The next Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event will take place in less than 24 hours — and that means new Samsung products are on the way.
But what could those new products be? We already have a few clues. Unpacked events typically feature new Samsung phones, and there's no reason to suppose this one will be any different, especially with leaks about future phones coming fast and furious. Plus, Samsung's calling its March 17 event "Galaxy Awesome Unpacked" — and it's likely that the "Awesome" bit refers to new models in the Galaxy A line of midrange phones.
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But that may not be everything that's announced at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event.
While Samsung isn't giving anything away — its invite image and teaser video (opens in new tab) don't even include generic silhouettes of products — rumors suggest we could also see the latest Samsung smartwatch or even new foldable phones. Here's what to expect.
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event date
The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event will take place on Wednesday, March 17, starting at 10 a.m. EDT/7 a.m. PDT.
As for this March 17 Unpacked event, you'll be able to watch the whole thing on Samsung's YouTube channel (opens in new tab) and on the Samsung Newsroom (opens in new tab) website. And of course, we'll also be covering the event in depth here on Tom's Guide.
Samsung Galaxy A72
We're pretty certain that the Samsung Galaxy Awesome Unpacked event will reveal the new Galaxy A72 and Galaxy A52 phones, especially with a last-minute leak from Evan Blass that shows off the new phones.
Last year's launch video (opens in new tab) for the Samsung Galaxy A51 was essentially a 45-second loop of the word "awesome" over pounding techno, so it's safe to say that if Samsung uses the term again, it's for a reason.
Both phones have also been heavily leaked in recent weeks, further adding to the likelihood that they're about to launch. And from what we've seen of them so far, they look well placed to join or replace the A51 in our list of the best cheap phones.
Let's take the A72 first. This is expected to be the larger of the two, with a 6.7-inch screen, and will come in LTE and 5G versions.
A recent leak of the Galaxy A72's specs hinted that it'll get a serious camera upgrade over last year's Galaxy A71 5G, which we felt was merely an average performer compared to the rival Google Pixel 4a.
According to the leak, the Galaxy A72 will have a quad-camera array featuring a 64MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide and 5MP macro, plus an 8MP telephoto lens capable of a 3x lossless zoom — a feature that was entirely lacking on the A71. It's also expected to have a 32MP selfie camera in Samsung's trademark central punch-hole notch.
Elsewhere, the display is said to be an FHD AMOLED model with a 90Hz refresh rate, while stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, a headphone jack and IP67 water/dust resistance are all included.
Power will reportedly come from a Snapdragon 720G chipset backed up by either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, but a separate leak about the A52 (below) suggested that phone would have a 750G chip in the 5G version. If true, the same could be the case here.
Either way, the Galaxy A72 is also said to have a 5,000 mAh battery with 25W fast charging, plus 128GB or 256GB of storage.
Based on the price of the A71, we expect its successor to cost around $600 — and it should be pretty competitive if the above specs are accurate.
Samsung Galaxy A52
The Galaxy A52 is almost certain to launch alongside the A72 at Samsung Galaxy Awesome Unpacked. And again, a recent leak has revealed quite a lot about it.
Like the A72, the Galaxy A52 is expected to come in either LTE or 5G versions, but this time with a slightly smaller 6.5-inch FHD AMOLED display. The leak doesn't detail whether it will have a fast refresh rate, but that could be one area where Samsung cuts costs, given the predicted €349 price of the base model. (That converts to around $415, though phone makers often adjust prices on a regional basis.)
Also as with the A72, the Galaxy A52 is rumored to have a quartet of rear cameras — a 64MP main sensor and 8MP ultrawide, plus two others at 5MP and 2MP respectively. It's not known what these are, but it's assumed one will be for macro photos and the other for depth effects. There's also a 32MP selfie camera on the front, again in a punch-hole notch.
As we said above when talking about the A72, this leak also suggested the base model will have a Snapdragon 720G chipset while the 5G version will have a slightly more powerful 750G. Both are said to have 6GB of RAM, an upgrade from the 4GB in the A51.
The Galaxy A52 battery looks to be smaller than that in the A72 — 4,500 mAh rather than 5,000 mAh — but given the smaller screen, it may last for a similar amount of time. Again, the Galaxy A52 will likely have 25W fast charging, plus a headphone socket, microSD slot and IP67 water resistance.
Based on that low price, the A52 could be the more interesting of the two A-series phones. The specs don't look hugely different from the more expensive model, but it could be as much as $200 cheaper. The A51 is currently sitting pretty in our best cheap phones list, and we wouldn't be surprised if the A52 makes the cut too.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3 and Z Fold Lite
However, we'd be surprised if that model arrived just yet — after all, the Z Fold 2 only launched late last year.
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is slightly more likely to surface now, not least because the original Z Flip launched more than a year ago now. (We think Samsung will skip the Z Flip 2 name entirely, to sync up the version numbers of its foldables.)
However, rumors suggest the new Z Flip will break cover alongside the Z Fold 3, either in May or possibly July, and that makes sense to us.
Instead, we could be about to meet the Galaxy Z Fold Lite. This would be a far cheaper model than either of Samsung's current foldables, which cost upwards of $1,200 — and it's also in line with the company's current foldables strategy.
We know that Samsung is planning to expand its line of foldable phones this year, thanks to comments from Samsung Electronics president TM Roh about the company's smartphone plans for 2021 (opens in new tab).
Roh also said that Samsung would be making foldables "more accessible to everyone" this year — which could easily be read as making them cheaper. Enter, we hope, a Galaxy Z Fold lite.
According to Korean news site The Elec, the Galaxy Z Fold Lite could arrive in the first quarter of 2021 — which would be bang on target if it's launched next week.
Rumors suggest the phone will have Samsung's typical fold-out tablet design, as seen on the Z Fold 3, and that it will feature a 7-inch internal display and a 4-inch external display. The display will reportedly be plastic rather than Ultra Thin Glass as seen on other Samsung foldables, and it will have a Snapdragon 865 system-on-chip plus 256GB of storage.
Another rumor suggests that instead of being a new phone, this cheaper foldable would take the original Samsung Galaxy Fold, and rebrand it as the Samsung Galaxy Fold FE. We don't think this is likely though — not least because repackaging a flawed phone wouldn't seem like a good way of getting more people excited about foldables.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
An outside bet for the Galaxy Awesome Unpacked event is that Samsung will announce the new Galaxy Watch 4.
Rumors about this device have been rife recently — for instance we've learned that it could offer blood glucose monitoring and also that it might run on Google's Wear OS software rather than Samsung's own Tizen.
However it would still be a bit of a surprise if the Galaxy Watch 4 launched next week. Samsung has debuted a new smartwatch at its annual summer keynote for three years in a row, so that's still the most likely date for the new model.
Moreover, a leak earlier this week claimed the new watch would be coming in Q2 — that's April-June. While it's possible that Samsung will move its summer keynote forward this year and launch a watch in June, March definitely seems too early for this one.
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