Samsung is a leader in the foldable smartphone segment. By small steps, the manufacturer continues to improve two models in parallel. “The Galaxy Fold has won over users seeking maximum performance, and the Galaxy Flip is one of the most interesting image smartphones. Recently, both models have been updated, and in today’s review, we’ll take a closer look at the improvements to the Samsung Galaxy Flip5.
Galaxy Flip5 specifications
|Dimensions and weight||
Folded condition: 85.1×71.9×15.1 mm
Unfolded state: 165.1×71.9×6.9 mm
|RAM and storage||8GB, 256-512GB, UFS 4.0|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 For Galaxy|
|Graphics processor||Adreno GPU 740|
|Wireless modules||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC|
External: 3.4 inches, Super AMOLED, 720×748 pixels, 306 PPI, 60 Hz, 1600 cd/m²
Internal: 6.7 inches, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 2640×1080 pixels, 425 PPI, 120 HZ, 1750 cd/m²
12 MP wide-angle, ƒ/1.8, optical stabilization;
12 MP ultra-wide-angle, ƒ/2.2, 123˚
|Front camera||10 Мп, ƒ/2.2|
|ChargingWired up to 25 W, induction up to 15 W, reverse -4.5 W|
|Connectors||USB Type-C 3.2|
|Operating system||Android 13|
Since Galaxy Flip5 is one of the flagships, its package is minimalistic (for some reason, the trend of reducing the package has not yet spread to cheaper smartphones). So, in the box with the smartphone, the user is given only a pin to access the SIM card and a cable for charging and synchronization. If the user needs something else, the budget for purchasing a new device will have to be increased.
The manufacturer itself primarily offers protective accessories (covers and a film for the external display). Behind them, you can find a charger and an induction station separately. And for users who go all-in, there are two updated versions of the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 and the branded Galaxy Buds2 wireless headphones. Therefore, if you want to equip your smartphone with interesting accessories, the company will provide space for this right in its store, you won’t have to go far.
Design and usability
Despite the fact that the design principle of working with Galaxy Flip5 has not changed, the gadget itself has received the biggest update since its release three years ago. Firstly, the external display has grown radically. Secondly, the gap in the folded state that was present in previous versions has disappeared. Thus, the smartphone has become more convenient and still improved its appearance.
Although the device is virtually unchanged in the unfolded position, the Flip5 remains tall. For example, it’s taller than Galaxy S23 Ultra but it’s also narrower and thinner. This is clearly visible, especially in a direct comparison. This feature may not appeal to all users. However, those buyers who replace their old Flip with a new one shouldn’t feel any difference.
When folded, the body dimensions are 85.1×71.9×15.1 mm, while the dimensions in the expanded position are 165.1×71.9×6.9 mm. The weight is completely unchanged – 187 grams. Among the changes compared to its predecessor, the smartphone is now slightly lower, and due to the absence of a gap, its “folded” thickness remains the same from all angles. The latter has had a very good effect on both the appearance and the subjective feeling of the device. Now it really looks like a complete product.
For this purpose, the hinge in Galaxy Flip5 has been significantly redesigned. This did not affect the operation, and the smartphone is still difficult to open with one hand (an unsuccessful movement can accidentally damage the internal display, if you do not release the gadget from your hand at all). And yes, unfortunately, the fold line on the screen was not straightened with the new hinge either. It’s still noticeable in everyday use and can be felt well with your fingers while working. You can get used to it, but personally, I still paid attention to it from time to time.
At the same time, the case also uses glass on the outside and metal frames. Currently, the manufacturer’s Ukrainian store offers only three colors: Mint, Graphite, and Lavender. However, in other countries, such as the United States, there are also blue, yellow, green, etc. As always, this is not only a regional peculiarity, but also a business component, as some colors are available only when ordered online.
Despite the fact that Flip5 has retained many of the features of the previous model, the external display has played a significant role in the update. The design changes, along with excellent materials, build quality and water protection (IPX8), leave a pleasant impression and wonderful endurance tests give hope that a smartphone will lose its relevance before it breaks down. And an additional big bonus of this form factor for me personally is its compactness, because this device feels much more convenient even in my pocket than large flagship monoblocks.
Flip hasn’t compromised its ergonomics either. New users will have to adjust to the placement of the keys in different states, but this is a quick process.
At the same time, the smartphone has more design advantages that every user can find in their workflow. For example, you can put it down in a semi-folded form and watch something while having lunch. The same trick works during a video call. It seems like a trifle, but it’s actually a convenient moment in use. And I’m almost certain that creative owners will take advantage of this feature and find additional conveniences of a foldable smartphone.
External display – Flex Window
Since the release of the Galaxy Flip, Samsung has changed the external display for the second time. This time, its size has increased to 3.4 inches (Super AMOLED, 720×748 pixels, 306 PPI, 60 Hz), and it covers most of the entire panel surface, not a small part of it, as in previous cases. This also affected the smartphone’s capabilities accordingly.
When locked, the smartphone can show the time, battery power, and notifications. But a double tap on the display will bring up the selected wallpaper or a set of small widgets. When the smartphone is unlocked, the user can view notifications, reply to messages, make a call, set a timer, etc. The set of additional widgets is not very extensive yet, but the useful ones are enough to start with.
Navigation between them is intuitive. You can use the usual swipes (left/right to move between spaces, and up/down to scroll if the widget is “long”). There are also gestures, such as Pitch-to-Zoom-Out, which shows thumbnails of all selected widgets. The user is also given some room for customization and convenient location of the necessary information.
If that’s not enough, you can find a Labs section in the settings where you can activate some additional applications for the external display. So you can add Google Maps, some messengers, Netflix, and YouTube. Indeed, a quick glance at the map to find the right place makes sense. It is also relatively convenient to reply to messages on the go (it will still be difficult to conduct full-fledged correspondence from a small screen). But watching a video is more like fun. Although, perhaps, in some scenarios, it can also be useful.
Other applications can be launched through additional tools (the Good Lock app). But not all of them will be optimized for such work. Moreover, there is not much point in browsing social media feeds or playing games on a small screen when there is an option with a large and much more convenient display. Although, indeed, there are plenty of different cases here. But so far, the company hasn’t really kept this option in the public eye.
Thus, for now, the Flex Window still resembles a modification of a smartwatch, except that it is larger and placed in the palm of your hand instead of on your wrist. And yes, now the external display on Galaxy Flip5 is much more productive and convenient. But it has much more potential than it currently has. Such a screen can offer modified versions of various applications, entertaining timekillers that would help you pass some time in line, or even something original, purely for a small display. The only question is how the manufacturer and third-party developers will work on this in the future (spoiler alert: don’t expect anything “revolutionary” in the near future).
However, I liked using the external display. It’s bright and easy to read while driving, and it’s convenient to quickly view notifications, find out the time, or follow the route in search of the right place. Such little things reduce the need to open your smartphone once again on the go. And the whole smartphone becomes more interesting to use compared to conventional monoblock cases that have become boring over the years.
Internal display of Galaxy Flip5
However, the user will still spend much more time with the internal display, and it has not undergone such significant changes as the external display. This is an elongated 6.7-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 22:9. It is noticeably narrower than usual and slightly taller. This creates additional features in use, but nothing that will require significant adaptation of habits.
The bezels around it also remain large. They protect the display, even protruding above it. This still makes sense, because the “glass” of a folding display is still quite soft and easy to damage. And when you first set it up, the system will warn you about important rules of use (for example, you still can’t remove the installed film). You’ll have to keep all these conditions in mind. Especially the fact that there are magnets in the case, which should be kept a little further away from other devices that should not come into contact with them.
At the same time, the fracture line on the hinge remained. It has not become smaller and can still be felt in use. It is visible in different conditions of use, and, for example, the text below it has a slight curvature. Yes, I know it doesn’t sound good, but it’s not a significant problem in use. That is, with this point, changes in the design of the hinge did not affect the experience of working with the gadget, the display does not look much better or worse.
However, the image provided by the displays of various Samsung models is still one of the best. Flip5 retains the traditional Vivid and Natural color profiles for the Dynamic AMOLED 2X matrix. The former additionally allows you to adjust the temperature and individual colors. This time, in addition to the coverage, the standard values of both profiles have small deviations from the reference temperature (in the “cold” and “warm” directions, respectively), but it is unlikely that the average user will see this. The picture will definitely satisfy even the most demanding customers.
Vivid profile measurements:
Natural profile measurements:
Due to the specific coating, this screen also requires high brightness. This time, the manufacturer increased it to a peak value of 1750 cd/m² (the previous model had 1200 cd/m²). Indoors, the colorimeter did not show more than 792, which is exactly enough for this usage scenario, and the lowest value was 0.7 cd/m². At the same time, the automatic adjustment is also perfectly tuned and will not force you to frequently turn to the quick settings in the system. This also applies to the external display.
Among other things, the internal display boasts an adaptive refresh rate with a maximum of 120 Hz and a very pleasant evening mode.
Samsung Galaxy Flip5 supports the most common quick unlock methods, and it has its own peculiarities. To begin with, the smartphone has a fingerprint scanner. It’s logically built into the power button, so it works in both positions – folded and unfolded. Given that this is a capacitive sensor, there will be practically no problems with its operation.
The smartphone can also scan the owner’s face. This is realized thanks exclusively to the cameras and also works in both states. However, there are some nuances. For example, in the dark, it may deny access even if one of the displays illuminates the face. However, if there is enough light, even large sunglasses will not be a hindrance.
By setting up both unlocking methods, the user will most likely not have to recall the PIN code more often than the system requires (it checks the owner’s memory once every day or two). And yes, you can even enter a password on any of the displays if you need to.
Sound remains an equally important detail of an expensive smartphone. Galaxy Flip5 does not disappoint here either. Its main and earpiece speakers can work simultaneously for media playback and gaming, so there’s no problem with stereo sound support. These are certainly not the loudest or bassiest speakers you can find in modern smartphones, but their quality is quite enough for any standard use scenarios. No complaints here.
There are no complaints about the phone functions either. The earpiece speaker is built into the frame above the display. The volume is enough for conversations near busy city traffic, which, moreover, does not get into the conversation itself. At the same time, the noise reduction system will not affect the voice of the smartphone owner, as is the case with cheaper models. And, by the way, if you do not open the device while answering a call, it automatically switches to the speakerphone or wireless headphones, if they are in use at the moment.
And such headphones will also be the most convenient solution for music, because Flip5 doesn’t have a standard wired headphone jack (and is unlikely to ever get one). I don’t think the buyer of this model has one yet, but in this case, the manufacturer will also offer one of the best options. Any other Bluetooth headset will do just fine (for example, there were no problems with Beats Studio Buds).
Productivity and software
Like all of Samsung’s current flagships, the foldable Flip5 also received a special version of the 4-nanometer Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 For Galaxy, in which the most powerful core (Cortex-X3) has an increased frequency of 3.36 GHz. At the same time, the new model upgraded the drive to UFS 4.0 and increased its base capacity to 256 GB.
And these are not the only updates. Now Flip5 also supports Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and USB-C has been updated to version 3.2. These improvements are unlikely to be noticeable to ordinary users, but it’s nice that the manufacturer doesn’t forget about the little things. Of course, various navigation systems and NFC have not disappeared.
Thus, Galaxy Flip5, which is more of an image device than an enthusiast smartphone, keeps up with the most powerful flagships and provides plenty of performance for almost any task. The only thing you can theoretically complain about here is that it has only 8 GB of RAM. But again, this will definitely be a serious drawback for the target audience of the smartphone.
При подібному рівні продуктивності та обмеженнях корпуса, доведеться періодично стикатися з нагрівом та тротлінгом. Підняти температуру можуть ігри, а також тривала робота камер чи навігації. Це ті випадки, які траплялися мені під час тестування. Драматичним нагрів не назвати, але він все одно помітний (особливо в серпні). Тротлінг є, і він доволі значний, проте на швидкодії помітних сповільнень я так і не побачив.
Android 13 with OneUI 5.1.1. looks almost exactly the same here as on other smartphones from the manufacturer. There are only two things that slightly distinguish Flip5. First, it’s an additional item in the external display settings. Second, some apps, such as YouTube, may behave differently depending on the state of the internal display. That is, if you bend the display, the video being played will shift. A camera app can behave in the same way. But there are not many such exceptions.
Customers who have previously owned an Android smartphone and bought a Flip for the first time will only have to figure out how to use gestures on the external display (for example, the camera app is controlled by gestures). Otherwise, the Galaxy Flip5 is virtually indistinguishable from other smartphones, and it works as fast and pleasantly as other Samsung flagships.
Due to certain limitations of the entire platform, Samsung Galaxy Flip5 has fewer cameras, which are different from modern flagships. This time, the camera unit hasn’t changed at all and has two last year’s sensors:
- the main wide-angle has a resolution of 12 MP, an aperture value of ƒ/1.8 and optical image stabilization;
- ultra-wide-angle also has 12 MP, a capture angle of 123°, and an aperture of ƒ/2.2.
Buyers who are primarily looking for an image device are a little less focused on additional camera features (such as periscopic telephoto), so the number of cameras is unlikely to be an issue. In addition, these sensors are quite good at taking photos and have good video capabilities, which will most likely easily cover all the primary needs.
The main camera has enough capabilities to take great photos during the day in good light. A rather familiar feature of Samsung’s post-processing – additional color saturation – will be clearly visible here when viewed on different screens. The smartphone “colors” the sky, grass, adds saturation to red objects, and so on. Such a “filter” is not a bad thing and in some cases it really makes photos more interesting. However, sometimes such accents may not seem very appropriate (especially with red colors).
This camera allows you to shoot video in 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second. For an image device, the result is more than satisfactory.
At night, the camera will take longer to take a picture than other flagships. But this is easily explained by the much lower resolution. The detail is lost, but the pictures are still very good. The only thing to complain about is the backlighting from the lanterns, which the camera can’t always handle. But, again, Galaxy Flip5 is not primarily a “camera phone”.
In turn, the Galaxy Flip5’s ultra-wide-angle camera handles colors in the same way as the main camera. The difference in the photos (besides the wider angle) will be the amount of light that this camera receives a little less. As a result, post-processing will treat shadows, sky, and some other details differently. At the same time, the quality is still good. I would also like to thank the manufacturer for one of the best versions of lens correction, which allows you to get good edges of photos (not all manufacturers are good at this).
The ultra-wide-angle camera can shoot 4K video, but its maximum frame rate is half that – 30 FPS. I’ll assume that this is due to stabilization. And it also gives its results.
But at night, this camera has a harder time coping with the circumstances. Even with the night mode, the sensor lacks light (compared to the main one), and the white balance shifts. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to take a good photo, but it will require more time and effort than with the main camera.
Due to the design of the smartphone, the main cameras are also great for taking selfies. Just double-click the power button when the smartphone is folded, and you can immediately take a photo or video. With a little bit of gesture learning, you can switch between different modes and sensors, but you still have to open the smartphone to access all the possible settings.
There is still a separate camera in the middle for selfies and video calls. It has the same 10 megapixels as last time, but now it has a focal length of 23 mm (it was 26) and ƒ/2.2 (it was ƒ/2.4). With all the capabilities of the main sensors, taking selfies will be much better and much more interesting with external cameras. It is worth noting that the ultra-wide-angle camera does not have a portrait function. However, if you take self-portraits with the internal camera, it’s not far behind either.
The set of features of the camera application in Galaxy Flip5 is supplemented only by adaptation to different display positions and a couple of additional “keys” for moving the image depending on the circumstances. Everything else is quite similar to the familiar applications of other models.
Galaxy Flip5 autonomy
There are no changes in this section, and Galaxy Flip5 remains with the same battery life. Its battery has the same 3700 mAh capacity. In the autonomy test, this was enough for 8 hours and 21 minutes of work (after which you could watch YouTube for more than two hours before the device turned off completely). In practice, this model will not be able to compete with the manufacturer’s usual flagships, so on particularly active days, you may need to “refuel” from a power bank or in the car.
There’s nothing new in terms of charging methods for Galaxy Flip5 either. The smartphone supports 25-watt wired charging and 15-watt induction charging. But you should have a proprietary power supply at hand, because it took two and a half hours to fully charge with a 20W power supply, and the same time with a more powerful 87W laptop power supply. There’s also a 4.5-watt reverse charging option for other gadgets if needed, but with the relatively small battery, this probably won’t be a very popular feature.