I tested Samsung’s brand new Z Flip 5 smartphone and it has a major perk iPhone can’t beat – but is it enough to switch?
SAMSUNG has been trying to rejuvenate the smartphone with its Z Flip since 2020 – and this year the company may have nailed it.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 doesn’t look all that different to its predecessors but don’t be fooled.
It’s the finer details that makes the Flip 5 the best flip phone currently available.
But is it enough to sway iPhone owners? Read on for our full review.
Look and feel
The first thing we can’t help noticing is the fold itself – the gap is gone, gone, gone.
So it now folds perfectly and looks a lot neater for it.
Opening the phone up and the hinges feel pretty strong and sturdy – so much so it’s a bit of a challenge to do it with one hand.
The colours available this year are pretty gorgeous too, the one I’m testing is sleek mint.
When the device is folded, you’ll notice the screen on the outside (known as the cover screen) takes up the entire space now – more on that later.
The other tweak is the camera lenses have been placed side-by-side, rather than one beneath the other, which is obviously to make way for that glorious cover display.
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There are two displays to talk about – the main screen when the Flip 5 is unfolded, and the external cover display.
First up, the main screen which opens out hasn’t changed much from before, with a glossy 6.7-inch screen.
But on the cover when the Flip 5 is closed it’s when things start to get a bit different.
Samsung has decided to make it a full screen experience with a bigger 3.4-inch display (last year’s Flip 4 was only 1.9 inches).
And the Flip 5 is so much better for it.
The tech firm has expanded what you can put on it – and how you put it there, with far greater customisation.
So I can choose a wallpaper and the shortcuts I want to appear alongside loads of useful widgets.
Of course, the other great advantage is you can use it to take perfect selfies – something an iPhone can’t do – as you can see yourself clearly on the cover screen and even use the arch to sit it down somewhere without even needing to stretch an arm out.
The cameras are also pretty unchanged with a dual 12-megapixel setup.
There are loads of options to try out for those who dare, including a “pro” mode with everything from focus to ISO.
Trying out the standard mode on a pet cat who wouldn’t sit still presented some mixed results but largely decent shots given that there was low light.
The other big upgrade is under the surface in the form of a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, alongside 8GB RAM.
This helps the device run nice and speedy.
Apps react super fast even if several are open at once.
And with up to 512GB of storage there’s certain plenty of local space to play with.
The battery is the same as the Flip 4 on paper too at 3700 mAh but the upgraded chipset means you get more mileage out of the device.
This is also pretty impressive when you factor in that Samsung has made the phone 2mm thinner when closed as well.
Samsung’s perseverance has paid off, refining the Flip into a highly desirable smartphone that actually stands out from the crowd.
There are other folding phones like the Flip around now but none of them look quite as premium as this.
Someone recently told me they’ve never felt more tempted to ditch their iPhone after seeing the Flip 5 because it felt so Y2K.
Maybe a bit of old meets new is what the smartphone industry really needs to bring some much-needed excitement back.
But at £1,049 for the 256GB version and 512GB for the £1,149 build, they don’t come cheap.
That said, they’re actually slightly cheaper than the Flip 4 for the equivalent storage sizes when they launched.
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