I went hands-on with Samsung Galaxy Flip 6 and Fold 6–and one wowed me

Reviews

Samsung debuted its all-new foldable lineup, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and the Galaxy Z Fold 6, this week in Paris, France. Foldables are nothing new to the technology giant, having launched the Flip 5 and Fold 5 last year in Korea. But with these new models come solid enhancements that have the potential to make the devices better than before. So, I went hands-on to the Samsung Unpacked event to check them out.
A Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 on a navy background
The all-new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6 are out, but how do they stack up? Read on for the hands-on take for both devices. (Illustration: Forbes: / Photo: Retailer)

While Samsung had some clever tricks up its sleeve for one device, there’s another in particular that truly left me wowed. Read on to hear my initial takes on the Flip 6 and Fold 6, and whether they’re worth preordering right now.

The first feature I noticed about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 was the brushed, shiny new frame. Earlier this year, Samsung launched the new Samsung S24 Ultra, which features a titanium frame and back panel for extra durability. The Flip 6 also doesn’t implement this sturdy component alongside the new dual rail hinge, but the aluminium frame still feels sturdy when opening and closing and in my hand. I was able to preview the Flip 6 in the mint colour, and although I would have liked to see the back plate match the frame, it still looks pretty polished and spiffy.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 in mint on a stand.
The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 has a fun colourful design with a brushed titanium frame. (Rebecca Isaacs for Forbes)

The foldable screen also caught my eye, as it looks notably smoother compared to the Flip 5. I ran my fingers along where the crease should have been and I didn’t feel it. I’m excited to start testing streaming on this device to see if the crease shows more with use, but for now, it’s barely noticeable from any angle, and that’s a huge improvement.

A close up of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 cameras.
The cameras also get some new and different design flair. (Rebecca Isaacs for Forbes)
Resizable Widgets Enhance The Cover Screen

The customisation software on the Flip 6 for your backgrounds and images received some major overhauls, too. Samsung read my mind in that I wanted to pare down and customize my widgets on this display—because now I can. During my hands-on, the resizable widgets allowed me to see the weather, my health tracking stats and more on this small screen. Or, I could add a quick shortcut to use the calculator. I’ve always enjoyed this handy cover screen as it’s easy to answer messages or get at-a-glance information, and this feels like a nice way to upgrade something that I already find essential.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 on a white table.
The new widget screen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 feels like a major upgrade. (Rebecca Isaacs for Forbes)
It Finally Gets New Cameras, Too

But by far, its most valuable improvement is the camera. The Flip 5 has a 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide and a 10MP selfie camera set. The Flip 6 finally gets a new 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide and a 12MP telephoto lens. I snapped some test photos with the device and saw improvement compared to my Flip 5 camera—the test subjects looked clearer and more detailed when I zoomed in. (You’ll have to take my word for it, as I wasn’t allowed to remove any images taken with the device for security reasons.) I wasn’t yet able to test some other features, such as Samsung’s signature Nightography, but I plan to further explore this later once I have the device for a longer period of time. For those questioning whether it’s worth the preorder, even with its increased US$100 price tag—it absolutely is.

While it appears Samsung went all-out with the Flip 6, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 has a more nuanced approach. Samsung slightly rejiggered its size, so it’s slightly wider and shorter. But, most notably, it lost some weight, reducing the grams from 252.8 to just 239 grams. It may not seem like much of a difference, but, if you’re gaming or note-taking with the S Pen (which is still sold separately in the S Pen case), those extra grams can start feeling hefty.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 on a glass table
The new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 has small design changes. (Rebecca Isaacs for Forbes)

It’s a smart choice. One of my biggest complaints about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is that it’s just plain heavy. And this complaint isn’t limited to the original Samsung Fold series, either. Google’s first foray into the foldable market, the Google Fold, feels like I’m carrying bricks with its 282 grams. The OnePlus Open is the only exception, weighing in at 238 grams, but its camera juts out too much for my personal taste. For Samsung to focus on increasing the screen size while reducing the weight feels like a great decision. I didn’t have a Fold 5 on hand to compare the two, but the Fold 6 felt light in my hand when folded and unfolded. I could see myself carrying this device around New York City, especially in that new Barbie pink color. Although, the crease, unlike on the Flip 6, is still visible on the Fold 6.

New AI Elements, Too—With Mixed Success

Samsung markets this as a productivity and gaming tool, but it added some fun AI elements. I saw a demonstration of and also tried one of its latest features, Sketch To Image. It’s a simple premise: You shoot a photo, then doodle or scribble on it. The Fold 6 then uses AI to transform your doodles and turn them all into a cohesive image. It can be an image from scratch or you can take a photograph or other image and create something new with it.

A Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 with an AI image of a smiley face on a white table
Sketch To Image spat out this AI image of a smiley face at me. Note the clearly visible crease on the screen, too. (Rebecca Isaacs for Forbes)

I attempted to draw two things: A cat, and the logo from Blink 182’s untitled album. It had mixed results; AI couldn’t recognise my poor rendition of my furry friend, but the smiley face produced some fun pop art renderings. I could see this being used as a great way to incite creativity when brainstorming.

Samsung also buddied up closer to Google to implement more of Gemini. I can use an Interpreter feature to translate other languages in real-time; I can automatically translate any web page in the browser and more, all thanks to this partnership. It’s all great, but a lot of this software is already on my Samsung S24 Ultra. And again, while I don’t have the Fold 5 on me to check, I suspect some of this it’s also already on this older sibling, too. And if it isn’t for some reason, I also suspect it will get these upgrades later on.

Upgraded Gaming Components, Including A New Vapour Chamber

Under the hood, it has an improved vapour chamber for gaming and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor—the same one currently available in the Samsung S24 Ultra. I can’t speak to this fully quite yet, as further testing is needed for heavier applications, but the device felt responsive and smooth when jumping between apps and separating the multi-tasking window.

A Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 held in a hand.
The Fold 6 has a slightly wider footprint compared to its predecessor, but it’s unnoticeable when folded. (Rebecca Isaacs for Forbes)

But is it worth the $1,900? In my opinion, yes—but it’s a complicated yes. Sure, Sketch To Image is fun to play with. And it is lighter to carry, but, as my colleague Adam Doud mentioned in his review of the Fold 5, Samsung felt like it was resting on its laurels last year. This year, the upgrades feel so incremental, it almost feels like the same device. Samsung needed to make bolder choices here to keep standing out from its competitors—and it didn’t.

But for those who want a book-style foldable phone, this ticks most boxes, and even with just these minor upgrades, it’s still worth the preorder. It’s also the only foldable to date that supports any kind of stylus, which makes it a must-have if you’re wanting essentially a two-in-one tablet. Personally, if I had US$1,900 lying around, this would still be my top choice for a book-style foldable phone.

Australian pricing and availability

Pre-orders for all devices begin on 11 July, with general availability starting 31 July.

ProductPrice (AUD)Colours
Galaxy Z Flip6$1,799 (12GB+ 256 GB), $1,999 (12GB + 512GB)Blue, Silver Shadow, Mint, Yellow, Crafted Black, White, Peach
Galaxy Z Flip6$1,799 (12GB+ 256 GB), $1,999 (12GB + 512GB)Blue, Silver Shadow, Mint, Yellow, Crafted Black, White, Peach
Galaxy Z Flip6$1,799 (12GB+ 256 GB), $1,999 (12GB + 512GB)Blue, Silver Shadow, Mint, Yellow, Crafted Black, White, Peach
Galaxy Z Fold6$2,749 (12GB+ 256 GB), $2,949 (12GB + 512GB), $3,299 (12GB + 1TB)Silver Shadow, Pink, Navy, Crafted Black, White
Galaxy Z Fold6$2,749 (12GB+ 256 GB), $2,949 (12GB + 512GB), $3,299 (12GB + 1TB)Silver Shadow, Pink, Navy, Crafted Black, White
Galaxy Z Fold6$2,749 (12GB+ 256 GB), $2,949 (12GB + 512GB), $3,299 (12GB + 1TB)Silver Shadow, Pink, Navy, Crafted Black, White
Galaxy Watch7 – 40mm$549 Bluetooth, $649 LTEGreen, Cream
Galaxy Watch7 – 44mm$599 Bluetooth, $699 LTEGreen, Silver
Galaxy Watch Ultra – 47mm$1,299 LTE onlyTitanium Grey (Orange band), Titanium White (White band), Titanium Silver (Dark grey band)
Galaxy Buds3$299.00Grey, White
Galaxy Buds3 Pro$399.00Grey, White

This article first appeared on forbes.com.

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