We are into the second half of the year, and it is time for some of the most anticipated tech releases.
First in the book is Samsung, as they revealed many new devices and updates in their recently concluded Galaxy Unpacked event. Here is a rundown of everything unveiled during the presentation and what it means for their lineup.
What went down at the Galaxy Unpacked Event?
Many exciting upgrades were announced in what might be one of the most unexciting ways possible. This was also the first time Samsung was doing one of these events in their home country, with Seoul hosting it.
Noticeably, Samsung seems to be using the headstart it has in foldables to its advantage and use this event to fine-tune the software and hardware. Apart from the foldables, The Tab S9 also got a refresh (with underwater working capabilities), and the Watch 6 has better health features.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
The first device to be announced was the new Z Flip, with a new outer screen and a new hinge.
Compared to the earlier models, with smaller, downright unusable outer screens, this outer ‘folder’ shaped, 3.4-inch screen is designed to be more usable in real life. It supports widgets, like weather, health data, calendar, etc., and developers can fit and tune their applications to make them usable on the outer screen. It is 60Hz, nothing fancy, but it fundamentally changes how people interact with this device.
The “Flex Hinge” is a multi-axis hinge, compared to the two-axis hinge on the old ones. This new hinge allows the device to be completely shut, making the Z Flip (and the Z Fold) to be thinner by at least 2 mm.
Moreover, the crease is also not as visible when opened, and the device was able to retain its IPX8 water resistance rating. Opened up, the 120Hz display has a hole-punch camera setup and promises better performance with the Snapdragon 8-Gen2 SoC.
Z Flip 5 was unveiled in four colors, Graphite, Lavender, Mint, and Cream, and there will be more regional colors and online exclusive ones as well. It is priced at $999, with the base storage up to 256GB from 128GB last year.
Z Fold 5
The new thing with the Fold is again the hinge, making the device thinner, lighter, and the crease less noticeable. Since the larger Fold is mainly used in landscape mode, the less-noticeable crease is a good upgrade, removing the visual distraction from the earlier versions.
The Fold 5 runs on the new One UI, which is designed to take full advantage of the larger screen. One UI now offers multiple ways to multitask and holds up to 4 recent apps in the taskbar.
The battery sizes have not changed for both foldables despite the overall housing being smaller and lightweight. With the new Snapdragon 8 Gen2 chips, the battery efficiency should be even better than before.
The Fold 5 was revealed in three colors: the Phantom Black, Cream, and the new Icy Blue variants. It is priced at $1799 for the 256GB variant, which is surprising that the price hasn’t gone down even after 5 iterations.
Galaxy Watch 6 Series (Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic)
This year, Samsung announced two new watches, the Watch 6 and the Watch 6 Classic. There is no ‘Pro’ variant this year, and Samsung will continue selling the Watch 5 Pro for more rugged use cases.
Watch 6 comes in two sizes, a 40mm, and a 44mm variant. Both variants get a larger screen for better interaction with widgets and larger batteries for longer runtime. It runs the One UI Watch 5, which is basically a skinned Wear OS. The pair gets better sleep tracking, health features, SOS emergency safety tools, and a built-in virtual safety coach.
The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings back the retro rotating bezel, which is a fan favorite as it allows users to interact with the watch when the touch screen cannot be used for input. The Classic variants are available in 43mm and 47mm sizes; the latter is also the largest ever Galaxy Watch.
Watch 6 starts at $299, while the Classic variant starts at $399.
Galaxy Tab S9, S9 Plus, and S9 Ultra
One of the most exciting releases, even for Samsung, was the Tab S9 Ultra. It is a massive tablet, standing at 14.6 inches, akin to a laptop screen. The largest Ultra variant gets dual front-facing cameras for ultrawide shots, but strangely, no 5G connectivity.
There are also upgrades across the Tab series. All units get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, with the Ultra getting an overclocked version of the chip. These Tabs also get a better-looking AMOLED display, which now supports Vision Booster. The speakers also get an upgrade, with up to 20% larger speakers across the board.
For artists, students, and designers, the Tab Series comes with the S Pen included. The Pen also gets an upgrade, with more pressure sensitivity points and an improved latency of 2.8 ms.
The S9 series will also be one of the first devices in the range to get an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. Similar to the flagship Samsung smartphones, the Tab Series will also get up to 4 years of software support.
The Tab S9 series starts at $799, while the S9 Plus model will get a 5G variant priced at $1149.
All devices will be available starting August 11.
Another Samsung event soon?
Owing to what wasn’t announced, we might get another Samsung event soon. The Galaxy Buds 3 Pro, successor to the Buds 2 Pro, was nowhere to be seen during the presentation, leaving the future of the Buds up in the air.
Earlier this year, Samsung also announced a partnership with Qualcomm and Google to release their mixed reality headset, rivaling the Apple Vision Pro. This was also absent from the keynote, leading to speculations that it might be released later this year in October.
Which was your favorite release this year? Let us know in the comments below.