(Over the next few days, we’re interviewing different people from different walks of life to gauge their first impressions to these two ground-breaking devices – will they be buying? Yes or no, why?)
Overnight, Samsung unveiled the latest additions to its smartphone suite, flush with foldable screen technology and 5G connectivity. Reflective of the current pandemic, these brand-new devices have launched much cheaper than in former years. Much.
Around three years ago, Samsung announced it would spearhead the new era of ‘folding screen smartphones.’ It followed several leaks and online anticipation. Whilst the Korean giant was among the first to launch the tech, the internet became rife with complaints from early phone reviewers. This expensive phone allegedly had a screen which would freeze, protective layers peel back, and the feeling of a flimsy, yet heavy-ish device. A sea of accusations left the company recalling the device and later re-launching it. With a hefty price-tag – on both the first and second releases – it took some time for many to feel comfortable again.
Personally, I’d labelled Samsung’s Fold and Flip series as ‘not for me.’ I rejected these devices as somewhat of a gimmick, not justifiable for the price versus its other products – I didn’t feel the appeal I was marketed to expect.
Today, I have feelings.
Today, I am tempted and confused.
Here’s what’s new, and what’s new about them:
The Flagship: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G
The Galaxy Z Fold3 5G opens up like a book, boasting a 7.6-inch tablet-esque screen
- this model adds support for the fan-favourite ‘S Pen’ stylus often used on Samsung’s ‘Note’ series.
- new aluminium casing which claims to be 10% stronger
- IPX8 water resistance which is the first for a foldable smartphone
- slightly thinner, slightly lighter
More reasons to be tempted and confused – under-screen camera
The device has no selfie camera cut-out – despite the larger tablet screen, the device houses an under-screen camera.
Talk about sleek, refined and neat.
The Stylish Bébé: Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
When open, the Galazy Z Flip3 5G looks like a rectangular, narrow smartphone. This nifty device neatly folds in half courtesy of a flexible foldable smartphone screen. When open, the device reveals a 6.7-inch internal screen.
Portability is enhanced and the device neatly would fit in my jacket during a COVID-approved outdoor walk, or a stylish clutch on a night out when restrictions eventually lift.
Tempted and confused – a larger outer screen, a sleeker outside body
The latest Z Flip3 has an outer front screen that is around 4 times bigger than previous generations – a gripe I used to have. Now, the outer screen appears usable enough to the level I crave. I appreciate I could comfortably glance at notifications and view other widget alerts (e.g. the weather) with ease – all without having to open up the smartphone.
The outer screen also performs as a viewfinder if taking ‘reverse selfies’ with the back camera.
Today, I welcome a device which is sleeker, more refined and seems to fit into my preferred aesthetic with style and substance.
Style and substance
Clearly seeking to appease those worried by durability claims of the past, both devices feature a new foldable screen layer which is 80% more durable than former generations. Structure is enhanced via sturdy aluminium frames and external Corning glass for added resistance to scratches and unfortunate drops.
What? That’s the price?
Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G will release for A$2,499 in Australia (on September 10) and US$1,799 in the US (on August 27). Pre-orders are available now.
The small and sleek Galaxy Z Flip 5G will release in Australia for A$1,499 and US$999 in America.
By comparison, last year the Galaxy Z Flip released for A$2,199. The premium Galaxy Fold series has historically been around the A$2,999 mark.
Suddenly, the cost-benefit ratio of these devices has shift.
As many of us recall, Apple historically unveils its new smartphones around September. My question is that with such a price drop, how will Apple and other smartphone companies react when pricing their flagship phones and next-gen innovations?
Some market commentators claim that 2021 is a year where many may opt to replace their devices, based on former replacement cycle statistics. Smartphone competition is hot.
We hope to have a review of one of these up for you soon.
(Read our review of the Samsung Galaxy S21 here)