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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 offers refinement but not much else

The tech giant's latest flagship foldable offers a minor upgrade over its predecessor

Samsung has unveiled its latest lineup of devices, including the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5. I got the chance to check out the handsets before their official announcement to share my thoughts on Samsung’s new offerings. If you want to know more about the Galaxy Z Flip 5, check out this hands-on.

Around the world, foldables are becoming all the rage, with companies like Oppo, Vivo, Royole and Huawei releasing foldable devices of their own. Still, none of these smartphones have officially made their way to the Canadian market. While Google has the Pixel Fold and there are ways of getting the device in Canada, even that phone isn’t officially available here.

So, despite spending a short amount of time with the Galaxy Z Fold 5, I can still tell Samsung will likely keep its crown as the foldable king of the north. But considering what the Z Fold 5 offers this year, Samsung should be wary because the competition is heating up.

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Display

Main Screen: 7.6 inches 120Hz AMOLED 2x, Infinity Flex Display (2176 x 1812) | Cover Screen: 6.2 inches 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (2316 x 904)

Main Screen: 7.6 inches 120Hz AMOLED 2x, Infinity Flex Display (2176 x 1812) | Cover Screen: 6.2 inches 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (2316 x 904)

Processor

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus

RAM

12GB of RAM

12GB of RAM

Storage

256GB, 512GB and 1TB of storage

256GB, 512GB and 1TB of storage

Dimensions (in.)

Folded: 67.1 x 154.9 x 13.4mm(Hinge) | Unfolded: 129.9 x 154.9 x 6.1mm

Folded: 67.1 x 155.1 x 15.8mm(Hinge) ~ 14.2mm(Sagging) | Unfolded: 130.1 x 155.1 x 6.3mm

Weight

253g

263g

Rear Facing Camera

50MP Wide-angle Camera F1.8, 12MP Ultra Wide Camera F2.2, 10MP Telephoto Camera F2.4 | Cover camera: 10MP Selfie Camera F2.2

50MP Wide-angle Camera F1.8, 12MP Ultra Wide Camera F2.2, 10MP Telephoto Camera F2.4 | Cover camera: 10MP Selfie Camera F2.2

Front Facing Camera

10 MP Cover Camera F/2.2 | 4MP Under Display Camera F1.8

10 MP Cover Camera F/2.2 | 4MP Under Display Camera F1.8

OS

Android 13

Android 12

Battery

4,400 mAh

4,400 mAh

Network Connectivity

LTE/5G

LTE/5G

Sensors

Capacitive Fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor

Capacitive Fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor

SIM Type

Nano SIM

Nano SIM

Launch Date

August 11, 2023

August 10, 2022

Misc

Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige [Samsung.com Exclusive] Burgundy

Display

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Main Screen: 7.6 inches 120Hz AMOLED 2x, Infinity Flex Display (2176 x 1812) | Cover Screen: 6.2 inches 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (2316 x 904)

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Main Screen: 7.6 inches 120Hz AMOLED 2x, Infinity Flex Display (2176 x 1812) | Cover Screen: 6.2 inches 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (2316 x 904)

Processor

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus

RAM

Galaxy Z Fold 5

12GB of RAM

Galaxy Z Fold 4

12GB of RAM

Storage

Galaxy Z Fold 5

256GB, 512GB and 1TB of storage

Galaxy Z Fold 4

256GB, 512GB and 1TB of storage

Dimensions (in.)

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Folded: 67.1 x 154.9 x 13.4mm(Hinge) | Unfolded: 129.9 x 154.9 x 6.1mm

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Folded: 67.1 x 155.1 x 15.8mm(Hinge) ~ 14.2mm(Sagging) | Unfolded: 130.1 x 155.1 x 6.3mm

Weight

Galaxy Z Fold 5

253g

Galaxy Z Fold 4

263g

Rear Facing Camera

Galaxy Z Fold 5

50MP Wide-angle Camera F1.8, 12MP Ultra Wide Camera F2.2, 10MP Telephoto Camera F2.4 | Cover camera: 10MP Selfie Camera F2.2

Galaxy Z Fold 4

50MP Wide-angle Camera F1.8, 12MP Ultra Wide Camera F2.2, 10MP Telephoto Camera F2.4 | Cover camera: 10MP Selfie Camera F2.2

Front Facing Camera

Galaxy Z Fold 5

10 MP Cover Camera F/2.2 | 4MP Under Display Camera F1.8

Galaxy Z Fold 4

10 MP Cover Camera F/2.2 | 4MP Under Display Camera F1.8

OS

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Android 13

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Android 12

Battery

Galaxy Z Fold 5

4,400 mAh

Galaxy Z Fold 4

4,400 mAh

Network Connectivity

Galaxy Z Fold 5

LTE/5G

Galaxy Z Fold 4

LTE/5G

Sensors

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Capacitive Fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Capacitive Fingerprint sensor (side), Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, Light sensor

SIM Type

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Nano SIM

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Nano SIM

Launch Date

Galaxy Z Fold 5

August 11, 2023

Galaxy Z Fold 4

August 10, 2022

Misc

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 4

Graygreen, Phantom Black, Beige [Samsung.com Exclusive] Burgundy

This year, Samsung didn’t add anything special to the Galaxy Z Fold 5. In fact, it’s difficult to tell what the South Korean company changed at all. There’s Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, but that’s pretty much it. With the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Samsung is focused on refinement rather than innovation or major changes; it’s a tiny step rather forward, rather than a big leap.

But refinement is very appreciated when spending $2,399 on a smartphone.

This year there’s no fancy new camera setup; the screens and the amount of RAM are the same, there’s still no S Pen holder, and really, there aren’t major differences in general. On the plus side, the foldable’s build quality remains superb and is a step above last year’s.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 is thinner than the past models, and it’s noticeable. When unfolded, the foldable is 6.1mm thick compared to last year’s 6.3mm, and when folded, it’s only 13.4mm compared to 14.2mm. That doesn’t seem like a massive difference on paper, but you can feel it when you’re holding both devices in your hand. Further, creating a thinner device also makes the handset lighter at 252g, about 10g lighter than its predecessor.

This refinement is welcome and appreciated. Even in my short time with the foldable, I can easily state that it’s the best-built Galaxy Fold device in the series. The Z Fold 5 really does feel premium and sturdy. I wasn’t worried that it would break, and for the first time, I felt like it could withstand a few drops — though I still don’t want to ever test that.

This is pretty much all there is to say about the Fold 5’s hardware because not much else has changed about the smartphone. The Z Fold 5 comes in ‘White,’ ‘Black,’ and ‘Sky Blue.’

Samsung has also made several changes to One UI to allow the Fold 5 to better utilize its large 7.6-inch display. The smartphone can now store eight apps in the taskbar, and there’s a new recent app section as well. The handset can minimize pop-out apps so that they take up minimal space on your display and are off on the sides as well. This is a nice touch for those who like to use their Galaxy Fold device for productivity. However, it’s worth noting this feature will likely come to its predecessor at some point.

“…If you have the Z Fold 3 or Fold 4, you might want to wait for next year’s iteration before upgrading.”

I only had a limited time to play around with the Z Fold 5, so I’ll have to test out the capabilities of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, 12GB of RAM and a 4,400mAh battery when I get my hands on a review device. However, I don’t foresee any big performance changes compared to last year’s offering, especially since the handsets feature the same size battery.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 will almost certainly still hold the crown for the best foldable in Canada, although that’s a pretty easy mark to hit with no other handsets with this design in the country. I left Google’s Pixel Fold hands-on excited and looking forward to reviewing the device, and I really liked the form factor of the front display. In comparison, I walked away from the Z Fold 5’s hands-on a little underwhelmed and wished that the handset offered something new.

If this is your first foldable ever, you’ll be completely happy with the Z Fold 5, but if you have the Z Fold 3 or Fold 4, you might want to wait for next year’s iteration before upgrading.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 starts at $2,399 in Canada. The device is available to pre-order now and releases on August 11th.

For all of our content from Samsung’s foldable keynote, follow this link.

Photography by Bradley Bennett.

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