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Samsung Unpacked Live Blog: Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, Watch 5, Buds 2 Pro Reveals

Samsung's August 2022 Unpacked event shows off the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4 foldable phones.

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David Lumb

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Mike Sorrentino

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Ian Sherr

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A Samsung promo with a Z Flip foldable in the shape of a carrot, making a visual joke with the date: "August 10, 2022 > Today"
Samsung

Samsung has revealed its newest foldable phones -- the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 -- Wednesday during the company's Unpacked event. The reveals come alongside the company's new Galaxy Watch 5 series and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.

Our live blog that took place during the event is below, and you can also dive in on each of the new announcements with our coverage linked here. You can also watch CNET's Samsung Unpacked Watch Party hosted by Claire Reilly and Abrar Al-Heeti for additional analysis and commentary on all of the reveals:

That's a wrap!

By David Lumb

No physical bezel on the Watch 5

By David Lumb

One thing that isn't here: a new Samsung Galaxy Classic. If you want a physical rotating bezel, you'll have to go with last year's model. And for the chip nerds -- no, the Watch 5 won't pack Qualcomm's upcoming W5 wearables chip, which promises huge battery life gains. Instead, it'll use the Exynos W920, which came out last year and is the same chip as used in the Watch 4.

Samsung Watch 5: Pricier than last year

By David Lumb

With advances come price bumps: The Galaxy Watch 5 starts at $279 for the 40mm noncellular version, which is $30 more expensive than the Watch 4. The Watch 5 LTE starts at $329, which is also up $30 from last year's watch. If you want the Watch 5 Pro, prepare to pony up $449 for noncellular or $499 for the LTE version.

From $449

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Watch 5 Pro upgrades: Routes, battery life and big size

By David Lumb

The Watch 5 Pro has improved workout routing, guiding you back along the route you too. And you'll have enough battery life to keep going, with a 590-mAh battery that's twice the capacity of the smaller 40mm Watch 5. That said, if you've got small wrists, the Watch 5 Pro might not be for you -- it's a massive 45mm. But that size allows room for a huge 590-mAh battery.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a big, rugged watch for the outdoors

By David Lumb

The rumors were true! The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is real. It's a bigger, tougher version of the Watch 5 with more battery life and durability. It's an option for outdoorsy folks and rugged workout fans. How tough? It's got a titanium case and an even more durable sapphire crystal display than the Watch 5. It's twice as scratch-resistant as the screen on the Watch 4.

Wear OS will get better, we promise

By David Lumb

Samsung switched to Google's Wear OS for last year's Watch 4 and kept it with the Galaxy Watch 5. At Unpacked, Google is promising more apps and functionality, like improvements with Google Maps, which now syncs locations from your Google account and lets you navigate with voice commands. Great to have on the go.

Z foldables are the best of a niche

By David Lumb

Samsung has recently touted some big numbers for foldables, saying sales increased by around 300% last year. But it's all relative: Analyst firm IDC reported that 8 million foldables sold in 2021, a drop in the bucket considering the 1.3 billion phones sold overall last year. The firm projects that number to grow to 25 million foldables sold in 2025. 

Z Fold 4 cameras improve software, not hardware

By David Lumb

There's a newly redesigned under-display camera, but otherwise, the cameras aren't changed from the Z Fold 3. But like the Flip 4, the new Fold 4 will take better night photos. Space Zoom is a bit easier to use, too, harnessing that second screen to keep track of the overall picture while you're zoomed in. 

Z Fold 4 melds mobile and tablet software

By David Lumb

The big upgrade is in software, with a redesigned app dock at the bottom of the screen -- something inherited from the Android 12L software for tablets. It's small enough to stay tucked out of the way. It looks easier to tap and drag apps from the dock to one side of the screen, or swap them. 

Z Fold 4 brings better durability

By David Lumb

The Z Fold 4 also saw minimal changes from last year's Z Fold 3, but it's slimmer, which will help it fit in more pockets. The redesigned hinge is more durable, Samsung says, and its inside screen is also 45% stronger than the Fold 3's. It's also lighter, which is always nice when you're essentially carrying two phones in one.

Z Fold 4

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Galaxy Z Fold 4: a foldable "for the mainstream"

By David Lumb

Roh came onstage to say that foldables were here "for the mainstream," echoing recent Samsung statements. If they want that, well, there's one feature that folks really want -- a lower pricetag.

Fold 4

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Samsung's foldables and Buds 2 Pro packaged in 100% recycled plastic

By David Lumb

In a bid to show sustainability, the packaging of the Flip, Fold and Buds 2 Pro is made entirely of recycled plastic. Samsung has extended its Galaxy for the Planet sustainability program, started last year, to recycle ocean netting plastic for use in packaging for these products. But no parts of the Fold 4 or Flip 4 are made using recycled plastic, unlike the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which uses it for a few parts including the S Pen stylus sheath. Samsung has pledged to incorporate more sustainable plastic in the devices themselves in the future, but not for this year's foldables, apparently.

Galaxy Watch 5 upgrades

By David Lumb

Another big upgrade is its 15% larger battery from the Galaxy Watch 4 -- up to 276 mAh in the smaller 40mm size and 397 mAh in the larger 44mm size. Recharging is fast, too, getting 45% battery in 30 minutes. Thanks to the more advanced BioActive sensor, Samsung promises sleep coaching is better. Your morning sleep report now tracks sleep stages, blood oxygen levels and how much time you spent snoring. All that data is collected into an overall sleep score. It's one number you definitely want to go up.

Samsung x BTS: Another K-pop collab

By David Lumb
Two members of K-pop group BTS with the Z Flip 4 foldable.

Samsung's Fall 2022 Unpacked event included a BTS ad, with the K-pop group sporting the new Z Flip 4 foldable.

Samsung

K-pop sensation BTS have appeared in another Samsung ad! They're repping this year's Z Flip 4 -- and I wouldn't be surprised if we see some sort of proper BTS edition Z Flip 4 at some point.

Galaxy Watch 5

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Galaxy Watch 5's new feature: Tracking your skin temperature

By David Lumb

The new feature for the Watch 5 is reading your skin temperature. It won't take exact number readings, but will look at significant changes in temperature that could signify possible illness or other conditions. 

Watch 5: Slimmer design for better sensor readings

By David Lumb

At first glance, not much has changed since the Watch 4. But the Sapphire Crystal glass in the Watch 5 is 60% more resistant to scratches than the glass used in its predecessor. Samsung has also reshaped the curve on the back glass that covers the sensors so that more of it touches your wrist, which should improve readings.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is revealed

By David Lumb

Given how much we liked last year's Galaxy Watch 4, we were excited for the new Galaxy Watch 5. The Galaxy Watch 4 was the first to switch from Samsung's Tizen OS to Google's Wear OS 3, which integrates features from Tizen. But since any watch running Wear OS 3 so far isn't compatible with iOS, once again, iPhone owners are left in the cold as they won't be able to sync with the Watch 5. It's not clear how big the market is for iPhone users who want a Samsung watch.

Galaxy Watch 5

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Buds 2 Pro are a bit pricier

By David Lumb

Samsung has also raised the price of the Buds 2 Pro by $30, and they'll retail for $229 when they go on sale on Aug. 26. You can get them in white, graphite and Bora purple.

Buds 2 Pro improves sound quality

By David Lumb

The Buds 2 Pro have 24-bit hi-fi audio for richer sound, Samsung says. The noise canceling has gotten better, with an expanded range of 3 extra decibels of noise reduction compared to the Buds Pro. The new earbuds will block more higher-frequency sounds, too. Later this year, LE audio will be added to capture 360-degree audio from the environment around you -- great for ASMR fans, I suppose?

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: New elite earbuds

By David Lumb

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro brings a lot of small ergonomic changes. They're 15% smaller than the Buds Pro, with a redesign for better airflow, a windshield that's twice as big to block outside noise and tweaks to its shape to ensure they don't rotate.

Galaxy Buds 2 Pro

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Galaxy Z Flip 4, the best clamshell foldable yet

By David Lumb

More durability, Flex Mode apps and extended battery life are are basically everything on our wishlist for the Z Flip 4. Well, everything but a price drop -- the Z Flip 4 price starts at $999, the same as its predecessor. Still, it's competitive with other premium flagships.

Bespoke Edition

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Personalize your Galaxy

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

A more durable Z Flip 4

By David Lumb

New for this year's Flip is a more robust hinge and slightly slimmer design. Samsung has made durability improvements every year, which is encouraging after the initial wave of Samsung Galaxy Fold phones in March 2019 had to be recalled due to reports of easily damaged displays and hinges. The design hasn't changed much, but Samsung has added more app widgets for the outer display, like tapping to make purchases with Samsung Pay.

12 MP

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Flex Mode gains for folding fun

By David Lumb

There are also more apps that work in Flex mode, splitting the top and bottom of the screen when the phone is partially folded. This means having a chat window on the bottom with a video call on the top, for instance, or making Instagram Reels without hands. It's a big feature that only a foldable can use, so we're eager to see more ways to use the split-screen function -- and using the bottom as a touchpad, new for the Flip 4, is one of them.

Z Flip 4 Cameras: New software, not hardware

By David Lumb

The cameras also haven't changed from the Z Flip 3, with a 12-megapixel wide and 12-megapixel ultrawide. But the Z Flip 4 does inherit the camera software upgrades from the Samsung Galaxy S22 released earlier this year, which should enable better night photos. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is real

By David Lumb

And here it is! The Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung's next version of the clamshell foldable. New for this year's Flip is a more robust hinge and slightly slimmer design. Samsung has made durability improvements every year, which is encouraging after the initial wave of Samsung Galaxy Fold phones in March 2019 had to be recalled due to reports of easily damaged displays and hinges.

Z Flip 4

By James Martin
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Samsung/Screenshot by James Martin, CNET

Z Flip 4

A decade in the works

By David Lumb

Samsung President TM Roh has taken the (prerecorded) stage to remind us that Samsung started making foldables a decade ago. It took eight years to get the the original Samsung Galaxy Fold to market in 2019.

What we don't expect

By David Lumb

There are several devices we aren't expecting. We haven't heard any rumors of a new Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet or of a Galaxy S22 Fan Edition. The FE is the more affordable and slightly lower-specced version of the flagship phone that usually comes out around this time, though the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition was delayed until early 2022. 

There's also no expectation of a Galaxy Note -- and it's safe to say we won't see one this year, if ever again. 

Leaks and expectations

By David Lumb

We saw plenty of leaks for the foldables we expect to see, including a listing on Amazon Netherlands supposedly for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 that showed slight design changes and a new external case for the S Pen. Maybe the stylus won't get a slot, like the S22 Ultra has?

So what are we expecting? Samsung foldables: the clamshell Galaxy Z Flip 4 and the larger Galaxy Z Fold 4. We also anticipate the brand's next smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 5, which we expect will run Google's Wear OS 3, which incorporates Samsung's Tizen OS. 

Leadup to today's Unpacked

By David Lumb

A leak in mid-July from tipster Evan Blass suggested that Samsung's next Unpacked was a month away and that it would likely see foldables revealed. 

A day later, Samsung itself teased the Unpacked event with a colorful puzzle that, when solved, revealed the date: Aug. 10. That's today!

Samsung Unpacked for 2022 so far

By David Lumb

Samsung's first Unpacked this year was in February, when it revealed the Samsung Galaxy S22 series and Galaxy Tab S8 tablet line. Both of these ranges included more affordable devices and top-tier premium models: the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the huge Samsung Tab S8 Ultra. 

Samsung revealed the new Galaxy A53 and Galaxy A33 phones at another event in March. These phones are aimed at the midrange market. Only the Galaxy A53 is sold in the US for $450 (£399 or roughly AU$710). That's around the same price as the iPhone SE (2022) and Google Pixel 6A, which was released later in the year. All of them are competing to win over folks who don't want to pay top dollar for a capable 5G device.

It's Samsung Unpacked day

By David Lumb

Hello and welcome to our live blog for Samsung Unpacked! We're expecting a lot of updates on some fan-favorite devices. Here's the YouTube link, or you can watch at Samsung.com. There's also Samsung 837X for the AR and VR fans. CNET will also have a live show on our YouTube channel as the event begins, including commentary and reporting from our editors. You can send us questions for the show and watch it here.