South Korean major Samsung on Wednesday launched the fourth generation of foldable smartphones - the Galaxy Z Flip4 (for $1,000) and Galaxy Z Fold4 (for $1,780) - that will be available in India for pre-orders from next week. Globally, the foldable devices will be available for pre-order beginning August 10, with general availability starting August 26 (in select countries).
In India, the new foldable phones will be available for open sale from early next month. The pricing for new devices in the country will also be revealed at a later date.
At the Galaxy Unpacked global event, the company also introduced Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro smartwatches (in 40mm and 44 mm sizes) and a Galaxy Buds2 Pro hearable device. The Galaxy watches will be available for pre-order in select markets starting from August 10 with sale starting August 26, according to the company.
"Created in collaboration with our world-class partners, the next foldable devices offer unparalleled mobile experiences that meet the needs of our most dynamic users," said Dr TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung.
Meet the new Folds
The new Folds have gotten tougher and lighter. The Galaxy Z Fold4 and Flip4 have armor aluminium frames with hinge cover and Gorilla Glass Victus+ protection on the cover screen and rear glass.
The Fold4 is the lightest foldable smartphone, weighing 263 grams. Comparatively, the Fold3 weighed 271 grams. Samsung has also reduced the height of the phone to 3.1mm and increased the width to 2.7mm, which should make the device more usable regardless of how you use it.
The Galaxy Z Fold4, also with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform and hyper-fast 5G, is the first device to ship with Android 12L, a special version created by Google for large screens, including foldable. The cameras on the Fold4 have also been improved. There's a 50MP wide lens and 30x Space Zoom lens, along with a variety of camera modes. Interestingly, Nightography from S22 has been brought to the new Folds' camera setup, making low-light photography just as fun.
"Content is even more immersive and distinctive on the 7.6-inch main screen, a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and a less visible Under Display Camera (UDC) featuring a new scatter-type sub-pixel arrangement," said Samsung. The display has 1,300 nits of brightness.
Samsung says the new Fold4 is the most powerful PC in the pocket. The phone also gets a new taskbar, multi-window support, and Flex Mode, which was shown to work seamlessly during a conference call. But Samsung tells us that more apps have been refined to use Flex mode without naming the individual apps.
Galaxy Z Fold4 in Grey-green, Beige and Phantom Black, along with Burgundy colours while Galaxy Z Flip4 comes in Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold and Blue finishes. Both the new Folds are IPX8 rated.
The Flip4, on the other hand, keeps its trendy style in check. It has an improved hinge, bold camera deco and haze glass finish. What's noteworthy is the inclusion of Nightography, which makes images 65 percent brighter. Like the Fold4, the Flip4 also supports Enhanced OIS, VDIS and an new AI ISP.
Another interesting element in the Flip4 is the improved Flex Cam, which now has multi-angle capture, hands-free selfie and is much more refined for vlogging. Giving an example of the refinement, Samsung said that when the user is vlogging using the rear camera and opens the flip, the selfie camera gets activated to continue vlogging seamlessly. This wasn't possible in the previous model.
The cover screen has also been enhanced in the Flip4, which will now let you use portrait mode without opening the flip. As fun as opening the flip may be, the cover screen will let you handle some tasks without having to open it. There are more quick responses on the cover screen than before.
The Flip4 has a 3,700mAh battery with reverse wireless charging support. The fast charging in the phone lets you charge the phone 0 to 50 percent in 30 minutes. It's not the fastest, but definitely a welcome. While the display has the same 1-120Hz refresh rate, the brightness is 900 nits.
Roh said last month that the world saw nearly 10 million foldable smartphones being shipped worldwide in 2021 - an industry increase of more than 300 per cent from 2020. In India, Samsung's foldable phones have grown four times since 2020 in the country, with the Fold device capturing 61 per cent market share while its Flip foldable model a 39 per cent market share in the country (according to CMR).
Samsung launched Galaxy Watch5, which comes equipped with a unique 'BioActive Sensor' that reveals heart rate, blood oxygen level and even stress level. Samsung has given more importance to sleep in the new watch with advanced sleep monitoring, holistic sleep analysis, and a personalised sleep coaching program.
The Galaxy Watch5 gets treated to Sapphire Crystal, which adds more durability, and a 13 percent bigger battery. The smartwatch is also supported by fast charging, as Samsung claims 10-minute charge is good for 8 hours of sleep monitoring.
Watch5 Pro has the largest battery in a Galaxy Watch. It's 60 per cent larger than Galaxy Watch4, courtesy of 590mAh battery. The Watch5 Pro is more premium with a titanium case and is 90 percent more durable than Watch4.
In addition, users can monitor blood pressure and ECG from their wrist but these heath functions are only available in select markets.
Finally, Samsung launched the all-new Buds2 Pro, which is more compact and better. The earbuds' size is reduced by 15 percent for a more secure fit. The TWS eabuds, for the first time, get seamless auto-switch feature.
For music aficionados, the Buds2 Pro supports 24-bit HiFi sound, which enables lossless audio on wireless. Users can also enjoy 360-degree audio by Dolby Atmos for an immersive experience. The ANC feature is also 40 percent better and the offline location finding is going to be an incredibly useful feature.