Samsung ‘unfolds’ two new Galaxy Z smartphones

Simnikiwe Mzekandaba
By Simnikiwe Mzekandaba, IT in government editor
Johannesburg, 12 Aug 2021

Samsung yesterday officially unveiled the latest smartphones in its foldable line-up − the Galaxy Z series, with Dr TM Roh, president and head of its mobile communications business, describing it as the “new standard for smartphones”.

During the virtual Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday, the South Korean electronics giant introduced to the world the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, the Galaxy Watch 4 series and Galaxy Buds 2.

The new devices will be available locally for pre-order from 1 to 16 September, officially going on sale from 17 September.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 both come with luxury price tags, with the recommended retail price starting from R37 999 and R29 999, respectively.

Samsung first rolled out foldable smartphones in 2019, launching the Galaxy Fold. Since then, it has brought to market an array of next-generation foldable phones, including its latest offerings.

“The new Galaxy Z series is next-generation devices that define a new standard for mobile,” said Roh. “With Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, Samsung is once again redefining the possibilities with foldable smartphones that empower users with the flexibility and versatility needed for today’s fast-paced world.

“We’re proud to build on our legacy of innovation with the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. These devices equip consumers with technologies that unlock new ways to maximise and enjoy every moment, with an ecosystem built on openness and innovation.”

As the third-generation smartphone in the foldables category, the Z Fold 3 is the ideal multi-tasking device for those users switching between work and play, Samsung says.

When opened, the smartphone features a 7.6-inch infinity flex display, and is the first foldable smartphone to support S Pen functionality. It is also equipped with IPX8 water-resistance.

The S Pen for the Z Fold 3 comes in two options: S Pen Fold Edition and S Pen Pro.

Furthermore, Samsung says the device is built with new armour aluminium, which it describes as the strongest aluminium ever used on a Galaxy smartphone. It also has the toughest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus to protect against scratches and accidental drops.

“With minimum pixels applied on top of the camera hole, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 features an increased viewable area so users get an unbroken canvas for their favourite apps,” states Samsung. “With the new eco display technology applied to the screen, it’s 29% brighter while consuming less energy.

“Users can take advantage of fully-optimised S Pen features on their foldable screen, which is a perfect fit for on-the-go multi-taskers.”

The Z Fold 3 comes ina choice of three colours: black, green and silver.

For those users who want style that comes with function, Samsung is betting on its Z Flip 3.

Like the Z Fold 3, the Z Flip 3 is equipped with the latest 5nm AP and 5G-band compatibility, built with the new armour aluminium and is also water-resistant. Both the devices were put through a strenuous folding test, verified by Bureau Veritas, to withstand folding 200 000 times, according to Samsung.

“Galaxy Z Flip 3 empowers users to express themselves with bold colour options, a sleek design and premium features. The redesigned cover screen is four times larger, and makes it easier to view notifications and messages without having to open Galaxy Z Flip 3.

“Users can keep up with their schedule, check the weather, and monitor their daily step count with the new cover screen widgets, or coordinate the cover screen wallpaper with their new Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch 4 classic.”

Additionally, Samsung Pay is built into the cover screen of the Z Flip 3.

Galaxy Z Flip enthusiasts will be able to choose from four colours: cream, green, lavender and black, as well as new ring grips and strap cases.

During the event, Samsung also unveiled the latest smartwatch range – the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.

Samsung notes the Galaxy Watch 4 series marks a new era for smartwatch innovation, as the devices feature the new Wear OS powered by Samsung, built jointly with Google.

According to the electronics manufacturer, these new smartwatches have been completely redesigned to provide consumers with the best tools to manage their wellness.

“We have seen an incredible amount of growth for the Galaxy Watch series, as consumers have discovered the health benefits and convenience of wearables,” stated Justin Hume, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa. “We understand the path to wellness is different for everyone, so we built a robust suite of health and wellness features to give people a deeper and more helpful understanding of their overall fitness.”

The Galaxy Watch 4 is equipped with Samsung’s BioActive Sensor, with a smaller and more compact design. “The new three-in-one sensor uses a single chip to precisely run three powerful health sensors – optical heart rate, electrical heart and bioelectrical impedance analysis – so users can for the first time calculate body composition.”

Galaxy Watch 4 will be available in 40mm and 44mm, starting at R4 999 for Bluetooth versions and LTE models starting from R6 499. For those looking for a premium smartwatch design, Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will start at R6 999 for Bluetooth versions and LTE models from R8 499, and will be available in 42mm and 46mm variants in black and silver.

Joining the Galaxy Z series are the Galaxy Buds 2, which join the Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Buds Pro, providing more choices to fit consumers’ needs, notes Samsung. “As part of the Galaxy ecosystem, Galaxy Buds 2 makes the perfect companion to your Galaxy smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch.”