Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on review: Meet the ultimate AI foldable

It's thinner, lighter and smarter — but also more expensive

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 display half folded
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 looks like an impressive foldable phone with new AI powers wrapped in a lighter and more durable design. I also like the wider cover display and brighter main screen. But the $100 price hike could scare off some shoppers.


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    Wider cover display

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    Lighter and thinner design

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    Brighter main screen

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    Durability improvements

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    Lots of handy AI features


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    $100 more expensive than Galaxy Z Fold 5

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    S Pen still sold separately

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    Relatively slow charging

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Is it finally time for a foldable phone? With the Galaxy Z Fold 6, Samsung is trying to make a strong case for jumping on the folding bandwagon. At first glance, this device doesn't look much different than its predecessor, but there's actually a lot of improvements.

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 sports a thinner and lighter design than the Galaxy Z Fold 5; you get a slightly bigger and wider cover display that's less claustrophobic than before; and the main display is much brighter at 2,600 nits. Samsung is also touting the durability improvements of the Z Fold 6, including more robust foldable glass layers, as lots of people are afraid of foldable phones breaking. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 HANDS ON! The Ultimate AI Foldable - YouTube Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 HANDS ON! The Ultimate AI Foldable - YouTube
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Then there's all the built-in AI stuff, including a gaggle of Galaxy AI features and easy access to Google Gemini. I had a chance to try out a bunch of these capabilities, including an impressive live interpreter app and a way to turn your S Pen scribbles into art.

Unfortunately, Samsung is charing $100 more for the Z Fold 6, as the phone's starting price has swollen to $1,899. So is the new model worth the price hike? Here's my impressions so far along with early pros and cons for what could be the best foldable phone yet. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Price and release date

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 in blue

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 is available for pre-orders now, with a July 24 release date. It will be available through wireless carriers as well as retailers like Amazon, Best Buy and

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 starts at $1,899 for a model with 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. That's $100 more than the Galaxy Z Fold 5's starting price. The good news is that if you pre-order the Z Fold 6 from Samsung, you can get the next storage tier for the same price. So you can get 512GB for the price of the 256GB model. 

Otherwise, it will cost you $120 to upgrade from to 512GB and $360 to get to 1TB. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 preorder: up to $1,500 off w/ trade-in @ SamsungFree storage upgrade!

Galaxy Z Fold 6 preorder: up to $1,500 off w/ trade-in @ Samsung
Free storage upgrade! Samsung is knocking up to $1,500 off Galaxy Z Fold 6 preorders when you trade-in an older phone. Additionally, you'll get a free storage upgrade with your preorder. The phone features a 7.6-inch OLED (2160 x 1856) 120Hz main display, 6.3-inch OLED (2376 x 968) 120Hz cover display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 CPU, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. On the rear you get a 50MP f/1.8 main wide-angle lens, 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, and 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens. Selfie cams include a 10MP f/2.2 outer lens and 4MP f/1.8 inner lens. In our initial review, we called it an impressive foldable with new AI powers wrapped in a lighter and more durable design.

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pricefrom $1,899
Cover Display 6.3 inches OLED (2376 x 968, 120Hz)
Main display 7.6 inches OLED (2160 x 1856, 120Hz)
ChipSnapdragon 8 Gen 3
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear cameras50MP wide (f/1.8), 12MP ultra wide (f/2.2, 123°), 10MP 3x telephoto (f/2.4)
Front camera 10MP (f/2.2, FOV: 85°)
Under display camera 4MP (f/1.8, 85°)
Battery 4,400 mAh
Charging 25W wired, 10-15W wireless
Colors Silver Shadow, Pink, Navy
Size Folded: 6.04 x 2.68 x 0.48 inches; Unfolded: 6.04 x 5.22 x 0.22 inches
Weight 8.4 ounces

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Design and durability

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 colors

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 is like the Z Fold 5 on Ozempic. It's lost a fair amount of girth and weight. Samsung has trimmed the thickness while also adding to the flagship foldable's overall durability. 

Measuring 6.04 x 2.68 x 0.48 inches when folded, the Z Fold 6 is shorter, narrower and thinner than the Galaxy Z Fold 5's 6.1 x 2.64 x 0.53-inch frame. And when unfolded the Z Fold 6 is 6.04 x 5.22 x 0.22 inches, compared to 6.1 x 5.11 x .24 inches for the previous Fold.

I'm not saying the bulk is gone, but I'd be much more likely to carry around the Z Fold 6 in my front pocket. The phone will also weigh down your pocket less, as the Z Fold 6 is 8.4 ounces versus 8.9 ounces for the Fold 5. The straight edge design looks sleek, but the corner was a bit uncomfortable in my hand with the phone closed. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 closed

(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel Fold is still thinner when open but thicker when closed and notably heavier at 10 ounces, while the OnePlus Open is a smidge thinner than the Z Fold 6 when closed (0.46 inches) and about the same weight (8.43 ounces). 

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 is also made to be tougher than the Z Fold 5 with more durable foldable glass layers and better resistance to pressure from poking and the S Pen. There's also Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and back and an Armour Aluminum hinge. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Displays

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 circle to search feature

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung made the cover display a bit larger on the Z Fold 6, going from 6.2 to 6.3 inches versus the Z Fold 5 while making the panel a bit wider. It's not a monumental change, but it's a welcome one, with the resulting screen becoming  more comfortable to type on with two hands. You can also run apps on the cover display without everything feeling too squished. Still, the Pixel Fold's front screen is even wider.

On the inside, you get a 7.6-inch OLED display that's rated for 2,600 nits of peak brightness. That's the same size as before but a huge boost compared to the 1,750 nits on the Z Fold 5. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 showing Gladiator 2 trailer

(Image credit: Future)

When watching the trailer for Gladiator 2, Pedro Pascal's armor looked gleaming on this panel, and the Asphalt 9 racing game was bursting with color. The crease where the display folds is still noticeable, but I pretty much forgot about it while viewing content with a darker background. 

Both screens are dynamic with a refresh rate of 1 to 120Hz, so you should expect fluid animations and smooth scrolling. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 cameras

(Image credit: Future)

You will not be wowed by the Galaxy Z Fold 6's camera hardware. The only notable change from last year's model is that Samsung opted for a new 12MP ultrawide sensor, which is designed to deliver better low-light performance. I didn't get a chance to check that out during our hands-on, but it captured vibrant and sharp images indoors.

You still get a 50MP main wide camera along with a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. For $1,899 I'd like to see Samsung upgrade that zoom to at least 5x. But at least with the hybrid zoom you can go up to 30x, and the quality is good enough that I could make out text on a book cover from across the room.

Even though it's the same 4MP sensor as before, I found that the selfies from the under-display camera through the main screen captured good-looking portraits under good lighting conditions. But you'll probably want to opt for the 10MP front cover camera. As with previous Z Fold phones you can use the rear camera selfie mode to leverage the back cameras for snapping images. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: AI features

With a combination of Galaxy AI features and Google Gemini on board, Samsung very much wants to be the king of AI foldables. And some of the features I tried are useful, while others are a bit cringe. 

On the plus side, the interpreter app makes it pretty easy to have a conversation with someone who speaks another language. Interpreter utilizes both the main display and cover display at once to make the translation experience more seamless. During a quick demo, I was pretty impressed with how quickly the other speaker's phrases were translated into Spanish on the cover screen. There's also a listening mode, which will come in handy for things like lectures.

I'm also a fan of Sketch to Image, though you need an optional S Pen for it to work. I drew a crude outline of a tree in the Samsung Notes app, pressed a button, and within a few seconds, I had a captivating illustration I could share. It feels like cheating for sure.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 AI portrait styles

(Image credit: Future)

The Note Assist feature also comes in handy for auto-formatting and auto-summarizing your notes, as well as transcribing voice recordings. And when it comes to communication, the Samsung Keyboard can help you write better emails and social media posts depending on the tone you're going for.

The strangest Galaxy Z Fold 6 AI feature hands-down is Portrait Studio, which can create portrait styles on the fly like cartoons and watercolors. I tried this feature with my own selfie and the cartoon mode made me look like a character from The Incredibles. It actually looked more like Tom Brady than me. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 ships with Android 14 and Samsung promises a solid 7 years of software upgrades, which is in line with the Galaxy S24 Ultra and other Samsung flagships. 

One quirk we and other testers have found since trying the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is that it doesn't ask for a fingerprint scan while you're setting it up. We'll have to wait and see if this is deliberate or a bug that'll get squashed before the official launch.

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Performance

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 playing Asphalt 9 game

(Image credit: Future)

We will be running full benchmark tests of the Galaxy Z Fold 6, but based on my limited hands-on time, this phone flies. I enjoyed silky smooth performance when racing around the city in Asphalt 9. Even when I flipped off a ramp with sparks flying the frame rates looked good.

I also tried running apps side by side, and the multitasking performance was pretty solid. However, I prefer the multitasking experience on the OnePlus Open, which lets you run more apps at once on screen and lets you save more presets of your favorite apps. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Battery and charging

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 display showing Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Future)

The bad news is that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 has the same 4,400 mAh battery as the Z Fold 5. The good news is that we expect more endurance, thanks to the more efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip. 

The Z Fold 5 lastest a good but not quite great 10 hours and 55 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves surfing the web at 150 nits of screen brightness over 5G. The devices on our best phone battery life list last 11.5 hours or more. And we expect the Z Fold 6 to cross that threshold.

It's too bad that the Z Fold 6 is stuck with 25W wired charging. Seriously, it's been way too many years at the same sluggish speed. For example, the OnePlus Open supports 67W charging. It's time to upgrade! 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 hands-on: Outlook

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 half folded on table

(Image credit: Future)

Generally speaking, I'm getting bored of phones with iterative upgrades from one generation to the next, but Samsung makes mostly the right moves with the Galaxy Z Fold 6. I appreciate the thinner and lighter design, the (slightly) wider cover display and brighter main 7.6-inch screen. 

I also appreciate the AI features on board the Z Fold 6 for productivity and entertainment, even if some feel a bit gimmicky. And while it will take some time to test, the durability improvements are welcome. 

What I don't like is that Samsung hiked the price on the Z Fold 6 by $100. Granted, $1,799 was already very expensive, but $1,899 puts this phone even more out of reach unless you can get a sweet carrier discount. I'd also like Samsung to bundle an S Pen + case combo and include faster charging.

Stay tuned for my fully rated Galaxy Z Fold 6 review. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.