Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: expectations

Intro

We are expecting Samsung to launch another foldable pretty soon — the next Galaxy Z Fold 6. Samsung has been facing a lot of pressure from competitors, with Google and OnePlus offering their own take on the formula, and Huawei and Xiaomi launching their own thinner, premium foldables in the East.

So, rumor has it that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will offer a slightly bigger external screen, to make it easier to use as a “regular smartphone”, and a new hinge design to make it thinner and remove the dreaded crease along the main display.

Of course, it’s wise to consider one’s options. Foldables have come a long way, but they are still “the new kid on the block”. And they are a hefty investment. Do you risk an experiment, or do you buy a tried-and-true, solid flagship? And the iPhone 15 Pro Max is certainly the latter.

Well, we know a bit about the upcoming Z Fold 6 — it’s all fluid, rumors, speculations… some might say wishful thinking? Here’s how we expect it would compare to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Galaxy Z Fold 6 vs iPhone 15 Pro Max differences explained:

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

Another titan, but it folds
The iPhone 15 Pro Max came in new titanium-clad clothes — a layer of the premium material around a light aluminum frame. The Galaxy S24 Ultra followed suit, and we are now hearing that the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will also have the new metal sheen.
That’s not the only new development for the next Fold… well, supposedly. The external screen will be getting thinner bezels, uniform and razor-sharp all around. And, if the stars allign — its ratio will shrink to a more “regular” 20:9 aspect ratio — comparable to the 19.5:9 of the iPhone 15 Pro Max.The Z Fold 6 will likely be thinner than before — something to the tune of 13.4 mm, which will still be thicker than the 8.25 mm iPhone 15 Pro Max. The overall phone size of the Z Fold 6, when folded, is said to be about 6 x 2.6 x 0.4 in (154.9 x 67.1 x 13.4 mm), so it will be a bit smaller than the iPhone 15 Pro Max and its 6.30 x 3.02 x 0.32 inches (159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25 mm).

In general, without unfolding, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will have the bigger canvas for gaming, multimedia, social media, et cetera.

Of course, the star of the show here is the Z Fold 6’s main display, which should have somewhat of a square aspect ratio — something to the tune of 1:08:1, leaksters say. It’s not great for viewing 16:9 media, but it certainly offers a lot of room for split-screen multi-tasking, handwriting, and drawing with the excellent S Pen (separate purchase).

The thing about foldables is that to get to that extra juicy main screen — you need to commit to unfolding it. That’s one extra action that does stack up with every use — if you are less than a dedicated “poweruser”, you may end up feeling like a regular smartphone with a big display is good enough for you. We’ll see if the redesigned external screen of the Z Fold 6 will be useful enough to whisk those feelings away.

For unique features, we have the Action Button on the iPhone, which can be programmed to launch or activate various apps and features of the phone. But, you can sort of do that on Samsungs by programming the double-press action of the power button.

The Z Fold 6 should support an S Pen — hopefully, it will be offered with an S Pen case that is at least as slim as the one for last year’s Z Fold 5.

For overall durability — the iPhone 15 Pro Max should be your go-to. Not that you want to go throwing Apple’s expensive flagship around, but the Z Fold phones come only with water-resistance and no dust protection. Unless something miraculously changes with the Z Fold 6, you don’t want that pricey phone anywhere near dust, sand, or debris.

You will get to enjoy pretty screens with both these devices, though. The Z Folds come with Samsung AMOLED panels, capable of hitting 120 Hz refresh rates both inside and out. Apple’s iPhones are also equipped with ProMotion OLED screen — also with a 120 Hz cap. High resolutions, vibrant colors, top-tier brightness, and smooth animations should be achievable with both.

Performance and Software

The beast vs the best
Samsung’s flagships are powered by top-tier Qualcomm chips. The two companies have tight partnership and the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 comes with a “For Galaxy” variations for Samsung phones specifically — slightly overclocked to give Sammy phones that extra oomph.
It’s a lovely, powerful chip that supports ray tracing, Wi-Fi 7, and does well on benchmarks. The Apple A17 Pro does clock better, but also seems to run a bit hotter. iPhones are quick to throttle their speed down after a cycle of a stress test.
It doesn’t slow to a crawl, no, but it doesn’t give you a lot of bragging rights over a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. It also has fancy ray tracing and what Apple does have is AAA game developers on its side — with games like Assassin’s Creed and Resident Evil making their way to iPhone 15 Pros and iPads with M chips. Not mobile ports — the actual console games. No word on whether these are coming to Android any time soon, so we are not sure if there’s been some exclusivity deal, or if Android devices are just still a tad behind in the hardware race.

Camera

We expect the Fold to be a step behind

Galaxy Z Fold phones are not camera-centric — Samsung has the Galaxy S24 Ultra for that. The Z Fold 5 had a 50 MP main camera, 10 MP 3x telephoto camera, and 12 MP ultra-wide camera, and word is the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is not looking at any significant camera upgrades.

That’s mostly fine — those cameras were definitely more than adequate. Certainly flagship class, especially thanks to the software post-processing, but not the cream of the crop. In other words, we expect the iPhone 15 Pro Max to be a bit better in both photos and videos, with its 48 MP main, 12 MP 5x telephoto, and 12 MP ultra-wide cameras.

Battery Life and Charging

Big screen, use sparingly
The Z Fold phones only have enough room to hold a battery in one of their shells. It was pretty impressive before, when Samsung managed to stick a 4,400 mAh cell in there. Rumor has it that the Z Fold 6 will get a slightly larger one — 4,600 mAh.
That’s still not up to the 5,000 mAh current golden standard for flagships, and it still does have to power a hungry Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, plus a large 7.6″ main display. With cautious use, the Z Fold 5 was capable of holding through a day. Maybe you’d get in the reds by evening, but it all depended on how much you’d use the main display throughout the day.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 4,422 mAh cell and it’s pretty good at running marathons. iOS does exceptionally well at preserving battery charge when in standby, which is why many find the 15 Pro Max to be lasting them up to two days on a single charge.

Specs Comparison

Which one should you buy?

If you have been thinking about dipping your toes in the foldable space, it seems the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will be a good place to start — with the inbound redesign and new hinge. You will get to enjoy a lot of new multi-tasking options, video watching experience, and you might just ditch your tablet if you have one.

If it feels like too much work for you, hey — the iPhone 15 Pro Max is just as solid as ever.

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