Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6 Hands-On Review: Design, Features, and Performance Unveiled

Foldable phones are changing how we use our mobile devices by combining the best of smartphones and tablets into one. Samsung leads this innovation with its latest Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6. Let’s look at their design, drawing from my hands-on experience.

Designer: Samsung

The Galaxy Z Fold6 features a sleek, symmetrical design with straight edges, making it look refined and practical. It is 2.7 mm wider and 1.4 mm thinner when unfolded compared to the Fold5, making it feel comfortable and substantial. This design improvement makes the device easier to handle while offering a larger screen.

After using other foldables like the Vivo Fold, Honor Porsche Design Foldable, and OnePlus, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to hold and manage the Fold6. The flat and sharp edges add a modern touch. The design feels intentional, enhancing both its look and functionality. I’m a fan of the design, which balances form and function well.

The device is sturdy with its enhanced Armor Aluminum, which improves scratch resistance by 10%. This is paired with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back for better protection against drops and scratches. During my hands-on time, this combination felt durable, giving me confidence in its everyday use. These enhancements build on the Fold5’s already robust design.

The Galaxy Z Fold6’s hinge mechanism is impressive. The dual rail hinge design distributes shock better, making folding and unfolding smooth. This adds to the device’s durability and improves its functionality. The strengthened folding edge makes it more resilient against impacts. The hinge felt solid and reliable, addressing some concerns from previous models.

The main screen includes an improved protective layer that reduces the visibility of the crease, making for a smoother viewing experience. This layer also helps with shock absorption and protects the internal components. The device’s slim and light design, combined with these features, makes it robust and user-friendly. The Fold6’s display improvements offer a slightly better viewing experience compared to the Fold5.

The Galaxy Z Fold6 features a 7.6-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex Display with a 2160 x 1856 pixels resolution at 374 ppi. This display supports a 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate, offering a smooth visual experience. Whether watching videos, playing games, or multitasking, the display’s colors and details are impressive. The cover screen is equally capable, with a 6.3-inch HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, ensuring clear visuals in any mode. These display enhancements provide a noticeable upgrade from the Fold5.

The Galaxy Z Flip6 is designed for those who value style and functionality. Its compact form fits easily into pockets and bags, making it highly portable. The 3.4-inch Super AMOLED FlexWindow offers a dynamic way to interact with the device even when closed. Holding the device, it’s clear that Samsung has prioritized both looks and usability, creating a practical and stylish device. The Flip6’s design refines the Flip5, making it easier to use and more appealing.

The FlexWindow isn’t just for notifications; it supports interactive and photo ambient wallpapers that change based on the time and weather. This feature adds a personal touch to the device, allowing users to express their style directly on the cover screen. The interactive wallpapers respond to touch or movement, making the user experience more engaging. Experimenting with these features and seeing the wallpapers react in real time was interesting. This feature builds on the functionality of the Flip5’s external display, offering more customization options.

Customization is central to the Galaxy Z Flip6. Users can create unique wallpapers using the generative wallpaper feature, which allows the creation of images based on keywords. The device also offers wallpaper suggestions with diverse styles to suit individual preferences. During hands-on use, setting up and switching between these customizations was seamless. This level of personalization was more limited in the Flip5, making the Flip6 feel more unique.

The Galaxy Z Flip6’s durability matches that of its Fold6 counterpart. It features the same enhanced Armor Aluminum frame and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, ensuring it can withstand everyday use. The folding edge has been reinforced to resist pressure and sharp objects better. The Flip6’s durability improvements build on the Flip5, making it even more resilient.

Specs and Features: Power and Intelligence

Their intelligent AI features set the Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6 apart. These capabilities enhance productivity, creativity, and user experience.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform, optimized for AI processing, is the core of these devices. This processor enhances performance and enables a host of AI-driven features that make everyday tasks more efficient.

The Galaxy Z Fold6 boosts productivity with AI-powered tools. Samsung’s Note Assist in Samsung Notes offers translation, summaries, and auto-formatting for meeting notes. The embedded transcript feature can transcribe, translate, and summarize voice recordings directly in Notes. PDF overlay translation allows for seamless translation of texts within PDF files, even supporting texts in images and graphs. Composer in Samsung Keyboard generates suggested text for emails and social media posts based on simple keywords, reflecting your tone by analyzing previous posts. These AI tools are more advanced than those in the Fold5, providing a smoother user experience.

The enhanced S Pen experience on the Galaxy Z Fold6 allows access to convenient shortcuts by hovering the stylus over the screen. Smart Select expands the S Pen’s capabilities, offering features like translation, note-taking, and Sketch to Image, which provides image options based on your sketches. During hands-on use, these features made note-taking and content creation more intuitive. This is an improvement over the S Pen functionality on the Fold5, making the Fold6 more versatile for productivity.

The Galaxy Z Flip6’s AI capabilities enhance user interaction and customization. The 3.4-inch Super AMOLED FlexWindow supports interactive wallpapers that change based on time and weather, offering a personalized touch. FlexWindow provides quick access to various indicators and widgets without unlocking the device. Users can manage health, SmartThings, reminders, and news updates seamlessly. These features build upon Flip5’s capabilities, offering more customization options and quick access to information.

The generative wallpaper feature allows users to create unique wallpapers using keywords, adding a personal touch to the device. The suggested replies and interpreter mode make communication quick and efficient, with tailored responses and easy two-way translation using FlexMode. These features will be handy for anyone who needs it, making interactions more seamless. These AI enhancements make the Flip6 more intelligent and responsive than the Flip5.

The Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6 have AI-powered camera features. The FlexCam on the Galaxy Z Flip6 offers clear selfies and crisp AI zoom with its new 50 MP high-resolution camera and a 12 MP camera for enhanced low-light detail. The camera system on the Galaxy Z Fold6 includes a 10 MP cover selfie camera, a 4 MP under-display camera, and a rear triple camera setup. AI tools like ProVisual Engine and Photo Assist elevate photography, offering features like Portrait Studio and Instant Slow-mo. These camera enhancements provide a noticeable upgrade from the Fold5 and Flip5, particularly regarding AI capabilities and low-light performance.

The Galaxy Z Fold6 enhances the gaming experience with its powerful chipset and 1.6x larger vapor chamber, supporting longer gaming sessions with detailed graphics and Ray Tracing. The 7.6-inch screen with up to 2,600 nits of brightness ensures an immersive gaming experience. The Galaxy Z Flip6 also supports a rich multimedia experience with its flexible display and AI-driven features, making it versatile for productivity and entertainment. These gaming and entertainment enhancements build on the performance of the Fold5 and Flip5.

Running on Android 14 with One UI 6.1.1, the Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6 offer seamless connectivity options, including 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3. Samsung Knox with Knox Vault ensures your data is secure, providing advanced protection against cyber threats. The devices also feature Live Translate, which translates phone calls in real-time, and Interpreter mode, enhancing communication in multiple languages. As someone who travels frequently to Japan and China, I find these features particularly useful. Using third-party apps like Alipay or WeChat in Chinese with real-time translations has been incredibly convenient, making communication and transactions much smoother.

Value: Who Should Upgrade?

For users with Fold5 or Flip5, the differences between Fold6 and Flip6 may not be substantial enough to warrant an upgrade. The Fold6 and Flip6 are iterative updates, offering refinements rather than revolutionary changes. However, for those new to the foldable market or upgrading from older versions like the Fold3 or Flip3, the Galaxy Z Fold6, and Z Flip6 offer significant advancements in design, AI features, and overall performance, making them compelling choices.

The free storage upgrade offer is an added incentive for new buyers. Pre-ordering the Galaxy Z Fold6 can get you a free upgrade from 256 GB to 512 GB or 512 GB to 1 TB, available on Samsung.com and through select carriers and retailers. Additionally, pre-orders made by July 23 are eligible for up to $1,200 in trade-in value for the Galaxy Z Fold6 with an eligible trade-in.

Final Thoughts

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6 go beyond their sleek looks, representing the future of smart, user-friendly devices. Their AI features boost productivity, creativity, and overall user experience, making them perfect for everyday tasks. Whether you prefer the large display and productivity tools of the Galaxy Z Fold6 or the stylish flexibility and customization of the Galaxy Z Flip6, these phones offer a seamless mix of technology and design. My hands-on experience with both devices highlights their versatility and intelligence, setting a new standard for what foldable phones can achieve.