Flip 5 propped open

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its latest batch of foldable phones, tablets, and watches during the company’s Unpacked event, and there was no question that the upgrades this year are rather tame compared to previous times.

Also: Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a new screen layering design, and it’s a big deal

The biggest change has to do with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, which powers the foldable and tablets. Improvements to the displays across the lineup are great, too. But a deeper dive into the Galaxy Z Flip 5, in particular, shows that something is missing in action. Correction: Still missing in action.

Samsung DeX was first introduced with the Galaxy S8 series as a docking feature that turned the phone into a full-on desktop experience when connected to a monitor. No other hardware was needed besides the phone, the docking pad, and the display.

Over the years, Samsung’s upgraded the feature so that users can connect to monitors wirelessly and even access DeX mode right from Galaxy tablets. Phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Z Fold 5 support the feature, but, the Z Flip, not so much. Even with this year’s more competent processor, I can confirm that the Z Flip 5 does not have the option to toggle on DeX mode. 

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 vs. Motorola Razr Plus: Comparing the best flip phones

Samsung reasons this omission with the lack of thermal capability. Considering how compact the Z Flip is, and with the latest model featuring a larger external display, the fear of the phone overheating from constantly powering a monitor is sensible. 

But if you were hoping that this year’s flip phone would be the smallest phone-to-desktop device yet, you may have to wait a little longer before that becomes an actual thing.


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