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TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience business at Samsung Electronics, comes into focus at the Galaxy Unpacked event in Seoul yesterday. PIC: ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK


Samsung Flips and
Folds for BTS

The competition was fierce: Suga from BTS almost stole the show, but the Flip5 and Fold5 won the day at Galaxy Unpacked, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

The screaming of K-Pop fans started long before the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 and Z Fold5 were unveiled at the COEX hall in Gangnam-Gu district in Seoul, Korea, yesterday. That was a clue that there was a competing attraction on the night, and they don’t come bigger than BTS, the most influential Korean pop group of all time.

Sure enough, BTS rapper Suga made his appearance, and took his seat as a guest at the launch but did not perform or participate. Which was just as well, as there would probably not have been any attention left for the main attraction of the night.

In the first Galaxy Unpacked launch held in Seoul, Samsung’s home base, the fifth generation of Galaxy foldable handsets was unveiled by TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience business at Samsung Electronics. The Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5, he said, offered unique experiences for every user with sleek and compact designs, and numerous customisation options.

In particular, a new Flex Hinge enhances the foldable experience, while offering an aesthetically balanced and solid design. It also unlocks new photographic options, with FlexCam allowing photos to be taken from creative angles.

“Samsung is revolutionising the mobile industry with foldables by setting the standard and continually refining the experience,” said Roh. “Every day, more people choose our foldables because they offer an experience people want that they can’t get on any other device.”

One significant design change stands out for each of the two devices. On the Flip5, a new and bigger Flex Window on the closed device allows both more content creation options and easier access to key content and notifications.

On the Fold5, the improved engineering of the hinge means that the two halves of the screen now fold flush together, compared to the small, angled gap that they left on the Fold4. The big selling point of the Fold5, of course, is the seamless multitasking it allows.

By sheer coincidence, on my flight out of South Africa, I spotted a passenger with a Fold4, and asked him how he liked it. He said it had changed his business travel life. He was always on a plane, and finally could travel without a laptop or tablet, as the Fold gave him the all-screen real estate and multitasking capabilities he needed.

Clearly, it is not hype. But there is also much more to the devices.

Samsung provided the following information:

Both Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 are carefully designed to meet durability expectations. The main screen is equipped with a shock dispersion layer and a redesigned back for a more solid display. Along with IPX8 support, Armor Aluminum frames, and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus®2 applied to both the Flex Window and back cover, Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 provide the protection consumers expect, enhanced further by Flex Hinge. This new integrated hinge module features a dual rail structure, diffusing external impacts.

Galaxy Z Flip5

The Galaxy Z Flip5 delivers a stylish, unique foldable experience from a pocket-sized device built for self-expression.

The new Flex Window, now 3.78 times larger than the previous generation, offers a wide range of existing and new capabilities. It provides more customisation options, including informative and graphical clocks that can match the face design of a user’s Galaxy Watch6 series, as well as stylish frames. In addition, Galaxy Z Flip5’s new Flipsuit Case provides device protection with a changeable NFC card, so users can match their Flex Window design and case design for even more personalisation options.

Closed, the Galaxy Z Flip5 offers more usability than ever before. From the Flex Window, quickly and effortlessly access useful information. With Widgets, users can check the weather, control music playback and listen to their favorite music with Media Controller, or catch up on the latest global stock market updates with the Google Finance widget.

Simply view all Widgets at a glance and switch between them instantly with a pinch of the screen to activate Multi Widget View. Plus, easily check notifications and access Quick Settings for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Without ever opening the device, browse through call history to return missed calls, and reply to texts on-the-go using Quick Reply with a full QWERTY keyboard and visibility of chat history. With a quick swipe up on the screen, access Samsung Wallet to pay on-the-go, access QR codes and coupons, as well as boarding passes, membership cards, digital keys and health passes.

With its unparalleled design and form factor, Galaxy Z Flip5 also offers the most versatile camera experience on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Take high-quality selfies with the rear camera thanks to the larger Flex Window. Users can capture stunning hands-free photos from creative angles with FlexCam.

It’s quick and simple to view and edit shots in Flex Mode too. Users can review, adjust the colour tone, or delete images easily with the Quick View in the Flex Window. When taking a photo of a friend, Dual Preview lets them see themselves in the Flex Window so they can make adjustments in real time for the perfect shot. Users can get a smooth shot on the go with camera-stabilising Super Steady, while Auto Framing ensures that no one is left out.

The Galaxy Z Flip5 adds AI solution improvements to the powerful camera experience, bringing every photo to life. Get creative, even in low light, with improved Nightography capabilities that optimise photos and videos in ambient lighting conditions. The AI-powered image signal processing (ISP) algorithm corrects any visual noise that typically spoils low-light images while enhancing details and colour tone. Even from a distance, photos are clearer with the digital 10X zoom.

Galaxy Z Fold5

Offering an immersive, large screen and a long-lasting battery in the thinnest, lightest Fold yet, Galaxy Z Fold5 is easy to take anywhere, while delivering the most powerful performance in the Galaxy Z series.

The Galaxy Z Fold has been a pioneer in transforming everyday productivity through a robust, big screen experience, evolving from Multi Window and App Continuity to a wide range of features including Taskbar, drag and drop, and optimisation of third-party apps.

S Pen Fold Edition introduced in the third generation Fold in 2021, has also been fine-tuned to deliver a superior writing experience on Galaxy Z Fold5. These features and tools come together to deliver powerful productivity on a large screen and enable users to complete important tasks from anywhere.

The improved Taskbar enables dynamic productivity by allowing users to quickly switch between frequently used apps. Now up to four recent apps are at the ready for more efficient working. Newly enhanced two-handed drag and drop can also ramp up productivity when moving content between apps and screens. Simply touch and hold an image in Samsung Gallery with one finger and use another finger to open the Samsung Notes app to drag-and-drop the image. With hidden pop-up, an app can continue running in the background, allowing users to watch video content in full screen and chat with friends in a floating pop-up on the side of the screen.

The new slimmer and more compact S Pen Fold Edition makes real-time annotating and ideation easy while being able to fit more comfortably in the pocket. The Slim S Pen Case is nearly the same thickness as a regular case for the Fold and available in a variety of styles and colours so users can carry their S Pens in style.

Helping users do more on the go, the 7.6-inch Main Screen provides expansive and uninterrupted viewing so users can enjoy their favorite movie in portrait or landscape. Plus, peak brightness has increased by more than 30%, up to 1750 nits, for an optimal viewing experience outdoors even under bright sunlight.

Providing users with an immersive gaming experience on the largest Galaxy smartphone screen, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy enhances graphics and uses AI to enable dynamic gaming and multi-game functionality. The Galaxy Z Fold5 can comfortably handle marathon gaming sessions with its advanced cooling system that dissipates heat more intelligently for less lag and no drop in performance.


The Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 will be available for pre-order.

Galaxy Z Flip5 colours include Mint, Graphite, Cream, and Lavender, as well as a range of accessories, including a Clear Gadget Case, Flap Eco-Leather Case, Flipsuit Case and easy-to-carry Silicone Case with Ring to create a more personalised look. Its recommended retail price is R29,999.

The Galaxy Z Fold5 is available in Icy Blue, Phantom Black, and Cream, along with a variety of cases, including a Slim S Pen Case, Clear Gadget Case, Eco-Leather Case, and a Standing Case with Strap. It starts at R45 999.

Galaxy Z Fold5

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