Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review: all about the new Flex Screen

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Intro


Let's say it right away: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the biggest upgrade in the Flip series so far with a new, much larger Flex Screen which you can use to handle many of your daily tasks without ever unfolding the phone.

But this innovation did not just come out of nowhere. After years of an undisturbed rein in the foldable phone space, Samsung finally saw some competition and the recently launched Motorola Razr Plus actually stole Samsung's thunder by being the first one with an all-screen front.

So has Samsung managed to respond to this new threat? And is there more to the new Flip 5 apart from the larger new "Flex Screen"? Let's find out.

We have also put the Z Flip 5 through our new in-depth camera testing procedure with scores for each individual camera, and an overall score for the camera system, all of which you will find in the 'Camera' section of this review. If you want to find out more about how we rate each camera check out our PhoneArena Camera Score benchmark page.

6.2
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
What we like
  • Larger Flex Screen is better than before
  • Solidly built, almost no wobble in the hinge
  • First Flip phone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
What we don't like
  • Flex Screen feels limited and unfinished
  • Phone is pricey
  • Battery life and charging speeds are just average
6.2
PhoneArena Rating
6.9
Price Class Average
Battery Life
5.2
6.8
Photo Quality
6.1
6.7
Video Quality
6
6
Charging
5.5
6.5
Performance Peak
4.9
5.7
Performance Daily
6.5
6.6
Display Quality
7
7.9
Design
7
7.3
Wireless Charging
6.4
6.7
Biometrics
7
7.4
Audio
7
7.4
Software
6
7.4
Why the score?
This device scores 10.1% worse than the average for this price class, which includes devices like the Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra, Motorola razr Plus (2024) and Google Pixel 8 Pro
9.0
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Sim-free
Amazon
$767

As you can see above, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 total review score is lower than you might expect. That is not because the phone is flawed in some unexpected ways, but because we have implemented a new rating system at PhoneArena that gives readers a better idea of the performance of a phone across different categories. Remember to look at the scores and compare them to the average for the class, and we believe you will find these scores tremendously useful. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.

What’s new about Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
  • Flex Screen is much larger than before, you can handle many tasks without unfolding 
  • Phone closes with no gap
  • Faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
  • Double the storage (256GB) in the base model
  • Same camera hardware, improved processing
  • Charging speeds unchanged
  • Battery size unchanged

Table of Contents:

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Design & Colors

Closes with no gap


The biggest change in the Flip 5 design is how it can now close with zero gap thanks to a re-worked hinge, but if you just look at it from a far you might easily mistake it for the previous generation model because the size and overall design are incredibly similar.

Still, we should not just judge by the looks. Samsung has reworked the hinge to a new teardrop style that other manufacturers have been using for a while, and that's how we now have this no-gap design happen. However, while other flip phones from rivals like Oppo and Motorola do not feel particularly sturdy and have quite a bit of wobble, the Flip 5 manages to feel sturdy and solid, which is a great thing.

The Flip 5 is also a tiny bit slimmer than its predecessor and obviously no longer has a wedge shape.

Samsung says the crease in the middle of the main screen is smaller now too, but the difference must be really tiny because we certainly could not notice the difference in real life.

The Flip 5 also features IPX8 water resistance rating, same as before. The "X" in this rating means there is no special dust proofing, so you still need to be extra careful in dusty environments, which are traditionally the arch nemesis of all folding phones.

In terms of materials, Samsung uses Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for the front and back, and Armor Aluminum for the frame of the phone. The Flip also comes with flat sides, which has its pros and cons. The curved sides of rival Motorola Razr Plus make that phone feel just a bit sleeker and it is also easier to open, but some people may prefer the flat design on the Galaxy.


And in terms of colors, the Flip 5 is available in the following:
  • Graphite (aka black)
  • Cream (aka beige)
  • Mint (aka light green)
  • Lavender (aka purple)
  • Blue*
  • Green*
  • Platinum*
  • Yellow*
*Colors available only at the Samsung Store.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Display

Finally, a bigger outer screen!


While the main screen on the Flip 5 remains the same, the front "Flex Screen" is completely transformed and now much larger, taking up the majority of the front of the phone, save for a cutout for the cameras.

The size of the front screen is 3.4 inches, which is smaller than the 3.6-inch screen on the Motorola Razr Plus, but so much larger than the 1.9-inch display Samsung used before. Interestingly, it runs at 60Hz, while the one on rival Razr supports a high refresh rate, so that's a bit odd.

You can now do a lot more on this screen, but not quite everything. Samsung has built a number of widgets for it, and you have a separate option that allows you to run a few essential apps, but right now the choice is extremely limited: Google Maps, YouTube, Netflix and your basic messaging apps.

You don't have a browser or any other app really. If you compare this screen to the Razr Plus, you also realize that it feel a bit cramped, and even the slightly wider screen on the Razr Plus makes a difference and somehow feels way more spacious than the screen size numbers suggest.

Back to the Samsung-made built-in widgets specifically for the Flex Screen, you have the following:
  • Favorite contacts / Recent contacts
  • Samsung Wallet with your credit cards, boarding passes, and more
  • Weather
  • Clock with alarms and timers
  • Voice recorder
  • Stocks
  • System settings like sound, brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more
  • Daily Steps

Those are fine, but we would rather have proper apps instead of that really.

Here is a good place to mention that getting other apps running on the Flex Screen is actually possible, but you have to install the Samsung Good Lock app from the Galaxy Store, and then there you can enable individual apps. This seems like a very weird limitation, and overall it still feels like this whole Flex Screen is in beta rather than finalized. But hey, at least, you can do that if you are willing to go through some hoops.


And below, you will find our lab measurements for the quality of the Flip 5 main screen:

Display Measurements:



It's a very good 6.7-inch display, and by that we mostly mean that it has pleasing colors and gets bright enough for outdoor use. What you don't see in the measurements above is viewing angles which are also very good on it, and we mention that because that's one big issue on the rival Motorola Razr Plus.

As for biometrics, no changes on the Flip 5: you have the fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button as before. We did not expect to have issues with it, but it was less reliable than before and we had to register our fingerprint multiple times to get it to work as expected, so keep that in mind.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Camera

Same hardware, but can image processing make a difference?


If you are expecting some big camera changes in the Galaxy Z Flip 5, don't.

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The phone comes with the same dual main camera system consisting of a wide and an ultra-wide shooter, and these have the same sensor size as before.

Most modern flip phones come with two cameras because of the limited space, but we were hoping for at least some slight upgrades.

While the hardware has not changed, Samsung says the image processing has improved.

Looking at the main camera, we see very slight tweaks made to the color processing and slightly sharper shots, but mostly photos look the same as before. In low-light, you can spot the differences a bit better and you get a similar boost in sharpness, but again the changes are rather subtle from the previous generation.

The ultra-wide camera has similar minor changes that you notice more in low light, but barely notice during the day.

One thing we did not expect is better digital zoom, but Samsung has done some changes in the processing that do show more detail.

You can see a lot more about each of the Flip 5 cameras in our Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs Flip 4 camera comparison here.

Below, you will find some photos we shot on the Flip 5 from the trip we took to Korea for the Galaxy Unpacked event.


And below is a video sample comparing the video quality of the Flip 5 and the previous-gen Flip 4.

Video Thumbnail

4K video looks nearly identical on these two, but one thing we spotted was improved video stabilization on the new Flip 5 and you can see that you have slightly less noise and slightly cleaner footage.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 154
135
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
135
Main (wide)
BEST 85
73
Zoom
BEST 27
16
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
20
Selfie
BEST 30
26
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 149
134
Main (wide)
BEST 79
75
Zoom
BEST 24
13
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
21
Selfie
BEST 28
25

We have rigorously tested the camera on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and above you can see the results of those tests. We carefully measure the performance of all cameras in various test scenes, ranking the performance across important metrics like exposure, subject exposure, color accuracy, detail, artifacts and more. We do these tests for both photos and videos. 

You can learn more about our PhoneArena Camera Score testing protocol here.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Performance & Benchmarks

The first flip phone with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2


The Flip 5 is officially the first flip phone with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, so this makes it the absolute champ in the flip phone space when it comes to performance and speed.

Rivals from Motorola and Oppo use the older Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which is a fine high-end chip, but a tiny bit slower than this newer SoC.

In our experience, daily use on the Flip 5 indeed felt very snappy, and improved from the previous generation. You would particularly notice this in more intense tasks, but even in daily use you feel the phone responding quicker.

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 51984
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 41051
Motorola razr+1789
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 55194
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 42683
Motorola razr+4468
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 53700
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 42094
Motorola razr+2840
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 51351
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4968
Motorola razr+1502
 

You can clearly see the massive change in the benchmarks above. On the CPU-centric GeekBench test, the new Flip 5 scored nearly double what the Flip 4 could last year.

However, when it comes to more intense gaming, the Flip 5 throttles much quicker than traditional phones. The initial burst of performance (aka the 3D Mark "High") score is much better than on rivals, but just after about 5 minutes of gaming, the GPU performance drops to nearly half the initial speeds, on par with the Razr Plus running the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, so you should also keep that in mind.

The Flip 5 makes a big improvement to the storage: you get double the storage in the base model! The Flip 5 base version ships with 256GB, and you also have a 512GB model for a slight premium.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Android version


The Z Flip 5 lands with Android 13, but do keep in mind that Google will officially push the new Android 14 version this fall, so that version is coming soon after its launch.

Samsung commits to four years of major OS updates with this Flip (as with most other Samsung phones), which is great news. That means the Flip 5 will get the following updates:

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Battery

Same size, same charging rate

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
( 3700 mAh )
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Battery Life Estimate
5h 11m
Ranks #51 for phones tested in the past 2 years
Average is 6h 40m
Browsing
12h 21m
Average is 15h 8m
Video
7h 13m
Average is 9h 58m
Gaming
5h 6m
Average is 7h 54m
Charging speed
25W
Charger
48%
30 min
1h 34m
Full charge
Ranks #74 for phones released in the past 2 years
Wireless Charging
10W
Charger
32%
30 min
1h 57m
Full charge
Ranks #6 for phones released in the past 2 years

Another area Samsung left unchanged is the battery: the Flip 5 has the same 3,700mAh battery size as the Flip 4. 

That's a decent size, which gives you a single day of use, but do not expect more than that.

Below, you will find our battery test results that show you the exact way this compares to other phones.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 512h 21 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 411h 40 min
Motorola razr+10h 33 min
Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 57h 13 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 47h 20 min
Motorola razr+12h 39 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 55h 6 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 45h 8 min
Motorola razr+4h 38 min
 
You can see that the Flip 5 battery scores are very close to those of the Flip 4, and only on the browsing test the newer model scores slightly better than before, but the difference is minimal really.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Charging Speeds



Charging speeds on the Flip 5 have also remained the same as before, or in other words you have:
  • 25W wired charging
  • 10W wireless charging

We measured the charging time of the Flip 5 using Samsung's own 25-watt charger and the 15-watt Samsung Wireless Charger, so here are the charging times we got.

Charging Test Results:


15 MinsHigher is better30 Mins(%)Higher is betterFull Charge(hours)Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 525%
48%
1h 34 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 422%
47%
1h 26 min
Motorola razr+32%
65%
0h 58 min

Wireless Charging Test Results:


15 Mins WirelessHigher is better30 Mins Wireless(%)Higher is betterFull Charge Wireless(hours)Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 519%
32%
1h 57 min
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4No data
No data
No data
Motorola razr+No data
No data
No data

These are okay speeds, but clearly not the fastest around.

And the Flip 5 comes with no charger in the box, of course, but you kind of expect this in 2023, don't you?

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Competitors


Samsung has had no competition in the past few years, but now, it's different. We have a new contender for the best flip phone title and that is the Motorola Razr Plus.

This new Razr has a larger outer screen and a very sleek design. It also feels powerful, has faster charging, and a clean software with some nice gestures. At a $1,000 price, it costs the same as the Galaxy. Our personal experience with the Razr Plus is also very positive. The outer screen feels larger and way more capable than the one on the Galaxy in its current form.

Read more:

The Oppo Find N2 Flip is another rival, but that phone has a number of shortcomings, starting with its very limited availability. But even if you can find it where you live, it comes with a wobbly hinge, which you might notice at certain angles, and a smaller front screen that does not have the functionality of either the Galaxy or the Motorola.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Specs


Below, you will find an overview of the most important specs of the Flip 5 and how they compare agains the Galaxy Flip 4 and Motorola Razr Plus:


As you can see, the physical size of the Flip 5 is very similar to its predecessor, with the only bigger change being that it gets thinner thanks to that no-gap closing design.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Summary and Final Verdict



For the first time, it feels like Samsung is playing catch-up in the foldable phone space.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 catches up to its new rival, the Motorola Razr Plus with that larger cover screen. However, Samsung has not done enough to make this Flex Screen as useful, and we actually prefer the slightly larger screen size on the Razr Plus, which makes many tasks and typing easier to handle on the outer display. The Razr also has faster charging speeds if that matters to you, and that's another area where Samsung could do more.

The Flip 5, however, has the better waterproofing, and it also feels much better put together and sturdier, which is very important for a foldable phone, a class of devices known to be more fragile than others. Additionally, this new Flip now comes with the fastest chip around and, finally, with 256GB of on-board storage. The Galaxy also has a much better camera, if that's a priority. 

Overall, the Flip 5 definitely feels like the safer choice in many aspects, so it will probably remain the top seller amongst flip phones, but it's definitely not alone in that space anymore and Samsung needs to do better if it wants to keep the crown.

 *Disclaimer: You may notice review scores have changed on PhoneArena! Since September 20th, we have started using a new scoring system. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.

Pros

  • Larger Flex Screen is better than before
  • Solidly built, almost no wobble in the hinge
  • First Flip phone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • Long 4-year software update commitment
  • Better camera than competition, but still not great

Cons

  • Flex Screen feels limited and unfinished
  • Phone is pricey
  • Battery life and charging speeds are just average
  • Some dust protection would be nice to have

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