The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 might repair my largest subject with the Z Fold 5

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

I ordered my first folding smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, in February of this yr. I used to be excited, however I used to be additionally more than a little apprehensive. This was a wholly new kind issue for me, as I’d by no means used a folding smartphone earlier than. I’d used telephones, I’d used tablets, however I’d by no means used each of them on the identical time.

At the beginning of my expertise, I used to be fearful principally about how a lot I’d use the cellphone’s headline characteristic: the massive internal show. After all, if I didn’t find yourself utilizing it, didn’t that defeat the entire level of the system?

Three months on, I’m pleased to report that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is an outstanding smartphone — and I really like the internal show! However, my time with it has highlighted a distinct drawback, which, whereas not a deal breaker, has been an actual ache within the neck. Thankfully, evidently Samsung already is aware of this is a matter, as it might be fixing it with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6.

The internal display is unimaginable at what it does

The Z Fold 5 being half folded.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

It could be a mistake to say this explicit drawback forged a pall over my time with the Z Fold 5 — as a result of it didn’t. Samsung’s strongest foldable smartphone is a technological triumph. It’s highly effective, speedy, and has an excellent battery and a really succesful digital camera. But as you would possibly count on, it’s the internal show that’s the cherry on high of a really tasty cake.

Oddly, after the novelty of the primary week, I didn’t use the internal show all that a lot. The 7.6-inch display is attractive, however because it’s a tablet-sized and -shaped show, it’s tougher to make use of than an ordinary cellphone display. Websites and apps are a lot simpler to learn, sure, nevertheless it’s additionally way more tough to manage with a single hand. It’s a dual-hand setup, actually, and if I’m out and about, then there are comparatively few cases the place utilizing it unfolded is right.

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

So, I used to be proper to assume the Z Fold 5’s internal show was one thing of a white elephant, proper? Well, probably not. There’s no higher cellphone for watching movies whereas doing chores, as an illustration. Reading manga on the Shonen Jump app is unimaginable, and I’m unsure how I ever learn manga with out it. The identical applies to e-books, because the Z Fold 5 has threatened to eclipse my Kindle Paperwhite as my go-to e-book reader. It’s additionally nice for exhibiting folks images and movies; open the display to show a photograph, and even folks on the opposite finish of an extended restaurant desk can see it.

Sure, the internal show isn’t a mainstay of my on a regular basis use — however that doesn’t really matter as a result of that’s not what it’s good for. It’s not what you utilize for flicking by way of social media feeds, searching the web, or taking photos. It can be used for these, nevertheless it actually excels at studying, watching, and sharing. For me, it being so good once I want it to be is greater than sufficient to maintain me pleased.

So, if the internal show isn’t an issue, what’s been the problem? Unfortunately, it’s the outer show.

The outer show lacks consideration and polish

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 on a flat surface with the purple Galaxy Buds 2 Pro TWS Bluetooth earbuds on the side.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

It stands to motive that if I’m not utilizing the internal show, I’m utilizing the outer show. On paper, it’s additionally nice. The 6.2-inch display has the identical Dynamic AMOLED 2X tech because the bigger internal show, and it has the identical 120Hz refresh fee, too. The 2316 x 904 decision is sharp and crisp, and it will get greater than shiny sufficient, even in robust daylight.

But the extra eagle-eyed amongst you could have already seen the oddity: 2316 x 904 is a bizarre decision. It comes out to a facet ratio of 23.1:9, and truthfully, it even reads oddly on a spec sheet. It’s slim. It’s too slim. And I may reside with this narrowness if it didn’t make the show erratic and inconsistent.

Using Twitter (or X, for those who should) confirmed it at its worst. Hitting the like button was akin to spinning a roulette wheel, and I may by no means inform whether or not I’d really just like the tweet in query or open a brand new web page. In quick, I used to be lacking the like button an terrible lot, and lacking it might dump me out of my feed and into the tweet itself — which isn’t the place I wished it to be. Sure, this wasn’t an enormous drawback, nevertheless it was annoying, particularly once I disperse my reactions like sweet on Halloween. Missing buttons on Twitter has by no means been a difficulty earlier than, and I can solely assume the narrower display is responsible. There had been different apps the place this drawback cropped up, too, however I spend far an excessive amount of time on Twitter, so it’s there I seen it most frequently.

Reading a webpage on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5's cover screen.
Chrome on the quilt display Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Videos are even worse. The internal show is the apparent residence for movies, however each every so often, I simply wish to rapidly watch a video with out opening the system up. Unfortunately, the slim side ratio smushes movies down considerably, with vertical house being at a severe premium when the Z Fold 5 is rotated sideways. You can watch movies this manner, however each time I strive, it simply leaves me feeling like I’m watching it on another person’s cellphone. From throughout a road. It’s actually unhealthy.

As I stated, it’s no deal breaker, however it is vitally annoying. Use the outer display for something apart from some primary scrolling or chatting, and also you’ll discover it missing. And that’s particularly galling as a result of it’s the show I wager folks use more often than not.

The Z Fold is a good foldable, nevertheless it must be a fantastic smartphone too

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 half folded on a showcase.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

My time with the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has proven me Samsung is aware of tips on how to make a superb foldable smartphone. But the Z Fold is a cellphone of two halves, and actually, it was solely the folding display that excelled. Most of the time I spent utilizing the outer show felt like a compromise. It wasn’t a premium expertise in its personal proper; it felt like Samsung saying, “I guess, if you really must.”

The outer show seems like a automobile for getting you to the internal display, and that’s mirrored within the software program. Open the cellphone up, and it’ll teleport the identical app you had been taking a look at onto the internal show as if by magic. But it doesn’t work the opposite manner with out digging into the settings app, and that’s shut sufficient to an admission that Samsung doesn’t actually count on folks to wish to go from a big display to a little bit one. The outer show simply isn’t as vital because the internal, nevertheless it ought to be, as a result of it’s the display persons are going to make use of more often than not.

Renders of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, showing the front and back of the phone.
OnLeaks / SmartPrix

Thankfully, a brighter future is on the horizon. Rumors say the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 will be shorter and wider and can change the side ratio of the outer show to a much more useable 20:9. This is identical side ratio because the Google Pixel 8 Pro and would make the outer show a way more possible prospect — and heck, a fairly formidable smartphone in its personal proper.

And actually, that’s the course Samsung wants to maneuver in.

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