Samsung has officially unveiled its 2023 line of foldables, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Z Fold 5. While the Fold 5 is the most specced out of the bunch, we expect to see more Flips out and about in people's hands. After all, it's the more affordable and compact option, and clamshell phones are slowly coming back into fashion, even with non-techies.
The Z Flip 5 builds on the success of Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4, which led the clamshell pack with its sturdy design and water resistance rating, enlarging the cover screen, upgrading the power, and closing the hinge-gap that gave Samsung foldables a slight wedge shape.
The most striking thing about Samsung's new flip phone is its asymmetric cover screen. While Motorola went with a cut-out for its RAZR Plus (RAZR 40 Ultra outside the US), Samsung has opted for a side-notch.
While Samsung's cover screen design choice doesn't look as good as Moto's, the Z Flip 5's cover screen gives you plenty of room to flex at 3.4 inches, with support for a host of Samsung widgets and third-party apps. That includes Netflix and YouTube, so you can watch shows without opening your phone – a feature we loved on the Motorola RAZR (2022).
The new Galaxy Z Flip 5 is also slimmer than last year's Flip 4 when closed thanks to the lack of a hinge gap, though the overall styling is very similar to its predecessor, and it weighs the same at 187g.
With a sturdy hinge and an armor aluminum frame, Samsuing's keeping durability in mind, and it's bringing back IPX8 water resistance. The phone's front and back are also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for added toughness.
Open up the flip phone and there's a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X with an adaptive refresh rate betwen 1-120Hz. The Z Flip 5 combines that zingy screen tech with Wide Full HD resolution (2640 x 1080), so it's relatively sharp, even if it won't best non-folding flagships like the Sony Xperia 1 V.
Bringing back the same cameras we first saw on the Z Flip 4, there's a 12MP primary camera tucked into the right side of the cover screen, and it features an f/1.8 aperture, dual-pixel autofocus and OIS. With 1.8-micron pixels, the sensor won't outdo non-folding alternatives, but is very competitive in the flip phone space.
As for the ultra-wide camera, it's also 12MP, but has a smaller sensor with 1.12 micron pixels. Its lens has an f/2.2 aperture and a 123º field of view, and there's no OIS or autofocus. At the top of the main display, there's also a punch hole selfie camera with a 10MP resolution, an f/1.22 lens and 1.22 micron pixels.
A mighty Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is powering the Z Flip 5, giving it a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra-grade spec processor, and with 8GB RAM, it should be able to multi-task with gusto.
Like most flip phones, the Z Flip 5's battery is slightly smaller than traditional smartphones at 3700mAh, but Samsung hopes you won't mind. After all, the key benefit of the cover screen being larger this year is that users won't need to open their Z Flip 5 quite so often, doing more with a smaller screen, and thereby saving precious power.
Unlike many other flip phones, there is wireless charging on the Z Flip 5, and reverse wireless charging too.
Available in two storage capacities, the 256GB version costs $999/£1,049/AU$1,649, while the 512GB option costs $1,119/£1,149 – and while is pricier than the Z Flip 4 on launch – the Z Flip 5's starting storage capacity is double that of its predecessor, which had 128GB.
Samsung's also running a tasty offer on its foldables this year: pre-order on Samsung's official site and double your storage at no added cost.
Interested in what else is in the flip and fold market? Check out our best flip phones and fold phones guide. Or if you are more interested in getting the best photos and videos from your mobile device, find out more in our guides to the best camera phone.