Samsung claims it wants to make foldable smartphones mainstream with the launch of Z Flip 3 & Fold 3
Foldable smartphones are a niche product that can be expensive, often costing over PS1,000.
Samsung claimed that it had lowered the price and increased durability in order to appeal to the average user.
One analyst stated that the new phones did not offer
“Truly compelling solution for the mass market”
Ben Wood from CCS Insight said that it was noteworthy some features from Samsung’s high-end Galaxy Note Series – such as the Note’s trademark stylus- were coming to Fold 3.
He said that this
“Suggests Samsung believes it is time to move foldable past a niche group of early adopters”
Wood said that it was notable that Apple and other rivals have not followed suit, raising the question of whether consumer demand justifies the investment.
The Fold 3 smartphone has a 6.2in (15cm wide) display and folds down to a 7.6in a tablet.
Samsung has also hidden the internal selfie camera under the flexible display, making them virtually inaccessible to users.
Software improvements have been a priority for the company. The device now has more tablet-style features, such as a taskbar that allows for easier app switching. This is Samsung’s first folding phone that supports the S-Pen stylus. Users can draw directly onto the flexible display. It is also water-resistant for the first time.
The Flip 3 – the smaller version of the Z Flip– has a 6.7in screen and folds in half. It is easier to keep in your pocket or purse.
The external screen has been extended from 1.9 to make it easier to view notifications without having to open the device.
Mark Notton, Samsung’s CEO, stated to BBC News that folding phones are now mainstream. He said:
“We have had many years to refine and further enhance all of the hardware features.”
“We have improved the user experience and our ability to produce at scale.
“We are at the moment in time when everything is coming together.”
The Flip3 is Samsung’s first foldable phone and is currently on sale for PS949.
The PS1,599 Fold 3 is cheaper than the model last year, but it’s still more expensive.
Wood also questioned the “True Worth” of foldable, especially when compared to flagship smartphones that offer higher-end specifications at lower prices.
One to keep an eye on
Samsung also revealed a pair of earbuds and a Galaxy Watch 4 during its Unpacked launch-event stream.
The watch runs “WearOSPowered by Samsung“, a combination of Google’s WearOS operating system and Samsung’s Tizen smartwatch operating system.
This collaboration will create smartwatch software that can compete with Apple Watch.
Leo Gebbie, CCS Insight’s Leo Gebbie, stated that the new platform focuses on more services and apps. However, Wear OS’s track record has been mixed.
It remains to see if the new software addresses battery-intensive use during day-to-day operations.