I’ve used both the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5, and I prefer the Flip
Samsung’s lineup of foldable phones has come a long way compared to the original phones released a few years back. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 represent the company’s current best in the foldable phone space, and in many ways they are superior to their peers in the same sector. They have completely 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 switched to the Galaxy Z Flip 5 to see if I wanted a relatively smaller phone that could be opened vertically. This was also the first time I’d used a foldable phone outside of the demo areas at events and retail stores, so I wanted to see if it could hold its “daily driver” status. It’s been just over a week since I’ve used the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 as my primary phone, and I’m enjoying it more than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Here are a few reasons why:
This is not a realistic 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 comparison between Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 to see what makes them different.
1 The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is more compact
I recently shared my thoughts on why Flip phones aren’t the compact alternatives to the compact phones I wish they were. Of course, that’s still true because the Flip 5 opens up to reveal a massive 6.7-inch screen that’s way bigger than any compact phone out there. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s smaller and easier to hold than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Putting the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in my pocket, for example, never feels like I’m carrying around a bulky phone that takes up all the space, even without a case. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is also much heavier, weighing over 60g more than the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Add an S Pen with a case to protect the phone and hold the stylus, and you’ll add quite a bit of bulk to a phone that’s already on the larger side.
2 Perfectly sized cover screen
Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Flip 5, as you may already know, has a relatively larger Cover Screen compared to the Flip 4. The new “Flex Window”, as Samsung likes to call it, allows you to not only check notifications but also play them. The apps are there to work on. I’d say the cover screen is large enough to open a messaging app or email to respond to the incoming notification of a reply.
You can run almost any Android app on the Flip 5’s cover screen using the 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. This helps me use the phone less and prevents me from getting distracted by other apps when I pick up the phone to check notifications or reply to a simple text message. The Flip 5’s relatively smaller external screen seems to serve a distinct purpose and encourages you to unlock/unfold the phone more. On the other hand, the Fold 5’s cover screen rarely gives me a reason to open up and use the larger foldable screen.
Of course, the larger internal screen is better for those looking for an alternative to tablets, but personally I don’t think foldable phones are ready to replace tablets just yet. I mostly use the larger internal screen for watching videos or playing games, which brings me to my next point.
3 Watching videos and playing games
It can also be said that the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s wide screen is best for watching videos and playing games. I say this because watching a movie or video on YouTube leaves you with thick black bars at the top and bottom, essentially reducing the viewable area to a fraction of its original size. I also used to play a lot of side-scrolling games like Alto’s Odyssey, and they all look better on the Flip 5’s wide screen. Your mileage may vary depending on the type of videos you watch or the type of games you play on your phone, but I personally find that the Flip 5’s wide screen is better for most forms of content I consume.
4 reasonable price
This is one of the more obvious reasons to consider, but it is still an important factor to keep in mind. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is less expensive, and therefore more affordable, than the Fold 5, which still retails for a whopping $1,800. The steep price has always been one of the biggest drawbacks of not only Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold devices but book-shaped foldable devices in general. Even the Google Pixel Fold carries an equally hefty price tag, which keeps it from getting into the hands of more consumers. There’s no doubt that $1,800 is a steep price to pay for a smartphone, even with the promise of a larger secondary screen.
I’m sticking with the Galaxy Z Flip 5
Having used both of Samsung’s foldable devices for the better part of a month, I can confidently say that I had more fun using the Galaxy Z Flip 5 than I did the Fold 5. That’s not to say the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a bad phone, though. It’s obviously more capable and feature-packed than the Flip 5, but the clamshell form factor is easier to get used to as a daily driver, especially for those who use a regular phone.
I get the argument about having to go through the extra step of using the Flip 5 as a regular tablet, but I see it as more of a reason to use the “fold” you’re paying for instead. To do everything on the external screen and only use the larger screen for specific tasks. It’s easy to see why flip phones are more popular with those dipping their toes into the world of foldable devices, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, or at least until book-style foldables drop in price.