Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Galaxy Z Flip6

This year, Samsung has been all about its Galaxy AI innovation, premiering it with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series earlier in January. And that trend is set to continue with the company’s latest smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6.

It’s the time of year again when Samsung’s newest line of foldables makes its appearance, and of course, there are hardware changes to look forward to. But this time, these devices are also the beneficiaries of the AI revolution, with new functionality that users can take advantage of.

I got some hands-on experience with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Flip6, checking out everything new with the new phones.

Galaxy Z Fold6

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Flip6: Galaxy Z Fold6
New Fold, new boxy design

The Fold series has reached number 6 this year, and this edition brings about a couple of tweaks to the overall design of Samsung’s flagship foldable. 

For one, the phone now has a slightly different size. When unfolded, it measures 2.7mm wider and 1.4mm shorter, while when it is folded, its width is 1mm longer. The phone is also a little lighter than before. Now weighing 239 grams, Samsung has shaved off 14 grams from the Fold5.

Personally, those aren’t immediately noticeable changes, but what is apparent is the switch in the phone’s design. Now, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 has a more squared-off shape, eschewing the curved edges seen in the previous edition, which gives it more of a futuristic slate look.

Internally, the Galaxy Z Fold6 will be equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip. The device has always been a good choice for gaming due to its large screen, and now mobile gamers will benefit from the new chip’s better performance, which includes increased gains for the GPU (up 25%), CPU (up 14 %), and ray-tracing (up 53%).

Those are the big changes for the Galaxy Z Fold6, but some things remain unchanged from the previous edition. The camera system is still the same as that of the Fold5, and the battery capacity remains at 4400 mAh.

Galaxy Z Flip6

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Flip6: Galaxy Z Flip6
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 gets an ever-so-slight design tweak

Moving on to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6, there is little to talk about if you are looking for obvious changes to the phone. The only difference you can catch is that the camera cutout now has a bolded outline to emphasise it.

But there are indeed changes and pretty notable ones too. The battery receives an improvement, with the capacity increased from 3,700mAh to 4,000mAh. It’s the largest ever for the Z Flip series; at least it meets the same standard as Samsung’s regular phones, with the base S24 sharing the same capacity.

For the camera, we finally got the upgrade we have been asking for. Now, the Flip6 uses a 50-megapixel primary camera, which is a huge improvement over the previous 12-megapixel one on the Flip5. This will surely be of great benefit for portrait photography using the Z Flip series’ unique FlexCam functionality.

Speaking about FlexCam photography, one new thing that it can do is: Auto Zoom. What this does is that it detects what is happening in the frame and automatically zooms in or out to give the best angle. Let’s assume you are taking a selfie, and someone wants to join in; the phone sees the new person and zooms out to include them inside the frame. I was talking to a representative about this, and they mentioned that Auto Zoom works up to 3x, so it can be pretty generous in terms of how much it can accommodate.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Flip6: Auto Zoom
Showing off how Auto Zoom detects and accommodates three subjects in the frame

As for the insides, like the Galaxy Z Fold6, the Flip6 also has the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. But one new thing that the phone also receives is a vapour chamber — the first-ever in a Galaxy Z Flip. Samsung also says that this vapour chamber is 150% larger than the S23 Ultra, which illustrates the kind of performance it is set to provide.

While the design and size of the cover screen don’t receive any changes, Samsung does tout that there will be more colours and widgets for users to play around with, making it more usable than before.

New Features

So that’s all the big changes hardware-wise, but with Galaxy AI, the software side gets a substantial boost compared to the Galaxy Z Fold6 and Flip5’s predecessors.

There are returning favourites like Circle to Search, Live Translate, Transcript Assist, and Chat Assist, but new AI features have been implemented here as well and will be exclusive to the Fold6 and Flip6 — at least for now.

One of them is Sketch to Image. The feature enables you to sketch anything you want on an image, such as a hat or sunglasses on a person. Using AI, the phone then generates the item that you have drawn and outputs several variations. There is some customisability as well. For example, if you use a different marker colour (like blue), it spits out results in that same colour.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Flip6: Sketch to Image
When Sketch to Image does work, it can be nifty to add stuff to your photo

Sounds like a cool feature, right? Well, it was pretty finicky when I was testing it out. I tried drawing a hat on myself, but the phone would not generate anything a couple of times. Was it because of my terrible drawing skills? Maybe. However, the AI photography tools in the Galaxy S24 series have been pretty flexible, so I was surprised to see that they are having trouble here.

Another is Portrait Studio, which changes a profile shot into several different visual styles. Want to look like you’ve been hand-drawn sketch by a street artist? This feature can do it for you. The neat thing about this is that it doesn’t have to be a portrait image for you to use it. Even for group shots, you can pick out individual faces and transform them into whatever you like.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Flip6: Portrait Studio
Portrait Studio creates a 3D cartoon of my face

But perhaps the most interesting new feature is the Interpreter. It has this sub-feature called Conversation Mode, which is like an evolved version of Live Translation, but it utilises the folding capabilities of the new phones. For the Fold6, you can do a half-fold and sit it up so that the phone can listen in to a conversation. As you communicate with someone using a different language, the phone becomes a rolling transcript that translates what is being said for each person to reference.

The Flip6 operates similarly but uses the cover screen. Instead of a rolling transcript, the translated speech is shown on the outside screen. It certainly makes for unique two-way conversations with foreign language speakers when used.

Local Availability in Singapore

So that’s the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Galaxy Z Flip6. Like the S24 series, changes are minimal in the physical aspects, but the implementation of AI adds a whole new dimension to what you can do with them. I’ll be interested to see how intuitive these features will work with the devices when they are launched later.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 and Galaxy Z Flip6 will be widely available on 24 July 2024. The Galaxy Z Fold6 will start at S$2,548 and the Galaxy Z Flip6’s price begins at S$1,648.

Pre-orders are now available through the Samsung Singapore website, Lazada, and Shopee. You can follow updates about these phones through the company’s socials on Facebook and Instagram.

Photos by Russell Loh of the DANAMIC Team.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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