Samsung held its Unpacked event today and announced a couple of new folding phones, a fancy watch, and its latest take on its noise-canceling earbuds.
Here’s a summary of the best news of the day.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3
Third time’s the charm, as the Z Fold 3 seems to take significant steps to address people’s biggest complaints about the series.
Samsung did not announce a new Note series phone today but instead brought a stylus to the Fold family. The Z Fold 3 is compatible with a special S-pen that retracts to prevent too much force from being applied to the display.
The phone is packing a display that is “80% more durable” than the previous Folds and is water-resistant for the first time. The hinge has been reinforced and it manages to be thinner and lighter than its predecessor too.
Better yet, the price has been slashed a little bit, to $1,800. While that’s far from cheap, it does mean the phone might come down to more reasonable prices in a month or two. The phone is up for pre-order today and will be available starting August 27.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3
Although it’s technically only the second of Samsung’s Flip phones, it wouldn’t be the first time the company has opted to skip a number altogether.
The Z Flip 3 includes the same durability improvements as the Fold. It also is packing a larger exterior display and stereo speakers, and it comes in a whole bunch of pretty colors. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with the S-Pen, and I’m a little worried about the 3,300 mAh battery.
Perhaps most importantly, the Z Flip 3 might just be the first folding phone that everyday phone buyers get their hands on. At $1000, it is about as expensive as an iPhone 12 Pro, except, you know, it can fold in half. The phone is also up for pre-order today and will be available starting August 27.
The Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic
The Galaxy Watch 4 is almost certainly going to be Android’s best Apple Watch alternative yet. It comes in two models (both available in two sizes). The regular model has a sportier look with a silicone band, while the ‘Classic’ model has a more traditional design and a fancy rotating bezel for navigating the UI.
These are Samsung’s first watches to run on Wear OS. This latest version of the OS promises to be significantly smoother and more efficient than its predecessors to a team-up between Samsung and Google to majorly optimize the software.
The watches promise up to 40 hours of battery life, better than the Apple Watch and most Android watches, but we’ll have to see how it holds up in use. The standard model starts at $250, while the Classic will set you back $350. Both models are available for pre-order today and will be available August 27.
The Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung is trying to disrupt the true wireless earbud market by offering ‘Pro’ level features at a reasonable price. The Galaxy Buds 2 will retail for $150, yet they are packing active noise cancelation — a feature normally reserved for the $200+ price range.
Moreover, Samsung says these are its lightest buds yet, despite the fact each earbud is packing dual dynamic drivers. There are also three microphones on board for clear call quality and minimal wind noise (in theory). You can also use an ambient sound mode to let you clearly hear the environment while wearing the earbuds.
The Galaxy Buds 2 are available to pre-order now and will ship by August 25.