Here's why Samsung's new Galaxy Z Fold 6 is a major design success

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Aesthetically, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 are Samsung’s boldest smartphones in the series yet.

Instead of the standard black or white color options, we get a toned silver for the new foldables, with the Galaxy Z Fold 6 also coming in pink and navy blue, and the Galaxy Z Flip 6 in yellow, blue, and mint. All these color options are rather adventurous for Samsung, and they succeed in making the new phones eye-catching and premium.

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And they do feel premium, which, at these prices they should. The material used for the cover is polished and lightweight, and I think the general light colors (except the navy blue) were intentionally chosen to highlight the fact that these foldables are Samsung’s lightest yet.

The company has always tried to make the Z series more compact and lighter with every generation, and they have, but it’s been incremental. With the Z 6 series, it feels like Samsung leapfrogged a couple of generations ahead. While still hefty, those already using Ultra or Max models will be in familiar territory now when it comes to the Galaxy Z Fold 6.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Z Fold 5: What’s new with this year’s model?

Both foldables also close completely flush now, unlike their predecessors that still had discernible gaps when closed. This presents a noticeable symmetry that makes them even more pleasing to look at. The hinges and both sides of the phones really feel like one unit.

This also makes the devices feel more uniform when using their cover screens, making it seem that, when in its folded state, it’s a device of its own rather than a secondary feature to the main screen. Samsung said it wanted customers to feel like they were using a conventional bar-type smartphone when using the cover screen of the Z Fold 6. I would say it comes close.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Fold 6

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Samsung also said the crease on the Galaxy Z Flip 6 is the least intrusive it’s delivered so far, and this seems to be the case. If it felt like there were bumps when scrolling up and down the screen in its predecessors, this time around it felt more like passing through a shallow valley. Still, the crease is noticeable, both visually and by touch in both foldables. 

While its efforts to reduce the crease in each successive generation are commendable, I feel these form factors will only be fully realized when they are completely gone. I hope Samsung eventually finds a way.

One of the more interesting features is the new translation capabilities, where the translated text appears on the cover screen with the device half folded for the other party to view. This one in particular really does feel like a feature that is for Flex Mode (what Samsung calls the folded state of its foldables) rather than features that happen to be on a foldable phone that wasn’t designed for them.

Also: I went hands-on with Samsung’s $1,900 Galaxy Z Fold 6, and it still feels like a dream

Overall, it feels like the company went back to the drawing board when it approached the design of the Z 6 series. It’s reminiscent of the overhaul Samsung made with the Galaxy S 6 series nine years ago, where it first applied this kind of interesting metal finish and made bold color choices. That legacy lives on in the Z 6 series.

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