Samsung’s new foldable phones unveiled for first time in Seoul

Samsung Electronics unveiled its new Galaxy foldable smartphone series in Seoul in front of nearly 2,000 people. It was the first Galaxy Unpacked event to be held on Samsung‘s home turf.

Jie Ye-eun

Jie Ye-eun

The Korea Herald


Attendees take photos with their smartphones during the Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event at Coex in southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics)

July 27, 2023

SEOUL – Samsung Electronics on Wednesday unveiled its new Galaxy foldable smartphone series in Seoul in front of nearly 2,000 people, including journalists, industry experts, celebrities and influencers from around the globe.

The South Korean tech giant held the summer edition of the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event, at Coex in southern Seoul to introduce its latest foldable smartphone lineup — the Galaxy Z Flip5 and the Galaxy Z Fold5. Samsung also unveiled the new Galaxy Watch 6 series and Galaxy Tab S9 tablets.

The unveiling marked a special milestone for Samsung, as it was the first Galaxy Unpacked event to be held on Samsung‘s home turf.

BTS Suga (left) and Ive’s Jang Won-young were some of the K-pop artists who attended the the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event at Coex in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

It was also a memorable occasion for hundreds of K-pop fans showing up near the venue, who were able to catch a glimpse of their favorite idols as they entered the event venue.

Fans turned up several hours ahead of schedule to see BTS’ Suga and boy band Stray Kids, their appearance which was reported exclusively by The Korea Herald. Other stars to grace the event included Ive’s Jang Won-young, Twice’s Jeongyeon and American actor Sydney Sweeney.

A Chinese fan surnamed Yang arrived at Coex at noon to see Suga. She said she wanted to see her favorite K-pop artist ahead of his encore concert, which will be held next month.

“I came early because I wanted to see Suga closer than anyone else. … I already have a Galaxy phone as well,” said Yang who studies here.

Kelsey from Alabama, who is attending summer classes at Yonsei University, said she came to the venue to see Stray Kids. She was also interested in getting the Galaxy Z Flip5.

“My brother had a Flip phone and when I heard about the new phone’s launch, I wanted to get one because it is nostalgic to me,” she said.

Macarena from Chile, albeit an iPhone user, said she was considering getting a Galaxy phone because Suga has advertised for the Samsung phones.

Some 500 K-pop fans gather at Coex to see their favorite artists ahead of Wednesday’s Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event. (Jie Ye-eun/The Korea Herald)

At 8 p.m., a video with Suga‘s solo track “Daechwita” marked the start of the event, “Join the Flip Side,” causing much excitement among attendees. Samsung Electronics President Roh Tae-moon appeared on the stage and announced, “We are proud to host Unpacked from this vibrant city known for world-leading technology and culture.”

Roh emphasized how Samsung Galaxy has transformed some of the tech giant‘s wildest ideas into must-have experiences for customers, noting the firm’s obsession over details in its never-ending pursuit of perfection and its commitment to craftsmanship and technological innovation.

Roh also showed confidence in the tech giant solidifying the No. 1 position in the foldable market, which he forecast would exceed 100 million shipments globally in a few years. Samsung, which first launched the foldable series in 2019, accounted for 45 percent of the foldable market in the January to March period, according to industry tracker Display Supply Chain Consultants.

“Already, more than half of all smartphone users say they are considering a foldable (phone) for their next upgrade, and Samsung Galaxy leads this fast-growing category as the preferred brand, for foldables. … We are so excited to introduce you to the newest additions to the Galaxy ecosystem: Galaxy Z Fold5, Galaxy Z Flip5 and more.”

Samsung Electronics President Roh Tae-moon speaks during the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event at Coex in southern Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Samsung touted the compact design, a variety of customizable features and drastic improvements to the overall functions of its latest foldable smartphone series. In particular, the display‘s new water drop-style hinge design, called the “Flex Hinge,” makes the new phones thinner than their predecessors.

The Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 will be released in Korea on Aug. 11, with the preorder period to be held between Aug. 1 and 7.

Prices for the Galaxy Z Flip5 range between 1.4 million won ($1,100) and 1.52 million won, while the Galaxy Z Fold5 is available for between 2.1 million won to 2.47 million won, depending on storage.

The latest smartwatch series — the standard Galaxy Watch6 and Watch6 Classic — provide comprehensive health care monitoring functions, including the irregular heart rhythm notification feature. The series drew attention after Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min was seen wearing the smartwatch at Incheon Airport earlier this month.

The new Galaxy tablet lineup, consisting of the standard Galaxy Tab S9, S9+ and S9 Ultra, features upgraded displays and speakers that provide a more immersive experience for users. They are the first Galaxy Tab S series with an IP68 water and dust resistance rating.

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