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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Hands-On: Bigger Display, More Personal Customizations

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Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Flip 5 good points a considerably bigger cowl display screen, an upgraded hinge and a brand new processor that ought to enhance efficiency and pictures, addressing a number of the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s greatest shortcomings. It launches on Aug. 11 beginning at $1,000 (£1,049, AU$1,649), displaying that customers nonetheless should pay a excessive value to get their arms on telephones that fold in half.

This story is a part of Samsung Occasion, CNET’s assortment of reports, suggestions and recommendation round Samsung’s hottest merchandise.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s greatest improve is its new cowl show, which I discovered compelling throughout my temporary time utilizing the gadget. With this improve, the exterior show really feels useful and helpful relatively than simply beauty, serving to Samsung’s flip cellphone catch as much as these made by Motorola and Chinese language tech big Oppo.

Samsung launched the brand new flip cellphone at its Galaxy Unpacked occasion in Seoul on Wednesday, alongside a bevy of different merchandise such because the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Galaxy Watch 6 collection and Galaxy Tab S9 household. The launch underscores Samsung’s wager that foldable designs are the way forward for high-end smartphones, particularly as a differentiator to Apple simply forward of iPhone launch season. 

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 (left) and Galaxy Z Flip 4 (proper).

Wealthy Peterson/CNET

The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s cowl show, which Samsung now calls the Flex Window, measures 3.4 inches in comparison with the Z Flip 4’s 1.9-inch exterior show. That makes it simply barely smaller than the three.6-inch entrance display screen on the Motorola Razr Plus.

Most individuals will nonetheless use the Z Flip 5’s 6.7-inch inside display screen for duties like studying the information, taking part in video games and shopping social media. However the larger cowl show may make the Z Flip extra helpful in different methods. After I reviewed the Razr Plus, for instance, I used to be enamored with the cellphone’s spacious cowl display screen. I beloved propping it open like a tent whereas taking part in music, and even typing to shortly reply to a textual content message.

230725-site-samsung-z-flip-5-hands-on

Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Fingers-On: A Greater Display screen Goes a Lengthy Method

Samsung is trying to offer an analogous expertise with the Z Flip 5. Throughout my temporary time with it, I scrolled by Google Maps, typed within the messages app and even watched the Barbie film trailer on YouTube with out opening the cellphone. You’ll be able to’t do any of that on the Z Flip 4’s cowl display screen. Though you may on the Razr Plus. 

However you will not be capable to use each app on the entrance show. For essentially the most half, Samsung limits cowl display screen apps to ones it believes have a superb motive to be there, like Google Maps, YouTube and WhatsApp. Samsung needs to concentrate on use instances that make sense for the quilt display screen, like shortly checking instructions or replying to a textual content, which is why solely about 10 apps might be out there on the Flex Window at launch. That differs from the Razr Plus, which may run nearly any app (together with TikTok) on the entrance display screen.

If you wish to strive different apps on the quilt display screen you may set up Good Lock, an app for Samsung gadgets that lets folks customise their telephones’ interface. 

Samsung; GIF by Arielle Burton/CNET

Cowl display screen apps seamlessly transition to the 6.7-inch inside show once you open the cellphone. However this does not work the opposite means round, because it does on the Motorola Razr.

The duvet display screen feels prefer it was primarily designed to run widgets greater than full apps. These widgets are the very first thing you see when turning on the quilt display screen, they usually present a bigger view of the climate, your calendar, alarms, related gadget controls and different tidbits of knowledge in comparison with the Z Flip 4’s minuscule display screen. You’ll be able to take away or reorder these widgets, both on the quilt display screen or within the cellphone’s settings menu.

Samsung: GIF by Arielle Burton/CNET

The Z Flip 5 additionally has a brand new hinge, which Samsung calls the Flex Hinge. This allows the gadget to fold utterly closed, just like the Razr Plus, with out the wedge-shaped hole discovered on earlier Galaxy Z Flip and Fold gadgets. 

This not solely makes the cellphone really feel extra compact, however it ought to enhance sturdiness, in response to Samsung. The brand new hinge has fewer shifting elements in comparison with the earlier model, which ought to make it much less prone to wreck. Each of Samsung’s new foldables have an IPX8 water resistance ranking, which ought to enable them to resist submersion in 1.5 meters (roughly 5 toes) of water for as much as half-hour. That is the identical sturdiness ranking as final yr’s gadgets.

The duvet display screen and hinge are the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s greatest upgrades. In any other case, the cellphone will get a routine processor improve to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. It is the identical chip that powers the Galaxy S23 lineup, which helped enhance the battery life and picture processing. I am trying ahead to seeing whether or not that holds true for the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Samsung is leaning on this chip to shoulder the burden of extending the Z Flip 5’s battery life because it has the identical 3,700-mAh battery capability because the Z Flip 4. The bottom storage can be growing from 128GB to 256GB on the Z Flip 5 in comparison with the Z Flip 4, a change that Samsung additionally made to the Galaxy S23 Plus earlier this yr. 

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 with its cowl display screen.

Wealthy Peterson/CNET

Cameras have all the time been an essential a part of the Galaxy Z Flip collection, however the Z Flip 5 has related digital camera {hardware} in comparison with final yr’s mannequin. That features a 12-megapixel important digital camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide digital camera and a 10-megapixel selfie digital camera. The distinction this yr is that the cameras have a brand new lens coating that ought to scale back lens flare. Hopefully this, mixed with the brand new processor, will enhance the Galaxy Z Flip’s cameras from what my colleague Patrick Holland referred to as “B-grade cameras” in his overview final yr. And naturally, the Z Flip 5’s enlarged cowl display screen additionally means you may have a roomier viewfinder for taking selfies when the cellphone is closed.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s software program expertise is essentially the identical as that of the Z Flip 4, however Samsung added extra integrations with its new Galaxy Watch 6. For instance, when the digital camera app is open and also you fold the Flip 5 midway to place it in Flex Mode and you may see the icon for the digital camera controller app pop up in your Galaxy Watch 6’s watch face. This allows you to see a preview of what you are taking pictures and alter angles out of your wrist. The app itself is not new, however the watch’s capability to floor it when it detects that you are taking a photograph in Flex Mode is.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 seems like Samsung’s try to handle the earlier era’s greatest compromises: A canopy display screen that felt too tiny to be helpful, a comparatively brief battery life and a hinge that did not fold as flat as some rivals. Whether or not I am going to advocate this cellphone is determined by how effectively Samsung executes on that objective.

Samsung; GIF by Arielle Burton/CNET

However most significantly, I hope the quilt display screen offers the Z Flip 5 a clearer objective. Having a cellphone with a built-in tripod that may slot in your pocket extra simply is useful, however it’s not sufficient to persuade most individuals to modify to a $1,000 flip cellphone for. The Razr Plus’ bigger exterior show proved that flip telephones could be about extra than simply portability. With the Z Flip 5, I will be anticipating Samsung to push that concept additional.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 specs vs. Motorola Razr Plus, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Motorola Razr 2023

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5Motorola Razr PlusSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 5GMotorola Razr 2023
Show dimension, tech, decision, refresh price, brightnessCowl: 3.4-inch AMOLED (728 x 720 pixels); inside: 6.7-inch AMOLED (2,640 x 1,080 pixels), 1-120HzCowl: 3.6-inch OLED (1,066 x 1,056 pixels); inside: 6.9-inch (2,640 pixels x 1,080)Cowl: 1.9-inch AMOLED (512 x 260 pixels); inside: 6.7-inch (2,640 x 1,080 pixels)Cowl: 1.5-inch, OLED (194 x 368 pixels); inside: 6.9-inch (2,640 pixels x 1,080)
Pixel densityCowl: 306 ppi, Inside: 425 ppiCowl: 413 ppi, inside: 413ppiCowl: 302 ppi, inside: 425 ppiCowl: 282 ppi, inside: 413 ppi
Dimensions (inches)Open: 6.5 x 2.83 x 0.27 in; closed: 3.35 x 2.83 x 0.59 inOpen: 2.91 x 6.73 x 0.28 in; closed: 2.91 x 3.48 x 0.59 inOpen: 2.83 x 3.3 x 0.67 in; closed: 2.83 x 6.5 x 0.27 in; hinge: 0.59 in (sagging)Open: 2.91 x 6.73 x 0.29 in; closed: 2.91 x 3.47 x 0.62 in
Dimensions (millimeters)Open: 71.88 x 165.1 x 6.89 mm; closed: 71.88 x 85.09 x 14.99 mmOpen: 73.95 x 170.83 x 6.99 mm; closed: 73.95 x 88.42 x 15.1 mmOpen: 71.9 x 165.2 x 6.9 mm; closed: 71.9 x 84.9 x 17.1 mm; hinge: 15.9 mm (sagging);Open: 73.95 x 170.82 x 7.35 mm; closed: 73.95 x 88.24 x 15.8 mm
Weight (grams, ounces)187 g (6.6 oz)189 g (6.64 oz)187 g (6.59 oz)189 g (6.65 oz)
Cell software programAndroid 13Android 13Android 12/13Android 13
Digital camera12-megapixel (important), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)12-megapixel (important), 13-megapixel (ultrawide)12-megapixel (important), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)64-megapixel (important), 13-megapixel (ultrawide)
Entrance-facing digital camera10-megapixel32-megapixel10-megapixel32-megapixel
Video seizeTBD4K4K4K
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 2Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
RAM/storage8GB + 256GB/512GB8GB + 256GB8GB+ 128GB/256GB/512GB8GB + 128GB
Expandable storageNoneNoneNoneNone
Battery3,700 mAh (dual-battery)3,800 mAh3,700 mAh4,200 mAh
Fingerprint sensorFacetFacetFacetFacet
ConnectorUSB-CUSB-CUSB-CUSB-C
Headphone jackNoneNoneNoneNone
Particular options5G-enabled, IPX8 water resistance, 25W wired charging, wi-fi charging, wi-fi energy share, twin SIMIP52, 5G-enabled, foldable show, 30W wired charging, wi-fi chargingIPX8, 5G enabled, foldable show, wi-fi charging, 25W quick chargingIP52, 5G-enabled, foldable show, 30W wired charging, 5W wi-fi charging
US value off-contract$1,000$1,000$999TBA
UK value£1,049Converts to £780£999TBA
Australia valueAU$1,649Converts to AU$1,475AU$1,499TBA



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