The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 5G is another ambitious laptop from Samsung looking to stake a claim as being one of the best laptops around – and with 5G connectivity, a screen that folds right over, and a built-in stylus, we'd say that it just about succeeds in that aim.
Even besides those features separating it from standard laptop fare, the Book Flex2 5G impresses. We've got enough power here to please most users aside from serious gamers, for example, and a fantastic-looking screen (as we've come to expect from Samsung).
This is the slightly tweaked 5G-enabled version of the Galaxy Book Flex rather than a true successor to that laptop, so if you don't need the always-on connectivity, the standard Flex is an option. Read on for our full review and all the details you need to be aware of.
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 5G review: screen and design
Full marks to Samsung for what it's managed to do with the design and build of the Galaxy Book Flex2 5G, because this is a seriously well-made little laptop – and of course you get that versatile flex feature, so you can fold the display right over and use it as a (rather bulky) tablet, complete with a 13MP camera on the back (on the keyboard, in other words). The versatility of Windows helps here, as Microsoft's operating system is now very comfortable dealing with both tablet and laptop form factors.
We like the brushed metal finish that Samsung has made use of here, and the stylus is another plus point, as long as you think you're going to use it (it slots rather conveniently right into the keyboard). The typing experience is a little on the spongy side but it's perfectly fine, and we had no problems typing quickly or making use of the trackpad. It would be nice if the trackpad was a little bit bigger, but then you lose the overall portability, and in general we've got very little to complain about, design-wise.
The 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel QLED display is a fine-looking panel as well – bright, sharp, and as vibrant as you would expect from a Samsung screen. It's perfect for working on the details of images or sitting back and watching some movies, and videos look vivid and smooth (the AKG-engineered speakers sound pretty good too). The bezels aren't ultra-thin but they're perfectly acceptable, and up at the top there's a built-in 720p webcam you can use for your video calls.
This isn't the thinnest laptop we've ever tested but you wouldn't exactly call it bulky – and it does find room for a full HDMI out port, as well as a Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB-C port, a USB-A port and a headphone out/mic-in combo jack. It feels a well-built, robust laptop too, with a slightly blocky feel that makes you think it's going to last you a long time. At a weight of 1.26 kg (2.78 lbs), it's not too heavy either.
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Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 5G review: performance and features
Our review unit came with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, though there is an alternative i5-1135G7 option as well. You get 8GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of internal storage too. Those are very decent specs for an everyday laptop, and unless you're a gamer (Intel Iris Xe graphics are on board) or a serious video editor then the Galaxy Book Flex2 5G is likely to offer all the power you need. There's a fingerprint sensor built into the keyboard for easy Windows login access.
The Galaxy Book Flex2 5G breezed through just about every challenge we set it, from heavy duty image editing to working with dozens of open browser tabs at once – though it is worth mentioning that the fans do come on a lot, even if they're very quiet. Heat was never a problem though, even with the low-level whirring of the fans. You can get away with some casual gaming too, on older titles with the settings dialled down, but this isn't a powerhouse in that department.
Then there's that 5G connectivity, if you pop a SIM card in: it's the first laptop we've seen with the next-gen tech, and if 5G has arrived in your area, you might well get better speeds from it than you will from your home broadband (it will of course fall back to 4G if there isn't any 5G around). Being able to connect to cellular networks when Wi-Fi is unavailable is a real help for working on the go, and if you throw in support for the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 options, you're well covered when it comes to connectivity.
Our two-hour video streaming battery test – maximum display brightness, low volume – knocked the battery level down from 100 percent to 81 percent, suggesting an impressive 10 or 11 hours of streaming overall. More generally, this is a laptop that will comfortably last a working day away from a power source, so as long as you manage to keep it charged every night (or indeed constantly plugged in) you won't have anything to worry about in the battery life department.
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Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 5G review: price and verdict
The Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 5G has some very interesting features: 5G, an integrated stylus, a 360-degree display hinge, a fingerprint sensor, and a camera built into the keyboard (which turns into a rear camera when you're in tablet mode). This laptop is pretty much unique in offering all those features together and once, and if you think you're going to make some serious use of them, then the Galaxy Book Flex2 5G is a portable computer that we're happy to recommend.
If you won't use the 5G, the stylus or the rotating hinge though, you might be better off looking elsewhere – take those bonus features away and the high price of this laptop gets harder to justify. Sure, it has some very decent specs, an excellent screen, good battery life and an appealing design, but so do a lot of other laptops that are more affordable. The Galaxy Book Flex2 5G is worth the price, but only if you're going to make the most of it.
Our experience of using the laptop was a very positive one overall, from the cushioned feel of the keyboard to the experience of sitting back and watching some films on the QLED screen. Laptop aesthetics are something of a subjective choice, but we like the design of the Galaxy Book Flex2 5G as well, and it's certainly versatile in terms of what you can do with it – remember the display is a touchscreen panel as well.
When it comes to the best laptops of the moment, the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 5G is definitely worthy of a place on that list. Whether it's the perfect laptop for you really depends on whether you want a stylus to jab at the screen, and always-on connectivity that can reach blazing fast 5G speeds (if there happens to be a tower in range). With a lot of pluses and very few minuses, this is a fantastic – albeit expensive – Samsung laptop.
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