Samsung has two distinct foldable smartphones. The Z Fold5, which is a productivity powerhouse. And the Z Flip5, a relatively affordable foldable (in comparison to the Z Fold5) that provides a powerful yet pocketable device.
The biggest highlight of the Z Flip5 is its big screen that can easily fit into your pocket, all thanks to its folding form factor. This innovative design allows the phone to have a larger display when unflipped, for a complete smartphone experience. But when folded, it becomes compact and portable, making it convenient to carry around without sacrificing screen real estate. Adding more power to the Z Flip5, this year, Samsung has increased the cover screen significantly, making it more usable. There is also a reworked hinge, which has resulted in a seamless and gapless design. This is particularly crucial as it prevents any possibility of coins or small objects slipping between the screens, a concern that existed in previous models. Here’s how it scores.
The all-new Samsung Z Flip5 is a perfect fusion of portability and flagship power, making it stand out as the ultimate choice. It has a sleek and stylish design, featuring a 6.7-inch folding screen that ensures effortless pocketability. When closed, the 3.4-inch cover screen acts as a window to access notifications without any distractions. Responding to WhatsApp messages becomes a breeze with preset replies or a QWERTY keyboard for custom responses. Swipe in different directions to reveal useful widgets like the calendar, voice recorder, health tracker, phone, or notifications tailored to your preferences.
However, the cover screen provides access to only a limited number of apps like maps, messages, Netflix, WhatsApp, and YouTube, which need to be enabled in the settings. Even though a small screen but streaming movies and shows on Netflix was fun. What amazed me was the ability to access directions over Google Maps from the cover screen itself. But what I loved the most was capturing perfect, high-resolution selfies and videos using the rear cameras with the help of the cover screen.
Nevertheless, over the last few years, Samsung has been enhancing the user experience on the Z Flip 5, and hopefully more apps will be supported on the cover screen in the near future.
Unflip the Z Flip5, just like a regular Samsung flagship. The 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen feels soft and has a great touch response. At 1750 nits brightness, the sunlight legibility is superb, with the text easily readable in the scorching sun. The crease at the center is only noticeable from certain angles. But does it interfere while scrolling or using apps, no. The display is good for all the regular tasks, including accessing and responding to emails, browsing the web, streaming videos and shows, gaming, and almost anything you do on a phone. With Snapdragon under the hood, it feels blazing fast.
Other than the cover screen and the inside display, there is also the Flex mode that brings in some exciting functionality onboard. When folded at a 90-degree angle or placed on the table (say in L-shape), some of the app opens on the top of the screen with additional controls at the bottom of the screen. For instance, the bottom half of the screen turns into a touchpad for easy navigation and has additional controls too. This works beautifully in YouTube, email, camera and more apps. But this feature is hidden and has to be activated from within the settings.
Surprisingly, Samsung hasn’t upgraded the camera this year. Instead, it continues to have the same dual-camera configuration, featuring a 12MP primary lens and a 12MP wide-angle lens at the rear. And there is also a 10MP camera on the display that can also be used for selfies or video calls, in unflip and flex mode. The primary camera captures great images, in a well-light environment, particularly in low-light conditions. Colour representation is accurate too. Even during cloudy mornings, with no sun in sight, the images captured appear crisp and sharp. I tested the camera extensively on the plants in my terrace garden and was amazed at the fine details of pollen, water droplets and bugs.
With the tap on the top, I could convert the cover screen into a viewfinder too. The 10MP selfie camera does a fairly decent job but I preferred capturing selfies using the rear camera. When flipped closed, double pressing the power button launches the rear camera and the cover screen is converted into the viewfinder. Just by swiping left and right, I was able to switch between photo, portrait and video modes. And swiping up and down helped in zooming in and out. Overall, the imaging on this device is great but not in the league of the latest Galaxy S23 Ultra.
When unfolded, the Z Flip 5 is similar to any other Android flagship, particularly in terms of performance. Samsung has opted for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. This makes it capable enough to handle everything with ease, including graphics-intensive games. And just in case you think you need more, you can squeeze up to an additional 8GB of RAM from the memory. Although the 6.7-inch screen isn't massive, it can run two apps simultaneously. Samsung has positioned the power button (with an embedded fingerprint scanner) along with the volume button at the top right, which remains consistently on the right, making it easily accessible in any mode.
It was great to use the Galaxy Z Flip5 as my daily driver, which included continuously accessing the cover screen for notifications, navigation and photography and doing most of the work on the main display. Yet the 3700 mAh battery easily lasted just a day.
The pocket-friendly nature of the Z Flip 5 makes it a desirable choice for users who value both functionality and portability in their smartphones. With its impeccable blend of elegance, convenience, and advanced features, the Samsung Z Flip5 for Rs 99,999 is one of the best foldable phones around.
Price: Rs 99,999
Specs: 6.7-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED Infinity Flex Display (425ppi), 3.4-inch AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 8GB RAM, 256 or 512GB storage, Android 13, dual 12MP rear, 10MP front-facing, IPX8 (1.5-metre depths for 30 minutes), Folded dimensions: 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.1mm, Unfolded dimensions: 165.2 x 72.2 x 6.9mm, 187grams
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