Looking to the past, there’s a good chance the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is going to be a fantastic handset, but the latest leak suggests there’s an area where rivals could beat it.
This is evident from a message on the South Korean site The Elec (opens in new tab) (via The Verge (opens in new tab)), Samsung is testing the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to survive 300,000 folds, but will consider it a pass if the hinge retains 85% of its original strength after only 200,000.
Those are some big numbers, and they’re in line with the tests Samsung ran on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but they fall well short of the 400,000 folds achieved by recent foldables like the Oppo Find N2, the Oppo Find N2 Flip, and the Honor Magic Vs being tested.
There is a good chance that the upcoming OnePlus foldable will also be tested to 400,000 folds, as OnePlus is a subsidiary of Oppo.
It’s a shame, if Elec’s report is true, that Samsung might not be keeping up – especially given that durability remains one of the main concerns with foldable phones, not least because they’re so expensive.
In more positive news, this report echoes earlier claims that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 will feature a new waterdrop hinge design. This essentially means that the two halves of the phone fold completely flat, which looks neater and should allow Samsung to slim down the Z Fold 5 slightly compared to the Z Fold 4.
This new design will also apparently make the phone slightly lighter, which is desirable, as the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is quite hefty at 263 grams. However, the upcoming phone apparently won’t have any major spec upgrades.
Of course, we’re taking all this with a grain of salt for now. We won’t know for sure until the Galaxy Z Fold 5 launches, probably in August.
Analysis: Samsung’s foldable flagship could struggle this year
If the above report is correct, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 might be slimmer and lighter than the current model, but with few other changes.
Meanwhile, competitors could prove to be more durable, and there will likely be more, with the highly anticipated Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus foldable both expected to launch this year. That’s in addition to a number of phones that have already launched or are likely to come from Oppo, Honor, Motorola and Xiaomi.
All this suggests it’s been a bad year for Samsung to release an iterative update – and that our list of the best foldable phones is about to see some major changes. On the other hand, the Galaxy Fold range remains the gold standard in this area, so we’ll wait to pass judgment until the latest model arrives later this year.