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The original Galaxy Fold was an important smartphone, but in hindsight, it wasn't a very good one. The hinge was loose and floppy; the outside screen was wrapped by gigantic bezels; the inner screen had an ugly cutout. Just a year later, Samsung released a vastly improved Z Fold 2, which made significant improvements to the overall design and hardware, including the hinge and those screens. In fact, in my review of the Fold 2, I called it a "masterpiece," "phone of the year," and the "single biggest generation improvement in mobile history" because of all these changes.

Samsung clearly liked that Fold 2 design because, in the years since, the Fold series has only seen incremental improvements to that formula. The Fold 3 introduced stylus support and IPX8 water resistance, while the Fold 4 improved the camera hardware and shaved a few millimeters off the previously bulky hinge. The Fold 5 brings an even more streamlined hinge — one that can finally fold flat — and further sheds weight down to 253g. But that's about it.

The optimist in me wants to say Samsung is taking a critically acclaimed design and perfecting it, but there's another side of me that thinks Samsung is playing it safe, opting to make iterative updates instead of pushing for more innovation. This latter view is supported particularly by the fact that there are other foldable phones out there that are thinner and lighter than the Fold 5 yet pack larger camera sensors and batteries. These other devices haven't threatened Samsung much because they had been limited to selling only in China. But this is slowly changing. Honor's launching its unbelievably thin Magic V2 in Europe and Asia this fall, and OnePlus has a foldable coming stateside. Even the Google Pixel Fold, which has comparatively rough hardware, manages to outshine Samsung in a couple of areas, including packing a larger battery into a thinner body.

The Fold 5 is a very well-rounded and polished foldable phone. And it's still likely the best overall foldable phone right now if we take into account everything, like software, retail availability, carrier support, and after-sales service. But Samsung can't keep making incremental tweaks to the Fold 2 mold. With the Fold 6, Samsung needs to give us something new because the other foldables are coming. And they won't make it easy.

About this review: Samsung provided us with a Fold 5 for review; the company did not have input in this article.

Galaxy Z Fold 5 render
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
7 / 10
$1500 $1800 Save $300

Samsung's latest Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a further refinement of the Z Fold lineup. The smartphone looks similar to past Z Fold iterations, featuring a 7.6-inch main screen and a tall cover screen. On the inside, it's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and a 4,400mAh battery. 

You can score up to $1,000 off with trade-ins at

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy (4nm)
7.6-inch AMOLED main screen, 6.2-inch AMOLED cover screen, both with 120Hz adaptative refresh rate
256GB, 512GB, 1TB
4,400mAh dual battery
Operating System
One UI 5.1.1 (Android 13)
Front camera
10MP cover camera, 4MP under-display main screen camera
Rear cameras
12MP ultrawide, 50MP wide-angle, 10MP telephoto
SIM and eSIM
6.1 x 2.64 x 0.53 inches folded, 6.1 x 5.11 x .24 inches unfolded
Icy Blue, Phantom Black, Cream, (Samsung exclusive: Gray, Blue)
8.92 ounces (252.88 grams)
Up to 50% in 30 minutes (25W wired), Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare
IP Rating
Starting at $1,800
Micro SD card support
Stylus type
S Pen Fold Edition (sold separately)
Samsung Knox, Samsung Knox Vault
  • Improved in-hand feel thanks to hinge that folds flat
  • Relatively light at 253g
  • Still the best hinge in the business
  • Other foldables are thinner with bigger batteries
  • Brings back the exact same cameras as last year's Fold 4
  • Design starting to look very dated

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Pricing and Availability

The Fold 5 is available for preorder now and will go on sale on Aug. 11 worldwide at a starting price of $1,800. This price normally gets you the 256GB base storage variant, but Samsung has deals right now that let you get the 512GB model for the same price. There's also a 1TB variant that retails for $2,009. In the U.S., you will be able to find it on Amazon, Best Buy, as well as every major carrier. The Fold 5 comes in three colors — Cream, Phantom Black, and Icy Blue — and two more colors exclusive to the Samsung online store: Blue and Gray.

Design and hardware

A new hinge and chip, and that's about it

Galaxy Z Fold 5 folded up with outside screen.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 looks and feels very similar to the Fold 4, except it has redesigned hinge that's made of fewer parts and folds the screen at a softer waterdrop angle. But this allows the Fold 5 to finally fold flat after the previous four generations all left a small gap. Interestingly, the Fold 5 still has a visible screen crease. Chinese foldable phones, which use the waterdrop mechanism, all have screens with a softer, fainter crease.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 hinge (left) and Z Fold 4 hinge (right)
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 hinge (left) and Z Fold 4 hinge (right)

The Fold 5 is a bit thinner than the Fold 4, but this is purely due to the removal of the gap and not actually the phone's body being streamlined. In fact, the overall dimensions of the Fold 5 when unfolded are almost identical to the Fold 4's. It's also worth mentioning that the Fold 5's 0.24-inch (6.1mm) thickness when folded is pretty chunky compared to other options. If placed next to the Honor Magic V2's 9.9mm body, the Fold 5 looks downright outdated.

The new hinge still has the same IPX8 water resistance as before, and it's still also as stiff (in a good way) and sturdy. I've been critical of Samsung's foldable hardware, but when it comes to the hinge, Samsung's still the best at it. The Fold 5 snaps open reassuringly and closes with a satisfying thud.

The Z Fold 5's hinge still feels the best of all foldables.

The Fold 5 got the expected spec bump, with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip that's been optimized for Samsung devices. Don't overthink it, though; it's just a slightly overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, which is in other 2023 flagships. Other than scoring higher in some benchmarks, I really couldn't tell where this chip is better than the half-dozen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones I've been using. It's still a great chip, obviously, and paired with the 12GB of RAM, the phone flies.

The Fold 5's screen also mostly looks the same as the Fold 4's screen. This isn't a bad thing per se, as the screen still looks great, with vivid color reproduction. The main 7.6-inch screen gets a bit brighter than last year's, up to 1,750 nits, but it's very hard to see the difference compared to the Fold 4's screen, which hit 1,200 nits. The hinge is still here, and while it may be marginally less prominent than the Fold 4's, it's still a gutter compared to the far less noticeable hinge on phones from Oppo, Xiaomi, or Motorola. The Fold 5 is also 10g lighter than the Fold 4 at 253g, which is light enough that the phone no longer feels heavy in my pocket. Compared to the heavy Pixel Fold, the Fold 5 is a breath of fresh air. However, the Honor Magic V2 weighs only 232g, and after holding that phone, I can't be that impressed.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 main display

That's about it in terms of what's new. Considering the Fold 4 also didn't change too much from the Fold 3, I think it's safe to say most XDA readers will be familiar with how the Fold 5 looks and feels. For the most part, this is still a candy bar-shaped narrow phone that unfolds into a mini tablet.


Capable cameras ... just like last year

Galaxy Z Fold 5 camera module.

Even though the Fold 5 has a newer Qualcomm chip and another year of Samsung's software processing, I saw no meaningful differences in camera performance between the Fold 5 and Fold 4. This sucks for mobile enthusiasts who used to be treated to new camera breakthroughs every year, but for most people, it shouldn't be a big deal. The Fold 4 cameras were very good for a foldable phone, and that remains the case. It's probably the third-best foldable camera system, behind the Pixel Fold and the Huawei Mate X3.

The 50MP main camera uses the same hardware as the standard Galaxy S23: an f/1.9 shooter with a 1/1.56-inch image sensor. These numbers are below par on a flagship slab phone but respectable for a foldable. Samsung's image processing continues to be mature and confident, producing main camera photos that are quite aesthetically pleasing, with proper exposure and a bit of software-assisted bokeh if there's a subject or object closer to the lens.

At night, the Fold 5's night-mode assisted images can look a bit artificial with a lot of digital sharpening, but that's fine for social media. The Fold 5's 12MP ultrawide camera is very good, capturing sweeping landscapes without distortion, and the skies are properly exposed, which ultrawide cameras from Xiaomi or Oppo foldable phones sometimes get wrong. In low light, the ultrawide cameras suffer from soft images like most phones.

The Fold 5's 3X telephoto zoom lens is the same lens used on the Galaxy S21/22/23 Ultras (Samsung really likes recycling the same camera hardware), and it's a strong zoom lens in the foldable space.

Google Pixel Fold's periscope zoom may have a longer zoom focal length, but likely due to the small image sensor, the Pixel Fold's 5X zoom shot isn't necessarily better than the Fold 5's 3X zoom shots if I crop them to the same size. In the first set below, Samsung's 3X shot (cropped in) looks better than Google's 5X. There's a bit more depth and detail in Samsung's shot. But in the second set, the Pixel Fold's shot is a bit superior. These two phones' zoom cameras trade wins back and forth like this. Considering the Pixel is using superior periscope technology, this is an impressive showing on Samsung's part. I still think the Pixel Fold's camera system is slightly ahead due to my preference for Google's color science, but it's very close.

The Fold 5 has two selfie cameras, but I'd recommend using the one on the outside cover screen over the inner selfie camera. The inner camera is a measly 4MP shooter, buried underneath screen pixels, resulting in grainy photos (see third sample below). The "main" selfie camera is better, and selfies are fine. Samsung's even fixed its aggressive beautifying filters because all my skin imperfections are on full display in the first photo.


What sets Samsung foldables apart

The Galaxy Z Fold 5's software

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 runs on Android 13 based on Samsung's One UI, and it's the best foldable phone software for various reasons. One, Samsung has the most robust multitasking system, allowing users to open up to three apps in split-screen mode or up to five apps in floating windows. Phones like the Google Pixel Fold can't open apps in a window form, and there are Chinese foldables that inexplicably can't open some basic apps like Google Chrome in a window. The Fold 5 has the fewest restrictions — it can open virtually any app in a resizable window if you want.

If you need more multitasking, there's also DeX, Samsung's sandbox UI that projects a Windows-like interface to another display either via a cable or wirelessly. In fact, when I was at a hotel last week, I was able to connect the Fold 5 to the hotel's Samsung TV to read a PDF file. (DeX will work with non-Samsung smart TVs, too, in case you were wondering.)

The second reason I find Samsung's software to be best optimized for foldables is that One UI supports Flex Mode more thoroughly than other foldable phones. As soon as you fold the Fold 5 halfway, many apps will understand it's going into Flex Mode and will adapt accordingly. Samsung's native camera app, for example, will show a preview of the last photo snapped on the left side of the screen if the Fold 5 is in portrait orientation. Turn it sideways, and the phone understands you've likely placed the bottom half on a surface and will move the shutter button to the bottom half of the screen. When playing videos on YouTube or Samsung's video player, Flex Mode will turn the bottom half of the screen into a virtual touchpad where you can scrub through the video or adjust volume or brightness. No other foldable phone offers this many tricks that take advantage of the folding aspect of a foldable phone.

Samsung's camera interface going into Flex Mode

Elsewhere, the Fold 5 also has S Pen support for the main screen. This year's Fold 5-specific S Pen is much thinner, which makes it easier to carry with you. It's still a separate purchase, however. The only other foldable phones I know of that support a stylus are foldables from Honor and Huawei.

Performance and battery life

No real complaints

Fold 5 in the hand

With a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 12GB of RAM, the Fold 5 is obviously a very capable phone, and I encountered no issues during my testing period. I'm happy to report that the Fold 5 can put together an Instagram Reel without crashing several times the way the Pixel Fold did (Tensor G2 just lacks the power).

I do have personal gripes, such as my preference for wider outside screens. I'm just not a fan of Samsung's candy bar-shaped outside screen, which is a bit too cramped for typing. Samsung is the only phone maker that uses this narrow aspect ratio for a foldable. All others have an outside display that resembles a conventional phone.

The Galaxy Fold 5 is the foldable with the widest market availability and carrier support by a wide margin, so it's also still the best large foldable phone for most people.

Battery life is objectively just decent. The Fold 5 can make it through a typical 13-hour day on most days. But the other day when I was out from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., I had to top it off with a battery pack at around 11 p.m. since it dipped below 10%. While the Google Pixel Fold's battery life isn't any better (despite having a larger battery), I get better battery life out of Chinese foldable phones, mainly because all of them have larger batteries than the Fold 5.

It's obvious why Samsung is conservative when it comes to battery capacity, but virtually every other phone maker gives us battery sizes close to 5,000mAh while Samsung is sticking with a 4,400mAh cell that has remained unchanged for three generations. As mentioned earlier, Honor's upcoming Magic V2 has a 5,000mAh battery in a much thinner body. At some point, it's hard to not wonder why Samsung can't do what other companies are doing. Is it unwilling or unable?

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

You should buy the Galaxy Z Fold 5 if:

  • You want a foldable phone with the best multitasking capabilities
  • You live in the U.S. and want the most polished and powerful foldable phone
  • You are currently using a Fold 2 or 3 and want to upgrade

You should not buy the Galaxy Z Fold 5 if:

  • You already own the Galaxy Z Fold 4
  • You want a foldable with a wider outside screen
  • You live in regions where Honor, Xiaomi, and Oppo sell phones, and you're open to those products

I can't fully recommend the Fold 5. On one hand, it's still the most polished foldable phone if we take into consideration the software. It's the phone with the widest market availability and carrier support by a wide margin, so it's also still the best large foldable phone for most people, particularly those in the West. But in a vacuum, if we can ignore the factors like market availability, trade-in deals, and brand recognition, and we're just focusing on the piece of tech itself, it looks dated next to the Honor Magic V2 or even last year's Xiaomi Mix Fold 2.

Hopefully, the U.S. launch of a OnePlus foldable and the European launch of the Honor Magic V2 (and potentially Xiaomi Mix Fold 3) will finally give Samsung enough pressure to push a bit harder next year.

Galaxy Z Fold 5 render
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Solid but boring foldable
7 / 10
$1500 $1800 Save $300

Samsung's latest Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a further refinement of the Z Fold lineup. The smartphone looks similar to past Z Fold iterations, featuring a 7.6-inch main screen and a tall cover screen. On the inside, it's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and a 4,400mAh battery. 

You can score up to $1,000 off with trade-ins at