Summer Samsung Unpacked 2023: What to expect on July 26th

Samsung Galaxy foldables, smartwatches and tablets are likely.

REUTERS/Peter DaSilva

Samsung is holding its summer Unpacked event a little early this year, on July 26th, but it promises to be special beyond just the timing. Galaxy Z foldable phones are certain, but the company has also teased new smartwatches and tablets. This could be an especially crowded presentation. Will you see complete overhauls, though, or just modest refreshes? Here’s what we think Samsung is likely to show off in Seoul.

How to watch Samsung Unpacked July 2023

You’ll have an easy time watching Unpacked, provided you’re an early riser. Samsung is streaming the event on its website and YouTube channel starting at 7AM ET on the 26th. Don’t worry if you’d rather sleep in — we’ll have all the biggest announcements and hopefully some hands-ons with the new devices.

If you’re already set on buying a Galaxy Z Flip 5 or Galaxy Z Fold 5, you can reserve either through Samsung’s site before the event and receive a $50 credit. There’s no commitment, so you can back out if you change your mind later.

Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 render
OnLeaks x MediaPeanut

Samsung hasn’t been shy about the stars of Unpacked. While it hasn’t named the new hardware, the company is expected to reveal the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5. This year, though, the priorities are inverted. Where the book-style Fold is usually the main attraction, this year the Flip clamshell is the centerpiece of the pre-show buzz.

There’s a good reason for that. If leaked renders from MySmartPrice and OnLeaks (via MediaPeanut) are authentic, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 will have a much larger (3.4-inch) external display than its predecessor. As with Motorola’s Razr+ handset, you could handle many more tasks while the phone is closed. You might send a quick reply text using an onscreen keyboard, for example. SamMobile claims Google is optimizing key apps for the cover screen, including Maps, Messages and YouTube.

Both phones would borrow some visual cues from the Galaxy S23 line, but the biggest change may be a sleeker profile. Both the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 (shown in an OnLeaks/SmartPrix leak below) are reportedly adopting a “waterdrop” hinge that narrows the gap while closed, slims the profile, minimizes display creasing and introduces dust resistance to Samsung foldables for the first time. Either phone should more easily fit into your pocket than last year’s models, not to mention withstand more daily abuse.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 render

Don’t expect major revamps otherwise. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 are both believed to be using the same customized Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip as in the S23 family, delivering improved performance and efficiency compared to last year’s foldables. The Flip would have a 6.7-inch 120Hz internal display, while the Fold would have a 6.2-inch 120Hz outer display as well as a similarly quick 7.6-inch internal panel.

Well-known leaker Yogesh Brar hears both phones will have very similar rear camera arrays. The Z Flip 5 would have 12-megapixel main and ultra-wide cameras, while the Z Fold 5 would have 50MP primary, 12MP ultra-wide and 10MP telephoto shooters. The two phones might have upgraded sensors, however, potentially boosting their performance in low light and other challenging situations.

There aren’t solid rumors surrounding the price or release date for either the Galaxy Z Flip 5 or Galaxy Z Fold 5. However, last year’s Flip and Fold models respectively started at $999 and $1,799, and we’d expect similar pricing this time around. Given that Samsung tends to ship newly announced hardware within a few weeks, we’d expect these phones to arrive in mid-August.

Galaxy Watch 6

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic render

If last year’s Galaxy Watch 5 felt like a tepid update, don’t worry — Samsung might soon have smartwatches worth the upgrade. The company has not-so-subtly hinted that the Galaxy Watch 6 will appear at Unpacked, and rumors from OnLeaks and MySmartPrice suggest a Classic or Pro version will bring back the physical rotating bezel. If so, you could scroll through the interface with a more satisfying motion than the touch-sensitive edges of current models. The control scheme would also give the higher-end watch a more traditional look.

Other updates might be more iterative, if still appreciated. SamMobile claims the Galaxy Watch 6 will use a newer Exynos W980 chip that provides a slight speed boost and potentially longer battery life. Galaxy Club also recently spotted certifications of future watches with larger batteries.

In some respects, software will play an equally important role. There’s no doubt software will play an important role. Samsung previously confirmed that the next Galaxy Watch series will use One UI 5 Watch, a fitness-oriented upgrade to the company’s Wear OS variant. It will offer better sleep insights and coaching, and runners can use personal heart rate zones to optimize their sessions. An improved SOS feature will directly contact an emergency number to share your whereabouts.

While there’s no word on prices or release windows for the Galaxy Watch 6, it won’t be surprising if the lineup starts close to the Watch 4’s $279 for the base model, scaling up to $450 for the Classic or Pro.

Galaxy Tab S9

Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ render

The Galaxy Tab S8 series is almost a year and a half old, so it’s not surprising Samsung is hinting at a replacement — though it may be evolutionary. OnLeaks and WolfOfTablet have shared renders and specs suggesting the upcoming Galaxy Tab S9 range will look much like its predecessor, complete with 11-inch base, 12.4-inch S9+ and 14.6-inch S9 Ultra variants.

There should be some functional improvements, though. The standard Galaxy Tab S9 will reportedly switch from an LCD to an AMOLED screen, so you won’t need to buy the S9+ to get the best possible picture quality. A Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will aid performance, and Wolf of Tablet believes a mystery secondary front sensor might be a camera intended for video calls in landscape orientation. SamMobile also believes the new tablets will offer IP67 dust and water resistance that helps them survive camping trips and the beach.

It won’t be surprising if the Galaxy Tab S9 family ships around the same time as the foldables, or maybe sometime mid-August. We’d also expect pricing roughly in line with the Tab S8. That would put the regular S9 at $700, the S9+ at $900 and S9 Ultra at $1,100. With that in mind, the S8 series cost $50 more than its S7 equivalents. We can’t rule out another price hike.

Wildcards: Mixed reality hardware and the Galaxy Tab S8 FE

TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics, Cristiano Amon, President & CEO Qualcomm Incorporated, and Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP, Platforms & Ecosystems at Google, stand on stage as Samsung Electronics unveils its latest flagship smartphones in San Francisco, California, U.S. February 1, 2023. REUTERS/Peter DaSilva REFILE - CORRECTING ID
REUTERS/Peter DaSilva

Samsung is known for occasionally throwing surprises into Unpacked presentations, and there are a couple of candidates this summer. Most notably, Samsung said in February that it was working on mixed reality wearable devices with the help of Google (for an optimized Android release) and Qualcomm (for the chipset). There haven’t been any signs of an impending introduction, but we wouldn’t be shocked if Samsung said more about the project.

The Galaxy Tab S9 might not be the only tablet, for that matter. Rumors have long persisted of a Galaxy Tab S8 FE that, like the S7 FE, will bridge the gap between Samsung’s budget A-series tablets and the S9.There aren’t many details, but WinFuture’s Roland Quandt hears the S8 FE may use an LCD with a Wacom digitizer for pen input. A lower-end chip and other compromises wouldn’t be surprising, either.

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