It's that time of year again, and Samsung has just unveiled a stunning lineup of the new Galaxy foldable phones and wearables: the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, Galaxy Watch4 series and Galaxy Buds 2.
Galaxy Z Fold3 5G
Some of the most requested features for the Z Fold series were water resistance, S Pen support and a lighter, slimmer body. Well, Samsung has delivered all three with the new foldable devices.
The phones now come with IPX8 water resistance, which means it will survive being submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. The metal frame and hinge on both phones are now made with "Armor Aluminum", which Samsung claims make the phones 10% stronger than their predecessors, as well as a new protective film on the screen that's 80% more durable.
On the Cover Screen and rear, there's also Corning Gorilla Glass Victus that's supposed to be 50% stronger than Gorilla Glass 6. These improvements are also all present on the Z Flip3 5G.
Thinner bezels have made it possible for the Cover Screen on the Z Fold3 to remain the same at 6.2-inches, while Samsung shaved around 0.9mm off the width, 1mm off the length and 0.8mm off the thickness of the phone.
The main screen also remains at 7.6-inches, although the total width is now 128.1mm when the phone is opened, and the phone weighs 271g, a nine-gram decrease from the Z Fold2.
If you're keener on watching content with the outside Cover Screen though, it's now a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a nice upgrade. The displays are also brighter by 29%, thanks to Samsung's Eco2 Display technology.
The major change on the inside screen, though, is the change from a pin-hole camera to the first-ever under-display camera (UDC) on a Galaxy smartphone. It's something that many people have been waiting for, and we're definitely excited to see how well the UDC blends into the background.
Another major feature added is the support for S Pen. This pretty much confirms the rumours that Samsung is looking to end the Note series and focus predominantly on the Galaxy S series and Galaxy Z series phones. That being said, using an S Pen on the larger Z Fold3 screen for drawing and creative applications will definitely be a treat.
There are two different S Pen models, both designed for the Z Fold3. The first is the S Pen Pro, which can be used with other Galaxy devices like Galaxy Tab or Galaxy Book, comes equipped with Bluetooth which allows for Air Actions and has a button that facilitates easy device switching.
There's also a no Bluetooth edition called the S Pen Fold Edition, that's exclusive to the Z Fold3. The S Pen Pro weighs 12.8g versus the S Pen Fold's 6.7g, and is also longer, at 173.64mm versus 132.1mm.
Moving on to cameras though, Samsung has thrown in a 10MP lens for the Cover Camera, and the triple-camera rear array comes with three 12MP lenses, one ultra-wide, one wide and one telezoom lens, all covered by what Samsung calls "Super Clear Glass".
The Z Fold3 supports 5G and will come with the Snapdragon 888 processor, and there's also Dolby Atmos support for the stereo speakers.
The phone will come in three colours with a new matte finish: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver and Phantom Green.
There is also a Thom Browne edition that comes with a themed phone, cover, S Pen Pro, charging head, charging cable, Watch4, two replacement straps, charging cable and puck, a themed Galaxy Buds 2 with case as well as a powerbank.
The Z Fold3 5G will be starting from US$1,799 or S$2,398, with pre-orders starting today.
Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G still retains much of the same look as the Z Flip, but the Cover Screen on the front when the phone is closed is now larger and according to Samsung, has much more functionality.
The phone has all the new benefits as the Z Fold3 though, with IPX8 water resistance, a stronger frame and hinge, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus as well as the new protective film.
Similarly, the phone will support 5G and comes with the Snapdragon 888 processor, 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.
The camera on the Cover Screen is now a 12MP camera with ultra-wide and wide lenses, with the same Super Clear Glass protecting it, and a 10MP front camera inside completes the package.
The Z Flip3 has also been slimmed down, with 0.6mm shaved off the width, 1mm shaved off the length, and the thickness reduced by 0.5mm when measured at where the edges meet. That being said, it's still a 6.7-inch display inside, but the refresh rate has now been bumped up to 120Hz.
The external Cover Screen is now 1.9-inches, or four times larger, and allows for widgets, quick settings, more notifications and Samsung Pay to be displayed on it. The Cover Screen can also be customised to match with the watch face from the Galaxy Watch4 or Watch4 Classic.
The Z Flip3 will come in four colours: Cream, Lavender, Green and Phantom Black. There are three additional colours that are exclusive to Samsung.com: White, Pink and Grey.
There is also a special Thom Browne edition that will come with a themed Z Flip3, cover, charger head, charging cable, Watch4, two replacement straps, charging cable with puck, Galaxy Buds 2 and case as well as a powerbank.
Retailing from US$999.99 or S$1,398, pre-orders start today.
Samsung Galaxy Watch4 on left, Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Classic on right
There are now two models in the Watch4 series, with the Galaxy Watch4 and the Galaxy Watch4 Classic. The Watch4 Classic comes with the iconic rotating bezel while the Watch4 has the normal bezel previously seen on the smaller 41mm Watch3.
The biggest visual change to the Galaxy Watch4 is actually the new user interface (UI) called One UI Watch that has been developed in tandem with Google as well as the new buttons on the right-hand side of the watch. One UI Watch is supposed to allow the Watch4 to look and work more like a Galaxy smartphone, like recognising and using Do Not Disturb settings, blocked callers and more. Watch-compatible apps that are downloaded on a Galaxy smartphone will also be automatically downloaded onto the watch.
Additionally, Samsung has expanded the Auto Switch feature to the Watch4 series, meaning Samsung earbuds will detect and toggle between the phone, watch or tablet. There's also a new Buds Controller feature on the Watch4, meaning a user can check battery life, customise touch controls or change noise cancelling on the earbuds right from the watch.
Let's talk about the physical design first. Instead of the chronograph-style pushers from the Watch3, Samsung has gone with pill-shaped buttons which reduces the likelihood of catching the pushers on clothing. The Galaxy Watch4 will use an aluminium case, while the Watch4 Classic will use stainless steel.
There's also a higher resolution display, up to 16GB of storage and a new 5nm processor, the first-ever in a Galaxy Watch. The battery inside is claimed to last up to 40 hours, so it should be able to last around a day and a half on a single charge. There's also quick charging, allowing for 10 hours of battery life with 30 minutes of charge, or a full charge in under two hours.
Inside, Samsung has a bunch of new hardware and software, including a new 3-in-1 BioActive Sensor that runs on a single chipset