Now that it's official that Samsung is hosting a Galaxy Unpacked product launch in August, our attention can turn to the products the electronic giant is likely to show off. Or, more accurately, it can turn to the few remaining questions we have about what's likely to appear at the August 10 event.
After all, thanks to the ever-churning rumor mill — and Samsung's own not-so-subtle hints — it's pretty clear what the August 2022 Galaxy Unpacked event is going to bring us. We're all but certain to see new foldable phones — Samsung's own invitation includes a foldable device — and the Galaxy Watch 5 plus new wireless earbuds are likely to be on the agenda, as well. At least, Samsung's program for reserving your space to pre-order products announced at Unpacked include mentions of watches and earbuds, so we think both are probably going to make an appearance.
But if rumors have painted a clear picture of what to expect from the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Flip 4 and whatever else is coming our way on August 10, there are still some questions Samsung will need to answer. How thoroughly it does may determine just how big a success this round of product updates will be.
With three weeks to go before the next Galaxy Unpacked, here are the biggest questions we have about the products Samsung is likely to announce
How will the Galaxy Z Flip 4 address its predecessor's battery life issues?
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 proved to be a very popular release last year, dramatically outselling the original Flip, according to figures released by Samsung. And while we generally like the Flip, it has one notable flaw that get us from enthusiastically endorsing the phone — it had very poor battery life.
On our battery test, where phones surf the web continuously until they run out of power, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 couldn't even make the 6-hour mark with its adaptive refresh rate turned on. For context, the average smartphone falls just shy of 10 hours on this test. But even anecdotally, we found ourselves looking for a place to plug in frequently even in our everyday use of the Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Something has to change with the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Samsung's limited on just how big a battery it can pack into this phone, though rumors do suggest a slight bump to battery capacity is in order. That, coupled with the better power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 silicon expected to power the Galaxy Z Flip 4, could help out some. But we really want to find out how Samsung is going to make the Galaxy Z Flip 4 last longer.
Can Samsung lower the cost of the Galaxy Z Fold 4?
If the big mark against the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is its battery life, the biggest thing keeping people from grabbing the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has been its astronomical price tag. The foldable debuted at $1,799 — $600 more than the pricey Galaxy S22 Ultra costs.
There are a lot of reasons why the Galaxy Z Flip 3 was such a hot-seller, but the fact that its price fell below $1,000 certainly added to its appeal. We don't think the Galaxy Z Fold 4 can close the pricing gap by that much, but news that Samsung may offer reduced capacity on the entry-level model — 128GB instead of 256GB — make us think that Samsung is entertaining ways to drop the entry-level price of its flagship foldable phone. We just want to learn by how much.
Is this the year foldable phones go mainstream?
As the Galaxy Z Fold 4's number will tell you, this is Samsung's fourth attempt at a phone that opens up to reveal a larger screen inside. It's also the second consecutive summer where Samsung is pushing foldables rather than the Galaxy Note and its more conventional design.
It's very clear Samsung sees a big future with foldable devices — it currently makes two of them which helps the company dominate the market for best foldable phones. And while consumers seem to be warming to the devices, especially as prices fall, foldables remain a niche market.
We're not sure that changes in 2022. But we'd like to hear Samsung make the case for why it could. Use the Galaxy Unpacked spotlight to show what foldable phones can do that standard smartphones can't. Give us a more detailed roadmap for foldables. And showcase apps that have been tweaked to take advantage of the extended real estate on these Samsung handsets.
How does the Galaxy Watch 5 stand out from the Apple Watch?
Powered by Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch 4 has proven to be one of the best smartwatches out there, particularly for Android users. But the Apple Watch remains our top pick — and Samsung needs to do something about that.
Based on the top Galaxy Watch 5 rumors, Samsung could be looking to take on one of the Apple Watch's perceived weaknesses — it seems stuck on an 18-hour battery life. But the Galaxy Watch 5 is tipped to get a bigger battery that could boost the one that powers the 44mm Galaxy Watch 4 by 60%. FCC listings suggest the charging speed is going to double on this watch, too.
Just keeping pace with the Apple Watch may be a tough ask, though. The Apple Watch 8, expected to arrive in the fall, could add a built-in body temperature sensor. That same capability is rumored for the Galaxy Watch 5 as well.
Which Galaxy Buds does Samsung wind up updating for this event?
I'm going to be honest here — questions about wireless earbuds don't keep me up at night. So whatever new features Samsung wants to introduce to its Buds lineup will be fine by me.
The question is, which earbuds will see an update? The Galaxy Buds Pro debuted at the start of 2021, which feels longer ago than it actually is. The Galaxy Buds 2 have only been out for a year, but they're probably Samsung's most popular earbuds. So which do you update this time around: The Galaxy Buds Pro or the Galaxy Buds 2? Both? Neither? We can't wait to find out.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.