Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 review: same but better

Review Summary

Expert Rating



  • Brighter screen
  • Smooth performance & decent battery
  • Slimmer & lighter
  • Feature-rich


  • Pricey
  • Same design as before
  • Cameras aren`t amazing

Truth be told, Samsung hasn’t broken any moulds when it comes to designing the new Galaxy Z Fold5. So if you call yourself a proud owner of one of the previous models in the lineup, you probably won’t have any compelling reasons to upgrade. That said, if you’ve been waiting on the fence so far about splurging on a book-style foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold5 is your best bet. Let me elaborate.

Before I get into the review though, probably best to mention that the use cases of this form factor are quite apparent by now, so I won’t get into the details here. However, if you haven’t considered or looked at book-style foldable smartphones closely before, you should know that these are devices that work as regular handsets when folded, and give you a larger screen (similar to a mini tablet), when you unfold them. And then you get to take advantage of the big screen to watch videos, play games, work on documents / spreadsheets, etc. On the other hand, these devices can be a tad bulky compared to conventional phones, which could pose a problem in some situations, whilst undertaking outdoor activities for example.


While the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 bears the same design as its predecessor, the cameras aren’t top-notch, and charging speeds could have been better… the new phone shines in terms of most core aspects of the foldable experience. Improved build quality and hinge, a brighter screen, S Pen features, software tweaks designed to aid productivity, all mated to buttery-smooth performance, reliable battery life and decent cameras make it a no-brainer if you covet a book-style foldable.

Design and displays

It’s a familiar look no doubt. The Galaxy Z Fold5 doesn’t stray far from the design DNA adopted by the Z Fold4 from last year, and dare I say, even the models that came before it, provided you ignore the cover screen. As things stand though, you won’t really be able to distinguish between the Z Fold5 and the Z Fold4 easily. It’s a thick device with a tall outer display when folded, turning into a mini tablet when you open it. When folded, you’ll find the Type-C port in the middle of the bottom half, with the volume rocker and power key placed on the right spine. Speaker vents can be seen on two extreme ends of the folded portion on top. On the left is the hinge, bearing Samsung branding. And on the back, you’ll see the three camera rings and a flash. The device folds flat, without any gaps in the middle, and the crease on the main screen seems less prominent than before.

While the familiarity of the design is immediately noticeable, the refinements Samsung has added to improve the build quality might not be apparent. Such as the inclusion of the latest Gorilla Glass Victus 2 this time, which is a bump up from the Victus+ used by the Fold4. And if you look closely, you might notice that the Z Fold5 feels slimmer and lighter than its predecessor. Samsung has managed to shave off a few millimetres and drop a few grams this time, and is calling the Galaxy Z Fold5 the thinnest and lightest fold yet.

From a display perspective, again it seems that not much has changed. You get the same 6.2-inch, 120Hz AMOLED cover display, and the same 7.6-inch, 120Hz AMOLED main screen with HDR10+ support. However, Samsung has bumped up the main display’s peak brightness to 1,750 nits as compared to 1,200 nits offered by the Z Fold4, making the new device more readable in harsh, sunny conditions. As expected, the screens on the Z Fold5 are quite vibrant and capable, taking Samsung’s display legacy forward.

While on the topic of displays, it’s also worth mentioning the S Pen support, which has been tweaked to deliver a better writing experience this time, as per the brand. Do note that Samsung doesn’t include an S Pen in the box, and there’s still no place to store the said stylus inside the device. You can, however, get Samsung’s official case that not only provides protection but also comes with a slim S Pen attached to the back. It’s a tad pricey but is an ideal solution if you want to use an S Pen with the Z Fold5. And when you do get hold of an S Pen, you’ll find that it comes in handy for jotting down notes, doodling, annotating documents, sharing specific portions of the screen with others, even translating and converting handwriting to text. While the cover screen doesn’t support the S Pen, alas, the main display’s large size makes it an ideal canvas for using the S Pen to its fullest potential.


The Z Flip5 is no slouch when it comes to camera capabilities, offering a 50MP, f/1.8 primary sensor with OIS, along with a 10MP telephoto with 3X optical zoom and a 12MP ultrawide. There’s also a 10MP selfie shooter integrated into the centrally-aligned punch hole on the cover display, plus another 4MP in-display camera hidden under the top right portion of the main screen. These specs look unchanged from the previous model, though the newer ISP included with the refreshed chipset this time should be able to offer some improvements – both in terms of speed and image quality.

Samsung’s camera app is chock-a-block with features and options, complete with an AI-based scene optimiser, the ability to shoot HDR10+ videos, tracking autofocus, tons of AR stuff, the option to shoot via voice commands or by showing your palm etc. The shooting modes on offer, apart from the usual options like portrait, hyperlapse, night, etc, also include pro video, food, super slow-mo, portrait video, Director’s View and Single Take.

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Talking about the image quality, the Z Fold5 can shoot very good images and videos, in almost all shooting conditions. Daylight shots appear crisp, bearing Samsung’s signature saturation levels that make the colours pop. Edge detection for portrait shots is on point too, while low-light shots look usable, and can be enhanced using the dedicated night mode. It’s just that the image quality and dynamic range, especially for low light conditions, don’t seem befitting a phone priced this much. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that the Z Fold5’s cameras are bad. Not by any means. But they can’t match the level of quality and versatility offered by Samsung’s own Galaxy S23 Ultra. Suffice it to say that if camera quality is a top priority for you, the S23 Ultra might work out to be a better option, but otherwise, the Galaxy Z Fold5’s image-taking prowess should satisfy most users.

Of course, since this is a foldable, the device presents more options for you to capture shots. The camera app has an option which lets you use the primary cameras for shooting selfies, utilising the cover display as a viewfinder. You can prop up the phone open halfway laptop-style to shoot too, negating the need for a mount or a stand.


The Z Fold5 runs Android 13 with OneUI v 5.1.1 (as of the time of writing this), and you get the same intuitive interface you might be accustomed to seeing on other Samsung phones. It’s loaded, feature-rich, customisable, and yet, easy to understand even if you’re migrating from a different smartphone brand. It does come with a fair share of pre-installed apps, but nothing you can’t get rid of with a simple uninstall.

The access to Samsung’s signature features and rich ecosystem is a big plus – I won’t get into the complete details here but apps like Samsung Pass, Secure Folder, Samsung Cloud, Dual Messenger, etc, can be quite useful for many. The DeX functionality, which gives you a desktop-style interface on bigger screens like TVs and monitors, is well appreciated too. In a nutshell, you could hook up your Galaxy Z Fold5 to a compatible smart TV wirelessly, pair a Bluetooth keyboard-mouse combo with the phone, and get to use a proper computer-style interface complete with access to your own private data, email, messages, photos etc, stored on the phone. Now DeX isn’t a new feature but is one of those gems that can really enhance usage and take productivity to a whole new level if used well. Just like the S Pen.

On the Z Fold5, Samsung has also added quite a few features that aid in multitasking and take advantage of the large main screen. These include a taskbar that now accommodates four recent apps, the two-handed drag and drop that lets you move content from one app to another, multi-window, floating window, etc. Plus, apps that support the Flex mode can offer an additional panel on the bottom half of the display when the phone is propped up laptop-style, providing features like a navigation trackpad, context buttons, and more. Apart from Samsung’s own apps like Camera and Gallery, these features are supported by some third-party apps as well, including YouTube, WhatsApp, Zoom, etc.

Performance and battery life

As the torchbearer of Samsung’s smartphone lineup and the super-premium flagship it is, the Z Fold5 is befittingly equipped with the latest top-end SoC from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. There’s 12 gigs of RAM, and up to 1 terabyte of storage. And as you might expect, these are specs that deliver a silky smooth, fluid usage experience on the Z Fold5, regardless of the app, task or game you choose to use. The phone does warm up a bit when stressed, but not so much so as to make it uncomfortable to hold.

The 4,400mAh battery is a champ as well, and combined with the optimisations delivered by the 4nm SoC, can power the phone for a full day with relative ease. If you do however, use the phone unfolded for long hours, or use it extensively for battery-draining tasks like GPS navigation, mobile hotspot or intensive gaming, you’d probably need to find a charger for a top-up charge by the evening. Finding a charger would be a good thing to do in any case, since Samsung doesn’t include one in the box. The 25W wired charging support seems slow in this day and age, and juicing up the phone fully takes a little over an hour and a half. The PCMark battery test lasted 13 hours 35 minutes, which is a respectable result. By the way, the phone also supports 15W wireless charging and offers reverse wireless charging as well. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor works fine and is well complemented by the face unlock feature. The stereo speakers are pretty good, adding a level of immersion in media consumption, while call quality seems fine as well. The device supports 5G, obviously, and I also ran a 5G speed test on Airtel in South Delhi…

Final verdict

Samsung has dominated the foldable game for a while now, especially in India. That said, 2023 is looking like a marquee year for foldables. The brand’s clamshell Galaxy Z Flip5 (review) already has some competition from the likes of OPPO and Motorola. And as far as the book-style foldables are concerned, Samsung will be facing some very strong competition for the first time – with the likes of OnePlus, possibly Honor, and maybe others as well, throwing their own contenders into the cauldron. In such a scenario, Samsung needs to up its game and take it to a level where its foldable offerings continue to hog the limelight and stay on top.

Safe to say that no moulds were broken in the making of this smartphone. The Galaxy Z Fold5 treads the beaten path when it comes to design and a few other aspects, which means it might not appeal as much to existing users of one of Samsung’s previous-gen Fold devices. However, if you look at it from the perspective of a new user looking to move into the fold, pun unintended, the Galaxy Z Fold5 is where the buck stops.

Speaking of bucks, you’ll have to shell out Rs 154,999 for the 256GB storage version, going up to Rs 1,84,999 for the 1TB model. For your money, the Galaxy Z Fold5 will deliver a premium user experience, ticking off most core aspects with ease. Add the flexibility, productivity, and entertainment only a foldable of this type can offer, and you have a proposition which can’t be matched for now.

Editor’s rating: 8 / 10

Reasons to buy

  • The main screen is brighter than before, and gorgeous as always.
  • The Z Fold5 offers smooth performance and decent battery life.
  • The phone is slightly slimmer and lighter than before.
  • It’s loaded with a ton of useful features.

Reasons not to buy:

  • The Galaxy Z Fold5 doesn’t come cheap and at a starting price of over Rs 1.5 lakh, is quite pricey.
  • The design is the same as before and won’t appeal to users of previous-gen Galaxy Z Fold models.
  • The cameras aren’t the best.

Key Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Rear Camera50 MP + 12 MP + 10 MP
Front Camera10 MP + 4 MP
Battery4400 mAh
Display7.6 inches (19.3 cm)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 Price
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Rs. 144,999.00
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Rs. 154,999.00
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