The Galaxy Z Fold 5 needs these 4 things to beat the Pixel Fold | Digital Trends

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Google recently released its first foldable device to the masses with the Google Pixel Fold. While it’s far from perfect, I was pleasantly surprised with the device overall, and it’s become one of my favorite phones I’ve tried so far this year, though I think it gets one of the more favorable reviews in an otherwise mixed bag.

Of course, Google is a bit late to the foldable device market, as Samsung has been the reigning champion for that niche for a few years now, especially for the US. the next generation of foldable devices with Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5.

I think I’m in a unique position here. The Google Pixel Fold is technically my first experience with a foldable device (not counting flip phones like the Galaxy Z Flip 4), as my main smartphone experience has typically been with slab-style phones like the iPhone 14 Pro So with the Z Fold 5 on the horizon, here are some things I want to see especially if Samsung wants to steer away from the Pixel Fold.

A more usable coverage screen

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

One of the things I really like about the Pixel Fold is the 5.8-inch display. It’s shorter and wider than what you get on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which is tall and narrow. The Pixel Folds cover display looks more like a regular smartphone due to its size.

I’ve long said that the 5.8-inch size of the iPhone X and iPhone XS was perfect, and that size should come back. Well, it has with the Pixel Fold. I love the Pixel Fold’s size because it’s comfortable enough for me to use the device one-handed when closed, and while it’s heavy, it’s still manageable for the most part. And when I use it with both hands, it feels more natural than the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with its cramped keyboard.

I swear I had to retype my Google password about three times before I could not make a mistake, which is something that doesn’t happen on literally every other full-sized phone I’ve tested. Even with practice, the Fold 4’s cover screen is a pain to get used to.

As much as I’d like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to have a more standard size when closed, that doesn’t seem likely. All rumors point to it having the same tall and narrow form factor as its predecessor, and with the leaked renders, I highly doubt Samsung will change that with the Unpacked event taking place in a few weeks.

Perhaps this is something Samsung could consider in a future model of the Galaxy Z Fold series. Maybe next year.

It’s time to tone down the liveliness of the cameras

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

One of my issues with Samsung phones is that Samsung likes to boost the brightness and vibrancy of my photos to 11 out of 10. While this works for some scenes, it usually just looks oversaturated and unnatural, like a filter was slapped on and I’m not a big fan.

Since using the Google Pixel Fold, one of the things I’ve come to appreciate is the fact that it’s hard to take a bad photo. Google’s Tensor chip contains a lot of computational AI magic and helps create natural-looking photos that come close to what you see in reality. This is my favorite, and I’d like to be able to take a picture with a Samsung device that doesn’t look super fake from the moment I tap the shutter button.

From the rumors so far, we should expect a fairly similar triple-lens camera system on the Galaxy Z Fold 5, meaning a 50MP main camera, a 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide lens with selfie 12 MP on display coverage. However, we can only hope that the internal display camera is better than 4MP.

But I’d like to see Samsung make it possible to take natural-looking photos with hardware rather than making everything super bright and vibrant to the point where it looks fake. Maybe with the alleged Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip for Galaxy? Who knows, but I can’t be the only one out there who wants to see more natural looking photos and videos from Samsung phones, right?

Refine the gap and crease

Obsidian Google Pixel Fold (right) next to Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 both closed, showing gaps between halves from above Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

One of the other things that bugs me about the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the fact that there is a small wedge-shaped gap when you have the phone closed. This doesn’t affect usability, but I just prefer my devices to keep unnecessary spaces to a minimum, as this makes it easy for dust and lint to get inside. The Pixel Fold has no space when closed.

Thankfully, this appears to be something Samsung will correct with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. This is because Samsung will be using what appears to be a water drop hinge mechanism design while maintaining a solid hinge, allowing the device to be propped against any angle for flex mode.

While I like the Google Pixel Fold, one thing I was slightly disappointed with was the crease, which was still very visible, despite Google’s grip on its unique hinge. From what we can tell right now, the new gapless hinge design should also help make the center crease less noticeable. I really hope so Motorola seems to have gotten the kink on the Razr Plus to the point where you barely notice it. Hopefully, Samsung, with many years of experience, can drastically improve this.

Longer battery life

Google Pixel Fold (right) in Obsidian next to Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, both closed Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

As much as I like the Google Pixel Fold, one of its weaknesses is its battery life. Despite having a 4,821mAh battery, the phone will only last about a full day on a single charge. This is partly because Google’s Tensor chip isn’t the most energy efficient, as it tends to overheat the phone when you’re performing a lot of resource-intensive tasks or playing games on it. Sure, you could extend that to around 72 hours with Extreme Battery Saver, but it’s not without compromise.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 isn’t great on battery either, as even its 4,400mAh battery only gets about a day’s use on a single charge. But from my experience with a Samsung Galaxy S23, which has the Galaxy-grade Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip inside, the battery was pretty impressive, as it would get me through a full day with juice left over. And on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you can easily get over two days per charge.

It seems that Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy makes a difference in terms of energy efficiency. If so, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes with the Galaxy Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, we should see significant gains in battery life over its predecessor, as well as the competitor Google Pixel Fold.

We’ll find out in a few more weeks


Google certainly released its Pixel Fold at an interesting time, while Samsung is preparing to launch its next-generation foldables later this month at the July 2023 Galaxy Unpacked event in Seoul, Korea.

We certainly expect the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to be announced, as well as its cousin, the Z Flip 5, which would be great competition for Motorola’s Razr Plus. We also expect the Galaxy Watch 6 series, as well as the next iteration of the Galaxy Tab S9 tablets.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is shaping up to be a great foldable, but if it’s going to take me away from the Pixel Fold any time soon, it certainly has its work cut out for it.

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