The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series has always been more ‘fancy party trick’ than ‘practical smartphone’. The novelty of folding your phone in half still hasn’t worn off four generations in, but making do with a teeny-tiny external screen and terrible battery life certainly has.
The good news is that Samsung is seeking to address the former. The bad news is that that doesn’t spell good things for the latter.
According to a number of sources, the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s external screen is going to swell to a (comparatively) massive 3.4in size with a resolution of 720×748.
That’s quite an upgrade on the Galaxy Z Flip 4 which has a dinky 1.9in 512×260 panel on the outside — really only good for minimal notifications and as a viewfinder for the camera.
The reliable leaker OnLeaks thinks it’ll look like the picture at the top of the page (via the wonderfully named Media Peanut), while the equally reliable Ice Universe thinks it’ll look like the picture below, complete with a neat selection of widgets to gawp at while the handset is in its closed state.
(It’s compared to the Z Flip 4 on the left — this isn’t some weird kind of expanding screen tech.)
This is all well and good, but it raises two possible problems.
Firstly, that external screen looks a whole lot easier to scratch than before — that sound you can hear is 100 screen protector manufacturers rubbing their hands with glee.
Secondly, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series has never exactly been blessed with long battery life. The most recent model got an upgrade to a 3,700mAh cell, and even then most reviews put it in the eight-nine hour range. Better than the five-six hours offered by its predecessor, but still not what you’d call “good enough”.
No leakers seem to have commented on battery size yet, which suggests we’ll be getting the same 3.700mAh again — only with more screen to power.
We’ll find out soon, with a possible launch in the last week of July mooted. Or, to put it another way, the big unveiling could be just 243 Z Flip 4 battery drains away…