The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 are finally getting good – or at least noticeably better than their predecessors.
As far as the tablet-style foldable Galaxy Z Fold 5 is concerned, leaks and renders indicate that the 5th gen Samsung Fold will be the first one able to close shut (without leaving a gap) thanks to an upgraded hinge mechanism, which should (on theory) also make the crease in the middle of the interior display less noticeable than that on the Galaxy Z Fold 4.On the other hand, the biggest upgrade to the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a new 3.4-inch cover display, which should be large enough to let you use the clamshell foldable without even opening it (for example, for Google Maps navigation).
Without a doubt, those are some big hardware upgrades that should make a tangible difference when you’re using the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, and I’m thrilled to see Samsung (finally) address some of the biggest shortcomings of its foldables. However, I can’t help but notice a pattern here, and the pattern is that Samsung seems to be somewhat lazy when it comes to bringing major hardware upgrades to its foldables.
Most certainly, the reason for Samsung’s slow paced hardware upgrades is the fact that the company didn’t have any “real” competition in the foldable scene. Sure, Huawei makes incredible foldables but they don’t run Google apps, while most of the remaining folding phones have been exclusive to China up until recently. But you can already see where I’m going with this…
The truth is that Samsung’s foldables are no longer the sole competitors in the international folding phone world, and 2023 might prove to be a turning point for the South Korean company, but also for those looking to buy a folding phone. Samsung’s “slow innovation” days better be over soon, because the competition is coming in hot!
Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 finally getting really good but why did it take five years to get here? Apple’s “slow innovation” strategy – bad influence on Samsung
Huawei didn’t have the expertise to make a hinge that allows the Mate X2 (right) to fold flat but it came up with the ingenious idea to make the two halves of the phone asymmetrical, so when you close it, this one’s completely shut. That’s the kind of innovation Samsung has been lacking for years now.
So, sure… The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 will now be able to close shut, while the Flip is also getting a much larger cover display. However, considering this has already been done by a number of other phone-makers, I’m struggling to get properly impressed by Samsung’s “monumental achievement”.
For example, Huawei’s very first Mate X foldable (2020) was already able to close shut without leaving a gap, and the same applies to Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, and Google’s first tablet-style foldables. The gapless closing mechanism isn’t only aesthetically pleasing but also very important for durability as it makes sure random objects like keys, coins, dust, and other small particles won’t get caught between the internal display and break it.
- Huawei’s first inner folding phone, the Huawei Mate X2, weighed a whopping 295g, but the upgraded Huawei Mate X3 smashed all records by dropping that weight to 239g, making it the lightest folding phone on the market; the Mate X3 is lighter than an iPhone 14 Pro Max thanks to a 56g weight reduction, which is the current record in a single upgrade cycle
- Xiaomi’s first foldable, the Xiaomi Mix Fold arrived as the heaviest device of its kind, at 317g, but Xiaomi redeemed itself big time with the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2, which weighs only 262g – that’s 44g less than the previous Xiaomi Mix Fold
Slow innovation on Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 will be met by fierce competition from Google, OnePlus, Motorola, Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei: The wake-up call Samsung always needed?
Many tech insiders believe the OnePlus V Fold might steal Samsung’s thunder this year. Perhaps that’s the wake-up call Samsung always needed?
I’ve tried to keep this story shorter than usual, so I’m cutting to the natural question, which is: Why did it take Samsung five generations to give its folding phones hardware upgrades other foldables have had for years? Sure, the lack of competition was incredibly convenient for the South Korean company but it seems like Apple’s “slow innovation” strategy (which Samsung decided to borrow for its folding series) is about to give in.
With phones like the Motorola Razr+, Google Pixel Fold, and the upcoming (international variants) of the OnePlus V Fold and Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 on the way, Samsung’s lazy approach to upgrades will have to change – at least if the company wants to remain competitive. Of course, (if it happened) that’d be awesome for those looking to buy a Galaxy Z Fold 6, which is already rumored to see the biggest shift in design since the Galaxy Z Fold 2 (the rumors suggest a change in display aspect ratio).
Samsung’s slow innovation isn’t helping folding phones go mainstream
But how does that make it up to those who bought a Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 4, or a Galaxy Z Flip 3? Or in other words, the foldables from Samsung’s period of “slow, Apple style innovation”? For instance, many tech enthusiasts believe people should skip the Fold 5 and wait for the Fold 6, and while I can’t say whether I agree/disagree just yet, I know I’d be pretty bummed to see a gapless Galaxy Z Fold 5 and a Galaxy Z Flip 5 with a massive cover screen if I had just bought a Fold 4/Flip 4.
As for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5… Well, Samsung has ensured its foldables are ageing like fine wine. In other words, they might (finally) get better but some people will prefer something… stronger. Like rum. Or whiskey. I don’t know – I’m not a drinker.