After a few generations of refining, Samsung has created what might be the first mainstream foldable phone with the new Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Foldable screen technology still isn’t perfect, but the Z Flip 5 works well and Samsung’s (slight) improvements make it a polished choice if you want a fun and unique device.
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I spent a day in Seoul, South Korea testing the phone, snapping photos and videos. While I wish this device had a dedicated zoom lens, overall picture quality ranges from good to great.
There are two major upgrades over last year’s model. First, the outer screen is much larger and more useful. When open, the inner screen looks like a typical Samsung display. For the first time, the Z Flip 5 also snaps shut completely without a gap, making it easy to hold and pocket.
On the outer screen, you can swipe to view notifications, tweak settings, and access all kinds of info. You can even run apps like Google Maps, Netflix and YouTube, with more available if you enable them using a Samsung app called Good Lock. The form factor lets you quickly snap selfies using the best cameras and the outer screen.
You can prop open the phone to take hands-free photos and videos. A new Dual Preview feature turns both screens into the same viewfinder, so friends can see the angle when you take their picture. You can also easily watch videos without a stand.
Samsung says the hinge is more durable than ever, and while the phone has full water resistance, it lacks an IP rating for dust.
At $1000, the Flip 5 is pricier than non-flip phones with better cameras, but discounts and trade-ins can lower the cost. This phone is for someone who wants something unique and different yet functional.
Samsung claims the Z Flip 5 should survive at least 200,000 folds. To provide peace of mind with the new technology, they’re including one free screen protector replacement and one discounted $200 screen repair.