Foldables! Two, probably! Those are your headliners. Samsung tipped its hand with the event invite, which features a pair of geometrical objects that pretty clearly represent the new Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip.
The other headliner is what we won’t be seeing at the event (Deadliner? Endliner?). The company already confirmed via the corporate blog that we won’t be seeing the next version of the Galaxy Note next week. That’s a significant break from the device’s long-standing annual refresh cycle.
We still don’t know if this is the end-end of the line for the phablet. Samsung told TechCrunch, “We will not be launching new Galaxy Note devices in 2021. Instead, Samsung plans to continue to expand the Note experience and bring many of its popular productivity and creativity features, including the S Pen, across our Galaxy ecosystem. We will share more details on our future portfolio once we are ready to announce.”
Rumors surfaced before this revelation that the company may have been forced to put the device on hold as global supply chain issues continue to hamstring manufacturers. However, there’s also an argument to be made that Samsung has gradually made the Note redundant over the past several Galaxy S updates.
It seems telling that the company referred to a forthcoming “flagship” in its official Unpacked copy. With the Note out of the picture and the Galaxy S about six months out from a refresh, this appears to refer to the Galaxy Fold gaining the (admittedly ceremonial) title. Whether that means two or three flagships in the company’s Armada remains to be seen.
What we do know, however, is that — like the Galaxy S before it — at least one of the forthcoming foldable will be blurring that Note line.
“I hope you’ll join us as we debut our next Galaxy Z family and share some foldable surprises — including the first-ever S Pen designed specifically for foldable phones,” the company’s president and head of Mobile Communications Business, TM Roh, wrote. The executive promised “even more refined style, armed with more durable, stronger material” on the new Galaxy Z Flip.
Previous and subsequent leaks have given us good looks at the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3. Hell, it wouldn’t be a Samsung event if pretty much everything didn’t leak out before the event.
A series of tweets from EVLeaks has given us nearly every angle of the upcoming foldable smartphones, along with (European) prices that put the Fold and Flip starting at €1,899 and €1,099, respectively. Both mark a sizable decrease from the previous generation. That’s nice — if not entirely surprising. Samsung’s plan all along has clearly been a prolonged drop in pricing as foldable technology scaled. We’re still a long way away from cheap here, but perhaps nudging our way toward the realm of possibility for more users.
Other leaked details for the Fold/Flip include a 7.6/6.7-inch internal display, a Snapdragon 888 processor (both), and 12MP triple/dual cameras. Interestingly, water resistance is also reportedly on board here. With a year of virtual events under its belt, the company seems to have a better idea of pacing. Samsung — along with many other companies in the space — took liberties when events went more from in-person to online, meeting out announcements event by event. Thankfully, next week’s Unpacked is a much bigger, self-contained event.