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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 Hands-On, First Impressions

It felt just like yesterday when we were in South Korea for the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event featuring the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5. At the time, most of the attention was on the Flip 5. The Z Fold 5 only had minimal changes when compared to its predecessor, the Z Fold 4, after all.

But at this year’s Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung has revealed the new Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6. And the unit with more visible changes? Well, that goes to the Z Fold 6, which we’ll talk about in this article. If you want to read our first impressions on the new Z Flip 6, you can do so here.

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While I did say that Samsung made more visual changes to the Z Fold 6 as compared to the Z Flip 6, they still aren’t that obvious. At first glance, this phone looks pretty much the same as the Z Fold 5.

But if you look closely, you will notice that Samsung made a bunch of subtle changes. One of the least subtle changes would be the color and finish of the phone itself.

Unlike models that came before, Samsung opted to ditch the glossy finish that the Z Fold 6 had, instead opting for a matte finish. It’s a subtle change, but you do notice it especially when you hold it in your hand.

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Aside from the back panel and body, the edges also get the matte finish. No more glossy metallic finishes here. Samsung also added a subtle black trim that runs around the edges of the phone, which is only visible once the phone is closed.

The speaker grilles have also been redesigned to match the new aesthetic. Samsung tells us this helps make the phone look a lot sleeker and to match the new matte finish. The changes do look very nice, in my opinion, but what do you think?

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Another change Samsung made is the addition of a camera island. The cameras on the Z Fold 5 did not have a camera island with just three protruding camera lenses, similar to the S24 models. On the Z Fold 6, the triple rear cameras are now housed in a small vertical camera island.

Perhaps the most subtle change, but with the biggest effect that Samsung made to the design of the phone are the edges of the Galaxy Z Fold 6’s overall construction. Unlike the more rounded corners we’ve come to know, they’re now more boxy.

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I personally prefer the new boxier design since it feels a lot nicer to hold whether open or closed. Users will notice it more especially when the phone is folded. This also led to a slightly larger cover screen, which we’ll talk more about later on.

Although not as obvious, the Z Fold 6 is also lighter than before. Specifically, it now weighs 14 grams less at 239 grams, which is not that big of a difference unless you have the Z Fold 5 for comparison. Samsung also made subtle adjustments to the dimension of the phone, making it thinner when folded.

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I personally like the changes Samsung made to the new Galaxy Z Fold 6 especially the boxier corners and matte finish since it makes the phone less prone to scratches, especially the metallic areas. At the same time, it is easier to grip when we’re using it without a case.

However, I’m sure some of you may have other opinions or even prefer the older glossy colors and finish of the Galaxy Z Fold 5. Style is subjective after all.

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Moving on to the displays, the front cover screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is slightly bigger than before, although it’s not as obvious. It is now 0.1mm larger, now measuring 6.3-inches.

The increase is small, but at least it gives you more screen to use the phone, especially if you don’t want to be bothered unfolding it. Like before, the cover screen still uses a Dynamic AMOLED panel and we still get a 120Hz refresh rate.

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Open it up, and you have the same 7.6-inch main display. Nothing new here since it’s still the same Dynamic AMOLED panel, giving us some of the greatest color reproduction seen on a foldable. If you liked the display on the Fold 5, you’ll definitely enjoy the one on the Fold 6.

As we expected, the screen is bright and colors are vivid, the blacks are very deep, and viewing angles are great. You’ll also notice that the screen now extends to the boxier edges with slim borders all around. As for the crease, well it’s still there.

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Since the panel appears to be a carry over, you still have a 120Hz refresh rate here just like the cover display, giving users smooth animations whether you’re watching videos or playing games on either screen. It is now brighter too with a maximum peak brightness of 2600 nits as compared to the 1750 nits peak brightness of the Z Fold 5. Of course, it still supports the S Pen just like before.

In terms of audio, you still get a dual-speaker setup which sounds great. We didn’t have time to play different songs, but from our initial impressions they are still loud and have a good sound stage. Despite the redesigned speaker grill, we’re not sure if Samsung changed the speakers themselves.

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Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to install games like Genshin, Wuthering Waves, or ZZZ, but we do have very high expectations for this chipset seen in other handsets we’ve reviewed.

And from our initial impressions the phone is very fast. But fast is subjective, so be sure to check back for our full review to find out more on the performance aspect of the new Z Fold 6.

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The same can be said about the cameras and the battery. Samsung didn’t seem to change the cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold 6 since we still get the same trio as before – a 50MP main shooter, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP telephoto sensor.

We also get a 4MP under-display camera, which we still think is one of the coolest in-display cameras on the market. While we did want to take sample photos and videos, at the time of writing, we were advised not to show any samples as of yet, since we were using engineering units. So again, you’ll have to wait for the review if you want to see any of those.Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 8

What Samsung did showcase a lot about the new Z Fold 6 is the UI. It still runs Android 14, but it now runs on One UI 6.1.1 (at the time this was written), which gives us more access to Galaxy AI features.

Like the features shown on the S24 series, we have Google’s circle to search and such. But we really found live translation most useful. Utilizing the cover screen, it can show what we said already translated towards the person we’re talking to. This allows the other person to not only hear, but read what we’ve said.

And if they want to talk to you, they simply need to respond in their own language, and the English translation will come out on the main screen facing the Z Fold 6 user. I find this feature very useful especially when traveling abroad and needing hassle-free translation. In practice, this could be a lot more convenient compared to using Google Translate.

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With the new translation feature, everything is just more natural. The only downside is that users will need to be connected to the internet for this to work, along with the necessary language pack downloaded beforehand.

If you’re into drawing, we can also use AI to help sketch out what we see in our imagination. Simply make a doodle, and it can render stuff automatically for you. It’s great if you aren’t the most artistically inclined or just bad at drawing like me.

There is a lot more to find out about the Galaxy Z Fold 6, but for that you’ll have to wait for our full review. But we do have the price of the new Z Fold 6. Prices start at PHP 105,990 for the 256GB variant, followed by the 512GB which retails for PHP 113,990. The top-spec 1TB variant retails for PHP 130,990.

So far though, I’m enjoying the changes Samsung made to their foldable device. But what do you think of the changes though? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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