Little may have been left to the imagination before launch but the company's 11 August Unpacked event finally, officially, pulled the wraps off a pair of new foldables – in the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 – along with the company's next-generation smartwatches – the Galaxy Watch 4 line, and its newest TWS earbuds – the Galaxy Buds 2.
Although Samsung fans were unlikely to be surprised by any of this Unpacked's announcements, it was still great to see the product lineup in its entirety and to understand just what Samsung has been up to with its latest foldables and wearables.
The overarching takeaway looks to be refinement and better interaction between devices across the ecosystem, however, there are also clear improvements to the price/performance balance struck by each product in its own right too.
Here's everything unveiled at Samsung's August Unpacked event and what they offer up.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
The Z Fold 3 is unquestionably where the bulk of the cutting-edge innovation can be found, amidst this latest lineup.
While toting the same-sized internal folding displays as last year's Z Fold 2, the Fold 3 is both smaller and lighter overall; with a crisp-edged design that feels reassuringly sturdy – thanks in part to a new aluminium alloy frame that Samsung calls "Armor Aluminum [sic]". It's also backed by the latest Gorilla Glass Victus and is now – somewhat astoundingly – IPX8 water-resistant.
That internal 7.6in Infinity Flex Display retains the resolution and high 120Hz refresh rate of its predecessor but now supports S Pen input (Samsung even launched a Fold Edition S Pen with quick device switching, alongside the Fold 3) and gives us our first look at the company's take on an under-display camera.
The 6.2in Cover Display also gets a bump up to 120Hz, to match the internal panel, while on the inside the Fold 3 runs on Qualcomm's highly-capable Snapdragon 888 chipset, backed up by 12GB of RAM. There's also a triple 12Mp rear camera setup and a dual 4400mAh battery, split between the device's two halves.
Perhaps one of the most impressive improvements over last year's Fold is the Fold 3's price; which in the UK starts at £1,399 – down from £1,799 with 2020's lead Galaxy foldable. While that's still pricier than most top-spec traditional flagship phones, it's a sign of things to come, which is also reflected in the Z Flip 3's pricing too.
For more insight on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 (including some hands-on impressions) check out our comprehensive Fold 3 guide and if you're interested in picking one up, we also have a dedicated 'Where to buy the Galaxy Z Fold 3' feature.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
The original Z Flip was arguably the Tech Advisor team's most-beloved foldable of last year and – on paper at least – Samsung's 2021 revision looks like a marked improvement in design, performance and price.
One immediately obvious change is the Flip 3's more squared-up exterior, which plays host to a Google Pixel 2-like visor design that accommodates a new, larger 1.9in external display (up from 1.1in on the original Flip and Flip 5G).
Galaxy Watch 4 owners will also enjoy the ability to synchronise watch face designs with the clock on the Flip 3's outer screen, while on the inside sits an upgraded 120Hz 6.7in flexible AMOLED display.
Like the Fold 3, the Flip 3 is thinner and more compact than its predecessor – despite no change in display size, while Samsung's Armor Aluminum frame, Corning's Gorilla Glass Victus and IPX8 water resistance all also make an appearance here, as well.
This Snapdragon 888-powered foldable comes in an impressive range of colours too: cream, green, lavender and Phantom Black all serve as launch colours but as with the S21 range, you'll also be able to pick the phone up in grey, white and pink, albeit exclusively from Samsung.com.
The Z Flip 5G started at the same price as this year's Fold 3, while the Z Flip 3 now manages to dip below the £1,000 barrier – priced from £949 – making the notion of owning the latest foldable that little bit more tangible for a bigger subset of buyers.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
If it's wearables you're more interested in, this year's Samsung smartwatches come in more shapes, colours and sizes than ever.
Your first decision should be between the contemporary Galaxy Watch 4 or the more traditionally-styled Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. While internals are near-identical across both variants, the Classic sports a physical rotating bezel – which can be used to interact with the user experience – while the standard Watch 4 uses a touch-based digital alternative with haptic feedback; more similar in style to the Galaxy Watch Active range.
Once you're happy with your flavour of Watch 4, you can then choose between two sizes: 40mm or 44mm casing sizes on the standard 4 or 42mm and 46mm versions of the 4 Classic; each sporting a 1.19in or 1.36in circular AMOLED display, respectively.
The Watch 4 Series debuts both new hardware and software, with Samsung's own 5nm Exynos W920 wearables chipset running the show (backed up by 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of ROM), alongside our first look at the new Wear OS experience that's replacing Tizen – branded 'Wear OS powered by Samsung'.
Samsung was keen to point out that its Wear OS experience differs from other-brand Wear OS watches coming down the pipeline, as the company has styled its experience to more closely look and feel like the Tizen-based UI found on its previous recent timepieces.
The move to Wear OS does give the Galaxy Watch 4 line access to experiences like the Google Play Store, Google Maps and Google Pay on-wrist, alongside previous Galaxy Watch features and apps too.
Health-wise, the biggest new addition is body composition analysis, which – with a gentle press against the two physical buttons on the Watch 4's right side – can assess attributes like body water percentage, skeletal muscle percentage and BMI.
The Watch 4 Series starts at £249 in the UK (the Galaxy Watch 3 started at £399), with all four variants available in both Bluetooth-only and 4G cellular varieties (cellular costs an additional £40 in each case).
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2
Samsung's latest TWS buds manifest as the Galaxy Buds 2 – the company's smallest and lightest earbuds to date.
The Buds 2 offer up ANC (active noise cancellation) that claims to be able to drown out up to 98% of external noise, along with adjustable levels of passthrough.
Meanwhile, three microphones work to deliver clear call quality and Auto-Switch ensures you're hearing sound from the correct connected Galaxy device automatically, even when you move between them.
The Buds 2 come in four colours: Graphite, white, Olive and Lavender (which all include white cases with colour-matched interiors) and costs £139 in the UK.
We also discussed everything launched at Samsung's August Unpacked – along with all the other new products announced in the same week – in an episode of our weekly podcast Fast Charge, which you can watch right here: