Samsung’s Unpacked event on August 11 is going to be a doozy. President of Mobile Communications, TM Roh, just dropped a ton of new information about what we can expect from the announcement. In news that will shock precisely nobody, he confirmed that Samsung will unveil new foldables at the event — but it’s the details that have us intrigued.
Roh first makes it clear that this next generation, expected to be the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, will be “armed with more durable, stronger materials.” That’s critical to the widespread adoption of foldables, which have made strides but are still inarguably more fragile than non-folding phones. But that strength matters in a very specific area for Samsung: It will be announcing a new S Pen specifically for foldables. It’ll likely be different from the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra‘s, which could damage current foldable display coverings unless Samsung also unveils dramatically stronger “Ultra Thin Glass.” The question is whether this will also lead to shortcomings in features like pressure sensitivity, tracking, and accuracy.
Unsurprisingly, Roh also confirms that these new S Pen developments for foldables will be the only S Pen news this year: There will be no new Galaxy Note in 2021. The post leaves wiggle room for future Notes, with Roh stating there won’t be a new Galaxy Note “this time around,” but the writing has been on the wall for years now — the Galaxy Note line’s days are numbered, as Samsung simply takes popular Note features and integrates them into its other devices.
Back on foldables, Roh is touting Samsung’s ongoing partnership with Google and Microsoft in growing the foldable app ecosystem. “Even more partner apps” that make the most of foldable form factors will debut alongside the new Galaxy Z lineup, which will come as a relief to those of us who have constantly struggled with apps that don’t properly scale to foldables. Apps simply not being compatible with — to say nothing of being actually optimized for — foldables remains one of the biggest hang-ups for the adoption of these devices.
Roh’s post may have concentrated on folding smartphones, but don’t think that will be all Samsung has planned for August 11. It’s almost certain the next Galaxy Watch models will be there, and we know they will use the new Wear software platform engineered in cooperation with Google and feature the One UI interface. It promises to be a huge step forward for Android smartwatches, and Samsung getting in first will likely give it a big advantage in the market. Exciting stuff.
We’ll see everything Samsung has to offer, from foldables to wearables, on August 11.