How a tiny, fun phone changed my mind about foldables

A person folding a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Andy Boxall/

That’s it: The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 has completely changed the way I think about foldable smartphones.

When the phone was released, its advancements compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 4 prompted me to buy it instead of upgrading my Galaxy Z Fold 4 to the Galaxy Z Fold 5, and now after several months I’m back in it. , I know I made the right decision. here’s why.

Big folding phones aren’t changing enough

Rear panels of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 Andy Boxall/

I liked the Galaxy Z Fold 5 when I reviewed it, and I also liked the Google Pixel Fold. but no one really caught Me, because in terms of technology and capabilities they are not that different from what has come before or exists in the non-foldable space. The Z Fold 5 is suitably different from the Z Fold 4 if you’re new and is still a great buy if you want one, but there’s no strong reason to upgrade from the older model. The Pixel Fold’s camera is excellent, but I’m one of the few people who prefer Samsung’s long and thin approach to big-screen foldables.

I haven’t had a chance to use OnePlus Open yet, and while I think it’s just as good, the admittedly innovative multitasking system is one I see many people talking about, and it absolutely appeals to me. Doesn’t excite either. I’m eager to try it out, and maybe I’ll live up to my words when I do, but if the Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold fail to open my wallet enough, I’ll be able to give OnePlus a try for just about anything. Can’t see different.

Galaxy Fold (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 3 (right) cover screens.
Galaxy Fold (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 3 Andy Boxall/

The thing is, I still love folding phones. Ever since I used the original Galaxy Fold and played with the Huawei Mate

More importantly, I immediately saw a lot of ways they could fit into my life and made the right decision to use the original Fold as my main phone for several trips abroad, where it was absolutely fantastic. . I want Would love to use a foldable phone, but big, expensive phones aren’t for me right now.

be small, not big

A man holding a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, showing the cover screen.
Andy Boxall/

Big-screen foldables have come a long way in durability and build quality since those early days, but compact foldable phones are just as good in this regard and have suddenly evolved more in capability and technology by comparison, and in a shorter period of time too. I may have liked larger foldables better in the past, but that has changed. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a completely different phone to the original Galaxy Z Flip and it’s become much more versatile, folding into a smaller size and offering a lot more. Now is the golden age of compact folding phones.

The other thing is, the world is full of massive phones that do everything from the Galaxy S23 Ultra to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but how many small phones are there that do everything? The answer is not very many, and even fewer that are as small as the Galaxy Z Flip 5. The design is perfect, matching a very compact footprint with smooth, flat edges, yet Samsung has wisely thought about making it easy to hold the phone and open it. Not every foldable is like this, and that makes it easier to live with the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

A person using a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Andy Boxall/

The Galaxy Z Flip 5, unlike previous smaller foldables, is completely usable even when closed. The 3.6-inch cover screen runs the apps I want, and widgets cover everything I want to do on a smaller screen. It shows the time and date, and a small orange dot indicating that notifications are waiting. I want the normal notification icon, but at least the cover screen is visible Some? When it’s off.

there are some shortcomings too

A person taking a photo with a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Andy Boxall/

When I want to do normal tasks on the phone, I just open the phone and use it like any other device. It sounds obvious, and I know you’ve almost certainly heard it before, but the fact I’m still saying it proves just how useful and innovative this new generation of compact foldable phones has become. The Z Flip 5’s screen is bright and colorful, and videos look great. The phone is light at 187 grams and it never gets tiring to hold or support it in one hand while watching videos.

As much as I like using the open Galaxy Z Fold 5, it’s not as manageable as the Z Flip 5, which isn’t really any different from using a regular non-folding phone. Unfortunately, the camera isn’t as versatile as the Z Fold 5’s, and while it’s not terrible, it doesn’t come close to a phone like the Google Pixel 8. Shots are often oversaturated, and there’s also no telephoto mode, one of two shortcomings of the phone.

The hinge of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Andy Boxall/

The other downside is battery life. That’s really no good at all, and even with moderate use, by the time I’m about to go to bed, the 3,700mAh cell is at its last 10% or 20%. Battery life of a day without much gaming doesn’t offer much flexibility and that’s the primary compromise you’ll have to make when choosing the Z Flip 5 over a non-folding phone, which has a larger 5,000mAh battery that’s capable of delivering strong returns, Two-day battery life.

A fun phone to have

Open Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Andy Boxall/

My lifestyle and phone usage means a day’s battery life isn’t a big deal. The convenience of a compact folding phone makes far more sense, especially now that such a small phone is usable both open and closed. The design is great, there’s a wide selection of colors, and it still feels futuristic (and catches the eye of others) when you open or close the phone. Its fun in ownershipAnd outside of the Nothing Phone 2, few others available today can make the same claim.

I was worried that going back to the Z Flip 5 would make me yearn for the Z Fold 5, but that didn’t happen. My life isn’t so busy that I need deep, extensive multitasking on my phone, and since I also carry an iPhone 15 Pro Max with me, my pockets are already heavy enough, thanks. I would like to have a fun, interesting and easily pocketable phone for my adventures today. Provided you accept that battery life isn’t great and understand that the main camera is usable, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a hugely enjoyable smartphone.

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