Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: The ultimate flip phone

Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the flip phone of your dreams. With the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera set-up, this would be a must-buy masterpiece 

What We Love

  • Stunning Folding Design Still Impresses
  • New Cover Screen Changes Everything
  • Speedy Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chipset
  • All-Day Battery Life
  • Durable, Water-Resistant Design 
  • Gorgeous Colours
  • Samsung One UI Works Well

What We Don’t

  • Cameras Aren’t Top-Tier
  • Fingerprint Scanner Can Be Finnicky

Samsung is bundling a one-year subscription to Disney+ worth £79.90 and up to £560 off when you trade in your current phone! Better still, you can trade-in any phone in any condition, and Samsung will still slash £150 off the cost of the handset

There’s something undeniably charming about the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Sure, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 uses the same impossibly-clever folding display technology to offer a larger canvas for multi-tasking and bingeing boxsets (while still keeping things pocketable) but the Galaxy Z Flip 5 has more personality.

Whether you’re looking to relive the mid-00s heyday of flip phones, simply want a modern flagship phone that can fit into jeans with smaller pockets …or outfits with no pockets at all, or want to end all of your calls by snapping the handset closed (trust us, it’s as satisfying as it sounds) then this is the foldable phone for you.

On paper, little seems to have changed since the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Yes, that means there’s still a crease that runs across the middle of the foldable 6.7-inch AMOLED display, which feels a little odd under your fingertip. And there’s no telephoto camera in the dual-camera system, so you won’t be able to take advantage of lossless zoom for any of your snaps from the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

In our Galaxy Z Flip 4 review, we said this foldable oozed “wow factor” and that remains true of its successor.

And thanks to the improved screen on the outside of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which has been expanded from 1.9 inches on Flip 4 to an expansive 3.4 inches this time around, Samsung has completely changed the way you’ll interact with this cutting-edge flip phone.

You can now do most day-to-day tasks from the outside screen, including replying with a full-sized QWERTY keyboard, toggling settings like Aeroplane mode, and picking a new podcast episode on Spotify.

That simple change means you’ll only unfurl that gorgeous 120Hz 6.7-inch flexible screen when you’ve got time to settle down and enjoy it. As such, during our time with the handset, that moment when you flip open the Galaxy Z Flip 5 to reveal that expansive screen never loses its magic.

There are still some nitpicks. That unsightly crease is still there, despite the redesigned hinge. Samsung has increased the amount of storage included in the entry-level model (there’s still no microSD slot to expand the amount of storage after you’ve made your purchase) …but that upgrade comes with a higher price tag too, so you’ll need to find the best Galaxy Z Flip 5 deals to make sure you’re not paying over £1,000 for this next-generation flip phone.

If you’re looking for an Android phone with a design that’s guaranteed to get tongues wagging, look no further than Galaxy Z Flip 5.


  • Design and Display
  • Battery Life, Charging, and Power
  • Cameras
  • Price and Availability
  • Final Verdict
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review

    Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the fourth iteration of the flip phone-style handset from Samsung (the South Korean firm skipped from Galaxy Z Flip straight to Galaxy Z Flip 3 to keep the numbers aligned with the more mature Galaxy Z Fold series). In that short time – the first model only launched back February 2020 – Samsung has really managed to perfect its formula.

    Since last year, Samsung has dramatically increased the size of the external Cover Screen (now known as the Flex Window), switched out the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 for the speedier and more efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy processor (that’s the same model that we praised in our Galaxy S23 Ultra review), and redesigned the hinge mechanism for a slimmer profile when the phone is closed.

    It’s a deceptively small list of changes, but don’t underestimate the impact some of these tweaks have on the experience of using the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Our in-depth review below has everything you need to know…

    Design and Display

    Since the launch of the Galaxy Z Flip series, it’s the generous 6.7-inch AMOLED screen that folds in half to shrink the size of the handset that’s been the star of the show. But that’s not the case this time around.

    Of course, the 6.7-inch foldable screen – with a 120Hz refresh-rate for silky-smooth system animations – remains on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and it still offers a stunning way to binge boxsets on Disney+, run multiple apps side-by-side, and play the latest mobile games. As we’d expect from Samsung, the AMOLED display looks sublime, with cavernous shades of black and vibrant colours that makes your content really pop on-screen. The refresh-rate is adaptive, which should be kinder on your battery life too.

    But it’s the new 3.4-inch screen on the outside of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 that truly transforms the experience of using this foldable every day.

    Unlike previous iterations of the Galaxy Z Flip series, which had small slithers of screen on the outside – dubbed the Cover Screen – to quickly glance at notifications, the current time and data, and a few other tidbits …the so-called Flex Window on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 offers a more complete experience. You can scroll through all of your recent notifications and tap for more information or send quick replies, access frequently-used settings like Aeroplane Mode and Torch, a full-sized QWERTY keyboard to reply to text messages, and interactive widgets for weather, fitness tracking, stocks, Spotify, and much more.

    Samsung has used an always-on display for the external screen, so you’ll be able to check the date, time, and icons for unread notifications without waking up the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Unfortunately, it’s only a 60Hz refresh-rate, which isn’t a dealbreaker, but is noticeable because you’ll be constantly switching between the Flex Window and the flagship 6.7-inch foldable AMOLED screen.

    With the larger canvas on the outside of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung has taken the opportunity to neatly tie together its ecosystem of devices by matching the customisable background, font types, and clock face styles available on the Flex Window with the watch faces found on the Galaxy Watch. That means you can apply the same theme to both gadgets.

    It’s a really nice touch and means that Samsung’s family of Galaxy devices feel apiece. That slick attention to detail is something we’d usually associate with the designers from Samsung’s biggest rival in Cupertino.

    At launch, there are 13 interactive widgets available for the Flex Window on the Galaxy Z Flip 5, including household names, like Spotify. The South Korean brand says it’s working with third-party developers to fine-tune their apps to take advantage of the unique shape of the screen and all of the features available, so fingers crossed, we should see more apps updated in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, Samsung lets you add non-optimised apps to the Flex Window by digging into the Settings menu and enable the Labs toggle, but we’d hope to see a more refined experience from the likes of WhatsApp with future updates.

    During our time with the Galaxy Z Flip 5, we’d constantly use the external screen – Google Calendar reminders would tell us to dial-in to our next meeting, we’d fire-off replies to Slack messages using the QWERTY keyboard, we’d scroll through notifications to assess whether there was anything that required us to unfurl the main display.

    Whether we were quickly pulling the Galaxy Z Flip 5 from our pocket or bag, or checking the screen as the handset sat beside us on the desk or dinner table, the 3.4-inch screen was always our go-to. When we did take the time to unfold the 6.7-inch AMOLED screen, it was not because we’d be forced to do so because of an incomplete experience on the Cover Screen (as would frequently happen with previous iterations of the Galaxy Z Flip) but because we wanted to use that larger canvas for a longer period of time.

    Sure, that means we flipped open the Galaxy Z Flip 5 fewer times than its predecessor, but it always felt like more of a treat when we settled down into a seat on the train to play games, write a longer email, scroll social media, binge an episode (or two) on Disney+, or run two apps in split-screen for some extra productivity on the gorgeous 6.7-inch AMOLED screen.

    It’s worth noting that, as we bemoaned in our Galaxy Z Flip 4 review, the crease in the folding screen still remains. Most of the time, your fingertips will be limited to the bottom-half of the screen, so you’re unlikely to notice it, but when you do pass over the small indent – it’s definitely noticeable. Likewise, the crease isn’t particularly visible when looking directly at the screen …but if light catches the fold or you’re viewing the screen slightly off-axis, then again, it can be a distraction.

    While the foldable glass screen is almost identical to Samsung’s last rodeo, the company has put a lot of work into the hinge mechanism.

    Samsung has reduced the gap in the hinge, making the Galaxy Z Flip 5 a little thinner than its predecessor – now just 15.1mm when folded, compared to 17.1mm on the Flip 4 – and removing the tapered appearance of last generation.

    This compact design is perfect if you’re planning to keep the handset in a small pocket, small bag, or jacket. When closed, the tighter hinge design has the benefit of reducing the chance of dust or lint gathering inside your phone.

    The hinge is still strong enough to support the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in a variety of different positions, including unfolding the handset halfway so that it looks like a small laptop so you can take group photos without a tripod, watch YouTube videos or take video calls without precariously leaning the phone against something for support.

    Battery Life, Charging, and Power

    There’s no change in the size of the battery this time around, with Samsung sticking to the same 3,700mAh cell found inside the Galaxy Z Flip 4. That said, the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset from US manufacturer Qualcomm is better optimised and more efficient, which should help battery life …but there is a much larger external screen (3.4-inch versus 1.9 inches on Flip 4) that needs to be powered this time around.

    Thankfully, we had no issues with battery life during our time with the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Perhaps it was our increased use of the Flex Window for fast replies to incoming messages, triaging emails, and checking the weather before dashing out of the house …but we easily made it through the day without going near a plug. If you decide to unfold the Galaxy Z Flip 5 at every available opportunity and stream hours of video on 5G, you might need to pack a charger with you.

    Samsung supports fast-charging with its Galaxy Z Flip 5, so you can refill 50% of the battery in roughly 30-minutes. You’ll need to bring your own plug to take advantage of those 25W maximum charging speeds, as Galaxy Z Flip 5 only arrives with a USB-C power cable in the box as part of the industry-wide push to reduce e-waste. It does support speedy wireless charging though, so you’ll be able to top-up the battery from charging pucks built into the tables of your favourite coffee shop, train carriage, or fast-food restaurant, which can be a real lifesaver.

    Finally, there’s also reverse-wireless charging too (dubbed Wireless PowerShare), albeit at a pretty sluggish 4.5W, that means you can sap energy from the built-in 3,700mAh battery cell to top-up other people’s phones or accessories, like wireless earbuds. It’s really handy in a pinch, but it’s not the sort of feature you’ll be relying on day-to-day.

    As mentioned above, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. Despite the name, this is only a slight tweak to the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset from Qualcomm, so don’t expect performance to be radically different from other Android handsets fuelled by the same silicon.

    However, it’s great to see the Galaxy Z Flip series on-par with the performance of the latest Galaxy S phones from Samsung. In our time with the Galaxy Z Flip 5, it handled everything we could throw at it – running multiple apps side-by-side without a hiccup and instantly reloading our last-saved state when flipping on the 6.7-inch foldable screen.

    More importantly, this newer chipset means that Samsung can deliver five years of software support with its smartphones, so you can expect new features and security updates for years to come. When you’re spending four-figures on a new phone, this is exactly the sort of longterm software support you need to see – and it’s great to see Samsung offering such a commitment to users.


    Galaxy Z Flip 5 has exactly the same camera hardware as its predecessor, so those looking for the best mobile photography that Samsung offers might want to take a look at the Galaxy S23 lineup instead. Building a new smartphone is all about compromise, and Samsung has clearly decided to prioritise other elements of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 over its cameras.

    Of course, it’s a little disappointing that nothing has moved on within the last year …but that’s not to say the cameras on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 (and by extension, the Galaxy Z Flip 4) are bad.

    The dual-camera system boasts two 12MP sensors – one wide-angle, one ultra-wide – that enables all of the usual tricks you’d expect from a phone at this price point. Yes, that means you’ll be able to shoot ultra-wide shots, Portrait Mode photos and videos with a beautiful (and adjustable) bokeh-style blur, super slow-motion video at 960 frames-per-second, and a AI-powered Scene Optimiser that suggests the best settings for the subject in the viewfinder.

    If that sounds like an overwhelming amount of choice, it seems Samsung agrees. As such, it’s created a clever Single Take mode that shoots 14 different types of photo with a single press of the Shutter Button, leaving you to pick the best option later (while feeling quietly smug that you’re guaranteed to never miss the best choice).

    Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) is included to reduce wobble when taking images in low-light.

    There is a small 10MP selfie camera at the top of the 6.7-inch AMOLED screen, which is useful in a pinch for video calls, Snapchat filters, and daily Be Real shots …but that’s about it. For any pictures that you might want to revisit in the future, you’re better off using the dual-camera system. Thankfully, the 3.4-inch Flex Window display means using the rear-mounted camera for selfies is better than ever before – with plenty of screen real estate to properly line-up your shots. Unlike other flagship phones, you’ll be able to use the top-tier ultra-wide camera for selfies too.

    Price and Availability

    Samsung announced its Galaxy Z Flip 5 at its Galaxy Unpacked keynote in Seoul, South Korea in July 2023. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 launched alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Galaxy Watch6 and Watch6 Classic, and all-new Galaxy Tab S9 series worldwide on August 11, 2023.

    With the arrival of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung increased the cost of its foldable phones in the UK. Galaxy Z Flip 5 starts from £1,049 for the 256GB model, rising to £1,149 for the 512GB variant. For comparison, Galaxy Z Flip 4 started from £999 when it was released last summer, although that model did only have 128GB of built-in storage.

    Still, those who want the most affordable model in the new Galaxy Z Flip range will need to spend £50 more this time around. While there might only be two variants of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung more than makes up for that with a dizzying choice of colours.

    Its new foldable arrives in a choice of Mint, Graphite, Lavender, and Cream, as well as Grey, Blue, Green, and Yellow when bought exclusively from the Samsung Store.

    Final Verdict

    There are a lot of smartphones that come through our offices for review, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen a reaction like the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

    There was a palpable A-List draw to this clever phone as it sat on our desk, with every passerby compelled to comment on the stunning pastel colour, clever folding glass display, gorgeous interactive widgets on the external screen, the ability to support itself when taking video calls, the list goes on…

    That level of attention makes sense, there’s something incredibly charming about Galaxy Z Flip 5.

    It’s been a few years since the Galaxy Z Flip made its debut, but its clever design still impresses. However, with the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Samsung has successfully refined that winning formula with the addition of the 3.4-inch Flex Window, which dramatically changes how you’ll use its foldable. In our time, we really only unfurled the 6.7-inch 120Hz foldable screen when we had to enjoy it – keeping the magic of this incredible party trick alive for even longer and also preventing us from wasting 10-minutes doom-scrolling after unlocking our phone to reply to a quick text.

    If you’re already invested in Samsung’s ecosystem of devices, the ability to synchronise the appearance of the Flex Window on your Galaxy Z Flip 5 with the watch face on your Galaxy Watch is a nice touch. Unsurprisingly, Samsung’s own apps are the first to be updated to properly take advantage of the Flex Window too, so you can check your progress in Samsung Health already (but might be waiting a little longer for the teams at Fitbit to create something similar for its users).

    Samsung’s redesigned hinge creates a svelte package when everything is folded away, which is useful for those with small pockets (or no pockets in their outfit). It says the design has been rated for 200,000 folds. That equates to opening (and closing) your Galaxy Z flip 5 100x each day for over five years. Obviously, we haven’t been able to test that theory in our time with the handset, so we’ll have to take Samsung at its word (the South Korean company has received third-party certification for the durability of the folding screen and hinge) but we’ll update this review if we hear differently.

    Galaxy Z Flip 5 now boasts the same processor found in the flagship Galaxy S23 series – perfect for those who worry that Samsung has sacrificed processing power to accommodate the unique form-factor. It also means that Samsung is committed to supporting the Galaxy Z Flip 5 with software updates for the next five years, so you won’t miss out on a crucial security update for some time.

    In fact, there’s only one area where the Galaxy Z Flip series still falls behind the Galaxy S series – the camera. Yes, those who want to take the best photos and videos possible from Samsung hardware will still need to look elsewhere …but that’s not to say you’ll be disappointed with the shots from the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

    Samsung still cranks-up the brightness and saturation from its cameras compared to the competition. As such, blue skies and green fields tend to look particularly zingy. But let’s be honest, that’s what most of us do before posting a photo to social media anyway. The AI baked into the sensor is clever enough to keep skin tones looking natural. Samsung hasn’t fitted a telephoto lens, so you’ll sacrifice quality as soon as you start to zoom for your shots. Given the choice, most people will get more use from the ultra-wide camera anyway …a decision that Apple has also made with its iPhone 14 series.

    Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a little more expensive than its predecessor, but it does arrive with more built-in storage. Samsung has a refreshed the colourways available on its new foldable with a choice of a stunning Mint, simple Graphite, Cream, and its trademark Lavender.

    If you’ve been curious about the Galaxy Z Flip series since its debut, this is the moment to make the leap. The incredible foldable design is just as jaw-dropping as that first-generation model, but everything else about this unique flagship phone has been tweaked and refined. As a result, this is the most complete package every released by Samsung. It’s an incredible achievement.

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