Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Rumors: Everything to Know Before Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's next foldable phone could have a new hinge. We'll find out on Wednesday.

Lisa Eadicicco Senior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Expertise Apple | Samsung | Google | Smartphones | Smartwatches | Wearables | Fitness trackers
Lisa Eadicicco
5 min read
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4.

James Martin/CNET

Samsung's next Unpacked event is just days away on July 26. That means we might see a new foldable phone -- or two -- from the company. Rumors indicate Samsung's next foldable, expected to be called the Galaxy Z Fold 5, will be a minor update to the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The potential announcement comes on the heels of Google introducing its first foldable phone, the Pixel Fold, in June. The Pixel Fold's form-factor and price position it as Samsung's largest rival to the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Among the biggest changes expected to the Galaxy Fold 5 is a redesigned hinge that should reduce the device's thickness. But, of course, we won't know for certain until Samsung makes an announcement. Rumors also point to routine changes like a thinner build suggest Samsung is still fine-tuning the Galaxy Z Fold's design.
Each year, Samsung has implemented modest but useful changes to the Z Fold's physique that make it more palatable. With the Galaxy Z Fold 4, for example, Samsung increased the cover display's width, a small change that makes it feel a bit more like a regular phone when closed. But the Z Fold 4 is still notably girthy when folded compared to a standard phone, showing there's still work to be done.

Read more: Preorder/reserve new Galaxy phones now

Here's what we know about the Galaxy Z Fold 5 so far based on rumors and historical Samsung product launches. 

Watch this: What to Expect From Samsung's Next Unpacked Event

Galaxy Z Fold 5 release date

Samsung's next Unpacked event will be held on July 26, which means we can expect new products to arrive shortly thereafter. Samsung typically releases new foldable phones in the August time frame, while it typically announces new Galaxy S phones around February. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 4, for example, was announced on Aug. 10 and went on sale Aug. 26. Before that, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 hit store shelves on Aug. 27 in 2021. With that in mind, it seems likely that the July event will focus on the Z Fold and Z Flip.

Reportedly leaked Samsung marketing images that surfaced on Twitter and were first published by well-known leaker Evan Blass also suggested that foldables will be announced at the event. However, that leak didn't show the Z Fold 5 specifically.

Galaxy Z Fold 5 price

Samsung's tablet-style foldable doesn't come cheap. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,800 without a trade-in. That's certainly cheaper than Samsung's original Galaxy Fold, but it's still considerably more expensive than your average phone. It's also the same price as Google's recently announced Pixel Fold. 

We haven't heard much about the Galaxy Z Fold 5's price when it comes to leaks and rumors. But TM Roh, president and head of Samsung's mobile experience division, acknowledged when speaking with CNET last August that pricing is a challenge.

"It's definitely a challenge that we are tackling, and we will need to tackle," he said. 

Galaxy Z Fold 5 design

If the rumors turn out to be true, Samsung may make some design refinements to the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Korean news outlets The Elec and ET News, as well as prolific leaker Ice Universe, have reported that Samsung will implement a new water drop-shaped hinge for the Galaxy Z Fold 5. This could result in a less noticeable crease and a slimmer profile when closed, similar to the Oppo Find N, which has this hinge style. The biggest benefit would be that the phone folds completely shut with no gaps, making it feel more sleek when being used as a normal phone. 

That would be a much-appreciated improvement, considering one of the Galaxy Z Fold 4's biggest drawbacks is that it still feels chunky when folded. Competitors like Oppo and Huawei have also done a better job at hiding the crease, as my colleagues Sareena Dayaram and Eli Blumenthal have written, so this new hinge could help Samsung catch up. 

Someone using an S Pen to draw on a Galaxy Z Fold 4

Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Galaxy Z Fold 5 S Pen

Samsung's book-style foldable has supported the S Pen since the Galaxy Z Fold 3, so it seems likely that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will as well. The question, however, is whether you'll be able to store it within the device as you can with the Galaxy S23 Ultra

ET News reported that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will not include a storage slot for the S Pen. There's less room for S Pen storage since the hinge structure has changed, the report said citing a person close to the issue.

However, a previous report from The Elec said Samsung cited adding a designated slot for the S Pen as a challenge that it believes needs to be overcome to further popularize foldable phones. This suggested that Samsung was indeed considering adding an S Pen holster to its next foldable. 

Embedding the S Pen in the Galaxy Z Fold 5 could make it more useful as a productivity device, further defining who that product is truly for. But doing so while reducing the device's thickness is certainly a challenge. One solution could be to create a magnetic mechanism for attaching the pen to the Z Fold 5, similar to the way the Apple Pencil attaches to the iPad. 

Galaxy Z Fold 4's main screen showing the CNET website

The Galaxy Z Fold 4's screen when unfolded.

Kevin Heinz/CNET

Galaxy Z Fold 5 storage and other specs

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 will likely have some specifications in common with the Galaxy S23 lineup. The phone may be available in 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options, just like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, according to Sam Mobile

It'll also likely run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, according to The Elec, just like the Galaxy S23 family. Samsung optimized the version of the chip that's inside its latest flagship phones, so it's possible it will do the same for its next foldables. 

We haven't heard many rumors about the camera yet, but The Elec reports it could have a 12-megapixel selfie camera and a triple-lens rear camera with a 50-megapixel main camera. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 also has a 50-megapixel main camera, so it sounds like we won't be seeing too much of an upgrade there. But if it does have the new Samsung-optimized edition of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, we may see some of the behind-the-scenes improvements to image processing that arrived on the Galaxy S23. 

The 12-megapixel front camera would also represent an upgrade from the 10-megapixel selfie camera on Galaxy Z Fold 4's cover screen, provided that The Elec's information is correct.

Overall, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 seems like it could be a modest improvement over the Galaxy Z Fold 4. But if the rumors turn out to be true, it'll represent another step toward addressing some of the aesthetic compromises that come with foldable phones, like screen creases and thick designs when shut.

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