Friday, 12 August 2022 14:28

Watch: Guardians of Samsung's Flagship Galaxy can Flip, Fold and be best Buds 4 ever, with the crease decreased! Featured

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Samsung's fourth-get foldables are here: the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Z Fold4 have arrived, in bolder, lighter, more powerful and more durable forms, with an ever smaller crease, to push the boundaries of smartphone versatility and innovation beyond competitors, while Buds2 Pro get better audio and 40% stronger noise cancellation, and Watch 5 gets a Pro brother set to take on the toughest challenges - and challengers.

Samsung is coming out swinging with its strongest smartphones and offers yet, with generous pre-order offers from telcos and retailers, the same pricing for base level Flip and Fold models as last year, despite shortages and inflation, and general availability starting September 2 in Australia, likely a least a month before new iPhones, with advertising now in full swing.

With an entire Galaxy of sales to defend and grow, and ever-improving competition from other Androids, and Apple's yearly standard-setting efforts, Samsung is tempting owners of older models to upgrade, and it is tempting switchers from Apple and other Android brands to swing to Samsung's side of the force, flipping and folding all the way.

The height of technology today is delivering the most versatile mobile experience, and while that isn't yet a smartphone's brains inside a robot body like R2-D2 or C3PO, we are seeing folding screens reach the fourth-generation, alongside apps, user interfaces and user experiences that take real advantage of these unique capabilities as never before, and offer true differentiation.

Let's take a look at the highlights Samsung published of its August 2022 Unpacked event, the full presentation is also embedded further below, as are other videos Samsung has shared:

Now, there's no questions that ever more foldables will come, be in from Google, Motorola, Microsoft, Apple and others, but in 2022 and 2023, until the Flip and Fold5 launch in a year's time, these are the world's most advanced folding smartphone flip and smartphone fold duo, with the smoothest interface for using all the existing and new features that these folding devices deliver.

They're also well equipped in all the areas that matter. There's a Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in each device, with meaningful improvements to CPU, GPU and NPU performance over the previous model. The Flip4 is equipped with 8GB RAM, while the Fold4 goes for gold with 12GB RAM, which makes sense given the fold is designed for ever more multitasking.

Smaller, faster and lighter, they're both models also more durable, with "Armor Aluminium" frames and hinge cover along with what is billed as "exclusive Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+" on the Cover Screen and rear glass, they're a definite upgrade in the visual department, too.

The Fold4 also has smaller bezels and a better and much less visible "UDC" or under display camera on the "inside" tablet screen, which is as you'd expect.

120Hz screens for super smooth screen scrolling is standard, the Z Flip4 can recharge to 50% in 30 minutes if you have a fast charger, which Samsung and others sell, a new FlexCam feature lets you capture selfies and group selfies at various angles in ways that other smartphones don't offer, optimised for Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms, take selfies when the phone is closed thanks to the front facing screen (and camera) and more.

The Buds2 Pro feature 40% better ANC or active noise cancellation, and offer 24-bit audio, with 256 times more audio information than traditional 16-bit audio, and Samsung has "spatial audio" capabilities.

Meanwhile the Watch5 and Watch5 Pro are excellent evolutions of Samsung's existing Watch4 models, with the Watch5 Pro aimed at bettering the offerings from Garmin and others, and presumably also Apple's rumoured Apple Watch Pro model.

Samsung has also upped its environmental game, with 90% of Samsung's devices now offering at least one component using recycled materials, while its packaging has shrunken further, saving 10,000 tons of CO2, which is great to see from one of the world's largest producers of technology.

In addition, all of these devices work together beautifully. Apple has the strongest ecosystem of devices, accessories, interoperability and more, but Samsung's ecosystem and interoperability is stronger than ever and enhanced with these new models - and Samsung also allows interaction with its connected appliances through the SmartThings platform.

For all the details of these new models, I've linked directly to Samsung's pages, which are filled with useful information.

The details on the Flip4 are here, the Fold4 here, the Buds2 Pro here. the Watch5 here and Watch5 Pro here

Pricing:

Pricing for the Z Flip 4 starts at $1499 for the 128GB version, $1649 for 256GB, $1729 for the 256GB Bespoke model which lets you customise the colours of the Flip4's panels, and $1849 for the 512GB model. Each has 8GB RAM.

Samsung's own time limited pre-order page gives you the option to get the 256GB model for the 128GB price, and the 512GB Bespoke model for the 256GB price, along with 50% off Samsung Care+.

Standard colour options include Bora Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold and Blue, while the Bespoke Edition lets you choose from your own colour choices or a range of curated options.

The Z Fold4 starts at $2499 for the 256GB version, $2699 for the 512GB version, and $2999 for the 1TB model.

Samsung's own time-limited pre-order offer gives you the option to get the 512GB Fold4 for the 256GB price, and the 1TB version for the 512GB price, until September 1, 2022.

Colour options include GreyGreen, Phantom Black, and Beige, with an exclusive Burgundy colour at Samsung's site.

Let's take a look at Samsung's video showcasing the top features of the new Fold4:

Here's Samsung's video on the "untold story" behind the Fold4's advances:

Here's the Buds2 Pro video:

Here's the Watch5 Pro video:

Plenty of pre-order offers have now launched for those who act fast, including one from Harvey Norman that ends on Monday 15 August, 2022, showing Samsung and its partners are giving buyers every opportunity to fold while the iron's hot, and flip expectations of RRP pricing.

Finder has some of the other pre-order offers here

Here's the full Samsung Unpacked August 2022 event:

Dr. TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics said: Samsung Galaxy foldables are built on the foundation of our openness philosophy, enabling new possibilities with complete customisation both inside and out. 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.

“Through our unwavering focus and industry leadership, excitement for the foldables continues to grow. We’ve successfully transformed this category from a radical project to a mainstream device lineup enjoyed by millions worldwide.”

Garry McGregor, the Vice President, Mobile Experience Division, Samsung Electronics Australia said: "The new Galaxy Z Series range is the generation of foldables that will see the category become mainstream. Adoption cues are steadily growing from the volume of Foldable devices ‘in the wild’, increasing consumer online search trends, indication of purchase intent, app optimisation and more. We know there’s been a doubling in consideration for foldables among 18 – 45-year-olds and Gen-Z specifically showing a colossal 273% increase since last year.

“Without a doubt foldables have more than emerged, they’ve arrived and have a bright future. The foldables market is predicted to continue its rapid growth, more than doubling in 20232 and the fact Samsung Australia has maintained year-on-year pricing we see this being very much the case in this market.

“We’re proud to have established this category and of where they have evolved to today. The journey has had its challenges but to overcome them, we listened and put feedback into action with improvements to all key areas from design, durability, usability, affordability, power, app optimisation and more.

“We’re interested in seeing how Australians take to Fold4 and Flip4 as a proven premium market. The form factor has a history of piquing the interest of those historically loyal to other brands. Flip especially with 28% of users activating a device having come from another ecosystem.

"They each also have distinct customer profiles that we've been able to tailor the improvements to suit their needs. The Galaxy Z series is the most complete foldable phone yet.

“Furthermore, we know there is a clear desire for an ecosystem of connected products. That is why we are especially excited for our latest additions to the Galaxy portfolio of wearables as well as the all new Watch5 Pro. They offer our customers supreme audio and improved health and well-being functionality – bringing the best of the best.

“It is a very exciting time for the category and with the full support from our partners, offering complete ranges of colour skews, memory variants at the best value, we know our customers in Australia are going to love these new devices,” McGregor concluded.

Finally - there's the question of whether two devices are better than one, or one device is better than two.

An example would be of buying a Samsung S22 model and one of Samsung's tablets, which would in theory be cheaper than a Fold4.

Or of buying an iPhone 13 and an iPad mini.

With two separate devices, you have more battery life, an even bigger tablet screen, and a similar price point.

But with one device that offers more flexible ways to multitask than ever before, you save space and gain functionality that separate devices don't yet offer.

For some, the appeal of a foldable device will be undeniable, and many will jump onto the foldables train for the first time, as existing owners upgrade to the latest and greatest.

For others, two separate devices will be the way they want to go.

In the end, it's up to you, but foldables are now mainstream, so don't be surprised if you start seeing a lot more of them around!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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