Quick Ones: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 5G

You know why we’re here. We’ve got our hands on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold5 5G in Malaysia and here’s our preliminary thoughts on Samsung’s 2023 foldable line.

Specs

CPU Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
Memory256GB + 12GB RAM
512GB + 12GB RAM
1TB + 512GB RAM
Display7.6″ QXGA+ Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz
Cover: 6.2″ Super AMOLED, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz
Camera50 MP, f/1.8 (wide),
12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
10 MP, f/2.4 Telephoto (3x Zoom)
10 MP, f/2.2, (cover selfie)
4 MP, f/1.8 (inner display selfie)
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.3, Up to 5G, WiFi 6E
OSAndroid 13, One UI 5.1.1
Battery4,400 mAh, 25W Fast Charging
Available ColorsIcy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream
 
Online Exclusive Colours: Gray, Blue
Retail Price256GB + 12GB RAM – RM 6799
512GB + 12GB RAM – RM 7299
1TB + 12GB RAM – RM 8299

Refine Over Redefine

At face value, the Z Fold5 doesn’t share major differences compared to its predecessor. One thing’s for sure, the new focus on hinge tech had given the Z Fold5 a less-but-not-gone crease which means they’re on the right path to making a crease-free foldable. I know that the foldable space is not populated with lots of competitors touting a crease-less display, but surely Samsung must be focusing their efforts elsewhere, especially in the long game where durability will carry the bulk of the experience.

That being said, a further quality of life benefit we see for the Fold is that the new hinge allows for a nearly flat closing, so you’ll be able to completely close your Fold without any visible gaps which was a cause for concern for people, being worried about foreign objects and particles entering the phone and damaging that screen. It’s also worth noting that the Z Fold5 is also the thinnest foldable Samsung’s ever done, even when right next to the Z Flip! It’s only 13.4mm now, so we’re definitely heading somewhere!

It also takes on a new set of colorways too, being available in Icy Blue, Phantom Black, and Cream, along with 2 online-exclusive colors: Gray and Blue with a black frame.

Further Quality Of Life Upgrades in Specs

The Z Fold5 comes features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy as seen on the Z Flip5 and this year’s flagship, the Galaxy S23 Ultra, touting the same customization for better battery life and performance. You may read our earlier piece here on what makes the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy so different and special.

You’ll also enjoy snappier storage and file transfers, thanks to Samsung employing UFS 4.0 storage compared to the Z Fold4’s UFS 3.1. Out of the box you’ll be using the latest One UI 5.1.1, which is tailored for foldable screens on how we look and do multitasking. How exactly? through an improved taskbar that helps keep tabs on what apps you have running in the background as well as apps you frequently use.

We’ll likely see a One UI 6.0 update soon for the Z Fold5, which falls in line with Samsung’s commitment to wards reducing e-waste and prolonging product life cycle through a promise of 4 generations of OS upgrades on top of 5 years of security patches. These commitments drive the enterprise sector who definitely have loved and worshipped the Z Fold series throughout the years.

Display

Display on paper largely remains the same, especially for the inner screen. It still packs Samsung’s top-shelf foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, with a variable 1-120Hz refresh rate, a 7.6-inch diagonal, and a resolution of 2176 x 1812. The only upgrade here is a bump in maximum brightness, with the Z Fold5 being able to reach 1750 nits over the Z Fold4’s 1200 nits.

The cover screen is the same, a dynamic AMOLED 2X 6.2-inch panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. Aspect ratio is the same as before at 23:1:9.

Cameras

Cameras really are the same on the hardware side, with the software side of things carrying the bulk of the innovation and improvement. Just as how we’ve mentioned that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is a Samsung tailored chipset for performance, a huge part of the experience goes into photography and video, with an advanced AI engine dedicated to professional quality camera experiences. Snapdragon’s Cognitive ISP enables real-time Semantic Segementation to enhance images, ultra low-light video capture, and multi-frame noise reduction.

Now that I’ve shared that, the Z Fold5 packs a 50MP primary shooter complete with Dual Pixel PDAF and OIS, a 10MP telephoto sensor with PDAF, OIS and 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide shooter.

Selfies are still taken care of using the 10MP cover screen selfie camera unit and the ever unique 4MP under display camera which is hidden in the inner screen as always.

What We Think So Far

So far, I deeply understand the Z Fold5’s release as refining the idea of a large, powerful foldable instead of redefining it, a completely different direction to the more consumer-centric Z Flip5. With many technical improvements to the hinge, specs and software, I’m pretty sure that the Z Fold5 exists for Z Fold2 and Fold3 users to jump to, while giving Z Fold4 owners just a bit more time to ponder.

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