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Samsung isn’t expecting many revelations during its Unpacked event on August 11th. The Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, a pair of new Galaxy smartwatches, and the new Galaxy Buds 2 have all been leaked.
Samsung mobile president TM Roh is now following a recent trend of issuing a pre-event blog post that verifies some news, establishes expectations, and teases some other specifics.
Roh promises increased folding screen durability, stylus functionality, and the fact that Samsung will not introduce a new Note phone this time. Although the Unpacked invitation doesn’t leave something to the interpretation, Roh simply states that new foldable will be available this year: “Our third generation of foldable devices will open up fantastic new multitasking possibilities and better durability,” he adds.
The key phrase to pay attention to there is “enhanced durability,” a theme Roh hits on again when he touches on the Z Flip 3, writing that it will have “an even more refined style, armed with more durable, stronger materials.”
From the absolute disaster of the first canceled product to a modified plastic screen and eventually “Ultra-Thin Glass,” Samsung’s folding phones have improved screen durability with each iteration.
It’s unknown what Samsung will do to increase durability even further, but there’s still potential for improvement. The two folding phones may offer IPX8 water resistance, according to a recent leak, which could be part of the durability tale.
Durability is an essential feature for folding phones, but it will be even more so with the next Z Fold 3, which Roh confirmed will include a stylus. However, it is possible that it will not function with existing S Pens developed for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, as Roh claims that Samsung will introduce “the first-ever S Pen designed particularly for foldable phones.”
According to 91mobiles, a case for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will have a spot for the new S Pen, which will be placed squarely in the Centre behind the hinge. Roh is also setting another expectation: there won’t be a Galaxy Note announced this year, writing: “instead of unveiling a new Galaxy Note this time around, we will further broaden beloved Note features to more Samsung Galaxy devices.”
In March, Samsung hinted that it would not release a Note this year, saying in the earnings call that “unveiling two flagship models in a year could be a burden.” That’s most likely a reference to the current chip scarcity, but the Note line as a whole has a lot of questions.
Now that the normal Samsung Galaxy S21 range includes stylus capability, it appears that having a place to store the stylus is the main benefit of obtaining a Note. It’s unclear whether Samsung wants to continue manufacturing Galaxy Note devices.
Finally, Roh’s post mentions “partnerships with trusted industry heavyweights like Google and Microsoft,” with the implication that this may indicate improved multitasking support on the Z Fold 3. Hopefully, this also suggests that Samsung, Google, and Microsoft are collaborating to standardize how Android multitasking works.
The threat of fragmentation has loomed over folding phones since they first appeared. Samsung and Microsoft each provide unique ways to organize and control the various windows on their screens. Although Google has added support for folding capabilities to Android on a regular basis, it hasn’t gone to great lengths to ensure that phones from various manufacturers produce the same results.
Finally, Roh mentions Samsung and Google’s partnership on the forthcoming Wear OS 3 wristwatch platform. He says that Samsung would continue to connect its watches with its Galaxy software ecosystem, emphasizing that Samsung health and SmartThings will remain on the watch. On August 11th at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT, Samsung will broadcast their fall 2020 Unpacked event exclusively online. You may expect complete coverage on that day, as well as more leaks in the days leading up to it.