Samsung Unpacked: Everything You Need to Know About The Galaxy Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5, Watch 6 and More
The new Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip phones, plus the latest Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Watch, are now official.
Eli BlumenthalSenior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Samsung has taken the wraps off its latest devices. On Wednesday at an event in Seoul, South Korea the electronics giant unveiled a host of new devices including the latest Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 folding phones as well as a new Galaxy Tab S9 and Galaxy Watch 6 (complete with the return of a rotating bezel on the Classic).
The new wave of foldable phones were the focus of today's Samsung Unpacked event, which was the first to take place in the company's hometown of Seoul.
While Samsung's entering its fifth consecutive year in the foldable phone market, the devices it's launching at this year's Unpacked arrive among a good deal more competition. Google's $1,800 Pixel Fold is the first Pixel device to adopt a similar style to the Galaxy Z Fold series, in which a traditionally scaled phone unfolds to reveal an inner tablet-size screen. OnePlus is also rumored to have its own foldable phone on the way, which could further disrupt the space.
And after taking a few years off from the US market, Motorola's new $1,000 Razr Plus is now eyeing Samsung's Z Flip series, with the newest entry including a larger cover screen that can run most Android apps. We also know Motorola has a more affordable Razr model on the way with a smaller cover screen.
And it's not only phones. As with Samsung's past summer Unpacked events, Wednesday included new watches and tablets with the South Korean tech giant introducing a new Galaxy Watch 6 series and Tab S9 tablet line.
Here's what you need to know about everything Samsung just unveiled.
Watch this: Everything Revealed at Samsung's Summer Unpacked
Galaxy Z Fold 5: New 'flex hinge' closes the gap
The Z Fold 5 remains the pinnacle of Samsung's folding lineup, though as with recent updates, this year's model is largely iterative with no major redesign. There are improvements, notably a new "flex hinge" that allows the Z Fold 5 to fold completely closed without a gap around the hinge -- a first for Samsung's larger foldable. Also new is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Gen 2 processor, just like the Galaxy S23 line, a brighter internal display and a thinner S Pen stylus.
Otherwise, the Z Fold 5 looks similar to the Z Fold 4 and Z Fold 3 with the same sized front and internal screens. It still has a "flex mode" for propping the foldable up like a mini laptop, IPX8 water-resistance and a crease that CNET's Lisa Eadicicco still found to be visible.
Like recent Z Folds, the new Z Fold 5 will start at $1,800 (£1,749, AU£2,599) when it hits stores on Aug. 11.
Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Hands-On: Same Phone, Better Design
Galaxy Z Flip 5: A bigger front screen leads the way
Whereas the Z Fold 5 looks largely similar to older Folds, Samsung gave the Z Flip 5 a bit more of a refresh. New for this year's Flip line is a redesigned front screen, which goes from 1.9-inches to 3.4-inches. The new front screen allows Samsung to better stack up to Motorola's recently released Razr Plus and its 3.6-inch front display, though the Z Flip front screen is a bit more limited than Motorola's offering. Samsung only lets certain apps run on the display at launch.
Beyond the updated front display, the new Z Flip 5 similarly runs on Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon Gen 2 processor and sports a new hinge that also closes completely flat.
What hasn't changed is the starting price, as the Z Flip 5 will start at the same $999 (£1,049, AU$1,649) that the Z Flip 4 commanded. The new flip phone is set to hit stores on Aug. 11.
Galaxy Watch 6: Return of the (Classic's) rotating bezel
Samsung has given the Galaxy Watch 6 sports bigger batteries, larger screens and, at least on the Classic model, the return of the rotating bezel that was last seen on 2021's Galaxy Watch 4. We're glad it's back as Samsung's choice to cut it out from the Watch 5 line did not make us happy.
While otherwise largely incremental, the new Watch 6 will come in either 40mm or 44mm varieties (with screens running roughly 1.3 inches and 1.5 inches, respectively) while the Classic will arrive in either 43mm or 47mm sizes (sporting similar display sizes).
On the sensor front, the Watch 6 line sports similar sensors including ones for heart rate, skin temperature and bioimpedance (body composition). Google's Wear OS continues to run the software side, with Samsung touting that a new app for Gmail was coming to the platform. Samsung's One UI remains a part of the platform, including for better sleep insights.
The new Watch 6 will similarly go on sale on Aug. 11 and starts at $300 (£289, AU$549) for the smaller 40mm size and $330 (£319, AU$599) for the larger 44mm size, $20 more than the initial prices for the Watch 5. The Watch 6 Classic starts at $400 (£349, AU$699) for the smaller, 43mm model and $430 (£399, AU$749) for the bigger, 47mm size.
Galaxy Tab S9: Now water-resistant
The Galaxy Tab family also got a refresh on Wednesday, with the new Tab S9 line sporting improved Qualcomm Snapdragon Gen 2 processors and IP68-rated water- and dust-resistant designs (for both the tablet and the S Pen stylus), but like Samsung's other refreshes are largely incremental. You'll still find large and impressive AMOLED displays across the line, with screen sizes still ranging from 11-inches on the base S9, 12.4-inches on the S9 Plus and 14.6-inches on the S9 Ultra. There also is a new beige color.
Pricing for the tablets remains high: The S9 is $800 (£700, AU$1,299), the S9 Plus is $1,000 (£999, AU$1,699) and the Ultra is $1,200 (£1,199, AU$1,999). And while a keyboard still costs extra, Samsung still includes an S Pen. Like the other devices that Samsung announced, the new tablets will arrive on Aug. 11.