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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Top 7 things I want to see

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is improved in key areas from the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It’s lighter, has a better primary camera, and has improvements under the hood. However, it is not perfect.

Samsung hasn’t been working on some fundamentals for a couple of years, and with the foldable form factor gaining more traction as competition ramps up, all eyes are on what Samsung will do for its next big release. Here are seven things I want to see from the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Crease not present

Do not crease on the Oppo Find N screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Honor Magic Vs showed us that large foldable smartphones could have better hinge designs to reduce creases. The gearless hinge keeps the two sections of Magic Vs together, and there is no gap between the two parts when closed. Surprisingly, there is little crease when unfolding. Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold has a similar design with less crease than Galaxy Z Fold 4.

It’s time for Samsung to overhaul its hinge approach for the larger foldable. It’s been using the same design for a while now, and it’s still ruling the US market, but only because Honor, Xiaomi, and Oppo foldables aren’t available in the country. But if Samsung wants to seriously compete with other foldable devices in Europe or Asia, the company needs to rework the crease to make it less noticeable.

Better battery life and faster charging

Twitter app running on Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 packs the same size 4,400mAh battery as the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which also charges at the same 25W output. It’s 2023, and 25W isn’t enough for any flagship smartphone. Fortunately, the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra both offer 45W fast charging, so I expect the technology to come to more affordable foldable series this year.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 lasts all day with only moderate use. If I’m using it to full capacity by multitasking and commuting, the battery anxiety starts to get in the evening. For a phone that starts at $1,800 and barely requires you to use it regularly, it’s not ideal.

Big camera improvements

Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera modules.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I don’t expect the 200MP camera to come from the Galaxy S23 Ultra to the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but I’d still like to see better camera performance. A 50MP primary camera like on the Fold 4 should suffice, but the telephoto and ultra-wide cameras shouldn’t feel like an afterthought.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra spoiled me with their zoom capabilities. I hope Samsung will give us a better zoom camera this time. I click a lot of 3x and 10x photos now, and the Fold 4 just doesn’t cut it for the latter.

Plus, the selfie snapper at the bottom of the foldable display isn’t the best. It still puts up blurry pictures. Hopefully, things will improve with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. The hybrid camera performance was easier to forgive a couple of years ago, but with the Z Fold entering its fifth generation, it’s about time Samsung made some big camera improvements.

Built-in S Pen slot

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 with S Pen.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

It is likely that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will get S Pen support as the previous two generations of the series support a stylus. But Samsung has not provided a built-in S Pen slot on either device. Which is very annoying. If I use a pen with my phone, I want a place to keep it along with the phone.

The bad news? Current rumors indicate that Samsung is no Including the S Pen slot on the Z Fold 5. It was reported that the company was toying with the idea, but ultimately decided not to go ahead with it because it takes up a lot of space. We’ll have to wait until we see the final product to know for sure what’s going on here, but I have my fingers crossed that Samsung is finding a way to make the S Pen slot a reality.

Thinner and lighter design

Unlock the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a handful. It’s a big device and I expect it to weigh a lot, but making it thinner and lighter is definitely on my list.

Samsung worked on the design to shed about 8 grams on the Fold 4 compared to the Fold 3. It made a difference, but after using the Oppo Find N foldable, my expectations of what my wrist could handle with a large foldable phone changed. Oppo’s phone is smaller, yes, but it’s still a great example of all-foldable design. Finding additional ways to reduce the Z Fold’s footprint is no small feat, but it’s something I hope Samsung works on.

Wider cover screen

Quick settings on Oppo Find N2.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The current 6.2-inch screen size on the Z Fold 4’s cover screen sounds adequate on paper, but in practice it’s a bit odd to use. I’m someone whose messages are full of typos even if I’m typing on the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s large screen, so the Fold 4’s cover screen’s slim profile makes it difficult for me to write without errors.

Using the Oppo Find N was a much better experience with the cover screen on. It’s smaller, wider, and works like any other slab smartphone. I wouldn’t want the same dimensions for the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but having a wider and shorter screen might help with ergonomics – while also improving my typing abilities.

Make it less expensive

Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 seen from the back.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s $1,800 price tag is a a lot to consider. The foldable form factor is no longer a niche part. There are better designed foldables like the Oppo Find N2 that are cheaper than the Fold 4. It would have been easy to justify Samsung’s higher prices with the Z Fold 2 and the original Galaxy Fold, but it’s about time we saw prices become (somewhat) reasonable.

It’s not often that the company drops the price of its next iteration, and I’d like to see the Fold 5 cost less.

Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a lot of potential

Oppo Find N2 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 with closed screens held by a person's hands.
Oppo Find N2 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 4 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I know a lot of this is wishful thinking. On the one hand, I want the S Pen slot in the device; On the other hand, I want it to be thinner and lighter. I want the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to have a better hinge with less wrinkle and be less expensive at the same time.

But I’m not here to understand. If any company can do all of this, it’s Samsung with all its R&D prowess. This makes the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 an exciting device to look forward to — even if my entire wish list isn’t fulfilled.

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