The next Samsung Unpacked event will come alive July 26 at 7 a.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, with the company hosting a live event at its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. At the same time, Unpacked should be livestreamed on the company’s website and YouTube channel. Based on the artwork for the event (and online rumors and leaks), it looks like Samsung is promoting that something big is going to—ahem—unfold for the Galaxy brand later this month.
After taking time earlier this year to unveil the Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra among a slew of new laptops, Samsung’s latest tech demo seems to be more than a little dedicated to upcoming foldables. The teaser’s hint of “Join the flip side” makes an obvious hint of the upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 5, though it does leave out the much more expensive cousin the Z Fold 5 which is expected to also debut.
The company is emphasizing the next line of foldables will be more compact. In a blog post, Samsung mobile head TM Roh said “A difference of millimeter in a device’s thickness may not sound like a big change, but every gram and millimeter in a foldable device requires an engineering breakthrough.”
Samsung is already hoping you’ll be willing to drop money on its phone, though we still don’t have official word of its ticket price. The company is promoting to customers they get $50 credit on the next Galaxy device if they preorder.
The Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 have seen their fair share of leaks recently, including some early renders that showed the device folded much flatter than earlier Z Fold 4 devices, something that could remove unsightly gaps and reduce internal screen crease.
Otherwise, reported hands-on images posted to Reddit show there’s not much visibly different from the Fold 4 to the Fold 5. It will still be rather skinny with a 7.6-inch AMOLED internal screen and a 6.2-inch external display. The devices are reportedly going to be thinner than before, about 13.4mm when closed. The camera array is slightly redesigned, though the flash sits separate from the sensor protrusion. With the rather poor quality and lighting in those shots, it’s hard to see whether Fold’s center crease will be too visible.
Both devices are expected to contain a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which will likely be what will power all premium phones for 2023 and early 2024. It’s the same packed into the current Galaxy S23.
The Z Flip 5 could be the much more dramatic change of the two new Samsung foldables. Leaked product images show the Flip could hold a much larger, 3.4-inch external screen than previous renditions, ending just above the twin external cameras. Renders show the larger screen could support its own lock screen and some apps like weather, calls, or messages.
Samsung has also hinted at some interoperability between its foldable and wearable devices. Rumors have it the next Galaxy Watch 6 could bring back the classic design as well as the physical rotating bezel. Roh wrote that Samsung’s Tab devices and wearables “work with each other harmoniously in an ecosystem that opens up a powerful connected experience.”
Though most of the marketing has focused on the foldables, there’s still a good chance we’ll see more about what Samsung has in store for its next watch.
Last month, Samsung finally debuted its heartbeat monitoring feature meant to check for atrial fibrillation. It’s part of the UI 5 Watch update, which likely means that will be part of the next watch series as well.
Most importantly for the Samsung watch fans, the company may be returning to forms not seen since the Watch 4 series. Rumors have hinted that the next iteration of the renamed Watch 5 Pro would return to the “Classic” moniker. With that would see the comeback of the much-missed physical rotating bezel.
These small changes and return to form could give the 6 series an edge over previous iterations. Watches haven’t seen in terms of real innovation as of late, and the Watch 5 was only a small step up from the Watch 4.
Google unveiled its $1,800 Pixel Fold at its I/O conference earlier this year. While we found the Pixel Fold was passable as far as high-end devices go, it didn’t manage to win out in many categories against Samsung, although we liked its overall design and and camera. While the fourth generation of Samsung’s foldables increased screen fidelity and survivability, the Fold 4 still cost a whopping $1,800. These devices devices need to come down in price before most consumers consider them as anything more than a novelty.
While brick-sized foldables remain on the high end, the next big advance for foldables could be the clamshell design. Earlier this year OnePlus revealed its Oppo Find N2 Flip while Motorola released its $1,000 Razr+ flip phone with plans to sell a cheaper version with a smaller external screen sometime later this year.
With other companies hot on its heels, Samsung may be hoping to prove that it’s been able to iterate and innovate with its next release.
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