We always expect smartphones to improve year on year, but if the latest rumors about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 are to be believed, the foldable phone will come with a major improvement in terms of its design.
According to the South Korean outlet Naver (Opens in a new tab) (via SamMobile (Opens in a new tab)), Samsung will use a waterdrop-shaped hinge on the Galaxy Z Fold 5, which means the device will be able to fold completely flat, with no gaps between the two halves of the screen.
Many cell phones from Chinese manufacturers are already using this design approach for foldable devices, but at the cost of complete water resistance. However, it looks like Samsung will add the new hinge shape while maintaining the IPX8 rating of the phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a great foldable phone, and we wouldn’t say it has any durability issues, but the waterdrop hinge means less pressure on the screen, and that means the reliability of the device will go up again.
We’ve seen steady improvements in foldable phone technology over the years, and these devices are now much ahead of what they first were – and that makes them even more attractive to consumers.
The report says Samsung has already patented a hinge of this type as far back as 2016. It’s not clear exactly why it wasn’t implemented before, but it could be a matter of perfecting the technology or making it cheap enough to implement it.
Analysis: Better durability means more competitors
The first Galaxy Fold debuted in 2019, and since then foldable phone technology has improved exponentially. We’ll get the fifth version of the device later in 2023, along with (most likely) the successor to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
As reliability and manufacturing processes improve, this will encourage more phone makers in the market. For now, only Samsung and Chinese tech companies produce foldable devices for consumers.
The next major foldable phone launch we see could be the Google Pixel Fold: it could be here as early as May 2023. There are also rumors of a foldable iPhone, but we might wait until 2024 or 2025 for this particular device to show up.
No matter what other manufacturers do, Samsung will always have a head start on it, and you’ll hope that’s enough to give the Z Fold and Z Flip series an edge in what’s going to be an increasingly competitive market.