When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Features / Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 preview: specs, release date and everything we know

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 preview: specs, release date and everything we know

Are big hardware changes - and an Ultra version - coming for Samsung's next foldable?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review front

Between its Z Flip and Z Fold lines, Samsung used to have the folding phone market sewn up – but challengers are arriving thick and fast, meaning the firm can’t afford to coast any more. That means all eyes are now on the Galaxy Z Fold 6, which is almost certain to launch in summer 2024.

How will it differ from the Galaxy Z Fold 5, which is easily one of the best-selling foldable phones worldwide? Will it take design or hardware inspiration from the Google Pixel Fold or OnePlus Open, the two rivals snapping at its heels? And will its cameras finally be on par with the best traditional smartphones? Here’s everything we’d heard about the upcoming foldable so far – including whispers there may be two models released.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 expected release date

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review split screen front

Whether Samsung will launch a Galaxy Z Fold 6 or not isn’t really up for debate: company reps hinted they had already started work on a Z Fold 5 follow-up when we visited Samsung’s HQ as part of that phone’s launch event. And given Apple has yet to attempt a foldable phone of its own, Samsung will surely want to extend its lead as much as possible.

As for when a Z Fold 6 will arrive, though? That’s more of an unknown. Last year Samsung mixed things up by introducing the Galaxy Z Fold 5 in July, several weeks earlier than its traditional August launch slot:

  • Galaxy Z Fold 5: launched 26 July 2023
  • Galaxy Z Fold 4: launched 10th August 2022
  • Galaxy Z Fold 3: launched 24th August 2021
  • Galaxy Z Fold 2: launched 5th August 2020

The days of Samsung piggybacking on trade shows such as Mobile World Congress or IFA are long gone. Expect the Z Fold 6 to arrive alongside a Galaxy Z Flip 6, and possibly new Galaxy Watch wearables, at a dedicated Unpacked event. July is the most likely candidate right now.

Pricing hasn’t changed a whole lot for the past few Fold generations, with Samsung targeting $1799/£1749 at launch. This may change in 2024 because the firm is reportedly working on two different devices – one ‘Ultra’ variant and one more affordable model. If true, it’s impossible to guess what figures Samsung will be aiming for.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 hardware & design rumours

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review rear hinge

There may not be any official information about the Galaxy Z Fold 6 right now, but that doesn’t mean we’re in the dark about what to expect when it arrives.

The latest leak suggests Samsung actually has two Fold models in the works: a more affordable version and an ‘Ultra’ high-end variant. According to GalaxyClub, model number SM-F958 has been spotted doing the rounds; the 8 indicates an Ultra model, as it has been used for each previous Galaxy S Ultra, including the S24 Ultra and S23 Ultra before it. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 was known internally as SM-F946, with the 6 being used for high-end devices.

Other rumours point to the Galaxy Fold 6 (perhaps unsurprisingly) taking design inspiration from the Galaxy S24 series. According to Onleaks and Smartprix, it will arrive with flat sides and a relocated speaker grille. That means the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra will be the only top-tier model with curved sides this year. There won’t be an S-Pen slot either, which will disappoint productivity fans.

Galaxy Z Fold 6 onleaks smartprix render
Galaxy Z Fold 6 render via Onleaks and Smartprix

During a trip to Samsung’s HQ back in July 2023 we got to see several dummy handsets used as design studies for an upcoming foldable phone; almost all had wider outer screens than the current Z Fold 5, suggesting Samsung is finally planning to alter the Fold format from ‘slim and skinny’. We also saw one prototype with a built-in S Pen stylus. The camera bump and central frame are unlikely to change too dramatically, as they’re now consistent with the rest of Samsung’s Galaxy phone line-up.

Reliable Samsung tipster Ice Universe has suggested the Z Fold 6 will be 12.1mm thick when folded, and just 5.6mm when open – a significant shrinkage compared to the Z Fold 5, which clocks in at 13.4mm and 6.1mm. Weight will reportedly drop from 252g to 239g, which would put the Z Fold 6 on par with the OnePlus Open.

That leak contradicts earlier reports and renders courtesy of X user RjeyTech, who mooted an 11mm thickness. Whether his source was referring to the expected Z Fold 6 Ultra, or was simply incorrect, is unclear right now.

Naver, a leaker with a good track record, has suggested the Z Fold 6 is getting new aspect ratios for both its inner and outer screens. There are no specifics, but the smart money would be on Samsung using a wider outer screen, as it’s what many people have been clamouring for. Another suggestion is that the design will provide a hint at the Galaxy S25 line-up, which isn’t due until early 2025.

There are also whispers of a titanium build, which would further bring the Fold 6 on par with the premium Galaxy 24 Ultra if true.

Internally, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor looks certain; Qualcomm and Samsung announced a ‘multi-generation’ deal when the firm swapped from its own Exynos CPUs, and performance-wise it’s already shaping up to be quite the flagship chip. It’ll also bring AI smarts into the fold, helping Samsung compete with Google and the rumoured AI-assisted Apple iPhone 16 Pro.

Memory and storage options will probably remain unchanged, while battery capacity will depend on whether the screen size increases by any meaningful amount, freeing up space inside the handset for a bigger cell. The Galaxy S24 Ultra is rumoured to be getting faster 65W charging speeds, which are then likely to filter through to the Z Fold 6. The current Z Fold 5 can only charge at 25W, which is a long way short of some rivals.

Bbased purely on Samsung’s prior form we were expecting some camera hardware upgrades this generation. That’s because the Z Fold 2 and 3 used the same sensors, which were then changed for the Z Fold 4 and 5 models. An obvious move would be to add a 5x zoom lens, as plenty of rivals can now reach that far without digital trickery. However, the latest reports suggest the rear lens trio will be unchanged for the new generation.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 feature wish list

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review main screen

As much as we loved the Galaxy Z Fold 5, it only earned four stars in our review. There’s plenty of room for improvement, and these are the areas we reckon Samsung should address first so its next model scores even higher. Oh and if these sound familiar, it’s because we had a similar wish list for last year’s model. Fingers crossed Samsung is listening this time around…

Killer cameras

It’s a story that isn’t unique to Samsung, but we’re tired of seeing foldable phones costing north of $1500/£1500 packing camera kit that isn’t as capable as a traditional handset costing half the price. Google is guilty of it, too. OnePlus seems to have bucked the trend, though, and we’d love to see the Z Fold 6 do the same.

A shorter, wider outer screen

This is very wishful thinking on our part, given Samsung seems set on keeping the tall, skinny screen seen on the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but we’d love to see some different dimensions instead. The OnePlus Open found a sweet spot that’s a lot easier to use while folded shut, single-handed or otherwise than either the Z Fold 5 or stubby Google Pixel Fold. Samsung following suit would make the Z Fold 6 much more usable as a phone, rather than a tablet that can be folded up to fit in your pocket.

Find room for an S Pen

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 officially supports Samsung’s S Pen digital stylus – but you still don’t get one in the box, and there’s still nowhere to store it inside the phone itself, like there is on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We get that folding inner screens are more delicate than a traditional phone display, but another year of research into materials hopefully means the Z Fold 6’s display will be tougher – meaning more owners can be trusted with a stylus.

Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor

About

A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22