Ambition extender: Samsung Galaxy Flip5 review

By: Alex Chub | 21.09.2023, 00:00

The foldable smartphone category is not yet oversaturated with a variety of models. But among the available models, the Samsung Galaxy Flip5 is undoubtedly one of the most interesting. It has a familiar folding design, a glass and metal body, and IPX8 water protection. But now the external display has become much larger and more functional, which makes using the smartphone more comfortable. Although it is still impossible to use all its potential features without the help of additional software. If we evaluate Galaxy Flip5 according to the standard criteria for flagship smartphones, everything is also very good: a large, bright and high-quality internal display, flagship components inside, an excellent main camera and user-friendly software. The main two complaints remain the same as with the previous Galaxy Flip4 model: the crease in the bend of the main display has not disappeared, and the processor overheats at maximum loads and significantly reduces performance.

External screen 3.4"
Samsung Galaxy Flip5
Samsung Galaxy Flip5
An Android smartphone with a flexible display in a fold-out form factor. Equipped with an external additional 3.4-inch screen, a foldable 6.7-inch main screen, a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy processor, 8 GB of RAM, 256/512 GB of built-in memory, a dual main camera and a front internal camera . Protected against water according to the IPX8 standard.

Current price on Amazon

5 reasons to buy a Samsung Galaxy Flip5:

  • Large and functional external display
  • Excellent quality main folding AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz
  • Excellent performance
  • High-quality main camera
  • Durable body and IPX8 water protection

2 reasons not to buy Samsung Galaxy Flip5:

  • There is a crease on the main screen
  • Overheating of the processor at maximum loads

Quick transition:

  1. What's in the box?
  2. How does Samsung Galaxy Flip5 differ from Galaxy Flip4?
  3. What does Samsung Galaxy Flip5 look like?
  4. Is Samsung Galaxy Flip5 easy to use?
  5. How good are the displays?
  6. What are the unlocking methods?
  7. What about performance, memory, sound and battery life?
  8. How user-friendly is the interface?
  9. How good are the cameras?
  10. Bottom line

What's in the box?

No surprises, the packaging and equipment of Samsung Galaxy Flip5 is absolutely typical of all the company's flagships over the past few years. A small black box with a stylised image of a smartphone and the model name. Inside, in addition to Samsung Galaxy Flip5, there is a cable with Type-C connectors on both sides (old USB power supplies are not suitable), a SIM card eject tool and documentation. So you'll need to buy the power supply and protective covers separately. Fortunately, Samsung always has a very wide range of additional accessories.

How does Samsung Galaxy Flip5 differ from Galaxy Flip4?

At first glance, it may seem that Samsung Galaxy Flip5 has few differences from its predecessor. But, in fact, the update is quite significant. One of the most significant improvements is undoubtedly the Flex View external display, which has a diagonal of 3.4 inches and occupies most of the outer cover. For comparison, the previous Galaxy Flip4 had a diagonal of 1.9 inches. Of course, the larger screen is more convenient to use and has more features, which we will discuss in more detail later. Another important design feature is the new hinge, which finally eliminated the gap between the halves when folded and reduced the thickness by 2 mm. Unfortunately, there is still a crease on the inner screen.

Samsung Galaxy Flip3, Galaxy Flip4 and Galaxy Flip5

The inner screen is said to be brighter. Its other characteristics have not changed. It's a 6.7-inch Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X with a resolution of 2640x1080, an adaptive refresh rate of 1-120 Hz, and support for HDR10+. Performance is driven by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with Adreno 740 graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB or 512GB storage. The 128 GB version will no longer be available. The battery capacity has not changed and is 3700 mAh. It supports 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging for accessories. The main camera has remained unchanged in terms of specifications: a 12 MP main module and a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle module. Comparison of specifications:

  Samsung Galaxy Flip5 Samsung Galaxy Flip4
Main display Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 6.7 inches, 2640x1080 (22.5:9 aspect ratio), 426 ppi, HDR10+, 1-120 Hz Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 6.7 inches, 2640x1080 (22.5:9), 426 ppi, HDR10+, 1-120 Hz
External display Super AMOLED, 3.4 inches, 720x748, Gorilla Glass Victus+ Super AMOLED, 1.9 inches, 512x260, Gorilla Glass Victus+
Body Unfolded: 165.1x71.9x6.9 mm; folded: 85.1x71.9x15.1 mm, weight: 187 g Unfolded: 165.2x71.9x6.9 mm; folded: 84.9x71.9x15.9-17.1 mm, weight: 187 g
Processor 64-bit octa-core 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, 1x3.36 GHz Cortex-X3, 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A715, 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A710, 3x2.0 GHz Cortex-A510, Adreno 740 719 MHz graphics 64-bit octa-core 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1: 1x3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 + 3x2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 + 4x1.80 GHz Cortex-A510, Adreno 730 graphics
Flash memory 256/512 GB UFS 4.0 128/256/512 GB UFS 3.1

Main camera: 12 MP, f/1.8, 24 EPS, 1/1.76", 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; ultra-wide-angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°; front: 10 MP f/2.4

Main camera: 12 MP, f/1.8, 24 EPS, 1/1.76", 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; ultra-wide-angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°; front: 10 MP f/2.4

Wireless technologies Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6/7 (tri-band, 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.3 LE, NFC Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6 (dual-band, 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.2 LE, NFC
Battery 3700 mAh, non-removable, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, wireless reverse charging 3700 mAh, non-removable, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, wireless reverse charging
Operating system Android 13 + One UI 5.1.1 Android 12 + One UI 4.1.1 
Sim card NanoSIM + eSIM NanoSIM + eSIM
Optional IPX8 water protection, fingerprint scanner in the power button IPX8 water protection, fingerprint scanner in the power button

What does Samsung Galaxy Flip5 look like?

There are no fundamental changes in the design of Samsung Galaxy Flip5 compared to Galaxy Flip4. It's the same folding clamshell that looks like a small square bar when folded, which is convenient to carry in almost any pocket. And when unfolded, it looks like a typical modern smartphone with a large display. Except for a slightly more elongated shape. The bezels are slightly wider than those of typical modern flagships. Although in the case of folding smartphones, these are still bezels that protrude minimally above the display plane to protect it. The front camera is in the usual round hole, and the earpiece speaker is under three narrow slots above the screen. Everything is as usual.

The frame is made entirely of so-called Armoured Aluminium. It is claimed to have increased resistance to drops and scratches. There are plastic inserts around the perimeter for stable operation of the antennas. The new Flex Hinge hinge and the teardrop-shaped folding of the screen when folded made it possible to remove the gap between the two halves of the smartphone. This has not only aesthetic but also practical benefits. Significantly less dust and debris gets inside, which reduces the likelihood of damage to the display. The volume and power buttons with the finger scanner are in the same place as before. So they are a little higher than on conventional smartphones and take a little time to get used to.

In the unfolded position, the smartphone is very thin, only 6.9 mm. There is a tray on the left side.

Only one SIM card is available. But there is support for eSIM.

There is an additional microphone on top. At the bottom is the main external speaker, Type-C connector and two more microphones.

The hinge cover has an engraving with the Samsung logo. In previous models it was embossed, now it's just an inscription:

The outer panels are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2. This time, Samsung decided to make all Galaxy Flip5 variants completely glossy. Instead, Galaxy Fold5 has frosted glass in all colour variants. In addition to the cream version, there are graphite, mint and lavender. Frosted glass would be more practical, but it's a matter of taste.

The external Flex View screen takes up most of the panel and has a cutout for the main dual camera. Thanks to the large diagonal, the screen is really convenient to use both when using the camera and for other functions it supports.

As with the previous model, there is IPX8 water protection. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Flip5 feels quite sturdy.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Flip5 easy to use?

When folded, the smartphone is easy to carry in almost any pocket thanks to its compact size. But unfolding the Samsung Galaxy Flip5 is still not very convenient, like any other modern folding smartphone with a flexible display. It is extremely difficult to do it with one hand without risking damaging the internal display. But, thanks to the enlarged external display, it is now quite comfortable to do some actions on the go without having to open the smartphone.

It supports Always on Display, there are many options for customisable clocks and pictures. You can answer calls and messages from the external display, and contactless payment is also available. There is access to a curtain withswitches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and more. The workspace is made in the form of widgets, switching between which is implemented similarly to familiar desktops: by swiping left and right.

There are not many widgets yet: weather, calendar, stopwatch, apps, and a few more.

But officially, the support for apps on the external screen is very limited: messages, calls, maps, YouTube. They are enabled in the Labs experimental settings menu.

So there is no quick access to mail, browser, or the necessary messengers. However, there is a solution in the form of the Good Lock app with an additional Multistar module. It allows you to add an additional widget to the external display, where you can add all the necessary applications. Including mail or a browser. Although, of course, it is more convenient to work with them on a large screen.

When half-folded, Samsung Galaxy Flip5 is convenient for taking photos or making video calls. Thanks to its design, you won't need a tripod in most cases.

A bend mode panel is also available. When the smartphone is partially bent, the application itself will be displayed in the upper half, and the controls or virtual touchpad in some cases will be displayed in the lower half.

How good are the displays?

Samsung Galaxy Flip5 uses a 3.4-inch external Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720x748 (306 PPI). It occupies most of the panel surface. The display has a high-quality picture, a good level of brightness and does not fade in the sun. But there is one less pleasant moment: its refresh rate is 60 Hz. And when switching between the main 120 Hz and the external 60 Hz screen, it seems that the picture on the latter is a little slower.

The internal display of Samsung Galaxy Flip5 has not changed in terms of characteristics compared to the previous model. This is a 6.7-inch Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a resolution of 2640x1080 and a pixel density of 426 ppi. The brightness level should be higher than its predecessor. The declared peak brightness is 1750 cd/m2, HDR10+ is supported. There is support for an adaptive refresh rate of 1-120 Hz. The settings of the internal display include a standard set: dark and light display themes with automatic switching, refresh rate selection, adaptive colour temperature function depending on the ambient light, interface scaling, fonts, display modes (saturated with colour temperature adjustment and natural), Always on Display, etc.

The internal screen is of very high quality, with rich colours and maximum viewing angles. The brightness margin allows you to comfortably use your smartphone under the bright sun. Hardware measurements have shown that the brightness is indeed higher than in the previous model. In Yaskravy, the maximum brightness was 785.58 cd/m2, the colour reproduction is very accurate, close to the reference values. And the colour gamut is much wider than sRGB.

In "Natural" mode, the colour gamut is closer to sRGB, and the colour accuracy is slightly less accurate. The maximum brightness is slightly lower: 774.902 cd/m².

Comparison with other models:

Smartphone name White field brightness,
Black field brightness,
Samsung Galaxy Flip5 785.58 0
Samsung Galaxy Flip4 681.478 0
Samsung Galaxy Fold4 479.32 0
Xiaomi 11T Pro 493.872 0
ASUS ROG Phone 5 482.347 0
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 437.906 0
Samsung Galaxy S21 432.854 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 408.388 0
Sony Xperia 1 394.97 0
Huawei P30 Pro 447.247 0
Samsung Galaxy S10 378.72 0

What are the unlocking methods?

You can use two familiar methods to unlock your smartphone. The fingerprint scanner in the power button and face recognition using the cameras. Both methods work in both open and closed positions of the smartphone. The fingerprint scanner works instantly and without errors. Face recognition works well in good lighting conditions. For dark environments, there is a function to increase the screen brightness, although it does not always help. Additional features include the ability to disable recognition with closed eyes, as well as adding additional looks for better recognition.

What about performance, memory, sound, and battery life?

Like the flagship Samsung Galaxy S23 line, this year's foldable Galaxy Fold5 and Flip5 smartphones are powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy processor. The difference from the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is the most powerful ARM Cortex-X3 core overclocked to 3.36 GHz and the Adreno 740 graphics accelerator up to 719 MHz (instead of 680 MHz). Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 includes one Cortex X3 core, two 2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 cores, two 2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 cores and three 2 GHz Cortex-A510 cores. The processor is manufactured using a 4 nm process technology. The Adreno 740 graphics accelerator supports real-time ray tracing. There is 8 GB of LPDDR5X RAM. The internal storage can have a capacity of 256/512 GB, using the high-speed UFS 4.0 standard. The 128 GB version was abandoned, which seems quite logical. In performance tests, the smartphone demonstrates very high performance, which is quite expected. The power reserve will be enough for the next couple of years for sure.

One of the common difficulties in developing clamshells with flexible screens is a very dense layout inside due to the form factor. And, accordingly, difficulties with cooling. Samsung Galaxy Flip5 has not escaped this problem either. Under prolonged maximum load, the processor overheats and loses performance. The decrease can reach almost 50%. Although in real life, it will be very difficult to overload such a powerful processor.

The smartphone's gaming performance is fine, you can play everything with high graphics settings quite comfortably. Diablo Immortal and Call of Duty Mobile are almost stable at 60 FPS. XCOM2 is 30 FPS for some reason. It seems that the frequency is fixed by the game itself.

Samsung Galaxy Flip5 has tri-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.3 LE with support for aptX adaptive and LDAC codecs for high-quality sound transmission and NFC for contactless payment. Global positioning systems GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS are supported. Stereo sound is supported, with the earpiece speaker acting as a second speaker. The sound is loud and quite good. Although there are models that can reproduce more low frequencies. There is support for Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound. There is an equaliser with presets and manual settings, as well as Adapt Sound (adjusting the volume to the listener's age).

Samsung Galaxy Flip5 is equipped with a 3700 mAh battery, just like the Galaxy Flip4. The battery life has also remained at the same level. You can expect a day of work with moderate use. For me, it's about 15-20 minutes of calls, mail, browser, instant messengers, social networks, YouTube, about an hour and a half of music via Bluetooth and a little camera use. Of course, if you play games on your smartphone, you'll need to charge it much more often. The charging power hasn't changed either: 25W wired (50% in half an hour is promised), 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. Charging another smartphone is not very practical, but charging headphones is.

How user-friendly is the interface?

The smartphone runs on Android 13 with the proprietary One UI 5.1.1 shell. It's already familiar to us from the Galaxy S23 line, except for some additional features for flexible and external displays, which we've already mentioned above. In general, Samsung's One UI shell has been very pleasing in recent years with its speed, convenience and stability. This is also true for the company's latest foldable smartphones. The interface is visually quite different from pure Android. But this applies exclusively to cosmetics. The whole logic of work is familiar. There are desktops with widgets and applications and grid settings, a curtain with switches, and a separate menu with all applications that can be disabled. There is also a simple mode with large icons.

There is three-button navigation and gesture navigation (standard with movements from three sides of the display and an alternative with movements from three areas of the bottom of the display). There are the usual additional gestures: waking up with a double tap or by lifting the smartphone.

The application manager has a standard look with horizontal cards. Dual-window mode, the ability to open an application in floating window or icon mode.

Edge sidebars.

And standard Samsung applications:

Unfortunately, Samsung Galaxy Flip5 does not support DeX desktop mode.

How good are the cameras?

From a technical point of view, the camera set of Samsung Galaxy Flip5 remains unchanged compared to Galaxy Flip4. So the external camera includes two modules. The main one is 12 megapixels with f/1.8 aperture, 24 EVF, physical size 1/1.76", pixel size 1.8µm. There is a phase detection autofocus Dual Pixel PDAF. and optical stabilisation. Ultra-wide-angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°, without autofocus. Front: 10 MP f/2.4. So if there is a difference in image quality, it will be solely due to the refined processing algorithms.

The camera app is familiar from other Samsung models. And in general, the basic logic is the same in all modern smartphones: the main screen has all the basic settings, including flash, frame ratio, timer, resolution, frame rate and video stabilisation, etc. Among the additional controls that are not found in conventional smartphones is a button for taking a selfie with the main camera when the smartphone is folded. The main modes are listed in a carousel that can be edited. Additional modes are in a separate menu. 

The main camera takes excellent pictures in almost any conditions. The detail is very high, the colours are rich and in most cases quite natural. In night mode, the detail doesn't drop too much, and the images remain sharp, with the usual orange tints appearing in small amounts.

The ultra-wide-angle camera takes good pictures in good light. In night photos, the detail is reduced, although the photos are still good. But sometimes the processing algorithms add not very natural red and blue tones:

Samsung Galaxy Flip5 shoots video well. The detail is good, the stabiliser works very well, and the frame hardly ever jerks. 4K 60 FPS:

Samsung Galaxy Flip5
Samsung Galaxy Flip5
  • Large and functional external display
  • Excellent quality main folding AMOLED display
  • Excellent performance
  • High-quality main camera
  • Durable body and IPX8 water protection

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To summarise: three things you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Flip5.

  • Samsung Galaxy Flip5 is equipped with a large and functional external display, as well as a high-quality flexible internal display.
  • Inside, a special overclocked version of the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy processor is installed.
  • It has a glass and metal body and is IPX8 waterproof.

For those who want to know more:

Samsung Galaxy Flip5
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