The Galaxy Z Fold 5’s Biggest Upgrade Is Hiding In Plain Sight

Samsung’s newest foldables are so identical to last year’s models, one could mistake the Flip 4 for the Flip 5… but not so much the Z Fold 5 as this isn’t entirely true. While it does look like its predecessor at first glance, a closer look reveals the truth: the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is significantly thinner than the Fold 4, and weighs less too. Samsung put a lot more work into making the Z Fold 5’s design and the result is – drumroll – a new hinge that allows the phone shut completely flat.

A Hinge Reinvented For Seamless Folding

There aren’t a lot of design upgrades in the Z Fold 5, but the little ones go such a long way. The phone’s thinner and weighs noticeably less than its older sibling by 10 grams! Hardly anyone felt safe having a Galaxy Z Fold 4 (and literally all its predecessors) that had some space in between when it folded and it seemed like Samsung finally got the memo! Although they were late to the party as foldable smartphones like the Google Pixel Fold, Oppo Find N2, Mi Mix Fold 2, and the Honor Magic V2 (the thinnest foldable on the market) were already able to close completely flat even in their previous designs, Samsung definitely nailed it this time.

The redesigned hinge is more sturdy as it has fewer moving parts inside it now, plus it makes the Z Fold 5 a lot more pleasant to hold, giving it some edge over its newest competitor, the Google Pixel Fold.

Asides the redesigned hinge, the thinner design, and the reduced weight, the Fold 5 is essentially another Z Fold 4. It comes with an IPX8 water resistance rating, same as the Fold 4 and it also has upgraded screen protection, Gorilla Glass Victus 2. It’s still the same old not-so-pleasant tall and narrow 6.2-inch, 23.1:9 ratio cover display, and the Pixel Fold is gaining points in this department as it has a more “natural” 17.4:9 ratio 5.8-inch cover display. And lastly, the crease! That hasn’t gone anywhere, maybe Samsung will do something about it in their next release.

Effortless Elegance, Enhanced Performance

The Z Fold 5 gets a performance upgrade, thanks to the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC onboard. This chipset promises to deliver smoother and faster performance, longer battery life, and better image processing. Whether all that stays true is anybody’s guess, especially in the image-processing department, as the Fold 5 uses the same hardware as last year’s model so there isn’t any real improvement, if any.

The Fold 5 runs on Samsung’s One UI version of Android 13, which many would consider the best software on a foldable phone, and for good reasons. The software’s ability to multitask is second to none, users can open as many as five apps in floating windows or up to three if one decides to use them in split-screen. The Google Pixel Fold (and some other foldables) can’t give users that yet, a major point for the Z Fold 5! There’s also Samsung’s Dex feature that takes multitasking to another level, projecting an interface similar to Windows to another display.

One UI’s Flex Mode has also gone through massive improvements to be better optimized for its foldables. Folding the Fold 5 halfway triggers many apps to go into this mode and automatically adjust. It uses half of the device’s screen as the main part while it uses the other half as the keyboard or trackpad, basically like a laptop, but advanced. This works all too well on apps like Samsung’s native video player and YouTube, where viewers can adjust the brightness and volume of the video. At the moment, only Samsung’s foldables offer this feature, still making it a better option than the other foldables out there.

Price Tag

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is already on preorder now and is set to go on sale on August 11, placed at a starting price of $1,800 for the 256GB variant. Stores like Best Buy and Amazon will have it for sale as soon as it is released. There are three choices of colors, Icy Blue, Phantom Black, and Cream, plus Blue and Gray colors exclusive to the Samsung store.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an almost perfect, but definitely better choice for those who own the Fold 4 or an earlier version and wish it folded up nicely, and was thinner and easier to hold. Some people don’t buy the idea of a chunky phone at all and they probably won’t fancy the Z Fold 5 either. Also, the Z Fold 4 offers almost all the same features, and it’s cheaper too, making it a better option for those who don’t mind the thickness and the hinge.

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