The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G is one of our favorite phones of 2020 because it’s futuristic and downright fun to use. The newer 5G model offers significant performance improvements over its predecessor that make it worth the $80 premium. However, it’s still somewhat difficult to recommend because of its high price tag and middling cameras.
When Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip 5G six months after its predecessor’s release, it seemed like a logical move for the company to add 5G to their most pocket-friendly foldable phone. Aside from the increase in network speeds, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G offers improved performance and a slightly different look. But is it worth the $80 premium to get the 5G model over the non-5G model? Because the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Flip 5G are nearly identical in most aspects, for this review we’ll be focusing on the Galaxy Z Flip 5G’s network speeds, performance, and its slightly different looks.
Double the network speeds
We tested both the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Z Flip on AT&T’s network in New York City. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G averaged downloads speeds of 88.7 Mbps and 12.3 Mbps up. In comparison, the older Galaxy Z Flip averaged 41 Mbps down and 11 Mbps up. That means that by being able to take advantage of AT&T’s 5G network, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G offers 117% faster download speeds, and that is certainly a huge difference. Furthermore, we expect AT&T’s 5G network to become even faster over time, and that certainly makes the Galaxy Z Flip 5G more future proof. That said, the Galaxy Z Flip’s LTE speeds are going to be more than adequate for most users.
Performance is significantly better
The original Galaxy Z Flip comes running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, while the newer Galaxy Z Flip 5G runs on Qualcomm’s latest flagship chipset – the 865+, which is optimized for 5G. In day to day use, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G is indeed noticeably peppier, but the Galaxy Z Flip is certainly no slouch. When it comes to benchmarks, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G scored a 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme – OpenGL ES 3.1 benchmark score that is 27% faster than its predecessor. Similarly, with GeekBench’s Single-core score, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G showed a 27% performance bump over its predecessor. Those benchmarks certainly translate to a significant performance benefit with the 5G model, but once again, the Snapdragon 855 processor that is powering the first-gen Galaxy Z Flip is certainly no slouch. However, if you’re a gamer, the 5G model is certainly worth the $80 premium.
It’s easier to grip
The first-gen Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is available in a choice of mirror purple or mirror black. In particular, the purple option is especially eye-catching but the mirror finish makes the device super slippery to hold, which is pretty horrifying when you consider how expensive and relatively fragile the device is. The 5G model on the other hand, comes in a choice of mystic bronze and mystic grey. It’s also 0.1mm thicker at the hinge but weighs the same 183g as the non-5G model. More importantly, because the finish on the Galaxy Z Flip 5G isn’t a mirror finish, but it is a satiny matte finish, it ends up offering a much better grip. Overall, the 5G model’s finish also provides it with a more refined and sophisticated look.
Battery life is pretty much the same
Battery life on the Galaxy Z Flip has proven to be more or less the same as the non 5G model. To that effect, we’ve been getting about 5 hours of screen on time.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is one of our favorite phones of 2020 because it’s futuristic and downright fun to use. To that effect, despite its shortcomings, we’re very much enjoying using this phone. Unfortunately, it’s still somewhat difficult to recommend because of its high price tag and middling camera. In any case, the Galaxy Z Flip offers significant improvements for an $80 price increase. But most folks will be happy with the non 5G model which recently dropped in price to just $1149 on Amazon. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G ordinarily retails for $1449 but it’s currently available at Best Buy for $1399.