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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: The Biggest Rumors So Far

Samsung's larger-sized foldable phone may get a fresh design, new software features and a price hike.

Lisa Eadicicco Senior Editor
Lisa Eadicicco is a senior editor for CNET covering mobile devices. She has been writing about technology for almost a decade. Prior to joining CNET, Lisa served as a senior tech correspondent at Insider covering Apple and the broader consumer tech industry. She was also previously a tech columnist for Time Magazine and got her start as a staff writer for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.
Expertise Apple | Samsung | Google | Smartphones | Smartwatches | Wearables | Fitness trackers
Lisa Eadicicco
6 min read
The Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (pictured) gained a new hinge and other improvements last year. 

James Martin/CNET

The Galaxy Z Fold 5's new hinge was one of the biggest differences that distinguished it from the Galaxy Z Fold 4. With the Z Fold 6, design may once again be a big area of focus.

If the rumors turn out to be true, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 could have an updated look that more closely matches the Galaxy S24 Ultra, along with a larger cover screen among other changes. 

But otherwise, the Z Fold 6 is expected to get the same upgrades we typically see in a new device, such as a new processor. Samsung's Galaxy AI features will also likely be available on its upcoming foldables, although it's less clear whether the company will debut new AI-driven software tricks specifically designed for its bendable phones. (However, a Samsung executive hinted that may indeed be the case). Like the Galaxy Z Fold 5, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will also likely support S Pen input. 

The wild card, however, is the idea that Samsung may introduce an additional variant: Either a more expensive Ultra version, or a cheaper entry-level Z Fold, according to reports from Galaxy Club and The Elec

As one of the first companies to get into the foldable phone market, Samsung has largely been considered to be the leader in the space. But it was recently dethroned by rival Huawei in terms of year-over-year growth in shipments for the first three months of 2024, according to market research firm Counterpoint Research. Samsung also has more competition than ever before now that Google and OnePlus have joined the foldable phone race. 

Here's a closer look at what we're expecting from the Galaxy Z Fold 6.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Ring: When It's Launching, And Other Details So Far

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Galaxy Z Fold 6 release date and price

Samsung doesn't typically discuss new products before it's ready to announce them. But the company usually holds an Unpacked event each summer to introduce new foldable phones and smartwatches, usually in the July or August timeframe. 

Reports suggest Samsung will take the same approach this year. Stories from Korean news outlet ETNews and blog SamMobile indicate Samsung is planning to hold an Unpacked event in July, lining up with last year's timing. In addition to the Galaxy Z Fold 6, Samsung is also expected to announce the Galaxy Z Flip 6, Galaxy Watch 7 series and Galaxy Ring at the event.

But folks who were hoping Samsung would lower the price of its book-style foldable may be out of luck. According to the blog Smartprix, Samsung could increase the Z Fold 6's price by $100, bringing the base configuration up to $1,899.99 compared with the Galaxy Z Fold 5's entry-level price of $1,799.99. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 design may get a few upgrades

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 is expected to get a fresh look. What is said to be a leaked ad for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 recently surfaced on Reddit, as SamMobile reported, indicating that the larger-size foldable will have edges that are flatter and more angular like the Galaxy S24 Ultra. If true, the design change could create more consistency among Samsung's top-of-the-line phones. It would also make the Galaxy Z Fold 6 physically feel more like a notepad, which would be fitting, given the Z Fold's S Pen support.

But what may be even more useful is the wider cover screen that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is expected to get. A prolific leaker who goes by the alias Ice Universe on Twitter says the Z Fold 6 will have a slightly larger outer display that measures 60.2 millimeters compared to the 57.4-millimeter Galaxy Z Fold 5. Giving the Galaxy Z Fold 6 a wider cover screen could make it feel more like a regular phone when closed, which would address one of my biggest criticisms about the current model. 

Still, don't count on saying goodbye to the crease just yet. Citing testers, Ice Universe says the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will still have a visible crease, although it will be reduced. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 cameras may be the same

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 phone on its side show the camera lenses

The Galaxy Z Fold 6's camera (not pictured) is rumored to be similar to the Z Fold 5's.

Rich Peterson/CNET

If the rumors hold up as accurate, Samsung doesn't have any major camera upgrades planned for this year's Z Fold. Both Ice Universe and the blog Galaxy Club report that the Galaxy Z Fold 6's camera specifications will match those found on the Galaxy Z Fold 5. That's to say it's expected to have a 50-megapixel main sensor, 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, 10-megapixel telephoto camera, 10-megapixel selfie camera and a 4-megapixel under-display camera for use when the device is open. 

That said, megapixels aren't everything. The size of the pixels also matters, since it determines how much light the sensor can absorb. Samsung increased the Galaxy S24 Ultra's pixel size compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra's, for example, which enabled it to take better photos in mixed and dim lighting than last year's phone in my testing. Under-the-hood upgrades, like refined algorithms and new processors, can also improve photography. When I reviewed the Galaxy S23 Ultra in 2023, for example, I noticed that Samsung improved the way its algorithms enhance color tones and details. 

In other words, even if the Galaxy Z Fold 6's camera is the same as the Z Fold 5's on paper, there are other ways Samsung could improve camera performance. 

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Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra or low-end model possibly planned

There's a chance Samsung could be working on more than one version of the Galaxy Z Fold 6. The company is reportedly developing a cheaper edition of its larger-size foldable to appeal to more consumers, according to Korean new outlet The Elec. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 currently starts at $1,800, making it one of the most expensive phones you can buy. Lowering the cost to a more palatable price could make Samsung's phone-tablet hybrid more compelling.

At the same time, Samsung is rumored to be considering the opposite approach as well. Galaxy Club also reports that an even more expensive model potentially called the Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra could be in the works, although the report suggests that it might only be available in South Korea. 

Galaxy Z Fold 6 software

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The Galaxy S24 Ultra was among the first phones to get Circle to Search. 

John Kim/CNET

Samsung's upcoming foldable will likely run on the latest version of the company's software, known as One UI 6. It'll also likely come with Galaxy AI, the suite of new AI-powered software features Samsung introduced earlier this year. Such features include the ability to translate phone calls in real time and to erase or manipulate objects in photos, as well as support for Google's Circle to Search tool. 

Samsung could expand Galaxy AI by introducing new features with its upcoming foldables, Samsung executive Won-Joon Choi teased in a blog post.

"The introduction of Galaxy AI on the Galaxy S24 series was only the start," wrote Choi, head of the mobile research and development office for the company's mobile experience business. "To deliver a completely new and unique AI experience, we will further optimize the Galaxy AI experience for the upcoming foldable devices."

Another major question is whether Samsung will commit to providing seven generations of operating system upgrades and seven years of security updates for the Z Fold 6, just as it does with the Galaxy S24. Given the Galaxy Z Fold's high price, I hope the answer is yes.

We won't know what Samsung has in store for its next foldable until we hear from the company. But if the rumors are true, it sounds like the Z Fold may see a more dramatic upgrade this year, compared with last year when the Z Flip 5 took the spotlight.