not surprising since the overall chassis is already so packed, and the vapor chamber is now even larger. Samsung showcased a few games running on the Z Fold 5, that were optimized for the device. The new SoC combined with the larger cooling chamber are two main factors for higher, and more sustained, gaming performance.
Generally, we have seen good battery life with this configuration. Additionally, the new Snapdragon is more power-efficient, so we expect battery life to remain comparable, but with higher performance.
Charging speed, and wireless charging
Unfortunately, Samsung still does not provide a charger in the box, and to get 50% charge in 30 minutes, you will have to buy the 25W adapter. The battery supports 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse charging. Wireless PowerShare is limited to Samsung or other brand smartphones with WPC Qi wireless charging, please refer to the official product pages for the list of compatible devices.