Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 Hands-On: The Cameras Make This Foldable Really Interesting

Samsung launched a flurry of new devices today at its bi-annual Unpacked show, and among them were two new phones — the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 (which we also went hands-on with) and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6. I think the Flip might be the more interesting of the two, and it's largely to do with the camera and some of the features the camera brings. That being the case, Samsung has some very stiff competition in this space with the Motorola Razr+ (2024) and the Motorola Razr (2024), the latter of which undercuts the Galaxy Z Flip 6 by $400.

The main advantage Samsung has over Motorola in this space is that Samsung has been doing it quite a bit longer and the result is notable, especially in the hardware department. It's questionable as to whether the South Korean company has recaptured the top spot in the Flip-style foldable space — we'll have to wait for our full review to make that determination — but Samsung is making a strong push here. I spent some time with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 in New York City prior to the launch of the products and this is my first look.

There are noticeable improvements

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 was already one of the better flip-style offerings. The 3.4-inch exterior display is quite large (though not the largest). This year, the Flip 6 carries the same exterior display, with the same limitations. There are a handful of widgets and apps that can run on the exterior screen, but you need to play around with Samsung's customization app Good Lock to allow the same kind of exterior screen freedom that Motorola h.

That's not necessarily a bad thing — Samsung is offering a more curated experience for the display, while Motorola's try-it-and-see-what-happens approach is a bit more adventurous. There is no correct answer for how to do this. Both philosophies have their merits. I'm more in the Motorola camp, but there's something to be said for OEM optimization.

What is new on the exterior screen are the accents around the camera modules, which make the phone a bit prettier. Also new are the camera modules themselves: the main camera and ultrawide camera now match the Z Fold 6 at 50-megapixels and 12-megapixels, respectively. That's a big upgrade, and it could go a long way toward making the Flip 6 shine.

New cameras and Auto Zoom

The new camera modules address one of the key concerns about last year's Z Flip 5. The camera set was not particularly bad, but it wasn't really all that great either. Results from the camera were more so-so, especially at night. These new camera sensors should go a long way toward improving those results.

One particularly nifty feature on the Z Flip 6 is called Auto Zoom. When you launch the camera with the phone closed, you can toggle on Auto Zoom, which will automatically frame the subject in the photo. This is very similar to webcams that can track you and follow you throughout a room automatically. Like those webcams, the camera will detect when another subject enters the frame and pull back to capture both of you.

This is a feature that will warrant some testing to figure out how well it actually works — the demo we got at Samsung was just okay, so we'll definitely need to see how this behaves in the real world. For now, consider me cautiously optimistic about this feature.

Samsung has a solid, colorful Flip 6 lineup

Another page that Samsung is taking out of Motorola's books is the variety of colors that the Z Flip 6 will come in. In addition to Silver Shadow, Yellow, Blue, and Mint, Samsung.com will offer the exclusive colors of Crafted Black (like a carbon-fiber kind of colorway), White, and Peach. It's a virtual rainbow of Flips to choose from, which is a nice change. Many smartphone makers have shied away from a wide color assortment (and honestly, for good reasons) so it's nice to see another manufacturer go in a positive direction. It allows you to choose the color that's best for you, and it feels like a more fun phone because of it.

Additionally, Samsung's longevity in this space pays off with its solid build that feels strong and sturdy. While the Razr+ and Razr both suffer from a bit of lateral wobble in their construction, the Z Flip 6 is a solid sturdy block that just feels like it can withstand everyday use with more aplomb.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip price and availability

While the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 brings more software tricks to the table, the Z Flip 6 definitely feels like the better buy of the two. That's because the Z Flip 6 addresses a number of concerns from the previous generation and sees a pretty big upgrade in the camera set. But, like its larger sibling, the Flip 6 comes with a $100 increase in price over last year's model. That's a tough pill to swallow, especially in light of Motorola's offerings from just a couple of weeks ago.

That being said, if you want to pick one up, preorders start today on Samsung.com, Best Buy, and Amazon with general availability coming on July 24. You can get up to $1,000 off with a qualified trade-in, making this phone just $100. That's pretty great (if you have an eligible trade in). Like the Fold 6, you'll get complimentary double the storage, so 512 GB if you preorder.