5 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 upgrades we really want

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Foldable phones still aren’t truly mainstream, but with each passing year they creep closer to being so, and this could be the year where they make it, thanks in large part to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6.

This is the upcoming model in Samsung’s flagship foldable line, and with talk of a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 FE and a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra possibly launching too, there might be far more options than usual – including a cheaper option, which could help remove one of the barriers to foldable phone ownership.

Of course, these will have to be compelling devices in order to tempt a larger number of buyers. So below we’ve listed the five upgrades we most want to see from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 to help that happen.

We’re specifically talking about the standard Galaxy Z Fold 6 here, but if any of these things come to the rumored Z Fold 6 Ultra or Z Fold 6 FE, that would be great too.

1. A 5x or 10x telephoto camera

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 rear camera array

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5's cameras could be better (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

For whatever reason, cameras almost always seem to be lacking on foldable phones compared to conventional flagships. Presumably, this is a cost-cutting measure, and may also be a way to keep the size and weight down, but it feels sub-optimal to buy one of the most expensive phones on the planet when it isn't also one of the best camera phones.

So we’d love to see big improvements to the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6. Most of all, an increase in telephoto range from the 3x of the Z Fold 5 to 5x or 10x would be desirable, as one of the highlights of Samsung’s Ultra line is their long-distance telephoto cameras, and it’s a highlight we’d like to see a foldable inherit.

But if the other cameras can be improved too then all the better. Currently Samsung’s best camera phone is the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, so it would be great if the sure-to-be-more-expensive Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 matched or beat those cameras.

Sadly, while one leaker has specifically claimed that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 might get at least one of the S24 Ultra’s cameras, other sources suggest that the cameras will be more or less identical to those on the Z Fold 5. So there’s every chance that the cameras will disappoint again.

2. A wider cover screen

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Cover display

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a very narrow cover screen (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

One design quirk Samsung has stubbornly stuck with on its Z Fold line is a narrow cover screen, which makes the secondary display more cramped to interact with than a conventional smartphone screen would be.

It has been one of our main criticisms of every Galaxy Z Fold model to date, and it’s something we want to see addressed with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6.

Many other foldable phones such as the Google Pixel Fold have much wider cover screens, so this shouldn’t be an insurmountable issue for Samsung.

In fact, we may well see improvements here, with multiple leaks suggesting the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 will have a wider cover screen than current models.

3. A dust-proof design

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is resistant to water but not dust (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung’s most expensive phone is also among its most vulnerable to dust, as while the company has managed to make the Galaxy Z Fold 5 water resistant, it hasn’t achieved any real level of dust resistance.

That’s not totally surprising, since with so many moving parts this might be more of a challenge than on most phones. But it shouldn’t be impossible, given that the likes of the Motorola Razr Plus is dust resistant, despite also having a foldable screen.

So we’d like to see this protection added to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6. And we might well get this, as Samsung itself has said it’s working on dust resistance for its foldable phones, though the company stopped short of saying this would be ready in time for the upcoming models.

4. A beefed up battery

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 hands on

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a fairly small battery (Image credit: Future)

Our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review found that the phone had reasonable battery life, lasting all day consistently, but the actual capacity of the battery is rather less impressive, at 4,400mAh.

For comparison, the Google Pixel Fold has a 4,821mAh battery, and the OnePlus Open has a 4,805mAh one. So key rivals have significantly bigger batteries, and so do most large non-foldable phones, like Samsung’s own Galaxy S24 Ultra, which has a 5,000mAh battery.

Now, fitting a big battery in a foldable phone might well be tricky, since there’s a desire to keep it slim and not overly add to the weight. And of course the folding mechanism will be taking up some space that could otherwise perhaps be used for more battery in a non-foldable phone.

But Google and OnePlus have managed it, and a large battery is especially important in a foldable phone, as it has such a big screen to power.

Currently leaks can’t agree on whether the battery will be larger in the Z Fold 6, but even if it is, it probably won’t grow by much, with one source saying the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will have a 4,600mAh battery, and another saying it will stick at 4,400mAh.

5. A super-slim build

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is quite thick (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

One inevitable issue with foldable phones is that they’re chunky devices when folded shut, since it’s essentially like two phones on top of each other. Device makers have been doing what they can to minimize this chunkiness by slimming down the two halves of the phone, but there’s still definitely more Samsung can do on that front.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is slim when unfolded at 6.1mm thick, but that still leaves it very thick when folded in half. It’s also thicker than some other foldable phones, as the OnePlus Open and Pixel Fold for example are both 5.8mm thick when open, and more importantly they’re both also slimmer than the 13.6mm thick Z Fold 5 when folded shut.

Thankfully, signs suggest the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 might be slimmer still when unfolded, at 5.6mm thick. The same source says it will slim down to 12.1mm thick when folded shut, which would make it thinner than the Z Fold 5, but only a match for the Pixel Fold, and still thicker than the 11.7mm OnePlus Open.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.