Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 — 5 big questions before these foldables arrive

galaxy unpacked foldables launch
(Image credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

Thanks to the usual round of leaks and rumors, we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 — even to the point where we're pretty sure what the new foldable phones will look like. And yet, with just a few weeks to go before the rumored announcement of these new phones, some big questions remain about Samsung's foldable phone plans.

Samsung typically releases new foldables in the second half of the year, with rumors predicting an earlier-than-usual debut for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 this summer. In fact, with a July 10 date tipped for the next Galaxy Unpacked event — Samsung has yet to confirm that — we could see the updated foldables in a matter of weeks.

Assuming that sped-up release date is accurate, that makes the lingering questions surrounding the new Fold and Flip all the more pressing. Add to that the fact that Samsung now faces some competition for the best foldable phones title — the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 made their debut last year just as rival phones had emerged — and you'd figure the scrutiny on this year's Samsung releases will be more heightened than usual.

So what are the big questions facing the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 as we head into the home stretch before their release? And how likely are we to get answers ahead of Galaxy Unpacked? Here's what's on my mind ahead of this year's big foldable phone reveal.

How will the Galaxy Z Fold 6 respond to formidable rivals from OnePlus and Google?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 side of the device

(Image credit: Ice Universe)

Our current pick for the best foldable phone is the OnePlus Open, which not only costs less than the Galaxy Z Fold 5 but offers better multitasking features and an easier-to-use cover display. (See our OnePlus Open vs. Galaxy Z Fold 5 comparison for a deeper dive on the two foldables.) Likewise, the Google Pixel Fold's outer display has a different aspect ratio than the cover screen on Samsung's device, which is tall and narrow. As a result, it's not always pleasant using the Galaxy Z Fold 5 cover display, particularly when it comes to typing.

Rumors suggest that Samsung is going to try to address these shortcomings with the Galaxy Z Fold 6, at least when it comes to the cover display. The aspect ratio is supposed to get a little wider, with an eye toward making that screen easier to use.

It would be an important move for Samsung to make. While a key appeal of foldable phones is the larger interior screen, there are situations where you don't want to unfold your phone, handling some tasks on the cover display. A wider outer screen would achieve that while retaining the large interior screen that makes Samsung's foldable an appealing phone for people who want to do more on the goal.

(For what it's worth, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 is supposed to get a larger cover display, too, after Samsung expanded the outer screen for the Z Flip 5 to 3.4 inches. The Galaxy Z Flip 6 is tipped to have a 3.9-inch cover display.)

As for multitasking improvements that would challenge what the OnePlus Open offers through its Open Canvas feature, the rumor mill has been pretty silent. That's something we could hear more about in the next few weeks, though most software changes likely won't be revealed until the Unpacked event.

Will the Galaxy Z Flip 6 deliver camera improvements?

Galaxy Z Flip 6 2nd render

(Image credit: SmartPrix & @OnLeaks)

The increased cover screen size for the Galaxy Z Flip 6 isn't the biggest rumored change for Samsung's flip phone. Instead, we're finally going to get a Flip with a higher-resolution main camera.

Since the original Flip, Samsung has relied on a pair of 12MP sensors to serve as its main and ultrawide cameras. That's supposed to change with this go-round, as rumors tip the Galaxy Z Flip 6 to get a 50MP sensor for its main lens.

This will certainly mean higher-resolution shots, but we'll also be interested to hear if the 50MP main camera will be able to take sharper 2x zooms by cropping in to create a 12.5MP photo. And as anyone who uses a camera phone knows, improved hardware is only part of the story — what photo processing improvements does Samsung have planned for its new foldables, particularly the Galaxy Z Flip 6?

Given the appeal of flip phone-style foldables — they're supposed to evoke the spontaneity and style of the flip phones of a generation or so ago — camera capabilities should be a central part of the Galaxy Z Flip's appeal. Up until now, though, the cameras have felt like an afterthought, so this is Samsung's chance to change the narrative with the Galaxy Z Flip 6.

How will Galaxy AI features impact these two phones?

Galaxy AI banner at Galaxy Unpacked 2024

(Image credit: Future)

If you followed Samsung's Galaxy S24 launch, you'd know that AI is the big focus of Samsung's smartphone releases this year. Samsung's commitment to its Galaxy AI features is so complete that it's even rolled out the capabilities introduced with the S24 series to older phones — including the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5.

So what does that mean for the new foldables about to come out?

To a certain extent, Samsung has already answered that question. In a blog post earlier in June, it confirmed that new Galaxy AI features would be part of the new foldables, even going so far as to suggest that some capabilities would take advantage of the phones' unique designs.

"To deliver a completely new and unique AI experience, we will further optimize the Galaxy AI experience for the upcoming foldable devices," wrote Won-Joon Choi, Samsung's head of mobile research and development. "Our foldables are the most versatile and flexible form factor in Samsung Galaxy and when combined with Galaxy AI, these two complementary technologies will together unlock all new possibilities."

What exactly a foldable-specific AI feature might allow for remains up in the air. One rumored feature suggests that Galaxy AI will optimize hand-drawn sketches and notes, much like a similar capability introduced as part of the Apple Intelligence features for Apple devices is supposed to. This enhanced sketching/note-taking feature sounds like it's ideal for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and its included S Pen, though, so we're wondering how the Galaxy Z Flip 6 might benefit from Galaxy AI, too.

What are the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 going to cost?

Leaked promo image of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 foldable phones

(Image credit: SlashLeaks)

We've only had one significant pricing rumor for Samsung's new foldable phones, and it's not good news. Steve Hemmerstoffer — who posts rumors as OnLeaks and has a pretty decent track record when it comes to unannounced Samsung phones — expects the starting price on both the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 to go up by $100 over what the current models cost. That would mean the new Flip would cost you $1,099 while the Fold would deliver a wallet-busting $1,899 price.

Pricing rumors tend to pick up just ahead of a product launch, so hopefully, the coming weeks will bring more reassuring news. But if these rumored prices are accurate, it would be terrible news for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6.

Foldable phone prices are already very high — understandable given the materials and know-how needed to make screens bend in half. Bumping up those prices even by a little bit is going to discourage more people from taking a chance on a foldable design. And with not a lot rumored in the way of significant updates to these new phones, you'd imagine that a price hike would discourage current foldable device owners from upgrading.

By the time Galaxy Unpacked rolls around, Motorola will have already held a June 25 launch event of its own, where we're expecting to see the latest Motorola Razr devices. Should the Motorola Razr Plus 2024 come in at the same $999 price as the current model — or even see a discount — that would make a Galaxy Z Flip 6 price hike stand out even more.

Will the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 get overshadowed at their own launch event?

Samsung Galaxy Ring

(Image credit: Future)

Apart from the likely addition of Galaxy AI tools to Samsung's foldables, there's no real standout improvement touted for either the Galaxy Z Fold 6 or Galaxy Z Flip 6. Screen size tweaks, improved camera sensors, even a switch to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset — these are all par for the course for annual phone updates.

Meanwhile, at the same Unpacked event where the foldable phones are supposed to debut, we're expected to find out more about the features and price for the Galaxy Ring, a wearable Samsung first teased at its last product launch in January. We could also see new Galaxy Watches, including a Galaxy Watch 7 with a new look and better battery life and a Galaxy Watch Ultra that promises to be one of the most powerful smartwatches for ever.

Phones are my bread and butter, but even I find the Galaxy Ring and Galaxy Watch rumors to be far more intriguing heading into Galaxy Unpacked. And with that increased competition on the foldable phone front that I mentioned, this seems like a bad time for Samsung to play it safe with the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.