If Samsung’s Galaxy Fold 5 doesn’t do much to make itself stand out from its ancestors, the same can’t be said about the Galaxy Flip 5. The basic configuration remains unchanged – it’s still a clamshell folding phone that looks like a souped-up flip phone from 2004 – but you can expect actual, noticeable changes this year.
The most obvious is the increased size of the outer display but there are a range of alterations coming. A few of these involve accessories, while others entail software upgrades that aren’t quite here yet. More on that in a second.
You look different
The rounded corners and compact form factor that characterizes the Flip lineup haven’t changed. Nor have the ‘whimsical’ colours, with a Mint shade being Samsung’s marketing headliner for 2023. But there is something that’s all new – the cover screen now covers 3.4in. That’s enough to act like a small smartphone display without being confined just to notifications. It’s a wonder Samsung didn’t do this from the outset. It makes perfect sense now.
As with the Fold 5, the Galaxy Flip 5 dispenses with any gaps between the two meeting edges when the device is folded. It’s also fitted with Armour Aluminium and Victus 2 glass (where actual glass is present). The South Korean company has also trimmed down the dimensions somewhat but you won’t notice the difference from a distance. A side-by-side comparison is what’s needed for that.
You look familiar
Inside, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 ‘for Galaxy’ powers the Galaxy Flip 5. Don’t expect much variety in terms of performance from Samsung in 2023. It’s like Taco Bell. It’s the same ingredients, assembled in a few different ways.
Two 12MP lenses handle camera duties. The folding footprint has Samsung positioning this phone as a creative device and they’re not wrong. It’s possible to get quite fancy using the form factor but there’s not much else new in the camera department.
If you were hoping Samsung had improved the battery this time ’round, we’re here to dash those dreams. The Galaxy Flip 5 comes with the same 3,700mAh battery that you’d find in last year’s Flip 4. Yeah, we were pretty bummed too. The charging specs, too, are unchanged, maintaining that 25W of wired charging with 15W wireless charging to boot.
Maybe 2024 will be the year we finally see a battery improvement? For any other company, we’d say “definitely”. But when it comes to Samsung, we’d recommend not holding your breath.
Have we met?
There are a few all-new aspects, though. Samsung Pay should be a feature, with new card types being supported. There’s also a possible feature coming – BMW owners might be able to use this phone to host a digital version of their key, but there’s no launch confirmation for the upgrade as yet.
New case types are coming to the Galaxy Fold 5 ecosystem. Eco leather and clear cases are options, but there’s also a silicon sheathe with a ring fitted to the back, something called the Flipsuit, and then a Palette case. This one’s interesting. Owners drop in a coloured square on the back of the case and the cover screen’s wallpaper automatically matches what’s around the rear.
Samsung’s marking is aimed at Gen Z. This is obvious both in terms of the marketing presentation and because Samsung told us so. But it’s not the only target market. The BMW car key feature is one indicator and then the launch price is another. If you want to slip a Galaxy Flip 5 into your pocket, expect to part with at least R30,000. As before, trade-ins can strip up to R10,000 from the final price and the Flip 5 shares the Fold 5’s pre-order storage offer and launch dates. So make that a 25 August official launch, if you’re monitoring your bank account to see if you can afford one.