3 things Samsung is still stubborn about in 2024 (including the Galaxy Z Fold 6)


I’m really torn. I keep making an effort to switch from my iPhone 15 Plus to my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, and it just can’t seem to last for longer than a week.

Why am I so eager to switch away from the iPhone? Well, I love the Z Fold 5‘s form factor, in theory. I like that it can do literally everything, in theory. It’s a phone, it’s a tablet, and it’s even a PC (with Samsung DeX).

Unfortunately, due to Samsung being stubborn about certain things, its products (or lack thereof) disappoint me a bit. So let me vent about it…

With the Galaxy Z Fold 5 (and likely 6) you don’t actually get a big-screen phone, paradoxically you get an even smaller-screen phone

I know what you’re thinking – “How is it a smaller screen? It’s 7.6 inches of folding AMOLED glory!”

Well, you’re thinking of the folding screen, but guess what – you’ll be using the outer display more so than anything.

With that in mind, by just normally using the Z Fold 5 throughout your day, you’re actually stuck with a super narrow screen, that’s smaller than any modern smartphone you’re using right now.

It’s too small to type on, it’s too small to watch media properly on, and it’s too small to even enjoy some absentminded social media content.

I was really hoping Samsung would finally address this with the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 6, but alas, the latest reliable leaks tell us that it will not be getting wider enough (unless we’re counting ~2.5mm of increased width as significant).

It’s a step in the right direction, sure, but still – it will not be getting wide enough to match a normal smartphone, usually stretching over 10mm more than the Z Fold 6’s rumored 60.2mm, which is a bummer.

So why is Samsung so stubborn about this? Why does the Z Fold remain in this narrow candybar shape after nearly 6 generations, when phones like the first-gen Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open have more than proven that it can be done, and it’s a huge improvement? Go figure.

The moment I switch to the Z Fold 5, and have to type out a quick response on that narrow outer display, I know I’m about to make a “great” impression on whoever I’m talking to with those inevitable typos. Because even my reasonably skinny fingers can’t not press two keys at once, on accident.

Like its predecessors, and evidently its successor, the Z Fold 5 can’t truly double as both a normal phone and a tablet, until it’s wider. When, or if it gets there, using its outer display will no longer feel like a clunky compromise, but natural.

Not to mention its inner folding display will also benefit from being wider, as it’ll be far more suitable for watching videos and movies. Because currently, with its close-to-2:3 aspect ratio, the folding screen feels like a compromise too. It doesn’t actually make your content that much larger than a normal, large slab phone, because it’s so square-ish, and you get the black borders.

So Samsung staying stubborn about this narrow form factor really hurts its flagship folding phone experience for me. But there’s something else that does it too…

Samsung, I can’t enjoy any content on your big, beautiful displays, when the sound quality is always subpar, compared to any iPhone

It’s truly funny how any modern iPhone of any size, including the discontinued mini, with its single down-firing speaker, overpowers the Galaxy Z Fold 5, and Galaxy S24 Ultra when it comes to sound quality.

This is something I’m really passionate about – why is Samsung giving its phones all the features in the world, plus the best displays on the market, yet stubbornly keeps slacking in the speaker department?

Whether you’re browsing social media reels, watching YouTube videos and movies, or gaming, I’d argue sound is a huge part of the experience.

And either iPhones have spoiled me, or Samsung phones have been consistently disappointing in that area – from the laughably tinny-sounding S22 Ultra I remember being visibly upset about when I first heard it, to the current Galaxy Z Fold 5 I’m using, which somehow has less perceivable low-end than its predecessor… things are not getting better.

Fair enough, perhaps having rich, full sound with a reasonable amount of bass, iPhone style, might not be as important to the average consumer as it is to me, but if Apple can do it, surely Samsung would want to match, if not surpass it, right?

And yes, most Android phones in general slack behind the iPhone when it comes to sound, so if you’ve never bought a fruit-based phone, you won’t notice that you’re missing anything, but come on… Let me sell you on this.

Hearing is one of our primary senses, right up there with sight and touch. I believe Samsung has nailed the latter two – its flagship phones look and feel nice and premium, as you’d expect for the price.

But the speaker quality doesn’t get better, and it sucks seeing Samsung decide to plateau where it has, when improvements can clearly be made.

Again, the company that generously gives us the most phone features, all the form factors, the best screens… just stubbornly continues not caring about sound. It’s an odd choice, for sure.

Where’s the AR/VR headset, Samsung?

You know you’re late to the party when even Apple beats you, with its Vision Pro headset.

I know what you’re getting ready to say – “Samsung already had the Gear VR headset thing many years ago, so it’s not late to the party!”

Gear VR was a failed experiment designed to ride the 2014 Google Cardboard trend, and while cool, it unfortunately wasn’t much beyond a fun thing to try for a short bit. It wasn’t even a real VR headset, just a plastic case for your phone, which itself acted as the virtual reality screen.

But we’ve entered the era of spatial computing – which means one single device, one headset, that does everything. The Meta Quest 3 is top dog in my opinion, but the Apple Vision Pro also comes to mind, obviously.

These headsets have the potential to change the world eventually, when they get smaller and lighter, and most importantly – cheaper.

A gaming machine, that’s also a computer, with its own virtual displays for you to work on, its own speakers, compatible with physical keyboards and mice, combining the real and virtual worlds for you…

Maybe current AR/VR headsets won’t be as big as future, similarly-capable AR glasses will be, once the technology for them is ready, but it’s important to start now, which is why Apple did it.

It’s important not to slack behind, and show the world you have what it takes to enter and crush this new market, with its limitless potential.

Samsung has been rumored to be working on modern AR/VR headsets – of course – and if you asked me a year ago, I’d bet money it would release one before Apple, but we both know that’s not what happened.

Apple’s headset came, with its insane price, made a smaller splash on the market than I expected (but seems to enjoy pretty good business adoption, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook), yet Samsung remains quiet…

Surely we can expect a Samsung headset soon, especially now that Meta made its popular Quest AR/VR operating system open-source and available for any company, including Samsung, to adopt, the same way Google open-sources Android…

But try not to lag behind and second-guess this AR/VR thing any further, Samsung. I want you to succeed and provide Apple with the competition it needs, just like you’re doing in the smartphone world.

Your thoughts on Samsung’s next moves?

Whether you agree or disagree, you’re welcome to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Do you believe Samsung will eventually make the Z Fold wider, or has this narrow design become a part of its identity forever?

Do you notice Samsung phones having lackluster speaker quality, or are you happy with it?

And are you excited for Samsung’s rumored AR/VR headset? Do you expect the Korean company to strike a deal with Meta and use its ecosystem, or will it build its own from scratch? Will Samsung’s headset be much more affordable than Apple’s? Share your speculations and hopes for it!

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