Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Rumors, specs, and what we hope to see

A mockup of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 using wallpaper generated by Adobe Firefly AI
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

For the past few years, Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold line has been slowly iterating on the design set by the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Most of the main design tenets haven't changed much since then, even though Samsung has refined the design and added a number of new features.

Case in point, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 still has the same narrow cover display. Samsung added S Pen support to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but the S Pen has only been usable on the larger inner display since that innovation. Plus, that display crease hasn't changed since the original Z Fold debut despite Samsung redesigning the hinge several times over the years.

Likewise, Samsung gave the series a minor camera bump when the Z Fold 4 debuted but, even then, it's the same cameras on the $800 Galaxy S23. They're not bad but they don't quite feel like they fit right on an $1,800 foldable phone.

So will the Galaxy Z Fold 6 finally address these shortcomings, or will 2024 be yet another year of iteration for Samsung? Samsung makes some of the best foldable phones but there's always room for improvement! We dive into the latest rumors, leaks, and our own professional intuition to find out.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in flex mode

We expect the Galaxy Z Fold 6 to arrive in August 2024. There's no exact date just yet since the phone hasn't been officially announced, but previous Z Fold models gone one sale in August, and there's no reason yet to think that Samsung will change that up.

Samsung did announce the Galaxy Z Fold 5 a few weeks earlier than previous models, though, so it's possible we could see the Z Fold 6 as early as July 2024.

Samsung recently announced that its foldables are now selling better than the Note series in Europe, showing that there's significant demand for foldables worldwide as Samsung continues to dominate the sector.

The original Galaxy Z Fold debuted at $1,980, while follow-up models reduced the price to $1,799 for the entry model. While there's no word yet of another price reduction for the main series, the thought is that Samsung will debut two models of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 this year.

The first model could be a Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE that offers reduced specs at a reduced price. If that doesn't pan out, one rumor said that Samsung was looking to make a Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra with ramped-up specs and better cameras at a higher price.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Design

A mockup of what the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 could look like if it had an S Pen built in

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Over the years, we've seen Samsung tweak the Galaxy Z Fold 2's design ever so slightly each generation. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 slimmed up the bezels a bit and swapped out the inside camera for an under-display camera. The Galaxy Z fold 4 shortened and widened the phone by just a hair. And the Galaxy Z Fold 5's hinge folds completely flat, slimming the phone down by 2mm.

But while these changes were small, we're expecting something big for the Galaxy Z Fold 6. At Samsung's unveiling of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 in South Korea, the company showed a handful of prototype designs for its large-screen foldable.

Each prototype was slightly different in size but all of them had one thing in common: they're wider than the current design.

Most rumors now point to a 22:9 aspect ratio for the cover screen. For reference, the Z Fold 5 cover screen has a narrower 23.1:9 aspect ratio. Renders also show that the phone is flatter and squarer than the current design, making it feel more like a foldable Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold prototypes shown off at Samsung Unpacked 2023 in Korea

(Image credit: @asbytofficial)

Tech content creator ASBYT posted one such prototype that even included an S Pen built right into the phone. The prototype looks incredibly similar to the mockup I made last year, which can be seen at the top of this section.

Ever since the Z Fold line began, many users have been asking Samsung to widen the cover display to make it more useful. Other large foldable phones like the Google Pixel Fold have already gone this route, and the difference is immediately noticeable in daily use.

It's also said that Samsung is figuring out ways to incorporate the S-Pen into the chassis of the Galaxy Z Fold 6.

Samsung is also reportedly experimenting with a side-mounted S Pen, similar to how the pen is attached to the best Galaxy Z Fold 5 cases. The S Pen could also get multiple buttons, making this the first S Pen in years with any kind of new feature addition.

But no matter what aspect ratio or S Pen configuration Samsung goes with, all rumors point to a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 that's lighter and thinner than the Z Fold 5. That's about 15g lighter, putting it in the same class as the OnePlus Open. Plus, at 5.6mm unfolded, it's notably thinner than the Z Fold 5, which was 6.1mm unfolded.

Plus, Samsung could be outfitting the Z Fold 6 with a titanium frame to match the Galaxy S24 Ultra and a newer, stronger ultrathin glass that feels less like plastic.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Possible Ultra or Z Fold 6 FE?

A mockup of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 using wallpaper generated by Adobe Firefly AI

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Conflicting rumors have pointed to Samsung releasing either a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE or a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra. Either way, it seems Samsung is set on releasing two Galaxy Z Fold 6 models this year with different price points.

The more budget-friendly model is rumored to be dropping S Pen support to keep costs down, which would put it on the same footing as most other large-screen foldable phones. The OnePlus Open is the only other large-screen foldable with pen support, but the Oppo Pen isn't available in every region where the phone is officially sold. Plus, it's quite expensive.

Second, the budget model looks to use the same cameras as the Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 5 with the usual suite of software-side improvements we tend to see every year. Newer processors always feature newer image processors, though, so it's not like there won't be any improvement even with the same camera sensors.

The last rumor suggests that the cheaper phone could be called the Galaxy Z Fold 6a or 6 FE, which would mean that it's using a mid-range or older flagship processor. All of these would keep costs down and potentially usher in the first large-screen foldable under $1,000.

Galaxy Z Fold 6 renders

(Image credit: SmartPrix/ via OnLeaks)

On the flipside, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra could finally give the series the camera upgrade fans have been asking for since the beginning.

Unfortunately, most Z Fold 6 Ultra rumors don't reveal much about the potential high-end foldable. One rumor even notes that the release could happen in limited quantities, meaning it'll likely be quite pricey if it launches at all.

While some rumors say the second Z Fold 6 model will be the Ultra, we have more rumors about the potential Z Fold 6 FE that are more likely to pan out.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 in flex mode

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Along with a wider phone, we fully expect Samsung to bolster the Galaxy Z Fold 6's camera system. So far, Samsung has a track record of innovating on camera hardware every two years.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Fold 3 used the same camera hardware between generations. Likewise, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Fold 5 also used the same camera hardware.

As such, we expect Samsung to swap out the sensors on the Z Fold 6 with something newer and, hopefully, extend the reach of the telephoto lens while they're at it. Many other large foldables are now packing telephoto lenses with 5x optical zoom or more, plus main sensors that are physically larger than what Samsung uses on the Z Fold 5.

As I pointed out in the Galaxy Z Fold 5 camera review, Samsung's phone gets beaten out by the Pixel Fold just about any time you need to zoom-in to capture a photo. A longer-reaching telephoto lens would help with this significantly.

And while plenty of people have been wishing for the S24 Ultra's huge main sensor and dual telephoto lenses, there's no rumor yet that suggests Samsung will give the Z Fold 6 that kind of camera upgrade.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Specs and performance

Playing Minecraft on a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 using a GameSir X2 controller

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 should power the Galaxy Z Fold 6 when it releases in Q3. If Samsung launches a Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE, the phone will likely use a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 or maybe even a Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 to keep costs down.

We don't expect to see big changes in battery size or charging capacity but there's always hope. Honor recently released the Magic V2, a super-thin folding phone with a brand-new type of battery. Samsung didn't change the charging speed for the Galaxy S24 series this year, so we don't expect to see anything on that front for the Fold 6.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Wishlist

Examining the display crease of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Since the Fold 5 was a pretty iterative update, many of our wishlist items remain the same between the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Fold 6.

Reduce the crease

Samsung has redesigned its Z Fold 5 hinge every single year since the inception of the line, but despite this, the crease on the folding glass hasn't changed a bit.

We were surprised that this didn't happen with the Z Fold 5 since Samsung completely changed how the glass folds inside the hinge. Instead of folding into a U-shape as the glass folded on the first four Z Fold phone generations, the Z Fold 5's glass bends into a waterdrop shape.

Other foldable phones have been doing this for years, and all of them—most notably Motorola, who pioneered the waterdrop shape—have a display crease that's barely noticeable when the phone is completely unfolded. Hopefully, this will happen with the Z Fold 6.

Less plastic

Most of us at Android Central would love to see Samsung move away from plastic screen protectors and put something more premium over the ultrathin folding glass inside.

The latest material upgrade improved the smudginess found on the first two Z Fold generations of phones, but it still feels like plastic. Call us picky, but many of us don't like the feeling of slimy plastic on an $1,800 phone. Thankfully, rumors point to upgraded ultrathin glass and a better protector on the Z Fold 6.

Youtube Music Branding Up Close Galaxy Z Fold

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Make it wider

As you probably noted in the design section, it looks like Samsung is finally working on wider form factors for the Z Fold line. This has been something we've wanted for years as that narrow cover screen can be super awkward to use.

Plus, unfolding into a wider form factor means better tablet app UI support and nicer media playback, as evidenced by the Pixel Fold's wider and shorter displays. Not only that, but you'll probably use the larger display less often when the cover display is wider, helping to save on battery life a bit.

Most rumors point toward a wider Z Fold 6, so it's likely we'll be able to cross this one off the list.

S Pen enhancements

The S Pen is one of the best reasons to choose a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold phone over any other foldable on the market, and there are two ways Samsung could further improve the S Pen.

First off, we'd love to see the S Pen make its way into the Z Fold 6's frame, whether that's on the back, as we've seen with the Z Fold 5 Slim S Pen Case, or inside the body, as it is on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Even if Samsung doesn't integrate it, we'd love to see them include an S Pen with every Z Fold 6 as it once did with the Note line.

And how about adding S Pen capabilities on the cover display? For whatever reason, Samsung opted to only add S Pen capability to the large inner display and has yet to add that functionality to the cover display. While it's definitely nice to have a larger canvas to work from, jotting down a quick note on the cover display would be more convenient in certain cases.

Faster charging

Ever since the Note 7, Samsung has been incredibly coy about improving its charging speed. While Samsung phones have been stuck at 25W charging for years, competitors have ramped up that speed considerably.

Most flagship phones from other manufacturers (not including Apple or Google) now charge fully in about 30 minutes. A Samsung phone will only charge to about 50% in that same time frame.

Sure, Samsung added 45W charging to some of its flagships back in 2019, but that 45W number only holds true for a very short period of time. As our readers have pointed out, a Samsung phone that supports 45W charging only gets to 100% battery 9 minutes faster than the same phone using a 25W charger. Not great.

PWM adjustments

Over the years, as Samsung has made its AMOLED displays brighter and brighter, they have run into a problem. Keeping the display at maximum brightness makes the phone very hot, drains the battery fast, and could potentially cause burn-in earlier than usual.

So it turned to a well-known trick that's used to regulate voltage in fans and other electronics: pulse width modulation (PWM). This causes the display to flicker between on and off several hundred times per second to trick your eyes into seeing a display that's either brighter or dimmer, depending on how often the display is off during this cycle.

The problem is that this makes some people sick, including myself. The Galaxy S24 series adopted a faster PWM rate, and we hope Samsung will bring this to its foldables, as well.

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Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu