Samsung foldable phones feature durable screens, sleeker water resistant designs

Technology

Samsung unveiled new versions of its foldable phones at its latest virtual Unpacked event. The Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Z Flip3 are getting upgrades including sleeker, more durable designs. For the first time ever, the phones are now water resistant.

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Z Fold3

The inside screen on the flagship Z Fold3 isn’t any bigger, but it’s more durable. The inside screen measures a whopping 7.6 inches, while the outside screen on the Fold is 6.2 inches.

The Fold also has a thinner hinge and the phone is overall lighter, but just by a bit. It’s still a relatively heavy device for a smartphone.

Samsung also “hid” the selfie camera under the screen, but you can still spot it, especially when looking at a screen that contains a light color background.

Also new – the Fold3 now supports a stylus so you can write on the screen.

The Fold 3 is $200 cheaper than last year’s model, but it still starts at a whopping $1800. Of course, you can take the price down on that with generous trade in incentives Samsung and carriers are offering to upgrade.

Z Flip3

The Z Flip3 is the more pocketable of the two models. This device is reminiscent of a Motorola RAZR from back in the day.

This time around, the phone has a bigger screen on the outside. Samsung says their research revealed that people used the outside screen more than they expected, so they made it more useful. The selfie cam is also improved on the Flip3.

Here you get an even bigger price cut. The phone now starts at under $1,000. Previously it cost as much as $1380. Many carriers have deals to make the Z Flip3 even cheaper.

Galaxy Smartwatches

Other announcements at the Unpacked event include new Galaxy smartwatches with brighter displays, thinner designs and longer battery life. Samsung is also creating a custom version of Google’s WearOS to run on the devices, similar to how they modify Android.

There’s also a new sensor to measure body composition. Samsung says you’ll get better fitness and sleep tracking along with more accurate calorie counts. For instance, when it comes to sleep tracking, Samsung says the competition takes a measurement every 30 minutes, these new watches take a measurement every minute. Additionally, they now track snoring.

Galaxy Buds2

Galaxy Buds2 are smaller and lighter. I love the sleek look and feel and they do sound good. There’s even a level of noise cancellation and the battery life seems to be great.

Problem is, I took a run in them and they would not stay in my ears. I tried swapping out all of the ear tips and they still wouldn’t stay in. It could be just my ears, your experience may vary. Buds2 are $150.

Conclusion

Samsung continues to push the envelope with design, form factor and cutting-edge features on their devices. For that, I give them credit. However, sometimes it feels like these products are a work in progress, which not every consumer is willing to deal with. I have review units of the Fold 3 and the Flip 3 and will put them through the paces over the next few weeks before presenting my review closer to the launch date of August 27.

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