Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review: Flip Phones Are Cool Again – Video

    Foldable Phones

    Speaker 1: <silence>

    Speaker 2: The Galaxy Z Flip five marks the biggest change to Samsung’s flip phone in years, and it’s all because of that new cover screen. The Z flip five, which starts at $1,000 and launches on August 11th, gets a bigger external display, the same chip as the Galaxy S 23 Series, and a new hinge that enables it to fold flat completely when closed. I had the chance to test out the Z flip five in Seoul, South Korea where I spent some time vacationing [00:00:30] after covering Samsung’s unpacked event. As it turns out, traveling is the best time to review a new phone. I had to rely on the Z flip for everything from taking photos to getting directions and being out all day. Also gave me a good sense of what the battery life is like during my time with the Z Flip five. So far, the new cover screen has made the biggest impression on me.

    Speaker 2: There’s just so much more you can do with the Z flip without having to open it, but Samsung wasn’t the first to put a large cover screen on a flip phone. [00:01:00] The Motorola Razor Plus has an even larger display on the front of its device, and the razor screen can run more apps by default, but compared to the razor, the Z flip five’s design feels more sturdy. The software is also more polished, and you get an extra generation of Android updates. That doesn’t mean the Z flip five gets everything right. I do think Motorola does a better job of transitioning apps between both screens and at $1,000. The Z flip five’s price could put it out of range [00:01:30] for a lot of people, but overall, the new cover screen combined with other upgrades like its new processor makes Samsung’s flip phone a more tempting choice than ever before.

    Speaker 2: The Galaxy Z Flip five’s cover screen is hard to miss at 3.4 inches. It’s much larger than the 1.9 inch cover display on the z flip four, but slightly smaller than the razor’s 3.6 inch front screen. The interface is similar to the razor plus’s cover screen, but with some important differences. For one, you can’t access [00:02:00] every app on the cover screen by default the way you can with the Razor Plus app continuity also doesn’t work both ways on the z Flip five the way it does with the Razor plus apps only pick up where they left off when you move from the tiny screen to the main screen, not the other way around. That aside, I do like Samsung’s version of the cover screen, which it’s now calling the Flex window. I think notifications look neater and more streamlined on the z flip five compared to the razor, and I also appreciate that you can see the field you’re typing in as you’re using [00:02:30] the Z flip five’s keyboard.

    Speaker 2: There’s also a clever pinching gesture for showing thumbnails of all your widgets on the screen at once, which can be helpful for quickly jumping to a specific screen without swiping multiple times. It feels very apple-like and it’s a good example of how Samsung is thinking about navigation and user interface design differently on a display this small. During my travels in Soul, I mostly use this cover screen to send WhatsApp messages, check directions, and swipe through notifications while writing the metro. [00:03:00] The cover screen may be the biggest physical difference between the Z flip four and five, but it’s not the only one. There’s also a new hinge, which Samsung is also calling. You guessed it, the flex hinge. This hinge enables the phone to fold completely flat when shut. Finally getting rid of the wedge-shaped gap on Samsung’s previous foldables. Samsung also claims the new hinge should make the phone more durable.

    Speaker 2: Since there are fewer moving parts, it’s nice to see Samsung improving the Z flips design, especially [00:03:30] since Motorola and Google have both released foldables that can fold flat with no gaps, but unfortunately this new hinge doesn’t do much to improve the crease. The Z flip five is thicker than Motorola’s Razor plus, which I initially saw as a downside, but after spending more time with both phones, I’ve realized the Z flip five feels more durable. The Razor plus feels more fragile, and I’ve noticed that it doesn’t always open completely straight like the Z flip five does the Galaxy Z Flip five has a slightly [00:04:00] better camera than the Z flip four. Mostly thanks to the new chip inside the phone. It runs on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon eight gen two for Galaxy chip that’s found inside the Galaxy S 23 series, but it also has a 12 megapixel main and ultra wide camera, just like the flip four.

    Speaker 2: It’s somewhat disappointing to see the same camera hardware again this year, but I have noticed some improvements from the new chip. Overall colors looked bolder and details looked sharper on the Z flip five’s camera compared to photos taken on the razor and Z flip four. [00:04:30] But image quality can be subjective and results can always vary depending on the lighting and other factors. While I generally thought the Z flip five succeeded over the razor, there were some outliers like this image of a Korean rice cake dish that I took while in Seoul. Don’t expect to get the same top-notch camera quality you’d find on a phone like the Galaxy SS 23 Ultra or Google Pixel seven Pro. But the Z flip five’s cameras are capable enough for documenting food and travel for Instagram, and that’s exactly what I did while testing the Z flip five in Seoul. [00:05:00] Check out some of my favorite photos from the trip.

    Speaker 2: When you open up the Z flip five to use its 6.7 inch screen, you can largely expect the same software [00:05:30] experience as the Z flip four, and Samsung provides four generations of Android software updates while Motorola only provides three, that means you’ll get an extra year of Android upgrades with the Z flip compared to the razor, and that’s a big deal if you plan on keeping your new phone for a while, especially for phones in this price range. Performance is also exactly what you’d expect from a phone at this. Price Apps launch quickly. You can multitask without any issues, and the internal screen has a 120 hertz variable refresh rate for smoother scrolling. Samsung [00:06:00] also increased the amount of storage you get in the base model of the Z flip five compared to the Z flip four, just like it did with the Galaxy S 23 plus earlier this year, you now get 256 gigs instead of 1 28, which makes that $1,000 price a little more sensible.

    Speaker 2: Battery life on the Z flip five is long enough to make it through a busy day of wandering around Seoul snapping photos, looking up directions and discovering nearby points of interest. I typically took my phone off its charger in the late [00:06:30] morning between nine 30 and 10:30 AM and still had 25 to 30% of my battery left between around midnight and 1:30 AM You can check out my written review for more details about the Z flip five’s battery life. The Z flip five further proves that companies like Samsung are getting closer to answering the question of why foldable phones are useful in the first place. And that’s a largely thanks to the new cover screen. Having a device that’s easy to use with one hand that can also unfold to a full sized phone makes the Z [00:07:00] flip five and other similar phones more versatile than the phones that most people are carrying today.

    Speaker 2: The Z flip five is a big step in the right direction for Samsung’s pocket sized foldable phone. While it’s a tough call between the Razor plus and Z flip five, Samsung’s St Sturdier design, more polished software and extra year of Android updates ultimately make it the better choice for those interested in flip phones. While the Z flip five isn’t perfect, the changes Samsung introduced on this year’s model make that $1,000 price easier to swallow. [00:07:30] So what do you think of the Z flip five? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to follow CNET for more Samsung coverage. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.

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