Folding phones were once a pipedream but Samsung changed all of that in 2019 with the release of the first Galaxy Fold. It wasn’t perfect but it was the first. Since then, we’ve watched the Galaxy Fold (and now the Flip) grow up and get better through the years. The newest models represent an expected growth but mostly refinement compared to the previous models. It might just be the first true folding phone for the masses. I took the Samsung Galaxy Fold 5 and Flip 5 for a test.

Galaxy Fold 5

The Fold is the larger of the two folding phones and it’s a great option for anyone who doesn’t mind carrying around a BIG phone. When closed, this thing feels thick. The outside screen is big enough to make it feel like a normal phone. The screen is skinnier and taller than a typical slab Android phone but usable nonetheless. It has an speedy processor and a great bright screen, everything you’d expect.

Open up the Fold, like a book, and it transforms into a small tablet. The folding screen on the inside looks better than ever before. The fold in the middle is visible at an angle but I’m amazed, as with previous models, that you really don’t even notice it when using the screen. The screen is bright and crisp and looks as good as any “regular” screen. I really love the multitasking upgrades in the Samsung software. It’s easier than ever to run two apps (even two web browsers) side by side. You can drag and drop a phone from your picture app right into a text message through. You can drag text from a website into a notepad. It feels… “refined.”

The highlight on the hardware side is the hinge, which Samsung greatly improved. This is easily the best hinge on a folding phone that Samsung has created yet. For the first time it truely closes flat. This means the two halves sit flush against each other. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t notice but it simply feels more solid. It feels like this hardware is finally all grown up.

The size will be an issue for many people who simply don’t want to carry around phone this thick or this heavy. Is the tablet inside worth it? That’s up to you.

The price might also be hard for most of us to swallow.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold 5 starts at $1,799 directly from Samsung or from most major stores. Worth it? For sure! But, that doesn’t mean we can afford it. That’s a lot of money to spend on a phone.

Galaxy Flip 5

I’m calling this the folding phone for “most” of us. The Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 is that classic flip phone form factor that we all remember from the 2000’s with the latest and greatest smartphone tech. The outside feels a bit more “squared off” than the previous model and the larger cover screen is a welcome addition.

By default you can use the included widgets for access to your calendar, weather forecast, timers, alarms, stocks, call log, contacts and Samsung health. Thankfully there is an option inside the settings/Samusng Labs section to enable full Android apps on the cover screen. This is something I loved in my review of the folding Motorola RAZR phone and I love it just as much with the Galaxy Flip. The screen is big enough that we should be able to run our apps on the outside too and frankly it makes the phone SO much more usable when closed. I think Samsung is being safe by calling it a “labs” feature but I hope it’s only a few software updates away from being an official feature.

The Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 is proof that foldable phones are here in a big way! The Flip 5 feels refined, solid and ready for primetime. When it’s open you almost wouldn’t even notice it’s a “foldable” but when it’s closed the larger screen still makes it very usable. It’s not a giant leap from the previous model but the improved hinge, larger cover screen and more cover screen software options make it feel like a worth upgrade.

The Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 is available directly from Samsung and in most retail stores starting at $999.99.