It’s about time! Galaxy Z Fold 6 deserves better cameras than the Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy Fold 5
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This could be the year when Samsung’s top-of-the line foldable phone can actually get better cameras than its flagship series in the Galaxy S24. With an earlier than expected Galaxy Unpacked event looming this summer, Galaxy Z Fold 6 rumors are starting to heat up, with cameras on the foldable phone getting a healthy dose of attention.

Anyone who’s followed Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold lineup over the years knows how it’s a visual feast for the eyes with its amazing looking foldable display. Yet, it’s often trailed behind the company’s flagship series when it comes to the cameras. I’m not referring directly to the Ultra series of Galaxy phones, but the more modest models like the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus.

This time it could be different according to a new rumor from tipster @kro_roe on Twitter, who makes the simple claim that the Fold 6 camera will be greater than the Galaxy S24. It’s a tease without much substance behind it — basically, anyone could make the same claim at this point — but the rumor does touch on what's prevented me from making a foldable phone as a daily driver.

Up until this latest rumor, it's been widely believed that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 would have the same camera setup as the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Time’s obviously winding down before the new foldable's anticipated announcement this summer, so while I think a boost to the cameras this late in the development period is unlikely, Samsung can’t continue to short-change the Z Fold 6 when it come to getting better cameras than the Galaxy S24. Here’s why.

The Fold's cost demands better cameras

Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future)

I fully know the extra utility that all the best foldable phones offer over standard slates, including multitasking between a handful of apps. But when you’re paying in excess of $1,799 for a smartphone, I know I would hate for it to have inferior cameras than, say, a phone that costs half as much.

The Galaxy S24 features a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide shooter, and 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. Those specs are identical to last year’s Galaxy S23. Knowing that, I think it’d be obnoxious if Samsung were to simply recycle the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s cameras and use them in the Galaxy Z Fold 6. That would mean the new phone would be accompanied by a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom.

There’s simply something wrong when a phone that’s rumored to cost in the $1,699 to $1,799 range to have the same cameras as the $799 Galaxy S24. But that’s been the case for a while, and a trend I hope gets snipped this year. The Galaxy Z Fold 6 deserves better cameras than a phone that costs half as much.

No longer the biggest fish in the pond

OnePlus Open vs Galaxy Z Fold 5 vs Pixel 5 in zoom camera shootout

(Image credit: Future)

Up until last year, Samsung held an iron grip on the foldable phones market. Sure, there were a couple of established phone makers, like Motorola, who have been in the business just as long, but they couldn’t touch the more polished foldable phones Samsung was churning out.

But things dramatically changed in 2023, with new foldables like the Google Pixel Fold and OnePlus Open threatening Samsung’s dominance. In my OnePlus Open review, I was beyond impressed by how much more polished it was, both in hardware and software, than the Galaxy Z Fold 5 that preceded it. In our OnePlus Open vs. Galaxy Z Fold 5 comparison, the telephoto camera on the OnePlus device proved to be every bit as good as the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s long range camera.

Knowing that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is going to be the first major foldable phone announcement for the year, Samsung needs to ensure that the cameras get a proper upgrade if it intends on retaking the top seat in our best foldable phones list. That’s because the competition won’t be as forgiving and I’m sure they’re itching to surpass whatever Samsung reveals. I’m actually interested in what Google ends up doing with the Pixel Fold 2, which could end up being called the Pixel 9 Pro Fold.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.