Here's a sure bet: The Galaxy Z Flip 5 will again be the more popular of the two foldable phones from Samsung. Especially since the latest iteration actually gets a meaningful upgrade with a larger screen on the outside, as well as a new gapless hinge design. Even with a S$100 price hike, I think the Flip 5 is still the most appealing foldable phone for the mainstream consumer.
- 6.7-inch main display (Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 2,640 x 1,080 pixels, up to 120Hz) and 3.4-inch Cover Screen (Super AMOLED, 720 x 748 pixels, 60Hz)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip for Galaxy with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage
- Dual 12MP rear cameras and 10MP front camera
- 3,700mAh battery (with 25W fast charging)
The Flip 5's standout feature is the 3.4-inch Cover Screen on the outside. It may not sound like a big deal, but it's a significant upgrade from last year's 1.9-inch screen. You can see and do much more with the larger Cover Screen. And it's also a necessary upgrade as rivals like Oppo's Find N2 Flip sports a 3.2-inch screen. In addition, you can now view, and switch between all your widgets (up to 13, including Calendar, Weather and Alarm) by pinching the screen. This Cover Screen also works with several non-supported apps like Maps, YouTube and WhatsApp after enabling an experimental feature in the settings. Being able to craft a WhatsApp reply using the Cover Screen is really handy. It's one less reason to open the Flip, which is still impossible to unfold with one hand.
To go a step further, installing the Good Lock app from the Galaxy Store will enable all apps to work with the Cover Screen. Note that not every app will play nice with a small display. When the Flip 5 is folded, there's practically no gap. But more than the aesthetics, this gapless hinge means that less lint from your pocket will get in between the two halves. And of course, the Flip 5 is as compact as ever when closed. It's definitely one of the reasons to get a clamshell foldable phone. The narrow main display feels a tad tall to me, but it's bright and responsive. You can still feel the crease in the display, especially while scrolling a webpage. But it doesn't stick out when you're viewing the phone. And it remains vulnerable to sharp pointy objects like all foldable screens.
The rest of the Flip 5 is mostly unchanged from last year's model. The dual 12MP rear cameras are the same, though Samsung has slightly improved the low-light performance via AI and software. And you can still take selfies with these rear cameras, thanks to the Flip's foldable nature and outside screen. You also get this year's flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor. The performance is excellent and worthy of a flagship device. The base storage has been bumped up from 128GB to 256GB, a much-needed upgrade. Charging speed, though, remains the same, relatively slow rate (25W) as previous models.
In terms of battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 lasts an entire day for me, but I will need to charge it every night. It clocked 7hr 7min in PCMark's Work 3.0 benchmark compared with 7hr 18min for the Galaxy Z Fold 5. The Flip also lasted 13hr 35min in a video playback test at maximum brightness. To sum up, the Flip 5 with its larger outside screen now feels like a complete product. Its compact size when folded will appeal to certain folks. And for those trying to reduce screen time, they can now mostly get away with only using the Flip's outside screen. Despite the price hike, it's also somewhat reasonably priced for a flagship phone (from S$1,498). Get the Flip 5 from Samsung, or you can buy it at Shopee and Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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