Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Everything we’ve come to expect from Samsung’s next foldable device
It’s the biggest change we’ll see in the successor to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (probably called the Galaxy Z Fold 5). More software features using the folding form. It’s great to have a giant screen that fits in your pocket. But Samsung needs to make a stronger case if it wants foldable devices to attract more than early adopters.
The Galaxy Z Fold is in its fourth generation, but foldable phones still haven’t had the breakthrough moment Samsung was hoping for. According to the forecasts of the International Data Corporation, although the sales of folding smartphones will increase, in 2022 they will make up only 1.1% of the total mobile market.
Samsung usually releases its new foldable phones in August. Here’s everything we’ll see from next year’s Galaxy Z Fold 5.
More software features
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 offers a huge screen that fits in your pocket. But it takes more than that to attract customers. James Martin/CNET
Yes, the design of the Galaxy Z Fold makes it stand out. But impressive hardware doesn’t mean much without the software that comes with it. Samsung has done a lot to improve the performance of apps on the Z Fold’s 7.6-inch internal display since its launch. For example, the Z Fold 4 has a dock that sits at the bottom of the screen for quick access to apps, as well as the ability to use the bottom half of the screen as a touch panel in Flex mode.
The problem is that these features don’t do a great job of convincing users why they should want a foldable phone in the first place. Instead, they make the process of using apps on the Z Fold a bit easier and more convenient.
We don’t think any company has adequately answered this question, but we’ve seen a few promising attempts. For example, Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 turns into an e-book complete with page-turning animations when you open the Kindle app. However, it’s important to remember that the Surface Duo is different from the Z Fold because it consists of two separate screens connected by a hinge. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a better phone overall thanks to a more sophisticated camera department and smoother software upgrades, among other benefits.
Samsung was among the first companies to release a foldable smartphone, which means it has had it longer than most of its competitors in the field. Therefore, we hope to see more ambitious features from Samsung in future versions of the Galaxy Z Fold.
Built-in S Pen
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 support the S Pen, but you have to buy it separately. Patrick Holland/CNET
The S Pen could help Samsung answer the question of who the Galaxy Z Fold is for. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and 4 both support the S Pen, but you have to buy it separately and there’s no storage mechanism for it. Instead, Samsung is expected to include the S Pen in the Galaxy Z Fold 5, adding a convenient way to store or attach it to the device.
This can make the Galaxy Z Fold 5 more useful for taking notes, drawing and editing documents. That might not matter to everyone, but it could make the Z Fold more appealing to the productivity-focused crowd Samsung is targeting. It will also make the Z Fold’s higher price tag a little easier to swallow, as you’ll get more bang for your buck.
Samsung has not discussed its plans for the Galaxy Z Fold series. But a report Electricity Samsung said it has identified adding a slot for the S Pen stylus as a key challenge to make foldable devices more popular. This means that Samsung might at least consider including the S Pen in future foldable devices.
Less visible wrinkles
The folding of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is still visible. James Martin/CNET
Samsung has gradually improved the Z Fold’s design over the years, but the wrinkle still hasn’t gone away. Although not always visible, you may feel a crease when you run your finger over the screen. By reducing the fold, the Galaxy Z Fold looks more like a regular tablet when opened.
Samsung may be the leader when it comes to foldable phones, but other companies are moving fast when it comes to reducing wrinkles. Take Huawei and Oppo, one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers.
Huawei’s Mate XS 2’s screen wraps around the front of the device so that it can function like a regular phone when folded and a tablet when unfolded—those design wrinkles are almost non-existent. We recently tested Oppo’s new Find N2, which takes on the Galaxy Z Fold format, but the fold is almost invisible. These developments make us wish to see more progress from Samsung in this regard. Given the report, it is likely that the South Korean firm will try to solve this problem Electricity it also shows that he is interested in reducing the wrinkle.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 still looks thick when closed. James Martin/CNET
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a solid build and a wide screen. But it remains difficult to use it like a normal smartphone when closed. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is 0.5-0.6 inches thick when folded, while the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S22 are about 0.3 inches thick. This additional bulk may not bother those who primarily use the unlocked Galaxy Z Fold in tablet mode. But it’s another barrier to adoption for those not yet sold on the promise of foldable phones.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is significantly more expensive than your regular non-folding phone at a normal price. James Martin/CNET
With an entry ticket set at 1,799 euros, calling the Galaxy Z Fold 4 expensive is not easy to understand. “This is certainly a problem that we have and will have to deal with”TM Roh, president and CEO of MX Business, said about the Z Fold’s pricing position in an interview with CNET earlier this year.
Changes like this can push builders a little more making foldable smartphones an alternative to our everyday devices. Samsung helped popularize the big-screen phones we use today with the first Galaxy Note phone in 2011. The company is trying to do the same with foldable devices, but there are clearly still challenges ahead.
CNET.com article adapted from CNET France
Feature image: James Martin/CNET.com