Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Three features that would put it back on top for me – ZDNet

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6: Three features that would put it back on top for me – ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

After five years of pioneering the foldable device market, Samsung risks losing its place in the rankings in 2024 to companies like Huawei, Honor, Motorola and others, reports Display Supply Chain (DSCC) from Counterpoint Research .

Besides the lower-than-expected sales figures for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, I gave last year’s “Best Foldable Phone” award to the OnePlus Open, which offers a better multitasking experience, a better form and camera performance than Samsung’s – – while undercutting the Z Fold 5 by $100.

Also: iPhone 16: three changes I want to see on the next Apple phones

With the Galaxy Z Fold 6 expected to launch as soon as this summer, here are three features that could return Samsung to its former glory and allow its competitors to fight for second place.

1. Built-in S Pen

S Pen case for Z Fold 5

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

The biggest selling point of full-size foldables has been the increased screen real estate, whether the end user takes advantage of it for consuming content, multitasking with floating windows, or taking notes. Paired with a stylus, you get the most futuristic version of a notebook and pencil. It just makes sense.

Good news: Samsung shares this vision and has made progress in creating an S Pen compatible case for the Z Fold line over the years. Bad news: Requiring an additional case – even if it’s thinner – to have a stylus always ready is still too bulky, cumbersome and expensive to use with a device already more complex than traditional smartphones.

Also: I tried a rollable phone for the first time, and even my foldable seemed outdated

While it’s easier said than done, Samsung is expected to integrate its S Pen into the Galaxy Z Fold 6, similar to how it’s been done with the Galaxy Note line since 2011. This feature alone would separate the Galaxy from the rest of the foldables on the market while making the transition for Galaxy S Ultra users – who I assume share the same power needs as Z Fold users – are much more welcoming.

2. Wider and lighter form factor

OnePlus Open with Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Google Pixel Fold

The Google Pixel Fold (left), OnePlus Open (middle) and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (right).

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

One of the reasons why I prefer OnePlus Open Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, it’s the difference in form factor. The OnePlus has a larger external display that, when folded, feels more like using a traditional phone. It’s also lighter than the Galaxy at 245 grams versus 253. Together, the accessibility of the OnePlus Open, especially when used with one hand, makes the Galaxy Z Fold 5 an ergonomic nightmare.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 leak reveals two design improvements that will make Google and OnePlus sweat

With the next model, I’d like to see Samsung experiment with new aspect ratios, preferably wider and shorter ones, that require less finger gymnastics to use the phone. I shouldn’t have to stretch my thumb like I’m trying to elongate it to reach a web page’s logo. Having a shorter display also means that horizontal videos appear less cropped, with smaller letterboxes (black bars that fill empty spaces on the screen).

3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 Lite

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

For a twist, Samsung is expected to release a “Lite” version of the Galaxy Z Fold 6, tossing aside features like a telephoto lens, wireless charging, and an under-screen camera (which I almost forgot about); use an older but still competent chipset; perhaps even reserving the S Pen integrated into the standard model; and sell it at a fraction of the price.

I’m not asking for anything less than $1,000; The Galaxy Z Flip fills that gap, but around $1,200, close to the price of the most regular Galaxy S24 Ultrawould make the foldable a more attractive purchase.



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