We live amongst the most exciting times when high tech is virtually in our hands. The smartphone era has never been more smarter than it is now. Almost everything we want to do, say, think, connect to or stay connected with, is all within our fingertips, thanks to the smartphone. It has all but forced people to have one or be “disconnected from society and perhaps the world”. If it has not done so already, it is heading that way.
“Exciting times” for those techy people are during new tech product launches such as the event by Samsung on August 10th when they unveil their “new” Galaxy Z-Fold 4 and Z-Flip 4 smartphones; Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro; and Buds.
The Galaxy Z-Fold series commands not just premium prices, but top-of-the-scale premium prices. I met a friend during his work tea break yesterday who has a Z-Fold 3. He does not have a clue on how to wring the very best out of his smartphone. He bought it just to show off to people that he is in a different league from most other people who use “ordinary” smartphones.
2021 was right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, worldwide. Yet Samsung shipped over 10 million of their Z-Fold and Z-Flip models. (1) Premium priced models.
In the earlier part of this year, with the run-up to the launch of these new models; there was big (loud?) talk that prices of these new models were expected to come down further than when they launched the “3 series”. This talk has evaporated as latest leaks of news show that there will be a price increase, instead.
That seems to make perfect sense. News of chip shortages worldwide and supply chain disruption due to the Russia-Ukraine war and transport worker strikes are the main reason. This is masking the fact that since people are clamouring for these folderable smartphones and demand for them are at record highs, why reduce price? It only makes perfect sense to increase it, instead. A great reason to further increase profits.
I think the Z-Fold 3 is a great phone. Having used it for over 4 months, I would recommend a “buy” for the upcoming Z-Fold 4. What I would like to see is a ribbed edge next to the sim card slot for easier opening of the Fold. I find the Fold 3 as it is, a tad slippery on the spot next to the sim card slot, more so if your thumb has some moisture or naturally secreted oil on your thumb when it comes to a good grip to open the phone. Some of the apps like Facebook, Instagram and others are still disappointing. They need to configure these apps to run fullscreen on the open widescreen.
The Z-Fold 4 will come with an incremental improvement over the Z-Fold 3, not compelling enough for most existing Foldie owners to trade what they have now for the new model. Samsung’s two main prospecting grounds are owners from the Galaxy S line up and other brands of folderable phones. They will also have to work on their “suspect” market – educate smartphone owners to move to the realm of the folderables.
Should you cross over into this whole new (not so new since the first folderables were out in 2019) world of fold smartphones? Again, these are not cheap phones so you would have to think about it:
1. Will it meet your needs or will most functions on the phone be left dormant?
2. You have to consider that these folderable phones are susceptible to damage than the normal candybar type smartphones.
On the other hand, if you want to get it because that is the direction you want to take, you most probably will not be disappointed.
The Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro from the looks of it, are going to be incremental increments in specs, too. The rotating bezels on the Classic and earlier models have been dropped (figuratively speaking). The 45mm Watch 4 will be dubbed the Watch 5 Pro.
The Watch 5 should come with a write up on how exactly to read the Body composition results: What is the good? What is the bad? In reading the results and graphs. In fact, an explanation can be included with a software upgrade on the Watch 4 so that owners of the Watch 4 series, too; can understand the results that are displayed.
Existing Watch 4 Android OS and earlier Tizen OS model owners don’t really need to trade-in their existing watches they have as any changes, even physical changes; will be hardly noticeable.
Therefore, Samsung will have to actively canvass for new customers and entice them to become Samsung customers. This really is not a problem for them as they have a reputation for producing top-notch products.
To buy or not to buy, that is the question (?)
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1. Saiful Ridzaimi, “Samsung continues to dominate the foldable market, Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G crowned 2021’s best-selling foldable”, Mar 22nd, 2022; http://www.technave.com/gadget/.