Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 & Z Flip 6 Hands-on: All in on AI
July 11, 2024 Andrew Cheng

There is a common theme at Samsung’s most recent Galaxy Unpacked event: Galaxy AI. Both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 feature an enhanced version of Galaxy AI, and even the Korean company’s range of wearables implement the AI feature to some extent.

Evidently, Samsung is going all in on AI with its range of devices, and this is especially evident with the Korean company’s new foldable smartphones. After all, the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 only have minor hardware enhancements, though both of them look to be (still) great options for those who want a foldable smartphone.

Since AI is the highlight of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6, let’s talk about that first. There are a number of new Galaxy AI features that are introduced with the two phones, including Composer to generate text based on simple prompts, a new conversation mode in the Interpreter app, and Sketch to Image, which can generate AI images from…well, sketches.

I tried out Sketch to Image quite a bit, and it’s actually quite fun! Even handwriting can be turned into AI images with rather interesting results. As for the Composer feature, which is built into the Samsung Keyboard, the generated text works quite well too.

While I personally don’t see myself using these AI features particularly often, they are certainly fun party tricks that showcase the capabilities of Galaxy AI.

There is, however, one particular Galaxy AI feature that caught my eyes: Interpreter. Thanks to the app’s new conversation mode, I can have a conversation with another person that speaks a completely different language with real-time translation. The foldable nature of the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 also allows the translated texts to be shown on the cover screen.

Granted, the translation can get a bit iffy at some parts. But as a whole, Interpreter does work reasonably well in my brief time testing the feature.

Beyond these new Galaxy AI features, the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 themselves receive a slight design update. Both devices now have a more squared-off design, which I am quite fond of. Not only does it look better – the matte finish of the frame helps in this regard too – it also improves the ergonomics of the phone.

The hinge is one of the most important hardware of a foldable phone, and in this regard, both the Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 have a solid hinge that is now dubbed “dual rail hinge” with a strengthened folding edge. The pressure is consistent throughout the folding and unfolding motion, and they close with a satisfying thud too. Did I mention the two phones are IP48 rated as well? This is an improvement over their predecessors’ IPX8 rating.

Of course, powering the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 is none other than the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. As Qualcomm’s most powerful SoC to date, these two phones definitely deliver flagship-tier performance. I tried out Zenless Zone Zero on the Z Flip 6, and even at maxed out graphics settings, the phone looks to be able to maintain the frame rate at 60fps.

What about the display of the two phones? Well, their Dynamic AMOLED 2X panels with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate look great as always with deep blacks and vibrant colours. While the crease on the foldable displays don’t look particularly…different, it’s relatively easy to ignore them in daily use.

I want to touch on the battery life of the Galaxy Z Flip 6. As it features a larger 4,000mAh battery now – 300mAh more than last year’s Z Flip 5 – it should be able to deliver improved battery life. On top of that, Samsung also says that software and hardware optimisation have been done to ensure longer usage time with the Flip 6. On the flip side (excuse the pun), the Z Fold 6 soldiers on with the same 4,400mAh battery as its predecessor.

In the camera department, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 doesn’t see much changes either; it’s still packing a triple camera system made up of 50MP primary shooter, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 10MP telephoto lens. It’s a different story with the Galaxy Z Flip 6, which features a dual camera system that now consists of a 50MP main sensor and a 12MP ultra-wide camera.

Based on my short time testing the camera performance of the two phones, they do feel quite capable; as expected of Samsung. Rest assured, I’ll be sure to put the camera system to the test more thoroughly in the full review.

There are plenty of things to love about the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6, but they also cost quite a bit more money now. Here in Malaysia, the Z Fold 6 starts at RM7,299, while the Z Flip 6’s base model retails from RM4,999. These prices are RM500 more compared to the starting prices of their respective predecessors.

To be fair, it’s possible the new features brought by the foldable phones can justify the higher price tags, and only a full review can shed more light on this. I will be using the Galaxy Z Flip 6 as my daily driver for the next couple of weeks, and I’m quite excited to try out the new camera system and (hopefully) longer battery life. After all, these are my two pain points with last year’s Galaxy Z Flip 5.