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Galaxy Z Flip 5’s big external display and hinge upgrades took too long, here’s why

Published Feb 23rd, 2023 10:39AM EST
Galaxy Flip 4 color options
Image: Samsung

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Samsung crowned itself the king of the foldable market in repeated remarks recently because it was one of the first companies to adopt the form factor. But the main reason why Samsung outsold competitors had nothing to do with the Korean giant’s ability to manufacture great foldable devices. Samsung simply lacked competition in western markets, and it outspent rivals on advertising by an order of magnitude. That is also part of the reason why the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5 might outsell other upcoming foldable phones.

The new Samsung foldables will drop this summer. But, by the time they do, they’ll have to face several competitors. Chinese smartphone makers are coming to Europe in full force, hoping to put pressure on Samsung with devices like the Oppo Find N2 Flip. If you’re a Samsung fan, you can probably thank that competition for some of the best Galaxy Z Flip 5 rumored upgrades.

Like any flagship, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 will get hardware upgrades to keep up with tech advancements. That means a new processor as well as potential RAM and storage upgrades. Add camera and battery improvements to that, and you get a brand-new foldable flagship that’s better than its predecessor. That’s essentially what Samsung has done since the first Flip model.

Oppo Find N2 Flip foldable phone.
Oppo Find N2 Flip foldable phone: External display. Image source: Oppo

But the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is already rumored to get a larger external display than its predecessor. More importantly, the external display will reportedly be larger than the Oppo Find N2 Flip that the Chinese smartphone maker just launched internationally.

Moreover, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 should feature a brand-new hinge design that will reduce the visibility of the foldable’s display crease. Again, you can thank the same Find N2 Flip for pushing Samsung in this direction.

The Oppo handset features a large 3.26-inch external display that provides a lot more at-a-glance information than the Flip 4’s 1.9-inch cover screen.

Oppo Find N2 Flip foldable phone: New hinge design.
Oppo Find N2 Flip foldable phone: New hinge design. Image source: Oppo

The Find N2 Flip also rocks a new hinge with a miniaturized design that has fewer components than the first-gen Oppo hinge. According to the company, the hinge is more compact than ever, which leaves more internal space for the battery capacity. The hinge has no gap either when you fold the handset, and it can withstand more than 400,000 folds and unfolds.

Make no mistake, Samsung isn’t designing the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in response to the Oppo handset. Rumors going back to early December said the Galaxy Z Flip 5 would have a much larger cover display, which could measure more than 3 inches. The same leaks said a new hinge design is coming, with Samsung aiming to reduce the visibility of the crease.

More recently, leaker Ice Universe tweeted that he can confirm the Flip 5’s cover display is larger than the one on the Oppo Find N2 Flip. Samsung probably settled on these design changes a while ago. But the foldable phone maker knew its competitors were about to exit China.

Samsung also supplies components for foldable devices, so it might have an idea of what’s coming next from rival companies. Even without supply contracts, the China-bound foldable devices from last year were already great Fold and Flip competitors.

Also, Samsung likely wanted to increase the size of the Z Flip’s external display. The same goes for improving the hinge.

Could it have done all this in time for the Z Flip 4’s release, though? Probably, considering the advancements Samsung has made in recent years, starting with the Fold 3 and Flip 3. But the point is that Samsung never felt the pressure to innovate before. The Fold and Flip were the only foldables worth buying in international markets.

With the Oppo Find N2 Flip’s arrival, Samsung has to impress shoppers this summer when the Galaxy Z Flip 5 arrives. And it must prove that it can innovate in the foldable space at the same pace as rivals.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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