Samsung Unpacked Hands-On: Galaxy Z Flip6, Z Fold6, Buds3, Watch Ultra And Ring


Galaxy Unpacked 2024: Samsung's Impressive Wearable Ecosystem Is Fleshed Out, Fold6 And Flip6 Phones Refreshed

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Today in Paris, at Galaxy Unpacked 2024, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Ring ($399) smart ring, Galaxy Watch 7 ($299) and Watch Ultra ($649) smartwatches, Galaxy Z Flip6 ($1,099) flip-style and Z Fold6 ($1,899) book-style folding phones, and the Galaxy Buds3 ($179) and Buds3 Pro ($249) true-wireless earbuds. That’s quite a few devices. But fear not, we got to sample them all yesterday in New York City, and here are our hands-on first impressions.

And of course, don't miss our hands-on guided video tour of all of Samsung's new devices...

Samsung Galaxy Ring Brings Smart Bling

Remember the smart ring that Samsung teased at Unpacked back in January? Well it’s here now, and it’s called the Galaxy Ring ($399). This health and wellness wearable tracks basic vitals and sleep for up to six to seven days on a charge (depending on size), and will come in nine sizes (5 to 13) and three colors (gold, silver, and dark gray). It features a concave cross-section, making it easier to remove.

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Galaxy Ring Titanium Gold

The Galaxy Ring weighs 2.3 to 3.0g (depending on size) and is made of grade 5 titanium. It’s also water resistant up to 10 ATM, with an IP68 rating. Obviously, due to its small size, the ring doesn’t offer notifications or haptics, but it packs Bluetooth 5.4 and a 18mAh battery (sizes 5-11) or 23.5mAh battery (sizes 12 and 13). A small case with a built-in 361mAh battery and USB Type-C plus wireless charging lets you recharge the ring (40% in 30mins).

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Galaxy Ring Titanium Black In Charging Case

Paired with the Samsung App, and benefiting from the company’s latest AI algorithms, the Galaxy Ring lets you track sleep, activity, heart rate, heart rate variability, and menstrual cycle. It provides you with a Sleep Score, Energy Score, and Wellness Tips. The ring also alerts you about high or low heart rate and about inactivity, and features Auto Workout Detection. You can also check your heart rate in real-time in the app.

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Galaxy Ring Display

Finally the Galaxy Ring allows you to take pictures or dismiss alarms with a double pinch gesture, and supports Find My Ring via the Samsung Find app. The ring feels comfortable to wear and looks extremely durable. It’s quite impressive how much technology Samsung managed to cram into such a small form factor. Unfortunately, we only spent a few minutes wearing it, so stay tuned for our verdict in our review.

Strapping On Samsung's Galaxy Watch Ultra And Watch 7 

Besides the Galaxy Ring, Samsung announced two new smartwatches – the 47mm Galaxy Watch Ultra ($649) and the Galaxy Watch7 ($299), which comes in 44 and 40mm sizes. Both wearables feature Samsung’s new 5-core Exynos W1000 (3nm) chip, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, plus LTE, WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and dual-band GPS. These watches also boast a sapphire crystal, wireless charging, and IP68 plus MIL-STD-810H ratings.

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Galaxy Watch7 (40mm), Watch7 (44mm), Watch Ultra (47mm)

The 40mm Watch7 is available in Green and Cream, and comes with a 1.3-inch (432x432) Super AMOLED display and 300mAh battery, while the 44mm Watch7 is available in Green and Sliver, and offers a larger 425mAh battery. Both Watch7 models are water resistant to 5ATM but the Watch Ultra can handle up to 10ATM in salt water. Speaking of the Watch Ultra, it packs the same 1.5-inch (480x480) Super AMOLED screen as the 44mm Watch7.

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Galaxy Watch Ultra

The rugged Watch Ultra – which is squircle shaped – is made of grade 4 titanium, comes in Silver, Gray, and White, and packs a 590mAh battery. It also features a programmable Quick Button and an emergency siren. With a brightness of 3000 nits peak, the Watch Ultra is easy to use in direct sunlight. Custom watch faces improve readability in the dark by automatically switching to a dedicated night mode.

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Galaxy Watch7 (44mm)

Beyond providing the usual smartwatch functionality – like sleep and activity tracking, workouts, heart-rate monitoring, and ECG – Samsung developed advanced AI algorithms to measure body composition, monitor sleep apnea (FDA authorized), detect atrial fibrillation, and track advanced glycation end products (AGEs index). You can also control your Watch Ultra and Watch7 with a double pinch gesture even when your hands are full.

Watch Ultra provides a few additional features, including multi-course workouts (eg. triathlons) and Functional Threshold Power (FTP) measurements for cycling. It also functions accurately from 500ft below sea level to an altitude of 9000ft. Both the Watch Ultra and Watch7 are powered by Wear OS 5. Samsung says that the new Exynos W1000 processor is 3 times faster and up to 30% more efficient than before. Stay tuned for our Watch7 review.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip6 Gets A Silicon Upgrade And Minor Updates

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The Galaxy Z Flip6 ($1,099) is a dead-ringer for last year’s Galaxy Z Flip5. Samsung’s latest flip-style folding phone only delivers minor updates over its predecessor. Compare spec sheets, and you’ll notice an upgraded processor – Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 For Galaxy, naturally – 12GB of RAM (vs. 8GB before), a better 50MP main shooter (vs. 12MP), and a larger 4000mAh battery (vs. 3700mAh).

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Galaxy Z Flip6 Cover Screen

While these improvements are certainly welcome, we can’t help but feel let down, especially when you consider that Moto was able to deliver similar tweaks and shoehorn a 4-inch cover screen into its new Razr+ (2024) – a far cry from Samsung’s 3.4-inch display – without increasing the price. Meanwhile, the Z Flip6 now costs $100 more than its predecessor. But hey, the camera bezels now match the color of the frame.

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Galaxy Z Flip6 Partially Folded

The camera system now consists of that new 50MP f/1.8 1.0-micron main shooter with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS, alongside last year’s 12MP f/2.2 1.12-micron 123-degree ultrawide and and the same 10MP f/2.2 1.22-micron selfie camera as before. Under the hood, the Z Flip6’s SoC has been upgraded to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy, with 12GB of RAM and either 256 or 512GB of storage, but no microSD support.

As you’d expect, the Z Flip6 inherits the Z Flip5’s 3.4-inch (720 x 748 pixels, 306ppi) 60Hz Super AMOLED cover screen, and 6-7-inch FHD+ (2640 x 1080 pixels, 426ppi) LTPO AMOLED main panel, along with the same 22:9 aspect ratio, 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, and 1750nits peak brightness. The bigger 4000mAh battery is good news, but the 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging carry over. Sadly, there’s still no charger in the box.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6 Also Powered By Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 For Galaxy

If you were expecting a major update for Samsung’s book-style folding phone, prepare to be disappointed. The specs for the Galaxy Z Fold6 ($1,899) are almost identical to last year’s Galaxy Z Fold5, bar an upgraded SoC – now Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 For Galaxy – and a brighter main screen (2600nits peak). Sure there are a few welcome cosmetic tweaks, but overall, Samsung’s just cruising here.

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Galaxy Z Fold6 Cover Screen

And frankly, in a world where the excellent OnePlus Open exists, that’s just not going to cut it. To make matters worse, the Z Fold6 costs $100 more than last year’s Z Fold5. On the plus side, we dig the Z Fold6’s new Galaxy S24 Ultra-like square-ish design, and we appreciate the slightly narrower and shorter aspect ratio, marginally thinner dimensions, and lighter weight (239g, on par with Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max).

But the remaining specs are a snooze fest. The shooters are pretty much unchanged – 50MP f/1.8 1.0-micron main camera with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS, 12MP f/2.2 1.12-micron 123-degree ultrawide, 10MP f/2.4 1.0-micron 3x telephoto with PDAF and OIS, 10MP f/2.2 1.22-micron front shooter, and 4MP f/1.8 2-micron under-display selfie camera. For the record, these shooters started life on the Galaxy Z Fold4.

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Galaxy Z Fold6 Partially Folded

On the display front, you get a 6.3-inch (2376 x 968 pixels. 410ppi) LTPO AMOLED cover display with a 22.1:9 aspect ratio and 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, plus a 7.6-inch (2160 x 1856 pixels, 374ppi) LTPO AMOLED main panel with a 20.9:18 aspect ratio, 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, and 2600nits peak brightness (up from 1750nits previously). We have no major complaints here.

The Z Fold6 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy, and comes with the same 12GB of RAM and 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options as the Z Fold5 (no microSD). As for the battery, it’s the same 4400mAh dual-cell setup as last year, with 25W USB-PD wired charging and 15W Qi-compatible wireless charging (with 4.5W reverse wireless charging). Once again, there’s no charger supplied in the box.

Samsung Galaxy Buds3 Pro and Buds3 Pump The Jams

Finally, Samsung also introduced two new pairs of true-wireless earbuds – the Galaxy Buds3 ($179) and Galaxy Buds3 Pro ($249) – which both have stems (or blades, as the company calls them) with touch and squeeze controls. Both come in Silver and White, feature 3 microphones, ANC, and Bluetooth 5.4, support Samsung Seamless (SSC HiFi and SSC UHQ), AAC, and SBC codecs, and are IP57 dust and water resistant.

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Galaxy Busd3 Pro With Blade Lights Turned On

The Buds3 are a half in-ear design similar to Apple’s original AirPods, and pack a single 11mm dynamic driver, while the Buds3 Pro are fully in-ear, with silicone tips, and boast a 10.5mm dynamic driver plus a 6.1mm planar driver. Battery life is rated at 5h (and up to 24h with the case) for the Buds3 and 6h (up to 26h with the case) for the Buds3 Pro. Both cases include a 515mAh battery with USB Type-C plus wireless charging.

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Galaxy Buds3

You also get adaptive ANC (with ML-based ambient sound and voice detection) plus adaptive EQ on the Buds3 Pro, along with cool LED light bars embedded in the stems (sorry, blades). We’re sure these are competent earbuds, but keep in mind that you can buy a stylish pair of Nothing Ear ($149) earbuds and get superb audio quality plus similar functionality to the Buds3 Pro for less money than the Buds3. That said, we'll have to see how these new Buds3 devices test out acoustically because we didn't the opportunity to test their audio fidelity. They could be worth the premium, if their performance is off the charts.

Samsung Galaxy Devices Pricing And Availability

The Galaxy Ring ($399) smart ring, Galaxy Watch 7 ($299) and Watch Ultra ($649) smartwatches, Galaxy Z Flip6 ($1,099) flip-style and Z Fold6 ($1,899) book-style folding phones, and the Galaxy Buds3 ($179) and Buds3 Pro ($249) true-wireless earbuds will all be available for pre-order starting today (July 10), with general availability starting July 24 at Amazon, Best Buy, Samsung.com, and carriers nationwide.

We look forward to putting these devices to the test in our full deep-dive reviews in the weeks ahead. So stay tuned to HotHardware for more in-depth coverage of these new Galaxy devices.

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