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External display size could be the next battleground for foldable flip phones

External display size could be the next battleground for foldable flip phones


Rumors about Samsung’s upcoming flip phone and renders of a new Motorola foldable suggest much larger cover displays are on the way. 

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A foldable flip phone where almost the entire cover is display.
This could be Motorola’s next Razr.
Image: Evan Blass

Upcoming foldable flip phones from Samsung and Motorola could have much larger cover displays than the current generation, if a series of leaks about the unannounced devices are to be believed. 

First there’s the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which Samsung is anticipated to announce this summer. Leaker Ice Universe, who’s been a reliable source of information on unannounced Samsung devices in the past, recently tweeted to “say for sure” that Samsung’s next flip phone will have a bigger external display than the Oppo Find N2 Flip. For reference, Oppo’s flip phone has a 3.26-inch cover display, which is already substantially larger than the Z Flip 4’s 1.9-inch display. 

That tallies with a prediction from display supply chain analyst Ross Young, who last year predicted that we’d see a cover screen over 3-inches in size on the Z Flip 5. Young also expects Samsung to use a new hinge design for the upcoming foldable that should reduce the visibility of the screen crease.

Meanwhile, Motorola may also be increasing the size of the cover display for its next generation Razr. Leaker Evan Blass shared renders of an unnamed device where almost the entire rear panel of the phone is covered by a secondary display. Although Blass’ tweet doesn’t name the device directly, the images line up with a recent report on the 2023 Motorola Razr published by The Tech Outlook. An exact size for this cover display wasn’t listed, but it looks much larger than the 2.7-inch cover display on the 2022 model, which was released in China and select other markets but never made it to the US.

A screenshot of an Evan Blass tweet.
Blass’ tweet included two renders of a foldable thought to be Motorola’s upcoming Razr.
Image: Evan Blass

As we saw with the Oppo Find N2 Flip, as well as larger foldables like Samsung’s Z Fold handsets, a bigger cover display opens the door for the phone to be able to do more without having to unfold it, whether that’s to check the weather, set a timer, or fire off a quick response to an incoming message (so long as the phone’s software supports it, that is). But it’s also wild to remember that the iPhone’s original display was 3.5 inches in size, meaning foldables could soon have secondary cover displays that rival the size of the primary screens on early smartphones — albeit in a different aspect ratio.