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Galaxy Z Fold 6 leak hints at a much-needed change, but it's still not enough

The Z Fold 6's outer display is changing, but not by much.

Published onMay 7, 2024

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 unfolded on grid
Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority
  • Images of alleged screen protectors for the Galaxy Z Fold 6’s outer display have surfaced online.
  • The images suggest the Z Fold 6 features a slightly wider outer display compared to the Z Fold 5.

Samsung’s Z Fold series single-handedly launched the foldable smartphone segment. While the Galaxy Z Fold 6 isn’t expected for a few more months, recent leaks offer a glimpse into what the upcoming foldable might look like — and it’s not a good look.

A signature design element of Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series has also been its most controversial — the narrow and tall outer display. While functional, the Z Fold 5’s ~23:9 aspect ratio outer display makes everyday smartphone tasks cumbersome and awkward. Typing, web browsing, and even watching videos feel frustratingly constrained.

Ice Universe, a reliable tipster, has shared images and videos of alleged screen protectors for the Z Fold 6. These protectors suggest a marginally wider outer display, moving from roughly 57mm wide on the Fold 5 to around 60mm on the Fold 6.

Along with the increased width, the corners of the leaked screen protectors also appear considerably sharper, mimicking the design language of the Galaxy S24 series. This marks a departure from the Z Fold 5’s softer, rounded corners.

While welcome, this improvement is unlikely to be transformative. A slight improvement to a ~22:9 aspect ratio would bring the Fold 6 closer to usability norms but still lag behind competitors. The OnePlus Open, for instance, already boasts a wider ~20:9 aspect ratio for its outer display. This disparity spotlights Samsung’s seemingly lethargic approach to overhauling the foundational usability of the Z Fold line.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 folded in hand
Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

The potential for yet another less-than-optimal outer display isn’t the only concern for Samsung enthusiasts. The Z Fold 5’s camera system, while capable, falls short of expectations for a premium foldable. According to current rumors, this trend could continue with the Z Fold 6.

As a long-term Galaxy Fold user, my only glimmer of hope lies in the rumored ‘Ultra’ variant of the Galaxy Z Fold 6. This higher-spec model could rectify many of the issues plaguing the standard model. A superior camera system, more user-friendly outer display, and potentially even S Pen integration, as enjoyed by the Galaxy S24 Ultra, could be the game-changers Samsung needs.

While Samsung’s foldables enjoyed an almost monopolistic position in the global market, that landscape has shifted with the launch of the Google Pixel Fold and the OnePlus Open. With both these devices poised for upgrades in the second half of the year, Samsung’s iterative upgrades on the Z Fold series could become a case of too little, too late.

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