Foldable phones offer a completely unique handset experience. Modern screen technology has transformed how we view the smartphone form factor, enabling the creation of powerful devices with customisable viewing options.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 5G continues the brand’s streak of leading foldable handsets, and in our review we’ll be taking a deep dive into what makes this impressive device tick.
Explore the Galaxy Z Fold 5 5G for yourself with three stunning colour options on offer, and up to 512GB storage.
Samsung clearly landed on a good thing with the preceding Fold 4 handset. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 maintains that phone’s good looks and design features, such as the sharp, rectangular shape with rounded corners, and vertical camera array.
This is no mere iteration, however. Significant improvements to how the Z Fold 5 feels to hold make all the difference, starting with the phone’s weight. Being a full 10g lighter than its predecessor, the Z Fold 5 strikes a great balance; it’s neither too heavy that it feels cumbersome, or too light that you barely notice it. This was achieved by removing some excess material, particularly around the island housing the cameras.
The lighter weight makes the Z Fold 5 a truly dexterous device, whether it’s folded or unfolded. By slotting easily into any pocket, it expertly fulfils the vision of any foldable phone: a device that you can open up and fold away with little effort.
Each member of the Z Fold family has gradually improved on the hinge system, resulting in foldable phones that are confidently sturdy, and have minimal evidence of a crease down the screen. The Z Fold 5 pushes this further with the Flex Hinge, one of the best folding mechanisms on any foldable phone. Its design helps the Z Fold 5’s folded and unfolded screens to lay together tightly, without a loose gap between them. This could result in some earlier foldable handsets feeling a bit flimsy, but the Z Fold 5 feels very well constructed.
A beautiful and durable aluminium frame completes the Z Fold 5 package, providing the phone with a highly resistant shield against most bumps and scratches. It’s a wonderful device that evokes premium quality across every inch.
Samsung have maintained the status quo with the Z Fold 5, opting to include the same dazzling displays found on the Z Fold 4. This is a positive move, because these screens really did impress with their resolution, clarity and colours.
The folded display is comprised of a 6.2” AMOLED screen, with a refresh rate that adapts to the content you’re watching (up to 120Hz). In this traditional smartphone form factor, the AMOLED display showcases games, films and videos with incredible detail, and is consistently free of stutter thanks to the adaptive refresh rate. An increase to the screen’s peak brightness – 1750 nits to be exact, compared to the Z Fold 4’s 1500 nits – is another jewel in the crown, and makes the Z Fold 5 an ideal outdoor companion.
When the Z Fold 5 is opened up and used to its full potential, this phone really comes into its own. The mini-tablet AMOLED screen measures at 7.6”, and also features an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz. This display is an entertainment-lover's dream; films and videos can be watched in a way that’s totally unique to foldable devices. Pitch the Z Fold 5 at 90 degrees and enjoy videos without needing to tilt your neck at an awkward angle.
Rather than relying on a bezel to hide features like the camera, Samsung have cleverly hidden them under a set of pixels that are switched on and off when needed. This means the AMOLED screen is edge-to-edge, offering an even greater viewing experience.
If productivity is something you look for in a smartphone, the Z Fold 5 is also ideally suited. The unfolded display can be used to multi-task in many different ways, such as taking a call on one side and reading notes on the other. Add into the mix S-Stylus support for quick annotating, and you’ve got an unmatched productivity device.
With the Z Fold 5, Samsung brought performance closer in line to the flagship Galaxy S series. This processing power is delivered by the superb Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ‘for Galaxy’ chipset: a speedy piece of silicon.
Visually demanding games like Call of Duty Mobile run incredibly well, barely pushing the Z Fold 5 to its limits and maintaining a consistently high frame rate. 4K videos can also be edited with no issues; a feat that’s achieved by the Snapdragon 8 chip and 12GB RAM working harmoniously.
Given that the Z Fold 5 supports extensive multi-tasking and swapping between displays, reliable performance was an absolute must. Thankfully, this phone has processing power to spare, and blows anything thrown at it out of the water.
The crisp and clear camera array on the Z Fold 4 is carried over to the Z Fold 5. This consistency is a net positive; if you were a fan of the Fold 4, you’re getting the same quality cameras, whilst simultaneously giving new owners a tried-and-tested array to experiment with.
Leading the charge is a 50MP wide-angle camera, followed by 12MP ultra-wide and 10MP telephoto lenses. Photos produced by these cameras are bursting with detail, particularly when letting the Z Fold 5’s image-enhancing AI do its thing. Images are neither oversaturated or lacking in colour; whatever lighting conditions you’re in, the Z Fold 5 ensures every pixel is crystal-clear.
This is a foldable phone of course, so you can naturally use it to take photos in folded or unfolded mode. The extra screen space allows you to view environments with greater visibility before taking the shot, so you can frame things exactly how you want. When shooting HD or 4K videos, this makes you feel like a genuine director.
Running the show on the Z Fold 5 is Android 13, bringing with it some deep personalisation features such as Material You. This version of the operating system makes customising the Z Fold 5 incredibly easy, and is made even easier thanks to Samsung’s custom OS, OneUI 5.1.1.
Crucially, OneUI feels perfectly at home on the Z Fold 5; it’s fast, responsive, and can handle switching between folded and unfolded mode with ease. Functionality is served incredibly well thanks to OneUI, making the entire unfolding process feel intuitive and simple.
This is best exemplified when using apps between both modes. Let’s say you want to navigate around a city; you can easily use the folded screen like a standard smartphone, but you can also switch to unfolded mode and see the map with greater detail; a lifesaver if the app can’t generate any directions to guide you.
The battery is one area that older foldable phones have struggled with; do you keep the device light and sturdy, or include a heavier, more powerful battery? Samsung chose the lighter option for the Z Fold 5, and given how comfortable it feels to use, this is certainly a good call.
There’s plenty of battery life on offer here, too. A capacity of 4400mAh is enough to get through a full day of average use, yet avid gamers and video watchers will also get significant time out of the Z Fold 5.
Samsung’s ‘Super-Fast Charging’ feature keeps downtime to a minimum, with support for 45W and 65W wired recharge speeds, alongside wireless Qi charging.
Samsung have long led the line when it comes to foldable phones. With the Galaxy Z Fold 5, the gap between its flagship and folding handsets became far blurrier, ensuring there’s no better time to try a device from this unique part of the smartphone industry.
As you’ve seen, foldable handsets offer incredible functionality beyond the traditional smartphone. If you’re curious about what the flip phone side of the arena can bring, take a look at our rundown of the top handsets that echo the clamshell design of yesteryear.