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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 hands-on review: Hanging on to the crown?

With Galaxy AI and a few hardware upgrades, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 looks like a solid improvement – but Motorola is closing fast

The foldable phone announcements keep coming this summer, with both the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and the bigger, pricier Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 revealed at the brand’s July Unpacked event. The Z Flip 6 is Samsung’s follow-up to our current favourite flip phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 5, and comes hot on the heels of the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra, which has set a high bar, earning a five-star review.
Samsung, of course, is bringing various improvements to the Galaxy Z Flip 6. A new processor is joined by 50% more RAM than last year and a larger-capacity battery, the external display gets some additional functionality and Galaxy AI introduces several interesting features that utilise the foldable format. With Motorola undercutting it, however, does the Galaxy Z Flip 6 offer enough to justify the extra outlay?
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 hands-on review: Specifications, price and release date

  • Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy
  • Memory: 12GB RAM
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB
  • External display: 3.4in, 60Hz, 748 x 720 AMOLED
  • Internal display: 6.7in, 120Hz, 2,640 x 1,080 AMOLED 2X
  • Rear cameras: 50MP (f/1.8) and 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide
  • Selfie camera: 10MP (f/2.2)
  • Dust and water resistance rating: IP48
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • Dimensions: 72 x 14.9 x 85mm (folded); 72 x 6.9 x 165mm (unfolded)
  • Weight: 187g
  • Colours: Silver Shadow, Yellow, Blue, Mint, Black, White, Peach
  • UK price: £1,049 (256GB); £1,149 (512GB)
  • UK release date: 24 July with pre-orders from 10 July
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 hands-on review: Design, key features and first impressions

Design-wise, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 closely resembles both the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 with flat edges, rounded corners and a cover display that’s shaped a little like the folder icon on a computer. As expected, it’s a minor refinement of what was already working, with the same weight and unfolded dimensions as its predecessor – though folded up, it’s ever so slightly thinner at 14.9mm.

That’s also thinner than last year’s Motorola Razr 40 Ultra (15.1mm) and the brand-new Razr 50 Ultra (15.3mm). I prefer the Razr 50 Ultra’s design – the rounded edges make it easier to wedge a thumb in between the two halves and open the phone one-handed – but what we get here is still very sleek and professional looking.

In terms of colours, there is a familiar swatch of shades to choose from: Blue, Yellow and Mint all carry over from the Z Flip 5, with the new Silver Shadow colourway leading the way. Those variants will all be available at general retailers but the Crafted Black, White and Peach paint jobs can only be bought directly from Samsung.
An interesting new design quirk is that the rear cameras are now encircled by a strip of colour that matches the rest of the frame. I’m not 100% sold on this; as was the case with the Nothing Phone (2a), it makes the phone’s rear cameras look a lot like googly eyes.

The Z Flip 6 has two layers of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on each of the rear segments but the IPX8 rating has been slightly upgraded to IP48 – adding a limited level of protection against particle ingress to the water resistance. How limited? Well technically it’s not a guarantee against dust, sand and the like; the ‘4’ in IP48 merely certifies it as resistant to ingress from objects greater than 1mm in diameter, which is still better than nothing.
The 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide camera is a dead ringer for the Z Flip 5’s version, right down to the 123-degree field of view, but the main camera has been bumped up from a 12MP lens to a 50MP (f/1.8) shooter – the same one used on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus. The selfie camera in the interior display is the same 10MP (f/2.2) number we saw on the Z Flip 5. I’m glad to see Samsung hasn’t wasted resources on improving the interior camera when the externals can just as easily be used for higher-quality selfies.

Speaking of displays, the external panel once again sacrifices a fair bit of real estate to the cameras, leaving a chunky L-shape of usable screen. Mechanically, it’s exactly the same as last year’s: a 3.4in AMOLED panel with a resolution of 720 x 748 and a 60Hz refresh rate. In terms of functionality, widget access has been expanded to allow for multiple widgets on the same page, saving you scrolling between them, and you can also now group apps together into folders for quicker access.
In terms of specification, the main display is also the same as the previous generation: once again a 6.7in AMOLED panel with a 2,640 x 1,080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. It’s not identical, however. In a move that I’m putting down to a refined hinge design, I found the crease in the middle of the internal display looked less overt than it has on previous Samsung foldables. Compared to the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra’s discreet crease, I didn’t notice much difference between the pair.

Looking at the internal components, the Z Flip 6 carries over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset used in the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, paired with an upgraded 12GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of non-expandable storage space. There’s also a brand new vapour chamber cooling system and a bigger 4,000mAh battery; it’s more of the same with charging speeds remaining at 25W wired and 15W wireless.
It feels like a given at this point that the Z Flip 6 will outperform the Razr 50 Ultra – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 platform has consistently delivered strong results in our benchmark testing – but what remains an unknown quantity is how battery life will shake out. Flip phones tend to offer lower stamina than their non-folding counterparts but Samsung’s choice of chipset could end up being a secret weapon.

Both the Galaxy and the Razr have the same battery capacity, but we’ve seen some incredible stamina from phones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in recent months, with three of the top five in our best phone battery life ranking powered by the Qualcomm chipset – including the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra in the top spot. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 doesn’t guarantee extensive stamina for the Z Flip 6 but it certainly doesn’t hurt its chances, either.
The Z Flip 6 will run Android 14 out of the box, with Samsung’s OneUI 6.1 launcher pasted over the top. This is one of the more heavily customised variants of Android and there are a couple of quirks that I’m not a fan of, including Samsung’s browser being set as the default and the app drawer not automatically organised alphabetically. But for the most part, it’s simple enough to get on with. Best of all, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 is set for a massive seven years of OS and security updates.

Finally, after debuting on the Galaxy S24 series and rolling out to other recent devices like the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5, Galaxy AI will be available on the Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6 from launch. Foldable-specific features include smart replies, allowing you to respond to texts quickly from the cover screen with context-aware reply suggestions, generative wallpapers for the exterior display and live translation, which shows one language on the interior screen and one on the external.
Samsung also highlighted a few ways in which Galaxy AI will enhance the camera experience. As well as promised improvements to portrait photography, which should offer clearer outlines and more natural bokeh blurring, the camera can also be set to automatically zoom when taking a portrait shot, using AI to determine the optimal angle. It sounds like a fun little inclusion but we’ll have to wait and see how well it works in practice.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 hands-on review: Early verdict

We won’t know for sure until we’ve completed our testing but the battle between the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra looks to be one of the closest yet. The Galaxy will likely offer faster performance and potentially better battery life, has an added level of dust resistance and will get day-one AI features, whereas Moto AI has yet to materialise.
On the other hand, the Razr has a larger, higher quality external display and adds a 2x optical telephoto camera, which for my money is a big upgrade over the middling ultrawide cameras used by both the Razr 40 Ultra and Galaxy Z Flip 5. On top of that, it retails for a little less, starting from just £959.
The Razr performs well enough that I’m not convinced the higher benchmark scores will be enough for the Galaxy to justify its price, nor do I think that slightly better particle protection will sway people. With AI dominating discourse this year, Galaxy AI being available from launch could be a big advantage, as could the potential battery life gains. I’ll have a more definitive answer for you on the other side of the review, so keep an eye out for our verdict to see which will be the best flip phone of 2024.

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