Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5: Tweaks and refinement of last year’s model

Foldable phones are going from “you’ve got to be kidding” to actually (sort of) practical, with a good half dozen vendors sticking their oars into the potentially lucrative market. However, so far, only one is available in Canada – the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5.

The successor to last year’s Fold4, this year’s model has had no major changes, just some tweaks and refinement – and the price will make you break out the smelling salts.

Let’s look at what’s different.

The Fold5, although still a hefty beast (developed by guys, for guys’ pockets, I suspect) is a bit smaller, a bit thinner, and a bit lighter than its predecessor. To be precise, it’s 0.2 mm shorter, 2.4 mm thinner at the hinge when folded, 0.2 mm thinner when unfolded, and 0.2 mm narrower when unfolded. And it’s 10 g lighter.

Mind you, “10g lighter” is still a substantial phone. The Fold5 weighs 253g. In comparison, the flagship Samsung Galaxy S23+ tips the scales at 195g.

Along with those changes, we have a slightly newer processor (the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, vs last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus), and the operating system is Android 13 instead of Android 12. Oh, and Samsung has tweaked its One UI to better manage the main display, expanding taskbar capacity to 8 apps, letting you tile multiple apps, and adding a recent apps section.

The displays are still the same sizes: the front screen is a 6.2 inch Dynamic AMOLED display, and the main screen measures 7.6 inches. Memory and storage configurations are still 12 GB RAM, and 256GB, 512GB, or 1 TB storage. The battery and cameras also echo the Fold4, and, as with the Fold4, the S Pen stylus not included. However, if you purchase the Slim S Pen case (C$124.99), the pen is included.

Samsung has done some nice work on the folding mechanism in the device. The new hinge design allows it to close flat, without the gap at the hinge that tended to let all sorts of small objects sneak in, risking screen scratches. The hinge is stiff enough that when you open the phone into an L shape, it stays in that configuration and you can sit it on the table and watch videos comfortably.

When the device is open, there is still a perceptible crease down the middle of the screen, over the hinge, but it’s not a major inconvenience.

Do I love this phone? Not really – it’s too bulky for my taste – but I can see how folks could get fond of it. Along with an S Pen, it could act as a (more or less) pocketable tablet as well as a phone. It is, however, a minor upgrade from the Fold4, so if you already have one of those, it’s probably not worth the price to upgrade – hang tight and wait for next year’s model.

The Fold5 comes in Icy Blue, Phantom Black, or Cream, as well as in Blue and Grey if you buy from Samsung’s website. Prices start at C$2399.99. And, if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to spend an extra C$24.99 on a charger – Samsung doesn’t include them with phones anymore.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner
Lynn Greiner has been interpreting tech for businesses for over 20 years and has worked in the industry as well as writing about it, giving her a unique perspective into the issues companies face. She has both IT credentials and a business degree.

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