Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5’s crucial feature is flawed | ENBLE

Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5's crucial feature is flawed | ENBLE

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked July 2023: Exploring the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s Cover Screen

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung’s latest Galaxy Unpacked event in Seoul, Korea, unveiled an exciting array of upcoming products. Among them were the highly anticipated Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5, as well as the Galaxy Watch 6 series and Galaxy Tab S9 lineup. While each device offers its own unique features, let’s dive into the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and its innovative cover screen.

The Cover Screen: A Motorola vs. Samsung Battle

Motorola Razr Plus Cover Screen

The Motorola Razr Plus introduced a groundbreaking cover screen that functions as a secondary display. This 3.6-inch pOLED panel boasts impressive features, such as HDR10+ certification, a sharp 1066 x 1056 pixel resolution with a density of 413 pixels per inch (ppi), and a staggering 144Hz refresh rate. However, the true standout feature of the Razr Plus cover screen lies in its ability to run full Android apps out of the box.

ENBLE’s Mobile section editor, Joe Maring, who reviewed the Razr Plus, praised its cover screen for its versatility. He highlighted its usefulness in situations like quickly scanning barcodes at the gym or Starbucks without requiring the user to open the phone fully. Other applications include browsing a shopping list, replying to Telegram messages, and discovering new podcasts. While the camera lenses and LED flash do take up some screen space, the convenience of having instant access to essential functions outweighs this minor inconvenience. Users can even exercise granular control over which apps can run on the cover screen, further enhancing the flexibility of this feature.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5: Missed Opportunities with the Cover Screen

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Compared to the Motorola Razr Plus, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes with a 3.4-inch cover screen, which may lead one to assume similar functionality. Unfortunately, Samsung’s implementation of the cover display falls short of expectations. The company primarily uses the Galaxy Z Flip 5 cover screen for widgets, including an “Apps” widget that requires enabling through the Labs section of the Settings app.

By enabling the Apps widget, users gain access to a limited selection of specific apps that can run on the cover screen. This small list of apps includes YouTube, Netflix, Google Messages, Samsung Messages, Google Maps, and WhatsApp. Disappointingly, this experimental setting restricts users to just six apps. However, it is technically possible to run any Android app on the cover screen with the installation of Samsung’s Good Lock app. Good Lock is not available on the Google Play Store but can be found in Samsung’s Galaxy Store, which comes pre-installed on all Galaxy devices.

With Good Lock, users can customize various aspects of the device, including the home and lock screens, recent app layout, clock face, Quick Settings panel, and more. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 also features a “cover screen launcher” option, which allows users to run any Android app on the cover display. While this workaround does provide a solution, it adds unnecessary complexity to a feature that should have been available by default, as seen in the Motorola Razr Plus.

Samsung’s Overcomplication: A Missed Opportunity

Motorola Razr Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung’s decision to hide essential functionality behind extra steps and settings has led to missed opportunities. Users who purchase a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 without prior knowledge of the Labs features may overlook the full potential of the cover screen. Likewise, those unfamiliar with Good Lock might never discover its ability to run any app of their choice on the cover screen, leaving them to believe that the cover screen is a wasted feature.

Motorola’s simplistic approach, allowing users to run any Android app by default on the cover display, proves to be the more intuitive solution. It works seamlessly out of the box, without the need for additional settings or workarounds. Samsung’s overcomplication of this feature lacks a clear rationale, resulting in a user experience that falls short of its competitor.

In conclusion, the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s cover screen holds immense potential. However, Samsung’s handling of its functionality leaves much to be desired. While the device does offer the option to run any Android app with the right setup, it lacks the simplicity and convenience provided by its rival, the Motorola Razr Plus. As consumers continue to seek devices with innovative features, it’s essential for companies to prioritize usability and accessibility in their designs.