Samsung Unpacked Live Blog: Galaxy Z Fold 5, Flip 5, Galaxy Watch 6 Reveals

Samsung's new foldable phones, smartwatches and tablets make their debut.

Mike Sorrentino
Katie Collins
David Lumb
Lisa Eadicicco
Eli Blumenthal
Patrick Holland
Coex convention center

The Coex convention center was the venue for Wednesday's starry Samsung Unpacked.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 are among several new devices that debuted Wednesday as part of Samsung Unpacked. The company's first such event in Seoul, South Korea, included a hinge redesign for both foldable phones, the return of the physical rotating bezel on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and AMOLED screens for the Galaxy Tab S9 tablet line.

Here are all of the announcements, followed by CNET's coverage and commentary of a star-studded live event:

Galaxy Z Fold 5: Samsung's new $1,800 foldable phone has a redesigned hinge that fully closes, along with an update to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. On the software side, the Z Fold 5 now allows you to use two hands to drag and drop.

Galaxy Z Flip 5: Samsung's smaller, $1,000 Flip 5 debuts a larger 3.4-inch cover screen, which allows for certain Android apps to be available while the phone is closed. The Flip 5 also includes a new hinge that lets the phone fold completely close.

Galaxy Watch 6: Samsung's new Galaxy Watch 6 comes in two editions that both include a bigger battery and larger screens compared with the Galaxy Watch 5. The standard Galaxy Watch 6 starts at $300 for its 40mm size and $330 for a 44mm model. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings back a physical rotating bezel, and costs $400 for a 44mm model or $430 for 47mm.

Galaxy Tab S9: Samsung's new line of tablets all feature AMOLED displays and come in models with an 11-inch display, a 12.4-inch display and a 14.6-inch display. The tablet line starts at $800.

That's a wrap!

By Katie Collins
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

Thanks so much for joining us for this special Samsung Unpacked event from Seoul. The event might be over, but we still have plenty to share, including our opinions on today's announcements and (hopefully!) our hands-on impressions live from the show floor. Check out all of our coverage of the event, which is linked above, and stay with us for much more Samsung goodness as the day unfolds.

Riding high on K-Culture

By Katie Collins
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

This Samsung Unpacked has proven to be a star-studded affair, with a mix of US and Korean celebrities, including Suga and Sydney Sweeney.

"Bringing the Unpacked launch event to South Korea has brought the eyes of the technology world to Samsung's home market," says CCS Insight Chief Analyst Ben Wood, who is at the event. "This is a long overdue move which underlines Samsung's confidence and pride in its heritage. The company will be hoping this gives media and influencers covering the event a new perspective on Samsung's strengths at a time when K-Culture is riding high on the global stage."

Get creative with the Galaxy Tab S9 Series

By Katie Collins
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

Samsung's new tablets are "designed with creativity in mind," says Director of Product Management Danielle Morton. There's a real emphasis on using these products as artistic tools -- especially when you add in the S Pen Creator Edition.

The Galaxy Tab S9 is a straight-up iPad competitor

By Lisa Eadicicco
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

With the Galaxy Tab S9 lineup, Samsung is still hoping to fill the iPad gap for Android users. Samsung is focusing on high-quality displays, premium design and productivity thanks to the S Pen, much like the iPad Air and iPad Pro.

It's interesting, because we're seeing Google take a much different approach to Android tablets these days. The Pixel Tablet is essentially a hybrid tablet and smart display, whereas Samsung is still targeting those who want a computer that falls between a phone and a laptop.

Oh, and this year's lineup is water-resistant too.

Tick tock, it's Galaxy Watch o'clock

By Katie Collins
Galaxy Watch 6
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

What's your sleep animal? That's the question Samsung is asking when it comes to the Galaxy Watch 6, a timepiece geared towards helping you get more restful sleep. With built-in sleep coaching, it'll have you snoozing like a penguin (or a whale, or a lion) in no time.

The Galaxy Watch 6 series is all about health

By Lisa Eadicicco
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked screenshot
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

Samsung is talking about the Galaxy Watch 6's sleep tracking and coaching. When it comes to smartwatches, Samsung seems focused on health and wellness, much like the rest of the industry. Samsung teased this approach when it announced its new Galaxy Watch software earlier this year, so the announcement doesn't come as much of a surprise. The watches can notify you of irregular heart rhythms and customize heart rate zones during workouts. 

Samsung is also bringing back a fan favorite: the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic's rotating bezel. This version is thinner and more refined, according to Samsung.

Oof, those prices though

By Katie Collins
Samsung foldables
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

To wrap up the phone section of the Samsung Unpacked event, the company just shared the prices with us. And, well, they're about as expensive as you'd expect.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 starts at $1,000 and the Z Fold 5 starts at $1,800. Ouch.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 has a refined design, brighter screen

By Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung just introduced the Galaxy Z Fold 5. No surprises here: It has a similar design to its predecessor but with a new hinge that eliminates the gap when the device is closed. Samsung calls it the "flex hinge." The new hinge also has a higher level of tension to allow for more viewing angles, Samsung says. 

Like last year, it has a 7.6-inch internal display. But this year's inner screen is brighter than the previous version. Once again, Samsung is targeting this phone towards productivity and entertainment. There's also a new S Pen that's lighter than the previous one. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 seems like an iterative upgrade over the Galaxy Z Fold 4. It has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip as the Galaxy S23 series, which means we should see some improvements to battery life and photography. It seems like Samsung is maintaining the same approach as the last few years by refining the design rather than making sweeping changes.

Just add Suga

By Katie Collins
Suga holding the Z Fold 5
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

While Sydney Sweeney is the face of the Z Flip 5, BTS star Suga is repping the Z Fold 5. Unlike Sweeney, he didn't do a live photo demo at the event, but he did hold up the phone and smile bashfully.

It all hinges on this

By Katie Collins
Z Fold 5 hinge
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

It's Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 time and it's all about that new Flex Hinge. This hinge is different to previous iterations in that it now has a double rail (rather than a single rail), which allows it to sit flat. It also packs fewer moving parts, making it more durable -- it's even still fully waterproof.

Sydney Sweeney x Z Flip 5

By Katie Collins
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

The Z Flip 5 is "personal, powerful and pocketable," says Stephanie Choi, Samsung's head of marketing. Samsung has Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney on tap at the event to really sell this phone -- presumably to Gen Z.

Upgrading to Foldables

By Katie Collins
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

As Samsung introduces the Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5, T.M. Roh says that over half of Samsung's customers are considering a foldable phone for their next upgrade.

Samsung's mobile chief announces new foldables

By Lisa Eadicicco
Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

T.M. Roh, the head of Samsung's mobile division, kicks off the event by introducing the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5. 

We're getting started, and CNET is on the ground

By Lisa Eadicicco
Sareena Dayaram/CNET

We're getting started. Samsung is certainly drumming up a lot of attention, much like Motorola did for the Razr Plus' launch in June. The CNET team is on the ground and ready to cover whatever Samsung has in store.

Samsung's foldable competition?

By Katie Collins

A selection of foldables.


Samsung is by far the most popular maker of foldable phones right now, and has sold over 21.4 million of the devices, according to IDC. But with other phone makers including Google, Oppo, Honor and Huawei snapping at its heels, there's more pressure on Samsung to make sure this year's Flip and Fold stand out. You could say that there's a lot hinging on it…

About 15 minutes away

By Lisa Eadicicco
Amy Kim/CNET

We're about to get started. It certainly seems like we're going to see some new foldables tonight. The "Join the flip side" slogan is everywhere around the auditorium. 

Samsung x BTS reunion?

By Katie Collins
BTS member displaying the Z Flip 4 folded in his hands

BTS have appeared at previous Samsung events.

Screenshot by CNET

There are rumors of a special guest at today's Samsung Unpacked event. The company has a long-running collaboration with K-pop sensation BTS, and while the band is currently scattered due to some members undertaking mandatory military service, fans have wondered whether rapper Suga might make an appearance. According to unverified Twitter reports, some fans have even turned up at the venue in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the star.

How many products? How much will they cost?

By Katie Collins
Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 held side by side

Just phones? Or more?


With 30 minutes to go until Samsung Unpacked kicks off in Seoul, South Korea, it's not long now until we find out what the company has up its sleeves. These are the big questions on my lips: How many products will Samsung unveil today and what categories will they be in? Followed swiftly by: What will the prices be like?

Foldable phones have yet to gain mainstream popularity, which is no surprise given how pricey they are. It would be great to see a more affordable folding phone from Samsung today, but that might be too big of an ask.

Less than an hour until Unpacked

By Lisa Eadicicco
The inside of the Coex Convention & Exhibit Center before Samsung Unpacked

Samsung Unpacked 2023 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

We still have about an hour until Unpacked officially starts, and the Coex Convention & Exhibit Center is already packed. Attendees from all over the world are present. We're expecting to hear about new foldable phones and wearable devices, as is typical for Samsung's summer product launch events. 

Samsung's latest devices in a post-Note world

By David Lumb

Remember this?

Angela Lang/CNET

It's easy to forget that the last truly stylus-dedicated phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, launched three years ago -- mostly because the Samsung Ultra and Samsung Fold phones have been released with stylus compatibility. Heck, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra even has a Note-like slot for the accessory. But while the standard Note 20 was priced around S-series levels, it wasn't as expensive as the $1,200 S23 Ultra or last year's $1,800 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. 

Samsung quietly pushed its "productivity phones" into its most expensive tier of products, and we expect the likely Galaxy Z Fold 5 to follow in that tradition. This may continue to disappoint stylus fans whose wallets can't stretch that far, but it'll please the ultrapremium buyers who want the most functionality possible with their phones.

Where are the rollable and weird foldable phones?

By Eli Blumenthal
Samsung Display Flex S prototypes

Samsung Display's Flex S looks like a tablet display straight out of HBO's Westworld.

David Katzmaier/CNET

The focus of Wednesday's event is sure to be on the next Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold. Judging by the many, many, many leaks, the phones seem to be largely iterative updates from prior years. Yes, the potential Z Flip 5 could have a bigger front screen and both devices might close fully shut, but it's been a while since Samsung changed up the styling of its foldable devices and it's long overdue. (We're also expecting the requisite annual processor, software and camera upgrades you'd expect in newer devices.)

We know Samsung Display has some wild triple-folding and rollable screens. So while I'm curious about the new Z Flip and Z Fold, I'm still waiting for Samsung Electronics to bring these more interesting devices into the world. 

Samsung teases 'slimmer and lighter' foldables ahead of Galaxy Unpacked

By Patrick Holland
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 in Flex Mode in someone's palm

The Galaxy Z Flip 4's hinge allows it to stay at various angles. When it's close to perpendicular it can activate Flex Mode for the software.

Patrick Holland/CNET

T.M. Roh, Samsung's head of mobile, teased a redesign for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5. In a blog post last week, Roh mentioned how Samsung's design philosophy is to blend practical functionality, originality and synergy, all while keeping the customer in mind. For this year's launch, he wrote, Samsung has "innovated to make our latest foldables slimmer and lighter than our previous generations." 

We'll get to know exactly how much thinner and lighter Samsung's fifth generation of foldables are in just a matter of hours. The Galaxy Unpacked event in Seoul kicks off on Wednesday, July 26, at 4 a.m. PT.

Samsung Galaxy Watch's future

By Mike Sorrentino
Samsung foldable

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Samsung Galaxy Watch often gets a refresh alongside the company's foldable phones, and there are a number of rumors that the next watch may be getting a few design changes. According to a 9to5Google report, one Galaxy Watch 6 model is reportedly sized at 47mm, which would be the largest Samsung watch so far.

Another change is that the Galaxy Watch might be part of a "business model," according to leaker SnoopyTech. While we don't have more details of what that will entail, we do know that Apple and Google sell subscriptions that tie into their smartwatches. For instance, Apple has its Fitness Plus exercise video service, while Google's Fitbit Premium subscription unlocks additional tracking features on devices such as the Pixel Watch.

Samsung's new foldables have more competition than ever

By Mike Sorrentino
The Razr Plus being shown closed in the palm of a hand

The Motorola Razr Plus really caught our eye.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

While it's become typical for Samsung to reveal its foldable phone line during the summer, this year the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip series face fierce competition from Google and Motorola. 

Taking on the Z Fold series is the $1,799 Pixel Fold, which sets itself apart with a larger cover screen that makes the phone more usable when closed. OnePlus is also rumored to be soon launching a foldable phone with a similar design to the Z Fold.

Motorola's new Razr phones target the smaller Z Flip series, with the $1,000 Razr Plus including an eye-grabbing cover screen that lets you use full Android apps. A more affordable Razr with a smaller cover screen is also on its way later this year.

Will we get a tease for Samsung's headset?

By Eli Blumenthal
Samsung Gear VR 2017

The Samsung Gear VR -- seen here in its 2017 incarnation -- was the last time the company dabbled in virtual reality.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung, Google and Qualcomm teased back in February that they have been working on a new mixed reality platform. Given that this event is taking place in Samsung's Seoul headquarters and that it's happening after Apple already announced its Vision Pro, might we get some more hints about what to expect on this front? Samsung has used its phones to launch virtual reality headsets in the past, though the Gear VR has long been dead

Inside Coex convention center

By Lisa Eadicicco
Coex convention center

Galaxy Unpacked is unpacked and ready to go in the Coex convention center.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
Coex convention center

Preparations continue for Samsung's first Galaxy Unpacked event from Seoul.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

A look at the setup for Wednesday's Galaxy Unpacked event, which includes more signs being set up inside the Coex convention center in the Gangnam district of Seoul.

Samsung Unpacked's venue

By Lisa Eadicicco
Coex convention center

The Coex convention center is huge.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
Coex Convention Center

And it's ready to host Samsung tomorrow.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Several displays are already ready for Wednesday's Samsung Unpacked event at the Coex convention center in Seoul.