Samsung’s annual summer launch is coming up. The company will hold its Galaxy Unpacked August event on August 10 at 9:00 a.m. ET, one year and one day after last year’s folding event. And if rumors are to be believed, we’re set for a very similar slew of announcements, consisting of a pair of foldable devices — the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 — a new line of smartwatches with the Galaxy Watch 5, and possibly some new headphones.
We know foldable devices are on the way because Samsung essentially showed us them in its promotional images and official trailer for the August 10 launch, and Samsung’s smartphone boss teased “a new Samsung Galaxy foldable device” in a launch blog post to market. Thanks to the plethora of Watch 5 leaks, we’re also pretty sure it’s coming soon. Last year also saw the announcement of a new pair of true wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds 2, and this year we’re expecting the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. We ran a few renders of them last month, and a big last-minute leak seems to confirm that they’re ready for the event itself.
Samsung used its summer launch events to announce the next generation of Galaxy Note phones. However, it skipped the release of what would have been the Galaxy Note 21 entirely last year and officially confirmed that it was ending the brand earlier this year. Instead, the typical features of the Note series have been integrated into the more premium Galaxy S series devices, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra featuring a Note-inspired design and a built-in S Pen stylus.
In other words, don’t expect the Note 22 to be announced this week. Instead, here’s what Samsung could offer.
Galaxy Z Fold 4
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold devices are designed to pair the pocketability of a typical smartphone with the larger screen of a tablet. That doesn’t appear to have changed for the fourth-generation foldable device, which, like last year, appears to pair a 7.6-inch inner foldable display with a 6.2-inch cover display, according to a leaked spec list released by the company Twitter leaker Ice Universe.
Leaked press shots of the Z Fold 4 suggest that it could also have a very similar design to last year’s phone. They show a trio of cameras on the back, housed in an oval camera bump, as well as what looks like a centrally-oriented punch-hole selfie cutout on the display cover.
Galaxy Z Fold4
7.6″ QXGA+ AMOLED, 120 Hz
6.2″ HD+ AMOLED, 120 Hz
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
12 GB of RAM
256/512 GB storage
50MP + 12MP (UW) + 10MP (3x)
Internal camera: 4MP 2.0μm (UDC)
External camera: 10MP
Android 12, OneUI 4.1.1
Battery 4400mAh, 25W
— Universe Ice (@UniverseIce) May 30, 2022
But while the device looks similar overall, there are hints of some changes coming to this year’s phone. For starters, while the size of the internal display appears to remain the same from corner to corner, Ice Universe informs about it that the screen may have a slightly wider aspect ratio that is closer to a square than the 5:4 aspect ratio we saw last time.
Reports suggest that some more tangible upgrades are also on the way. Obviously, a faster processor is likely to appear this time around, which should be the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, but it also looks like the Z Fold 4 could get a camera upgrade. Leaked specs suggest that it will now feature a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens on the back – just like what we saw on this year’s Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, according to Ice Universe. Last year’s model had a trio of 12-megapixel shooters instead, meaning we could get a higher-resolution main camera at the expense of a slightly lower-resolution telephoto lens.
Unfortunately, the Ice Universe leaks suggest that we might once again get the under-display selfie camera on the inside of the Fold 4, which was responsible for some really mediocre shots on last year’s phone. It’s also reportedly still only 4 megapixels in resolution.
But perhaps the most interesting upgrade we could see for this year’s foldable device comes courtesy of Google, whose Android 12L update released earlier this year includes a number of optimizations specifically aimed at large-screen devices. It’s also updating its own apps to work better on tablet-sized screens and pushing third-party developers to do the same. These are all improvements that could lead to a better software experience on this year’s Z Fold 4.
Galaxy Z Flip 4
Leaks suggest we’re also in for a year of minor upgrades with the Z Flip 4, the next entry in Samsung’s clamshell lineup. Leaker Evan Blass has also posted what appear to be official press renders of the Flip 4, which show a similar device to last year’s phone. The back features a dual-camera design alongside a small external notification display, and internally it looks like we’re getting another punch-hole notch rather than an under-display camera (thank goodness).
This does not mean that there will be no significant changes. Several different leaks have suggested that the Z Flip 4 could have a less noticeable crease where the inner screen folds in half. Leaker Ice Universe states that it will be “shallower‘ than the fold on the Z Flip 3, which certainly seems to be the case based on some apparently leaked photos of the device. That’s not to say the fold on the Z Flip 3 was particularly problematic; my colleague Dan Seifert said he basically forgot about it after a few days of use, but we’ll never say no to improved industrial design.
If leaks are to be believed, it won’t just be the internal display that gets some upgrades. Ross Young, a reliable source of leaks from the display, said he expects to see a bigger notification display on the Z Flip 4 by two inches or more rather than the 1.9-inch screen we saw on last year’s model. Other improvements mentioned include larger 3700 mAh battery and a faster processor, Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.
Galaxy Watch 5
Of all the devices on this list, we might have the best idea of what to expect from the Galaxy Watch 5. While last year’s Watch 4 lineup was split into the standard Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic (which came with the popular rotating bezel), this year it looks like that we’re getting a Watch 5 and a Watch 5 Pro — and there’s no physical rotating bezel in sight.
Images of the two smartwatches were published by leaker Evan Blass (who else?) in early July. The Watch 5 Pro appears to only be available in one larger 45mm size (which will apparently allow for a larger battery), while the standard Watch 5 will be available in two smaller sizes, generally believed to be 44mm and 40mm. in line with last year’s Watch 4.
Details are slim on what new features the watch might offer. An FCC filing from June hinted that we could see fast charging on this year’s models, while another report claims we could see available temperature sensing (potentially useful to see if you’re running a fever).
The Watch is likely to include support for Google Assistant at launch, while Google’s voice assistant didn’t come to the Watch until 4 months after its release. Given the huge fuss Samsung and Google made last year about Samsung smartwatches running Wear OS rather than Tizen, it seems highly likely that the Galaxy Watch 5 will continue to run Wear OS 3.
Galaxy Buds Pro 2
Until this week, we haven’t had a lot of leaks about the Galaxy Buds Pro 2 WinFuture.de shared what it claimed to be official images and specifications of the headphones.
According to the report, we expect the Buds Pro 2 to feature a redesigned design and improved active noise cancellation, so “even the loudest ambient noise” (quote WinFuture apparently quoting Samsung) can be algorithmically muted. Other specs include waterproofing up to IPX7, 10mm drivers, 360-degree audio, Bluetooth 5.3 and eight hours of battery life on a single charge, which can be extended to 29 hours with a case. We assume eight hours of battery life without ANC, whereas the Galaxy Buds 2 offered 7.5 hours of battery life without ANC and five hours with ANC on.
formerly 9to5Google announced that the headphones could cost $230 (up from $200 for the original Buds Pro) and have support for 24-bit audio, while WinFuture says they will cost €229 in Europe. Since last year’s more affordable non-Pro Galaxy Buds 2 were so good that they undercut Samsung’s Pro models, the company needs to up its game to make the Buds Pro 2 stand out.
Although most of Samsung’s announcements usually slip before events like these, there’s always some hope that the South Korean company might have a surprise in store. Could we see the company announce new laptops? Any new smart home features for SmartThings? Or perhaps even the return of the Galaxy Home Bixby smart speaker? I’ll be honest, that last one is unlikely. But it’s fun to dream, huh?
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