Behold, Samsung’s latest flagship. With the Galaxy Note out of the way — for this year, at least — the company used today’s Unpacked event to breathe added legitimacy into its foldable line. The original Galaxy Fold, introduced in 2019, represents a sort of experiment for the company (along with all the hiccups that entailed), as the first foldable from prominent hardware manufacture. In contrast, last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 found the company correcting some of the glaring issues with its predecessor.
Today’s event finds the company making a case for Galaxy Z Fold 3 as something beyond an experiment or a curiosity. The task will almost certainly be an uphill battle for the next few generations. Unlike the latest version of the Flip, which starts at a price reduced considerably from its predecessor, the new Fold drops the entry price $200, down to $1,800. Any price reduction is a step in the right direction — and something that should be increasingly feasible as the technology continues to scale. But even in the world of premium flagships, that will continue to be a tough pill to swallow.
However, the upgraded Fold truly brings to the table is a continued refinement to build materials that make the foldable screen a feasible option for day-to-day usage. This, of course, is precisely what hamstrung the original. Sure, the company did a lot of testing in controlled rooms. Still, once the product got out into the world (and into the hands of non-Samsung employees), durability problems began cropping up, resulting in displays that were unintentionally damaged in various imaginative ways.
The Galaxy Z Fold features a more robust frame made of “Armor Aluminum,” new protective film for the foldable display, Gorilla Glass Victus on the front-facing screen, and an IPX8 rating — representing the first waterproof rating for the company’s foldable. Waterproofing has, of course, become something of an industry standard, but obviously, things are complicated quickly when you add folding mechanisms into the equation.