“If you’re not on the Flip, you’re a flop,” a friend of mine jokingly said to me a while back. I didn’t make much of it. I was content with what I had in hand. But then Samsung rolled out the Galaxy Z Flip5. The fifth-generation foldable phone, revealed at the Unpacked event earlier this year, caused such frenzy online that I couldn’t help but grab myself one as soon as it was available.
Endlessly trendy with its throwback clamshell design that everybody and their mothers have fallen head over heels for, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 stuns beyond the aesthetics with significant upgrades from its predecessors. It has been a little over a month since I got my hands on it and I now understand the appeal. The rave reviews are conclusively justified.
Let’s first take a look at the design. Retaining similar dimensions to the previous model, the Galaxy Z Flip5 boasts more than a few notable features. The novel Flex Hinge, for instance, markedly enhances compactness and portability. The integrated hinge module features a dual rail structure that somehow closes the gap between the top and bottom halves of the main screen when it’s shut.
Speaking of which, the Galaxy Z Flip5 boasts the same 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. The main attraction here is the new Flex Window—that’s what they’re calling the phone’s cover screen now. At 3.4-inch—3.78 times larger than the previous generation—the Super AMOLED screen allows users access to the features without having to flip the phone open.
Given that the series is all about self-expression and creativity, it is only right for the Flex Window to be, well, flexible. You can quite simply customise the front screen with various pre-set designs by long-pressing it. I, personally, find joy in something minimalist with a side of Emma Stone’s severed head (relax, it’s a poster of her upcoming movie, Poor Things.)
Another way you can personalise the Flex Window is by adding some available widgets and your favourite apps. Pro tip: Install the Good Lock app for more options since not all apps can appear there. It certainly helps me play music on Spotify, watch YouTube, and reply to messages on WhatsApp quicker. Constantly having to flip the phone can be exhausting; I’m not going to lie.
There isn’t much difference between the Galaxy Z Flip5 and the Galaxy Z Flip4 when it comes to the camera. Both models boast 12-megapixel rear cameras and a 10-megapixel front camera. That said, the introduction of Flex Window offers a heightened photo-taking experience as the bigger screen gives you a better view and indication of how those selfies are going to turn out.
Taking snapshots in a low-light environment is also easier with superior Nightography. The AI-powered algorithm optimises photos and videos by correcting visual noise as well as enhancing object details and colour tone. Even when you’re maximising on the digital 10X zoom, the images churned out are of stunning quality thanks to the multi-frame processing and AI Super Resolution.
Elsewhere, some signature features of the Z Flip series are worthy of revisiting including FlexCam and Flex Mode. While the former gives users the ability to capture photos and videos hands-free from any angle, the latter enables apps to reorient to fit the screen whenever you partially fold your phone. I, for one, appreciate the seamless Heartstopper binge-watch experience it delivers.
But what about the phone’s performance, you ask? I’m happy to report that it more than meets my expectations. With the latest Qualcomm chip behind it, the Galaxy Z Flip5 is easily one of the fastest smartphones there is today and significantly more powerful than those in the foldable section. It’s a winning factor that’s further elevated by an optimised battery.
The 3,700mAh dual battery typically lasts a whole day with semi-frequent use—although I have heard from others that the device impressively manages to endure approximately 35 hours before requiring a recharge. A full charge takes about 90 minutes, hitting 50 per cent in 30 minutes. Either way, it is at least a couple of hours longer than what I’m used to with my previous smartphone.
Frankly speaking, there are other facets of the phone that I have yet to discover and I am excited to continue exploring the nooks and crannies of the phone in the months to come. But, it is safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 does not only bank on the nostalgia factor with its sleek and compact designs, but props it with functionality, innovation, and formidable performance.