When it comes to foldable phones, Samsung enjoys a handsome reputation. They were among the first to market a foldable device, and have continued to offer updates to their range ever since.
The next generation of those is expected to launch next week at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked. Among a host of other products, we're expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Leaked details about those devices have slowly trickled out over the last few months. By and large, the new handsets sound like a decent upgrade, with decent performance specs and redesigned hinges.
The Z Flip 5 is arguably the more interesting of the two. It's set to pack a redesigned cover display, which should bring it closer to competitors packing large units of their own. That includes devices like the Oppo Find N2 Flip and the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, which both outsize the current Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 cover display.
A lot has been made of this. Many prospective flip phone users are looking for a cover display which allows them to utilise full apps. That was never possible on the tiny displays of old, but this generation of larger ones should make it a possibility.
Recent leaked renders of the cover display on the Z Flip 5 don't seem to show this. The image shows a host of apps available on the display, including a wallet app, a messaging app with a full-size keyboard and more. That's a fairly good showing, but it's not quite matching up with other devices on the market.
That's a shame. I've been a big fan of flip phones for as long as I can remember. Back when flip phones still had buttons, I was a happy user of a few different Motorola Razr variants. And I've been longing to get back into the industry with one of the modern devices.
I had high hopes for the Z Flip 5 being the one for me. But I'm not convinced. Having those full apps on the cover display isn't just a gimmick – it's a genuinely useful feature. Not only can you respond to notifications and messages more quickly, you'll also save the hinge from additional wear.
That's important. Modern hinges tend to be rated for anything from 200,000 to 400,000 uses. Sure, that is a lot, but it's also very finite. If you use your phone a lot, it could place a limit on the potential lifespan of your device.
I'm still holding out a little hope though. The Galaxy Unpacked event is set to take place next week, at which point we'll know everything about the device.