Foldable smartphones have long occupied a niche but rapidly evolving sector in the mobile device market. Samsung, a pioneer in this field, continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible with its latest offering, the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Boasting top-tier specs, improved durability, and multitasking capabilities that rival a full-fledged computer, the Z Fold 5 is both a technological marvel and a statement piece. But does it justify its wallet-emptying price? Let’s delve in.
Design and Build
In a market dominated by incremental upgrades, the Z Fold 5 is a breath of fresh air. A significant departure from its predecessor, the device has been redesigned with a flat, gap-free closure, thanks to its new hinge technology borrowed from the Z Flip 5. It’s also lighter and slimmer, making it more pocket-friendly and less burdensome to carry around.
While still bulkier than a regular smartphone, it’s only 13g heavier than an iPhone 14 Pro Max, a detail that emphasizes how much Samsung has worked on optimizing the form factor. Built with recycled aluminum, glass, and plastic, it carries a sense of environmental responsibility without compromising on the premium feel.
The Fold 5’s external 6.2-inch display serves as a narrow but functional gateway for quick tasks like messaging or music control. But the real magic lies in its 7.6-inch internal display. Brighter than its predecessor, with improved durability, this screen is as close to a wonder as mobile technology currently offers. Although it lacks the rigidity of a traditional tablet screen, users will find it a satisfactory compromise for the folding capability.
Under the hood, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 boasts Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and 12GB of RAM, making it one of the most potent Android devices available today. These specs aren’t just for show; you can realistically run eight apps simultaneously without experiencing lag, truly pushing the multitasking envelope.
Software and Usability
Samsung’s One UI 5.1, based on Android 13, elevates the device’s multitasking capabilities to near PC-like levels. You can run three apps in a split-screen configuration, overlay floating windows, and take advantage of a taskbar for quick app switching. Flex Mode and Samsung Dex offer even more versatility, allowing the device to serve as a mini laptop or a desktop, respectively.
Another highlight of the Fold 5 is its improved battery life, outlasting its competitors and even some standard smartphones. Samsung claims around 48 hours of mixed usage, and the device lives up to this promise, even with rigorous multitasking.
Samsung has made significant strides in battery technology, as evidenced by the Fold 5’s robust 48-hour battery life. While the company doesn’t provide an exact lifespan for the battery, it assures that the device should maintain at least 80% of its original capacity after 500 full-charge cycles. This longevity, combined with the fact that the battery is replaceable by authorized service centers, adds a layer of future-proofing to this high-ticket item.
Though not revolutionary, the Fold 5’s camera setup is consistent and reliable. With five cameras in total—three at the back and two for selfies—it covers most use-cases effectively. Night mode performance has seen some improvements, capturing sharper images in low-light conditions.
Software Updates and Repairability
One area where Samsung has excelled is its commitment to long-term software updates. The Fold 5 is guaranteed at least five years of updates, including four major Android version upgrades and monthly security patches. When it comes to repairability, inside screen repairs are expensive, but Samsung’s self-repair program and Care+ accidental damage insurance somewhat mitigate this downside.
Price and Verdict
At Rs 154,999, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is undoubtedly a luxury item. Despite its high cost, the device stands out as the most feature-rich and adaptable foldable smartphone currently available. The wallet-emptying price is somewhat justified by its cutting-edge technology, exceptional multitasking capabilities, and premium build quality.
Pros and Cons
- Unmatched multitasking capabilities
- Superior build and design
- Impressive battery life
- Long-term software support
- Water resistance
- Sky-high price
- Fragile internal screen
- Repair costs can be steep
- Lacks dust resistance
- Not a major leap from the previous generation
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 sets a new standard in the foldable smartphone market. Though not without its drawbacks, it is a masterclass in design, functionality, and potential. For those who can stomach the high price, the Fold 5 offers a compelling glimpse into the future of mobile technology.