SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission.

Notifications
    News for you

    Two upgrades I want to see on Samsung’s next ‘cheap’ foldable flip phone

    Opinion
    By 

    Last updated: March 14th, 2023 at 17:08 UTC+01:00

    I'm not a fan of foldable phones. Actually, scratch that. I'm not a fan of the Galaxy Z Fold series, because of their narrow cover screens and not-top-of-the-line camera specs despite the expensive price tag.

    For some reason, though, I like the Galaxy Z Flip line, even though the number of features it lacks compared to Samsung's candybar high-end phones is considerably higher than the Galaxy Z Fold lineup.

    Galaxy Z Flip devices don't have zoom cameras, the cameras they do have aren't as great as the ones on Samsung's flagship phones, and their battery life is undependable. They also miss at least one software feature that comes in quite handy at times, and that's Samsung Dex, which gives you a desktop environment to work with over either screen mirroring on a TV or a PC or through a dedicated dock that has HDMI and a couple of USB ports.

    Now, it's not surprising that the Galaxy Z Flips miss out on some features that are standard on Samsung's other high-end phones. As we've argued before, the Z Flips are not exactly meant to be flagship phones if we judge them by their model numbers.

    A better description for Z Flip smartphones is flagship adjacent. They have a lot of high-end features, like the best and latest Snapdragon processor and high refresh rate displays, but you have to sacrifice some stuff because of various factors, like price or the compact dimensions.

    In any case, the point here is that I love using Galaxy Z Flip devices. I'm not willing to join the foldable bandwagon just yet, but there are a couple of upgrades that I would really like to see on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 when it launches in late 2023.

    A design that doesn't leave any gap when the phone is folded shut

    Samsung may have a huge lead in the foldable phone category, but there are some areas in which it falls behind the competition. The biggest issue for me is that gap between the two halves of the screen on all Galaxy Z Flip (and Z Fold) smartphones from day one.

    I think almost every other manufacturer that makes flip-style foldable phones (like Oppo and Motorola) has had a zero-gap design since its first foldable. Samsung's folding phones, meanwhile, have had this crucial weak point for four years, ever since the first Galaxy Fold came along.

    Foldables don't have proper glass on the display (Samsung uses what it calls Ultra Thin Glass, but that's little more than a gimmick). Foldable screens are basically just plastic, which make them fragile in general. Bring into the equation that gap when the phone is folded, and there's the additional worry of something in your pockets (even something as simple as cloth lint) or dust getting in and damaging the screen even when you aren't using it.

    There are rumors that Samsung is switching to a different type of hinge (the kind that Chinese manufacturers use) for its upcoming foldables so they can fold completely shut (while also reducing the screen's crease), and I hope those rumors end up being true. The fragility of foldable phones is something Samsung has to address as it focuses on making foldables as mainstream as possible. If companies like Motorola can make a phone that folds a 100%, Samsung can, too.

    Battery life as good as at least the Galaxy S23's

    Samsung's first three Galaxy Z Flip smartphones, the Z Flip, Z Flip 5G, and Z Flip 3, featured tiny 3,300 mAh batteries. It was with last year's Galaxy Z Flip 4 that Samsung upgraded battery capacity (to 3,700 mAh) for the first time. The increase in battery size and the efficient 4nm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor allowed the Z Flip 4 to last longer than expected, but it still wasn't enough.

    It would be ideal if the Galaxy Z Flip 5 brings yet another battery capacity upgrade, but even if it doesn't, the standard Galaxy S23 model has shown what magic Samsung can weave for battery life on phones without giant batteries when the company actually wants to do so. Like its predecessors going all the way back to the Galaxy S20, the base Galaxy S23 can't survive a full day on a single charge if you use it heavily, but its battery life is still pretty great.

    And seeing how excited Samsung has been about the fact that their new flagships come with the fantastic Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip (a sentiment probably not shared by Samsung's semiconductor division) everywhere in the world, it wouldn't be naive to assume that Samsung is working on making its upcoming foldables similarly efficient.

    Just to be clear, I'm not asking for battery life as mind-blowing as that of the Galaxy S23+ or the S23 Ultra. I know flip phones have a long way to go before they really start making each round of battery charge count. But the base Galaxy S23's battery life also holds up pretty well, and I hope the Galaxy Z Flip 5 can, at the very least, replicate that.

    Opinion Galaxy Z Flip 5

    You might also like

    One UI 6.1 update: Will your Galaxy phone get it?

    One UI 6.1 update: Will your Galaxy phone get it?

    The Galaxy S24 series was officially announced in mid-January with One UI 6.1 onboard, and Samsung will be spending the first half of 2024 working on and bringing One UI 6.1 to older Galaxy devices. A lot of Galaxy phones were eligible for Android 14 and One UI 6.0 and pretty much all of them […]

    • By Abhijeet Mishra
    • 2 days ago
    Motorola’s Razr 50 Ultra could one up Galaxy Z Flip 5 in Europe

    Motorola’s Razr 50 Ultra could one up Galaxy Z Flip 5 in Europe

    In Europe, Samsung offers the Galaxy Z Flip 5 with up to 8GB RAM and 512GB storage. Motorola, on the other hand, offers the Razr 40 Ultra, a direct rival to the one from Samsung, with 8GB RAM but only 256GB storage in the region, which gives the Galaxy Z Flip 5 an upper hand […]

    • By Abid Iqbal Shaik
    • 5 days ago
    [Video] Samsung Galaxy AI review: How useful is it?

    [Video] Samsung Galaxy AI review: How useful is it?

    One UI is a topic that is extremely popular among Samsung fans, but since the launch of the Galaxy S24 series, the limelight has been hijacked by Galaxy AI. Samsung has made a big deal about Galaxy AI on the Galaxy S24 series (and some older devices), and here at SamMobile, we have gone in-depth […]

    • By Abhijeet Mishra
    • 6 days ago
    Xiaomi’s foldable phones to have more cameras than Galaxy Z Flip 5, Fold 5

    Xiaomi’s foldable phones to have more cameras than Galaxy Z Flip 5, Fold 5

    Samsung is fast losing ground to Chinese brands in the foldable smartphone segment despite entering the market two years early. Foldable phones from Chinese firms have higher specifications at lower prices. Upcoming foldable phones from Xiaomi, MIX Flip and MIX Fold 4, will reportedly be thinner than the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and the Galaxy […]

    • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
    • 1 week ago
    Best Samsung Phones in May 2024 – Picked by experts

    Best Samsung Phones in May 2024 – Picked by experts

    Given the sheer number of devices that it releases every year, finding the best Samsung phones can often prove to be a challenge for most customers. It doesn't matter if you want a flagship or a budget device. Samsung offers plenty of options for all price ranges. To make it easier for you to find […]

    • By Adnan Farooqui
    • 2 weeks ago
    Sales of Samsung’s foldable phones have nosedived in China

    Sales of Samsung’s foldable phones have nosedived in China

    Samsung was one of the first companies to release foldable phones at scale. That provided the company with a significant first-mover advantage. It was able to establish dominance in key markets early on, particularly in China, where local manufacturers would need a couple of years to catch up. Having reaped the benefits, Samsung is now […]

    • By Adnan Farooqui
    • 2 weeks ago