Samsung launches first water-resistant folding phone and Google watch

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New flip phones and phone-tablet hybrids, plus updated earbuds and first Google Wear OS 3 smartwatch

IN it’s continued effort to make folding-screen smartphones mainstream, Samsung on Wednesday took the big step and launched a pair of the first water resistant models as part of its big tech event for the second half of 2021.

The new and improved Galaxy Z Flip3 folding-screen flip-phone and Z Fold3 folding phone-tablet hybrid were announced yesterday during a livestreamed event, alongside a Google watch co-developed in an attempt to take on the dominant Apple Watch – the Galaxy Watch4.

The Z Flip3 builds on the success of its predecessor, the Z Flip, (there was no Z Flip2), which puts a large 6.7in smartphone screen in the body of a much smaller folding clamshell design, reminiscent of the late 1990s flip phones or a makeup compact.

The new phone has a 1.9in display on the outside for notifications and widgets, as well as a faster 120Hz folding display within the clamshell. The device is slightly smaller and more durable than its predecessor with tougher glass and aluminium to resist falls, plus it has faster chips and an improved dual camera on the back.

Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Watch4 and Watch4 Classic, which it developed with Google to relaunch the Android maker’s smartwatch efforts following Google’s Fitbit acquisition. Available in two designs and four sizes, the Watch4 improves on the circular-screen design of Samsung’s previous Tizen-based smartwatches with higher-resolution displays, slimmer bodies and faster chips, while keeping the popular rotating-bezel controllers.

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