Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 during an event in South Korea next month, which means the 2023 Samsung foldables will hit the stores earlier than they have in past years. Samsung has started feeling pressure from competitors as various companies brought Fold and Flip designs to international markets. Then there’s the Pixel Fold, which is even more important than all the foldables coming out of China. This will be the only foldable Android device to deliver a Google-optimized version of Android.
Leaks have shown that Samsung is ready to respond to the increased competition. Both the Fold 5 and Flip 5 will feature design changes that should alleviate some concerns. But you’ll have to wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 to get the design change you’ve been asking for: A better aspect ratio for the external display.
Recent leaks showed that Samsung has “fixed” one annoying Fold and Flip design compromise that has never been a problem for any of Samsung’s rivals. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 will fold perfectly flat thanks to a new waterdrop hinge design. That means the annoying gap between the two phone halves of the screen will disappear.
Also, Samsung will increase the size of the Flip 5’s external display considerably to match similar models from Oppo and Motorola.
Since other vendors delivered these features before Samsung, it seems clear that Samsung didn’t care about changing the Fold and Flip designs too much in the previous years. Samsung was the dominant player in the foldable business in most markets. But there were no real alternatives until this year.
While Chinse vendors have eliminated the gap and enlarged the external display on Flip phones, those designs were not available in international markets. Samsung had nothing to worry about.
Google Pixel Fold folded (left) and unfolded (right). Image source: Google Chinese vendors and Google have also fixed an incredibly annoying Galaxy Z Fold design choice. Samsung’s external display is too tall, and the resulting aspect ratio isn’t great for using the phone while folded.
Most people will likely use foldable handsets when they’re closed more than when they’re open. You don’t need to unfold the handset for basic smartphone features. It’s only when you need enhanced multitasking or a tablet experience that you unfold the device.
Handsets like the Oppo Find N and Pixel Fold do not have the same problem. When folded, they look like regular phones, which is what Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold handsets should look like. Unfortunately, while the Fold 5 has no screen gap when folded, that tall aspect ratio is still a problem. If that’s not what you want from your Fold experience, you can buy something from the competition. Or wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 6.
Samsung leaker Ice Universe advised buyers a few days ago to skip the Fold 5 and wait for the Fold 6. Reacting to that remark, a different leaker said that the Fold 6 would bring a major design change in the aspect ratio of the external display. The Galaxy Z Fold 6 will be shorter or wider than the Fold 5, if Tech_Reve’s claim is accurate.
The leaker also said the Fold 6 would use the same image sensor as the Fold 5. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however.
It’s unclear where Tech_Reve obtained this information. But the leaker said a few days ago that the Fold 5 might be slightly cheaper than the Fold 4. If you can deal with the weird aspect ratio, that might be a good reason to get it.
The Fold 5 should still be a great Android flagship, featuring high-end specs just like the Galaxy S23 series. Still, the handset will be more expensive than most traditional smartphones, even after a price cut.
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Samsung has been trying to beat the iPhone for years. And it has failed for years. Apple still makes the most coveted flagship phones in town, and Samsung is still a fast follower in the business. Even now, in 2022, Samsung continues to copy Apple’s new iPhone features all the time. The iPhone 14 Pro’s success is another pain point, and it must hurt Samsung even more considering the Galaxy S22 series’ blunders.
Samsung might criticize and mock the newest iPhones publicly, but it probably loves the success of Apple’s new iPhone series. That’s because Samsung happens to be a massive supplier of a critical component that Apple uses to manufacture iPhones: OLED screens. And the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max got even more sophisticated OLED panels this year. The big winner? Samsung Display.
Even before Apple’s early September iPhone 14 launch event, reports claimed that Samsung would be the main supplier of Apple’s OLED panels. LG and BOE would also supply displays for certain iPhone models, although Samsung would get the largest share.
A new report from The Elec claims that Samsung will supply over 70% of the OLED panels Apple needs for the iPhone 14 series.
Apple is expected to need about 120 million OLED screens for the iPhone 14 series, and Samsung will reportedly account for more than 80 million units. LG Display will supposedly make 20+ million units, while BOE will ship 6 million screens to Apple. LG and BOE reportedly encountered setbacks that allowed Samsung to increase its share.
iPhone 14 Pro on a throw. Image source: Jonathan Geller, BGR The report notes Apple needs two types of panels. The low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED equips the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) TFT OLED panels. These are the displays that support 120Hz dynamic refresh rates. The refresh drops as low as 1Hz, enabling the always-on display functionality exclusive to the Pro models.
Samsung supplies OLED panels for all four iPhone 14 models. But some 60 million Samsung OLED panels will serve the iPhone 14 Pro versions. These should be the most expensive OLED panels that Apple utilizes this year.
A report from Nikkei said recently that the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s cost of parts rose to $501 this year, a $60 increase over the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The A16 Bionic chip is an expensive component, according to the report. But 24.8% of that cost goes to South Korean suppliers.
Samsung and LG are two of them. It’s unclear how many other South Korean suppliers make parts for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But the OLED display is one of the iPhone’s most expensive parts no matter what company makes it.
Per The Elec, LG makes OLED panels for the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. BOE only scored contracts for the 6.1-inch iPhone 14. This indicates neither company is ready to challenge Samsung in the short term.
At the end of the day, the iPhone 14 series will add billions of dollars to Samsung’s earnings. That’s a great perk to have from a smartphone that outsells Samsung’s own flagship Galaxy smartphones by an order of magnitude.
Of note, Samsung will probably continue to benefit greatly from iPhone sales in the future unless LG and BOE can significantly up their game. All iPhone 15 models launching next year will feature OLED panels.
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With summer on the way, we’re getting closer to the launch of Samsung’s next wave of foldable devices. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 should be unveiled in August, during a launch window that once belonged to the Galaxy Note. The Galaxy S22 Ultra delivered the final nail in the Note’s coffin, and Samsung has since confirmed that the Note series is dead. As a result, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 are the only new Samsung flagships that we’ll see this summer. And now we have another series of leaks that details the significant display design changes coming to the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
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A Samsung insider with an accurate track record revealing Galaxy secrets said a few weeks ago that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 wouldn’t just recycle last year’s display design.
The Fold 3 is Samsung’s best Fold version to date when it comes to durability. But it’s not a perfect foldable phone. The Fold 3 is thicker and heavier than traditional handsets. More annoying is the external display, which continues to feature an aspect ratio that’s not friendly to one-handed use. The cover screen is too tall and not wide enough.
That’s where the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is improving, according to Ice Universe. The leaker said a few weeks ago that the handset’s cover screen will be wider than before. Also, the display will not be as tall as that of the Fold 3. These changes should make the new handset easier to use.
Galaxy Z Fold 3 smartphone. Image source: Amazon / Samsung The new Galaxy Z Fold 4 display design leak
The same leaker has returned with more details about the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s display design. This time, he shared screen ratios for the phone’s displays which support previous rumors. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 foldable display will have a 6:5 aspect ratio compared to 5:4 for the Fold 3. The cover screen will have a 23:9 ratio, compared to 24.5:9 for the Fold 3.
The leaker provided visuals that make it easier to understand these design changes:
As you can see in the renders above, the overall screen real estate will not change for the foldable screen. The display will be slightly wider and just a touch shorter than before. Therefore, the diagonal size should be similar.
More interesting are the renders showcasing the purported Galaxy Z Fold 4 cover display design, seen below:
Like the foldable screen, the external display is slightly wider and shorter. We’re only looking at a few extra millimeters that make the phone a bit wider. Is that enough to improve the experience with the folded screen? We’ll have to wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to hit stores to see that.
In a separate tweet, the leaker also listed the battery capacities for the two 2022 Samsung foldables. We’re looking at a 4,400 mAh battery pack for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and a 3,700 mAh battery for the Flip 4. If the figures are accurate, only the Flip is getting a battery size upgrade, while the Fold 4 will only match its predecessor’s battery size.
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