Galaxy Z Fold5, Z Flip5, Watch6, Tab S9 hands-on review

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Introduction

Samsung’s next-gen foldables are now here – the Galaxy Z Fold5 and Z Flip5 arrive with improved hinges, display tweaks, and the mandatory internal upgrades. Also new are a trio of Galaxy Tab S9 tablets and two Galaxy Watch6 models (or four, depending on how you count). An eventful Unpacked once again, then.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2023

Perhaps the biggest change in the new foldables is they now fold with no gap between the two halves – no more wedge. Samsung had been putting off a gapless design for several generations, making the bendy Galaxies appear dated and prototype-like next to a crowd of better-looking offerings from pretty much any other company that’s taken a crack at foldables. This changes with generation 5.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2023

One new development is exclusive to the Flip5 – a larger and even more useful (or, rather, finally useful) display sits on its cover, taking up almost its entirety. The cameras introduce a playful notch in one side of the screen instead of the cutouts we saw on the Razr 40 Ultra -Samsung’s solution is probably easier to make, if definitely not as cool.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2023

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 165.1×71.9×6.9mm, 187g; Plastic front (opened), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame; IPX8 water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min), Armor aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised).
  • Display: 6.70″ Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak), 1080x2640px resolution, 22:9 aspect ratio, 426ppi; Cover display:, Super AMOLED, 3.4 inches, 720 x 748 pixels (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), 306 ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740.
  • Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM; UFS 4.0.
  • OS/Software: Android 13, One UI 5.1.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 1.12µm.
  • Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1.22µm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+; Front camera: 4K@30fps.
  • Battery: 3700mAh; 25W wired, 50% in 30 min (advertised), 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless.
  • Connectivity: 5G; eSIM; Wi-Fi 6e; BT 5.3; NFC.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); stereo speakers; Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified).

The Galaxy Fold5, meanwhile, can’t boast any significant principal changes – its cover display is still taller-than-ideal, and it’s still only the internal panel that can support S Pen input. The displays are brighter, so there’s that. And, common to both phones, the crease hasn’t gotten all that more subtle – but more on that in a bit.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2023

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 154.9×129.9×6.1mm, 253g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2) (folded), plastic front (unfolded), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame; IPX8 water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min), Armor aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised), Stylus support.
  • Display: 7.60″ Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1812x2176px resolution, 10.8:9 aspect ratio, 373ppi; Cover display:, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, 6.2 inches, 904 x 2316 pixels, 23.1:9 ratio.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740.
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 1TB 12GB RAM; UFS 4.0.
  • OS/Software: Android 13, One UI 5.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 23mm, 1.0µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 12mm, 1.12µm; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.4, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom.
  • Front camera: Under-display: 4 MP, f/1.8, 2.0µm; Cover camera: Wide (main): 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm, 1/3″, 1.22µm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24fps, 4K@60fps, 1080p@60/240fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@960fps (gyro-EIS), HDR10+; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 4400mAh; 25W wired, 50% in 30 min (advertised), 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless.
  • Connectivity: 5G; eSIM; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 7; BT 5.3, aptX HD; NFC.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); stereo speakers; Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung DeX (desktop experience support), Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified), Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.

We would have appreciated some more dramatic camera upgrades, but that’s going to have to wait for another generation – sure, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 might bring its own processing refinements, but we’d take some more advanced camera hardware next time around.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2023

There are some of those on the tablets, well, sort of. The S9+ and S9 Ultra get 8MP ultrawides in place of the 6MP ones from before, but the vanilla model loses the ultrawide altogether. Nothing’s changed on the front and only the Ultra has two cameras – a regular wide next to the ultrawide that all three Galaxy Tab S9s get.

Somewhat of an important development is the Dynamic AMOLED 2X panels across the Tab S9 lineup – the vanilla model from last year had an LCD and none of the OLED panels in the range were ‘Dynamic’. Definitely an important development is the IP68 rating, on all three of the tablets – a rather unique feature in the tablet space these days.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2023

The watches, meanwhile, are back to a Classic/non-Classic split, after the one-off Pro/non-Pro arrangement from the previous generation. Each model gets two sizes, and you can choose between 43 and 47mm on the Classic and 40 and 44mm on the ‘regular’. Add BT-only and LTE versions for each, and you’re looking at 8 model-size-connectivity permutations total.

The rotating bezel marks a return on the Watch6 Classic – one of the top features of Galaxy watches, which got axed on the Watch5 generation, thankfully marks a comeback.

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Summer 2023

We got to spend some short precious minutes with all of the devices mentioned above and we have some early notes to share.

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