I spent two hours with the Galaxy Z Flip 6. These are the 5 things that stood out to me

Two Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 smartphones next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip had a big year in 2023. Last year’s phone introduced the Flip series’ largest cover screen, a new hinge that closed fully shut, and other worthwhile spec upgrades across the board. After a year where the Galaxy Z Flip 4 felt like it was coasting by, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 showed why Samsung was still one of the best in the folding business.

But now it’s 2024, and for this year, we have the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6. Where last year’s Z Flip was bold and exciting, this year’s model is … not. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the changes Samsung did make — while subtle — are very promising. But in a year when competing foldables are better than ever, combined with some lingering issues Samsung didn’t address, I also have some reservations.

Here are my five biggest takeaways after going hands-on with the Galaxy Z Flip 6.

It looks and feels fantastic

A side view of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

We’ll start with some positives, beginning with the design. The Flip 6 weighs the same as the Z Flip 5 (187 grams) and is ever so slightly thinner when it’s folded shut — 14.9mm this year versus 15.1mm last year. The Flip 6 doesn’t feel noticeably thinner than its predecessor, but I still appreciate Samsung’s quest to keep making the Flip thinner and thinner.

A change I found much more noticeable, and one I’m a big fan of, is the matte aluminum frame on the Z Flip 6. It’s a big change from the glossy and shiny one on the Z Flip 5, and in my opinion, it’s infinitely better. It looks nicer, feels better, and doesn’t attract fingerprints and smudges the way last year’s phone did.

The Galaxy Z Flip 6 in its gray, blue, mint, and yellow colors.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I also really like this year’s colors for the Z Flip 6 — for the most part. It’s available in Silver Shadow, Yellow, Blue, and Mint. If you order the Flip 6 online from Samsung’s website, you get a few additional exclusive shades to choose from: Crafted Black, White, and Peach.

Of the “regular” colors, yellow and mint are my personal favorites. The yellow is nicely saturated and it’s very clearly a yellow phone — much more so than the “yellow” iPhone 15. The mint is also really nice. It’s a bit more muted, but it’s still a lovely, very pleasing color. For the online exclusive colors, peach is easily the way to go. It’s not a color we see on phones very often, but I wish we did. Combined with the silver accents, it’s quite the looker.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 in Peach.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 in Peach.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 in Crafted Black.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 in Crafted Black.

The rest of the colors also look very nice, minus the “Crafted Black” option. It has a kevlar-like textured pattern on the back that’s reminiscent of a Motorola Droid Razr. To my eyes, it looks and feels a bit cheap. I applaud Samsung for trying something different, but I’m not a fan.

Finally! The crease is gone!

Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 with the display open.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

You know what I am a fan of, though? The Galaxy Z Flip 6’s crease. Or, should I say, the lack thereof. Samsung’s folding phones have had a very prominent and very noticeable crease on their displays since the beginning, even including last year’s models. This time around, at least on the Galaxy Z Flip 6, the crease is barely there.

I played around with multiple Z Flip 6 models during my hands-on time with the phone, and sure enough, the crease is basically gone. It’s still technically there in the sense that you can see the distortion in the display under certain lighting conditions, but there’s a night and day difference compared to the Z Flip 5. Where you can very easily feel the Flip 5’s crease any time you run your finger over it, it’s barely perceptible on the Z Flip 6. It’s not quite as good as Motorola’s newest folding phones, but it’s pretty darn close.

Promising spec upgrades

Two Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 phones next to each other.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Looking under the hood, the Galaxy Z Flip 6 isn’t a drastic departure from the Z Flip 5. However, there is a fair share of upgrades that sound really promising.

For starters, the phone now has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. It’s the special “For Galaxy” version of the chip, just like we saw on the Galaxy S24 series, where it proved to be a fantastic piece of silicon that delivered excellent performance and great power efficiency. I wasn’t able to put it under too much strain during my hands-on time, but the Flip 6 felt just as fast and snappy as I could have hoped for while I used it.

Speaking of power efficiency, you also get a bigger battery this year — specifically, a 4,000 mAh battery, up from a 3,700 mAh cell on the Flip 5. That’s a pretty solid increase, and combined with a more efficient chipset, I’m hoping it all makes a noticeable difference. The Flip 5 is a pretty mediocre one-day phone, and the Flip 6 is in a good position to (hopefully) change that.

And that’s not all! RAM has increased from 8GB to 12GB, there’s now an IP48 rating instead of IPX8, and both of the rear cameras — a 50-megapixel main sensor and a 12MP ultrawide one — are new.

I don’t like the cover screen

The cover screen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Now, onto a more negative note. The Galaxy Z Flip 6’s cover screen is completely unchanged from last year — and it shows. It’s still just a 60Hz refresh rate, it’s still a mere 720 x 748 resolution, and it still has the weird folder-like shape at the bottom.

Not only is the cover screen’s hardware less impressive than the competition’s, but the software is also still plagued with the same issues it had on the Flip 5 — specifically when it comes to running apps. Once again, Samsung only allows you to run a select few apps on the cover screen by default, such as Google Maps, Samsung Messages, and YouTube. If you want to run other applications, you need to go through the same convoluted process of downloading and setting up Good Lock. It was a bad and frustrating experience last year, and it’s just as frustrating (if not more so) this year. Especially in a year when Motorola went all out with the cover displays on its newest folding phones, Samsung is lagging behind more than ever before, and it really shows.

It’s more expensive than ever

The main display on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

There’s another problem with the Galaxy Z Flip 6: the price. After a few years of sticking with the $1,000 price tag for the Z Flip series, the Z Flip 6 is now $100 more expensive and starts at $1,099. That’s not a huge increase, but it’s an increase nonetheless.

If Samsung had made drastic changes to the Z Flip 6 — such as adding a third rear camera, upgrading the cover screen, improving charge speeds, etc. — I’d have an easier time understanding the price hike. But Samsung didn’t make those drastic upgrades. The Z Flip 6 is certainly better than the Z Flip 5, but not in a way where I can get behind it being $100 more expensive. You’re bound to get it for cheaper through various deals and promotions, both from carriers and Samsung itself, but it still doesn’t feel great.

The Z Flip 6 has a lot to prove

A side-view of a closed Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

After spending around two hours with the Galaxy Z Flip 6, I’m not entirely sure what to think about the phone. On the one hand, it doesn’t appear to do anything outright bad. The hardware is great, the specs are solid, and the changes to the crease and design are very promising.

At the same time, the cover screen — one of the most important aspects of a foldable like this — hasn’t changed at all. Combined with slow charge speeds (25W wired), the important but admittedly small spec bumps, and the increased price, the Z Flip 6 is a frustrating phone. What drives that point home even more so is the Motorola Razr Plus 2024 — which has more significant upgrades over its predecessor and still costs $1,000. It’s my current recommendation for the flip phone foldable you should buy in 2024, and as much as I enjoyed my time with the Galaxy Z Flip 6, I’m not sure if it has what it takes to change my mind.