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One reason the Galaxy Z Fold 5 being a minor upgrade makes sense

Opinion
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Last updated: June 29th, 2023 at 00:11 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy Z Fold 5, based on all the leaks and rumors, isn’t going to be much of an upgrade over the Galaxy Z Fold 4. We’re literally just expecting it to have an upgraded hinge that gets rid of the gap when the device is folded and possibly reduces visibility of the crease, along with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip under the hood.

There’s also a possibility the Z Fold 5 will be dust resistant. But even with the addition of dust resistance, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 probably isn’t going to wow anyone with its list of new features and upgrades. Naturally, that’s not a good look for a phone that costs more than $1500, and complaints about the Z Fold 5 being too similar to the Z Fold 4 will no doubt make their way online once the device goes official.

To be fair to Samsung, offering big upgrades on its flagship smartphones every year isn’t exactly a good idea, especially since those upgrades can result in a higher price tag. On the fold flip side, however, there needs to be something worth getting excited about every time a new flagship comes out, and it looks like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will mostly be a disappointment in that regard.

But there’s at least one reason why that might not be such a bad thing: not enough customers change their phones every 12 months these days. Consumers are holding on to their smartphones far longer than they used to, which is why Samsung and other Android manufacturers have started extending the software support period for their devices.

There’s also the fact that economic conditions have gotten worse globally since the COVID pandemic started back in 2020. Combined with how Samsung Galaxy devices don’t offer great resale value (at least compared to the iPhone), not a lot of folks are looking to switch from one $1500+ smartphone to another $1500+ smartphone in just one year.

I would go so far as saying that it’s a stretch to assume people are upgrading their phones even every two years. If I had to guess, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will be bought more by people who own a Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Galaxy Z Fold 2, and for them, the new model will have enough new things to not feel like a rip-off.

Just to be clear, I’m not defending Samsung here. Or, well, I am, in that I can see why Samsung might have decided to keep the big upgrades for a later model. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is nearly a year old but is still pretty amazing, and anyone who owns it should ideally wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 or Z Fold 7 instead of switching to the Z Fold 5, especially if they want to make a financially sensible purchase decision.

Opinion
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