Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G set for August 7 launch

An upgraded version of the compact foldable smartphone will lead Samsung's 2020 rush of new mobile gadgets.

By Bloomberg News , July 23 2020
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G set for August 7 launch

Samsung will start selling a 5G model of its Galaxy Z Flip on August 7, the company said.

Responding to consumer feedback, Samsung is adding an anti-fingerprint coating to the exterior glass of the Z Flip 5G and also improving some aspects of the user experience through software.

The souped-up Z Flip will use Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G chipset, becoming the first device among the Galaxy series to do so. Samsung, which has its own Exynos line of processors, has relied on Qualcomm’s silicon for its premium foldable phone lineup.

To match its higher specs, the Z Flip 5G will be priced higher than its predecessor.

After the original Galaxy Z Flip was released globally earlier this year, it drew admiring glances even from loyalists of Apple's iPhone platform with its unique form factor. Samsung has marketed its foldable devices as luxury items, partnering with New York fashion designer Thom Browne for a special edition of the Flip.

“Consumers who want to carry a smaller display that they can put in a smaller pocket, small purse will be attracted to clamshell phones like the Z Flip,” said Ross Young, chief executive officer at research firm DSCC. “We think there is room for differentiation in the smartphone market and these devices will find a market.”

Galaxy Unpacked 2020

On August 5, Samsung plans to unveil a slate of new mobile devices at a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event broadcasting live from South Korea, when it will elaborate on its shifting strategy to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Traditionally staged in a Western city, the next Unpacked showcase will be the first one hosted virtually and broadcast live from South Korea. It will feature the unveiling of this year’s Galaxy Note >20 series, a pair of bean-shaped wireless earbuds and a new smartwatch.

A new Galaxy Z Fold 2 – successor to Samsung’s very first foldable device, which converts from a tablet to a phone – will also make its teaser debut at the event featuring enlarged screens both on its interior and exterior.

This new device will advance the hybrid category of foldable tablets that shrink to the size of a smartphone, which seems to have gone quiet with Huawei grappling with more pressing issues around U.S. sanctions and Apple and most Chinese phone vendors reluctant to dive in just yet.

A sense of urgency

The combination of 5G advances and the changes in work and life styles from the coronavirus have given Samsung “a true sense of urgency,” said TM Roh, the recently appointed chief of its mobile communications business, in a blog post. “From foldables to 5G, we have a tremendous amount in the pipeline, with some ready to be shown just around the corner.”

In setting out his vision for Samsung’s future course, Roh stressed collaboration as one of the company’s key drivers for success.

When Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S20 devices earlier this year, it accompanied them with a slew of partnerships, including Netflix device integration, Spotify music search added to its Bixby digital assistant and close cooperation with Microsoft’s Xbox team.

The mobile group chief reiterated his belief that those relationships, along with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, designer of the Android operating system on Galaxy devices, are key to serving people’s needs as they stay, work and play at home more.

"Mobile devices have become the only way for many people to work from home and stay connected - they’ve become a true lifeline,” Roh said.

The Galaxy Note devices are Samsung’s larger and pricier set of mainstream flagship smartphones. They’re typically accompanied by a stylus and demonstrate the company’s latest display technology.

This year, their signature color will be a so-called mystic bronze version of rose gold. Alongside the new Note variants will be new earphones and a watch, both aimed at capitalizing on the growing wearable tech market, which Apple leads with its Apple Watch and AirPods products.

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