Samsung unpacks its next generation of foldable smartphones

11 Aug 2022

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 smartphones. Image: Samsung

Samsung is increasing its focus on foldable smartphones, with plans to sell 10m by the end of this year and have them account for half its smartphone sales by 2025.

Samsung has showcased its next generation of foldable smartphones, two new smartwatches and accessories at its latest Samsung Unpacked event.

The focus of the event was the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Fold4 smartphones, which both feature upgrades from their predecessor models and new price tags to boot. The Flip4 has a starting price of $999, while the Fold4 is priced at $1,799.

Samsung’s foldable smartphones are becoming a cornerstone of its product list. The South Korean electronics company aims to sell more than 10m units this year, and plans to have them account for more than half of its smartphone sales by 2025, ZDnet reported.

Samsung said the Galaxy Z Fold4 is its “most powerful smartphone yet”, with 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage and increased functionality whether it’s opened, closed or in its ‘flex’ mode. The phone features a new taskbar that aims to look similar to a PC layout.

The Fold4 features an 50-megapixel wide-lens camera. Samsung said users can take clear photos even at night thanks to a larger pixel size, a 23pc brighter sensor and enhanced processing power.

The phone appears to be focused on versatility, with Samsung also advertising the model to gamers. The company said the 7.6-inch main screen and 120Hz refresh rate helps to keep entertainment immersive.

While the Fold4 is being showcased as the performance powerhouse, the Flip4 model is being advertised as the “ultimate self-expression tool”. Samsung said this model takes up half the size of a conventional smartphone when folded.

The Flip4 also has a compact design, with refined edges, contrasting back glass and glossy metal frames. Samsung also said this model is “truly hands-free” as users can do tasks such as make calls, reply to texts and unlock their car from the cover screen.

Facebook owner Meta launched its own promotion highlighting the hands-free elements of this smartphone model. Meta said it is introducing a way to create hands-free Stories and Reels on Instagram and Facebook, using the FlexCam on Samsung Galaxy Flip models.

Two new smartwatches were also unveiled at the event, the Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro. Samsung appears to have taken the criticisms of the Galaxy 4 models on board, as the new watches have larger batteries for longer use time.

The company’s latest wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, continue Samsung’s focus on making sleeker designs. The “ergonomic design” is 15pc smaller than the previous model, with a secure fit that aims to prevent rotation. The earbuds feature Hi-Fi 24-bit audio and quicker music transfer speeds.

Samsung has put a focus on sustainability, something it highlighted at its Samsung Unpacked event last August. The company said more than 90pc of the Galaxy Buds2 Pro design is made with recycled materials. The Galaxy Z smartphones use ocean-bound plastics in key components and 100pc recycled paper for its packaging.

In Ireland, the Galaxy Z Flip4, Fold4 and Buds2 Pro are already available for pre-order.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic