The Galaxy Z Flip 5G adds something left out of the original Samsung Galaxy Z Flip that debuted this past February. That phone easily bested other foldable devices, proving to be better designed than both the Galaxy Fold and Motorola Razr. But it also lacked 5G connectivity from an otherwise impressive spec sheet.
If you've been lamenting the lack of a 5G version of the Z Flip, fret no more — that's exactly what you'll find in the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, along with a few other changes.
Here's everything we know about the phone, including its price, availability, features, and whether or not there's a Galaxy Z Flip 2 in the works.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Price and availability
Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip 5G in July, ahead of the August 5 event where the phone maker showed off the Galaxy Note 20 and teased the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The Z Zlip is now on sale for $1,449, which is about $70 more than the original Galaxy Z Flip cost.
Both AT&T and T-Mobile are selling the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. The phone is not on sale from Verizon, since it lacks the antennas to connect to that carrier's mmWave-based network. Best Buy is selling the Galaxy Z Flip 5G as well, and you can knock $50 off the cost by activating the phone at purchase.
Even with the higher price, the 5G version of the Galaxy Z Flip still costs less than the Motorola Razr, which only connects with LTE networks. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G also costs less than the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which also sports 5G connectivity and a $1,999 price tag.
What about the Galaxy Z Flip 2?
While Samsung hasn't said so officially, it's clear the phone maker decided to call this new device the Galaxy Z Flip 5G because it's essentially the same phone as the one that it introduced in the spring time, as we'll see below when we discuss specs. But could Samsung be developing a true sequel to the Galaxy Z Flip?
Almost certainly. And while Samsung hasn't been shy about introducing new versions of products quickly — the Galaxy Watch Active 2 came out just six months after its predecessor, for example — we wouldn't expect big changes to the Galaxy Z Flip lineup until next spring at the earliest. That's when we could see a Galaxy Z Flip 2 with different camera specs and possibly even a modified design (though the basic flip phone model seems to be working for Samsung).
We think Samsung will roll out a Galaxy Z Flip 2 in February at it next Unpacked event for the Galaxy S30 (or the Galaxy S21, if you prefer). We don’t have a lot of evidence to go on for what features a Galaxy Z Flip 2 might add with the exception of a possible camera upgrade. A patent depicted a couple of possible three-camera arrays for a Galaxy Z Flip 2 that would presumably add a telephoto lens to the existing standard and ultra wide lenses.
As for what we would like to see, a slightly larger exterior display for the Galaxy Z Flip 2 would improve that user experience and allow you to open the main display even less frequently. This would also help with the battery life, the other feature we would like to see Samsung address in any Galaxy Z Flip follow-up.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: 5G connectivity
Because of the current state of 5G in the US, not only do all of the networks not offer the exact same 5G coverage options but not every 5G device offers the same 5G support.
Take the the Galaxy S20. The version that came debuted initially only worked with sub-6GHz 5G, which is what makes up the bulk of 5G coverage for AT&T and T-Mobile. A special version of the Galaxy S20 for Verizon’s mmWave-based 5G network only debuted in June. Those mmWave antennas take up additional space on a phone, and space is not exactly in abundance in the Galaxy Z Flip’s compact design.
Considering the biggest advantage to buying a 5G device at this stage is to future-proof your device for improved 5G networks, paying up up for a phone with limited 5G support doesn’t seem like a great investment. And the fact that only AT&T and T-Mobile are offering this phone suggests that we'll have to wait for a version that can work with Verizon's mmWave-based network.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: What's new
The main change to the Galaxy Z Flip 5G is right there in the title — 5G connectivity. But there are other changes as well you should know about.
pic.twitter.com/vdHgDADPUuJuly 10, 2020
The 5G connectivity comes courtesy of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 Plus, a new processor introduced this summer. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G is among the first phones to feature this new chipset, though Samsung has since added it to the Galaxy Note 20 lineup as well as the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Gaming devices like the ROG 3 phone from Asus use the Snapdragon 865 as well.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5G comes in two new colors: Mystic Bronze (which was first tipped in the teaser video above) and Mystic Gray. Previous versions of the phone came in Mirror Black, Mirror Purple and Mirror Gold.
The other big changes in the Galaxy Z Flip 5G involve improvements to the Flex mode and multitasking capabilities of the foldable phone. In Flex mode, you can split the screen in half to perform different tasks — using the top half of the Z Flip as a view finder for the Camera app, say, and the bottom half for controls. On the Z Flip 5G, you can reverse which side of the split display handles which task.
As for multitasking, you'll be able to open and access two apps at once using App Pair in the phone's Multi-Window tray. That tray is now integrated with the Edge Panel, so you'll have access to more apps.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: What hasn't changed
The most surprising thing to stay the same on the Galaxy Z Flip 5G is the phone's battery. It's the same 3,300 mAh power pack as before. That's interesting because the Galaxy Z Flip wasn't exactly a long-lasting phone to begin with, even if it outperformed the Motorola Razr on our battery test. Still, the original Z Flip ran out of power after 8 hours and 16 minutes of continuous web surfing, which is below average for a phone. With 5G connectivity consuming more power, we're interested to see what happens to the Galaxy Z Flip 5G's longevity.
Both the RAM and internal storage remain the same — 8GB and 256GB. You also get the same dual 12MP cameras on the outside of the phone and a 10MP selfie cam when you unfold the Galaxy Z Flip.
The 5G model weighs the same as before — 6.5 ounces — and it still unfolds into a 6.6 x 2.9 x 0.28-inch handset. It's a more compact 3.4 x 2.9 x 0.61-0.68 inches when folded shut.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Outlook
While our opinion could change once we test the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the Galaxy Z Flip has been the best foldable phone we've seen thus far, thanks to it solid construction, modern smartphone specs, and some clever use of the folding screen beyond simply the form factor and gee-whiz factor of a folding phone. It’s also the least expensive of the true foldables on the market right now and while that’s not a low bar to get under, it is certainly a point in its favor.
The Z Flip 5G costs more, but not so much more that it puts the foldable device even further out of reach. The big question for most users will be how much they crave 5G connectivity in a foldable device. If the answer is yes, than the Galaxy Z Flip 5G should meet that demand — at least if you use AT&T or T-Mobile for wireless coverage.