Samsung announces new foldable phones and smart watches
Samsung’s latest devices, including the Galaxy Z Flip4 (pictured above) and the Galaxy Z Fold4 are now available to pre-order online ahead of their launch on 26th August.
Available in Graphite, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 boasts a compact design featuring a folding glass display with FHD+ resolution.
The improved Flex Mode means hands-free shooting is much easier on the 12MP Brighter Main camera or the 10MP front-facing camera, claims Samsung. The Auto-framing and Nightography features built in also help to capture shots. Plus, with a 3,700mAh battery and super-fast charging, the phone will last all day, claims the manufacturer.
Billed as the perfect handset for anyone who wants to stand out from the crowd, the Galaxy Z Fold4 features Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 Processor and boasts Infinity Flex display. Samsung claims it’s easier than ever to use and switch apps thanks to the new, sleek Taskbar, while creatives will enjoy capturing incredible images with its 50MP camera.
Customers who purchase either device via Virgin Mobile will have the world of entertainment unlocked with 12 months of Disney+ on Samsung and can cash in on their old Samsung devices by getting up to £500 when they trade in selected devices. Those after the Galaxy Z Fold4 can get their hands on a free Note Pack worth £89.99, which includes a new standing cover with S pen, and a 25W Super Fast Charger.
Virgin Mobile’s flexible plans come with data roll over and data-free WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter as standard as well as inclusive roaming in Europe. Freestyle customers can also flex their plan every 30 days so they have the freedom to pick a tariff that really works for them.
What the experts say:
Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, comments:
“This summer’s Galaxy Unpacked event showcased its most unique smartphone range, with a refreshed set of folding handsets.
“The Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers a hands-free camera experience with Flex Mode that will appeal to people on the go and for those that mainly use their phone camera for social media. The ability to see your selfies on the front cover also gives users more control over their photos.
“While its compact size when folded could put it at greater risk of being dropped, Samsung has given it a new tougher frame as it attempts to make its tech more durable for the accident-prone.
“The ‘Bespoke Edition’ of the Z Flip 4 is an interesting style statement for Samsung, as it gives owners much more control of how the phone will look, including its colour and the metal trim. This greater customisation could be something we see trickle down to all Samsung phones soon.
“We also had an appearance from the Z Fold 4, which is aimed at those willing to pay for a more expansive – and expensive – folding phone experience.
“While the upgrades may be refinements rather than revolutionary for those willing to take the plunge, Samsung has turned an exciting prototype into a more robust and rugged product.
“Alongside enhanced S-pen functionality, the new taskbar on the Z Fold 4 makes this an impressive phone for professionals looking for a pocket PC. Its powerful capabilities also make it a good choice for mobile gamers, with games looking especially good on the large screen.
“The new Galaxy Watch 5 gives fans of Samsung wearables more accurate readings, as well as the new temperature sensing technology that will let the wearer know when they have a fever. Meanwhile, the new Watch 5 Pro feels like the wearable of choice for fitness fans and those relying on their smartwatch for accurate directions when running and a larger battery for long adventures.”
James Manning Smith, Senior Analyst, CCS Insight:
“The Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 will be almost indistinguishable from their predecessors to most consumers. Although Samsung may be criticised for this, it makes sense to take an iterative approach given foldables devices are currently such as small segment of the overall smartphone market. In most cases, a consumer buying one of Samsung’s new devices will be getting one for the first time so won’t really have anything to compare it with.”
“Samsung’s iterative approach makes sense. We suspect it is still learning lots about the complexities of engineering this new category of products and although the phones look very similar to earlier models, they include numerous improvements such as better durability, longer battery life and multiple user experience updates.”
“Samsung has been the market-maker for foldable smartphones over the last three years, and although several Chinese phone makers are now offering rival products, Samsung is in a very strong position globally. The company will be hoping these products help build on the momentum it has created.“
“Samsung will be hoping the improvements to its foldable smartphone line up make the phones a more reliable rather risky purchases in the eyes of consumers and it should be applauded for its tireless work in developing the category.
“In a homogenous market of black touchscreen rectangles, it makes sense for Samsung to have products for users that want something that stands out from the crowd. The Z Flip range has been particularly successful in that context, and we expect the Z Flip4 will help further boost Samsung’s growth aspirations in foldables. The Z Fold is a more challenging form-factor and arguably is a much more experimental device compared to the Z Flip.”
Leo Gebbie, Principal Analyst, CCS Insight:
“The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro offer incremental improvements over the previous generation of Galaxy wearables, mostly based around improved battery life and durability. Our view is that Samsung wants to tell a more holistic health sensing story around sleep and body composition rather than focussing on specific sensors.”
“Although Samsung’s new smartwatches are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, there is plenty on offer for first-time smartwatch buyers. Given the immense success of the Apple Watch there has to be pent-up demand from Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone base for smartwatches and the Korean consumer electronics giant will be hoping to capitalise on this.”
“Samsung has focused on the gradual refinement its foldable phone and wearables portfolio. This is quite a step change from a company that has traditionally always tried to add new bells and whistles to its devices, in some cases with questionable results. It will be interesting to see whether this more Apple-esque approach delivers dividends.”
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 specs at a glance:
- Body: 158.0×128.0x6.0mm, 282g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus+) (folded), plastic front (unfolded), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus+), aluminum frame; IPX8 water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins), Armour aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised), Stylus support.
- Display: 7.60″ Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak), 1768x2208px resolution, 11.24:9 aspect ratio, 372ppi; Cover display:, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+, 6.2 inches, 832 x 2268 pixels, 25:9 ratio.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 670.
- Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- OS/Software: Android 12, One UI 4.1.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50MP, f/1.8, PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 10MP, f/2.4, 52mm, 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultrawide angle: 12MP, f/2.2, 123˚, 12mm, 1.12µm.
- Front camera: Inner camera: 4 MP, f/1.8, 2.0µm, under display; Cover camera: 10MP, f/2.2, 26mm, 1/3″, 1.22µm;
- Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected], 1[email protected]/240fps (gyro-EIS), [email protected] (gyro-EIS), HDR10+; Front camera: [email protected], [email protected], gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 4400mAh; Fast charging 25W, Fast wireless charging 11W, Reverse wireless charging 4.5W.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; stereo speakers; Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung DeX (desktop experience support), Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified), Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.