Anton D. Nagy contributed to this Samsung Galaxy Unpacked hands-on post featuring everything Samsung unveiled at its Unfolded event today.
In no industry is the phrase – third time’s a charm – more evident than in mobile technology. We even recommend that you avoid the curse of the early adopter, which was pretty much the case with Samsung’s first Galaxy Fold. Yes, we know, the first units we got brought design issues that were fixed later, and yes, we also know that left some of you skeptical of paying so much to experiment.
Thing is, then we reviewed the first Z Flip and that was a completely different phone. Mine is a year and a half old and still looks and folds like new, and it’s the same story with the Z Fold 2 I’ve been using since January. I almost wish the first Fold didn’t get such bad publicity because generation two was great. It’s been the breath of fresh innovation smartphone makers have spent 5 years arguing about. It’s brought the cool factor most of us in the tech space have expected, and yet, I know certain skepticism still exists.
I think the only way to erase that first impression is to actually address some of the compromises that even reached the second generation. We live in a time when our phone is our tool. We don’t want to worry about it getting wet and most importantly, we don’t want our expensive piece of hardware to be too fragile for the money, and this is why I feel the solution is generation 3.
We just had an opportunity to spend about an hour with Samsung’s new foldable flagships at a private venue before today’s Unpacked event, and let me just say that if I ever debated the need for my phone to fold in the past, I think my personal argument is over.
So quick disclaimer, keep in mind these are all first impressions. Each of us was given a private session to adhere to safety protocols, but then there’s only so much we can experience in 4 products in an hour. Yes, we got to see the new Z Flip 3, Z Fold 3, Galaxy Watch 4, and Buds 2. For this video, I’m gonna focus mostly on the first three as my Buds 2 review is already in progress in a separate video.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
So let’s start with Z Flip 3. I’m gonna just call this the new flagship killer because, for $999, it’s going directly after any expensive “Pro” phone out there. Think of it, it kind of makes you debate why you would want to pay more money for a phone that doesn’t fold or do any other cooler trick. It comes in four colors, and that actually defines the finish. For example, if you go black, the entire body is matte, but then the Cream shade will blend shinny elements with a matte chassis, and then the other combos bring their own unique elements.
But then there’s the fact that Samsung pretty much-fixed everything we wanted with the first and second generation. Somehow they fixed the spring action of the hinge, so feel free to treat this like your old flip phone and just flip it open with one hand. Somehow they’ve modified the mechanism to allow this without affecting its ability to work in Flex Mode and be propped up on a table. They also addressed durability concerns in a big way. It might look like jewelry, but we’re talking Gorilla Glass Victus on the outside, a new Armor Aluminum finish Samsung claims to be stronger, and a new protective film that Samsung claims to be 80% stronger on the inside. What’s most important, yes, this phone is IPX8 fresh water-resistant, solving the biggest pain point at this price range.
The thumb outer display is also gone for a more logical 1.9-inch Super AMOLED that provides notifications you can actually read this time, along with its own set of widgets for you to call on without the need to open the phone. Now when you do, you can expect the same tall 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED panel at Full HD+ resolution we had before, but now with 120Hz refresh rate for a more fluid experience, and then stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, which we wish we had on the two previous generations. Sadly, the rumors of no crease didn’t really happen, but after two years of using foldables, trust me, it doesn’t deter me from the experience.
Internals include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 8 gigs of RAM, non-expandable storage that starts at 128 gigs, a 3,300mAh battery, a side fingerprint scanner, face recognition on the inner 10-megapixel punch hole camera, and then the two primary cameras on the cover are of 12 megapixels with ultra-wide and standard functionality.
Judging by the cases and optional accessories I’d say the Z Flip 3 is marketed more for a younger audience, or even a lifestyle consumer.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
By contrast, I think the Z Fold 3 is a completely different product that’s more focused on the professional. Judging by the props, accessories, and cases, it’s as if Samsung is silently replacing the Galaxy Note with this phone. I even think the Galaxy Note name is far more appropriate for this product now that it folds than the Z Fold 3 scheme.
At $1799 it still is a pretty penny, but in Samsung’s defense, it’s now less expensive than it’s ever been, finally solves the caveats that made you debate the premium, and adds extra fan favorites that make it kind of irresistible. It comes in 3 colors in a more elegant and matte finish, with this matte black one being my favorite so far.
It addresses the same durability concerns with a combo of Gorilla Glass Victus and Amor Aluminum on the outside, plus a stronger protective film on the folding glass inside. Best of all, same IPX8 fresh water rating for added peace of mind. Now what’s interesting is that even if it’s slightly more substantial than before, Samsung managed to make it lighter and more ergonomic, doing away with the sharp spots we had in Gen 2.
New tricks include a 120Hz refresh rate, regardless if you’re on the outer 6.2-Dynamic AMOLED or the inner 7.6-inch panel. Yes, there is S Pen support now, whether you go for the Fold or Pro versions, and really what makes these different is that the tip now sinks in when you apply too much pressure, as a measure to protect the thin glass from scratches. That said, keep in mind that only the inner display provides this WACOM functionality. Can I just say this is the perfect form factor for an S Pen? The idea of having my phone become a tablet that I can write on is perfect, and the feel of the pen on the inner panel is no different than what I’ve experienced before. Yes, remind me of the crease all you want, but I see none of you writing in the middle of an open book either. We’ll see about that in our review.
Now, another interesting trick is the Under Display 4-megapixel camera included, which, well, let’s just say doesn’t look that much better than a punch hole when covered by its larger pixels. We’ll see how it performs on final review units.
Other specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 12 gigs of RAM, non-expandable storage that starts at 256 gigs, a 4,400 mAh battery, a fingerprint sensor on the side, and stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos. As for the rest of the cameras, 10 megapixels on the cover display and then a combo of 3 primary cameras at the back that are all 12 megapixels, and serve for Ultra-wide, regular, and telephoto. No ultra chops to be seen here as some rumors predicted.
Now since this is a sort of Galaxy Note, there is a ton of software tricks baked in that I’ll cover extensively when final units arrive, as Samsung really wants this to even feel like a Windows product in day-to-day productivity.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
As for the Galaxy Watch 4, well we got to see both models in all their color variations. Not sure if I find it any more or less elegant than before given the short time we had, but I will tell you one thing: that OneUI watch feels more like the old UI we knew, that can simply run Wear OS apps. Same Rotating bezel functionality and placement of everything we knew on previous Galaxy Watches. It makes no logical sense for old watches not to get this update, but we’ll see once we can fully test what’s different. That said, given how Samsung has dropped the price to start at just $249 and $349 respectively, I can see them trying to make a statement.
But anyway, that’s it for what we saw at today’s Unpacked briefing. So far my experience with the Buds 2 has been pretty positive, but again more on that on a separate video. The Galaxy Watch 4 looks pretty promising, but let’s be real, what stole the show is the foldables.
I can tell you I really want that Z Flip 3 in cream color, mainly because it’s finally a flip flagship without compromise. That said, I wish I didn’t have to pick because its lack of S Pen functionality makes me stir to the Z Fold 3. To have stylus support, plus water resistance pretty much addresses my desire for a phone, that’s also a productivity tablet, all in just one product.
I seriously think this is proof that the third time’s a charm. Caveats addressed, more durability, added features, and less expensive prices, plus a ton of bundles that can even include a year of Samsung Care+ and I’d say these might just be the best phones of the year so far.
That said, there’s only one way to find out, and that’s in our full review coming very soon.
Best deals today: Google Pixel 6 Pro, Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop, iPad Pro, and more
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Amazon’s latest deals come with excellent news for Pixel fans. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is now available for just $649 after receiving a very attractive discount that will get you $250 savings. The Google Pixel 6 Pro usually sells for $899, and it comes packed with Google’s proprietary Tensor chip, 128GB storage, 12GB RAM, a killer camera that will deliver some of the best shots on the market and other great features. This model also comes fully unlocked so that you can use it on the network of your choice.
Suppose you want a more affordable option that also sports the same fast and snappy software and a fantastic camera. In that case, you can also check out the regular Google Pixel 6 that now goes for just $499 after receiving a $100 discount. And if that’s still too much for your budget, you can also consider purchasing a new 2022 version of the Moto G Stylus that now sells for $200 after scoring the same $100 savings.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the first flagship-level offering from Google after it spent a year away with mid-ranged devices. It features a 120Hz 1440p display and a triple camera system with all-new optics.
Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop
We have also spotted some interesting deals for gamers, as the Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop is now available for $3,208 after receiving a 13 percent discount that translates to more than $490 savings. This deal also comes with a special promo that will get you 6 free months of VEGAS Post 365, an amazing video tool for creators that includes everything you need for video editing, motion graphics, image composition, live streaming, and sound design.
The Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop comes packed with a powerful 14-core Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD storage, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics, and a 15.6-inch QHD display that will deliver up to 240Hz refresh rates. And if you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, you can also consider going for the Razer Blade 15, which comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and 15.6-inch FHD display with 360Hz that sells for $1,999 after scoring a 26 percent discount that will get you $700 savings. And you can complete your gaming package with a HyperX Pulsefire Dart Wireless RGB Gaming Mouse that sells for $40 after an insane 60 percent discount.
Razer Blade 15
The Razer Blade 15 features a powerful 14-core Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD storage, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics, and a 15.6-inch QHD display.
11-inch iPad Pro
Apple’s 11-inch iPad Pro has been receiving tons of attention during the last couple of weeks, and you can now get yours for as low as $700 after the latest 12 percent discount that will get you $100 savings on the Wi-Fi-only model that packs 128GB storage space under the hood. This model also features a stunning 11-inch Liquid Retina Display with ProMotion, Apple’s M1 processor, an all-day battery, and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil that’s now available for just $99.
If you want more storage space and a $149 discount, you can also opt for the 1TB model in Space Gray that now sells for $1,350 after seeing a 10 percent discount. However, Amazon is also letting you save on some of its Fire tablets, starting with the Fire HD 8, which now sells for $50 after a $40 discount on its 32GB storage model with an ad-supported lock screen. And if you want a larger display, you can also consider the Fire HD 10 tablet that now sells for $100 after a $50 discount.
Apple 11-inch iPad Pro
Apple’s 11-inch iPad Pro comes powered by Apple’s M1 processor, which means you get the same performance as its larger brother, but with a smaller canvas.
Jabra Elite 85t
Jabra is also starting to give us incredible deals on some of the company’s best earphones, starting with the Jabra Elite 85t that are now listed for just $140. These excellent, truly wireless earbuds with advanced noise-canceling usually sell for $230, which means that you can purchase a pair and take advantage of this $90 discount. However, you will have to stick with the Titanium Black and Copper Black color options, as the Gold Beige variant is even more expensive than the regular models.
The Jabra Elite 85t will deliver up to 25 hours of battery life with their wireless charging case, crystal clear calls, and other great features. However, you can also opt for a more affordable pair of Jabra Elite 7 Active in-Ear Bluetooth Earbuds that now sell for $116 after a $64 discount.
And if that’s still too much for your wallet, you can also consider heading over to Woot.com, where you will find the third generation AirPods selling for just $110 after a 39 percent discount, or get the AirPods Pro for $135 after a 46 percent discount. Just remember that these earphones are available in Grade A Refurbished condition before you pull the trigger.
Jabra Elite 85t
The Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds feature cutting-edge technology for crystal clear calls and an outstanding music experience that will go for up to 25 hours, thanks to its compact Qi-certified charging case.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NA Gaming Monitor
Finally, we have the Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Gaming Monitor receiving a massive 30 percent discount, which means you can take this baby home for $1,600. The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Gaming Monitor usually sells for $1,600, so this deal will get you $600 savings. It also comes with a curved 4K UHD Mini LED display capable of reaching 240Hz refresh rates, 1ms response times, and other great features.
You can also get the same 49-inch curved monitor with a QLED display and 120Hz refresh rates for $900 after a $300 discount, in case you’re budget is limited. However, if you can go all out, we suggest you check out the latest 55-inch Odyssey Ark 4K UHD 165Hz 1ms Quantum Mini-LED Curved Gaming Screen, which is now receiving a $100 discount when you reserve yours. It is now available for $3,500, in case you’re interested.
Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 G95NA Gaming Monitor
The Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Gaming Monitor comes with a curved 4K UHD Mini LED display capable of reaching 240Hz refresh rates, 1ms response times, and other great features.
Top 7 Android 13 hidden features you might not know about
Google released Android 13 to the general public yesterday. The update is now available for all the eligible Google Pixel phones, while the devices from other Android manufacturers will receive it “later this year.” As we noted in our comparison post of Android 13 and Android 12, the new OS isn’t a major upgrade over the last year’s software, but it includes some minor changes and new features that make the whole user experience much better.
We have been playing with Android 13 for quite some time now, and we have spotted many small features throughout the operating system that you might not be aware of. Here are the top 7 hidden features in Android 13 that you should check out:
Android 13 Hidden Features
View 7-Day History in Privacy Dashboard
One of the best features of Android 13 is that it unifies the Security and Privacy settings, making it easier to discover all the features under one section. Interestingly, one of the hidden features of Android 13 is in the new Privacy Dashboard itself.
While the Privacy Dashboard is also available on devices with Android 12, the new operating system shows the sensitive permissions that apps have accessed not only in the last 24 hours but also in the last seven days. This 7-day view gives you a clearer idea of which apps are accessing sensitive permissions again and again. The feature, however, hasn’t rolled out on Pixel devices yet but is expected to be available in the near future.
Third-Party File Managers Can No Longer Access Android Data and Obb folders
If you have ever installed apps using third-party app stores or APK files, you must have used the /Android/data and /Android/obb folders. These folders are accessible via all the File Managers on Android. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do so on Android 13 when using a third-party file manager, as Google is restricting access to these folders in the latest OS.
Launch Multiple Instances of Same App in Split-Screen Mode
Split-screen mode is gaining a number of new features with Android 13. First, the new OS brings a new way to launch split-screen mode directly from the notification shade. You can now simply long press on notifications and drag them to enter the split-screen mode.
Moreover, you can now launch a second instance of the same app when in split-screen view. For example, you can launch two Google Chrome windows side-by-side in split-screen mode. The feature is a part of large screen optimizations in Android 13. It is, however, worth pointing out that all the apps do not support this feature at launch, and developers will have to update their apps to bring support for this feature.
Clipboard Will Autoclear After 1 Hour
Android 13 comes with a revamped clipboard overlay. It not only allows you to view and edit the contents of your clipboard without pasting it anywhere, but it also provides relevant options depending upon the type of content you copy. For example, you’ll see an option to open a web browser when you copy a link. Similarly, you’ll see a photo editor option if you copy an image.
One less-known feature of Android 13’s clipboard is that it automatically clears all the contents that are older than 1 hour. Be it a picture, text, or link, the OS will clear the content of the keyboard after one hour. The feature has been implemented to improve the performance and security of the OS. It is already available in Google’s Gboard keyboard app, but Android 13 implements this feature system-wide.
Control Smart Home Devices Without Unlocking Your Phone
In Android 13, Google has added an option in Android 13’s Lock Screen settings that allows you to bypass the lock screen and control some smart home gadgets without unlocking your phone. While the previous version of Android also came with a similar ability, it didn’t allow users to control smart home devices without unlocking their smartphone, making the entire experience feel slow and clunky. In the new OS, smart home devices can be controlled more quickly thanks to the new option.
Quick Settings Tiles for One-Handed Mode and QR Code Scanner
Google introduced the one-handed mode with Android 12. It works pretty much like iOS, wherein you have to swipe down from the bottom of the screen to down bring the contents on top of the display. If you don’t like to activate the feature via the gesture, or find it hard to do so, Android 13 allows you to add a quick access toggle to trigger one-handed mode in the Quick Settings menu. In addition to this, Google has also added a dedicated QR code scanner in the quick settings menu. You can now swipe down and scan a QR code with just a few taps.
Cinematic Wallpapers and Wallpaper Dimming
Android 13 features a new WallpaperEffects API that makes the wallpaper move when your phone moves. Interestingly, it doesn’t require users to download compatible wallpapers. In fact, users can apply it to their current wallpapers as well. There is also a new wallpaper dimming feature that darkens your current wallpaper, so bright/vibrant wallpapers become less blinding.
Despite being a relatively small upgrade over last year’s Android 12, Android 13 offers several useful features (and stability improvements) that enhance the overall experience. Additionally, these hidden features further add to the quality of the experience. Have you installed Android 13 on your device yet? How has your experience been? Let us know in the comments section below!
Best deals today: Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio, Sony’s Xperia PRO-I, and more
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
This week is packed with tons of great savings for those interested in a new laptop, PC, smartphone, and other great products. First up, we have the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio that is currently receiving a very compelling 19 percent discount, which leaves it up for grabs at $2,180. The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio usually sells for $2,700, the latest offer will help you score more than $500 savings, and the best part is that you will get tons of power. This model features a large 14.4-inch touchscreen display, an Intel Core i7 processor, a whopping 32GB storage space, and 1TB of internal SSD storage space.
Of course, you can also browse through the other configurations to see if something else fits your budget. For instance, you can try going for the Intel Core i7 model with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage that sells for $1,799 after scoring a $300 discount.
And suppose you’re more interested in buying a Mac. In that case, you can check out the latest deals on the M2-powered MacBook Air or the latest iMac sales event that will let you purchase a refurbished model starting at $215 if you can live with the 2015 model that comes with a 21.5-inch display, 8GB RAM, 1TB SATA storage and an Intel Core i5 processor under the hood. You will also find the latest 24-inch iMac Model and other great options on sale, but hurry before they sell out.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop Studio is Microsoft’s best and most powerful business laptop created for Windows 11. It comes with top-of-the-line specs, an elegant design, and other great features.
Sony Xperia PRO-I
Moving on, we have the Sony Xperia PRO-I 5G receiving a 33 percent discount that translates to more than $600 savings. This model now sells for just $1,198, and it comes with a large 6.5-inch HDR OLED display that will deliver 120Hz refresh rates, a massive 1-inch image sensor on its triple camera array, and more.
The Sony Xperia PRO-I is on sale on Amazon and Adorama, and the best part is that you will get the chance to purchase the same device with the same 512GB storage, 12GB RAM, and processor for the same price.
And of course, you can also count on Samsung to deliver great deals on its Galaxy devices. You can now buy a new Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus for $800 after picking up a $200 discount that represents 20 percent savings. In addition, this model comes with 128GB storage space, 8GB RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, and other amazing features.
Xperia PRO-I 5G
The Xperia PRO-I 5G is one of Sony’s latest smartphones, and it is a great option for users who want to have an excellent camera on their mobile devices.
Sony 4K Ultra HD TV A80K Series
Sony’s 4K Ultra HD TV A80K Series BRAVIA XR OLED smart Google TV is also on sale. Today’s best savings come with the 55-inch model that sells for $1,498 after picking up a 25 percent discount representing $501.99 savings. In addition, the 65 and 77-inch models are also on sale, as they’re also receiving a $501.99 discount. In other words, you can get your new smart TV for $1,798 on its 65-inch version and $2,998 on the more prominent 77-inch version.
Today’s deals include [Amazon’s Echo Show 15(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MQLDFF6?), which sells for $190 after getting a $60 discount. Indeed, this is by no means a smart TV alternative, but its large 15.6-inch FHD display will also let you stream your favorite content from Prime TV, Netflix, Disney Plus, and more.
Sony A80K Series BRAVIA XR Smart TV
The Sony A80K Series BRAVIA XR Smart TV comes with amazing features, including Dolby Vision HDR, exclusive features for the PlayStation 5, Sony’s Cognitive Processor XR and more.
Samsung Super Ultrawide Dual QHD Monitor
And since we’re talking about large displays, we must also include the Samsung Super Ultrawide Dual QHD Monitor that now sells for $1,030 after receiving an 18 percent discount that translates to $230 savings. This huge monitor features QLED technology with 4ms response time, USB-C connectivity, 120Hz refresh rates, and more.
However, you can also opt for more affordable options, including the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27WQ 27-inch Curved Monitor that sells for $247 after seeing a 15 percent discount, or go for the AOC U2790VQ 27-inch UHD Frameless Monitor that goes for $210 after a very interesting 22 percent discount.
Samsung Super Ultrawide Dual QHD Monitor
The Samsung Super Ultrawide Dual QHD Monitor features QLED technology with 4ms response time, USB-C connectivity, 120Hz refresh rates, and more to take your gaming experience to new levels.
Finally, the Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones now sell for just $231. These headphones usually sell for $348, so you can pick up a pair of these amazing headphones and still manage to keep $117 in your pocket. They feature amazing noise canceling, up to 30 hours of listening time, and more. However, this deal is only available on the Black version. And since we’re talking about audio products, we can also mention the latest savings on the Elgato Wave:3 Premium Studio Quality USB Condenser Microphone for Streaming that now goes for $120 after seeing a $30 discount that represents 20 percent savings.
The Sony WH-1000XM4 feature a comfortable design for long hours of use, up to 30 hours of non-stop music, active noise canceling, and more.
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