While it was one of the least hyped first gadgets in recent memory, Samsung blasted a slew of announcements at a bright, early morning Unpacked event.
Too busy to log in? Still asleep when it all fell apart? Here’s the lite version of everything you need to know.
Galaxy Watch 4
Samsung is back with another set of smartwatches, this time with a twist: after years of focusing on their own OS with Tizen, these latest watches are back on Google’s Wear OS. Or, at least, Samsung’s point of view – this version of the software will be called “Wear OS Powered by Samsung” and will borrow some of the best elements from Tizen while being Wear OS at its core.
Samsung went deeper into health metrics this time around, focusing much of the announcement on the watch’s ability to continuously monitor things like blood pressure, blood oxygen and body composition.
This year’s watch comes in two forms: Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The standard Watch 4 is a little thinner and lighter, with a touch bezel to control the interface; Watch 4 Classic inflates things a bit, with a physically rotating bezel. Watch 4 starts at $250 and comes in 40mm or 44mm, while Watch 4 Classic bumps the base price to $350 and comes in 42mm or 46mm.
Read the full announcement post here.
Galaxy Z Fold 3
Expensive and with a lot of issues to fix with early versions, foldable smartphones didn’t exactly take the world by storm. Hell, most people probably haven’t seen a foldable phone in person yet. But Samsung is not done in this space yet!
This morning the company announced the Galaxy Z Fold 3, its third iteration on the hot dog-style foldable phone approach. They’ve managed to drop the price a bit (from $2,000 to $1,800), while increasing the overall build quality – it has a stronger aluminum frame, a more durable folding screen, and it’s waterproof (a first for Samsung foldables!) up to an IPX8 rating. (One catch: that “x” means it will survive an accidental dip in the tub, but you still want to keep it away from dust/debris.)
The Fold 3 will be the first Samsung device to feature an under-display camera – a neat trick, even if it usually comes at the cost of image quality. The rear of the device has three additional lenses (more standard, less hidden) – ultra wide, wide angle and telephoto, all 12 megapixels each. Oh, and it now supports the S Pen stylus!
Expect this one to start shipping on the 26th of this month.
Find more specs and details in our full article here.
Galaxy ZFlip 3
While the flagship Fold 3 took most of the foldable spotlight today, Samsung’s relatively entry-level foldable (clamshell!) is also getting an update with the announcement of the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
The Flip 3 will get many of the same durability upgrades as the aforementioned Fold 3, including the upgraded aluminum body, a more durable screen, and IPX8 water resistance. It has a 10MP selfie camera on the inside, with two 12MP cameras (ultrawide and wide angle) on the outside. At $999, nearly $400 less than the last, it’s the first time Samsung has managed to drag its foldable line into the sub-$1,000 price range. It has a larger cover screen (the screen that pops up whenever the device is closed) this time around, at 1.9″ compared to last-gen’s 1.1″.
As with everything else announced today, it starts shipping on August 26th. Find our full review on the Flip 3 here.
Galaxy buds 2
Samsung also launched a new generation of entry-level wireless headphones today, and all you need to know could fit in a tweet: they’re smaller and lighter and have active noise cancellation, and will ship August 26 for $149.
Want more details? Here is the full message.
They slipped this one up a bit at the end, but it’s worth a look: Samsung is committed to eliminating all single-use plastic of its phone packaging by 2025, with plans to significantly increase its use of recycled materials in its mobile products by the same year. Given that Samsung ships more phones per quarter than any other company on the planet, that’s huge – and hopefully an example that others will follow.