Politics

Samsung launches latest foldable devices, watches

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SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS Co. officially launched in the Philippines on Aug. 19 its next-generation foldable devices, watches, and earbuds, including the flagship Galaxy Z Fold4 and Galaxy Z Flip4.

Foldables have gained mainstream popularity, Samsung Philippines President Minsu Chu said at the Aug. 19 Samsung Greater Galaxy event.

“Versatility remains to be very important for our consumers, especially nowadays,” Mr. Chu said. “Last year, over 10 million foldable devices were shipped globally… We got [about] 50% growth on our preorders this year versus last year.”

The Galaxy Z Fold4 is the first device to ship with Android 12L, a version of Android created by Google for large-screen experiences, including foldables. It allows users to multitask by enabling apps such as Microsoft Office to provide information on its screen, as well as through drag-and-drop feature for Google apps such as Chrome and Gmail.

Meanwhile, users of the Galaxy Z Flip4 can shoot videos hands-free by partially folding the phone to activate its FlexCam, which is optimized for social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Users can also make calls, reply to texts, and control the SmartThings Scene widget (which acts like a remote control for the home) from the cover screen.

Both phones are equipped with IPX824, which describes its level of protection against the ingress of solid particles, dust, and water.

Samsung has incorporated eco-conscious materials, including repurposed fishing nets, post-consumer materials (PCM) or bio-based resin, into 90% of Galaxy devices launched in the past year. Part of the Galaxy Z series, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro earbuds, is made of over 90% recycled material.

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro has a coaxial two-speaker system and a Voice Detect feature that reduces media volume when a user speaks, so conversations can be heard without having the user take out his/her earbuds.

“In everything we do, we always try our best to marry innovation and sustainability,” Mr. Chu added. “In 2025, we want to eliminate all single-use plastic in mobile product packaging.”

Rounding out the latest devices in the Galaxy lineup are the Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro. The former is designed for daily use and includes a BioActive Sensor that the manufacturer says tracks health metrics, such as heart rate and stress level, with greater accuracy than its predecessor, the Watch4. Meant for the outdoors, the latter has the largest battery in a Galaxy watch (590mAh), and is designed with sapphire glass, a crystal engineered for strength.

“We’re dedicated to giving our Galaxy Watch community the tools, data, and resources needed to not only understand their overall health and wellness better, but to coach them on their journey,” said TM Roh, president and head of mobile eXperience business at Samsung Electronics, in an Aug. 10 press statement.

All products are now up for pre-order and will be available on Sept. 2.

Samsung also announced limited edition VIP bundles for the devices, which are available on samsung.com from Aug. 31 to Sept. 14.

The Executive Bundle, which costs P133,388, will include the Phantom Black versions of the Z Fold4 1TB model, the Watch5 Pro 45mm variant, and Buds2 Pro. Customers will also get a free Super Fast Wireless Duo Charger, a Standing Cover with Pen, two-year Samsung Care+ full coverage, and exclusive access to Samsung’s 24/7 VIP concierge.

Meanwhile, the Flex It Bundle (P84,378) comes with the Bora Purple versions of the Galaxy Z Flip4 512GB model, Watch5 40mm and Buds2 Pro, plus a free Super Fast Wireless Duo Charger and a Flap Leather Cover, as well as two years of Samsung Care+ full coverage and access to 24/7 VIP concierge. — Patricia B. Mirasol