Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Galaxy Z Flip 6: Which foldable should you get?

The Galaxy Z Fold vs the Galaxy Z Flip
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If the leaks and rumors are accurate, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6 may be here sooner than you think. With Samsung an official Olympic Games sponsor, the South Korean company is said to launch both handsets in early July to capitalize on the extra publicity.

But which foldable is likely to be right for you? We’ve been monitoring the rumors, and here are the key points of difference and similarities.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Galaxy Z Flip 6: Design

Galaxy Z Fold 6 render

(Image credit: SmartPrix)

This is the main difference between the two. While both phones fold, in other respects, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

In short, the two handsets are aimed at different people. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, with its rumored 7.6-inch internal panel, is squarely aimed at those who want a big-screen experience without carrying a tablet around with them everywhere. The Galaxy Z Flip 6, meanwhile, is for those who want to make a regular phone even more compact, with the ability to fold it in half.

That’s been the case for every generation of each handset, but both have improved over the years, and this year promises to be a good one for the Z Fold. It’s set to be thinner and lighter than ever, with a folded thickness of just 12.1mm and a weight of 239 grams. That’s still chunky in the mobile space in general, but it’s a huge improvement on the original Galaxy Fold, which was 17mm thick and tipped the scales at 276 grams. 

Galaxy Z Flip 6 2nd render

(Image credit: SmartPrix & @OnLeaks)

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 received a huge upgrade last year, as the external screen jumped from a slim 1.9-inch sliver to a far more usable 3.9-inch window. We’re not expecting big design changes this time around, though the outer screen could make the jump to 120Hz.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Galaxy Z Flip 6: Price

Even six generations in, you can still expect to pay a premium for foldable phones, but how much of a premium depends on the form factor.

In other words, if you want the conveniences of the larger canvas of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 described above, you’re going to have to pay a lot more.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 launched at $1,799, while the Galaxy Z Flip 5 arrived at $999. It’s possible the gap will close a bit, but we’re not anticipating miracles here: expect at least a $600 gap between the two — and even more if you require extra internal storage.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Galaxy Z Flip 6: Performance

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

This is one area where the two phones are expected to mostly maintain parity. Both handsets are tipped to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor (though there’s talk of the Exynos 2400 being used in some regions for the Z Flip 6). 

While the Z Flip 5 came with 8GB RAM, there’s talk of that being upped to 12GB this time to match the Z Fold 6 — at least for some models. Both phones look set to start with 256GB of internal storage. 

One area where the Z Fold has traditionally beaten the Z Flip is battery life, however. While both have made significant strides in stamina over the years, it looks like the Z Fold 6 will be the one to choose if you will be away from your charger for extended periods. While the Z Flip 6 will apparently get a 300mAh jump to 4,000mAh, it’s still some way short of the Z Fold 6’s rumored 4,400mAh cell.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Galaxy Z Flip 6: Cameras

Galaxy Z Fold 5 with S Pen

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Camera performance on Samsung’s foldables hasn’t matched that of its regular flagship phones, and you shouldn’t expect this year to be any different. Two leakers — Revegnus and Ice Universe — are predicting that the camera array will remain the same on the Z Fold 6 for the third year running.

We’ve heard that the Z Flip 6, meanwhile, will be getting an upgrade, with its main sensor jumping from 12MP to 50MP. This will close the gap between the handsets, but it will likely be a win for the Z Fold 6, with its 3x optical zoom giving it much more flexibility for photographers.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Galaxy Z Flip 6: Outlook

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 have many similarities, but crucially, they also have many differences. The former is undoubtedly set to be the superior phone in most areas (portability aside), but that comes at a price — at least $500 more.

The Z Flip 6 shouldn’t be pushed aside, though. The larger external panel made it a lot more appealing than the last generation. Improvements to its refresh rates, along with a boost to the battery and camera performance, should make it an excellent buy, as long as Samsung can keep it under four figures. If portability matters above all else to you, this will be one to watch.

More from Tom's Guide

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.