Samsung debuted the latest versions of its two foldables Wednesday at Unpacked. The Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6 are thinner and lighter than their predecessors, while the Fold 6 delivers a long-awaited update to its traditionally narrow front display aspect ratio. Both devices also come with even higher starting prices, at $1,900 for the Fold and $1,100 for the Flip – a $100 bump over earlier models.

Predictably, however, this is an artificial intelligence play above all. In fact, there are a total of 25 “AI” mentions in the release announcing the new devices, fittingly headlined, “Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 Elevate Galaxy AI to New Heights.” At the heart of the features is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 – the same system on a chip that powered the Galaxy S24.

That flagship, announced in January, marked the beginning of Samsung’s Galaxy AI campaign. It also kicked off what has very much shaped up to be the year of mobile AI devices through subsequent developer conferences from Google, Apple and Microsoft. Google was unsurprisingly central to Samsung’s initial push, as the S24 also marked the debut of the Circle to Search feature.

That was a break from Google’s standard Android feature release map, which usually finds the most impressive new offerings debuting on its own Pixel line. The relationship between Samsung and Google has gotten a lot cozier in recent years, as the pair joined forces against a common enemy in Apple. Recently, the tech giants collaborated on an Android fork for foldables and a new take on Wear OS that replaces Tizen on Galaxy Watch devices.

A month after Apple Intelligence debuted, Samsung has given a full paragraph in the Galaxy Z Fold/Galaxy Z Flip press release over to Google Gemini. The generative AI app is getting deeper integration on the Z Fold 6’s large screen. Poor old Bixby never really stood a chance. Samsung quietly snuffed out its in-house answer to Siri/Assistant, in favor of Google’s latest.

Per Samsung:

By simply swiping the corner of the screen, or saying, “Hey Google,” you can bring up Gemini overlay and get help with writing, learning, or planning. Gemini is integrated with some of your favorite Google apps, making it easy to organize a perfect travel itinerary by getting real-time flight and hotel booking information – and explore famous landmarks and the best routes to get there using Google Maps. When you want detailed information about a K-pop music video while watching YouTube on Galaxy Z Fold 6’s large screen, you can access Gemini overlay in the multi-window split screen and ask questions.

For its part, Google has been systematically replacing its own Assistant with Gemini — though the gen AI platform isn’t quite done baking. Hopping on the Gemini bandwagon was undoubtedly the smart move in the absence of in-house LLMs to rely on. Heck, even Apple is going third-party via an OpenAI partnership to answer the hard questions off-device.

As for Galaxy AI, the S24’s initial applications revolved around imaging, which has long been foundational to Samsung’s mobile approach. This time out, the company is adding AI-driven assistance to its Notes app. This includes the ability to transcribe, translate and summarize voice recordings (following in Google and Apple’s footsteps there). The app has also gotten better at translating PDFs, while Samsung Keyboard gets a new predictive text function.

And yes, for better or worse, Galaxy AI will do its best to try to write in your style. “For social media in particular,” Samsung says, “Composer creates text that reflects your tone by analyzing previous posts.”

Ultimately, there’s nothing game changing on the AI side, but the shift to a squarer internal aspect ratio on the Galaxy Z Flip 6 does demonstrate that Samsung is still responding to consumer demand after foldables from Google and OnePlus/Oppo demonstrated that these devices don’t have to be awkwardly tall. Samsung may still dominate the foldables space, but it’s not immune from market forces. Remember, this category is still very young and far from perfected.

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