The Galaxy Z Fold 6 may have some unexpected competition

The Z Fold 5 being half folded.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

Samsung has been living large in the U.S. foldable market, facing little competition aside from the OnePlus Open and Google Pixel Fold. While both are good foldables in their own right, Samsung still dominates the market with its Flip and Fold series after selling as many as 10 million+ Fold 5 and Flip 5 models alone. However, that may be set to change if the latest rumor from reliable leaker Ice Universe is to be believed.

According to Ice Universe, the Xiaomi Mix Fold 4 will be released sometime after July 12 to global markets, putting it after the launch of the Honor Magic V3 and the July 10 launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 6. That’s a pretty remarkable development, if true. Despite being the third-largest smartphone manufacturer and selling its devices in 37 countries, Xiaomi has never sold phones in the U.S., unlike rival ZTE, which was hit hard by U.S. sanctions.

Generally, Xiaomi phones are most likely to be found in China, other parts of Asia, Europe, and Latin America, which is a shame for North Americans because many of Xiaomi’s phones are excellent and on par with, if not better than, Samsung’s flagships. While it’s unlikely that this model will come to the U.S., it’s likely that for the first time, it’ll be released outside the Chinese market.

In the case of the Mix Fold 4, it’s expected to be one of the narrowest foldable phones in the world at less than 10mm thickness. It also should have a 4:3 aspect ratio, giving it a wider cover screen that’s easier to use when folded and less narrow than what we expect on the Z Fold 6.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 display.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

In terms of specs, the Mix Fold 4 is exactly as powerful as you would expect. According to rumors, it’ll boast a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a 50MP main Leica camera, a 5,000mAh battery, wireless charging, and an IPX8 rating for water resistance. It compares favorably with the Z Fold 6 in terms of hardware and somehow still manages to be thinner.

While Digital Trends has never reviewed a Xiaomi foldable, other review sites like Wired that have gotten their hands on previous models have loved the device, praising both the hardware and design. “Xiaomi’s hardware is significantly slimmer than the competition, with a slick hinge mechanism. Fold in an excellent quad-lens camera, fast wireless and wired charging, top-notch displays, and long battery life, and it’s an excellent showcase for how quickly folding phones are improving.”

If you’re able to get the Mi Mix Fold 4 in your market, it may very well be worth considering over the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6. The one sticking point for most users regards the complications of not having access to the Google Play Store and Google apps. There are ways around this, but they’re not straightforward, and it’ll be interesting to see how Xiaomi tackles this problem.