September 24, 2023

Samsung Unpacked 2023: foldable telephones and the whole thing we predict to peer

Samsung’s second Galaxy Unpacked event is coming soon, and the competition has never been hotter for Samsung’s foldable lineup. Samsung traditionally launches its foldable phones in the latter half of the year, and we’re also expecting a slew of other new products. We might see anything from new tablets to new watches and wearables to new smartphone surprises. 

While Apple is content to offer one major iPhone launch every year (usually in September), since the Galaxy Note launched in 2011, Samsung has Unpacked its new devices twice every year. These launches used to be tied to the Mobile World Congress show in February and the IFA electronics show in September, but Samsung devices are now big enough to stand with their own major event. 

You can read all about the last Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event, where Samsung launched its Galaxy S23 family of phones, including our pick for the best phone overall, the Galaxy S23 Ultra. 

That event happened in San Francisco, and most recent Unpacked events have happened in the US, but the next Galaxy Unpacked is expected to take place in Seoul, South Korea, on Samsung’s home turf. No matter where Unpacked takes place, we will be there to check out the new devices and report on all of the Samsung news as it happens. 

When is the next Samsung Galaxy Unpacked?

  • Leaks and rumors suggest late July
  • The Galaxy Unpacked event could be in Seoul, South Korea
  • South Korea loves foldable phones more than anywhere else

Samsung hasn’t officially announced the date for the next Unpacked, but rumors and leaks suggest that it will happen soon, probably before the end of this month. In fact, a leaked press release from Samsung not only pegs late July as the timing, it also places the event in Seoul, a rare hometown launch for Samsung. 

Why Seoul? Because Korea buys more folding phones than any other market, so it makes sense for the local hero and foldable phone leader to launch its big new folding phone there. The leaked press release claims that the adoption rate for foldable phones is 13.6% in South Korea, placing it well ahead of the rest of the world, where foldable phones are a single-digit phenomenon. 

A late July launch for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 would be a departure from the past, when Samsung’s foldable phones were released in late August. Of course, we may see an announcement at the end of this month, with sales starting much later than that by weeks or longer. 

It is possible that competition pushed Samsung’s hand to launch new foldable phones sooner rather than later. The Google Pixel Fold and Motorola Razr Plus both hit the market in June, giving those amazing foldable phones plenty of time to earn some market share before the next Samsung phones come to play. 

How can I watch the next Samsung Galaxy Unpacked?

  • We’ll have a live blog and links on Galaxy Unpacked day
  • Samsung has a live stream on its site
  • The Samsung YouTube channel will stream Unpacked

In the past, Samsung has featured its Galaxy Unpacked events as a live stream on its web site as well as its YouTube channel. You can see the whole Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event from earlier this year, the Galaxy S23 launch, at Samsung’s channel or by clicking through the stream below. 

What will Samsung announce at the next Galaxy Unpacked?

  • Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 will be the stars
  • Galaxy Tab S9, Tab S9 Plus, and Tab S9 Ultra are likely
  • Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy S23 FE are possible

While the earlier Galaxy Unpacked events usually launch the phone that will be the flagship for Samsung and the contender for our best phone list, the latter-half event is the launch pad for foldable phones and myriad other devices. This year’s event could have a diverse lineup of new products, or it could be limited to just the foldable phones, we’ll have to see.

At the very least, we can be sure that Samsung will launch the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 at the Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event later in July. We’ve seen plenty of leaks revealing the designs for the two new phones, and we’ve heard launch plans that almost guarantee these foldable phones will be the star of Unpacked, as always.

1. Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 leaked render half open showing lit cover display in black

(Image credit: WinFuture)

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 won’t look much different from its predecessor, and it will likely get the upgrades we’d expect year-over-year, with not much more. The design will use an improved hinge that should let the two halves close shut, similar to the way the Motorola Razr Plus can close. Otherwise, it should keep the same taller aspect ratio. 

Inside, we’re expecting a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, similar to what the Galaxy S23 uses. We haven’t heard if the Galaxy Z Fold 5 will get any special tuning on the Snapdragon platform. 

There should be a camera upgrade on the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but we’re not expecting this phone to take on our favorite camera phone of the moment, the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We’ve heard that there will be new sensors on board to improve image quality, but not serious zoom or any world-beating improvements. 

2. Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 leaked render half open showing lit cover display in purple

(Image credit: WinFuture)

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 should also get the mobile platform upgrades and design improvements that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 sees, including a hinge design that can close completely shut. We’re expecting a bit more from Samsung’s flip foldable, though. 

The cover display on the Galaxy Z Flip 5 will see a major improvement, becoming a much larger screen that is actually usable for apps and features, not just notifications. Of course, it is unlikely that Samsung is going to top Motorola’s big 3.6-inch Razr Plus cover display, but the Z Flip 5 should be a significant improvement over its predecessor, the Z Flip 4. 

3. Galaxy Tab S9, Tab S9 Plus, Tab S9 Ultra

A leaked render of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Plus

(Image credit: WolfofTablet / @OnLeaks)

It’s also very likely that we’ll see a Galaxy Tab S9 family of tablets, including a possible papa bear Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra and mama bear Tab S9 Plus. The last Galaxy Tab S8 family was launched almost a year and a half ago in February, 2022. That older tablet is in need of an update.

The biggest news is that the base model Galaxy Tab S9 may use an OLED screen this year. In the past, the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus and Ultra models used OLED displays, while the Tab S8 base model used an LCD screen. This year could see all of the tablets using the high-contrast tech. 

Of course, Galaxy Tab S devices have been criticized for being overpriced, and upgrading to an OLED display could hurt the lineup even more if prices rise. Just like with foldable phones, Samsung is seeing stiffer competition this year in tablets, as Google launched its own Pixel Tablet and OnePlus entered the market with an enviable OnePlus Pad at a compelling price. 

4. Galaxy Watch 6

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 leak

(Image credit: WinFuture)

The Galaxy Watch 6 could take a bow at Galaxy Unpacked 2023, though we haven’t seen as many leaks around this device as we have the other new products mentioned, and that could mean it isn’t quite ready to meet the public. 

The Galaxy Watch 5 was released at the latter-half Unpacked 2022 event last year, but we don’t see a new wearable at every Unpacked. It is possible the Galaxy Watch 6 could get its own release, and we still expect a new watch later this year.

5. Galaxy S23 FE

Leaked Samsung Galaxy S23 FE renders

(Image credit: @OnLeaks / @SmartPrix)

An outlier device is the Galaxy S23 FE or ‘fan edition’ phone. In the past, Samsung has launched ‘FE’ devices as mid-year bargain phones that give you many of the Galaxy S features and design at a lower price. There was no Galaxy S22 FE phone, but Samsung launched a Galaxy S21 FE at CES in January, 2022.

The Galaxy S22 FE was rumored to have been canceled due to the unusual market conditions of the past year, but the Galaxy S23 FE still looks like a go for launch. Of course, as a bargain phone, it’s possible Samsung may not want to take any attention away from its foldable lineup by launching an affordable device against its most expensive handsets. We could see this phone launched at a different time in a press release announcement, either right before or after Galaxy Unpacked. 

  • While we’re waiting to learn more about Unpacked, get ready by reading up on all of the best Samsung phones.

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