These 6 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 features would make it the best folding phone yet

The Z Fold 4 was great – but these 6 features would make the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 incredible

A photo of folding phones
(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is poised to be the best folding phone on the market. After all, Samsung has four big-screened foldables under its belt. It also has plenty of competition to learn from, and the fact it makes the screens that power most of the folding phone market puts it at a massive advantage too. 

But there are some specific items on my Galaxy Z Fold 5 wishlist that I’d love to see on Samsung’s rumoured upcoming folding phone. 

Before I talk about what I want we should note that Samsung is building on a strong foundation with the Galaxy Z Fold 4. So let’s talk about some of the ways Samsung is already besting the flexible competition.

Firstly, that S Pen: Samsung is the only phone-maker that’s braved stylus input on its folding screens, and it’s a fantastic tool for notetakers and visual thinkers who love to jot down ideas.

Next, water resistance: Huawei is catching up with Samsung here, with its Mate X3’s IPX8 rating, but apart from these two brands, foldables are largely considered to be less able to deal with the elements.

Finally, interface optimisation: whether it’s a split keyboard on the big screen, a taskbar for quick access to apps, or plenty of customisation options when it comes to how the front and main display behave, Samsung does a great job levelling up its Android experience across two screens.

So where can the Galaxy Z Fold 5 afford to learn from the competition?

1. Panel discussion

A photo of folding phones

The Honor Magic Vs's native UI supports Twitter panels, taking advantage of the large main display on big-screened foldables.

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

I’ve spent some time with the Honor Magic Vs, and while it has a number of highlights – that 512GB storage, a sub-£1,400 price, and decent battery life – the thing Samsung needs to steal is its Twitter optimisation. 

Fire up the Magic Vs’s settings, find App Extender, and toggle Twitter on. Now, when you fire the app up, it displays two smartphone-sized panels side-by-side.

We’re not sure why Honor is the only foldable maker to crack this nut for Twitter. Panels already work across many big-screened phones for apps like Outlook and WhatsApp, but this Magic Vs feature is a great optimisation I’d love Samsung to copy across the most used Android apps.

2. No more baby zoomers

A photo of folding phones

The Huawei Mate X3's 5x periscope zooom is the top right camera picutred above.

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera isn’t bad by any means. Not only was it a massive improvement over the Galaxy Z Fold 3, with a larger sensor and better low-light capture, it also bests competition like the Honor Magic Vs in most situations.

If there’s one thing we’d love the Galaxy Z Fold 5 camera to do, though, it’s take a leaf out of the Huawei Mate X3’s photography playbook.

The Mate X3 has a triple camera system, just like the Z Fold 4, but most impressively, it has a 5x periscope zoom camera.

Despite the fact, it’s the lightest big-screened foldable around, along with the smaller Oppo Find N2, Huawei’s managed to cram in a Samsung-beating 125mm telephoto camera with optical stabilisation (OIS), a 12-megapixel resolution, and a relatively wide f/3.4 aperture.

You can see some of the shots I took on the Mate X3's 5x periscope zoom camera below – mighty results considering this isn’t even Huawei’s flagship camera phone.

3. Slimming down and levelling up

If rumours are to be believed, Samsung is slimming down its Z Fold 5, thanks to a breakthrough in hinge technology.

The reason its past foldables weren't thinner is that Samsung struggled to hold onto its water resistance rating while utilising a slimline, waterdrop hinge design – featured on thinner, non-water-resistant folding alternatives like the Motorola Razr and Xiaomi Mix Fold 2.

We'd love it if the news that Samsung’s cracked this nut with a redesigned, water-resistant hinge mechanism is true, and that the Z Fold 5 can sit alongside the slimmest phones from Huawei and Xiaomi without looking super-chunky.

4. Mind the gap

A photo of folding phones

The Huawei Mate X3 (left) alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4 (right)

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

If there’s been one item on our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold wishlist for years, it's for the line to fold completely flat. Almost every foldable on the scene nowadays, from Oppo to Huawei, Honor to Vivo, can shut totally flat. The first phone I tested that nailed it was the China-only Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 – a beauty even a year after its launch. 

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip and Fold both have a small gap on the hinge side. When the phone’s been in a pocket for a while, you can expect to open it to a strip of dust that's collected down the crease – an issue we didn’t experience with flat-folding foldables.

Samsung’s Z series phones also miss out on a dust-resistance rating, unlike the new Motorola Razr 40 Ultra. So if Samsung does manage to close up that hinge gap, a dust-resistance rating would also be a boon for added peace of mind.

5. Crease and desist

Samsung’s Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 have the most prominent creases of any major folding phone series.

Huawei and Oppo have all managed to shrink the screen crease right down in their latest-generation big-screen foldables, while the new Motorola Razr has also shrunk its crease when compared to past-gen devices.

The fact Samsung’s foldable packs stylus input means a less prominent crease on the Z Fold 5 wouldn’t just look better, it would also be a huge help when taking notes across its display when matched with an S Pen.

6. Type master

A photo of folding phones

The Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 (left) alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (right)

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Finally, and arguably, the most important item on our wishlist is a wider front screen. The Galaxy Z Fold series has had a super-tall, super-slim front screen for generations.

While the Z Fold 4’s 23.1:9 cover screen is a little wider than the Z Fold 3’s, it is still narrower than any flagship smartphone, including the super-tall Sony Xperia 1 V.

If Samsung could either take a leaf out of Oppo’s Find N2, or Google’s Pixel Fold line and add some width, that would make for a far less cramped typing experience.

Alternatively, the Honor Magic Vs, Huawei Mate X3 and Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 all have full-sized smartphone screens on the front, delivering compromise-free typing and watching, whichever screen you’re using.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 we want...

I went into writing this Galaxy Z Fold 5 wishlist as a fan of the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It’s aged incredibly well, with its Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip still launching in top-tier phones today, and that stylus pen support still unmatched in its category.

The Z Fold 4 also has the single-most robust-feeling hinge of any foldable out now, which helps justify its thickness.

All that praise just makes the point – if Samsung could bring a few key features from other foldables into its Z Fold line, it would hold onto its position of power, and make it the best folding phone money can buy.

Read more: if foldables aren’t floating your boat just yet, have a look at some of the best smartphones around, and if you're on the market for something cheaper, here are some of the best cheap phones you can buy right now.

Basil Kronfli
Mobile phones expert

Basil has been writing about tech for over 12 years, with bylines in TechRadar, Metro, Wired, and Digital Camera World – to name but a few titles. He expertly covers everything from mobile phones to smart devices, cameras, audio-visual hardware, and kitchen tech. In addition to his extensive journalism experience, Basil is also skilled in video production, content strategy, and vegan baking, and runs Tech[edit], a technology-focused YouTube channel.