As the ever-expanding smartphone arms race rolls on, it becomes increasingly tough to trigger the "wow" factor that was common 10 or 15 years ago when new devices debuted.
Enter the Galaxy Z Fold 5, which reclaims that wow factor with a vengeance.
Released in August, the wondrous device seems as though it comes from the future. At a family Christmas gathering, the device sent "oohs" and "aahs" throughout the living room.
A multitasker's delight, the phone can juggle four screens running different apps simultatenously. You can easily keep an eye on the football game while tapping out texts, googling facts about players and checking out your fantasy stats, all at the same time.
It helps that the device was running on T-Mobile's stunning 5G Magenta MAX network, which pumps the gigabytes of data necessary to keep this top-tier smartphone swimming in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset-flowing waters for which it was born.
When it came time to take the customary group photo, we placed the device as an L frame, then signaled it to take the shot with a hand gesture. No one dared try to display bunny ears behind anyone else, because we could all see the image it was capturing.
At home, my 2-year-old daughter's eyes bugged out when she could watch "Yo Gabba Gabba" in vivid, larger-than-life aspect ratio when the phone opened up. Many phones have strived to be a tablet you could keep in your pocket, but the Z Fold 5 actually delivers on that lofty promise.
The camera suite is impressive, led by a 50mp stabilized main camera that sports 12mp ultrawide capabilities, as well as a 10mp 3x telephoto lens. Video records in mind-bending 8K, which you can downscale to capture 4K shots instead. There's also a nifty 4mp under-display camera that checks in for on-the-go video calling.
No gaming or streaming task I hurled at it could come close to slowing it down. Its capable battery also lived up to the task of insanely heavy use without batting an eye or heating up. One drawback is that the Z Fold 5 takes a while to charge up, but that is a small price to pay for its extended, worry-free utility.
A true pioneer among the latest and greatest of smartphone elites, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 makes you feel truly proud to possess. To use one is to also become its walkings spokesperson, giddily fielding questions from all who spot it. And when you see someone else with the Z Fold 5, you nod in a knowing, shared assurance that you have tapped into the futuristit present that Samsung has made to offer.
What a feeling, and what a phone.
T-Mobile provided unit for review.