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Here's why Samsung's new Galaxy Z Fold 6 is a major design success

With the design of the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6, Samsung skipped ahead a few generations, proving it's the leader of hardware in the Android camp.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Aesthetically, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 are Samsung's boldest smartphones in the series yet.

Instead of the standard black or white color options, we get a toned silver for the new foldables, with the Galaxy Z Fold 6 also coming in pink and navy blue, and the Galaxy Z Flip 6 in yellow, blue, and green. All these color options are rather adventurous for Samsung, and they succeed in making the new phones eye-catching.

View at Samsung

These phones also feel premium, which, at these prices they should. Samsung used a material for the cover that is polished and lightweight, and I think the company intentionally chose generally light colors (except for the navy blue) to highlight the fact that these foldables are Samsung's lightest yet.

The company has tried to make the Z series more compact and lighter with every generation, but it's been incremental. With the Z 6 series, it feels like Samsung leapfrogged a couple of generations. While still hefty, those already using Ultra or Max models will be in familiar territory now with the Galaxy Z Fold 6.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs Z Fold 5: What's new with this year's model?

Both foldables also close completely flush now, unlike their predecessors that still had discernible gaps when closed. This presents a noticeable symmetry that makes them even more pleasing to look at. The hinges and both sides of the phones really feel like one unit.

This also makes the devices feel more uniform when you use their cover screens. Samsung said it wanted customers to feel like they were using a conventional bar-type smartphone when using the Z Fold 6's cover screen. I would say Samsung has gotten close.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Fold 6
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

Samsung also said the crease on the Galaxy Z Flip 6 is the least intrusive it's delivered so far, and I agree. If previous Samsung foldables felt like they had bumps when you scrolled up and down, the latest crease feels more like passing through a shallow valley. Unfortunately, the crease is still noticeable, both visually and by touch, in both foldables. 

While Samsung's efforts to reduce the crease in each successive generation are commendable, I feel these form factors will only be fully realized when the crease is completely gone. I hope Samsung eventually finds a way.

One of the more interesting features on Samsung's new foldables relates to translation, wherein translated text appears on the cover screen with the device half folded for the other party to view. This one in particular feels like a feature that is for Flex Mode (what Samsung calls the folded state of its foldables) rather than a general feature that happens to be on a foldable phone.

Also: I went hands-on with Samsung's $1,900 Galaxy Z Fold 6, and it still feels like a dream

Overall, it feels like the company went back to the drawing board when it approached the design of the Z 6 series. It's reminiscent of the overhaul Samsung made with the Galaxy S 6 series nine years ago, where it first applied this kind of interesting metal finish and made bold color choices. That legacy lives on in the Z 6 series.

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