Samsung relegates Z Fold 6 to second tier foldables even before release


, a respectable sixth edition of its venerable Fold and Flip line of handsets with bendy displays and a hinge.  

According to the leaked specs sheet, they are expected to come with some modest upgrades such as a faster chipset or brighter display, but not better cameras or some drastic redesign, and you can grab the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 preorder reservation bonus already.

What the humble upgrades basically mean, however, is that even before the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is announced, it may already be playing second fiddle in the foldable book-style phones niche. How come?

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 won’t excel in specs and design

Samsung won’t or just can’t
Despite all the talk and corporate struggles how to catch up to the Chinese foldable phone makers like Oppo, Huawei, OnePlus, Xiaomi, or Honor, Samsung has seemingly not figured it out just yet.
The latest rumors peg the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 as having a 7.6-inch main display and 6.3-inch cover screen, or a piddly 0.1-inch growth for the external screen. It should also be slightly shorter and wider, as well as 14g lighter and 1.3mm thinner when folded than its Z Fold 5 predecessor.

While at first glance this is progress, these dimensions still mean a 12.1mm thickness and 240g weight. Those numbers denote a Galaxy Z Fold 6 that will be far from the thinnest, lightest and most powerful foldable phone even now, and it will have to tide Samsung over for a year until the next edition.

Given that prospective foldable phone users are mostly worried about their size and heft, as well as mediocre cameras, the Z Fold 6 will hardly do anything to excel in those areas and attract those sitting on the fence of the undecided.

Chinese foldables still rule the land

And it’s hard to catch up

Ever since the OG Galaxy Fold hinge fiasco that forced Huawei to go back to the drawing board to upgrade its first foldable phone, the Mate X, it slowly became clear that the Chinese phone makers can one-up Samsung at its own game.

Even the 2020 Mate Xs was thinner than the rumored Galaxy Z Fold 6 dimensions, and then we had impossible thin and light foldables with near invisible creases like the Oppo Find N3 or the OnePlus Open.
Recent rumors about the next foldable phone from Xiaomi – the Mix Fold 4 – are only exacerbating the contrast between what Samsung is able to craft, and what its Chinese competition has in the pipeline.
The Mix Fold 4 is expected to be under 10mm thin when closed, vying for the thinnest foldable title with the Honor Magic V2. Not only that, but it should house a large 5,000 mAh battery and a quartet of cameras.
No change in cameras or battery capacity is expected for the Z Fold 6, on the other hand, while foldables like the Oppo Find N3 or Pixel Fold are already shipping with periscope zoom cameras and the Mix Fold 4 is expected to join the folded optics zoom fray.

In addition, only the Z Flip 6 is expected to come with a more elaborate hinge mechanism and ironed out crease, while Samsung is reportedly content with the crease depth and phone thickness it achieved by moving to a teardrop hinge shape with the Z Fold 5

In contrast, the crease of phones like the OnePlus Open or Oppo Find N3 is barely noticeable thanks to an elaborate hinge mechanism that is certified to hold for the life cycle of the phone.

Where does that leave Samsung? Well, nothing about the Galaxy Z Fold 6 but the fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset will be truly exceptional. Foldables from Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, Honor, Huawei, or Xiaomi already have more elegant designs, better cameras, larger batteries, or brighter displays, after all.
About the only advantage the Galaxy Z Fold 6 has is its brand name which will make it globally available in markets where the others don’t sell, as well as the S Pen support. If Samsung manages to keep the Z Fold 6 price in check, too, it might have a decent chance on the market. 
Seeing how Samsung scrapped the plans for a cheaper Fold FE this year, however, it may have gone back to the drawing board to prep the true Chinese foldable phone killer for 2025.

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