Galaxy Z Fold 6 Wishlist: What would a perfect foldable phone look like?

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Foldable phones have been around for more than five years now, and despite the initial hype, these futuristic devices are still far from mainstream. What seems to be the problem one may ask. Well, there are several issues worth pointing out, but this isn’t that kind of article.

Today we’re going to fix foldables by doing the opposite—focusing on what a perfect foldable would look like, and what a popular phone such as the Galaxy Z Fold 6 should bring to the table in order to become a hit. I’m sure many of you have your own opinions on the subject, and be sure to share them in the comments below, but there are several things that we think are universal and would make foldables that much better.

And, in the wake of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 debut, it’s the perfect timing to spark a little excitement again in a smartphone category that now starts to look a bit dull. What’s our Galaxy Z Fold 6 wishlist? What features would make it a best-seller? Time to find out!

Durability: Because you’ve had enough screen cracks and fingernail scratches

First, let’s talk durability. The perfect foldable phone should laugh in the face of everyday wear and tear. Think of a hinge so robust it could withstand your grandma’s famed apple pie crust—flexible yet unbreakable. And to be fair, the hinge itself has evolved substantially from first generation foldables, and nowadays there’s titanium and other exotic materials inside, so that requirement has been pretty much met already. But, as Elon Musk said once, “you can bend human laws, but it’s hard to bend the laws of physics.” We say it’s impossible. How do you make something hard and durable while at the same time being flexible? There’s a way around this, and it’s called Electroactive polymers.

Electroactive polymers change their hardness when there’s an electrical current applied. So, our perfect foldable will receive a snap of voltage when you unfold it to make the screen flexible, and then another jolt to make it as hard as real glass. No more fingernail scratches and dents! We don’t think the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will sport such fringe technology, but dreams are free!

Slim as a fashion model: So you won’t need a backpack for your foldable

Now, imagine slipping a wafer-thin device into your pocket. That’s right, no more pocket battles where your phone competes with your keys for space, which creates a strange bulge you sometimes need to explain to the female population.
Folded, it’s sleek and compact, thinner than the stack of business cards you never hand out (business cards are so last century). Unfolded, it’s your dream tablet—shiny, bright, and durable.

We should mention the weight of the perfect foldable phone as well. We think that in order to be really competitive and useful in day-to-day life, the perfect foldable should weigh under 200 grams. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes in at 250 grams, and even the thin and lightweight Honor Magic V2 weighs 230 grams.

In order not to be a burden, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 should weigh around 180–190 grams, the same as an iPhone 15 Pro. This is achievable if we turn to composite materials such as kevlar or carbon fiber. The Motorola ThinkPhone, for example, uses aramid fiber on its back.

Display: Brightness vs refresh rate? Why not both?

Speaking of displays, a LTPO panel capable of doing a 1-120Hz refresh rate dynamically is the bare minimum. We would’ve argued about the aspect ratio, but it’s one of these impossible problems that concern physics.

Maybe, just maybe, if we’re talking about a tri-fold, the resulting aspect ratio, when unfolded, will make consuming media such as movies a great experience. Because as things stand now, you’re getting huge black strips when watching a movie, no matter how you orient the foldable.

A phone that folds in two places will keep the compact form factor when folded but offer an aspect ratio close to the 21:9 movie standard. Which brings us to the crease—the bane of foldable phones!

The perfect foldable phone shouldn’t have any creases, obviously. The Electroactive polymers we mentioned earlier might help. This can be achieved even without fringe science, and we had creaseless foldables before. Huawei’s Mate Xs is a prime example, and we know that this one folds outward, which is not the best solution, but there’s no crease when unfolded.

When it comes to brightness, it’s the new arms race in all smartphones, not just foldables. The perfect foldable phone should come with a sufficiently bright screen, which translates to around 1,500 nits of real life brightness (not the peak brightness of a single pixel for a millisecond). We think that’s perfectly achievable.

Performance and Software: More power than a laptop, but can you harness it?

Under the hood, this phone should pack more punch than Muhammad Ali. With the latest high-end processors and a generous serving of RAM, there’s no shortage of raw power. The real problem here is the operation system. Multitasking on a smartphone is pretty much like a unicorn. We’ve all heard about such animals, but no one has ever seen one. Okay, we might be a bit harsh here, but in order to take full advantage of the huge screen estate of a foldable and the powerful internals, you should be able to multitask the proper way.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 supports up to four recent apps in the taskbar, and you can open three simultaneously, but it’s still very limiting. How about letting apps run in the background, not just suspending them and waking them up only when shown on screen?

Cameras: Flagship-level with no excuses

The perfect foldable should be big when unfolded but compact when folded. Which means you can, in theory, put a decent camera system inside. There’s no reason why we couldn’t get a one inch sensor on a foldable. So, the main camera should use a flagship-grade one inch sensor, there should be an ultra-wide, of course, and given we’re probably talking about a tri-fold, why not put a periscope zoom lens, which can serve portrait and macro duties as well?

And while on the camera subject, let’s talk about the selfie camera. We could see this phone without a conventional selfie camera easily. If it’s a tri-fold, then you can just fold the half that has the main cameras on it and use it like this, it’s not a new concept, and it has been done in various other iterations through the years.

Battery and charging: Who has hours to wait nowadays?

One of the big issues with most foldables is the battery and charging department. Either the battery is too small, or the charging is too slow, or, in the worst case scenario – both.

The perfect foldable should come with at least a full-day battery when used extensively, and a full charge should take no more than 30 to 40 minutes. This is no science fiction, Far East foldables are already there in regard to charging, and battery technology is evolving as we type this. But as we progress, we finally reach one very crucial and sensitive aspect: the price.

Price: I need both my kidneys intact!

Everything we’ve written up to now points toward a very, very expensive product. Which is the main issue with foldable phones. These things cost north of $1,500, and not a lot of people are prepared to dish out that kind of dough for a device that still goes through its puberty period.The perfect foldable should ideally come at a price under $999, which might sound outrageous, but we really think technology will get there eventually. Hence, the perfect foldable might not be the Galaxy Z Fold 6, or even the Galaxy Z Fold 9, but we’re sure that at some point in the not-so-distant future, we will get it!

Anyway, what do you guys think? How would the best foldable look like for you? Let us know in the comments below.


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