Another year marks a new generation of foldables, and on July 26, 2023, Samsung announced its newest lineup of foldables.
They are, of course, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5, and Z Fold5, which mainly boast more OS optimisation and hardware durability.
Let’s break down what’s new with these phones.
Galaxy Z Flip5
From the exterior, the Z Flip5 is already notably different. The small cover screen is now called Flex Window, and takes up pretty much the entire top half of the phone’s back.
With its 3.4-inch size also comes more functionality, as Samsung noticed that users prefer to keep their Z Flips folded closed. According to Samsung, about 70% of your daily routine functions can be done through the Flex Window.
This is possible thanks to the inclusion of more widgets, and third-party support like Spotify.
There’s more emphasis on improving the user experience this time around too.
For one, you can reply to notifications with a full keyboard setup from the Flex Window. You’re no longer limited to just preset, suggested responses. This will work with commonly used messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat.
You also no longer have to endlessly scroll through widgets to get to the one you want. Instead, you can pinch to zoom in and out on your widgets to select the one you want.
Among the widgets include your control centre, weather, Samsung Pay, and you can also access boarding passes, your driver’s licence, and digital car key (currently works with BMWs only) without unfolding your phone.
Camera-wise, the new Flex Window also lets you do more than just snap a quick selfie. You can switch between ultrawide and wide, change the dimensions of your frame, view a shot you just took and delete it, and more.
Just before you unfold the phone, you’ll also notice that the Z Flip5 has removed the gap in the hinge that its predecessors had. Samsung also claims that the new dual-rail hinge has been certified to handle up to 200,000 folds, and they’ve worked on minimising the screen crease too.
On the inside, there’s an improved Flex Mode with more apps being supported in the foldable ecosystem. Some examples are apps like FamilyMart, ZUS Coffee, GSC, Gigi Coffee, Maxis, and more, which will reorient themselves automatically when you partially fold the phone.
There will be no bespoke edition of the Z Flip this year, and instead of launching the FlipSuit Case, Samsung will be releasing new cases that have NFC capabilities for those who want to customise the look of their Z Flip5.
The Z Flip5 will cost RM4,499 (256GB) to RM4,999 (512GB).
Galaxy Z Fold5
More quality-of-life changes have been made to the Z Fold5, among them a reduced weight and thickness to 253g and 13.4mm.
Compared to the Z Flip, Samsung reports that people prefer to use their Z Folds unfolded, which is why they’ve also given the main screen a brighter display.
Since the Z Fold is suited for productivity, you can now add a total of four apps to the Advanced Taskbar’s recent apps section, an increase from the two app limit previously.
When multitasking, you can easily display and hide pop-up and floating windows by moving them towards/away from the side of the screen.
Then there’s also the two-handed drag and drop feature, which mimics the copy-pasting on a PC.
The camera setup on the Z Fold5 is the same as what you’d get on the S23 and S23+, and while the S Pen Fold edition is still stored externally, the S Pen has been slimmed down so that the case can lay flatter.
The Z Fold5 will cost RM6,799 (256GB), RM7,299 (512GB), or RM8,299 (1TB).
Other devices in the ecosystem
Tab S9 series
Those who’ve been waiting to upgrade their Samsung tablets will be glad to know of several improvements that the Tab S9 brings.
All tablets in the Tab S9 series will have Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays with more accurate colours and adaptive 120Hz refresh rate, plus enhanced eye comfort.
Something important for those working on the go will also be the improved outdoor visibility, along with an intelligent outdoor algorithm that adjusts your screen brightness based on the weather detected in your location. However, this is only applicable if you have adaptive brightness turned on.
You can extend and mirror your phone screen to your Tab S9 too, with a multi-control feature for connecting up to three devices.
If you have a Samsung account, you’ll benefit from the continuity app to seamlessly carry on work where you stopped, from one device to another.
For the creatives, Samsung has partnered with Clip Studio Paint and preloaded video editor Lumafusion, with discounts and free trials of the full version for users. Architects may be happy to hear that ArcSite will also be preloaded, along with GoodNotes for those who want to stay on top of things.
A crucial part of the Samsung tablet experience has been the S Pen, and the one released with the Tab S9 will be newly water resistant (the tablet itself will be rated IP68) and support bi-directional charging (either way the pen points, it will still charge).
Samsung also teased that in late 2023, creators can expect to see a separate S Pen Creator Edition that will have a different grip, more tilt level, and can have its tips swapped.
Equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and dynamic graphics with ray tracing, this is one tablet that would be a blast for gaming too.
The Tab S9 comes in two colours, Beige and Graphite, and three sizes:
Tab S9: 11-inch (starts at RM3,699)Tab S9+: 12.4-inch (starts at RM4,599)Tab S9 Ultra: 14.6-inch (starts at RM5,999)
The Watch6 will replace Watch5 (although the Watch5 Pro will continue to exist), and the Watch6 Classic will replace Watch4.
The Watch6 series brings back the signature styles of Samsung smartwatches with slimmer and thinner rotating bezels, along with a larger display and brighter screen.
Internally, Samsung claims that this is the most complete health smartwatch in the current market.
It comes with inbuilt blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring, the usual body composition stuff, and more.
There’s the personalised heart rate zone too, which maps your activities to your measured body statistics in order to help you track your progress and hit your targets. Based on your heart rate, it will ensure that you can test your limits but not overexert yourself in a way that can harm you.
In terms of quality sleep tracking, Samsung has also created a friendlier UI for sleep monitoring and coaching.
For example, rather than walls of text telling you what kind of sleeper you are and how you can improve your sleep, the Watch6 UI uses animals with specific sleeping habits, such as a lion (oversleeper) or a shark (no fixed sleeping schedule).
There are lots of band styles that you can pick from to style up your Watch6 as well, and Samsung now uses the one-click band function for easy band switching.
Read more of our Samsung content here.
All image credits: Vulcan Post