In this article, I review the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 after two weeks and share my thoughts on design, Display Screens, camera tests, performance, gaming, and battery life to make the decision, Is the Z Fold 5 the best foldable phone of 2023? or not: Should you buy the Samsung Z Fold 5 vs. the Pixel Fold or that Galaxy S23 Ultra?
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Read Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review
Galaxy Z Fold 5 Design and Build Quality
So design-wise, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is less chunky compared with last year’s Z Fold 4, which means it fits without quite so much of a bulge into a pocket. Although, like all of these massive bendy blowers, I did find that the Z-Fold 5 liked to wriggle its way out of my pockets if they were particularly shallow and I indulged in any impromptu squatting, the Forest Pockets Go Z Fold has 5 likes. I’ve got to say I really like the hero color, icy blue. It’s rather Dapper and unmarred with Brandon Shenanigans, as the Samsung logo is a spine-based stamp barely noticeable on that reflective surface. I’ve not been particularly kind to the Galaxy Z Fold 5 these past couple of weeks.
I’ve taken this thing in bags and backpacks with other phones and plenty of other items with sharp points. There are no covers, cases, or things like that for any kind of protection, and so far, the Victor 2 glass front has only the tiniest of tiny scratches, while the backend is still in perfect condition, and the Armour aluminium frame has only slightly frayed in one corner. That may have possibly happened. when the phone slipped from my pocket during one of those aforementioned squatting sessions and dropped around a foot onto the pavement. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is also IPX8 water-resistant, so we’re going to be fully submerged with absolutely no problem. These past couple of weeks, it’s certainly been very moist at times, and it’s survived without a problem.
On the software side, you’ve got Android 13 with five years of software updates, so although it’s not cheap, it should hopefully last you a good while, and at this sort of price point, you would expect a pretty generous amount of storage (256 gigs), which is even better, though as usual, the flagship has all microSD memory card support. I have found that the fingerprint sensor occasionally takes a couple of TAPS to register; it’s slightly more Awkward to use than regular phones, but you’ve also got face unlock, which is more reliable. As for the actual UI experience on the Z Fold 5, well, it’s very similar to non-bendy Samsung Blurs. So if you’ve rocked the galaxy S23 or any other recent devices, you’ll know what to expect. If you’re a big Google fan and you use, for instance, Google Wallet, Google Home, and all of those great services and apps, you’ll probably be kind of annoyed by how much Samsung is pushing its own versions of those exact same Services right here, especially Bixby, who I’m counting as my personal Nemesis these days. But Samsung has chucked in some worthy bonus bits as well, like the mods and routines, which are very helpful if you’re quite lazy and just want to automate your general existence.
And you’ve got very similar screen Tech on the Z Fold 5 to last year’s model up front; it’s a 6.2-inch external display with Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2x Tech, same as before, and visuals are pleasingly crisp thanks to the 2316 by 904 pixel resolution. and the refresh rate scales from 48 to 120 hertz, and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Samsung display despite the peculiar sausage shape; it’s sharp; it’s Poppy; it’s stunning contrast; and it’s easily bright enough so you can clearly see exactly what is going on even if you’re in a country where the weather isn’t complete wank juice, but what it isn’t is wide enough to comfortably type on certainly any kind of thing.
I find myself accidentally miss-hitting stuff and just giving up and just opening the phone up so I can actually type what I want, although at least most apps seem to adapt to that surprisingly skinny aspect with no problems whatsoever. and that stretch design is absolutely fine if you’re kicking back with some cinematic video, but for everything else, you will want to open up this bendy bugger. I’ve got to say I definitely prefer the more squat display housed on the front end of the pixel fold; it was much easier to use and a lot more app-friendly.
Internal Display and Audio
Now inside the Samsung Galaxy Z fold 5 is a 7.6-inch internal display panel, once again using that Dynamic AMOLED 2x that Samsung loves. The visuals are pleasantly crisp with the 2176 by 1812 pixel resolution, and it’s an absolutely cracking display with crisp contrast and poppy colours. We’ve got full HDR 10 plus support on Z Fold 5, and unlike the pixel fold, you’ve got dinky bezels surrounding that screen. Along with the fact that Samsung’s selfie camera is actually hidden away underneath that screen, when the screen brightness is boosted, the camera is quite noticeable.
The Almighty internal panel is now brighter than before, so I find I could merely tap out these review notes in the midday sun in spin while wearing shades with perfect clarity and even after several poolside pictures. I could still see what I was doing even if I was watching video or whatever, despite the shiny, super-reflective nature of the screen protector.
And the Samsung Galaxy Z fold 5 stereo speakers are proper ear poppers as well; they’re crazy loud when you pump that volume up but still remain quite crisp and clear whether you’re watching video on the front screen or that big screen.
Software and Multi-tasking
I think Samsung has absolutely nailed the software side of things on the Z Fold 5, so using that unusually Square internal display feels as natural, fluid, and friendly as possible. So anytime you’re messing around in an app, all you need to do is long-press down at the bottom edge of the display, and it’ll probably pop-up. Nifty taskbar: this can be used to quickly open one of your favourite apps. You’ve also got up to four of your most recent apps displayed here on the right-hand side. You can simply tap one of these apps in order to open it up; otherwise, just long-press it and drag it onto that display, and you’re straight away in split screen mode.
You can launch three apps on the screen side by side, and you can also have pop-up windows on top of all that, although frankly, three is more than enough, for instance. You can just catch up with your YouTube playlist while smashing out some emails and also browsing the web simultaneously, and you can also shove apps away to the side of the screen as usual so you can yank them out when needed, which is very useful for the likes of Deezer and Audible.
I’ve been able to quickly copy stuff between apps just using two fingers, and once you’ve used this big screen for more than a day, it all feels really, really natural. Even my tired adult brain got the hang of it pretty quick, and more stops do run really well on that big screen, including all of Google’s stuff. You’ve got the usual issues with some apps not exactly taking full advantage of all of that space, which does lead to lots of blank spots, but at least the likes of Audible actually behave themselves here, unlike on the pixel fold. Occasionally, you’ll close up the Galaxy Z fold five only to be greeted with the message that the app your user is using needs to be restarted because it just can’t handle the sudden change in aspect ratio, but overall, it’s no biggie, and this is certainly the best experience I’ve had on such a big smartphone display. And as usual, Samsung’s provided full support for the S Pen stylus, but unfortunately, there’s still no orifice in order to Chuck away the S Pen when it’s not in use, so you’ve got to get a special case for the big old Groove in the back where you Chuck it in instead.
Galaxy Z Fold 5 Performance and Gaming
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 packs plenty of power, just like the Galaxy S23 handsets; it’s once again Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 running things here, backed by 12 gigs of RAM. I certainly had subtle issues running three apps side by side, for instance, but Snapdragon can handle it all without cracking its silicon pants, and Gaming is pleasingly smooth as well as you would expect, although if you are a fan of the likes of Call of Duty gen, which should impact other fast action titles, there is no ideal way to play them here on the Galaxy Z fold 5. That cover screen is just a wee bit too skinny, while the internal panel is far too boxy, giving you next to no peripheral vision. This bendy Samsung is certainly best suited to more casual efforts.
And no worries about overheating here on the galaxy Z Fold 5, though unlike Google’s Pixel Fold, you’ve got a much larger vapour chamber compared with the older z-fold 4, and that plus the efficient Snapdragon platform means that the fold 5 doesn’t ever melt down, even when you’re using it in strong sunlight or when you’re gaming for bloody ages. I have to say, though, that I would really like some proper gaming features like what, for instance, Sony serves up on its more recent smartphones. It’s still a bit bare on all of Samsung’s foldables.
You’ve got 5G support, as you’d expect from pretty much any smartphone these days, let alone one that costs almost two grand, and eSIM support as well as physical SIM support, and I had very few issues when it came to the connectivity. Besides the fact that the Galaxy Z fold 5 occasionally decided that the internet connection on a Wi-Fi network was not really good enough to be worth bothering with and so it would just disconnect the Wi-Fi entirely without bothering to tell me, I’d just be there merrily downloading a massive Apple streaming ridiculously high resolution video and then realising the maps that you rinsed in my mobile data allowance, then restart on the Wi-Fi items to fix the issue. It’s absolutely fine until the next time it decides it can’t be bothered anymore.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Battery life
As for the battery, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a 4,400 milliamp-hour capacity cell, no upgrade over last year’s model Z Fold 4, and is lagging behind Rivals like the Pixel Fold. I’ve got to say the battery life on this fold has been all over the place, so quite a few evenings over the past Fortnite I’ve been in power saving mode by the evening, which limits the brightness, the performance, etc. I do get around five to six hours of screen time from a full charge, depending on what you’re doing and the more you use the camera, the faster that battery is going to drain, and that is with a mixture of using the external display and the internal display; however, if you are using that internal screen quite a lot Outdoors where it’s quite sunny, So if the brightness has to be boosted all the way up, you will see that battery life drop significantly. Even if I was just browsing the web or maybe reading some comics or things like that, I still found I got around four hours of screen time, Max, so if you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere that’s rather sunny. then you might want to carry a battery pack around with you just to make sure you’re charged up.
And when it comes time to juice the Galaxy Z fold 5 back up again. Well, you’ve got what Samsung terms super fast charging. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly nippy, certainly compared with some Chinese rivals, and I certainly wouldn’t throw the word super in there unless you think that the biggest problem with tortoises is just how Speedy they are, and you do have a bit of tasty wireless charging support as well, which again isn’t particularly fast.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Cameras
the Galaxy Z fold 5 camera, and if you’re familiar at all with the Galaxy Z fold 4, those specs might sound pretty familiar, although some upgrades have been made for this year’s Tech. Z Fold 4 have a 50-megapixel primary camera sensor with optical image stabilisation, and this does a solid job of capturing photos at most times of day, especially when you’re shooting in natural light. The focus is fast, and even when you’re shooting something moving at top speed, I saw very few blurry or otherwise bugged-up snaps. We’re talking plenty of crisp detail and all these slightly boosted colours to help bring your photos to life, which is basically exactly what you would expect from a Samsung foldable.
When you’re dealing with more ambient light or particularly tricky contrast. The Z Fold 5 isn’t always quite so successful; it’s where Rivals like the Pixels and the iPhones of the world perform better. I thought this was bendy. Wonder rarely produces picks with Flareon when you’re dealing with strong lighting. If that light is softer, you can expect some grins to creep in, while any subject that can’t keep still may end up a wee bit smudged. You’ve got a night mode for those evening picks, although this obviously isn’t much good if yourself or your subject is moving. As long as everything is nice and low, you will get a bright, detailed shot relatively quickly. Overall, I found that my picks weren’t as dependably attractive as what you would get on the Galaxy S23 series smartphones, but they were still not bad at all, just a bit of a letdown considering how expensive this thing is for alternative shots.
Samsung also packs in a 12-megapixel ultrawide-angle shooter. This is nothing out of the ordinary; it’s more susceptible to oversaturation in stronger lighting and not quite as capable when it comes to capturing vibrant tones, but overall it’s pretty decent. Much more useful is the 10-megapixel telephoto shooter with a three-fold optical zoom and, once again, image stabilization. This maxes out at 30 times zoom, which is sort of far from the spare Zoom of the s23 ultra with its 10 times optical zoom, although I rarely had to punch in above the 20 times zoom level anyway, and once you do get above that level, everything gets quite grainy. The zoom worked well even at night, helped by the stabilization, as long as, once again, you’re subject to bouncing around like an idiot, and as usual, Samsung is absolutely stuffed.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is full of bonus camera modes. You’ve got the obvious stuff, like the night mode and the portrait mode. the obligatory food mode You’ve got that Pro mode if you want to Tinker with the settings, and fan favourites like the single take for whole movies—well, this foldable morphle is as good as ever. You can record up to 8K resolution video with smooth image stabilisation even when you’re moving about the place at a reasonable pace. You’ve also got clear audio capture even at a distance, which is great for shooting those horror movies with the family. And the picture quality takes an inevitable hit in Naf Lighten, but at least you’ll still end up with something serviceable. I’ve got to say, along with the iPhone, Samsung smartphones are one of my favourites when it comes to shooting video, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn’t really disappoint.
There is a simple 10-megapixel selfie camera on that cover screen, but you are best off using the rear camera for selfies. That is, of course, if you can deal with the slightly awkward way you have to handle this big Square slab in order to take these shots. Thankfully, you do have hand recognition, so you don’t have to mess around tapping that shutter button, and over the past couple of weeks, I’ve used the Galaxy Z Fold 5 a few times to do some skyping, zooming, and basic video chat Shenanigans using that internal 4 megapixel selfie camera, and it’s actually surprisingly decent in the pictures and is as hazy, foggy, and crappy as I was expecting.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5: After using it as my full-time smartphone for a couple of weeks now, I've got to say that even though I'm not really a massive fan of these Almighty bendy blowers, I do prefer the likes of the flip-style efforts, which are a lot more compact. I did really enjoy my time with this big old beast, and a lot of that is down to Samsung's software and the fact that the internal display is indeed very well supported and an absolute joy to use. Unfortunately, the external display is still just a bit too skinny and a bit too annoying to do much of anything with, and it's a shame that Samsung still doesn't pack its best possible camera on such an expensive blower. My perfect massive foldable form would be kind of a hybrid of the Galaxy Z fold 5 and that pixel fold. I prefer the more squat Niche for the pixel fold; you can actually use that external display, and it is an absolute Joy because it's quite compact but also has a great aspect ratio. Unfortunately, the pixel fold is also quite bulky at times.
Android and Features8
Software and Multi-tasking7.5
Performance and Gaming9