Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 is without a doubt one of the best folding phones you can buy, and while admittedly that's a small field right now – rivals such as the Oppo Find N2 Flip, while brilliant, are targeted more at the Galaxy Z Flip 4 – the Fold is one of the best Android phones of any shape or size. But it seems that some Samsung fans will be unhappy with the next version, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.
That's according to Samsung news site SamMobile (opens in new tab), which reports that Samsung has tried putting an S Pen slot into its flagship folding phone – and that it's decided not to, at least in the next generation.
I really don't think this is a big deal for many people.
When it comes to folding phones, size matters
The thing about S Pen storage is that you need it to be big enough for an S Pen. And in a folding phone, much more so than in a standard phone, size really matters. It's safe to say that if there were any extra room inside the Z Fold 4, Samsung would have made it smaller already; I can only assume that its experiments with adding an S Pen slot to its prototypes created more bulk than Samsung was happy with.
As much as I rate the S Pen, which I know many Samsung fans love, I'm not sure the people who buy folding phones are planning to use it as a journalist-style notepad for stylus-based scribbling. And while I'm sure that there are a small group of people who do want to use it for just that, Samsung does cater for them already: the Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 4 have S Pen support. They just don't have a built-in storage slot for it.
I'm pretty sure Samsung has done its sums here and concluded that the number of people who'd be more likely to buy a folding phone with an S Pen slot is considerably smaller than the number of people who'd be put off by the extra bulk for a feature they won't use. And I'm equally sure that Samsung has also considered the alternative option, which is to make a smaller S Pen specifically for its folding phones – and again, that it's concluded the effort and expense probably isn't worth it.
If you're the kind of person who really, really, really likes the S Pen but refuses to buy a phone that doesn't have a space to put it, Samsung already has the solution: the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. It's one of the best phones you can buy full stop, and while it doesn't fold that really shouldn't be a deal-breaker.