Samsung announces new Galaxy Z folding phones, Galaxy Watch5 Pro, and more
Samsung’s summer Unpacked event brings exciting announcements every August and this year’s presentation didn’t disappoint. The company unveiled new versions of its two high-end foldable phones—the Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4—which have been fine-tuned with slimmer bezels, smaller hinges, and more seamless display creases. It also revealed two versions of its next smartwatch—the Galaxy Watch5 and the first-ever Galaxy Watch5 Pro, which features a tough titanium case and sapphire crystal display. Last, but not least, an upgraded version of Samsung’s earbuds, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, features some subtle design tweaks and support for high-fidelity audio.
Galaxy Z Fold4
With each passing year, Samsung’s Z Fold series further establishes itself as the company’s premier foldable. Samsung refines the Z Fold4’s signature tablet-esque 7.6-inch AMOLED 2X folding screen with a slightly wider inner display, a more subtle hinge with less of a crease, and a less-intrusive under-display camera. Samsung has also taken great pains to make the Z Fold4 more durable than its predecessors, as the line’s integrity has always been a concern. This year’s model features IPX8 water resistance for the first time and a newly optimized layer structure on the main display for enhanced shock absorption.
Under the hood, the Z Fold4 is powered by a Snapdragon+ Gen 1 processor, has 12GB of RAM, and offers 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage. The device continues to provide a triple-camera setup, but there are some welcome updates this year.
Its rear cameras receive a major boost, sporting the same trio as the Samsung Galaxy S22—a 12MP ultra-wide, a 50MP wide, and a 10MP telephoto camera, the latter of which offers 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. It will also feature a 10MP wide camera on the front, just like Z Fold3.
Samsung has also made some software changes that make the Z Fold4 a more effective multitasker. The taskbar has been redesigned in OneUI 4.1.1, providing users easy access to their favorite and recently used apps. Speaking of software, the Z Fold4 is the first device to ship with Android 12L, a version of Android for large screen and foldable devices.
Last, but not least, the Fold4 now has touchpad controls in “flex mode,” when the Fold4 is partially folded. It should, if nothing else, make it easier to use the half-screen as a viewfinder when taking selfies.
The Galaxy Z Fold4 will be available Aug. 26 for $1,799 in graygreen, phantom black, and beige. Samsung is also offering the device in burgundy exclusively on its website.
Galaxy Z Flip4
Samsung also introduced an updated Galaxy Z Flip, which the company said is the most popular foldable in the world. (Practically speaking, that simply means it’s more popular than the Z Fold.) This year’s model, the Galaxy Z Flip4 improves the clamshell design with a tougher frame, refined hinge, and slimmer display bezels compared to previous generations. Samsung also said the display is stronger, so users will encounter fewer unexpected cracks from everyday use.
Improved durability is welcome but that isn’t the only change. Samsung has enhanced the cover screen so users can more efficiently reply to messages and make calls. New widgets are also being made available, further establishing the cover screen as a core part of the Z Flip experience. The concept of the cover screen has always been exciting and it looks like Samsung is getting closer to making it a reliable quick-glance solution in more situations.
Like last year’s model, the Galaxy Z Flip4 launches with a 6.7-inch OLED display that features a 22:9 aspect ratio and supports 120Hz ProMotion technology. The display also features a 10MP selfie camera with a familiar hole punch design.
The Z Flip4 is powered by a Snapdragon+ Gen 1 processor and comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB storage options. The device also comes with a 3700mAh battery that can charge to 50% in just half an hour, and it’s water-resistant, so it can survive getting wet if caught in a downpour. Like last year, the Z Flip 4 features a dual-camera setup, with a brighter 12MP wide lens and a 12MP ultra-wide lens.
Samsung said the cameras now offer larger pixels, better image stabilization, and enhanced processing for better low-light performance. Tracking for video has also been improved, so moving subjects stay in focus without much intervention from the user.
The Galaxy Z Flip4 will cost $999 when it launches Aug. 26 and is available in bora purple, graphite, pink gold, and blue. Samsung is also offering bespoke editions that will allow users to pick from a set of colors for the front, back, and frame.
Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro
Samsung historically releases a standard Galaxy Watch and a more robust, expensive “classic” version with a larger frame. This year, the company is shaking things up by introducing the Galaxy Watch5 and a more rugged, outdoor-minded Galaxy Watch5 Pro.
The Galaxy Watch5 comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes and will be available in both Bluetooth and LTE. Both feature sapphire crystal glass and curved rear glass, which Samsung said offers better contact with a user’s wrist, enabling more accurate biometrics, including advanced sleep coaching, body composition analysis, heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen levels, and a new skin temperature detection feature, which could tell users when they have a fever. The Watch5 also features IP68 water and dust resistance and runs Wear OS powered by Samsung’s customizations.
The 40mm Watch5 features a 1.19-inch display and 284mAh battery, and the 44mm Watch5 includes a 1.36-inch display and 410mAh battery. Otherwise, the two devices offer the same features and support 20mm band sizes. The Galaxy Watch5 starts at $279 for the 40mm and 44mm versions with Bluetooth and the price goes up for both models to $329 if you want LTE. Curiously, the small version is available in silver, graphite, and pink gold, while the larger model comes in sapphire, silver, and graphite.
The only totally new product in the announcement, Galaxy Watch5 Pro is a larger smartwatch made for people who spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. It features a harder titanium case and a sapphire crystal display, making it better prepared to handle whatever outdoor adventure you have planned.
The Galaxy Watch5 Pro comes in a single, extra-large 45mm case size. Like the Watch5, it offers advanced health and sleep tracking features. It includes a larger 1.36-inch display and a 590mAh battery, giving it enough juice to last a day away from outlets. The Galaxy Watch5 Pro will start at $499 and comes in black and gray titanium.
On the software side, both the Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro will have eight new watch faces and support Samsung’s Smart Switch feature, which allows you to quickly transfer contacts and other data from an old Galaxy Watch.
Galaxy Buds2 Pro
Last year, Samsung released the Galaxy Buds2, and this year Samsung follows the “Pro” earbuds trend with the Galaxy Buds2 Pro. These true wireless earbuds feature improved active noise cancellation, allowing users to tone down even the loudest ambient noise, and an auto voice detect feature, which can turn down your music and let outside noise in after you start speaking.
Since the Buds2 already offered active noise cancellation, the distinction between the Buds2 and Buds2 Pro is a little more subtle, focusing on a smaller design and improved fidelity. Samsung said this year’s Pro model is 15% smaller than the Buds2, providing users with a more comfortable fit. The updated design also helps reduce pressure inside your ear because, as Samsung explained, air flows more effectively through the device. The more ergonomic design also prevents rotation, so you can comfortably lay down without them moving around.
The Galaxy Buds2 Pro offers higher-quality audio in the right conditions, thanks to new 10mm drivers with support for 24-bit audio. The higher bit depth provides audio with a higher dynamic range and reduced noise, resulting in a cleaner sound. It also offers multi-channel Dolby Atmos support for virtual surround sound in certain streaming apps. The Buds2 Pro also features IPX7 water resistance.
The Galaxy Buds2 Pro will be available Aug. 26 for $229 (up from $200 for the original Buds Pro).