Amidst all the hype and fanfare, Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event, hosted in the South Korean city of Seoul, saw the company make some of its biggest announcements of the year. While the foldable smartphones are Samsung’s fitting reply to the highly anticipated iPhones, they weren’t the only gadgets showcased at the event. In a page right out of Apple’s playbook, equal emphasis was laid on the entire Samsung Galaxy ecosystem. As such, a couple of new smartwatches and some of the best Samsung tablets were also unveiled at the event.
We at Augustman were fortunate enough to experience the mega-launch event in Seoul in person and even got a chance to try out some of the devices. You can check out our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 here.
Now, without further ado, here’s a round-up of the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event including all of its highlights and how everything unfolded (no pun intended).
Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 highlights
The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 was held in Seoul, South Korea and showcased some of the company’s biggest, most anticipated products coming out this year. We got to see the fifth-generation Samsung Z foldables alongside the Galaxy Watch 6 and the new Galaxy Tab S9 lineup.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 easily sees the biggest upgrades of all the products announced at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023. While the basic specifications of the handset haven’t changed much from its predecessor, the major refinement comes in the build quality and the external cover display. In fact, Samsung is banking highly on the external cover display and how it changes the entire experience of using a Galaxy Z Flip phone.
The cover display expands from a measly 1.9-inch panel to a far more usable 3.4 inches of a ‘folder-shaped’ window. The expanded display allows Samsung to show interesting cover watch faces infused with widgets. Other than showing more information from the widgets, the larger display also allows users to type a reply to text messages via a compact QWERTY keyboard. It also serves as a more useful viewfinder for the main cameras.
Since we touched upon the cameras, Samsung continues to offer a familiar dual 12-megapixel camera setup for the external cameras with a 10-megapixel camera on the inside. The 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a variable refresh rate of 48Hz – 120Hz remains unchanged from its predecessor, which also means that there is still a slightly visible crease. However, Samsung is using a new hinge system that folds the phone shut with no gap in-between. The hinge also provides less resistance while unfolding the phone. This allows the phone to carry on with its IPX8 certification for water and dust resistance. The revised internal geometry also makes the phone slightly lighter and more ergonomic.
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is borrowed from the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Samsung promises an improvement in both raw performance as well as power efficiency, the latter helping the puny 3,700mAh battery. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 continues to stick to the generic 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging.
Samsung is yet to reveal what the Galaxy Z Flip 5 will cost.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 sees lesser changes than the Flip 5 when compared to its predecessor. Even the keenest Samsung fans will struggle to differentiate between the Fold 5 and Fold 4 unless they are handed over a specifications sheet. The biggest difference is perhaps seen in the Fold 5’s revised hinge geometry which now allows it to have no gap when folded shut. The revised build also drops its weight by 10 grams, which feels substantial in the hands.
Another big change in the Galaxy Z Fold 5 comes in the form of the chipset. The latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 takes over the duty from the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, promising better raw performance and overall power efficiency. This chip, when paired with the 4,400mAh battery, should yield better battery stamina on a single charge. Sadly, the wired charging speed is still capped at 25W, while the wireless charging speed is capped at 15W.
The rest of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 sticks to the tried-and-tested formula that makes its predecessor a big hit with the well-heeled crowd. You get a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2x cover display with an HD+ resolution and a variable refresh rate of 48Hz – 120Hz that is able to perform all the smartphone duties with ease. When there’s a need for more display real estate, the 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X main display with a QXGA+ pixel resolution and a variable refresh rate of 1Hz-120Hz comes to the rescue. While there is still a slightly visible crease, Samsung has managed to nicely hide the 4-megapixel video call camera under the display.
The external main camera setup consists of a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with 123 degrees FOV and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. The cover display also houses a 10-megapixel camera for selfies and video calls.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic
Samsung refines its Galaxy Watch series with the Galaxy Watch 6. A slightly bigger display with slimmer bezels, support for more third-party apps and the return of the rotating bezel mark the biggest changes in the Watch 6 generation.
The Galaxy Watch 6 comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes, spawning 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch displays respectively. On the other hand, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic comes in 43mm and 47mm sizes, also with 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch display sizes respectively. Both watches get Sapphire Crystal Glass for protection against scratches and accidental bumps. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic also gets the fan-favourite rotating bezel for UI navigation.
With a new Exynos W930 chipset, the Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic run Google’s Wear OS 4 with Samsung’s One UI on top. The Watch 6 generation will support third-party apps such as WhatsApp, Gmail and Google Calendar exclusively in the coming weeks. The Samsung Wallet app also comes to the Watch 6, allowing users to make payments directly from the smartwatch. Users will also be able to download more apps from the Google Play Store.
The suite of health and fitness tracking features relies on Samsung BioActive Sensors which include Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart Signal and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis functions. The Watch 6 generation also gets a temperature sensor, barometer and a host of other sensors to actively track your health parameters. While users can track their body composition data, Samsung has now improved the Sleep Coaching feature to help users adapt to a healthier lifestyle. Enabling the Sleep mode on a compatible Galaxy smartphone also puts the Galaxy Watch 6 in sleep mode, dimming the display brightness and muting the notifications.
The battery life is claimed to reach up to 30 hours with Always On Display enabled. However, this figure goes up to 40 hours if the Always On Display feature is disabled.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series
Lastly, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab lineup gets an annual overhaul with the Galaxy Tab S9 series. Carrying on from the upgrades introduced last year, the Galaxy Tab S9 series comes in three sizes.
The improvements to the Galaxy Tab S9 series are aplenty for many to consider an upgrade. All three tablets get Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that promises an improvement in performance as well as power efficiency. Samsung also introduces a new two-way heat dissipation system that promises to deliver stable performance during peak workloads.
All the models feature Samsung’s highly acclaimed Dynamic AMOLED 2X displays with a dynamic refresh rate of 60Hz-120Hz. The Vision Booster technology from its Galaxy S smartphones also makes its way into the Galaxy Tab S9, allowing for better colour and contrast retention even when the brightness is cranked up all the way. All the models get a quad-speaker setup as standard.
Samsung also brings IP68 certification for water and dust resistance for both the tablets as well as the S Pen, thereby making them outdoor-friendly. Note that the S Pen comes bundled in the packaging box.
Samsung has also refined its multi-tasking capabilities with a revised Multi Window and Pop-Up View. The Multi Control feature makes it easy to copy, paste or drag text and images directly between the tablet and a connected smartphone. The feature also allows users to control their smartphone with a Galaxy Tab S9 touchpad.
Additionally, a couple of third-party app developers are releasing high-productivity apps exclusively for the Galaxy Tab S9 series. This is in addition to apps like LumaFusion, GoodNotes, Clip Studio Paint and ArcSite.
The Galaxy Tab S9 series is available in three screen sizes. The Galaxy Tab S9 comes with an 11-inch display whereas the Galaxy Tab S9+ comes with a 12.9-inch display. The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra comes with a massive 14.6-inch display. All the variants come with their own accessories to enhance the user experience.
The new Samsung smartphones, watches and tablets were not the only stars of the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event. Suga from the popular K-pop band BTS was also in attendance to celebrate the arrival of Samsung’s newest gadgets.
(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Courtesy Augustman/Amritanshu Mukherjee)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 saw big announcements related to the Galaxy Z Flip 5, Galaxy Z Fold 5, Galaxy Watch 6, Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and the Galaxy Tab S9 series.
Answer: The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 was held in Seoul, South Korea.
Answer: The Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 saw the announcement of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5 foldable smartphones.
Answer: The Galaxy Watch 6 is expected to launch at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event on July 26, 2023.