The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6's most underrated rumored feature could finally get people to buy a foldable

Leaked promo image of Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6
(Image credit: Slashleaks)

For those who know where to look, there's little left to learn about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6. Samsung's 2024 foldable phone updates have been thoroughly leaked thanks to tipsters like Evan Blass, exposing all the details that we should see formally announced at Galaxy Unpacked on July 10th. Yet despite this, there feels to have been relatively little focus on one particular spec that may prove a tipping point for the popularity of these foldables.

What I'm referring to is the IP48 rating given for both phones in their leaked specs sheets. It's not mentioned prominently among the focus on Galaxy AI upgrades, but it is present in both feature summaries. And that quartet of letters and numbers has a far larger implication than its short length would suggest.

An except of an alleged Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 feature summary, including a mention of IP48 dust/water resistance

(Image credit: Evan Blass)

If you're not familiar with what these numbers mean, Ingress Protection (IP) ratings show how well a device such as a smartphone is protected against dust (the first number) and water (the second). The current baseline for flagship smartphones is IP68, which in brief means the phone is completely dust-tight, and can survive being at least 10 feet under water without damage.

An IP48 rating, which would mean the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 are protected against particles over 1mm (0.039 inches) in size, obviously isn't as good as what you'd get from the more standard design of the Galaxy S24 series. But this would be not only better than the IPX8 rating of the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Galaxy Z Flip 5 and previous Samsung foldables, but what appears to be the first time a foldable phone has received any level of formal dust proofing.

Another one bites the dust

To add further context, let's look at the IP ratings of more foldables on our best foldable phones guide. The newly released Razr Plus 2024 is IPX8, as is the Google Pixel Fold (though this one could soon be replaced by a Google Pixel 9 Pro Fold). The OnePlus Open is IPX4, despite sitting in the top spot. That's not to say these phones have zero dust resistance, just that they've not been certified to have it.

OnePlus Open and Galaxy Z Fold 5

The OnePlus Open and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Foldable phones are already out of reach for many potential users due to their cost, size or other practicalities. Plus we're still not certain how well these devices' flexible screens will age, given the first commercially-available foldables are only turning five this year. But durability, and protection against a threat so basic as the lint in your pocket are a huge reason why people stick with the familiar candy-bar form factor when they upgrade.

While I have no reason to doubt Blass' evidence, I hope Samsung confirms these IP ratings for its new foldables at Galaxy Unpacked on Wednesday. And not only that, I hope whoever introduces these phones makes a big deal out of their new dust resistance.. More than the 50MP main camera tipped for the Z Flip 6 or the Z Fold 6's bigger and brighter displays, this is an upgrade that could make an impact to people's future buying decisions.

You can read more about the other Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Galaxy Z Fold 6 rumors, and what's generally expected for Galaxy Unpacked, in our linked rumor hubs. And even if the Galaxy Ring and Galaxy Watch Ultra, two brand new models, take center stage, I know my eye will be on the new, tougher Galaxy Zs.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.