Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 waterdrop hinge just confirmed in new report but there’s bad news

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 front in hands
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 should be launching this summer, and it looks like Samsung is gearing up for the foldable’s release date by putting a brand new hinge design to the test. That’s according to a report from The Elec, which claims Samsung is about to start testing the durability of a brand new hinge design.

Why Galaxy Z Fold 5 waterdrop hinge matters

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future)

The report seemingly confirms rumors that Samsung will introduce a new “waterdrop-shaped” hinge on the Z Fold 5. The idea behind this hinge is that part of the display will roll inside the phone’s main body, and help prevent the display from creasing. However, the downside is that the phone may not be as durable as other foldables hitting the market.

According to the report there will be some other benefits to this new hinge design. That includes reducing the Z Fold 5’s thickness down to 14mm (0.55-inches) when folded, compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s 0.62-inch design. 

Falling short of other foldables?

The Oppo Find N2 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 held together to compare their inner display creases

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The report claims that Samsung’s folding tests will max out at 300,000 folds, and ensure that the screen maintains at least 85% of its original strength after 200,000. While that seems to be an improvement from the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s 200,000 fold rating, it’s still significantly less than the competition.

The Oppo Find N2 and Find N2 Flip are both rated to 400,000 folds, and it’s likely that the upcoming OnePlus V Fold will follow the lead of its parent company. 300,000 folds is a lot, but if true the report suggests Samsung might be falling behind the competition in a key way. With the foldable industry heating up, Samsung can’t afford to let that happen if it wants to continue making the best foldable phones.

Then again, any boost in durability is better than none at all.

The Elec also claims that the Z Fold 5’s weight will be reduced, but quotes a figure of 263 grams (9.28 oz) — which is the same as the Z Fold 4. In any case, this report seems to run contrary to rumors the Z Fold 5 could be thicker and heavier, in order to store the S Pen inside. So we’ll have to wait and see just how this one pans out. 

Analysis: Serious pressure on Samsung

There’s a lot we still don’t know about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, and so far the rumor-mill hasn’t been particularly enlightening. We expect to see the Galaxy S23's improved camera system make its way to the Z Fold 5, as well as a faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip. But it's clear that the foldable competition is heating up.

One foldable that could debut before the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the Google Pixel Fold, which could give Samsung some much-needed competition in the U.S. That device could launch as soon as Google I/O 2023, which could happen as soon as mid-May. Adding OnePlus to the mix later in the year should make the foldable market even more interesting. 

We’re expecting the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to launch sometime towards the end of Summer, likely in mid to late August. While we’re staying skeptical for now, we’re hopeful that the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s upgraded hinge is on the way. Even if it isn’t quite as durable as we’d like it to be.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.