The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip debuted this past February, immediately vaulting to the head of the class for foldable phones.
Not only did Samsung’s newest foldable avoid the hardware reliability problems of the Galaxy Fold and Motorola Razr, but it offered solid specs and at a slightly less eye-watering price than we had seen from other foldable smartphones.
But one feature was arguably missing from the Galaxy Flip Z: 5G support. But it looks like Samsung is ready to address that with new hardware in the coming months.
A Galaxy Z Flip sequel is allegedly in the works that will add 5G connectivity to the foldable phone. But it’s unclear whether Samsung will have any other tricks up its sleeve for the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. And with more foldable phones on the way, will this new Galaxy Z Flip still have what it takes to stand out?
We’ve gathered up all of the rumors regarding the Galaxy Z Flip 5G (or is it the Galaxy Z Flip 2?), so let’s go over what we know about its release date, price, specs, and more.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Release date
Samsung is incredibly reliable when it comes to its announcement dates in recent years and the Galaxy Z Flip 5G appears to be pegged for the company’s semiannual Unpacked Event. This latest one is likely to happen in August, with several sources suggesting that August 5 is the date for the big event.
One of those sources is Jon Prosser, the reliable tipster and host of Front Page Tech. And while Galaxy Note 20 is the nominal star of that show, he’s expecting foldable phones — both the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Fold 2 to debut alongside Samsung’s new phablet.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Price
While the original Galaxy Z Flip was the most affordable true foldable we’ve seen so far, it’s hard to use that term when referring to a device that costs $1,380. Adding 5G into the mix certainly isn’t going to help bring costs down but depending on what if any other changes are being made to the device it’s possible that we see only a minimal price bump.
Keeping the Galaxy Z Flip 5G below $1,500 seems like a realizable goal for Samsung if 5G is the one new feature being introduced and it would also maintain some separation from the larger Galaxy Fold 2 that’s expected to cost between $1,780 and $1,980.
If however, Samsung switches to the Snapdragon 865 for its built-in 5G support instead of simply adding the Snapdragon X50 modem to the Snapdragon 855 Plus found in the Galaxys Z Flip, that is all but certain to raise the price of the phone.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G or Galaxy Z Flip 2?
It’s only been six months since the launch of the Galaxy Z Flip, so if a new foldable flip phone arrives in August, it’s hard to believe that Samsung will introduce a true successor to this device. Instead, it could just be a 5G version of the Z Flip with few other changes.
One change that may be in the cards for a 5G version of the Galaxy Z Flip would be a larger battery. The original Galaxy Z Flip featured a 3,300 mAh battery, which would be severely strained by 5G connectivity. That phone lasted just 8 hours and 16 minutes on our battery test when the average smartphone holds out for around 10 hours.
That said, it’s not unprecedented for Samsung to release a sequel so soon after the original. After all, it was at the August 2019 Unpacked Event when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch Active 2, which came just six months after its predecessor.
Still, it’s more likely that Samsung holds out until next year to roll out a Galaxy Z Flip 2. The company typically holds another Unpacked event in February and this one would feature both the Galaxy S30 and a sequel to the Z Flip a year after the original’s release.
We don’t have a lot of evidence to go on for what features a Galaxy Z Flip 2 might add with the exception of a possible camera upgrade. A patent depicted a couple of possible three-camera arrays for a Galaxys Z Flip 2 that would presumably add a telephoto lens to the existing standard and ultra wide lenses.
As for what we would like to see, a slightly larger exterior display for the Galaxys Z Flip 2 would improve that user experience and allow you to open the main display even less frequently. This would also help with the battery life, the other feature we would like to see Samsung address in any Galaxys Z Flip follow-up.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: 5G connectivity
So the one feature that we can definitely count on in the Galaxys Z Flip 5G is 5G. But what will that mean for the phone. Because of the current state of 5G in the US, not only do all of the networks not offer the exact same 5G coverage options but not every 5G device offers the same 5G support.
Take the the Galaxy S20. The version that came debuted initially only worked with sub-6GHz 5G, which is what makes up the bulk of 5G coverage for AT&T and T-Mobile. A special version of the Galaxy S20 for Verizon’s mmWave-based 5G network only debuted in June. Those mmWave antennas take up additional space on a phone, and space is not exactly in abundance in the Galaxys Z Flip’s compact design.
Considering the biggest advantage to buying a 5G device at this stage is to future-proof your device for improved 5G networks, paying up up for a phone with limited 5G support doesn’t seem like a great investment. So if Samsung is going to match or exceed the Z Flip’s original $1,380 price tag with a 5G version, it had better be one that can work with the fastest networks.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Other features
The original Galaxys Z Flip runs on a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor with 8GB of RAM. The phone offers 256GB of storage, two 12MP rear cameras and a single 10MP front-facing camera. While we aren’t expecting any major changes for the Galaxys Z Flip 5G hardware there are a few possibilities.
The move to a slightly larger battery is the most likely due to the power needs for 5G, particularly in light of current 5G coverage. The move to the more powerful Snapdragon 865 processor with built-in 5G is also a strong possibility, although the cost might be too great to maintain the price that Samsung would like for this device. Samsung could go in another direction, by opting for a less powerful Snapdragon 765 processor — it’s got a built-in 5G modem, but not nearly as much processing muscle as the 8 Series chipsets.
Both the RAM and internal storage are already sufficient and our assumption is that Samsung is going to save anything more than internal changes for the Galaxys Z Flip 2 in 2021.
Galaxy Z Flip 5G: Outlook
The Galaxys Z Flip is the best foldable phone to date with solid construction, modern smartphone specs, and some clever use of the folding screen beyond simply the form factor and gee-whiz factor of a folding phone. It’s also the least expensive of the true foldables on the market right now and while that’s not a low bar to get under, it is certainly a point in its favor.
If the Galaxys Z Flip 5G is simply the original Galaxys Z Flip with 5G tacked on, that feels like taking a niche device, especially in light of the fact that 5G networks are still evolving. There’s incredibly limited access to 5G speeds across most of the U.S. and even for those that do have access to 5G networks, a hit on battery life would pose be a real problem for this device.
Unless there is an incredibly minimal price hike or better yet the Galaxys Z Flip 5G simply takes on the $1,380 price of the original, Samsung has a lot of convincing to do about this rumored phone.
This news was originally published at tomsguide.com