Samsung’s foldable phone lineup has come a long way from the original ones that were released a few years ago. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 both represent the best of what the company has to offer right now in the foldable phone space, and they are — in many ways — superior to their peers in the same segment. They have drastically different designs, but their differences go beyond just their folding mechanisms.
After using the Galaxy Z Fold 5 for a few weeks as my daily driver, I swapped to a Galaxy Z Flip 5 to see if I would love using a relatively smaller phone that flips open vertically. This was also my first time using a flip phone outside the demo zones at events and retail stores, so I wanted to find out if it could retain its “daily driver” status. I am a little over a week into using the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 as my primary phone, and I am enjoying it more than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Here are a few reasons why:
This isn’t a factual comparison to show which foldable is better or tell you which one to buy. The points mentioned below are about personal preference. You can read our Galaxy Z Fold 5 versus Galaxy Z Flip 5 comparison to see what sets them apart.
1 The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is more compact
I recently shared my thoughts on why the Flip phones aren’t the compact alternatives to the small phones I hoped they’d be. Of course, that’s still true because the Flip 5 unfolds to reveal a massive 6.7-inch display that’s significantly larger than any compact phone out there. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that it is more compact and easier to carry around than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Putting a Galaxy Z Flip 5 into my pocket, for instance, never feels like I am wedging a massive phone that takes up all the space, even without a case. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is also significantly heavier, weighing over 60 grams more than the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Add an S Pen along with a case to protect the phone and hold the stylus, and you’re adding significant bulk to a phone that’s already on the bigger side.
2 Perfectly sized cover screen
Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Flip 5, as you probably already know, has a relatively bigger cover screen compared to the Flip 4. The new “Flex Window,” as Samsung likes to call it, allows you to not only check the notifications but also launch the apps right there to act on them. I’d say the cover screen is just big enough to open a messaging or an email app to respond to the incoming notification with a response.
You can run pretty much any Android app on the Flip 5’s cover screen using a Good Lock module, but I personally don’t find it big enough to comfortably use something like Instagram or TikTok to watch vertical videos for hours. That helps me use the phone less and keeps me from getting distracted by other apps whenever I pick up the phone to check notifications or reply to a simple text. The relatively smaller outer screen on the Flip 5 just feels like it serves a distinct purpose and encourages you to open/unfold the phone more. The Fold 5’s cover screen, on the other hand, rarely gives me a reason to unfold and use the bigger folding screen.
Of course, a bigger inner screen is better for those who are looking for a tablet replacement, but I personally don’t think foldable phones are ready to replace tablets just yet. I mostly use the bigger inner screen to watch videos or play games, and that brings me to my next point.
3 Watching videos and playing games
The Galaxy Z Flip 5’s widescreen is also arguably better for watching videos and playing games. I say that because watching a movie or a video on YouTube leaves you with thick black bars across the top and bottom, essentially reducing the viewable area to a fraction of the original size. I am also used to playing a lot of side-scrolling games like Alto’s Odyssey, and they all just look better on the Flip 5’s widescreen. Your mileage may vary based on the type of videos you watch or the kind of games you play on your phone, but I personally find the Flip 5’s widescreen better for most forms of content I consume.
4 Affordable price tag
This is one of the more obvious reasons to consider, but it’s still an important factor to consider. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is more affordable, and therefore, more accessible compared to the Fold 5, which still retails for a whopping $1,800. The expensive price tag has always been one of the biggest drawbacks of not just Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold devices but also just the book-style foldables in general. Even the Google Pixel Fold carries an equally expensive price tag, keeping it from reaching the hands of more consumers. $1,800 is undoubtedly a huge price to pay for a smartphone, even with the promise of a bigger secondary display.
I am sticking with the Galaxy Z Flip 5
Having used both Samsung foldables for the better part of the month, I can confidently say that I’ve had more fun using the Galaxy Z Flip 5 over the Fold 5. That’s not to say the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a bad phone, though. It’s clearly more capable and feature-packed than the Flip 5, but the clamshell form factor is just easier to get used to as a daily driver, especially for those coming from a regular slab phone.
I get the argument about having to go through an extra step of unfolding to use the Flip 5 as a regular slab phone, but I see it as more of a reason to actually use the “folding” feature that you’re paying for as opposed to getting everything done on the outer screen and only using the bigger display for specific tasks. It’s easy to see why the Flip phones are more popular among those who are dipping their toes into the world of foldables, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon, or at least until the book-style foldables go down in price.