The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is still a ways off, but Samsung's considering how to fix some of its biggest flaws according to the latest leaks.
For one, Samsung may be using a new material to build its next-gen foldable, according to leaker Lanzuk (via Dohyun Kim (opens in new tab)). Annoyingly the leak doesn't specify what this material would be though.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is our top pick for the best foldable phone right now, but it's still undeniably a heavy phone. It weighs 9.28 ounces, which is lighter than the 9.5-ounce Fold 3 but still way more than the 8.5-ounce iPhone 14 Pro Max. Though, to be fair, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display, compared to a 7.6-inch folding panel on the Fold.
Using lighter materials would help offset the impact of the phone's large size, and allow extra features to be added without making the phone excessively chunky.
What sort of extra features might those be? For potential answers to that, we can turn to a report from a recent Samsung Mobile Experience (MX) suppliers meeting, covered by TheElec (opens in new tab). While painting a rosy picture of current and future folding phone performance, Samsung still recognized room for improvement with its foldables during this meeting, and named some challenges it wants its suppliers to overcome for future foldables.
Those included making lighter, thinner and more durable foldables phones with a smaller display crease, all complaints we and other users have had since the original Galaxy Fold.
More interestingly, Samsung also agrees that a built-in S Pen slot is a key feature, and reportedly wanted to add one to the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It doesn't explain why it didn't, but it's hopefully a good sign that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will have this feature.
Samsung also stressed the importance of improving the cameras on its foldables. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 already had improved cameras from the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but Samsung was apparently stopped from going further by the device's weight and thickness. Perhaps with the use of lighter materials mentioned above, Samsung will feel comfortable adding better cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. For example, we could see a more powerful telephoto camera or higher-res main camera like the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers.
Finally, Samsung mentioned that more software needs to be adapted for the Z Fold series' squarer inner display aspect ratio. This is not an issue limited to Samsung's foldables, but it's something the company will have to overcome if it wants to keep its lead in the foldables market intact as more competitors launch foldables and ship them to the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.
We're not likely to see a replacement for the Galaxy Z Fold 4, or the smaller Galaxy Z Flip 4, until late summer or fall of 2023. While Samsung merely acknowledging the problems with its foldables doesn't guarantee they'll be fixed in time for next year, it's great to see Samsung focussing its attention in the right areas.