With the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung made just a few modifications that went a great distance in enhancing the way in which its book-style foldable capabilities as an everyday cellphone. That features a higher digicam that is on par with the Galaxy S22’s, a barely improved design and a contemporary processor. But there are many methods Samsung may additional improve its large-format foldable cellphone. And contemplating Samsung is dealing with new competitors from the upcoming Google Pixel Fold, I hope it takes motion.

The greatest change I’m hoping to see within the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s successor (which can seemingly be known as the Galaxy Z Fold 5, although we do not know that for sure) is extra software program that takes benefit of its foldable form. Having a large display that matches in your pocket is nice. But Samsung wants to supply a extra convincing argument if it really desires foldables to be interesting to extra than simply early adopters. 

The Galaxy Z Fold is on its fourth technology, but foldables nonetheless have not had the breakout second Samsung has been ready for. Although gross sales of foldable telephones are rising, they’ll solely account for 1.1% of the general smartphone market in 2022, in response to projections from the International Data Corporation

Samsung is holding its subsequent Unpacked occasion subsequent month in South Korea, so it is doable we’ll hear extra concerning the subsequent Z Fold then. Here’s the whole lot I’m hoping to see from the Galaxy Z Fold 5 subsequent yr.

More software program options

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 presents a large display that matches in your pocket. But it wants greater than that to win folks over. 

James Martin/CNET

Yes, the Galaxy Z Fold’s design is what makes it noteworthy. But spectacular {hardware} doesn’t suggest a lot with out the software program to go along with it. Samsung has accomplished so much to enhance the way in which apps work throughout the Z Fold’s 7.6-inch interior show within the years since its launch. For instance, the Z Fold 4 has a dock that sits on the backside of the display for shortly accessing apps, in addition to the power to make use of the underside half of the display as a touchpad when in Flex Mode. 

The drawback is that these options do not do an amazing job at convincing customers why they need to need a foldable cellphone within the first place. Instead, they simply make the method of utilizing apps on the Z Fold barely simpler and extra handy.

I do not suppose any firm has answered that query adequately simply but, however I’ve seen some promising makes an attempt. Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2, for instance, turns right into a digital e-book whenever you open the Kindle app, full with page-turn animations. It’s value remembering, nevertheless, that the Surface Duo is completely different from the Z Fold because it consists of two separate shows joined collectively by a hinge. That may change with Microsoft’s subsequent Duo, nevertheless, in response to a report from Windows Central. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 can also be a a lot better cellphone total because of its superior digicam and smoother software program enhancements, amongst different advantages.

Google can also be fascinated about methods to leverage each the outer and interior screens on its forthcoming Pixel Fold for duties like language translation. Though we’ve but to make use of the Pixel Fold extensively, it is refreshing to see concepts that really feel new on the subject of how software program conforms to foldable gadgets. Hopefully Samsung will take be aware.

Samsung was among the many first to launch a foldable cellphone, which means it is had an extended lead time than most opponents on this division. That’s another excuse why I’m hoping to see extra bold options from Samsung in future variations of the Galaxy Z Fold.

A bigger cowl display

Google Pixel Fold folding phone

The Google Pixel Fold.

John Kim/CNET

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is barely wider than its predecessor, which makes it really feel extra like an everyday cellphone when closed. However, I’d prefer to see Samsung take {that a} step additional with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. The upcoming Pixel Fold made me understand how helpful it feels to have a canopy display that just about matches the form and width of the show on an everyday, nonfolding cellphone. Though I’ve spent solely a couple of minutes with the Pixel Fold, that was sufficient time to see how utilizing apps may really feel extra pure on a broader display. 

That stated, I think about making the display too huge may current some challenges for Samsung, provided that doing so would seemingly impression the form and facet ratio of the inside display too. 

An embedded S Pen

Someone using an S Pen to draw on a Galaxy Z Fold 4

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 help the S Pen, however it’s important to purchase it individually. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

The S Pen may assist Samsung handle that crucial query of who the Galaxy Z Fold is for. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and 4 each help the S Pen, however you have to purchase it individually and there is not any storage mechanism for it. Instead, Samsung ought to bundle the S Pen with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and add a approach to conveniently retailer it inside or connect it to the gadget. 

Doing so may make the Galaxy Z Fold 5 much more helpful for taking notes, sketching and modifying paperwork. That won’t be essential to everybody, however it may make the Z Fold extra interesting to the productivity-oriented crowd that Samsung appears to be concentrating on. It would additionally make the Z Fold’s excessive value a bit simpler to swallow since you will be getting extra to your cash.

Samsung hasn’t mentioned its plans for the Galaxy Z Fold collection. But a report from The Elec says Samsung has cited the addition of an S Pen slot as a key problem that have to be overcome to make foldables extra in style. That means Samsung could a minimum of be fascinated about bundling the S Pen with its future foldables.

A much less noticeable crease

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The Galaxy Z Fold 4’s crease nonetheless stands out.

James Martin/CNET

Samsung has steadily refined the Z Fold’s design through the years, however the crease hasn’t gone away simply but. Although it is not all the time seen, you’ll be able to really feel the crease when working your finger throughout the display. Reducing the crease may make the Galaxy Z Fold really feel extra like an everyday pill when opened. 

Samsung often is the chief on the subject of foldable telephones, however different firms are making fast progress on the subject of shrinking the crease. Take Huawei and Oppo, the latter of which is without doubt one of the world’s greatest smartphone makers. 

The display on Huawei’s Mate XS 2 wraps across the entrance of the gadget in order that it might operate as an everyday cellphone when folded and a pill when opened — a design that makes the crease barely existent. CNET’s Sareena Dayaram tried Oppo’s new Find N2 foldable, writing that she “rarely noticed or felt the crease.” These developments make me want I noticed extra progress from Samsung on this regard. There’s an opportunity Samsung could also be trying into the best way to handle this, contemplating The Elec’s report additionally suggests Samsung is occupied with lowering the Z Fold’s crease. 

A thinner design

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 nonetheless feels thick when closed.

James Martin/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a sturdy construct and a large cowl display. But it nonetheless feels cumbersome to make use of as an everyday cellphone when closed. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 measures 0.5 to 0.6 inch thick when folded, whereas the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S22 each measure roughly 0.3 inch thick. That additional bulk won’t trouble those that primarily use their Galaxy Z Fold unfolded in pill mode. But it is one other barrier to adoption for many who aren’t but satisfied of the promise of foldable telephones. 

If a leak seems to be true, Samsung could also be planning to deal with the Galaxy Z Fold’s thickness. A well known leaker who goes by the alias Ice Universe just lately tweeted that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 could have a brand new water drop hinge. In a Twitter publish replying to Ice Universe’s tweet, show analyst Ross Young stated the sort of hinge may make the gadget 0.3mm thinner.   

A cheaper price

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is considerably costlier than your common nonfoldable cellphone at an everyday value.

James Martin/CNET

With an everyday value of $1,800, calling the Galaxy Z Fold 4 costly could be an understatement. You’ll get a reduction when buying and selling in an outdated gadget, with Samsung itemizing the 256GB mannequin for $900 with an eligible trade-in. But that also lands on the excessive finish of the spectrum in comparison with many nonfolding telephones, like these within the Galaxy S22 lineup and Pixel 7 household. 

Samsung is a minimum of conscious of this conundrum. “It’s positively a problem that we’re tackling, and we might want to sort out,” TM Roh, president and head of Samsung’s cell expertise enterprise, stated in an interview with CNET earlier this yr relating to the Z Fold’s value.

Foldable telephones are nonetheless a nascent a part of the broader smartphone market, however modifications like these may push them nearer to changing into viable alternate options to our on a regular basis gadgets. Samsung helped popularize the big-screen telephones we use at the moment with its first Galaxy Note cellphone again in 2011. It’s attempting to do the identical with foldables, however there are clearly nonetheless challenges to beat.

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