Evolution of the Galaxy Z Fold Series

By Anthony Hutia

Foldable technology, once a concept of science fiction, has quickly become a reality in the mobile industry. Samsung has led this transformation, pioneering foldable phones. But what exactly is a foldable? Unlike traditional smartphones, foldables have a central hinge and two folding sides, allowing the phone to open and close. Over time, Samsung has refined the hinge mechanism of its Galaxy Z Fold series, making each iteration more advanced and portable.

As user lifestyles diversify, their technological needs evolve. Samsung has consistently introduced advanced technologies to meet these changes. The Galaxy Fold, first unveiled in 2019, featured a revolutionary form factor. When unfolded, it provided a large screen experience, and when folded, it was compact and portable. Samsung’s innovative hinge technology made this new mobile interaction feel natural and intuitive.

The device could open smoothly like a book and remain thin when folded. Samsung achieved a maximum folded thickness of just 17.1 millimeters with the first Galaxy Fold, setting a new standard for foldables.

Advancements in Galaxy Z Fold2

In 2020, the Galaxy Z Fold2 improved upon its predecessor with a refined design and innovative features. The Hideaway Hinge, a key innovation, allowed the phone to fold and unfold stably. Users could mount the Galaxy Z Fold2 at various angles, enhancing functionality for selfies and video calls in Flex Mode. The addition of a 6.2-inch external display further improved usability.

The Hideaway Hinge’s intricate design included over sixty parts, making the dual CAM mechanism possible. This mechanism helped keep the device open or closed and enabled Flex Mode. Samsung optimized the hinge’s location for a slimmer design, achieving a maximum folded thickness of just 16.8 millimeters.

Protection and Durability

To minimize gaps between the front of the device and the hinge housing, Samsung developed Sweeper Technology, inspired by vacuum cleaner brushes. This technology protected the phone’s display from dust and debris. In 2021, the Galaxy Z Fold3 became the first water-resistant foldable, addressing a major challenge. Samsung applied waterproofing technology to the display and hinge, using corrosion-resistant materials and protective coatings.

Samsung used Armor Aluminum to enhance the Galaxy Z Fold3’s durability and achieve a thinner, lighter form factor. The Sweeper Technology evolved to maintain aesthetics while protecting the hinge. By 2022, the Galaxy Z Fold4 reduced weight and thickness significantly, making it the lightest and thinnest foldable in the series. The hinge design shifted from rotary to linear motion, further reducing weight and thickness.

In 2023, the Galaxy Z Fold5 introduced the Flex Hinge, marking a significant leap in foldable technology. This new mechanism allowed the display to fold without creases or gaps, resulting in the lightest and thinnest Galaxy Z Fold device yet. The Flex Hinge improved flexibility and durability, enhancing the overall user experience.

Each year, Samsung refines the Galaxy Z Fold series through precise engineering and meticulous manufacturing. By continually reimagining the hinges and reducing device thickness, Samsung enhances the utility and convenience of its foldables. This ongoing innovation ensures that foldable technology remains at the forefront of the mobile industry.

Anthony Hutia is the Head of Mobile Experience Division, Samsung East Africa.

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