Galaxy Unpacked August 2021: A quick summary of events


The event revealed the Z Flip 3, Z Fold 3, Galaxy Buds 2 and the Galaxy Watch 4

Usually, when Samsung announces a half-year flagship, it includes the Galaxy Note line. However, due to chipset shortages, they’ve announced that no new Notes would be introduced this year. True to their word, the latest Galaxy Unpacked event featured no new Galaxy Notes.

However, the event did give us two foldables everyone has been waiting for, the horizontal-folding Fold 3 and the vertical-folding Z Flip 3 which includes a larger secondary display compared to the previous Z Flip.

Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3

When it comes two the Fold, nothing much is introduced, as Samsung is already leading the foldable phones market (Xiaomi just recently announced their first gen foldable and Huawei, without Google services, makes people uninterested in them), they only included minor alterations to the Fold.

The most significant change is the inclusion of the S-Pen, modified and optimized for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Another major difference is the IPX8 rating which the Z Flip 3 also comes with. Because they are not IP68 rated, it’s not tested to repel small solid particles like sand and breadcrumbs. But it’s watertight that practically (and theoretically) no small solids should be able to enter the hinges.

For the water resistance, Samsung used the typical techniques for the two screens, and specialized rubber and CIPG material. Samsung said that making the hinge also water resistant is “not easy”.

Samsung modified the S-Pen used for the Galaxy Notes to make it compatible with the twin digitizer they have used for the Fold 3. The pen comes with a rounder nib made of soft rubber which they claim have increased screen responsiveness by 40%.

Though the sheer convenience of the S-Pen stops there, as the Fold 3 isn’t exactly a Galaxy Note replacement. The S-Pen Fold Edition comes with its own case and does not actually fit inside the phone unlike the Note series.

Also, Samsung did not announce in their event that there are going to be two versions: the regular and the Pro model. For a limited time, probably until the end of the pre-orders, users who buy the Fold 3 will also get the regular S Pen for free. The main difference between the regular and the Pro variant is that the Pro variant has Bluetooth functionality while the regular doesn’t have. Also, the S Pen Pro doesn’t fit in the separate case that you can buy for the Fold 3 that can hold the regular S Pen. Therefore, you also have to buy a separate sleeve for it. It’s like an EA DLC but for real.

The most prominent feature Samsung has boasted in their event for the Fold is the enhanced multitasking. For one, you can now pin apps on the taskbar, just like a regular PC, and open a maximum of three tabs running at the same time. Also, Samsung has optimized some apps like the messaging app and calendar so the menus will be less intrusive and they are more convenient to use.

Aside from a few multi-tasking features, the phone is a typical flagship. When unfolded, it reveals a 7.6in. tablet, and when folded, the secondary display measures a tall 6.2in. screen. Both of these are dynamic AMOLED displays as Samsung calls them. Both displays support a 120Hz refresh rate but only the cover display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The folding display is plastic, PET plastic to be exact, which Samsung claims have increased durability by 80%.

The phone itself is made of armor aluminum that is sturdy and yet lightweight.

Samsung did not discuss the camera much but it’s also one of the first few phones with an in-display camera sensor (albeit a terrible one). The main cameras are composed of three 12mp cameras: a main camera with PDAF and OIS, a telephoto with 2x optical zoom as well as PDAF and OIS, and an ultrawide camera with 123┬░ FOV. The main flexible display comes with an abysmal 4mp in-display camera. Which means this shouldn’t be used for taking selfies but rather just for video chats. The cover display comes with a separate but higher-res 10mp camera for selfies.

As it is a flagship, it comes with typical flagship specs: a Snapdragon 888 5G processor, pen support, fast charging, wireless charging and a large ecosystem support, including Samsung’s DeX for desktops and Samsung Pay, a wireless NFC-based payment system. The phone also comes with UWB support which should improve signal quality. The phone comes with a small (for a tablet technically) 4400mAh battery and only 25W fast charging. There’s also 11W wireless charging if you prefer that

The Galaxy Z-Flip 3 is more or less the same, except it folds vertically. The main highlight of this phone is the larger rear secondary display. It can do almost everything the previous Z Flip secondary display does, except now it’s 4x larger, which means it’s more convenient to use, and now you can use it for video-taking as well. In addition, this back display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.

Both the main display and the secondary display are SAMOLED. The main display measures 6.7 inches while the secondary display measures 1.9in. Like the Z Fold 3, this one also comes with an IPX8 water resistance rating and is powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor.

There are two cameras: a 12mp main camera and another 12mp ultrawide with 123┬░ FOV. The front cam is the usual dot notch (at least it’s useful for blogging or selfies this time), at 10mp, just like the one the Z Fold 3’s cover display uses.

Like the Z Fold 3, the Z Flip 3 can record in 4K at 60fps, and slow-mo at 240fps. The are also stereo speakers included with the Flip 3 that is tuned by AKG. The phone has NFC which means you can use Samsung Pay for transactions.

The Z Flip 3 has a fairly small battery for today’s standards. Only 3300mAh. It comes with the same 25W fast charging and 11W wireless charging as the Z Fold 3.

It comes with seven colours, three of which are available exclusively on Samsung’s website. These colours are Cream, Black, Lavender and Phantom Black. The three exclusive colours are White, Grey and Pink. The phone also comes with its own cases with straps

Prices

Both the Z Fold and Flip 3 are available for purchase on August 27th as well as pre-orders starting August 11th. As Samsung allows you to pre-register the phones in the Philippines, we can safely say that these two are coming in the Philippines soon. So, stay tuned as we update the price for Philippine audiences!

Update: The Z Flip 3 is now available in the Philippines with either 128GB or 256GB storage configurations. RAM remains the same. The Z Fold 3 is also now officially priced with storage of either 256 or 512GB. RAM remains the same

For now, here’s a direct conversion, to set your expectations once they do arrive in the country.

  • Z Fold 3
    • 12/256: Php 87,990
    • 12/512: Php 95,990
  • Z Flip 3
    • 8/128: Php 52,990
    • 8/256: Php 56,990

Oh, and one more thing… Samsung has also announced a limited-time/collector’s edition of the Z Flip 3 and Fold 3 in collaboration with Thom Browne. They are made with a matte white finish with Thom Browne’s signature colours as the borders. Buying this bundle also gives you multiple freebies that are also in-line with the Thom Browne theme. These include the Galaxy Watch 4 with three replaceable straps, Galaxy Buds 2, the S Pen Pro (only for the Z Fold 3) and a wireless charger that can charge the phones and the S Pen.

Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Buds 2

The Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Buds 2 are also the newest accessories announced during the event. Previously, the Galaxy Watch used Tizen OS, an open-source OS made by Samsung for their watches. Now, they switched back again with Wear OS with OneUI as its skin, an Android-based smartwatch OS (the earliest days of the Galaxy Watch used Wear OS). This was also announced during the Google I/O 2021 event.

The Galaxy Watch 4 series comes with several interchangeable colourful straps, including red, white, grey and black.

Both the classic and the regular edition comes with a 5nm Exynos W920 chipset along with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB storage. Thanks to OneUI Watch OS, the watch can track up to 100 fitness activities as well as integrate into your Galaxy phone and can be extended to a Samsung TV

Both watches use a circular SAMOLED display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX. The watches, like the Flip 3 and Fold 3, also use an armour aluminium frame. The watches are military standard 810G compliant for extra ruggedness during harsh weather conditions.

The Galaxy Watch Classic comes with either a 42mm (1.19in.) or 46mm (1.4in) screen choices while the regular Galaxy Watch comes with a 44mm (1.36in) or 40mm (1.19in.) screen sizes while still keeping the same screen diameters.

One of the newest sensors has the ability to measure your body composition by tapping or holding the watch twice. According to Samsung, they have used a Bioelectrical Impedence Analysis (BIA) that is also used in many other devices that measure Body Composition. According to Samsung, when the body composition sensor is active, it measures electric currents from the body 2400 times in 15 seconds.

Another sensor used for the watches include ECG (heart rhythm), and a blood pressure sensor. These sensors are actually combined into one using a redesigned 3-in-1 sensor called “BioActive Sensor”

Sleep tracking has also been improved. Now, the watches can track your snoring as well as your blood and oxygen flow while sleeping. The watch also has integrations to some Google apps including Google Maps, as well as third party apps like Spotify.

As part of Samsung’s growing ecosystem, the watches can now sync Do-Not-Disturb features from your phones which allows you to block calls and ignore messages. Apps downloaded from your Galaxy phone that are compatible with the watch are also automatically downloaded to the watch. There may be a setting to turn this off.

Samsung also announced several gesture-based features, such as shaking your wrist to dismiss calls or nod your wrists up and down to answer calls.

There is a 40-hour battery included with the watches. Depending on the size, there are different battery capacities. For the larger variants, a 361mAh battery is included while a 247mAh battery is included for the smaller variants. The watches charge from empty to full in under 2 hours.

Galaxy Buds 2

The Galaxy Buds 2 are ANC earbuds made as a successor to the original Galaxy Buds. It comes with four colours, and each comes with a matching-colour case: Olive, Lavender, Graphite and White.

Active Noise Cancellation can be manually activated. When ANC is on, the buds have a maximum life expectancy of 5 hours and if ANC is off, 7.5 hours. When charged inside the case, the buds can last up 20h on a single charge.

Speaking of ANC, you can modify this ANC on your Samsung phone. In the sound settings, if your buds are connected to the Galaxy phone, you can adjust the ambient sound volume from low to high, the higher, the more ambient sound. You can also switch from Ambient to ANC or just not use these features at all.

Prices

The Galaxy Watch 4 starts at $249 (~Php 12.5K) while the classic edition starts at $349 (~Php 17.6K). The Galaxy Buds 2 are available starting at $149 (~Php 7.5K). Samsung Philippines has not listed these two for pre-orders, though we can expect their arrival as the original Galaxy Buds as well as Watch 3 arrived in the Philippines. Both are available to purchasing starting 27th August

Source: Galaxy Unpacked August 2021 (has ended), this YouTube video critiquing the Z Fold 3