Hands-On Experience: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

Samsung launched the first foldable smartphone in September 2019, and received a lot of flak for its durability issues. The units require so much care that media review units were extremely limited. But with each year, the folding mechanism and the flexible display get better, and by the third generation, the Z Flip3 and the Z Fold3 are in such good shape that you can use them without special care – except for the soft screen surface of course, you don’t want to apply too much sharp pressure and leave permanent marks.

Gardens By The Bay short on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 3x optical zoom F/2.4 ISO25

For that, Samsung has turned up the saturation and the sharpness that borders on appearing too artificial, yet it creates an appealing quality for day-to-day shots for personal memory or flaunting the moments on social media.

The entire zoom range from 0.6x to 30x delivers rather consistent tonality and offers shooting versatility.

Comparing Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 zoom quality from 0.6x to 30x

Naturally, the 30x zoom end exhibits digital artifacts, but 10x zoom is impressive as the below image shows that it is capable of capturing the ants harvesting the flower.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 captures details up close at 10x zoom

The portrait mode blurs the background to create bokeh that may not be as authentic compared to DSLR, but it isolates subjects and makes the image attain another level of impression. One that that annoys me when I use Google Pixel 7 Pro is that it does not apply background blur if face is not detected, because, well “portraits” are about people.

Portrait mode shot on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5

Having said that, there will be scenes that the blur might not yield convincing result, but I would try to frame the image so that the bokeh works. But for the standard close-up shots, the Z Fold5 makes me want to shoot more photos and post them.

Compare Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and Google Pixel 7 Pro

Under the unfold mode, the camera app offers a few nifty features to improve shooting experience. For instance, you can display the live preview image at the cover display so that the other party can see his or her own preview when shooting, or you can use this for selfie shot. You can also turn on photo history on the left so you can review the recently shot photos.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 camera app displays photos just captured on the left


The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is a very well-built foldable smartphone that I enjoy using it. The major compromise I have to accept is the different aspect ratios that result in the content displaying either too small fonts or in layouts that do not fill the screen optimally. The text displayed on the cover screen is small, while the text on the main screen cannot fill more content due to the square ratio.

I also noticed people using the Z Fold series on public transport but none of them is seen using it with the main screen unfolded,. Perhaps the unfolded screen is too big to be seen using in crowded spaces, as it lacks the privacy. Between this and the Z Flip series, I prefer the Z Fold series because I can use the device fully without the extra step of unfolding, but the Z Flip5 offers a glimpse of a larger cover screen that can interact with selected apps. Given the ability for all Samsung Galaxy devices to work with one another seamlessly through the Multi control platform, I wonder if it would be better to get a smartphone and tablet separately instead of a single foldable device that has yet to achieve the best of both worlds.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 retails in Singapore from S$2398 (256GB), visit the official website here for more info.