Samsung Galaxy Fold5 review: title champion in the heavyweight division

By: Alex Chub | 13.11.2023, 19:31

Samsung Galaxy Fold5 is another evolutionary update of the flagship folding smartphone, which, albeit, did not bring any dramatic changes. But the changes made are pleasant and in the right direction. The new design of the Flex Hinge has made the smartphone thinner and eliminated the gap in the folded state that existed before. The only thing left to do is to remove the crease on the screen. Thanks to its form factor, Samsung Galaxy Fold5 offers a huge number of different usage scenarios, more comfortable work with several applications and more convenient content consumption. If we talk about the more usual criteria for smartphones, then Galaxy Fold5 has everything in order with them too. The power of the smartphone has increased, and it has one of the most productive chips of today. Both screens are of excellent quality, with excellent colour reproduction and even higher brightness than in the previous generation. The camera setup is optimal and allows you to take good pictures in most situations. There are powerful stereo speakers and IPX8 water protection. So, all in all, the Samsung Galaxy Fold5 is one of the most technologically advanced smartphones you can buy right now. But you have to pay for the technology, and not everyone can afford the price.

Heavyweight Title Champion
Samsung Galaxy Fold5
Samsung Galaxy Fold5
A flagship foldable smartphone with a flexible 7.6-inch internal AMOLED screen and an additional 6.2-inch external screen. Equipped with a top processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, 12 GB of RAM and 256/512 GB or 1 TB of built-in memory, triple main camera, sub-screen front camera inside and standard outside. It is powered by a 4400 mAh battery and has IPX8 water resistance.

Current price on Amazon

6 reasons to buy a Samsung Galaxy Fold5:

  • Improved folding design, versatility and software optimised for folding smartphones
  • Bright AMOLED displays of excellent quality
  • Very high performance
  • High-quality cameras
  • Powerful stereo speakers
  • IPX8 water protection

2 reasons not to buy Samsung Galaxy Fold5:

  • You are not ready to pay this amount for a smartphone
  • The crease on the inner screen is still present

Quick Transition:

  1. How is Samsung Galaxy Fold5 different from Fold4?
  2. What's in the box?
  3. What does Samsung Galaxy Fold5 look like?
  4. How convenient is it to use and what are the benefits of the folding form factor?
  5. How good are the screens?
  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. In summary

How does Samsung Galaxy Fold5 differ from Fold4?

There are not many differences between Samsung Galaxy Fold5 and Fold4, but they are there. First, it's worth mentioning the updated hinge. Thanks to the new teardrop-shaped design, Samsung engineers have finally managed to remove the gap between the halves of the smartphone when folded, which was present in all previous models. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, the smartphone no longer collects dust inside. This also made it possible to reduce the thickness of the smartphone: 13.4 mm in the folded state and 6.1 mm in the unfolded state against 15.8 and 6.3 mm respectively in Galaxy Fold4. But the crease on the screen is still there. Let's hope that the next generation will finally be able to remove it.

Other design aspects have remained almost unchanged, as has the IPX8 water protection. Both screens also have almost identical specifications. It is only claimed that the Samsung Galaxy Fold5 has brighter screens. Performance has increased. Samsung Galaxy Fold5 is equipped with the top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy processor. It has 12 GB of RAM and 256/512 GB of internal storage, or 1 TB. The new high-speed UFS 4.0 memory is used. Detailed comparison of characteristics:

  Samsung Galaxy Fold5 Samsung Galaxy Fold4
Main display Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 7.6 in., Infinity Flex Display, 2176x1812, 373 ppi, HDR10+, 1-120 Hz, peak brightness 1200 nits Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 7.6 inches, Infinity Flex Display, 2176x1812, 373 ppi, HDR10+, 1-120 Hz, 1000 nits peak brightness
External display Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 6.2 inches, 23.1:9, 2316x904, 48-120 Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 6.2 inches, 23.1:9, 2316x904, 48-120 Hz
Body Opened: 154.9x129.9x6.1 mm; Closed: 155.1x67.1x13.4 mm, weight: 263 g Opened: 155.1x130.1x6.3 mm; closed: 155.1x67.1x14.2-15.8 mm, weight: 263 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
RAM 12 GB 12 GB
Flash memory 256/512GB/1TB UFS 4.0 256/512GB/1TB UFS 3.1

Main camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, 23 EPS, 1.0μm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; ultra-wide-angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°; telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 66 mm ECF, 1.0μm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; front (internal): sub-screen, 4 MP, f/.1.8, 2.0μm; front (external): 10 MP f/2.2 with autofocus

Main camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, 23 EPS, 1.0μm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; ultra-wide-angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°; telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 66 mm ECF, 1.0μm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; front (internal): sub-screen, 4 MP, f/.1.8, 2.0μm; front (external): 10 MP f/2.2 with autofocus

Wireless technologies Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax/6e/7 (tri-band, 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.3 LE, NFC Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax/6e (dual-band, 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.2 LE, NFC
Battery 4400 mAh, non-removable, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, wireless reverse charging 4400 mAh, non-removable, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging
Operating system Android 13 + One UI 5.1.1 Android 12L + One UI 4.1.1
Sim card 2xNanoSIM, eSIM 2xNanoSIM, eSIM
Optional IPX8 water protection, fingerprint scanner in the power button, S Pen support IPX8 water protection, fingerprint scanner in the power button, S Pen support

What's in the box?

The package is quite standard for all Samsung flagship smartphones of recent years. The smartphone itself, a Type-C cable, a tray tool, and documentation. The power supply and case will have to be purchased separately.

What does Samsung Galaxy Fold5 look like?

There are no major differences between Samsung Galaxy Fold5 and the previous Samsung Galaxy Fold4. As before, the book-shaped design is used. When folded, it looks like a typical smartphone with a tall, narrow display and slightly increased thickness. These two features have a positive effect on the comfort of using the smartphone on the go: it is comfortable to hold and perform all basic manipulations with one hand. We did not have the opportunity to compare it with Galaxy Fold4. The weight has decreased by 10 g, and the thickness is now uniform and also less than that of the previous model. So Samsung Galaxy Fold5 should be a little more comfortable. The folded smartphone has a 6.2-inch display with rather thin bezels and a front camera in a round hole. The frame of the smartphone is made of reinforced aluminium, and the front and back panels are protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

In the open position, the smartphone looks more like a tablet thanks to its large 7.6-inch screen. It has a close-to-square shape and is convenient for working with documents and web pages, or with two or three applications at once. There is still a crease on the screen. Although after a few days of use, you hardly notice it anymore. You can feel it with your finger, and it's only noticeable at certain angles of ambient light. From generation to generation, Samsung improves the coating of its flexible displays and it is much harder to scratch them. But still, it's not glass, so you shouldn't poke at it with your fingernails too much.

The internal front-facing camera seems to have remained unchanged. It is sub-screen, but it is slightly visible due to the difference in pixel density compared to the rest of the main screen.

The bezel is glossy in all colour variants. The location of all functional elements has not changed. There are many plastic inserts around the perimeter for stable operation of wireless interfaces. At the bottom there is one of the main speakers, a Type-C connector and one of the microphones.

At the top there is another speaker and three microphones, just like in the previous version. They are used both during video calls and video recording.

Dual volume buttons and a power button are located on the right side of Samsung Galaxy Fold5. The power button also serves as a fingerprint scanner. The location of the buttons is very good, you do not need to reach for them. The tray is located on the left side of the smartphone.

It can accept two Nano SIM cards. The smartphone also supports eSIM.

The hinge is covered by a metal cover with the Samsung logo. It's just like before. But now, instead of an embossed inscription, an engraving is used.

The back cover is closed by the second-generation Corning Gorilla Victus. It is matte in all colour variants. There are fairly standard black and cream variants, as well as a new blue one. It looks original and nice. The triple rear camera, as before, is vertically positioned and slightly protrudes above the plane of the smartphone. The only noticeable difference compared to the previous model is the location of the flash. It was under the lower lens, now it has been moved to the right of the camera module.

The new generation of Fold has not brought any dramatic changes in construction and design. However, there are some nice and important improvements: the structure has been strengthened, and the hinge has been updated to eliminate the gap between the halves of the smartphone when folded. So there is hope that the crease on the screen will finally disappear in future generations. As before, the smartphone has IPX8 water protection and can theoretically withstand immersion in fresh water to a depth of 1.5 m.

How convenient is it to use and what are the benefits of the folding form factor?

All Fold smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy Fold5, are designed to be a mobile all-in-one "combine" for the maximum number of tasks. The external screen is enough for calls, instant messengers, messages, mail, using the camera, and switching music tracks. In general, all the simple tasks that may arise on the go or on the road. When expanded, the 7.6-inch internal display is more convenient for working with documents, using a browser, reading books or playing games (the vast majority of games are adequately scaled). With video, the advantage is not so great due to the non-standard aspect ratio. The black areas at the bottom and top remain quite large. But the large screen is not the only feature. We should also mention the additional software features for ease of use that appeared in the last generation with One UI 4.1.1 and Android 12L, which was optimised for folding smartphones. In Samsung Galaxy Fold5, you can open up to three applications on the main screen at the same time, change their order and size, and save these settings for quick launch from the sidebar. Also, the bottom application shortcut bar has been retained and improved from the previous generation, reminiscent of a similar solution in PC operating systems. Now this panel can hold up to 12 apps, including the 4 latest ones.

In addition, there are useful features that are common to all folding smartphones. For example, working with two apps at the same time in a semi-bent position. In this position, you can edit documents or answer emails without interrupting the video conference. There's also a so-called Flexible Mode Panel that can be enabled for each application. In this mode, the application is displayed at the top of the screen, and a panel with controls is displayed at the bottom.

The camera is also convenient to use in a semi-bent position. For example, for self-portraits or long exposure photos without the need for an additional tripod.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold5's internal screen supports the S Pen. Unfortunately, we didn't get the pen for review, so we'll just mention this fact and a photo of the corresponding S Pen case:

How good are the screens?

The screens of the Samsung Galaxy Fold5 are almost identical to those of the Galaxy Fold4. The external 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen has a resolution of 2316x904, an aspect ratio of 23.1:9, and supports HDR10+. The refresh rate can be either standard 60 Hz or adaptive 48-120 Hz. The internal Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X has a diagonal of 7.6 inches, a resolution of 2176×1812 and a pixel density of 373 ppi. It also supports HDR10+. The adaptive refresh rate is 1-120 Hz. Peak brightness has been increased. They promise 1750 cd/m2. We don't have the previous model for comparison. But, in general, there are no complaints about the screens, both in terms of brightness and colours. The screens are of excellent quality.

The settings are almost standard, as in most Samsung smartphones. There is a choice between light and dark modes (automatic switching by schedule is possible), brightness, refresh rate, eye comfort (automatic adaptation of colour temperature depending on the ambient light), colour display modes (saturated or natural colours and colour temperature settings), font and font size, scale of interface elements and division into two columns for more efficient use of space (the function is available only for the internal Fold display), as well as Always on Display.

The brightness of the internal display in the "saturated" mode is 768.814 cd/m2, The colour gamut is much wider than sRGB (close to DCI-P3), and the colour reproduction is very accurate.

In the "natural" mode, the brightness is slightly lower: 733.307 cd/m2, the colour gamut is close to sRGB, and the colour accuracy is also slightly worse.

The external display in "saturated" mode demonstrates very close performance to the internal display. The maximum brightness is 759.133 cd/m2.

In "natural" mode, the story is similar. The brightness is 699.059 cd/m2.

Comparison with other models and the previous Fold. The screens have indeed become a little brighter:

Device name White field brightness,
Black field brightness,
Samsung Galaxy Fold5 external screen 759.133 0
Samsung Galaxy Fold5 inner screen 768.814 0
Samsung Galaxy Fold4 outer screen 729.371 0
Samsung Galaxy Fold4 inner screen 747.744 0
Samsung Galaxy Fold3 479.32 0
Xiaomi 11T Pro 493.872 0
ASUS ROG Phone 5 482.347 0
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 437.906 0
Sony Xperia 1 394.97 0
Huawei P30 Pro 447.247 0

What are the unlocking methods?

The set of biometric identification tools for Samsung Galaxy Fold5 is quite standard. There is a fingerprint scanner on the side. It works perfectly: very fast and accurate. There were no errors during use. The position is convenient for both left and right hands. The front camera is responsible for face recognition. There are no surprises here either. This method is less secure, but it works quickly in good light. It is possible to register additional faces for more accurate work, auto-increase display brightness for low light. There is also a function that will not recognise faces with eyes closed.

What about performance, memory, sound and battery life?

The platform is the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, which is already familiar to us from the Galaxy S23 line, with a powerful ARM Cortex-X3 core overclocked to 3.36 GHz and an Adreno 740 graphics accelerator up to 719 MHz. The processor configuration includes one ARM 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. 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM with the possibility of expanding with internal storage. The storage capacity is 256, 512 GB, or 1 TB, using high-speed UFS 4.0 memory. As expected, the smartphone is one of the most powerful currently available. It has enough performance to work with any application in any quantity and for modern heavy games. The power reserve will be enough for the next few years.

It is claimed that an evaporation chamber is used to cool the processor. In everyday use and during games, the smartphone operates stably and hardly ever gets hot. The case may heat up a little after 15 minutes of playing something heavy like Diablo Immortal. The stress test shows that, nevertheless, under prolonged maximum loads, the processor overheats a little and performance can drop by up to 79%.

The Game Launcher application with additional Game Booster utilities is familiar to Samsung, we have already talked about it many times. Games on the smartphone run perfectly. Call of Duty Mobile runs at 60 frames per second at maximum graphics settings. The same goes for Diablo Immortal. XCOM 2, on the other hand, is not optimised for this processor at all: the picture still doesn't look great with graphics priority settings and there is a 30 FPS lock.

Samsung Galaxy Fold5 is equipped with tri-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3 LE (aptX HD and LDACcodecs are supported) and NFC for contactless payment. Global positioning systems are supported: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS. The large size of the smartphone made it possible to install powerful stereo speakers. They sound very loud and high quality, and there is even a small amount of bass. Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound is supported, so watching videos or films on a smartphone is very comfortable. Among the additional sound features, it is worth mentioning the already familiar Adapt Sound function, which amplifies the sound based on the age of the owner.

Samsung Galaxy Fold5 is equipped with a 4400 mAh battery, supports 25 W fast charging via wire, 15 W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. That is, there are no changes compared to Galaxy Fold4. It may seem that 4400 mAh is not enough, given the power and large internal screen. But everything is fine with the optimisation, so even with active use (with games and a camera in large quantities), the smartphone works all day long without a hitch. If you exclude games from the usage scenario, you can get a day and a half.

What about the interface?

So far, Samsung Galaxy Fold5 runs on Android 13 with One UI 5.1.1, but will soon receive an update to Android 14 with One UI 6. The current shell is not much different from One UI 4.1.1 on the Galaxy Fold4 and is quite close to the company's regular smartphones. With some useful bonuses for comfortable use of the foldable large display. There are the usual display options with or without desktops and a separate menu for all applications. Gesture and button navigation, simple mode, the ability to adjust the grid, apply themes, etc. Additional features include Multi View mode (two-column display), which makes the interface look like a tablet. The lower taskbar resembles the desktop OS and can be removed or opened by long pressing the bottom of the screen. It contains the most frequently used applications, as well as two to four other applications. You can quickly open an application in split-screen mode by simply dragging it from the panel to the screen. Up to three windows are supported, and they can be resized and moved around as you wish. You can set up desktops separately for each screen or duplicate them. The Labs settings menu has useful additional features. Force windowed mode for applications that don't support it and a bending bar. In some cases, bending displays additional controls or a touchpad that acts as a touchpad.

Applications in the app manager look like familiar cards. You can open applications in a smaller window, make them translucent, or minimise them to an icon. There are also gestures for this. You can quickly switch an app to split-screen mode by swiping two fingers from the right or left edge of the display. And you can open a window by swiping from the corner of the display.

The Edge sidebars are unchanged. There are a number of standard ones (including apps, weather, player, compass, etc.). You can add icons to the app drawer to quickly launch multiple apps at once in split-screen mode.

Samsung's set of standard apps:

Samsung Galaxy Fold5 supports DeX desktop mode. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to test it. It requires either a Miracast-enabled TV/monitor or a Type-C to HDMI cable.

How good are the cameras?

The Samsung Galaxy Fold5 camera set has migrated from the previous generation. The rear camera is triple. The main camera has a resolution of 50 MP, f/1.8 aperture, 23 EPS, and a pixel size of 1.0μm. It has optical stabilisation and Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus. The telephoto module is 10 MP. Aperture f/2.4, 66 mm ECF, pixel size 1.0μm, PDAF, OIS, 3x zoom. Ultra-wide-angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123°, without autofocus. Front (external) 10 MP with f/2.2 aperture and autofocus. The internal sub-screen camera is 4 MP, f/.1.8, 2.0μm. The smartphone can shoot video with a resolution of up to 8K 30 FPS. The camera app has a familiar interface. There is a horizontal scroll through the modes, a separate menu with additional modes that can be added to the main carousel. The main screen of the exhaler contains all the most important camera controls, including flash, zoom, aspect ratio, timer, etc. A feature that is unique to foldable smartphones is the selfie mode on the rear camera.

The main camera takes very good pictures in almost any conditions. In most cases, the colour reproduction is natural, with lots of detail and a wide dynamic range. In night mode, there may be some yellow/orange tints, but it's not critical. The pictures do not look too processed, as they did a year or two ago.

The ultra-wide-angle camera in Samsung flagships (except for the top S Ultra) has not changed for several years. It does not have autofocus. With sufficient light, the pictures are nice. In the evening, the detail drops significantly, the photos are a little blurry:

The telephoto works mostly well, focuses quickly and takes detailed photos in good light. Night shots suffer a bit from noise, but it's still possible to take a good shot:

The smartphone shoots video very well. An example of 4K 60 FPS:

Samsung Galaxy Fold5
Samsung Galaxy Fold5
  • Improved folding design, versatility and software optimised for folding smartphones
  • Bright AMOLED displays of excellent quality
  • Very high performance
  • High-quality cameras
  • Powerful stereo speakers
  • IPX8 water protection

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To summarise: four things you need to know about Samsung Galaxy Fold5.

  • Samsung Galaxy Fold5 is the most technologically advanced smartphone for the most demanding users.
  • It features a large, flexible internal AMOLED screen and an additional external screen of excellent quality.
  • Inside is the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy processor, 12GB of RAM and 256/512GB or 1TB of internal storage.

For those who want to know more:

Samsung Galaxy Fold5
The most technologically advanced folding smartphone