Updated: August 12, 2021 8:02:03 am
Samsung announced two new foldable smartphones on Wednesday with lower prices and improved durability in a bid to make the form factor mainstream. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G will test Samsung’s ability to convince consumers to switch to foldable phones, a new segment that is yet to see a runaway hit.
The South Korean tech giant said the Galaxy Z Fold 3 would start at $1800 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 at $1000. These price points are lower than Samsung’s previous-generation foldable phones — the Galaxy Z Fold 2 cost $2000 and the Galaxy Z Flip $1380. Experts believe selling the Galaxy Z Flip 3 at a lower price point could be a potential demand driver in certain markets.
Both Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 ship with IPX8 water resistance, something the previous generation of folding phones lacked. This is a strong feature to have, and it might help Samsung address the durability issues with folding phones. The devices also use Gorilla Glass Victus, which Samsung boasts is the “toughest glass” yet on its flagship phones. The new folding phones are also slimmer and lighter than their predecessors. They are available to pre-order in the US, and will go on sale on August 27.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 looks exactly like the last generation model from the outside. However, there are changes made to the display and the camera system. The front houses a 6.2-inch cover display, and while inside there is a truly massive 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex display. Both screens now support a 120Hz high refresh rate. Other changes include a selfie camera that’s located directly under the screen, first for Samsung, and a 10MP on the cover display and a triple camera system on the back.
The $1800 Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a beast of an Android phone. It is powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage and a 4400mAh of dual battery. It also supports Samsung’s S Pen though users have to purchase the stylus separately. The phone runs Android 11.
The second folding phone is the Galaxy Z Flip 3, which is fundamentally different from the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in terms of design. At $1000, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is not only more affordable but also targets a different set of audiences. It is a much lighter and more compact design that unfolds vertically, just like old-school flip phones. It is available in two-tone colours and has a larger cover screen for notifications, a 6.7-inch 120Hz folding display, and a vertical camera array. The clamshell phone is powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor paired with 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage and a 3300mAh dual battery. Neither of the phones supports expandable storage.
New Galaxy Watch 4, Buds 2 also announced
As expected, Samsung also announced the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The arrival of the Galaxy Watch 4 marks a shift in the way both Samsung and Google see the wearables market. The success of the Galaxy Watch 4 matters more to Google than Samsung, because the company is yet to launch a smartwatch that truly rivals the Apple Watch. To make this happen, Samsung is abandoning its custom Tizen OS for watches and instead worked with Google on the unified version of WearOS. The Galaxy Watch 4 is the world’s first smartwatch to run on WatchOS 3.0, which promises better battery life, improved software experiences, and strong third-party app support.
Both the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will launch on August 27 and will cost $250 and $350 respectively. While the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic features a larger body with a rotating bezel, the Galaxy Watch 4 looks similar to the Galaxy Watch Active 2. They are powered by the Exynos W920, the world’s first wearable-specific chip to be built on a 5nm process.
Samsung also took the wraps off the Galaxy Buds 2, which will go head-to-head with Apple’s popular AirPods Pro. They feature ANC (active noise reduction) and come with improved sound quality. The new truly wireless earbuds cost $149, and will go on sale on August 27 in select markets.
Strong competition in the premium segment from Xiaomi, Apple
With no new Galaxy Note smartphone launching this year, Samsung is betting on two new foldable phones to counter Apple, OnePlus and Xiaomi in the high-end segment. The rise of Xiaomi and its better-than-expected performance in Europe is putting pressure on Samsung. Research firm Strategy Analytics this month said that Xiaomi was the top smartphone brand in Europe for the three months between April and June, holding about 25 per cent of the market share. Although Xiaomi is known for its budget phones, the Chinese company is gradually making its presence felt in the high-end smartphone segment. This year alone, it launched the Mi 11 Ultra smartphone that cost in the range of $900 alongside the first foldable phone. Once Apple launches its next iPhone model in September, Samsung will face stiff competition.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.