The Galaxy Z Fold series and their distinctive form factor have become the de facto flagship foldable phones for those who mean business since the debut of the first Galaxy Fold in 2019.
We managed to secure a Galaxy Z Fold5 review sample at Galaxy Unpacked 2023 along with its bundled Slim S Pen case and put it through its paces. While it looks like not much has changed, keen eyes will notice that the Galaxy Z Fold5 offers a wealth of meaningful differences under the hood.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Review – Performance and Benchmarks
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When compared to the prior Galaxy Z Fold4, our Galaxy Z Fold5 review sample retains a similar form factor though Samsung has managed to make the phone 0.2mm slimmer on the top and sides while also being lighter too by 10g, weighing in at 153g.
The Fold5 also uses a new Flex hinge design that finally allows the phone to fold flat which has also contributed to helping the phone being thinner too at 13.4mm when folded down and at just 6.1mm when fully unfurled.
While the Galaxy Z Fold5 is slimmer and lighter, Samsung have managed to retain similar screen sizes and aspect ratios by shaving down the bezels even more while retaining similar aspect ratios, 120Hz dynamic refresh rates and colour accuracy with the key improvement being increased brightness with a quoted peak brightness of 1,750 nits for the main folding display.
The front of our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review sample hosts a tall 6.2-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a letterbox-shaped 23.1:9 aspect ratio and a dynamic refresh rate of 48-120Hz. Unfolding the phone reveals its primary 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X folding display with a squarish 21.6:18 aspect ratio.
New hinge design and brighter main screen aside, the Galaxy Z Fold5 retains a similar camera setup as its predecessor along with a 4,400mAh battery along with identical 25W fast wired charging, 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.
Befitting its flagship status, Samsung has also retained the use of tough Armor Aluminum for its chassis and also uses scratch resistant Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for the front display and backplate.
The key upgrade that cements the Fold 5’s status as a flagship is its upgunned Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor that is overclocked to 3.6GHz over a stock Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s 3.2Ghz clock speed.
To handle the higher clock speed, the chipset is also complemented by a 38% larger vapour chamber for more effective sustained performance. Another additional upgrade with the inclusion of the new chipset is enhanced image sensor processing (ISP) for better camera performance.
Running under the hood is Android 13 overlaid with their new OneUI 5.1.1 that has several interface updates which make multitasking easier. Like all of Samsung’s flagship phones, the Galaxy Z Fold5 also enjoys 4 years of OS updates all the way to Android 17 and 5 years of security updates too which vastly increases its value. Here’s how it officially stacks up on paper:
|Price||RM6,799 (256GB), RM7,299 (512GB), 1TB(8,299)|
|Display||6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, HD+(2,316 x 904 pixels), 48Hz-120Hz adaptive refresh rate, 23.1:90 aspect ratio [cover display] / 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex display, QXGA+ (2,716 x1,812 pixels), 1Hz-120Hz adaptive refresh rate, 21.6:18 aspect ratio [main display]|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy|
|OS||Android 13 with OneUI 5.1.1|
|Memory||12GB LPDDR5X RAM / 256GB (review sample), 512GB, 1TB storage|
|Cameras||10MP F/2.2 camera [cover camera] / 4MP F/1.8MP under display camera [main folding display] / 50MP F/1.8 Dual Pixel AF with OIS+ 12MO F/2.2 ultra wide camera + 10MP F/2.4 w/ PDAF and OIS [rear camera]|
|Battery||4,400mAh w/ 25W wired charging, 15W wireless, wireless reverse charging|
|Size/Weight||154.9 x 129.9 x 6.1mm (Unfolded) / 154.9 x 67.1 x 13.4mm (Folded) / 253g|
When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, our Galaxy Z Fold5 review sample scored the following:
|3DMark Wild Life||Maxed out|
|3DMark Wild Life Unlimited||11,484|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme||3,985|
|3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited||3,761|
|Geekbench 6 Single core||2,062|
|Geekbench 6 Multi core||5,566|
|Geekbench 6 Vulkan||9,782|
|Geekbench 6 OpenCL||9,490|
|PCMark Work 3.0||15,517|
|PCMark Battery Life||15 hours, 6 mins|
When compared directly to the Galaxy Z Fold4’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, the Galaxy Z Fold5’s potent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor outpaces it in every way and also offers enhanced battery life to boot.
Where the older Fold4 managed 14 hours and 43 minutes based on PCMark’s battery life benchmark, our Galaxy Z Fold5 review sample scored an improved 15 hours and 6 minutes.
Under practical work conditions, it’s easily able to last close to a day and a half of moderate use though heavy gaming, watching a season of shows and otherwise heavy use of capturing 8K video can shorten it to about a full day’s of usage.
There’s no major change in charging speeds and the phone still has 25W wired fast charging which is a conservative measure compared to other brands but it is still able to get a 50% charge in about 30 minutes.
Navigating Samsung’s OneUI 5.1.1 user interface is akin to other Samsung devices with more apps supporting Flex mode such as when using the camera app’s Pro and Pro Video mode as well as improved drag-and-drop functionality across apps.
While screen sharpness, colour rendition and refresh rate are similar to the Fold4, our Galaxy Z Fold5’s improved main display offered much better clarity under direct sunlight and when fully maxed out proved to be brighter and easier to see under Malaysia’s blazing bright noonday sun. The front cover display still offers respectable clarity under sunlight but isn’t as bright as the main folding display.
Text remained pin-sharp while movies were a treat on both displays though the front cover display’s narrow aspect ratio makes some games difficult to play and does make texting a chore for those with large paws.
There is unfortunately still a slight crease that is apparent when the main display is off and can be felt if you’re running your fingers over it though this is still an improvement over the rendition used in the older Fold4. The paired stereo speakers are pleasantly loud and are able to handle music, movies and gaming with a fair amount of volume and detail.
In terms of performance and general functionality, the Galaxy Z Fold5 does not disappoint and handles everything asked of it, including hefty CapCut video editing, gaming and multitasking without issues more so because of its smooth multitasking capabilities.
Another feature that the Galaxy Z Fold5 and other Samsung flagship phones have that no other competing phone has is DeX mode which allows it to act as a PC of sorts by casting wirelessly or using a HDMI cable to a monitor which then initiates a desktop interface.
Add in a wireless keyboard and mouse and you have a pocket PC which is an absolute lifesaver that saved our bacon when we tested it at Galaxy Unpacked 2023 in Korea using the TV to get some work done. To be fair, the Galaxy Z Fold4 is capable of all this but the newer Fold5 does it better with a slimmer, lighter chassis along with more powerful and efficient hardware all around as well as better battery life too.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Review – Cameras
Our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review sample has a 10MP front camera, an inner 4MP under display camera as well as a more powerful rear triple camera setup equivalent to the rear triple camera array used in this year’s Galaxy S23 and S23+ that is built around a 50MP camera with OIS, a 12MP ultrawide angle camera and a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and up to 30x hybrid zoom.
Combined, the Galaxy Z Fold5 has a total of five cameras spread across its design with most of the heavy lifting handled by the rear primary camera array.
The 10MP front camera maxes out at 4K@60fps video while the 4MP ekes out 1080p@60fps with the most powerful setup being the rear triple camera that is capable of up to 8K@30fps video capture. As a point of comparison, the Galaxy Z Fold4 was only able to capture up to 8K@24fps video.
An important factor to note is that when it comes to smartphone cameras these days, good hardware and optics play a part in delivering good snaps and videos but computational photography and an equally capable processor and ISP play an equally important role.
Of note is the unique foldable form factor that offers more creative options that other phones simply can’t achieve unassisted without having to tote a separate tripod along. Not only does this make the Fold5 fantastic for capturing landscape-oriented videos such as for time lapses but also for video calls as well.
While the Galaxy Z Fold5 is easily outgunned by its camera-performance oriented sibling the Galaxy S23 Ultra launched earlier this year, it manages to hold its own against its predecessor the Fold4 with the new ISP allowing it to be faster on the draw for the shutter release in day and night conditions while delivering slightly better results especially for low light and zoomed in shots along with slightly smoother 8K@30fps video (8K@24fps for the Fold4).
In keeping with Samsung’s preferred colour science, shots are slightly on the vibrant side with blues and greens slightly more saturated than what the human eye would perceive while retaining excellent details and dynamic range from ultrawide all the way to 10x hybrid zoom all the way to dimmer night shots. At 30X digital zoom, shots start looking fuzzy but there’s slightly better retention of detail over the Fold4 for the rear cameras.
Both the front and under display cameras offer similar performance outcomes to their predecessor. All in, you’re getting a solid setup of cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold5 that are capable of handling almost any conceivable scenario expected of a business user. For those seeking Samsung’s best camera setup, the Galaxy S23 Ultra awaits.
@hitechcentury We check out the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5’s rear camera array which has been enhanced with better ISP to offer great snaps and videos. Here’s how it fared at our day trip to HIKR! #samsung #tiktokcreators #techtok #hitechcentury #malaysia #longervids #kitacreators #withgalaxy #samsungunpacked #jointheflipside #galaxyzfold5 ♬ original sound – Hitech Century
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5?
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is the gold standard for flagship foldables, offering meaningful improvements in terms of performance, design, weight and battery life while retaining solid IPX8 water resistance, a robust firmware update programme and excellent cameras.
In terms of price, it clocks in at a similar price point when the Galaxy Z Fold4 debuted last year which makes it a more compelling acquisition for newcomers as you get improved hardware and a more capable design straight off the bat. While it isn’t as compelling an upgrade for existing Galaxy Z Fold4 owners, those swapping over from a prior Fold3 or Fold2 will find this to be a fantastic update.
Those who are migrating over from other brands or a conventionally shaped phone will enjoy the benefits of a pocket sized tablet and superior multitasking capabilities that the competition have yet to match.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review sample courtesy of Samsung. To preorder, please visit Samsung’s official website at https://www.samsung.com/my/smartphones/galaxy-z-fold5/buy/
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
he Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 sets a new bar for flagship foldables with the best Snapdragon processor currently in the market, powerful rear cameras and superb displays paired with a lighter, slimmer chassis. Add in excellent software support with OS updates up to 4 years and security updates for up to 5 years in paired with a slick, sleek user experience and you have the epitome of what a foldable flagship phone ought to be. Those who haven’t hopped onto the foldable phenomenon and need a heavy-hitting foldable for productivity and entertainment tasks will appreciate what the Fold5 has to offer though those who already own its predecessor can consider it somewhat of an optional purchase.
Brighter main display
New hinge design lets the design fold flat with no gap
Superb performance with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset
Excellent rear cameras
Improved battery life
Still uses 25W charging
Narrow cover screen ratio makes texting a chore