Samsung’s annual summer launch event is fast approaching. The company will hold its August Galaxy Unpacked event on August 10 at 9:00 a.m. ET, a year and a day after last year’s foldable event. And if the rumors are to be believed, we are facing very similar announcements consisting of a pair of foldable devices – the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 – a new range of smartwatches with the Galaxy Watch 5 and most likely some new ones Ear plug.
We know foldable devices are on the way because Samsung basically showed them to us in its promotional images and official trailer for the August 10 launch, and Samsung’s smartphone boss teased “new Samsung Galaxy foldable devices” in a blog post about the launch. The sheer volume of Watch 5 leaks also makes us pretty confident that it’s imminently due for a reveal. 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 launch of the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. We’ve already released a few renders of these over the 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 a new generation of Galaxy Note phones. But last year it skipped the release of what would have been the Galaxy Note 21 entirely, officially confirming it would be discontinuing the brand earlier this year. Instead, the hallmarks of the Note range have been incorporated into the higher-end devices in the Galaxy S range, with the Galaxy S22 Ultra sporting a Note-inspired design and an integrated S Pen stylus.
In other words, don’t expect a Note 22 to be announced this week. Instead, Samsung could offer the following.
Galaxy Z Fold 4
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold devices are designed to combine the pocketability of a typical smartphone with the larger screen size of a tablet. That doesn’t appear to be changing for the fourth generation of the foldable device, which like last year appears to pair an internal 7.6-inch folding display with a 6.2-inch cover display, according to a leaked list of specs, which was published by Twitter leaker Ice Universe.
Leaked press photos of the Z Fold 4 suggest it could also feature a very similar design to last year’s handset. They show off a trio of rear cameras contained within an oval camera hump, as well as what appears to be a centrally aligned selfie punch hole on the cover display.
Galaxy Z Fold4
7.6″ QXGA+ AMOLED, 120Hz
6.2″ HD+ AMOLED, 120Hz
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
50MP + 12MP (UW) + 10MP (3x)
Inner camera: 4 MP 2.0 μm (UDC)
Outer Camera: 10MP
Android 12, OneUI 4.1.1
4400mAh battery, 25W
— Ice Universe (@UniverseIce) May 30, 2022
But while the device appears similar as a whole, there are hints of some changes to this year’s phone. For starters, although the internal display size seems to stay the same from corner to corner, Ice Universe reports that the screen might have a slightly wider aspect ratio, closer to a square than the 5:4 aspect ratio we saw last time.
Some more tangible upgrades are also reportedly on the way. Obviously there will likely be a faster processor this time around, rumored to be a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, but it also looks like the Z Fold 4 could get a camera upgrade. Leaked specs suggest it will now have a 50-megapixel main camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide and 10-megapixel telephoto lens on the rear, according to Ice Universe – the same as what we saw on this year’s Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus to have. Last year’s model had a trio of 12-megapixel shooters instead, meaning we might get a higher-resolution main camera at the expense of a slightly lower-resolution telephoto lens.
Unfortunately, the Ice Universe leaks suggest we could once again get an under-display selfie camera inside the Fold 4, which was responsible for some really mediocre shots on last year’s phone. It is said to still only have 4 megapixels in resolution.
But perhaps the most interesting upgrade we might see with this year’s Foldable comes from Google, whose Android 12L update released earlier this year includes a number of tweaks aimed specifically at big-screen devices. It’s also updating its own apps to work better on tablet-sized screens, and is pushing third-party developers to do the same. These are all improvements that could result in a better software experience on this year’s Z Fold 4.
Galaxy Z Flip 4
Leaks suggest we’re in for a year of minor upgrades too with the Z Flip 4, the next entry in Samsung’s clamshell foldable lineup. Leaker Evan Blass has also apparently released official press renderings of the Flip 4, showing a device similar to last year’s phone. On the rear is a dual-tone, dual-camera design alongside a small external notification display, and internally it looks like we’re getting another punch-hole notch instead of an under-display camera (thank goodness).
That’s not to say there won’t be noticeable changes. A few different leaks suggest the Z Flip 4 could feature a less noticeable crease where the internal screen folds in half. Leaker Ice Universe reports that it “flatter‘ than the Z Flip 3’s fold, which certainly seems to be the case based on some obviously leaked photos of the device. That’s not to say the crease was particularly problematic on the Z Flip 3; My colleague Dan Seifert said he basically forgot about it after a few days of use, but hey, we’ll never say no to improved industrial design.
If leaks are to be believed, it’s not just the internal display that’s going to get some upgrades. Ross Young, a reliable source on display leaks, has said he’s expecting one larger notification display on the Z Flip 4 of two inches or more instead of the 1.9-inch screen we saw on last year’s model. Other rumored improvements include a larger 3,700 mAh battery and a faster processor that Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.
Galaxy Watch 5
Of all the devices on this list, we may 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 the Watch 4 Classic (which came with a fan-favorite rotating bezel), this year it looks like we’ll be getting a Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro – and there’s no physical rotating bezel on the horizon.
Images of the two smartwatches were released by leaker Evan Blass (who else?) in early July. The Watch 5 Pro appears to only be available in one larger 45mm size (which apparently allows for a larger battery to be packed in), while the standard Watch 5 will come in two smaller sizes, which are widely believed to be the case they are 44mm and 40mm. consistent with last year’s Watch 4.
The details of the new features the watches could offer are slimmer. A June FCC filing suggested we could see fast charging on this year’s models, while another report claims we could see a temperature reading available (potentially useful for determining if you have a fever).
Presumably the watches will include support for Google Assistant at launch, while Google’s voice assistant only came to the Watch 4 months after its release. Given the big fuss Samsung and Google made last year with Samsung’s smartwatches running Wear OS instead of Tizen, it seems highly likely that the Galaxy Watch 5 will continue to run Wear OS 3.
Galaxy Buds Pro 2
Up until this week, we haven’t had any major leaks about the Galaxy Buds Pro 2 WinFuture.de shared what purported to be official images and specs for the earbuds.
According to this review, we expect the Buds Pro 2’s big features to be an overhauled design and improved active noise cancellation, which “cancels out even the loudest ambient noise” (quote WinFuture apparently citing Samsung) can be algorithmically dampened. Other specs include waterproofing up to IPX7, 10mm drivers, 360-degree audio, Bluetooth 5.3 and a runtime of eight hours on a single charge, expandable up to 29 hours with the case. We assume that the battery life is eight hours without ANC, as the Galaxy Buds 2 offered 7.5 hours of non-ANC battery and five hours With ANC on.
9to5Google before reported that the earbuds could cost $230 (up from $200 for the original Buds Pro) and add support for 24-bit audio, while WinFuture says they will cost €229 in Europe. Given that last year’s more affordable non-Pro Galaxy Buds 2 did so well 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 are usually leaked ahead of events like these, there’s always some hope that the South Korean company might have a surprise or two in store. Could we see the company announce new laptops? Some new smart home features for SmartThings? Or maybe even the return of the Galaxy Home Bixby smart speaker? I’ll be honest, the latter is unlikely. But it’s fun to dream, isn’t it?