Saturday, May 25, 2024
HometechFlip for fun

Flip for fun

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a cool foldable form factor, eight body colour variations to choose from, speed to match the fastest phones, a useful big front screen, and a battery that will last you the whole day and beyond.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Since 2020, I’ve found every top-end phone to be overkill for running apps. The fastest flagship phone may open and run apps a only couple of seconds faster and more efficiently than the slowest flagship phone from another brand. Today you can pick up a mid-range phone and it will be decent for most things you need to do (yes, I’m using a Samsung A73 as my main phone). So with speed pretty much out of the picture, unique factors, photo capabilities, RGB light, extra buttons and internal fans are all the rage now.

Being able to “shrink” this 6.7-inch screen phone down by folding it in half is actually useful. Phones are big these days and take up space. Foldable phones solve this annoyance and may even be crucial for ladies whose bag space is at a premium.

But foldables are nothing new in 2023. It’s the other features and gimmicks that make them stand out. For the Z Flip 5, these are a large front screen, a great OS and user interface, IPX8 water resistance, slick design and a day-long battery.

Samsung also focused on making the Z Flip 5 for trendy and fun people by selling colourful cases that come with free launch themes for each design.

Samsung tends to brag about the phone’s “improved” foldable hinge that folds totally flat, unlike its predecessor that has a millimetre gap when folded. I personally don’t find having a small gap a big deal. But not having the gap means less chance for dust and things to slip in and scratch the screen, I suppose.

Since the phone has Qualcomm’s latest fastest chipset, it comes with a very thin and small body. However, the phone gets quite hot to the touch after more than 15 minutes of intense gaming due to not having enough space to implement a proper cooling system.

The aspect ratio of the screen is at 22:9 which is a little unconventional for most YouTube videos that are usually at 16:9. This means that if videos are not enlarged or zoomed in, you’ll get large black bars on both sides of the screen.

According to DxOMark, an independent benchmark that scientifically assesses phones, the camera on this is at Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro level, which is still good for 2023 standards but not among the top 10 due to those having outlier capabilities such as incredible zoom, extra smooth video capture or ability to capture photos in pitch black environments.

The Z Flip 5’s portrait mode capabilities are very good. Its subject detection is particularly great, and it does well with colours too, skin tones included. The default level of background blur it applies can feel a bit much on occasion, but this phone offers a pleasant experience in still-life image shooting, fast and stable autofocus for photo and video in most conditions, and effective video stabilisation in both static and moving scenes.

The phone’s front screen, which Samsung calls a “Flex Window”, is a 3.4-inch Super AMOLED 60Hz touchscreen. It is the biggest differentiator from last year’s Z Flip 4 that comes with a teeny-weeny 1.9-inch one. Having a much bigger screen on the front means you can check notifications and interact with them much more meaningfully. Now, checking texts, Skype or Line while being able to reply to them is doable. Yes, I did say doable only. For long and serious text typing or replying, I still found the front screen too small to avoid typos. Good thing you can simply flip open the phone to fix that.

Another trick only these foldables can do is allowing your picture or video subject to see what you see, via the front screen, letting them change poses, positions or expressions without the need to instruct them (perfect for men who often take picky girlfriend photos).

Moreover, you can fold the screen 90 degrees and set the phone on any surface, then step back and show your palm to take selfies from a distance, without the need for yoga positions.

The front screen is still limited in what apps are allowed. The popular ones like YouTube, messaging and Line are there by default. But with the installation of Good Lock and LockStar apps from Samsung’s Galaxy Store, you can run every app on the front screen. Whether they run well on a 3.4-inch screen is a different matter, but you have the option.

After using Samsung’s S and Z series for a few years and recently switching to their A series, I came to realise that you get different service priorities at Samsung service centres. For S and Z series owners, you get to use a fast-track lane and have first priority while, other series get the normal lanes that may take three times longer. Since this is a Z series phone, you’ll get the best service from Samsung staff.

Game addicts like me may want to avoid this phone due to the weird aspect ratio, smaller screen and heating problem, but Galaxy Z Flip 5 is perfect for everyone else with its fun foldable form factor, actually useful front screen, tiny size when folded and reasonable price point.


Colour variations: Grey, Blue, Green, Yellow, Mint, Graphite, Cream, LavenderChipset: 3.36GHz Qualcomm SnapdragonScreen: 120Hz 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (2640 x 1080) inside; 60Hz 3.4-inch Super AMOLED (720 x 748) outsideCamera: 12MP (F1.8) + 12MP (F2.2) with OIS, 10MP selfieRAM: 8GBStorage: 256GBWeight: 187gBattery: 3,700mAhConnectivity: 5G, dual-SIM, USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5.3, NFCOS: Android 13 with One UI 5.1.1 on topPrice: 39,900 baht

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