I tried the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 – these are the 3 upgrades I'm most excited about

The Galaxy Z Flip 6 upgrades its camera and more – but the cover display remains the same

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Twice a year Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event gets Android fans frothing at the mouth about the latest and greatest Samsung phones. Indeed, the last one revealed the best phone of 2024: the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The second event, which has fallen a little earlier in the calendar year than usual, however, is all about Samsung's best folding phones – in particular, the Galaxy Z Flip 6. 

I was able to see and sample the latest flip phone from Samsung at the beginning of July, a week prior to the Unpacked big reveal event, to get a taste of what this latest Galaxy is all about. I've already compared the Z Flip 6 to its Z Flip 5 predecessor to highlight the key differences (however subtle), because the rumours were misleading this time around. 

Of course the Galaxy Z Flip 6 upgrades on its predecessor, so having used the newer phone in person, here I'll highlight the three biggest upgrades I'm most excited about. That'll include the one big miss I think Samsung hasn't capitalised on in my initial conclusion – ahead of my full and final forthcoming review, ahead of the 24 July on-sale date.

1. A big camera upgrade

Flip phones haven't been known for offering the best cameras by any means. It's taken Samsung quite some time to uprate the main camera in the Galaxy Z Flip, but this sixth-gen model benefits from a 50-megapixel sensor – making it much more resolute than the Z Flip 5's 12MP offering. 

This is the one feature that I'm most excited about, as the Z Flip 6's main camera is a direct copy of the one you'll find in Samsung's Galaxy S24 models (albeit not the Ultra, which features a mega 200MP one). That's a needed step to really elevate what this phone is able to shoot. 

Furthermore, Samsung's Galaxy AI is on board, which is a raft of artificial intelligence tools. This will benefit not only camera automation, but also post-shoot editing – with editing suggestions, subject removal and the like – and even (not camera related) a host of real-time transcribe and translate features. 

While the Galaxy Z Flip 6's main camera gets a boost, however, the ultra-wide on offer remains one and the same: it's still a 12-megapixel snapper, which I think is a bit of a shame – and could do with a resolution boost for greater clarity too. It's interesting to see how the competition has approached this, with Motorola's Razr 50 Ultra ditching the ultra-wide altogether and replacing it with a 2x optical zoom for portraits instead. 

2. Vapour chamber cooling

Now here's an interesting feature that you can't literally see in the Z Flip 6: a vapour chamber for cooling. Far as I know, no other flip phone on the market has ever managed to implement such a system – and I suspect it'll be a highly valid addition, as the small-scale nature of these devices tends to make cooling tricky. 

Being able to cool brings obvious benefits: the phone won't get as hot, which is better from a comfort standpoint; but being able to run the processor at a higher clock speed for longer should mean less throttling for a better long-term experience with various apps and games. 

I've not dug deep into the potential of this just yet, but with the current top-tier Qualcomm processor on board – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 designed for Samsung – there's no holding back on the Z Flip 6's potential. When I get one as a review device I'll be using it as my own and gaming aplenty to see how it fares in terms of heat and longevity. 

3. A bigger battery

Speaking of longevity, the Z Flip 6 also benefits from a decent battery capacity increase: it's up from 3700mAh to 4000mAh. Sure, that's only around an 8% increase generation to generation, but in a device this small that's a decent achievement. 

Add that the Z Flip 6 remains the exact same size and weight as its predecessor – some magic must be afoot here, as I can't work out exactly how that's been achieved – and that's an even greater achievement. In combination with the new vapour chamber for cooling, I reckon Samsung's latest might well offer the best battery life per charge of any flip phone. 

While the battery gets a boost, however, the charging does not. It's still 25W wired and 15W wireless, which is fine – but it's not a patch on some of the best Android phones you can buy right now. And with Motorola now going with 45W, Samsung's reluctance to pursue speedier charging is a bit of a shame. 

4. No bigger cover display

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 review

(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

But the bigger shame – or at least the one design feature to defy the rumours – is that the Z Flip 6's cover display is identical to that of the Z Flip 5. No more screen real-estate here, no enhanced refresh rate, nothing like that. 

The 3.4-inch AMOLED display does still look great, and it wraps around the cameras rather than allowing them to get in the way, but when the competition is upping the scale – the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra is at 4.0-inch now – that is going to leave prospective buyers wondering when that next big upgrade is coming. 

I think that'll be a next-generation change – which also has me wondering if Samsung will allow its software to be a little more open on the cover display than in its current guise. The Android 14 implementation here does look very neat, and with access to the major go-tos – Calendar, News, and so forth – I do think the Z Flip series continues to avoid the conundrum of being too phone-like up front, giving greater purpose to its folding mechanism. 

5. Early verdict

Overall, while the Galaxy Z Flip 6 is a moderate update rather than major overhaul, I still think it's a flippin' great phone. Its predecessor was the best flip phone on the market up until Motorola revealed its Razr 50 Ultra – which is something the newer Z Flip does have to contend with. 

Pricing is also a curiosity: in the UK, Samsung is selling the Z Flip 6 from the same at-launch £1,049 ($1,099 / AU$1,799) asking price as its predecessor, sitting it into the four-figure category. Motorola took the leap and cut its day-one pricing down to £999 ($999, AU$1,699), which while 'only £50' does have that psychological play of being not over a grand.

Still, from a design perspective, and with clear feature enhancements to camera, cooling, battery, processor and RAM, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 is an instantly desirable device. Its upgrades may seem less than anticipated, but it's what's under the surface that I think will really prove this flip phone's worth. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at T3.com. He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.