High-end Samsung Z Fold 5 comes polished and lighter with new hinge tech

While we anticipate the next breakthrough with Samsung foldables, here’s a spec review of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 phone.

High-end Samsung Z Fold 5 comes polished and lighter with new hinge tech
Image Credit: Samsung

Samsung, a leading maker of foldable phones, released the Galaxy Z Fold 5 in late July 2023. This latest iteration boasts an improved hinge and the first-ever Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 specifically designed for Samsung devices.

While the gap between recent Fold models (Z Fold 3, 4, and 5) seems smaller, this review dives into the Z Fold 5 to see if it offers any groundbreaking advancements.

Is it worth the upgrade for Z Fold 4 owners? Probably not. But for those new to the foldable world, the Z Fold 5 could be a fantastic starting point.

We'll explore the Z Fold 5's battery life, camera capabilities, display quality, and overall performance. 

Unboxing the Galaxy Z Fold 5 phone

Moving on to the box contents: You'll find the phone itself, a USB-C cable, and some introductory booklets. 

If you're looking to optimise charging for your Galaxy Z Fold 5, it supports up to 25W fast chargers. For wireless charging, grabbing a Samsung Fast Charger is your safest bet. Any regular Qi-certified wireless pad will also work, just at a slower pace.

Now, onto optional accessories, we firmly believe the S Pen case, with its sleek new design, unlocks the full Z Fold 5 experience. It's a bit of a bummer that a premium phone like this also requires an additional bulky plastic case to achieve full functionality, but hey, that's the world we live in.

Of course, if the S Pen isn't your thing, you can skip the case altogether. There are sleeker protectors available, or you can go case-free, after all — "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."

Samsung Z Fold phone Unboxed | PhoneArena

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Specs: At a Glance


  • Main: 7.6" AMOLED, 120Hz, 6:5 ratio
  • External: 6.2" AMOLED, 120Hz, 23:9 ratio


  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB | 512GB | 1TB
  • Software: One UI 5, Android 13


  • Rear: 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide


  • Capacity: 4400mAh
  • Charging: 25W wired, 15W wireless


  • Folded: 154.9 x 67.1 x 13.4 mm
  • Unfolded: 154.9 x 129.9 x 6.1 mm

Weight: 253g

IP Rating: IPX8

Colours: Icy Blue | Phantom Black | Cream

Pricing (Nigeria):

  • 256GB: ₦1,350,000 ($903)
  • 512GB: ₦1,770,000 ($1,184)
  • 1TB: ₦1,947,100 ($1,302)

What does the phone look like 

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 prioritises refinement over radical design changes. It boasts a significantly improved hinge that eliminates the creaks and gaps plaguing prior models. The phone now closes completely flush, addressing a major user pain point. This new hinge also contributes to a slightly shallower crease on the main screen, although it remains noticeable. Samsung has also implemented a supposedly stronger adhesive for the internal screen protector, aiming to prevent bubbling or peeling—only time will tell on this one. 

The fingerprint scanner remains embedded in the power button, offering exceptional speed and accuracy. While some prefer under-screen scanners, the side-mounted position can be awkward when using the phone on a stand, car mount, or flat surface.

One inevitable caveat with foldable phones is their thickness when folded shut. While the Z Fold 5 is slim when unfolded at 6.1mm thick, it's thicker than some competitors when folded. For example, the OnePlus Open and Pixel Fold are both 5.8mm thick when open, and more importantly, they're both slimmer than the Z Fold 5's 13.6mm folded thickness. Thankfully, rumours suggest the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 might be even slimmer when folded shut, at 12.1mm.

Despite discussions, Samsung sticks with its signature design choice: a super-narrow external display for one-handed use and a square-ish internal display optimised for two-handed use. While convenient for single-handed use, the narrow display makes two-thumb typing, especially with a case, cumbersome. This is further amplified when using gestures for navigation, like swiping from the edge for "back." Samsung's default to virtual navigation buttons might be a better option here.

The Z Fold 5 maintains its IPX8 water resistance rating and impressive audio quality from previous models. However, it lacks dust resistance.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Design | PhoneArena
Samsung’s Z Fold 5 has a slim thick build | Lance Ulanoff

What type of display is in the Z Fold 5?

Samsung continues to dominate the AMOLED display game, and the Z Fold 5 is no exception. The expansive 7.6-inch main display boasts a high resolution of 2176 x 1812 pixels, while the narrower 6.2-inch external display offers a sharp 2316 x 904 resolution.

Both displays deliver a smooth and adaptive user experience due to their dynamic refresh rates. The main display can adjust from 1 Hz to 120 Hz, and the cover display ranges from 48 Hz to 120 Hz, optimising battery life when high refresh rates aren't needed.

The Z Fold 5 displays deliver vibrant colors and sharp visuals. You can customise the colour profile based on your preference, whether you prefer a bold look or a more natural and eye-friendly tone. Additionally, the Eye comfort shield dynamically adjusts the colour temperature throughout the day to reduce eye strain.

One minor curiosity exists – the Always On Display (AOD) on the external display can only go down to 48 Hz, while the main display reaches 1 Hz. There might be technical reasons behind this, but it's worth noting.

Read Also: Best mid-range Samsung phones in Nigeria
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 folded Display| PhoneArena
Z Fold 5 Unfolded Display | Android Police

What is Samsung Z Fold 5’s camera like?

While foldable phones offer a unique user experience with their large unfolding displays, they often prioritise portability and design over camera capabilities when compared to conventional flagships. This is likely due to a combination of cost-cutting measures and the challenge of fitting high-end camera systems within the foldable form factor.

Despite this focus on other aspects, the Z Fold 5's camera system isn't a major upgrade over its predecessor. It features a 50MP main sensor, a 12MP ultrawide sensor, and a 10MP 3x zoom telephoto lens. While it doesn't compete with top camera phones, it still delivers decent results. Samsung promises improvements through software tweaks and the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2's image processing capabilities.

The ultrawide camera captures decent wide shots but has a weaker dynamic range compared to the main sensor. This translates to some detail loss and softening around the edges of ultrawide photos. However, colours appear consistent with the main camera, ensuring a cohesive look if you're shooting multiple angles of the same scene.

Finally, video recording benefits from the phone's processing power and delivers smooth footage with good stabilisation.

Samsung Z Fold 5 3x telephoto lens | Android Police
Texture difference of a sculpture in Gongjicheon Park, Korea at 10x (left) and 3x zoom (right) through the lens of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. | PhoneArena

How does Galaxy Z Fold 5 perform?

The Z Fold 5 boasts a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor custom-made for Galaxy devices. It's clocked slightly higher than the standard model at 3.36 GHz, and while the bump itself isn't massive, the partnership with Qualcomm for this chip inspires confidence.

RAM is a crucial component for multitasking on the Z Fold 5's large display, which is why all storage tiers come with a generous 12 GB of LPDDR5X RAM – offering a slight edge in energy efficiency over the previous LPDDR5.

Storage options range from 256GB to a generous 1TB (exclusive to During pre-order, Samsung even throws in a free upgrade to the 512GB model for the price of the 256GB. This deal will likely resurface throughout the year during promotions like Black Friday.

That 256GB base storage should be sufficient for most users, especially considering the Z Fold 5 isn't designed as a camera-first phone and wouldn't be used for constant 4K video recording.

Moving on to battery life, the Z Fold 5 retains the same 4,400mAh cell as its predecessor. While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and LPDDR5X RAM should offer some improvement in efficiency, expect similar performance to the Z Fold 4. It will last a day with regular use, but heavy gaming or extended productivity sessions might require a nearby charger.

The Z Fold 5 offers all the modern charging options: wired, wireless, and even reverse wireless charging to power your smartwatch or earbuds in a pinch. However, Samsung isn't joining the super-fast-charging race just yet. The phone supports 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging with Samsung's Fast Wireless chargers. While other Qi chargers work, they likely limit the speed. A charging test shows the following results: 

  • Wired Charging: 15 minutes - 29%, 30 minutes - 56%, 80 minutes - full
  • Wireless Charging: 15 minutes - 14%, 30 minutes - 27%, 133 minutes - full
The Samsung Fold 5 comfortably plays Mario Kart 7 | John Kim

What software package does the phone come with?

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 runs Samsung's One UI 5.1.1 on top of Android 13. This interface offers a distinct look with bright colours, rounded corners, and transparent elements. It prioritises multitasking through various features.

Beyond the S Pen support and DeX desktop experience mentioned earlier, One UI 5.1.1 introduces new gestures for manipulating apps. Swiping from the top corner lets you switch an app to a floating pop-up view, perfect for quick multitasking (though this requires enabling new gestures in Labs settings). Drag and drop functionality has also been enhanced – you can now use two hands for more control. The Taskbar now displays four recent apps for even faster switching between tasks. These improvements solidify the Z Fold 5's position as a multitasking powerhouse.

It's worth noting that Samsung maintains its unique vision for foldables. Unlike Google's Pixel Fold, the Z Fold 5 allows separate customisation for the cover screen and the main display. This flexibility caters to user preferences for each screen's functionality.

In a user-friendly move, Samsung recently committed to 4 years of software updates and 5 years of security patches for its premium phones. This translates to updates for the Z Fold 5 through Android 16, with security patches potentially extending to mid-2028. This extended support ensures your phone stays protected and up-to-date for years to come.

One UI home on the Z Fold 5

What we like about Z Fold 5

  • High refresh rate (120Hz) display for smooth visuals
  • 5G ready for next-gen connectivity
  • High screen-to-body ratio for maximum immersion
  • Supports wireless charging for convenience
  • Improved hinge for a more refined folding experience
  • Fast and solid performance for demanding tasks

What we don’t like about Z Fold 5

  • Battery life is mid, may require frequent charging
  • The external screen might be narrow for comfortable typing
  • The crease is still visible on the main display

Should you buy the Galaxy Z Fold 5?

Yes! The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a commendable foldable phone that offers a premium experience with its speed, style, quality, and functionality. If you’re already a Galaxy Z Fold 4 user, the upgrades might not be compelling enough to warrant the switch. However, for those new to the foldable market, the Z Fold 5 is a strong contender.

The external screen’s narrowness is a subjective issue; some may find it limits the experience, while others adapt or don’t mind. It’s advisable to try it out in a store to see if it suits your preferences.

Competitor Comparison:

  • Huawei Mate X5: Known for its expansive screen and impressive battery life, but lacks Google services which can be a deal-breaker for many.
  • OnePlus Open: Offers a clean software experience and rapid charging, but may not match Samsung’s display quality.
  • Pixel Fold: This brings Google’s software prowess and camera quality to the foldable form factor, a solid choice for Android purists.

Verdict: If the external display width isn’t a deterrent and you’re not finding a better deal on the Z Fold 4, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an excellent choice, especially with the new S Pen case for note-taking. It stands out in the foldable market, but be sure to consider the competition based on your specific needs and preferences. Each competitor offers unique features that may appeal to different users, so weigh these against what the Z Fold 5 has to offer before making your decision.

Pricing and Availability

The Z Fold 5 comes in three captivating colours: Icy Blue, Phantom Black, and Cream. Starting at ₦1,350,000 (US$903) for the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage option, and scaling slightly for higher storage capacities, reaching ₦1,947,100 (US$1,302) for the top-tier 1TB model. To find authorised retailers offering the Z Fold 5 in Africa, visit Samsung's official store locator.

While the Z Fold 5 is a powerhouse on its own, it works with compatible accessories (sold separately) to maximise your experience. The S Pen, for creative expression and note-taking is available on Konga. Explore S Pen cases like this one for ₦60,000 (ensure compatibility before purchase). The Z Fold 5 embraces wireless charging. Samsung offers its own wireless charger, but many other Qi-certified chargers will work as well. 

Here's a glimpse into the starting retail prices for the Z Fold 5 in other African countries:

  • Kenya: KSh 163,500
  • Bangladesh: ৳2,99,999
  • Ghana: GHS 20,850
  • South Africa: ZAR 45,999
  • Pakistan: Rs. 559,999

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