No new Note. Instead, Samsung unveils next-gen foldables that are cheaper than ever

Aug 12, 2021
PHOTO: Samsung

FOR MORE THAN A DECADE, phones have existed as large, rectangular slabs of screen — a pristine bar of glass that stretched wider and longer as phones lost their buttons and their bezels.

Then, in 2018, a breakthrough, as manufacturers broke the mold to introduce foldable phones. It was a refreshing take on a new form factor: users could carry a smaller (if a bit bulkier) phone in their pocket, then snap it open for a more complete, tablet-like experience.

Samsung was one of the first manufacturers out of the gate with the Galaxy Fold. While the initial release was hit by durability issues, the Korean brand was quick to course-correct by releasing a refreshed edition. That one launched in the Philippines in 2019 for an eye-watering price tag of P109,990.

Now, in 2021, in its annual Unpacked event, the Korean brand ditched its usual reveal of a new Note.

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Instead, it unveiled the next entries in its family of foldables: the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Galaxy Z Fold 3 specs and price

Galaxy Z Fold 3

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In a nod to the now-paused Note line, the Z Fold 3 now supports the S Pen, as the Note’s signature feature trickles down to the rest of Samsung’s line. (The Samsung Galaxy S21 UItra also released with S Pen support last February.)

It also features a raft of new improvements. The most flashy one is an under-display selfie camera. No more camera hole on the front screen for this new phone. Silicon-wise, it gets the latest, greatest Snapdragon silicon (the Snapdragon 888) and 12GB of RAM. Both of its screens — the wide foldable inner screen and the smaller outer cover display — are gamer ready and butter smooth at a 120Hz refresh rate.

On the durability front, it has a stronger protective film on the foldable screen, and Gorilla Glass Victus on the cover screen. Its aluminum hinge for the fold is purportedly 10 percent stronger. And it has IPX8 water resistance.

Most importantly, the Z Fold 3 is cheaper than ever. The base price is P87,990. In comparison, the Galaxy Fold2 was P109,990. That’s a P22,000 price drop.

Here’s the full price list:

Z Fold 3, 512GB storage: P95,990 (available in phantom black and phantom green)
Z Fold 3, 256GB storage: P87,990 (available in phantom black and phantom silver)

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Galaxy Z Flip 3 specs and price

Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Z Flip 3 harkens back to the clamshell phones of yore. Unfolded, it’s a squarish slab with a sizable cover display that now has enough room for widgets (like a music player) and bigger notifications.

Snap it open, and you return to the traditional smartphone experience, with a 6.7-inch, 120Hz screen. Like its bigger foldable bro, the Z Flip 3 is also powered by a Snapdragon 888. It has 8GB of RAM, and users get a choice between 128GB and 256GB of storage. It also has IPX8-rated water resistance.

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It’s also more budget friendly. The price of the 128GB version is P52,990 — hewing close enough to the base S21’s launch price of P49,990.

If you skipped out the S21 this year because you wanted a little something different from Samsung, the Z Flip 3’s price tag makes for a compelling case.

Here’s the full price list:

Z Flip 3, 256GB storage: P56,990 (available in phantom black, cream, green, and lavender)
Z Flip 3, 128GB storage: P52,990 (available in phantom black, cream, green, and lavender)

How to buy the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3

Preorders will begin next week, August 19, and will run all the way to September 21. The phones itself will drop on September 22.

Galaxy Buds 2

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Samsung also announced the Galaxy Buds 2 (now with active noise cancellation), for P6,990, as well as the Watch 4. The latter will come in two variants and four sizes: the base Watch 4 at 40mm (P12,990) and 44mm (P14,990), as well as the stainless steel Watch 4 Classic that also comes with a rotating bezel. That will come in 42mm (P17,990) and 46mm (P19,990) sizes.

Galaxy Watch 4

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All four Galaxy Watch 4 variants will feature the new OS co-developed by Google and Samsung. The brand also claims that the Watch 4 has improved fitness capabilities, including body composition tracking to get your BMI, body fat percentage, and more.

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PHOTO: Samsung
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