Samsung continues its stride in the foldable smartphone realm with iterative updates to its devices over the past year. The recently launched Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, introduced in July, adheres to this trend.
While it may not bring groundbreaking changes, it reflects Samsung's commitment to enhancing the foldable phone experience.
In this review, we'll explore whether it's worth considering an upgrade to the Galaxy Z Fold 5, particularly if you own an older Fold phone.
Pricing and Variants The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 impressively maintains its starting price from the previous model, available at Rs. 1,54,999 in India. This base configuration offers 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. Additionally, there are two more variants with the same RAM but varying storage capacities.
The 512GB version is priced at Rs. 1,64,999, while the 1TB variant is available at Rs. 1,84,999. These options provide flexibility for users, especially considering the inability to expand storage.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is offered in captivating colors, including Icy Blue, Phantom Black, and Cream.
Design and Display At a glance, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 closely resembles its predecessor, with subtle differentiators like adjusted LED flash placement and color options.
It retains its status as one of the best-built horizontally folding phones, featuring shatter-resistant glass on both front and rear surfaces and an aluminum frame.
The newly refined hinge mechanism allows the two halves to sit almost seamlessly when folded, minimizing the gap. Furthermore, the phone boasts an IPX8 rating for water resistance.
In terms of display, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 maintains similarity with the Fold 4, except for a noteworthy upgrade in folding display brightness, now offering a peak of 1,750 nits compared to the previous 1,200 nits.
The device includes a 6.2-inch HD+ AMOLED outer display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 7.6-inch QXGA+ main display, also with a 120Hz refresh rate.
Both displays excel in sunlight visibility and vibrant color reproduction. The outer display is ideal for quick tasks, while the inner folding display shines when multitasking or indulging in gaming and video content. The crease on the folding display remains subtly visible from certain angles but doesn't hinder the viewing experience when facing the display head-on.
Accessories The Galaxy Z Fold 5 offers minimal bundled accessories, typically including a SIM eject tool and a USB Type-C cable. However, for a device of this caliber, investing in the S Pen cover case is recommended. This case not only provides additional protection but also offers a convenient docking station for the stylus.
Specifications and Software Similar to the S23 series, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 employs the custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 'Mobile Platform for Galaxy' SoC.
This processor strikes a balance between robust performance and power efficiency. The device features a 4,400mAh battery, consistent with the previous model, supporting 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging.
Regarding software, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 runs on One UI 5.1.1, built on the Android 13 platform. Samsung commits to delivering four major Android OS updates and five years of security updates, ensuring longevity and relevance.
Several software features from the Fold 4 persist, including Flex mode for apps like Google Meet and YouTube, which allows versatile use. Additionally, you can utilize three apps simultaneously.
Notable new additions include the ability to display up to four recently used apps in the taskbar, which requires manual activation in the Settings app.
Performance and Battery Life The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, a flagship device, offers exceptional performance, handling multitasking and gaming with ease.
It boasts ample RAM and a powerful SoC, ensuring smooth operation even with resource-intensive applications. Notably, only the portion of the phone housing the SoC tends to heat up during gaming or demanding tasks, leaving the other half cool.
The S Pen, while functional, is limited as the outer screen does not support it. The device exclusively supports the 'S Pen for Fold,' distinct from the standard S Pen for regular S series phones like the S23 Ultra.
Benchmark results demonstrate the device's robust performance, with an AnTuTu score of 14,13,684 points and exceptional graphics performance.
Despite maintaining the same battery capacity as its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 offers impressive battery life, comfortably lasting over a day even with moderate to heavy use.
During a battery loop test on the primary folding display, it achieved a commendable 19 hours and 53 minutes.
Camera Capabilities The camera hardware on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 remains consistent with its predecessor. The device features a triple rear camera setup comprising a 50-megapixel wide, 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 10-megapixel telephoto with 3X optical zoom (up to 30X total zoom).
There's also a 10-megapixel selfie camera on the outer screen and a 4-megapixel under-display camera within the folding display. The under-display camera primarily serves video calls, as its photo quality is subpar.
While opting for larger sensors and improved optical zoom akin to the S23 Ultra's capabilities would have been advantageous, it may have resulted in a thicker foldable device.
In practice, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 delivers impressive photo and video quality. Daytime shots exhibit clarity and vibrant colors, with effective handling of HDR.
Telephoto performance is noteworthy, although finer details begin to diminish at zoom levels beyond 20X. The device offers various shooting modes, and Portrait mode excels in subject-background separation.
Even in low-light conditions, the phone adeptly balances shadows and highlights, with Night mode proving highly effective when required.