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The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 skimps on hardware but bets big on AI

This year we get a wider display, a new chip, and some design changes, but its the Galaxy AI features that are the true star of the show.

Custom image for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 launch news with the reporter showing the back of the phone

Samsung has officially unveiled its latest foldables, with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 launch taking place at the latest Galaxy Unpacked event in Paris, which we were lucky enough to attend. As many predicted, the Z Fold 6 has finally adopted a wider cover display. The goal is to make the phone feel more like a typical smartphone when it’s folded, as previous Fold devices have all featured unusually narrow and tall displays.

Compared to the last generation of foldable phones, the Z Fold 6 gains an extra 1mm in width and loses 1.4mm in height, when folded. It feels much more natural in the hand, and it’s certainly a change for the better, but it’s still a lot more narrow than your average non-folding phone. The difference when holding it next to my Vivo X Fold 3 Pro was quite stark. On the plus side, Samsung has managed to shave off 14 grams of weight, so it’s less of a burden on your pocket.

The rest of the design has seen a bit of a refresh, too. Samsung’s signature traffic light-style camera array is still in the same location, but now oversized black bezels encircle the cameras. It gives the phone a more playful, almost cartoonish vibe. Samsung has also given the edges the matte treatment to match the S24-series, and I think they look much nicer than the glossy edges of the Z Fold 5. This time around, the phone is available in Silver Shadow, Pink, and Navy options. Crafted Black and White options are available exclusively on Samsung’s website.

As for the hardware, the biggest upgrade is the jump to a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy SoC and a beefed-up cooling system to go along with it. The vapor chamber has seen an increase to 1.6 times the size, and this should be good news when it’s time for a marathon gaming session.

Custom image for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 launch showing the phone half open and standing up

Of course, along with its new dimensions, the display specifications have changed slightly too. You now get a 6.3-inch 120Hz AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,376 x 968 on the outside and a foldable 7.6-inch 120Hz AMOLED on the inside with a 2,160 x 1,856 resolution. As with the last generation of Samsung phones, both are LTPO panels and can dynamically shift down to 1Hz.

Essentially, it’s not a meaningful upgrade in speed or resolution, but the panels are brighter, boasting a peak brightness of 2,600 nits. The FTG protective layer on the folding screen is also stronger and better at resisting scratches, and the phone now has an IP48 rating – the first time we’ve seen a dust resistance certification on a Samsung foldable.

The cameras remain unchanged, at least on paper, but Samsung assured me that the ultrawide has a new lens. That’s something I’ll have to explore when I get my hands on a review unit, as it appears identical on the spec sheet. The battery and charging speeds are also the same as the previous generation. You get a 4,400 mAh battery pack, 25W wired charging, and 15W wireless.

Custom image for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 launch showing the reporter taking a selfie

With very similar hardware to last year, you might be wondering where all the upgrades are, and the answer is Galaxy AI. Just as we saw with the S24-series, the majority of the launch event focused on these AI features, and they’re certainly the biggest selling point.

It’s mostly the same tricks that we’ve seen on the S24 series phones, but the Korean tech giant has optimized some of them to take advantage of the unique form factor of the Galaxy Z Fold 6. For example, you can use the Interpreter function in Flex Mode and utilize both displays. So you can type (or talk) on one side of the phone, while the other displays your translated message, pretty neat.

The Browse Assist and Transcript Assist functions have also seen changes to suit the larger internal display, and can now display in a side-by-side view. Effectively, this means you’ll be able to see the original content and the AI-generated summary at the same time.

There are also a couple of new AI features that Samsung has added to the mix. My favorite is Sketch to Image, allowing you to doodle on top of any photo, and then generative AI will bring your doodle to life. It’s quite impressive, and lots of fun to play about with.

Custom image for Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 launch news showing the Sketch to Image function

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 is available to pre-order now and it goes on general sale starting from July 24. The 256GB model starts at $1,899 in the US or £1,799 in the UK, a $100 increase compared to last year. It could be a tough sell with so many impressive foldables on the market today.

There you have it, all you need to know following the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 launch. To see what the other Android brands are up to, check out our guides to the best Google Pixel phones, the best Motorola phones, and the best Xiaomi phones. Or, if you’re an Apple user, see our guide to everything we know about the iPhone 16.