Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, Z Flip3 NZ release, prices announced

Two new Galaxy watches and upgraded earbuds have also been unveiled.
Two new Galaxy watches and upgraded earbuds have also been unveiled. Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

Samsung's new range of foldable and flip phones have been unveiled at the company's Galaxy Unpacked event, with Kiwis set to be able to get their hands on the devices in early September.

The new devices are being launched with significantly cheaper prices than last year's models - $2699 for the 256GB Fold3 (or $2899 for the 512GB version) and $1599 for the 128GB Flip3 (or $1699 for the 256GB version).

For comparison, the Fold2 cost an eye-watering $3400 when first released in New Zealand in October 2020.

As well as its latest phones, Samsung also announced two new smartwatches - the Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4 Classic - along with updated wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds2.

The Fold3 and Flip3 have upgrades over last year's editions, with durability a key focus. Both devices are IPX8 water resistant for the first time, meaning they can withstand up to 30 minutes in a metre and a half of water.

However, due to the folding mechanism on both phones, they're not recommended for use at the beach or in the swimming pool.

Another big change for the Fold3 is Samsung's first ever under display camera technology. Pixels are applied on top of the camera, which adapt to whatever is being displayed to provide a near unrestricted full image.

And for the first time the S Pen, a feature of Samsung's Note Range since its debut in 2011, will come to the Fold3 - but this comes as an additional purchase and with an optional carry case that isn't included with new devices.

The Fold3's screen is the same size as last year's at 7.6 inches with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. Fully unfolded, the display resolution comes in at 2208x1768, also the same as the previous model - however, the latest device is marginally thinner and lighter.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Flip3
Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

The cameras are also similar to last year's models with a 10 MP selfie camera and three rear cameras, each 12 MP. The under display camera is 4 MP. 

The Galaxy S21 Ultra's quad rear camera offers a 108 MP primary lens, 12 MP ultra-wide lens, a 10MP telephoto lens and a 10MP periscope telephoto lense - so for serious photographers that's likely still be a better choice than the Fold3.

The Flip3's screen is, again, the same size as the previous model, with 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2640px x 1080px - but is also marginally lighter and thinner.

It has a 10MP selfie camera and a dual 12 MP lens camera on the rear.

The Fold3 and Flip3 have 12GB and 8GB of RAM installed, respectively. Both offer stereo speakers and surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology.

Samsung is predicting a huge increase in demand for foldable phones over the next few years, with some competitors investing in the market alongside them. Kiwis looking for non-standard phones have the Oppo X 2021 to consider as New Zealand's first rollable phone, along with the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold.

The Galaxy Buds2 earbuds will retail for $279. They feature Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) for the first time and join a crowded marketplace in New Zealand alongside the likes of Apple, JBL, Huawei, Bose, Sony and more offering in-ear audio options.

The Watch4 comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes with prices starting at $249.99 for Bluetooth versions and $299.99 for LTE models.

Galaxy Watch4 Classic
Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung

The Galaxy Watch4 Classic starts at $599 for Bluetooth versions and $699 for LTE models and is available in 42mm and 46mm sizes. Both will be available to purchase on September 10.

They are the first of Samsung's watch range to be powered by the new Wear OS software, built jointly with Google.

As well as an extra 8GB of storage over previous versions, for a total of 16GB, the watches also have a new body composition measurement tool. 

With two fingers and 15 seconds, the watch's sensor captures 2400 data points and will give readings of key measurements like skeletal muscle, basal metabolic rate, body water and body fat percentage.

While there is a heart rate monitor included, ECG functionality will not be available in New Zealand immediately but could come at a later date, depending on registration as a medical device.

Galaxy Watch4
Photo credit: Supplied / Samsung