Updated February 12: Article originally published January 11.
Samsung documents point to a critical change in the design of the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 6.
Update: Monday, February 12: It has already been suggested that Samsung’s quest to launch a cheaper “Fan Edition” in its Galaxy Z Fold line will drop support for the S-Pen digital stylus. The latest leaks offer good news for those interested in the flagship Galaxy Z Fold 6.
Not only will Samsung’s foldable continue to support the S-Pen, but the stylus is expected to have its own storage slot built into the Z Fold 6. Previously, the S-Pen had to be carried separately, making it easier to carry lose and more. difficult to grasp and use in situations that require rapid responses.
Adding a storage compartment will create more space between the Z Fold 6 and a potential Z Fold 6 FE, highlighting the more expensive model as the company’s concern, while the FE version may be more easily presented as a mainstream variant.
Details of the new changes are contained in a patent award recently granted to Samsung. Titled “Electronic device including a flexible display” (PDF link), it addresses one of the biggest concerns with regularly used foldable smartphones: they have more bulk, especially if closed, compared to the standard form factor .
First, the hinge assembly is thinner than the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s current hinges, which is always welcome. It also addresses the stress that can be placed on a foldable device via a detent hinge.
This allows the device to have multiple “fixed” positions as it moves through its arc of travel. If Samsung goes this route for the Z Fold 6, you’ll have a foldable handset with some preferred positions. I would suggest that they be in a completely flat position when open, in a 90 degree corner to echo a shape used in Samsung’s marketing materials, and possibly at 120 degrees to provide a comfortable viewing angle for the multimedia.
These notches should also support both sides of the Z Fold 6, reducing tension between the two sides of the device.
The illustrations in the patent are also worth noting. The foldable device does not match the design of current Z Fold devices. Instead of the current tall and narrow form factor when closed, the cover screen is wider and shorter, bringing it closer to the form factor of Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy A handsets. This is an approach in devices like the OnePlus Open and the Honor Magic V2.
Standardizing the Z Fold 6 to resemble a regular phone is key to driving adoption. Although these illustrations are generic, patents can indicate a company’s thinking and direction on a product.
Although the features and processes shown in the patents are not guaranteed to reach consumer hardware, in the case of a hinge assembly in a foldable phone I would expect to see many, if not all, techniques assembly, as part of the Galaxy Z Fold. 6.
Now, read more about Samsung’s other foldable phone for 2024, the Z Flip 6…
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