The Motorola Razr Plus’ reign as the best flip phone might be short-lived.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is officially here, complete with a 3.4-inch cover screen — still small by modern smartphone standards but much bigger than the Z Flip 4’s 1.9-inch front display. There’s a new hinge design that closes totally flat, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset tuned for Samsung, and 256GB of storage in the base model. Even with these substantial upgrades, it’s still $999. That puts it toe-to-toe with Motorola’s new Razr Plus — also $999 with 256GB of storage. But given Samsung’s experience making folding phones and some of the hardware upgrades included in this year’s Z Flip, the Razr Plus is in a tough spot.
The Z Flip 5’s inner screen is unchanged — it’s a 6.7-inch 1080p OLED panel with a refresh rate up to 120Hz. The outer screen is a 720p OLED with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. Samsung is rebranding this screen as the “Flex Display,” and it covers most of the phone’s front panel, excluding the two large camera cutouts. That’s a different approach than Motorola took with the Razr Plus — its front screen flows around the cameras and thus measures slightly bigger at 3.6 inches.
The new “teardrop”-style hinge on the Z Flip and Fold solves one of the series’ persistent problems: rather than leaving a gap near the hinge when folded, the two sides of the phone now close flat. Samsung also says the new hinge is more durable and that its double-rail design can better handle an impact from a drop.
The Flip 5 is rated IPX8, like its predecessor, and is protected against full water immersion — up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. The Razr Plus claims some dust resistance with an IP52 rating but is merely splash-resistant. Samsung doesn’t claim any official level of dust resistance but does include some measures designed to minimize the risk of dust intrusion. In either case, dust is very bad news for a folding phone, so it’s best to be careful with a folding phone around sand or dust, IP rating or not.
Like the Razr Plus, the Z Flip 5 populates its cover screen with small-screen-friendly widgets but also lets you run full apps if you want. Samsung supports running full apps, too, but puts this feature in its Good Lock app so you’ll have to go looking for it if that’s something you want. But you don’t have to be that adventurous to take advantage of the new cover screen: it offers a full-size keyboard so you can respond to texts, whereas you could only send a few prewritten responses on the Flip 4.
Other specs remain unchanged: there’s a 3,700mAh battery, 25W wired and 15W wireless charging, and 8GB of RAM. There’s still a 12-megapixel f/1.8 main rear camera with optical image stabilization — with improved lens coatings this year to reduce flare — plus a 12-megapixel ultrawide and a 10-megapixel selfie camera on the inner display.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Z Flip 5 spells serious trouble for the Motorola Razr Plus. In addition to the lower water resistance rating, the Razr Plus has a Snapdragon chipset that’s a generation behind the 8 Gen 2 in the Z Flip 5. Motorola has a lot of nostalgic charm with its Razr branding, but Samsung has a lot more reps under its belt going into its fifth generation of folding phones. Motorola might just need to make a move on price if it wants to entice prospective flip phone buyers.
Regardless of what Motorola does, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is coming in hot — preorders start today, and it arrives on August 11th in mint, graphite, cream, and lavender. If you order from Samsung.com, you’ll have a few more exclusive color options to choose from: blue, gray, green, and yellow.