The Korea Herald


Samsung unveils slimmer AI-powered foldable phones

Tech giant holds unveiling event at Louvre to fuel Olympics fever

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : July 10, 2024 - 22:02

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Samsung Electronics President Roh Tae-moon poses with the new Galaxy foldable smartphones at the Louvre Museum in Paris, Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics) Samsung Electronics President Roh Tae-moon poses with the new Galaxy foldable smartphones at the Louvre Museum in Paris, Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics unveiled its new slimmer and lighter foldable phones -- the Galaxy Z Flip6 and Z Fold6 -- in Paris on Wednesday, betting big on the Olympics fever brewing in the French capital.

As the venue for the biggest product launch in the latter half of this year, the Korean tech giant chose the iconic Louvre Museum, inviting some 1,000 journalists and industry people from around the globe.

“Samsung Electronics has been leading the foldable market through continuous innovation since its first foldable phones were launched in 2019. The soon-to-be-released Galaxy Z Fold6 and Galaxy Z Flip6 boast ultimate performance and refinement,” Samsung’s mobile chief Roh Tae-moon said. “The advanced Galaxy AI and optimized foldable form factor will present users with new possibilities.”

Earlier this year, Samsung declared an era of “AI-powered smartphones,” applying diverse AI features, called Galaxy AI, for its flagship Galaxy S series for the first time. For the new foldable phones, the company said it has further upgraded its existing Galaxy AI.

Document translation and summary functions, in particular, have been enhanced, while the new Live Translate feature can be used with nine social media apps, including KakaoTalk and Instagram.

The camera also feature upgraded capturing and editing functions, called ProVisual Engine. The Google Gemini app acts as an AI assistant to help with information searches, writing documents and managing a schedule based on voice commands.

Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chips are designed to offer a more powerful performance, including AI processing and graphics.

Despite the slimmed-down design, Samsung said the structure and design of the dual rail hinge have been enhanced to resist external impacts and reduce wrinkling of the screens. The Armor Aluminum frame and Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus glass also boost durability.

The vertically folding Galaxy Z Flip6, in particular, is equipped with a new 3.4-inch cover screen, called the Flex Window. Its Suggested Replies function analyzes recent messages and suggests responses for users without unfolding the device.

The Flex Window also offers various widgets from health indicators through the Samsung Health app to Media Player. Users can also combine multiple widgets on the cover screen to view diverse information simultaneously. They can also express their personality by customizing the background screen with the new feature, Suggest a Style.

The horizontally-folding Galaxy Z Fold6 has the updated ratio of 22:1:9 on the cover screen while supporting a maximum brightness of 2,600 nits, which is about 49 percent better than the previous edition. The device also allows users to transform simple sketches into realistic images using AI and the S Pen.

The Galaxy Z Flip6 and Z Fold6 will be released in Korea on July 24, with preorders starting this Friday.

The price tag of Z Flip6 ranges between 1.49 million won ($1,075) and 1.64 million won depending on the amount of storage, while the Z Fold6 is priced between 2.23 million won and 2.7 million won.

Color options for the Z Flip6 are blue, silver shadow, yellow and mint, while the Fold6 will be available in silver shadow, pink and navy. More color options will be available for customers who purchase the new phones at the company’s online shopping mall or Samsung Gangnam, its flagship store in southern Seoul.

At Wednesday’s event, Samsung also unveiled new health wearable devices, including the long-awaited Galaxy Ring smart device.

The ring provides various health metrics without any separate subscription fees. Users can check their sleep latency, heart rate and respiratory rate during sleep, as well as monitor daily life cycles from workout detection to heart rates. All health information and insights can be easily accessed through the Samsung Health app. It is priced at 499,400 won.