- Samsung announced two new phones with folding screens and a similar design to its predecessors.
- The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a small pocketable square that opens up to reveal a 6.7-inch screen inside with a starting price of $999.99.
- The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a skinny phone with a nearly tablet-sized 7.6-inch screen with a starting price of $1,799.99.
Samsung on Wednesday announced its newest foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4.
The $999.99 Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the $1,799.99 Galaxy Z Fold 4 look very similar to last year's Flip 3 and Fold 3. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 is a small pocketable square that opens up to reveal a 6.7-inch screen inside. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a skinny phone that opens like a book to reveal a tablet-sized 7.6-inch screen.
Samsung said both phones are the company's toughest foldable phones yet, thanks to stronger aluminum frames and Corning glass on the outside that's more resistant to scratches and damage from drops.
Samsung typically releases new high-end phones, including ones with folding screens, in August. It gives it a chance to get its latest flagships on the market before Apple's new iPhones, which typically launch in September.
The company hopes to make foldable phones "mainstream," according to its most recent earnings statement released on July 28. It is aiming for foldable phone sales to surpass that of its past flagship smartphone, Galaxy Note, in the second half.
Folding phones are currently a niche part of the overall smartphone market, but Samsung is betting its continued investment will help bolster its mobile division, which has been hit by rising materials costs and waning consumer demand.
Here's what you need to know about Samsung's new phones:
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 3 is currently the most popular foldable phone in the world, so the company has big hopes for the Flip 4.
The 6.7-inch screen size of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is the same as its predecessor, but it has a longer-lasting battery. The Flip 4 also has a slimmer hinge, making the seam less obvious.
The camera on the Flip 4 has been upgraded with a sensor that is 65% brighter. Users are now able to take selfies in portrait mode. Also on the Flip 4, users can shoot hands-free video by partially folding the flip to activate FlexCam. Samsung has partnered with Meta so this feature can be used on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
The Flip 4 also has more capabilities while it's folded. Without opening the phone, users can make calls, video chat and reply to texts.
It has Super Fast charging which offers up to 50% battery in 30 minutes.
The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the first device to ship with Android 12L, a special version of Android created by Google for large-screen devices.
The camera on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 has been upgraded to a 50MP wide lens and a 30x zoom lens. A brightened sensor and enhanced processing power will help users take better pictures at night.
Like the Fold 3, the interior camera on the Fold 4 hides inside the screen to create a more seamless viewing experience.
It has Super Fast charging which offers up to 50% battery in 30 minutes just like the Flip 4.
Both of Samsung's new folding phones support the company's S Pen stylus, a feature that drew consumers to its Galaxy Note phones for years. But, like last year, there's no place to store it in the Galaxy Z Fold 4, as you used to be able to do on Galaxy Note phones.
A new taskbar on the Z Fold 4 shows your favorite apps, while new swiping gestures on the phone make switching between applications more intuitive. The Z Fold 4 screen is also brighter than the Fold 3 and has a higher refresh rate than earlier models, which makes things like scrolling through websites smoother.
Samsung will accept orders for the new phones beginning Wednesday and will ship them on Aug. 26.
Samsung also announced new smartwatches, the $279.99 Galaxy Watch 5, the $449.99 Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the $329.99 Galaxy Watch 5 Golf Edition.
Samsung says the health metrics on the Galaxy Watch 5 are more accurate than its predecessor thanks to the increased surface area. The Watch 5 also has a new body temperature sensor for more accurate health readings. The battery and charging speed have also improved on the Watch 5 thanks in part to a 13% larger battery. The watch can provide eight hours of sleep tracking with just eight minutes of charging, which Samsung says is 30% faster than the Galaxy Watch 4.
The Watch 5 Pro is tailored toward users who "love the great outdoors," according to Samsung. It has a60% larger than the battery in the Watch 4. The Watch 5 Pro lasts 80 hours on a single full charge. Its design is also more durable for users who are engaging in more extreme sports. This comes as Apple is set to unveil three new Apple Watch variations, including a new entry-level SE model, a standard Series 8, and a rugged edition aimed at extreme sports, according to Bloomberg.
The Galaxy Watch 5 Golf Edition offers golfers direction and recommendations while they're on the course.
The watches launch on Aug. 26.
Lastly, Samsung debuted a new generation of earbuds called the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Most notably, these wireless headphones have a technology called Intelligent Active Noise Cancellation. They tune out sound around you but can also determine when someone is talking to you and lower the volume so you can hear what someone is saying. They come in three colors: white, black and purple. The buds launch on Aug. 26 for $229.99.