What to Expect From Samsung’s Big Foldable Phone Event

What to Expect From Samsung’s Big Foldable Phone Event
Image: Samsung

Whether you’ve been waiting with bated breath to see what’s next from Samsung or you’re simply in the market for something new, you might want to tune in to Samsung’s next Galaxy Unpacked event on August 12. The company is expected to reveal multiple new products, including its first new smartwatch since Google announced it would be teaming with the company to carry the Android wearables torch.

This is also the first winter event in the 10 years since Samsung launched the Galaxy Note that the company will not announce a successor to the phablet device that helped start the craze. Instead, we’re expecting a pair of new foldable phones, one of which could help fill the tablet-sized hole in your life. A spate of rumours and leaks mean we have a pretty good idea of what’s in store next week, so let’s dive in.

Foldables!

We already know there are folding smartphones launching at this event, as Samsung essentially laid out the plan by way of a blog post. Samsung President TM Roh teased the two new foldable devices, the third-generation Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is expected to come in a variety of colours.  (Image: Samsung via Winfuture.de, Other) The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is expected to come in a variety of colours. (Image: Samsung via Winfuture.de, Other)

The Z Flip folds down like the feature phones of the past, while the Z Fold opens outwardly like a book to reveal a tablet-sized screen. Some leaks point to the Snapdragon 888 powering up both devices, with 8GB of RAM in the Z Flip and 12GB of RAM in the Z Fold. Both phones should have better water resistance, with the Z Flip guarded by an IP68 rating and the Z Fold protected by a more robust IPX8 rating.

Beyond the usual build improvements, we’re expecting the Z Flip 3 to have a main 6.7-inch internal flexible display and a 1.9-inch external display. That external screen is a bit larger than its predecessor’s current 1.1-inch display and will bode for those hoping for more phone functionality on the outside.

Several rumours have alleged a 120Hz refresh rate for the Z Flip’s main screen, which would make even pocket-grinding games look smooth as butter. The Flip is expected to have two capable cameras, including a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 10-MP front-facing one. And what would Samsung’s fun folding smartphone be without a pop of colour? The Z Flip 3 is rumoured to arrive in eight colours: black, white, dark blue, light purple, green, a pinkish hue, and grey for neutral lovers. It should also be more durable, which was a complaint about previous generations of the Z Flip.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 (left) and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (right). (Image: Samsung via Evan Blass, Other) The Galaxy Z Fold 3 (left) and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (right). (Image: Samsung via Evan Blass, Other)

For those who want less of a traditional phone and more of a hybrid device, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 may very well be your next choice. The Z Fold 3 is expected to have a 6.2-inch display on the outside and a 7.55-inch screen inside. A recent FCC listing also revealed its compatibility with Samsung’s S Pen stylus, which will be a boon for anyone looking for some bonafide tablet-like capabilities. The S Pen won’t slot into the device like the Galaxy Note, but it will work with Air Actions.

Like the last version of the Galaxy Z Fold, the third-gen foldable tablet-phone device will likely have an array of cameras. The buzz leads us to believe there are three lenses, including a 12-MP primary, ultra-wide, and telephoto. There might even be an under-display camera making an appearance on the inside of the device.

Smartwatches!

Android users have been eager to hear the details on the next batch of Samsung watches after Google revealed the company would be the first to usher in the new version of the Wear platform. There have been numerous leaks about the forthcoming Galaxy Watches, expected to be the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and Galaxy Watch 4, with the latter packed with fitness-centric features to fulfil the needs of the Watch Active-wearing crowd.

The Watch 4 Classic will, as expected, have a more classic look and come in three sizes: 42mm, 44mm, and 46mm. Small wrists, there’s a classic watch for you yet. It’s expected to sport the durable Gorilla Glass DX+ and will come in aluminium and stainless steel options, with three colour selections: a white and silver model, a grey and silver model, and an all-black model.

A render of the four purported new Galaxy Watch 4 smartwatches coming through the pipeline. (Image: OnLeaks/GizNext) A render of the four purported new Galaxy Watch 4 smartwatches coming through the pipeline. (Image: OnLeaks/GizNext)

The Galaxy Watch 4 will be geared toward folks who want a more fitness-focused watch. The Watch 4 looks like it will be made from aluminium and come in 40mm and 44mm sizes. It’s also expected to run on a 5nm processor, one that’s way more capable than what non-Samsung Android smartwatches are running now. The renders show four colour options, including black, silver, green, and gold.

Amazon Canada accidentally published a listing for the Galaxy Watch 4, which revealed more features. It showed body composition analysis, advanced sleep-tracking, VO2 Max, and SpO2, in addition to the usual continuous heart rate-monitoring. It will also have NFC and built-in GPS, as well as a 1.36-inch display and 361mAh battery.

The new One UI Watch software will help unify Samsung's smartwatches with Google's Wear OS.  (Image: Samsung) The new One UI Watch software will help unify Samsung’s smartwatches with Google’s Wear OS. (Image: Samsung)

Samsung’s One UI Watch experience has also been leaked, as users are eager to know how Samsung will mould the new Android wearable operating system. One UI will have automatic app installation, meaning it’ll pick up on the apps you have already installed on your phone, so you don’t have to find the companion app in what will hopefully be a more well-stocked app store (one of the reasons for the Google-Samsung team-up). There’s an improved watch face tool coming, too, which will make it easier for developers to take advantage of other sensors and abilities of the Galaxy Watch for more dynamic watch faces.

Earbuds!

The charging base of the new Galaxy Buds is a little less bean-shaped than previous versions. (Image: Samsung via Evan Blass, Other) The charging base of the new Galaxy Buds is a little less bean-shaped than previous versions. (Image: Samsung via Evan Blass, Other)

The last of device we’re expecting to be announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event is the next-gen Galaxy Buds. They’ve been long overdue for a refresh, with the last pair launching two years ago.

The Galaxy Buds 2 were practically revealed in a series of leaked renders. Expect smaller earbuds without fin-shaped wings, and the charging case also looks to be a little bigger than the previous bean-shaped one. There’s no definite word on whether the earbuds will offer active noise cancellation, though a reveal in a published GitHub repository seems to suggest otherwise.

The purported $140 to $200 price tag would make the Galaxy Buds 2 a competitor against a slew of other affordable buds on the market, namely the Pixel Buds Series-A and Nothing’s $135 earbuds.

Stay tuned! We’ll be updating this as more info leaks ahead of the event.