- The Flex Window Display is really it, about darn time
- Improved Hinge and Gapless finish
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Experience for 2023
- RM 100 increase from its previous Z Flip 4 pricing makes it pretty justifiable
- Rest of the phone remains to be the same with little improvements from the Z Flip 4
- That 25W Fast Charging gets to you at some point
- Still no DeX support to be seen for the Z Flip Series
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review malaysia
Generation after generation, we have reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip more than the Fold and personally, I am happy with that as it has more lifestyle appeal than the Fold. One thing that’s for certain about Samsung is how they tend to keep the Z Series in a somewhat similar design but regardless of that, gets some granular upgrades. In this Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review, it does look like it has changed, however, a lot of the Z Flip 4 elements remain to be seen – which begs the question if this phone is heading in the right direction.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review
Same Design, not so same Build
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 has the same exact design cues as the Z Flip 4, while things may not be in the same place, the formula they used remains to be the same. Immediately, there are two changes: gone are those matte-coloured panels and we get the glossy finish for the 5 and the hinge is the other change which makes the phone gapless while folded. The new hinge folds the display into a teardrop shape, therefore reducing the possibility of breaking over time. Now the hinge lasts for up to 200,000 times which is a definite improvement over the 5-figure claims till the Z Flip 4.
We have the Mint colour here and it does have a nice green-teal-blue hint in different tones of light. I do like the choice of colour although the Glossy finish irks me a lot. So, get a case, like the one with a ring loop on the top that gives you better ability to hold your phone with no issues whatsoever.
Sticking to the roots, with minimal upgrades
This can be a love or a hate situation because if you are looking for some significant upgrades with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 then, you might have to wait. Other than the “elephant in the room” changes, there are only little improvements: like the processor which uses a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, starts at 256GB and maxes out at 512GB and that’s pretty much it.
For the rest of the phone, we get the same internal display at 6.7” with 1080p resolution and a higher 120Hz refresh rate. There is an improvement in the peak nit brightness, therefore making it more useable under harsh lighting conditions and has a wee bit of a thinner profile.
The cameras remain to be the same, with the one in the more prominent display a hit-and-miss to use due to the UTG whereas using the main shooters from the Flex Window Display is pretty much all you need really. In fact with the bigger Flex Window Display, you will be using the main shooters more than anything else. It definitely has some machine-learning capabilities that enhance the image quality – which we will address in a video.
The Flex Window Display is the Highlight
Since Z Flip 3, one of the improvements I’ve been asking for is a better cover display because the past generation displays have been limiting in terms of functionality. But that conversation comes to an end with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 as it has a much bigger 3.4” Flex Window Display. During my time at the preview, I liked what it did. But after using it as my daily driver for a good amount of duration, it’s safe to say that it’s good but Samsung has a new obstacle to tackle.
We will dive deeper into the display in another article on how to maximise the experience. But for now, let’s talk about the default experience. For the most part, the display on the front is customizable and is an absolute treat to use – in my case, I have had so many animated wallpapers which got a lot of heads turning. Then to be able to perform a bunch of tasks from the Flex Window was pretty awesome. Other than having widgets, Samsung allows you to use apps on this display. Officially there is support for 5 apps: Maps, Messages, Netflix, WhatsApp and YouTube.
Granted these are pretty commonly used applications, you don’t have to flip the phone open to use it. However, as someone who uses GBoard more than Samsung’s Keyboard – it’s impossible to override that for the Flex Display. Secondly, Maps despite having support, has some scaling issues where some of the elements of the app take the majority of the space – and I wish G Maps switched to a landscape layout which puts the map to the side and other text inputs to the right. YouTube and Netflix were the easiest apps to use.
Now, you might wonder, how can I use other applications then? Well, this is where Good Lock steps in to give you the option to maximize the app support. Granted it does work, however, get ready to stumble upon some scaling trouble as they are not officially supported. But for the most part, all the apps I use were working very well.
I am genuinely happy that I can perform most of the tasks without unfolding the phone, but the experience needs to improve – and hey, Samsung did say they are improving, so I am looking forward to it.
As for the rest of the phone…
There isn’t much to say really. For one, the battery is still at 3800mAh and while the 8 Gen 2 offers some level of improvement in battery consumption, it still isn’t as great as an S23 Ultra (Well, that’s a wrong comparison, more like the S23 would be a better comparison). In my use case, the phone lasts a day at most 16 hours of total hours, comprising close to 5 hours of screen on time and 11 Hours of Screen off time.
The standby time of the phone isn’t too shabby as I charged the phone to 100% the evening before and didn’t charge throughout the night. I woke up, continued to use and got about 13 hours 25 minutes of screen off time and 2 hours 53 minutes of screen on time with 11% battery left. But whatever it is, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 isn’t the kind of phone you leave your power bank behind because you will need it as the charging speed is capped at 25W.
The crease on the display is pretty much here to stay and at this point, we just have to accept it. In fact, even the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra which is not available in Malaysia has gone back to a display similar to what Samsung uses solely to eliminate as many as moving parts possible.
It takes every two generations for Samsung to improve its foldable. It’s kind of like Apple’s strategy, we see granular improvements for 2-3 generations, and then we finally get a significant refresh and then it repeats again. Samsung is following the same formula with their phones lately, and in the S23 Ultra review, we addressed that they have peaked and this is where things are about to get challenging.
The foldable are showing similar patterns but this is more apt for the Z Fold 5. The Z Flip 5’s Flex Display is it’s saving grace – which makes the phone seem like it’s completely new and improved. this creates an illusion, thereby making it the one that exists in the Twilight Zone (kind of).
But again, it’s the improvement I was looking forward to and I am glad it has finally happened. But Samsung must do something with the Z Flip 6 if they want to stay ahead. I hope they do. You can click here to buy your Z Flip 5.