The Google Pixel Fold 2 just leaked. Here’s everything that’s new | Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Fold 2 just leaked. Here’s everything that’s new | Digital Trends

Google’s next foldable phone is going to be a screamer, and not solely for good reasons, if the latest leaks are to be believed. SmartPrix (via OnLeaks) has shared alleged renders depicting the Google Pixel Fold 2, and it looks like a mixed bag of regressive design and positive developments.

The biggest change compared to the first-gen Google Pixel Fold is a camera bump that ditches the stretched bar look on the current-gen Pixel smartphones. Instead, we now have a rectangular design with two rows of pill-shaped black outlines, hosting three camera lenses and a bunch of other sensors.

It’s a stark departure from the mainstream Pixel camera bar, and it revives a look that was last seen on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4 series phones. Looks aside, the side placement also means the phone will keep wobbling if you place it on a flat surface. I’m not exactly a fan of this approach, to be honest.

Google Pixel 2 leaked render.
OnLeaks / SmartPrix

Another notable change is the side profile. The curved edges of the Pixel Fold have been flattened, a look that will also appear on the Google Pixel 9 series phones, according to leaked renders.

But if you look closely and ignore the ugly camera hump shape, the Pixel Fold 2 looks identical to the OnePlus Open in its leathery black trim. The side rails, those curved bezels, and the front camera placement are all identical.

Even the ridge seems to have been lifted straight from the OnePlus Open, down to its polished metal aesthetics. It’s not a bad thing, as the OnePlus Open is one of the best-built phones I’ve ever used, and the form factor is an absolute joy to handle.

The most progressive change happens once the phone is opened. The thick bezels are gone, and what we see on the Pixel Fold 2 renders are uniformly thin bezels on all sides, a trend that we first noticed on the foldable phones offered by Oppo.

Leaked alleged render of Google Pixel 2.
OnLeaks / SmartPrix

The front display reportedly measures 6.4 inches, while the inner foldable panel relies on a 7.9-inch flexible OLED screen. It seems shaving off the bezels naturally allowed Google to add some valuable screen real estate.

As far as the internals go, rumors suggest the fourth-gen Tensor silicon and up to 16GB of RAM. Those two are big upgrades, but it’s the in-hand profile that might surprise buyers in a pleasant fashion. The Pixel Fold 2’s thickness will reportedly come in at just 10.54mm, which, if true, would make it one of the thinnest foldable phones out there.

Overall, the Pixel Fold 2 is shaping up to be a massive overhaul in every aspect. If only Google could have shown the same love to the camera hump aesthetics, I would have already started saving for this one.

Editors’ Recommendations






Samsung is fixing an annoying display issue on the Galaxy S24 | Digital Trends

Samsung is fixing an annoying display issue on the Galaxy S24 | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series is a proven hit — with all three phones securing themselves as some of 2024’s best smartphones. However, not everyone has been thrilled with Samsung’s latest.

Since the Galaxy S24 hit the scene, numerous reports online show people complaining about the Galaxy S24 handsets having “dull” and “bland” screens. Thankfully, Samsung has just announced a fix for this.

On February 14, Samsung said in a blog post, “Based on your feedback, through an upcoming update, we aim to provide enhanced options and experiences across the device display and camera, enabled by advanced hardware and software integration efforts.”

New display settings for the Samsung Galaxy S24.
Samsung

As it stands today, every Galaxy S24 phone has two screen color options: Vivid and Natural. You can customize the white balance with a single slider for each one, but that’s as far as the customization options go. With this update, Samsung is adding an “Advanced settings” toggle that will enable you to manually adjust the RGB values for your screen’s white balance, in addition to a new vividness slider. As Samsung explains, “By adjusting the ‘Vividness’ option under display ‘Advanced settings,’ you can now enjoy a more vibrant display.”

Personally, I’ve not found my Galaxy S24 Plus screen to be “dull” or “bland” by any means. In fact, I think it looks pretty incredible exactly how it is today. We also didn’t find any display issues in our reviews of the Galaxy S24 or Galaxy S24 Ultra. It’s possible that duller display colors only affect select Galaxy S24 models, or some users may be more sensitive to this thing than others.

Whether or not you’ve noticed these display issues, a fix is coming. Samsung says the update is rolling out in February, so it should be arriving on your phone soon.

Editors’ Recommendations






I’ve never used a folding phone like this one before | Digital Trends

I’ve never used a folding phone like this one before | Digital Trends

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Honor took its sweet time to bring the Magic V2 out of China – six months, to be precise. Given the amazing hardware, it’s been a long wait.

I’ve had a test unit since July 2023, which didn’t have the software and cameras ready until earlier this month. After using it as my primary device for a few weeks, I can confidently say that the Honor Magic V2 is the most comfortable foldable phone I’ve used to date.

Perfectly bridging the gap between a regular and foldable phone

Galaxy S24 Ultra, Magic V2 and OnePlus Open top view.
Galaxy S24 Ultra (left), Honor Magic V2, and OnePlus Open Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

For a long time, my major issue with using foldable phones has been how they feel in the hand. It started with the Galaxy Z Fold (and still remains the same with the Galaxy Z Fold 5), which feels like holding two regular candy phones together. We got closer to a slab phone-like form factor on a foldable with the OnePlus Open, but it’s still thick. The Honor Magic V2 solves this problem with a thinner, lighter, and better form factor than ever.

Starting with thickness, at 10.1mm, the Magic V2 brings the foldable phone form factor closer to a slab phone experience than ever. The Ultimate variant with a vegan leather back is even thinner at 9.9mm.

For reference, mainstream foldable like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Google Pixel Fold, and the OnePlus Open measure 13.46mm, 12.1mm, and 11.7mm in thickness, respectively. While slab phones like the new Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro are 8.7mm and 8.8mm in thickness, respectively. The Magic V2 lies in the middle of these.

Secondly, the Magic V2 weighs 237 grams, which is eight grams lighter than the current best foldable phone, the OnePlus Open. The Samsung and Google foldables weigh way more at 253 grams (Galaxy Z Fold 5) and 283 grams (Pixel Fold), while the Galaxy S24 Ultra weighs 233 grams. The thin and light design makes it comparable to slab phones, which is a big feat for the foldable segment.

Honor made this possible by working on the material, hinge, and battery. First, it uses proprietary steel that is said to be 25% thinner and 20% stronger than the Honor Magic Vs. Second, the hinge is made out of titanium, which is 42% lighter than before. Third, the company made a slimmer silicon-carbon battery and doesn’t use a lithium-ion cell like other folding phones.

Honor Magic V2 cover display.
Honor Magic V2 cover display Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Another aspect that gives it a slab phone-like form factor is a 21:9 aspect ratio cover display. On flagship phones like the Galaxy S24 Ultra or iPhone 15 Pro Max, you get an aspect ratio that is closer to 20:9. But on foldables, this is all over the place — from the tall Galaxy Z Fold 5 to the wide Pixel Fold. The OnePlus Open is the only other foldable with a 21:9 aspect ratio on the cover screen. This is important because it prevents apps from misbehaving, and they load like they would on a regular smartphone.

All of these factors combine to offer an amazing day-to-day experience. Using the new Honor foldable in daily life doesn’t feel like I’m using two phones slapped into one. As a result, holding it to browse, doomscroll on social media, and read is a better experience than other foldables. Moreover, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable when carried in my pocket because it fits in my pants like a regular phone. The shaving off of millimeters and grams from the build does wonders.

Unlike other foldables, the Honor Magic V2 isn’t a big screen that folds to give you a slab phone-like experience. Instead, it feels like a regular phone that unfolds to give you a big screen. And that is an amazing feat to achieve.

What else should you know about the Honor Magic V2?

Honor Magic V2 in hand with OnePlus Open in the background.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The Honor Magic V2 features a 6.43-inch cover display and a 7.92-inch foldable screen inside. Both of these are OLED panels that offer a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate and support for the Honor Magic Pen stylus. Both the screens are sharp and bright, with clear visibility in direct sunlight.

I enjoyed watching movies and videos on this phone, especially when I could fold it halfway in cramped flights. However, there’s no Dolby Vision support. I liked taking notes with the Honor stylus but didn’t carry it around because there’s no place in the phone or on its case to keep it. If you want to use the Magic Pen, you’ll have to carry it separately.

The hinge is solid and remains in the position you want it to. The crease situation is much better than the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but the OnePlus Open’s near non-existent crease is still the best implementation on a foldable screen. However, I enjoyed using the Honor Magic V2 because MagicOS 7.2 (based on Android 13) offers good multitasking capabilities.

You can run two apps side by side, and I’ve been using it to research stories on one side and take notes on the other. It works like a breeze – without any lag or stutter. There are plenty of gestures to make things easy and intuitive with swipes. I got used to them within a couple of days. That being said, OnePlus’s Open Canvas remains the multitasking benchmark in foldable software. Honor’s multitasking capabilities are on par with Galaxy Z Fold 5’s multitasking.

The Honor Magic V2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which might seem old on paper but is still capable. It is paired with 16GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage.

Talking about the processor, it was the flagship chip when the phone was released in China last year, but by the time the Magic V2 made its way to Europe, there had been plenty of phone launches with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. However, its main competitors, the OnePlus Open and Galaxy Z Fold 5, both carry the same chipset. You won’t feel like the Magic V2 is slow or last-gen by any means – it remains a top-notch device.

As for the cameras, the Honor Magic V2 sports three rear cameras that include a 50-megapixel primary sensor, a 50MP ultrawide-angle lens, and a 20MP telephoto camera with 2.5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom. On the front, you get 16MP cameras – one on the cover display and the other on the big inner screen.

The Honor Magic V2 captures a lot of detail on all three cameras. I like the color tuning and portrait photos. Photos taken at 10x are social media sharing-worthy, too. You can go up to 40x, but those aren’t good quality. The nighttime photos come out pretty well, too.

When compared to the OnePlus Open, the Magic V2 loses in telephoto camera performance. The Open clicks better zoom photos, but the Magic V2 has a better ultrawide camera output. As for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 comparison, I’d pick the Magic V2 over the Samsung foldable for the overall camera performance.

The Honor Magic V2 packs a 5,000mAh battery that supports 66W fast charging. In my time using it as my primary phone, it lasted me throughout the working days. For reference, my regular usage includes jumping around X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, WhatsApp, Slack, and Teams throughout the day with hours of browsing, clicking some photos, and about 20 minutes of navigation.

Innovation comes at a steep price

Honor Magic V2 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 in hand.
Honor Magic V2 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 (right) Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The Honor Magic V2 is now available in Purple and Black color options for 1,700 British pounds/1,999 euros in Europe (without offers). It’s an expensive price tag when considering the Galaxy Z Fold 5 selling for 1,899 Euros and the OnePlus Open costing 1,799 Euros. However, I’d still recommend the Honor Magic V2 because it changes how you interact with foldable phones.

If you need the most value-for-money foldable phone, the OnePlus Open should be your go-to option. It offers the best camera setup on a foldable and near-crease-less inner display. But if you want a folding phone that doesn’t feel like you’re holding two phones when interacting with the cover display, the Honor Magic V2 should be your pick. It features an excellent design, great displays, smooth performance, an all-day battery life, and good cameras. It’s a remarkable package — and one that cements Honor as one of the top players in the foldable world.

Editors’ Recommendations






Samsung’s next folding phone could have a shocking price | Digital Trends

Samsung’s next folding phone could have a shocking price | Digital Trends

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Though foldable phones have been around for several years now, they’re still very expensive and out of reach for most people. For example, the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is $1,800, and most of the competition is priced similarly. But Samsung may be working to fix that with a more affordable “entry-level” foldable.

According to a report from The Elec, it looks like Samsung will introduce an “entry-level” Galaxy Z Fold 6 device this year. The goal of this move would be to “increase the penetration rate of the foldable phone market,” which would make sense as we see more foldables originating from China.

The report also reveals that despite being one of the pioneers of the foldable market, Samsung is in third place in the Chinese market for that specific form factor. That’s due to the fact that Xiaomi, Honor, and Huawei have foldables with much more affordable price points in that region compared to Samsung and have thus outsold Samsung’s Z Fold series.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 display.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

If this sounds familiar, that’s because it isn’t the first time we’ve heard this. Samsung has been rumored to be working on a more affordable foldable, but it just hasn’t come to fruition quite yet. In November 2023, there were suggestions that the company would be working on a “midrange” foldable, but Samsung also apparently shot this idea down.

There are still no big leaks regarding the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 or Z Flip 6, for that matter. The only things that may be possible at this point are a different aspect ratio and a thinner profile.

OnePlus Open and Google Pixel Fold standing to show designs.
OnePlus Open (left) and Google Pixel Fold Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

As someone who has only started to dive into foldables with the Google Pixel Fold ($1,800) and the OnePlus Open ($1,700), I actually do enjoy the form factor. It’s great to have the compactness when the device is closed, while being able to open it up when you need more screen space. But the price has always been a problem, especially for the average person.

If Samsung is indeed going to launch a more affordable, entry-level foldable, I’m all for it. It will definitely entice those who have always wanted to try the form factor, but have balked at the price tags. For some people, having a foldable would make things simpler, as it might eliminate the need to carry around both a phone and a tablet. A cheaper Galaxy Z Fold 6 from Samsung could be the folding phone that makes getting such a device a reality for more people — and that’s exciting.

Editors’ Recommendations






How to Turn Off Camera Shutter Sound on an Android Phone | Digital Trends

How to Turn Off Camera Shutter Sound on an Android Phone | Digital Trends

One “cha-chick” from your Android phone’s shutter while you are shooting a photo of the local squirrel and it’s gone. Meant to be like the camera shutter sounds of the past, it can still be annoying and might even sound if you have your phone’s volume turned off. Can you mute an Android phone’s shutter sound, though? As it turns out, the technique to turn off the shutter sound depends on what Android phone you have, it’s brand, and even where you bought the phone.

Here’s the best bet for you, depending on your situation.


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Turn down the master volume

Android phones have master volume buttons on the side of the handset that control all volume on the phone, including phone rings, music, and even the shutter click. To quickly disable shutter click sounds, use these master buttons.

Step 1: To do this, tap the Volume Down button while watching the screen volume slider descend and then disappear.

Step 2: Once the volume is all the way down, the phone will switch to a vibrate mode, and then most models will completely silence your phone. Either vibrate or full silence should mute the shutter noise. This option should work with almost every Android phone or tablet, including brands like Samsung, LG, and Google Pixel.

Step 3: Remember to restore volume again when you are done taking pictures if you want to hear your phone ring.

Turn off the camera shutter sound

If you want to turn off all shutter sounds permanently but still desire to hear the other noises and alerts on your phone, there is a more straightforward method to do that. You can find this process in your camera settings.

Step 1: In your phone’s main menu and tap the Camera icon, as you would to take a picture.

Step 2: Locate the Camera Settings — usually a gear icon somewhere at the top of the window.

Step 3: Find an option that says Shutter Sound, Camera Sounds, or something similar. Note that the interface may look a little different, depending on the phone and OS version you have, but this is another setting the majority of Android phones have. This example uses an LG V40 ThinQ running Android 10.

Step 4: Toggle the Shutter sound option to “off” to permanently disable any shutter click sounds until you decide to toggle it on again.

Turn off shutter sound temporarily (Samsung)

This approach typically works with Samsung phones, but please know that not all choices may be available on all Android models. They also may not be on all versions of the operating system.

Step 1: On your phone’s main menu, swipe down from the top to reveal the settings and notifications menu and look for the Volume icon, a megaphone design (it will have a slash through it if sounds are currently disabled).

Step 2: Press and hold the Volume Icon until it opens a menu for Sounds and Vibration. This is a master volume shortcut window that allows you to switch between sound and vibrate. However, it’s the Mute option we’re looking for.

In certain versions of Android, you can tap Mute to find the Temporary Mute option. In newer versions, it’s directly below it. You can use this option to temporarily mute your phone for a certain period of time.

Step 3: Select the time frame that works best for you, and all sound will be muted for that duration. Many people like to use this option for meetings and events, but it’s also a great choice if you’re going to be doing a lot of photography with your phone and don’t want to hear the shutter sound.

Suppose you have an older Samsung phone operating an outdated Android OS version (say, Android 6.0 Marshmallow). In that case, you might not receive the interim option, but instead, follow the same steps as listed above with an interface that simply presents you with the Mute option.

Country restrictions

In some countries like Japan and South Korea, you can’t mute the camera shutter sound no matter how hard you try. Shutter muting is disabled, as phones sold for those markets guarantee privacy to dissuade people from undercover recording. It’s not an actual law, but manufacturers and Japanese phone providers cooperate so that phones make a distinguishing noise whenever you use the camera. Potential workarounds include softening the sound by covering the speaker as you’re filming, using the headphone jack and capturing photos using your headphone as a shutter, and using Android camera apps rather than the default Camera app. Give it a shot if you feel so inclined.

Editors’ Recommendations






Something amazing happened to folding phones in 2023 | Digital Trends

Something amazing happened to folding phones in 2023 | Digital Trends

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Samsung has been in charge of leading the foldable segment for too long. For years, Samsung dominated the foldable landscape with little to no competition. But that changed in 2023.

While the company put in the work to improve the Galaxy Z Flip 5 with a bigger cover display, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 seemed to remain an afterthought. Fortunately, other smartphone manufacturers started rolling out more foldable phones globally this year, and now, Samsung’s aren’t the go-to choice anymore. There’s finally healthy competition and choice for folding phones, and I’m so here for it.

Finally, some real competition

OnePlus Open and Google Pixel Fold camera modules.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Samsung started facing the heat from Google in June with the rollout of the Google Pixel Fold. It introduced a new form factor with a wide cover display and a horizontal aspect ratio on the inside. In my opinion, it isn’t an ideal form factor, especially with the weight and not having a vertical display on the inside. But it brought actual competition for the foldable phone market in the U.S. — a critically important task.

Honor showcased the slimmest and lightest foldable with the Honor Magic V2 in September, and it was a turning point for me. It lies in the middle of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold in terms of form factor. It solved the major design issues that were a norm for book-style foldables.

The Honor Magic V2 is closer to a slab phone in more than one way. It is thin enough to feel like a regular slab phone and weighs less than my then-primary phone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In fact, Honor made a whole new slim 5,000mAh battery for its foldable. Plus, It has a crease less than the other two Folds and packs a 20:9 cover screen, which is close to what you’d find on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra or the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

While the Honor Magic V2’s global availability hasn’t been announced, it is slated to launch sometime in Q1 2024. It showcased what a book-style foldable can be and became a benchmark for design – at least for me. And it remains one even after the launch of the OnePlus Open (more on that below).

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 next to the Motorola Razr Plus, both showing their cover screens.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Additionally, we saw the return of Motorola Razr with the Motorola Razr (2023) and Motorola Razr Plus. The latter was arguably better than the Galaxy Z Flip 5, with a bigger cover screen and better battery life. Globally, Oppo had already rolled out the Find N2 Flip, which introduced a new vertical cover screen on the outside.

Samsung made a good comeback with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in Q3, which brought a solid hinge and new cover screen but with the same dual camera setup and gutter-like crease in the middle. The Oppo Find N3 Flip solved both concerns with a triple rear camera setup that included a dedicated telephoto lens on a flip phone for the first time. Plus, the crease situation was much better than Samsung’s phones.

One phone beat Samsung at its own game

OnePlus Open from the back, in hand and less than half folded.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

If the Honor Magic V2 had been released outside of China, it’d be my go-to recommendation for a book-style foldable. But OnePlus did what Honor couldn’t with its first big foldable, the OnePlus Open. It not only challenged Samsung but beat it in almost every way — despite undercutting it on the price.

Similar to the Honor Magic V2, the OnePlus Open features a 20:9 aspect ratio, which I consider ideal for this type of foldable. As a result of the slab-like cover screen, apps don’t misbehave, which is an issue on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold – whether with black borders or the app not being comfortable and displaying zoomed-in text on an irregular aspect ratio. But the OnePlus Open did two other things that no other folding phone has done yet.

First, It offered a camera setup that’s better and more versatile than any big foldable phone. At launch, it had some issues with tuning for the new Sony sensor, but it has only gotten better with updates. Plus, the 6x zoom feels straight out of a more traditional flagship phone.

Two games running simultaneously on OnePlus Open held in hands.
Botworld (top) and Whiteout Survival running on OnePlus Open simultaneously. Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

Second, the crease is almost negligible. You can still feel it, but it’s notably less than the Samsung, Google, Honor, or Tecno foldables. You can’t see it 99% of the time, and for that 1% you can, you have to view it at a specific angle. It’s a non-issue.

The OnePlus Open also took multitasking to the next level with its Open Canvas feature. For the first time, you can now have three apps simultaneously on your screen, with each interaction just a tap away. When you use it, you realize how much you can accomplish on the big inner display. I can plan for my next story or my next trip with Chrome, YouTube, and Google Keep all open simultaneously.

The OnePlus Open is easily my favorite phone of the year that’s available globally.

2023 did something else for foldables

Tecno Phantom V Fold and Tecno Phantom V Flip.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

It’s no secret that folding phones come at an expensive price tag, and oftentimes, it’s the price that keeps consumers from jumping on the foldable bandwagon. But Tecno democratized the market by launching a book-style foldable and a flip phone at unbelievable prices.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold was launched at 79,999 Indian Rupees (INR), which translates to $960, less than most regular flagship phones. YouTuber Michael Fisher famously called it the “a fold at the price of a flip” – something Tecno used at its launch event.

The Tecno Phantom V Fold's open screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Phantom V Fold isn’t a bad foldable by any means. It offers a more useable cover screen and a lesser crease on the inner screen than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. There were obviously instances where Tecno had to cut corners. For example, the hinge is either at 90 degrees or 180 degrees flat, and the cameras aren’t something to boast about, but they’re workable.

As if that wasn’t enough, Tecno also launched a flip phone at 49,999 INR ($600), which brings it to a mid-range phone category, similar to the Motorola Razr launch price in the US. It is selling for 54,999 INR ($660) and still remains the cheapest flip phone on the market, slightly cheaper than the $700 Motorola Razr.

You might not get the fastest performance or the best cameras on these two flip phones, but they are democratizing foldables, which have long remained a novel pursuit. In 2023, folding phones aren’t something you have to splurge on, and that’s a big win for the form factor.

Folding phones are here to stay

Honor Magic V2 and OnePlus Open in hand.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

In short, 2023 was an outstanding year for folding phones.

Samsung faced more competition than ever, which exposed its lazy approach with the Fold 5. Google entered the segment. Honor showed you can make foldables as slim and light as a slab phone. OnePlus led the form factor with great cameras, a near-creaseless display, and next-level multitasking. Oppo introduced a dedicated telephoto camera on a flip phone for the first time. Motorola and Tecno brought foldables to the masses.

That’s more activity in the global foldable market than we’ve seen in the last four years combined — since the launch of the first Galaxy Fold in 2019. I’m still amazed by having a 7.6-inch tablet-like display right inside my pocket that enables me to do so much more than a regular, non-folding phone.

I hope 2024 continues to be amazing for foldables and that Samsung pushes itself to make the Galaxy Z Fold 6 more than an iterative upgrade. This is the best year we’ve had yet for folding phones, and I can’t wait to see where the niche is another year from now.

Editors’ Recommendations






How a few small changes made me love the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 | Digital Trends

How a few small changes made me love the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 | Digital Trends

Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is far from an open-and-shut case. On the surface, it successfully deludes us by appearing to be a minimal upgrade over the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Other than a more powerful processor and improved cameras, you barely see something intriguingly new when you compare the two phones’ specs sheets. In real life, too, it is difficult to tell the two phones apart — unless you’re closely observing the gap around the crease.

But what’s inside makes the Galaxy Z Fold 5 a considerable upgrade over its predecessors. The small changes go a long way and offer an experience unmatched by previous smartphones in Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series.

Small changes have a big impact

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Flex hinge improvements.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

What I’m talking about is Samsung’s new “Flex” hinge mechanism. Instead of forming a crease, the new hinge wraps the folding display in a droplet shape. In turn, this leads to a tinier gap between the two faces.

The experience goes beyond visual subtleties as the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s hinge feels reinvented on a whole new experiential level. Besides reducing the gap between the two faces, the improved mechanism makes the hinge much smoother than on the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Therefore, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 requires much less effort to open and close, especially when the angle is less than 90 degrees.

The improvements over the Fold 4 are almost immediately observable — and appreciated, especially since a critical part of using any folding phone is the extra mechanical endeavor to open and shut the phone multiple times throughout the day. A smoother hinge for a folding phone is absolutely critical because the ceaseless opening and closing can feel tedious — and can deter many people from actually switching to a folding phone.

Why using the Galaxy Z Fold 4 felt tedious

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Fold 4, showing the gapless closure.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

For me, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is more advantageous from a perspective of durability. The smoother hinge and, therefore, the improved ease of opening the Fold 5 facilities a sense of assurance that the Fold 4 lacked — it even discouraged me from using it as my long-term device.

I found it arduous to open the Galaxy Z Fold 4; the opening mechanism felt more rigid, and the two sides would often snap shut during an attempt to open it. Trying to open the Fold 4 with sweaty or wet hands would almost always result in a tiring tussle — and often required multiple tries before I could exert the correct pressure at the ideal point on the phone’s frame to open it.

While toiling to open it, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 would sometimes slip out of my hands, giving me mini heart attacks. These experiences, although insignificant in isolation, compounded and resulted in an aversion to using the phone altogether.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 opening mechanism.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

This specifically applied to the Fold 4 — and not the Galaxy Z Flip 4, which sat more firmly in the hand and didn’t feel too difficult to open despite a similarly firm hinge. The perceived stiffness of the Fold 4’s hinge was primarily due to how the phone is meant to be opened.

While opening the Z Flip, the top half is rotated while the bottom remains planted within the palm. For the Z Fold, however, force is applied on both faces simultaneously to open them into a wider device — similar to opening a book.

A lighter, more convenient build

Reading from Kindle app on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 held in one hand.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

Besides the hinge, a thinner and lighter form factor adds to the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s allure. On paper, the Fold 5 is 0.2mm thinner than the Fold 4 when unfolded. But when folded back, the changes in dimensions do not directly add up for both faces. The Fold 5 is 0.8mm thinner than the Fold 4 (at its thinnest point, i.e., away from the hinge). However, eliminating the gap significantly reduces the thickness at the hinge, streamlining it by 2.4mm.

While these changes in the submillimeter range may not immediately grab your attention at the end away from the hinge, the edge along the hinge feels instantly thinner and easier to hold and use. The convenience is especially felt when using the Galaxy Z Fold 5 with one hand in the folded orientation.

On top of that, Samsung has managed to shrink the weight of the Fold 5 by 10 grams. It still weighs 253 grams, which is unquestionably hefty — especially in the folded position — compared to slab phones. Even so, it’s considerably lighter than other sideways folding phones, such as the Google Pixel Fold, which is 30 grams heavier. Combined with the improvements while carrying the phone, the shaved-off mass not only alleviates physical force on your palm, but also constant uneasiness about wanting to keep the phone secure.

The improved build also makes it a lot less tiring to use the Galaxy Z Fold 5 for longer stretches of time.

The safer ideal

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in a TPU bumper case.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

Besides Samsung’s contribution to improving the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s handling, I have also found respite by using a case with the Galaxy Z Fold 5. While it does add noticeable bulk and thickness to the phone (and seriously hinders navigation gestures on the already narrow cover screen), it blesses me with additional peace of mind. Further, most cases are made of a flexible plastic-like material called TPU, which has a better grip (thanks to more friction) than the bare aluminum frame, aiding in opening the phone.

Fortunately, the same solution applies to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 if you already have that phone — or find it at a more attractive price a year after its launch.

What Samsung needs to do for the Fold 6

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 rear panels.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 5 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The improved sense of handling does not fully address all durability concerns about the Galaxy Z Fold 5, especially when it comes to keeping foreign substances from creeping into the phone. Currently, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 — as well as the Galaxy Z Flip 5 — only offer water resistance. Even the latest Samsung foldables lack protection against dust or other solids like lint or sand that might get caught up between the display when the phone is folded — or worse, sneak under the hinge mechanism. These issues aren’t specific to the Galaxy Z Fold or Flip, but apply generally to all foldable devices and are among the primary reasons many people stray from the form factor.

Samsung is reportedly working to add dust resistance to its foldable in the near future, although it refrains from targeting a clear timeline or generation to receive these improvements. Following the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s launch in Korea earlier this year, Samsung’s head of mobile business, TM Roh, said that the company is aware of consumers’ demand for dust resistance on foldables, which is difficult to achieve due to multiple moving parts.

Citing how the earliest Fold also lacked water resistance, Roh assured customers that the feature will arrive in the coming generations.

My love for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 grows

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 cover sreen selfies.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

With each passing year and shinier upgrades, our beloved smartphones get smarter, swankier, and rife with features we didn’t know we wanted. But in this race to craft the finest piece of technology, durability remains a concern that’s far from addressed. Meanwhile, the intersection between durable and elegant phones has become even more nonexistent than before.

While luxury artifacts are seldom analyzed from an angle of durability, the rule cannot apply to utility wares such as expensive phones. Despite being an exquisite engineering marvel, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is bound to face constant adversities that will force you to consider its durability.

Since it is a phone that many of us can’t afford to drop, I’m grateful the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s smoother hinge mitigates my concerns to a significant degree. The requirement of lesser force to open or close the phone, in turn, ensures better handling of the Fold 5 and fewer possibilities of applying too much or too little pressure while opening or closing it. These improvements finally gave me the courage to use it as my primary phone. I have been using it since the first week of August and can safely say that I cherish the ease of opening it every single day.

Editors’ Recommendations






Why I went back to the iPhone 14 Pro Max (and why I still love it) | Digital Trends

Why I went back to the iPhone 14 Pro Max (and why I still love it) | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

As section editor for Digital Trends’ Mobile section, I frequently use a lot of different phones. But regardless of which excellent Android phone or bleeding-edge folding phone I’m reviewing, I’m always using an iPhone at the same time. From September 2022 until early March 2023, my iPhone of choice was the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But after getting annoyed with its gargantuan size and weight, I downgraded to the smaller (and more manageable iPhone 14 Pro).

I’ve been using the iPhone 14 Pro since then, and it’s been a great experience. It does everything the iPhone 14 Pro Max does, but in a form factor that’s significantly easier to use — especially one-handed. But in preparation for the iPhone 15 series coming soon, I recently went back to the iPhone 14 Pro Max to see how I would get along with it after months of living with its smaller sibling. And in doing so, I realized something. This is still a pretty darn good phone — and one that makes me excited for the iPhone’s future.

The battery life situation

Close-up view of remaining battery life on an iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Complaints about the iPhone 14 Pro’s battery first started rolling in shortly after folks got their hands on the phone last September. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs. Some iOS updates over the last few months appeared to have improved things, while others seemed to do the opposite. The general consensus, though, is that battery life still isn’t particularly good — even after 11 months.

This is something I noticed myself — and complained about shortly after switching to the iPhone 14 Pro. With moderate use, I was finding myself hitting 20% (or lower) by late afternoon. That never improved as the months went on, and it only got worse after I downloaded the iOS 17 beta. I’ve never felt confident in the iPhone 14 Pro’s battery life, and while that’s not a huge issue when I’m at home all day, it’s incredibly annoying when I’m traveling or hanging out with friends in the evening. Thinking about when I should grab a charger is always oin the back of my mind with the iPhone 14 Pro, and that kind of battery anxiety isn’t fun to live with.

Battery stats on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I’ve been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max on the iOS 17 public beta since I switched back to it, and even on beta software, battery life has been significantly better. It doesn’t last quite as long as it did during those first couple of months in September and October of last year, but it’s still very good. Even with 6 to 7 hours of screen time — with over an hour of that being me playing Call of Duty: Mobile — I can comfortably get to 11 p.m. before I dip to 10% battery remaining. If I limit my gaming time, I can easily get through a day-and-a-half on a single charge.

Yes, I wish the iPhone 14 Pro Max wasn’t quite so big and heavy, but I’m becoming more willing to overlook those things when there’s such a big difference in its endurance. It’s not ideal, but if it means I don’t have to worry about battery life 24/7, I’ll happily use a heavier phone than I’d like.

Big screens just do it better

Call of Duty: Mobile running on an iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

But it’s not just a bigger battery that’s helped me appreciate the iPhone 14 Pro Max again.  Most of the phones I’ve used this year have had big displays. Whether it’s the Motorola Edge Plus, OnePlus 11, or Nothing Phone 2, I’ve gotten used to smartphones with 6.7-inch displays. As such, going back to the 6.1-inch screen on the iPhone 14 Pro came with some unexpected consequences.

I love how compact the iPhone 14 Pro feels and how easy it is to manage with one hand, but I also found it was feeling a bit cramped. It’s fine for browsing Threads or checking Microsoft Teams messages, but if I want to do anything more immersive — such as following Apple Fitness+ workouts, watching YouTube videos, or playing too many matches on Call of Duty: Mobile — the iPhone 14 Pro Max is far and away the more enjoyable phone.

There are plenty of phones that offer a big screen in a more manageable form factor, including all of the Android phones mentioned above. But after using both Pro iPhones and thinking about where my priorities lie, I’ve found myself being more willing to put up with the bulky size if it means getting a bigger, more expansive display. Videos look better, workouts are easier to follow, and games are more immersive. It sounds like such a simple thing on paper, but I didn’t realize how much I actually valued the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s bigger display until I had to live without it.

I can’t wait for the iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro render showing USB-C
9to5Mac

I wanted to revisit the iPhone 14 Pro Max for a couple of reasons. The first was to see if I had made the right choice in downgrading to the regular iPhone 14 Pro earlier this year, and to that end, I find myself a bit conflicted. I still vastly prefer how the iPhone 14 Pro feels. It’s a much more comfortable phone in almost every regard, and for a gadget you primarily interact with by holding it, that’s a big deal.

But as I use the two phones side by side, it’s hard to deny how the iPhone 14 Pro Max outclasses its smaller sibling. The iPhone 14 Pro’s battery life problem has only persisted as the year has gone on, and while the Pro Max isn’t a battery champion, it still fares far better. Also, as someone who’s found myself playing more mobile games and watching more videos on my phone, the larger screen size has been a significant positive I can’t overlook.

So, what does all of this mean? I’m going to keep using the iPhone 14 Pro Max for the immediate future, but if anything, it’s only made me more excited for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Rumors heavily suggest that Apple is switching to a titanium body this year instead of stainless steel, which should help address my concern about the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s weight.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I have very few bones to pick with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so if its weight is addressed in a meaningful way, that’s really exciting. And that’s before we even start thinking about the strong likelihood of a USB-C port, a periscope zoom camera, and a new A17 chipset with (hopefully) better power efficiency.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max remains one of my favorite phones of the past year, and if Apple delivers on the iPhone 15 Pro Max rumors we’ve been hearing, that sounds like a phone I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Editors’ Recommendations






The best Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protectors | Digital Trends

The best Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protectors | Digital Trends

Folding phones are the future, and flip smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 are likely to be the folding form factor of choice for many people. It’s not hard to see why, as Samsung’s newest flip phone has everything we loved about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 while adding a larger outer screen and a hinge that finally folds completely flat. It’s a stunning piece of hardware, and the displays are absolutely the linchpin of what makes it great — whether we’re talking about the internal folding screen, or the outer display that’s now much larger and can do so much more.

But two screens comes with their own hazards, specifically, the risk of breakages. While the inner screen is relatively protected while folded, accidents do happen, and they can lead to an expensive repair bill. Thankfully, screen protectors exist to add more protection to your valuable smartphone. Here are six of the best Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protectors you can buy right now. Also, make sure you double up on your protection by adding one of the best Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 cases as well.

Official Samsung Front Protection Film – Twin Pack

Best official Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector


Jump to details

Ringke Dual Easy Film - Twin Pack for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Ringke Dual Easy Film – Twin Pack

Best simple Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector


Jump to details

Spigen Tempered Glass Screen Protector [GlasTR EZ FIT] designed for Galaxy Z Flip 5 [2 Pack]

Spigen GlasTR EZ FIT Front Glass Protector – Twin Pack

Best value glass Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector


Jump to details

Whitestone Hard Coating Film Screen Protector for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Whitestone Premium Gen Hard Coating Film Screen Protector

Best premium film Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector


Jump to details

InvisibleShield Glass+ Defense Screen Protector for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

InvisibleShield Glass+ Defense Screen Protector

Best premium front glass Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector


Jump to details

Supershieldz (2 Pack) Designed for Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 5G (2 Main Screen and 2 Front Screen) Screen Protector, High Definition Clear Shield (TPU)

SuperShieldz Full Coverage Screen Protector Pack – Twin Pack

Best value Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector


Jump to details

The official Samsung front protection film for the Z Flip 5 on a blank background.

Samsung

Official Samsung Front Protection Film – Twin Pack

Best official Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

Pros

  • Official Samsung product
  • Decent protection against scratches and dirt
  • Made from eco-conscious recycled material
  • Twin pack

Cons

  • Difficult to apply without bubbles
  • Lacks hard protection of glass

Samsung is a good place to start when you’re looking to grab some protection for your Z Flip 5, with the bonus that you can grab it the moment you buy your new phone. While nowhere near as protective as a glass screen protector, this film protector will provide decent protection against scratches and dirt, even if it doesn’t do much to protect against bumps and drops.

It’s a twin pack, so there’s a spare in case the first one gets dirty or torn, and it’s also made partially from recycled materials, making it an eco-conscious product. However, a number of reviews have pointed out it can be a tricky screen protector to apply to your phone, with a lot of bubbles emerging if not put on perfectly. If that’s a worry for you, if check out one of our easier-to-apply options below.

Official Samsung Front Protection Film - Twin Pack for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Official Samsung Front Protection Film – Twin Pack

Best official Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

The Ringke Dual Easy screen protector for the Z Flip 5 on a blank background.

Ringke

Ringke Dual Easy Film – Twin Pack

Best simple Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

Pros

  • Close to foolproof application
  • Twin pack for value
  • Multilayer protector for good protection

Cons

  • Installation requires some time and effort

Applying a screen protector can be an experience fraught with tension, as doing it poorly can result in bubbles, or even hairs and dirt trapped between the protector and your display. Ringke’s Dual Easy takes a lot of worry out of applying a protector to your precious new phone, thanks to the almost foolproof installation method.

Done correctly, the Dual Easy’s installation process will lay out the protector correctly, cleanly, and without bubbles. The process is on the more intricate side though, and you’ll need to put aside a bit of time to make sure you do it correctly. It’s worth doing though, as Ringke’s Dual Easy has several layers of protection — and comes with an extra protector to boot — making this a great value.

Ringke Dual Easy Film - Twin Pack for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Ringke Dual Easy Film – Twin Pack

Best simple Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

The Spigen screen protector for the Z Flip 5 on a blank background.

Spigen

Spigen GlasTR EZ FIT Front Glass Protector – Twin Pack

Best value glass Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

Pros

  • Strong glass protection
  • Installation tray
  • Oleophobic coating
  • Great price

Cons

  • Thicker than film
  • Can reduce touch sensitivity and visibility

Spigen is one of the world’s biggest and most well-known accessory creators, and its screen protectors are some of the best around. This protector for the Z Flip 5’s front display is made from tough tempered glass, so it’s likely to protect against a wide range of hazards, including drops and bumps. That additional protection does mean it adds a bit of extra width compared to film protectors, but that’s to be expected.

It comes in a twin pack, and Spigen has also included an installation tray, which helps make applying it a cinch. Since the outer display is likely to be the one that gets the most wear over time, a glass protector here does make sense, but keep in mind that glass protectors can reduce the touch sensitivity and visibility of your display.

Spigen Tempered Glass Screen Protector [GlasTR EZ FIT] designed for Galaxy Z Flip 5 [2 Pack]

Spigen GlasTR EZ FIT Front Glass Protector – Twin Pack

Best value glass Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

The Whitestone screen protector for the Z Flip 5 on a blank background.

Whitestone

Whitestone Premium Gen Hard Coating Film Screen Protector

Best premium film Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

Pros

  • Hard coating
  • Easy install method
  • Silky smooth coating

Cons

  • Expensive for one film protector

Whitestone has made a name for itself with its excellent glass protectors for a wide range of phones. While glass screen protectors can be problematic on a folding screen, Whitestone has the next best thing: a hard-coated film protector. Multiple layers of protection mean that, while it still can’t really challenge glass for protection, the Premium Gen film is at least strong against a number of hazards, including scratches and dirt.

Whitestone’s installation method makes applying it very easy, though like other install trays, it’s something you may need to put some time aside to complete properly. It’s also rather expensive for only the one screen protector, as many competitors offer at least one more protector in their packages.

Whitestone Hard Coating Film Screen Protector for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Whitestone Premium Gen Hard Coating Film Screen Protector

Best premium film Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

The InvisibleShield screen protector for the Z Flip 5 on a blank background.

InvisibleShield

InvisibleShield Glass+ Defense Screen Protector

Best premium front glass Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

Pros

  • 95% stronger than the average screen protector
  • Shatter resistant
  • Smudge resistance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Thicker than film

Glass is glass, right? Not neccessarily, as the InvisibleShield Glass+ Defense proves. Claimed to be 95% stronger than regular glass, this aluminosilicate glass has excellent shatter resistance, a smudge-resistant coating, and helps to preserve your display’s touch sensitivity and clarity.

The EZ Apply tray means applying it, while still something you’ll want to pay attention to, is easier than you might expect. It’ll add extra width to your device, of course, especially when compared to thinner film protectors, but the protection speaks for itself. It’s expensive for a single protector, though, even if it does come with a lifetime warranty from Zagg.

InvisibleShield Glass+ Defense Screen Protector for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

InvisibleShield Glass+ Defense Screen Protector

Best premium front glass Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

The SuperShieldz screen protectors for the Z Flip 5 on a blank background.

SuperShieldz

SuperShieldz Full Coverage Screen Protector Pack – Twin Pack

Best value Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

Pros

  • Fantastic value
  • Front and inner display screen protectors
  • Decent protection

Cons

  • Not as protective as glass
  • No install kit

SuperShieldz is the king of great value where screen protectors are concerned. This pack of screen protectors doesn’t have anything fancy, but what it does have is protection for your outer and inner displays, and an extra protector for each on top — at a bargain price. The protectors are made from film, so they’re not as protective as glass would be, but they’ll still protect against dust, scratches, and grime alike.

There’s no install kit, so you’ll have to be careful while installing them to make sure there aren’t any bubbles left afterward. But even with those small caveats, this is an excellent product for pure value that gives you all-over coverage for your new phone.

Supershieldz (2 Pack) Designed for Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 5G (2 Main Screen and 2 Front Screen) Screen Protector, High Definition Clear Shield (TPU)

SuperShieldz Full Coverage Screen Protector Pack – Twin Pack

Best value Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 screen protector

Editors’ Recommendations






Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: two things I hate (and two I love) | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: two things I hate (and two I love) | Digital Trends

Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Samsung is in its fifth generation of selling foldables. While the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is its biggest upgrade to the clamshell form factor, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an experiential upgrade this year – which might cause some problems for Samsung.

The year is 2023, and more smartphone manufacturers are joining the foldable bandwagon. With the Google Pixel Fold and the upcoming OnePlus folding phone, Samsung finally has some competition in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn’t seem like a device that I would instantly buy over others.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Fold 5 features a lighter and thinner design, a new coating over the main and ultrawide cameras, sits flush when closed, and gets the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor. I consider all of these meaningful upgrades, but I was hoping for more — especially after using a bunch of foldables from the competition.

Two major misses for the Galaxy Z Fold 5

The main display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

I wrote a wishlist for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 earlier this year that included improvements to two major pain points with the Galaxy Z Fold 4. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Samsung delivered.

First, the crease situation. In short, the crease on the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the same as it was on the Z Fold 4. This means the bend in the middle of the inner display is more noticeable than any other book-style foldable at this point. I mostly never have a problem viewing things on the display when indoors, but it’s an issue when light falls at a specific angle, and I’m reminded of the crease.

I only feel it when I graze my thumb across the middle of the display, which isn’t often. But I’ve had readers email me and friends tell me that the one thing that’s keeping them away from buying a Galaxy Z Fold device is the bend in the middle of the display. And Galaxy Z Fold 5 featuring the same crease doesn’t help that situation. It could have been a big improvement over the Fold 4 — but it’s not.

Someone using the Camera app on the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Secondly, no foldable sports a flagship-grade camera system when compared to the flagship slab phones. The Pixel Fold features Google Pixel 7a’s camera hardware; the Honor Magic VS, Vivo Fold, and the Oppo Find N2 don’t have the same camera system as their respective flagship slab siblings.

Samsung could have been the first company to offer true flagship cameras on the Fold 5, but instead, it is sticking with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 hardware with a new coating on top. The Fold 4 still had one of the best foldable cameras, but I expect better cameras on an $1,800 phone. With the Pixel Fold offering better-looking shots than the Fold 4 and OnePlus’s folding phone rumored to have an impressive camera setup, it’s going to be tough for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 to stand out with its 12MP primary, 50MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto (with 3x optical zoom) cameras.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 still does two things right

Someone using the main display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

First, I like my book-style foldables with a taller aspect ratio (like the Galaxy Z Fold and Honor Magic V series) rather than a wider aspect ratio (like the Pixel Fold and Oppo Find N2). While I would have preferred a wider cover display, I’m OK (but not comfortable) using the narrow cover screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

In my time with the Oppo Find N and N2, every time I opened the phone, I was reminded that the web is built for taller phones and not wider phones. You need to rotate foldables with wider form factors to the taller side to get a better experience on the web. Although I still consider the Honor Magic VS, Magic V2, and Vivo Fold to be the ideal form factors for me because of the wide cover display and a tall aspect ratio, the Samsung software on Galaxy Z Fold is unparalleled … at least for now.

Second, I loved using the Galaxy Z Fold 4 when open because of how intuitive it is. And I’m not talking about the software, but the under-display camera.

A person holding the open Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I like the fullscreen experience on the Galaxy Z Fold series, which is the only foldable phone lineup to offer this feature. I’d have liked the 4MP under-display camera to be upgraded, but I still prefer having a fullscreen design over a good video-calling camera because my use cases involve more fullscreen interaction with browsing and reading rather than taking calls. To be clear, having a hole-punch camera cutout on the foldable screen isn’t a deal breaker or unintuitive but the fullscreen experience on the Galaxy Z Fold series is much more satisfying.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 remains an experiential upgrade, which means I’ll have to use it to get to know how much better it actually is from the predecessor because the specs sheet often doesn’t tell the whole story. There are things I love, things I hate, and I’m looking forward to putting the whole package through its paces soon.


Editors’ Recommendations