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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs. OnePlus Open: Which foldable phone should you buy?

The latest Samsung foldable is here, and it already faces stiff competition, with the OnePlus Open continuing to deliver great value for the money.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
A comparison photo between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Fold 5
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

It's year six for Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold, but unlike in previous years, the foldable landscape has become much more competitive. At the company's Unpacked event today in Paris, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 6, with notable upgrades to its design, software features, and durability.

Also: Everything announced at Samsung Unpacked July 2024

I went hands-on with the Z Fold 6 ahead of Unpacked and found it to be Samsung's most refined model to date, with a slimmer and lighter form factor that reminded me of the OnePlus Open, a late bloomer phone from last year that ended up stealing the foldable crown from Samsung.

So, with the two devices at the top of the class, here's a breakdown of the key reasons why you should buy one over the other.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6

OnePlus Open

Display

Cover screen: 6.3-inch AMOLED 2X 120Hz, Main screen: 7.6-inch AMOLED 2X 120Hz, 2,600 nits

Cover screen: 6.3-inch LTPO OLED 120Hz, Main screen: 7.6-inch LTPO AMOLED 120Hz, 2,800 nits

Weight

239g

239g

Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

RAM/Storage12GB of RAM and 256GB/512GB/1TB of storage16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage
Battery4,400mAh  4,805mAh
Camera50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto, 4MP front (inner), 10MP front (outer)
48MP wide, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto, 20MP front (inner), 32MP front (outer)  
ColorsPink, Navy, Silver Shadow, White, Crafted BlackEmerald Dusk, Voyager Black
PriceStarting at $1,899
Starting at $1,699

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 if...

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

1. You want a foldable that thrives in the AI age

The big feature push with the new Galaxy Z Fold 6 is AI -- specifically, how you can interact with the larger screen to research information, generate images, and better communicate with your friends and family. Tools like Interpreter Mode, which displays live translations on both the inner and outer screen when you're conversing with another person, and Sketch to Image, which turns your doodles into polished graphics, are not yet available on the OnePlus Open.

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

With Samsung's commitment to seven years of software updates and security patches, you can expect the Z Fold 6 to stay feature-relevant until at least 2031. That beats OnePlus' commitment to four years of software updates. 

2. You want the most durable foldable (and better repair support)

Besides having an upper hand with an official IP48 rating for water and dust resistance, the Galaxy Z Fold 6, on paper, is built more durably than the OnePlus Open. Some new improvements include a Dual Rail hinge that helps with shock distribution, a folding edge for enhanced resistance to pressure and sharp objects, more durable outer materials like armor aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and more.

Perhaps more importantly, Samsung offers better after-market support than OnePlus, with repair availability across various retailers and stores nationwide.

3. You plan to accessorize your phone

Whether you're picking up a case or S Pen stylus for sketching on the phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 arrives with a wider variety of accessories -- both first- and third-party ones -- than the OnePlus Open. Notably, Samsung itself has created several high-quality cases for the Galaxy Z Fold 6, including a Slim S Pen Cover and a faux leather option.

You should buy the OnePlus Open if...

OnePlus Open in hand
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

1. You want a specced-out foldable for less money 

If we're playing the numbers game, the OnePlus Open offers much better value for the money than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6. It certainly helps that Samsung raised the price of its foldable by $100 this year, making it a $200 difference between the competing devices.

Also: 3 reasons why I ditched my Samsung Galaxy foldable for the OnePlus Open

That's only if we compare the retail prices. With the OnePlus Open now being several months old, I've seen it go down to as low as $1,399 during major sales events. If you shop for a used model, you'll likely find it for even less. Those couple of hundred dollars can be spent on new earbuds or smartwatches, or saved for later.

2. You value the OnePlus fix-ins (faster charging, multitasking, etc.)

The OnePlus Open has several game-changing features unique to the brand, such as 65W SuperVooc charging, which gives the phone a healthy amount of battery within minutes of charging, and Open Canvas, which lets you quickly tap between floating windows for seamless multitasking.

Since using Open Canvas, I've found traditional split-screen multitasking cumbersome and clunky. I attribute the fluidity of the Open to its 16GB of RAM configuration, which is slightly more than Samsung's 12GB. You also get a base storage of 512GB, double that of the Galaxy Z Fold 6's 256GB. Again, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 costs $200 more to start.

Alternatives to consider

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