Samsung isn’t looking for many surprises at its August 11 Unpacked event. Leaks have already revealed the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, a number of new Galaxy smartwatches and the new Galaxy Buds 2. Now Samsung Mobile President TM Roh continues a recent tradition of publish a pre-event blog post blog that confirms some news, creates expectations and refers to some additional details. Roh promises improved durability for folding screens, stylus support, and so will Samsung not this time leave a new Note phone out.
While the Unpacked invite pictured above didn’t leave much to the imagination, Roh just comes out and says there will be new foldable devices this year: “Our third-generation foldable devices will open up amazing new multitasking capabilities and improved durability,” writes he. .
The key phrase to look out for is “enhanced durability,” a theme Roh broaches again when he touches the Z Flip 3, writing that it will “have an even more sophisticated style armed with more durable, stronger materials.”
Each successive iteration of Samsung’s foldable phones has improved screen durability – starting with the utter debacle of the first canceled product through a refined plastic screen and finally “Ultra Thin Glass”. It is still unclear what exactly Samsung will do to further improve durability, but there is definitely still room for improvement.
A recent leak shows that the two foldable phones may have IPX8 water resistance, which could be part of this sustainability story.
Durability is an essential specification for foldable phones, but it will be doubly important for the upcoming Z Fold 3, which Roh confirms will have stylus support. It may not work with existing S Pens designed for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, as Roh says Samsung will announce “the first-ever S Pen designed specifically for foldable phones.”
A recently leaked 91mobiles reveals that a case for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is coming with a place to store the new S Pen, right in the middle behind the hinge.
Roh also sets another expectation: No Galaxy Note will be announced this year, writing, “Instead of revealing a new Galaxy Note this time, we will further extend the beloved Note features to more Samsung Galaxy devices. ”
Samsung hinted it could skip Note making this March, when it said in an earnings call that “it could be a burden to unveil two flagship models in a year.” That’s probably a reference to the ongoing chip shortage, but there are other question marks around the Note line in general. Now that the mainstream Samsung Galaxy S21 line has stylus support, the main benefit of getting a Note seems to be having a place to store the stylus. It is an open question whether Samsung actually plans to continue making Galaxy Note devices.
Finally, Roh’s post makes some vague references to “partnerships with trusted industry leaders like Google and Microsoft,” hinting that this could mean better multitasking support on the Z Fold 3.
Hopefully, it also means Samsung, Google, and Microsoft are working together to normalize how multitasking works on Android. Ever since the rise of foldable phones, the specter of fragmentation has haunted them. Samsung and Microsoft each offer different experiences for organizing and managing different windows on their screens. While Google has regularly added support for folding features to Android, it hasn’t put much effort into making sure phones from different manufacturers work the same way.
Finally, Roh points to Samsung’s partnership with Google on the new Wear OS 3 smartwatch platform. He confirms that Samsung will continue to integrate its watches with its Galaxy software ecosystem, pointing out that both Samsung and SmartThings’ health will remain under scrutiny.
Samsung’s Fall 2020 Unpacked event will only be online on August 11 at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT. You can expect full coverage that day — and probably more leaks before then.