After months of leaks and speculation, Samsung has officially announced a range of new phones at its Unpacked event.
Among the new products is the Galaxy Fold, the company’s first foldable smartphone. The device has a foldable 7.3-inch display that can be opened like a book to become a tablet; a thin 4.58-inch traditional display comes to the front when the device is ‘closed’, allowing the user to use it as a regular phone.
Samsung revealed the Fold can run three apps simultaneously when in tablet mode, which is undoubtedly the reason an astonishing 12GB of RAM has been crammed into the device. Apps will shift between the cover and tablet display as you open and close the phone.
It also has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, 512GB of storage and six cameras: three on the rear, one on the ‘cover’ (faces the front when folded) and two inside the fold for selfies and video calls.
To help run the extra cameras, displays and apps, the Fold has two wirelessly rechargeable batteries for a total of 4380mAh.
The Fold will be released in the States in April for an eye-watering US$1980 (A$2764), although there’s no word yet on an Australian price. Those keen on getting their hands on one will reportedly need to express interest on the Samsung website, but exactly where remains unclear. According to PC World, Samsung Australia says Aussies will be among the first to see the Fold when it launches, suggesting an April or early May release Down Under.
Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+ and S10 5G
The Galaxy Fold wasn’t the only big announcement from Samsung this morning: the tech giant also unveiled the Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+ and S10 5G to round out the five new smartphones announced at the event.
The Galaxy S10 features a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED curved edge display – what Samsung is calling the Infinity-O Display – and a total of four cameras: one selfie camera and telephoto, wide-angle and ultra-wide cameras on the rear.
The fingerprint sensor sits behind the display, while the front-facing camera lies in a cutout in the top right corner. Under the hood, the S10 runs in Android 9 Pie and has 8GB of RAM and a 3400mAh battery.
The S10+ follows the usual trend, offering a larger 6.4-inch screen, a more powerful battery and a depth-sensing front camera, but is otherwise much the same as its smaller sibling.
Things get interesting with the S10e, which seems to be a direct answer to Apple’s iPhone XR. This smaller, cheaper Galaxy variant has a 5.8-inch display and a 3100mAh battery, drops the curved edges for a flat design and trades the ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor for a more traditional sensor on the side of the phone.
It also loses the telephoto lenses boasted by the S10 and S10+, but otherwise compares favourably to its bigger brothers.
While the three aforementioned S10 variants will launch on March 8, Samsung will also launch the Galaxy S10 5G as an ultra high-end device within the next few months.
Interestingly, Samsung has announced the wireless charging capabilities of every new phone allows you to charge other devices with Wireless Powershare: touch the phone to another phone or compatible device to share battery power between the two.
The S10 and S10e are available in Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Green, while the S10+ is also available in Ceramic White and Ceramic Black. All Prism models use a polished metal frame, while the special ceramic finish on the S10+ reportedly adds further durability.
The S10 starts at $1349 (128GB) and $1699 (512GB) in Australia, while the S10+ starts at $1499 (128GB Prism variant) and goes up to $2399 (1TB Ceramic). The S10e costs a set $1199 for the 128GB model.
Samsung is yet to reveal how much the S10 5G will cost when it arrives but admitted it will cost more than any other S10, meaning there’s a good chance the starting price will exceed the $2500 mark.
Smartphones weren’t the only new products to feature Samsung’s Unpacked event. The company also unveiled Galaxy Buds, its new wireless, touch-enabled in-ear buds which come with a portable case that doubles as a charger.
Also unveiled were three new wearables in the Galaxy Watch Active, the Galaxy Fit and the Galaxy Fit e. The Watch Active is a more premium sports watch, while the Galaxy Fit and Fit e offer simpler fitness tracking capabilities for more casual users. Samsung is yet to announce pricing or availability in Australia for the three new wearables.