Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip is the best foldable we’ve tested so far this year, and it’s a little odd to see that sentiment in writing — it feels like we published that review a lifetime ago, not five months back. What’s more peculiar is just how quickly Samsung cooked up a new version of its charming foldable flip phone. The company officially announced the Galaxy Z Flip 5G this morning, and as its name suggests, the device packs the next-generation network support the original missed out on.
The first Galaxy Z Flip used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, a sliver of computing silicon that was about a year old when Samsung squeezed it into its second foldable. We didn’t have any issues with how the chipset’s octa-core processor ran, but it was a generation older than what we got in the Galaxy S20 series and couldn’t play nice with 5G networks — not exactly a great look for a $1,380 phone. The new, $1,450 Z Flip 5G remedies that by using the Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset instead, making this new model at least marginally faster than the S20s we got earlier this year. (We’ll let you know how much faster when we can; this will be one of the first 865+ phones to hit the US.)
Samsung hasn’t confirmed if it will continue to sell the original Z Flip alongside the 5G model, but we’ll update this story once we know for sure either way. We do know, however, that AT&T and T-Mobile will be selling the phone starting on August 7th, alongside Amazon and Best Buy.com. For now at least, that means Samsung is focused on getting the Z Flip 5G into the hands of customers connecting to more widely available sub-6 5G networks, rather than the hyper-local mmWave deployments carriers like Verizon initially focused on. It’s worth noting though that the Snapdragon 865+ actually plays nice with both kinds of 5G networks, so it seems the only things stopping a new Z Flip from showing up on Verizon store shelves are some handshakes and signed agreements.
Apart from all that, the rest of the Z Flip formula hasn’t changed much. There’s still a tiny, 1.1-inch LCD screen on top of the phone — or on its back, depending on how you look at it — and its dual battery capacity is still locked at 3,300mAh. That’s not to say Samsung just swapped chipsets and called it a day, though. The biggest physical difference between the original versions and these new models are their colors: The Z Flip 5G comes in Mystic Gray and the same Mystic Bronze we’ve seen in all those Galaxy Note 20 leaks. And these new Z Flips pack updated software features, like a new Multi-window panel that makes it easier to launch two apps on top of each other, and the ability to run YouTube in Flex Mode. (Presumably, these tweaks will land on the older Z Flip via software update soon enough.)
As usual, a bevy of pre-launch leaks means the Z Flip 5G’s existence wasn’t much of a secret. What’s more surprising is Samsung’s timing: It seems unusual for the company to be talking about its foldable plans right now, with Unpacked set to unfold in a web browser near you in just a few weeks. On the other hand, though, today’s announcement may have just made Samsung’s Unpacked agenda more obvious.
Tae-moon Roh, president and head of Samsung’s mobile communications business, wrote in a recent blog post that the company plans to announce “five new power devices” during the streamed event. The current list of leaks either confirms or strongly suggests that some Galaxy Notes, a Galaxy Watch, some bean-shaped earbuds and a new Galaxy Tab to take on the iPad Pro will be among the devices Samsung reveals on August 5th — now that the Z Flip 5G is official, it may be that Samsung’s last big Unpacked reveal will be the next-generation Galaxy Fold. Or not. There might not be a “last big reveal” if one of those five slots is technically occupied by something like a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra instead, but we’re hopeful that Samsung isn’t done talking about new foldables just yet.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- Processor-Octa-core Snapdragon 865+
- RAM / storage-8GB/256GB
- MicroSD card support-N/A
- Main Display-6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex
- Display resolution-2,636 x 1,080 (21.9:9)
- External Display-1.1-inch Super AMOLED
- Display resolution-300 x 112
- Rear cameras-12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, 12MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera with Super Speed Dual Pixel AF and OIS
- Front-facing camera-10MP f/2.4 camera
- OS-Android 10 with One UI 2.0
- Charging-USB-C, supports QuickCharge 2.0 and Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
- Dimensions-73.6 x 87.4 x 17.3-15.4mm (closed), 73.6 x 167.3 x 7.2-6.9mm (closed)
- Fingerprint sensor
- Yes, side-mounted
- Headphone jack-No
- 5G-Yes, sub-6 (also mmWave compatible)