Samsung unveils next generation of foldable smartphones at virtual event

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G was the showpiece product at Samsung’s Unpacked 2021 event (Samsung)

Samsung has launched new versions of two foldable smartphones as well as a new smartwatch and wireless earbuds at its annual Unpacked event.

The South Korean company made official the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Flip3 at the virtual event, which was livestreamed around the world.

Of the two new phones, the Fold3 is the more premium device combining a 6.2-inch front display that opens like a paperback into a 7.6-inch tablet. Both screens use AMOLED technology and feature a 120Hz refresh rate.

What’s impressive is that Samsung has fitted an under-display camera to the 7.6-inch screen. So if you’ve got the phone open as a tablet, you can have an uninterrupted screen but still utilise a camera for video calls or facial recognition on apps.

On the back of the phone is a triple camera setup consisting of ultra wide, wide-angle and telephoto lenses.

The Z Fold3 5G packs an octa-core processor alongside 12GB of RAM with a choice of either 256GB or 512GB of storage. You can also use Samsung’s S Pen stylus accessory with it and it comes in a choice of either black, green or silver.

The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G comes in a choice of silver, black or green and prices start at £1,599 (Samsung)

Samsung has improved on last year’s Fold2 by making this new version IPX8 waterproof resistant, meaning it can actually be submerged in up to 1 metre of water and continue to function for up to a half-hour.

As you would expect from a dual-screen behemoth like this, the battery and price are both pretty sizable. The former is 4,400mAh while the latter starts at £1,599.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Z Flip3 is the (slightly) cheaper option, starting at £949.

Rather that utilise two displays, the Z Flip3 hearkens back to old-style clamshell phones. It has a small 1.9-inch display on the outside for notifications, but unfolds to a full 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with a 2,640 x 1,080 pixel resolution.

When folded, its dimensions are just 72.2 x 86.4 x 17.1mm, making it small enough to slip into a shirt pocket. And because it weighs just 183g, this is probably the phone to go for if you value portability above all else.

The Galaxy Z Flip3 closes up like an old-school clamshell phone (Samsung)

Samsung has packed the Galaxy Z Flip3 with a dual rear camera consisitng of an ultra wide and wide-angle lens. Inside there’s a 64-bit octa-core processor and 8GB of RAM with a choice of either 128GB or 256GB of storage.

Samsung is launching the Z Flip3 in a variety of colours, including: cream, green, lavender, black, grey, white and pink.

Like the Z Fold3, the Z Flip3 is IPX8 waterproof and comes running Android 11 out of the box. It might not have it in the name, but it’s also fully 5G capable.

Alongside the phones, Samsung announced the Galaxy Watch4 which comes with faces and straps to match the colours of the phones. It’s also the first product that offers the One UI Watch experience that came from a partnership between Google’s Wear OS and Samsung’s wearable expertise.

There’s also all the usual health and fitness related features including blood pressure and ECG monitoring.

The circular display comes in either a 44mm size or a 40mm size and the watch runs on an Exynos W920 processor with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

Alongside the new phones, Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch4 and the Galaxy Buds2 (Samsung)

The casing is aluminium, but Samsung also announced the Galaxy Watch4 Classic that changes up the casing to stainless steel.

Finally, the tech company revealed the Galaxy Buds2 – an updated set of wireless earbuds designed to work with both phones and watch through Bluetooth 5.2.

Samsung’s president and head of mobile communications business, T.M. Roh said: ‘We kept improving the category with our second generation of foldables, the Galaxy Z Fold2 and the Galaxy Z Flip, with more screens and more of the features you now know and love.

‘I’m excited to say our third generation of foldable devices will open up amazing new multitasking capabilities and enhanced durability for even more people around the world.’

‘The upcoming Galaxy Z Fold combines the very best that smartphones and tablets offer and delivers completely new ways of working, connecting and creating, while the upcoming Z Flip exhibits an even more refined style, armed with more durable, stronger materials.

‘I firmly believe these devices will answer the call for the versatile mobile technology we need as we navigate the open road ahead.’

Samsung and Fitbit land on this week’s luxurious tech Lust List

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