I've never gotten the hype around foldable phones — the Galaxy Z Fold 6 could make me a believer

Galaxy Z Fold 6 render
(Image credit: Smartprix)

One of the strangest trends that has come about in mobile tech, at least to me, is the rise of the foldable phones. Originally I thought these strange devices were just harkening back to the days of flip phones, mostly because I didn’t understand what purpose they served. To me, they seemed kind of gimmicky, something to show off to your friends then never use in the intended way. 

Over time, however, that view has changed to the point where I am legitimately curious about foldables. And the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 deserves much of the credit for this. The phone isn't out yet and likely won't be until the second half of the year. Rather, it's Galaxy Z Fold 6 leaked renders that have piqued my interest in foldable phones.

Let's take a bit of a deep dive into what it is about these phones that's starting to grow on me, as well as some concerns I still have when it comes to foldables.

Foldable phone screen sizes impress

Galaxy Z Fold 5 with S Pen

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Smartphone screen sizes feel small to me — a problem that I've begun noticing more and more as of late. It's fine watching a video on a conventional phone display, but writing anything on your phone is a huge hassle, especially if you’re like me and constantly hit the wrong key on the tiny on-screen keyboard. So the idea of being able to jump to a large display just by opening up your phone is growing on me. And I like that I can just fold up my phone and put it back in my pocket when I'm done.

A larger screen will make watching videos and playing games much more fun. A while ago I spent a week with Apple Arcade, and, while I had fun, one of the issues I constantly had was using the small screen as a touchpad. Now I know I could buy a controller, and there are some great ones, but that is an extra cost and something else I would need to carry around. 

An unfoldable screen limits the need to carry more peripherals and opens up the gaming experience both figuratively and literally. This goes double for videos, where the view on phones has always been a bit odd for me, considering I like putting YouTube in theatre mode on my laptop.

With leaks pointing to a 7.6-inch internal display for the Galaxy Z Fold 6, that's a lot more screen space than a conventional phone can offer. Those same leaked specs suggest a 6.04 x 5.21 x 0.24-inch frame when the screen is opened up — a little shorter but slightly wider than the Galaxy Z Fold 5 that came out last year.

Galaxy Z Fold 5 gaming

(Image credit: Future)

If those Galaxy Z Fold 6 dimensions turn out to be accurate, Samsung's phone won't be the thinnest portable around. That honor sounds like it will go to the Google Pixel Fold 2, based on that phone's rumored specs. However, I don't know if that is necessarily a bad thing for me. 

One of my biggest concerns about foldable phones is they've always struck me as inherently fragile. I'd have a hard time shaking that feeling if the phone felt too thin. The Galaxy Z Fold's rumored thickness seems like it's enough to mitigate some of my concerns. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 specs and AI

Galaxy AI banner at Galaxy Unpacked 2024

(Image credit: Future)

AI is going to be the focus of a lot of the phones that come out this year — you just have to look at the Galaxy S24 launch to see the importance Samsung is placing on AI features. And you'd expect that's going to continue with the Galaxy Z Fold 6.

 I like some of the things that the Galaxy AI features introduced with the S24 lineup can do, especially photo features like generative editing. I don’t really take a lot of photographs currently — i just don't have a great eye for it, but with the potential improvements to images that AI offers, I might be tempted to catch the photo bug. I also like how Galaxy AI can organize my chaotic note-taking, which I imagine I'd be taking a lot of on the Galaxy Z Fold 6, given not only the large screen for jotting things down but also the included S Pen.

Should Samsung follow its past pattern with foldable releases, you'd imagine the Galaxy Z Fold 6 would feature a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset — or even better a Plus version of that silicon if such a variant is in the works. I like how power Snapdragon chips are, and I also like how they manage battery consumption. You only have to look at the best phone battery life list to see how well Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-powered Galaxy S24 models perform. You'd imagine the chipset will bring those same great features to Samsung's foldables.

Still some red flags for foldable phones

Galaxy Z Fold 5, Google Pixel Fold and Motorola Razr Plus

(Image credit: Future)

As impressed as I've been with Galaxy Z Fold 6 rumors to date, I have some remaining issues with current foldable phones. The first is obviously cost — foldable phones are much more expensive than conventional devices. Unless Samsung can find a way to drop the starting price from the Fold's current $1,799, it's going to be hard to justify that expense.

Also, even as we hear rumors of a more durable Galaxy Z Fold 6 screen, I still worry about making sure my phone is as protected as possible. Yes, there are cases for Samsung's foldables — see our roundup of the best Galaxy Z Fold 5 cases, for example — but I still have more confidence in cases for conventionally designed phones.

Fortunately, we've got a few months to go before the Galaxy Z Fold 6 arrives, which means more time for foldable rumors to emerge and more time for me to get comfortable with a foldable design. Look for more Galaxy Z Fold 6 details to emerge between now and the summer — I know I certainly will.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.