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Last year, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 convinced me that foldable phones had a real future with everyday consumers.

This year, the Z Flip5 sealed the deal. It’s hard not to compare tech, but I’ve got to give it to Samsung—the Z Flip5 is the best clamshell foldable I’ve tried yet, across its predecessors and even other brands like Huawei and OPPO who’ve tried their hand at that form factor.

Putting the “fun” in functionality

The new 3.4-inch cover screen, called Flex Window has really opened up the functionality of the foldable.

Some of my colleagues think that a foldable’s cover screen should only offer the bare minimum in terms of functionality, because they see foldables as a way to reduce their distractions. 

All they need is the ability to reply to urgent messages, briefly check their notifications, and pick up calls without unfolding their phone. 

While I agree with their preference to not unfold the phone most of the time, I have different reasons for it. I’m down for being able to do lots more things on the cover screen, for the mere reason of fun.

And fun, it is. I love that I can write up a whole Google Doc, play Genshin Impact or Honkai Star Rail, watch and comment on YouTube videos, and more, all without having to unfold the phone.

Sure, the interface may be a lot smaller and a bit more inefficient when it comes to certain apps, and I may be straining my eyes unnecessarily, but there’s a certain joy I find in being able to do mundane things in a totally new and novel way.

Maybe when the magic wears off, I’ll feel differently, but after years of wishing for clamshell foldables to have larger cover screens, I don’t think my mind will be changed so easily.

The added ability to zoom out and see all your widgets on the Flex Window at a glance makes its functionality shine all the more. 

Flex mode could be giving more

While I’ve sung my praises about the cover screen, I feel myself wanting more from the Flex Mode. 

I find myself always slightly underwhelmed each time I unfold the phone, open up an app, and half-fold the phone so it sits down.

The apps I commonly use (which already tend to be optimised for foldables at this point) then shift around and make way for the bottom half of the 6.7-inch screen to show more control options. 

These include a touchpad cursor (I haven’t found a use for this yet), a tile for screenshotting, another tile for pulling down your notifications, and another one to easily toggle on the split-screen feature. 

Then you have the ability to control your screen brightness, sound volume, and access to settings. On media apps, you’ll get playback controls on the bottom half of the screen in Flex Mode.

I can’t put my finger on it yet, but something about the setup still feels a bit clunky to me, and I’d much rather just use the normal touchscreen functions for inputting controls. I find the cursor a tad finicky to move around, and the other tiles just seem to be there to fill up the screen real estate.

On the other hand, I do like that the Z Flip5’s foldability gives me the opportunity to go hands-free when taking photos.

Just fold the phone at whatever angle you like, prop it up, and that’s your “tripod”. 

The new hinge from Samsung is firm and smooth, and I like that the phone doesn’t seem too eager to snap open or closed. 

When you close the phone though, it shuts with a satisfying snap and no longer has that odd gap its predecessors had, so you get a seamless clamshell look.

Probably great news for those who’ve always been paranoid about dust getting in between the screens, since the Z Flip5 maintains an IPX8 rating that doesn’t guarantee dust resistance.

Satisfactory cameras & performance

Carrying over pretty much the same cameras from last year’s Z Flip4, there’s not too much to say about the camera performance on the Z Flip5 other than the pictures shot on the 12MP main cameras are nice to look at, just like how they were on the Z Flip4.

If you’re coming from a Z Flip3 or older model, then yes, these cameras would be quite a big upgrade.

Outdoor shots with great natural lighting are where the Z Flip5’s cameras really shine

Going back to the Flex Window though, the Quick Shot function (with the phone folded, click the power button twice) has been improved to give users more control when shooting selfies with the main cameras.

You can change the dimensions of the frame, zoom in or out (0.5x up to 10x), preview snapped photos from the Flex Window itself, and more.

The chipset on the Z Flip5 is a marked improvement on paper though. Equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, my experience gaming on the phone has been nothing short of great.

I’m particularly impressed that Honkai Star Rail runs smoothly on the Flex Window (through the Good Lock app) despite the inefficient heat dissipation with the phone folded closed. 

Even with moderate heat build-up, I’ve had very few stutters when gaming through the Flex Window, and I’m not noticing any major performance differences compared to when I’m gaming with the phone unfolded.

The lasting power of the 3,700mAh battery has also been sufficient for my daily use, which isn’t too heavy on gaming, but I do cycle between social media apps and productivity apps throughout the day.


If the Z Fold series is meant to be the more productivity-driven phone, the Z Flip5 has truly shown me why the Z Flip series is touted to be the more fun, lifestyle sibling. 

The larger cover screen has made all the difference in the experience for me, and the Z Flip5 satisfies pretty much all the fun aspects of having a foldable phone.

I actually find myself wanting to use the phone folded a lot more, compared to opening it up, so I suppose that’s a really good sign that Samsung is headed in the right direction, especially for consumers like me.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 is available in four colourways: Mint, Graphite, Cream, Lavender, and costs between RM4,499 (256GB) to RM4,999 (512GB).

Larger cover screen (Flex Window)Improved Flex Mode leaves more to be desired
Improved functionality when folded closed
Cameras that are good enough for daily phone photography
  • Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 here.
  • Read other VP Verdicts we’ve written here.

VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)