Samsung’s next generation of foldable phones is here. Rewinding to September 2019, it was Samsung that was bold enough to bring the first foldable phone to market, though other companies also worked on their own versions of the folding form factor. The Z Fold has to overcome a hurdle or two and it did so admirably, confidently carving out a new and exciting niche in the smartphone space. Fast forward to July 2024 and the sixth gen Z Fold and Z Flip have just been unveiled.

Samsung chose the elegant city of Paris, France as the venue for its iconic Galaxy Unpacked event. In all, devices were launched including the Galaxy Z Fold 6, Z Flip 6, Galaxy Watch Ulta and Watch 7, Galaxy Buds 3, Buds 3 Pro and the much anticipated Galaxy Ring which is not yet slated to be in India. 

The Z Fold 6 follows the design set in for the Z Fold 5, but is now wider, taller, and lighter despite more powerful internals. The screen has been strengthened, according to Samsung, with a special coating which allows some layers to actually be removed while leaving the screen stronger and brighter. The dual-rail hinge has also been further strengthened.

In introducing the Z Fold 6, Samsung presenters moved quickly on to the software, considering that the devices are now seen as a vehicle for AI features which are integrated deeply into the usage experience. Circle to Search, for example (for those familiar with the S24 series or the Pixel smartphones) is on the Fold and enables productivity tasks like translation of the whole screen. Increasingly, Circle to Search can be used for many things such as circling a maths problem with the S-Pen to get an instant solution plus the background working and explanation. Google’s Gemini will also pop on a Hey Google command with all the results optimised for the larger screen of the device.  One will be able to use Gemini to ask questions, for example, about the content of a YouTube video. The Composer feature can transcribe, draft and more. Ramped up internals including Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will handle the generative AI tasks. The Z Flip 6, known to be more popular with women, gets similar strengthening and AI features. Samsung highlighted the camera set up, positioning the device as being meant for fun and creativity. New 50MP Wide and 12MP Ultra-wide sensors are included supporting 2x optical zoom, and AI zoom of up to 10x zoom.

The 3.4-inch Super AMOLED FlexWindow (the cover screen) has been yet again, enabling AI-assisted functions without even needing to open the device. For communication on-the-go, users can reply to texts with Suggested replies  which analyse your messages to suggest a tailored response. FlexWindow now offers more Widgets and allows users to check information from multiple Widgets simultaneously.

The Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 have been already available for pre-reserve. In India, the two products will be manufactured at Samsung’s NOIDA facility. The Fold 6 will be available with 12GB RAM and a choice of 256GB, 512GB or 1TB storage, in several colours ranging in price from Rs 164,999 to Rs 176,999 to Rs 200,999. The Z Flip 6 will be available with 12GB RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of storage at a price of Rs 109,999 or Rs 121,999. There are myriad pre-booking and other offers.

According to Counterpoint Research the foldable smartphone market in India is expected to reach 0.8 million units in 2024, down from an earlier forecast of 1 million units. Foldable shipments grew by 19% YoY in Q1 2024, driven by various OEMs like TECNO, Motorola, OnePlus and Vivo entering the segment although Samsung still leads with a 79% share, with the Samsung Galaxy Fold 5 accounting for half of the brand's foldable shipments in Q1 2024. It’s the book-type design that held the highest share at 76% followed by clamshell smartphones at 24% and that is the design expected continue growing.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.