Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 reduces crease, maximises multitasking

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 announcement
Photo: Ken Leanfore

Billed as a PC in your pocket, Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Fold5 during its Galaxy Unpacked presentation in South Korea.

A lighter and brighter device than last year’s model, the Fold5 accompanies the newly announced Flip5 as Samsung’s newest flagship foldable phones. The larger and more powerful of the duo, Samsung positions the Fold5 as both a productivity workhorse and a gaming powerhouse. Also announced at the company’s Unpacked event were the Galaxy S9 Tab and Galaxy Watch6, rounding out Samsung’s major mobile devices for the year.

While not a drastic change design-wise, the Fold5 contains a lot of incremental upgrades. On the inside and outside, it shares a lot of DNA with the highly-touted Galaxy S23 range. It’s this and various enhancements that make the Fold5 an interesting proposition if you’re looking for a big-screen phone that still fits in a pocket.

Samsung Australia’s Garry McGregor, Vice President, Mobile Experience Division, mentioned that the flexibility (both literal and figurative) of the form factor is a significant appeal.

“Since first establishing the Foldables category five years ago, we have redefined the expectations of what mobile devices can do and how people interact with their devices,” McGregor said. “From Galaxy Z Flip5’s pocketable design that’s just half the size of a standard phone to Galaxy Z Fold5’s large multitasking display that doubles your screen real estate, to hands-free photo and video capabilities, Galaxy Z series owners find value that fits their lifestyle.”

Z Fold5: better hinge, better overall design

Speaking of pockets, which is something Samsung does a lot of, the actual folding mechanism steps up this year with the Fold5. Opening and closing like a book, the proprietary Flex Hinge technology enables the phone to sit neatly closed. Like the Flip5, there are no awkward angles or gaps when folding the Fold5, which is readily apparent when compared to previous models.

This improved hinge likely contributes to the less visible screen crease on this year’s phone. It’s still there, especially when viewing the screen at an angle with light reflecting off it, but it’s not a bother when looking at it directly straight-on as you normally would. The Fold5 uses the same display technology as the premium Galaxy S23 Ultra, cranking up the brightness to 1,200 nits, and a peak brightness of 1,750 nits.

It’s not just the overall viewing and folding experience that’s better, it also sits nicely in the hand. Between the Fold4 and the Fold5, the newer phone sheds 10 grams and is 2.4mm thinner. Helping both comfort and performance, a 38% larger vapour chamber helps the Fold5 run cooler, so your hands shouldn’t get as sweaty while multitasking or gaming. Plus, the Gorilla Victus 2 Glass provides a build quality reported to be 20% stronger than the previous tech.

A phone for multitaskers

In addition to its generous screen size, the Galaxy Z Fold5 packs a Samsung-optimised Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor to power its PC-like performance. The PC comparisons even extend to the taskbar you can access at the bottom of the screen, letting you pin commonly-used apps alongside those you’ve recently accessed.

With a pre-production model in hand, I enjoyed how easy it is to seamlessly use multiple apps. By touching and dragging an image from a browser using one finger, you can then use your other hand to open another app, and drop the image in for editing. In my day-to-day work, I write a lot of notes in Evernote, so being able to quickly paste in additional content while away from my desk is highly appealing.

Fold5 hinge progression
A history of Folds. The hinge on the Fold5 (far right) sits much neater than previous models.

Depending on how good your handwriting is, the Fold5’s S Pen integration also works nicely for note-taking. Available with this year’s model is a special S Pen Fold Edition case that enables the stylus to sit flush alongside the rest of the device. Previously, it would jut out slightly awkwardly. Addressing this also contributes towards Samsung’s desire for pocketability, referring to devices that fit easily into pockets, bags, and whatever you have on you.

Specifications

ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
OSAndroid 13
One UI 5.1.1
Memory and storage12GB Memory with 1TB internal storage
12GB Memory with 512GB internal storage
12GB Memory with 256GB internal storage
DisplayMain screen: 7.6-inch QXGA+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Infinity Flex Display (2176 x 1812, 21.6:18), 374ppi
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (1~120Hz)

Cover screen: 6.2-inch HD+
Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
(2316 x 904, 23.1:9), 402ppi
120Hz adaptive refresh rate (48~120Hz)
Dimensions253g
Folded: 67.1 x 154.9 x 13.4mm
Unfolded: 129.9x 154.9 x 6.1mm
CameraRear: 50MP Wide-angle Camera
Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, Pixel size: 1.0μm, FOV: 85˚
12MP Ultra Wide Camera
F2.2, Pixel size: 1.12μm, FOV: 123˚
10MP Telephoto Camera
PDAF, F2.4, OIS, Pixel size: 1.0μm, FOV: 36˚, 3X optical zoom
Battery4,400mAh (typical) dual battery
25W charging (charger sold separately)
Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
DurabilityIPX8
Connectivity5G
LTE
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth v5.3
SensorsCapacitive Fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor
SIM compatibilityOne Nano SIM and one eSIM
Price (RRP)$2,599 (256GB)
$2,799 (512GB)
$3,149 (1TB)
ColoursIcy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream
Samsung.com exclusives: Grey, Blue

Z Fold5 release date and price

Pre-orders begin now, with devices expected to arrive in Australia on 18 August. As for colours, retailers have three options available: Icy Blue, Black, and Cream. Exclusive to orders direct from the Samsung website are Grey and Blue options.

Prices start at $2,599 for 256GB of storage, through to a hefty $3,149 for the 1TB model. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save money on a Fold5, which we’ve rounded up in our coverage of the best pre-order deals available.

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Valens Quinn travelled to Galaxy Unpacked in South Korea as a guest of Samsung Australia