Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 Hands-On: It’s Got AI, But Not in Design

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To the eye, Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 6 looks exactly like the Z Flip 5. We are probably exaggerating a little, since the manufacturer has modified its mobile in small touches: its dimensions are similar, but its edges are flatter, in line with the current trend, and are now matte. Fingerprints were legion on the edges of the Z Flip 5, and the Flip 6 says goodbye to them. It also inaugurates a matte back with updated colors: count on gray, blue, sea green and yellow – the time of lilac is over. A small touch of novelty: the ring of the photo lenses, on the front of the smartphone, matches the color of their back shell. As you will have understood, we are not confused by this design, and it is still just as successful. Let us also specify that the device is IP48 certified, when the Z Flip 5 was stamped IPx8; Samsung assures us that this is nothing more than a legal constraint, and that dust resistance has not been improved between the two generations.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6

A subtle hardware update

The dimensions of the smartphone are more or less similar to those of its predecessor, as it still has a 6.7-inch internal screen and a 3.4-inch external panel. The dimensions do not change, nor does the weight (187 grams), nor does the technology (Amoled), and the definition remains the same: suffice to say that the risk-taking is limited. Samsung is content to mention increased durability both in terms of the hinge, which has been redesigned for the occasion, and the internal panel, which is said to be more resistant to pressure. Difficult to quantify, but we note in passing that over the generations, the fold in the center of the screen becomes more discreet.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6

It is the displays that concentrate part of the technical improvements to be retained. If the LTPO technology (for the internal panel) remains offered, for a refresh rate varying between 1 and 120 Hz, they gain in brightness: Samsung announces up to 2600 cd/m2, against a maximum of 1750 cd/m2 on the Z 5 series. Faced with a competition that no longer hesitates to play record figures to seduce, the manufacturer could not rest on its laurels.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6

Other new hardware features to remember are the chip included in the smartphone, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, and the amount of RAM that comes with it: 12 GB. The Galaxy Z Flip 6 thus benefits from the same baggage as the Z Fold 6, and even offers a vapor chamber to prevent heating: the idea is therefore not to cut back on performance or autonomy, provided here by a 4000 mAh battery. We will of course have to verify this point in the laboratory, especially since the Galaxy Z Flip 5 had struggled to convince us in terms of endurance. On the other hand, we should not expect a particularly fast charge, Samsung still capping at 25 W. Last element to note: the mobile's main photo sensor points to 50 megapixels, against 12 Mpx on the Galaxy Z Flip 5, and it is accompanied by a 12 megapixel ultra-wide-angle module. Apart from the lack of a telephoto module, the Z Flip 6 is equipped with the chipset to the camera, like Qualcomm versions of the Galaxy S24.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6

On the right, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 and its vapor chamber (copper); the Galaxy Z Flip 5, on the left, does not have one.

© Digital

Beyond technology, AI

Samsung innovates by small touches on the hardware side, it is the software side that carries the Galaxy Z Flip this year. This will be taken care of for seven years, promises the brand, since the folding smartphone benefits from the same software promise as the Galay S24; questioned by us on the capacity of a folding product to survive seven years of use, the brand assures to have made all the necessary efforts to ensure the material durability of its device.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6

The Galaxy Z Flip 6's exclusive AI features are dedicated to its external display.

© Digital

In any case, it is on the software side, that is to say Android (14, at the launch of the smartphone), associated with OneUI, the brand's interface and Galaxy AI features, that Samsung relies on to convince. Various options are available, some of which are common to the two folding smartphones announced on July 10 (instant translation of voice calls in applications such as WhatsApp, for example, the ability to transform sketches into images generated by AI or even the ability to search for text in images), others are reserved for the Z Flip 6. We thus note the creation of response recommendations by AI on the external screen of the device, which relies on the context (previous messages exchanged) to adapt to it as best as possible. While we weren't able to try this feature, we were able to test the auto zoom, also available on the Z Flip 6's external screen, which switches from ultra-wide angle to wide angle, or even digital zoom, automatically as you move in front of the lens. It seemed to work laboriously to us, but it's very likely that the units we had available weren't running a finalized version of the operating system.

Stand out from the Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung has announced a launch price of €1,199, which is unchanged from the Galaxy Z Flip 5, except that its starting configuration has 12 GB of RAM (8 GB last year) and 256 GB of storage; the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is therefore the last to have offered a 128 GB version. To benefit from 512 GB of internal space, you have to pay €1,319. While the 2023 Flip can currently be found for less than €800, and the device is sure to benefit from the new Galaxy AI features by the end of the year, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 will have to be a game-changer in terms of both image capture and battery life to seduce. These are all elements that we will evaluate in the lab during a full test.

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