With the Galaxy S23 family it is expected to arrive next month, there are many Samsung fans get excited. But the company regularly releases new foldable phones and wearables in August, and sometimes surprises us with other new gadgets before then.

While Samsung regularly launches new products in many categories, including TVs, home appliances and monitors, I’m more interested in where its mobile devices are headed. Samsung is one of the world’s largest smartphone makers by market share, which means it has more influence than most other tech companies on the devices we carry in our pockets every day. Wearables have also become a big part of how Samsung aims to differentiate its phones from other Android device makers, as it seeks to create a network of products that will keep users hooked, much like Apple.

Here are the Samsung product rumors I’m most excited to see this year based on rumors, leaks, and the company’s usual product release schedule.

Galaxy S23 line

Comparison of Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S22 line

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung makes a lot of phones, but the Galaxy S23 lineup usually showcases the best of what it has to offer. The Galaxy S23 family is expected to make its debut in the company Unpacked event on February 1st and will probably be released soon after. The standard S23 and S23 Plus are expected to receive a general refresh that will likely include a new processor, a slightly updated design and perhaps some camera improvements.

But the top-of-the-line Ultra is where Samsung devotes most of its camera prowess. The new model is expected to have a 200-megapixel camera, likely powered by the new image sensor that Samsung announced on January 16. This chip promises to offer higher resolution along with better performance in difficult circumstances, like my colleague. Stephen Shankland wrote. Achieving both is usually difficult because the higher the resolution, the smaller the pixels. And smaller pixels typically can’t collect as much light, which can have a direct impact on image quality.

We’ll know more when Samsung unveils the Galaxy S23 lineup. But I’m looking forward to seeing if this expected jump in camera resolution really makes a big difference in everyday use.

Galaxy Z Fold 5

A Galaxy Z Fold 4 on a yellow couch

The Galaxy Z Fold 4

Patrick Holland/CNET

Samsung’s upcoming phone-tablet hybrid could be the first to have an embedded S Pen, according to a report from The Elec. Not only does this mean that the stylus will be included for free, but the phone would also include a slot to store it as in the S22 Ultra. If you want to use an S Pen with the Galaxy Z Fold 4you’ll have to buy it separately, and there’s no mechanism to attach or store it on your phone without buying a case.

It’s a seemingly small addition, but one that could make the Galaxy Z Fold 5 much more useful as a productivity device. It would also give the Galaxy Z Fold 5 a clearer purpose and could increase its appeal among early adopters, artists and note takers. Samsung could be targeting the same audience of buyers who are typically interested in the Galaxy Ultra or its previous Galaxy Note devices.

Samsung usually releases new foldable phones in August, so we expect to hear more about them during this time frame. In addition to rumors of an included S Pen, the Z Fold 5 will likely get the usual processor and camera upgrades. What I’m really hoping for, though, is new software that makes better use of the phone’s giant screen and a foldable screen with a less noticeable crease.

Galaxy Z Flip 5

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 closed in someone's hand

The display on the cover is identical to that of the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Samsung’s pocket-sized foldable is also likely to receive an update around August, as will the much-anticipated Z Fold 5. Galaxy Z Flip 4 it already gets a lot right and is one of the most practical and affordable flip phones available. However, there are many ways Samsung can and should improve the Z Flip. Samsung’s flip phone could benefit from a larger cover display, longer battery life, and an updated camera that brings it closer to those found in the Galaxy S series, for example.

But the main reason I’m interested in seeing what’s next for the Z Flip is because of its price. The phone starts at $1,000 and is often available for less with an eligible trade-in, making the price similar to a standard non-folding premium phone. Samsung also kept the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in its lineup and lowered its price for $100 after the launch of the Z Flip 4. This further suggests that the Z Flip is shaping up to be Samsung’s most affordable flip phone option.

A Galaxy Z Flip 5 with a newer processor, a better camera and a bigger cover screen for the same price as the Z Flip 4 (or maybe a bit cheaper) could be one of the most attractive foldables yet.

Galaxy VR headset

Samsung Gear VR 2017

A photo of Samsung’s Gear VR headset, which required a smartphone to operate, from 2017.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s already shaping up to be a big year for augmented and virtual reality headsets. Apple is expected to introduce a VR headset, with the PlayStation VR 2 and HTC Vive XR arriving next month. Samsung has been surprisingly absent of the VR space in recent years, and these developments make me wonder if that will change soon.

A report from ETNews suggests that may indeed be the case. The Korean news site reported in December that Samsung would release an augmented reality headset for developers in 2023, according to an English translation of the story. Extended is abbreviated as “XR” in the story, indicating that this headset can combine aspects of virtual and augmented reality.

A new kind of foldable Galaxy

Samsung showed off its display concepts at CES 2023.

David Katzmaier/CNET

Samsung hasn’t mentioned plans for future foldables beyond the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series, but it certainly has plenty of ideas to choose from. At CES 2023, Samsung showed off its line of “Flex” display concepts, including the aptly named Flex Hybrid. This device has a foldable tablet-sized display that extends and slides out when opened to provide even more screen space.

The Flex Hybrid caught my eye, though, because I can understand the potential behind foldable tablets. Tablets are inherently larger than phones, so the ability to make them more portable by folding them in half seems more necessary. Tablets are also typically used as secondary devices for tasks such as watching movies, reading, or getting work done. Having a screen that can be modified to suit different circumstances seems interesting.

It’s unclear if any of these will graduate into actual products. But it’s important to remember that the Galaxy Z Fold also started as a concept.

Galaxy Watch 6

The Galaxy Watch 5 on someone's wrist with a yellow background

The Galaxy Watch 5

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Samsung hasn’t mentioned anything about its future smartwatch plans, and there haven’t been any leaks or rumors about the Galaxy Watch 6 yet. But if the company sticks to its usual schedule, we should see new Galaxy Watches in August. They will likely have the same health sensors found on the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro, including ones to measure body composition, blood oxygen, and take an EKG, among others. There is also a skin temperature sensor that is not yet active on the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.

Samsung’s Exynos W920 chip that powers the Galaxy Watch 5 allowed better performance for 3D graphics like emoji avatars and faster app launches. It’s unclear if Samsung will develop a new chip for the Galaxy Watch 6, but I expect to see longer battery life regardless. From apple and Qualcomm have made efforts to expand the functionality of smartwatches in low-power mode, it wouldn’t be surprising if Samsung took that route as well.

Samsung is already experimenting with different opportunities for its wearables and phones to work together in new ways. For example, it recently announced a software update for the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro that will allow the buds to capture 360-degree audio when recording video with a Galaxy phone. It also expanded the Camera Controller app for the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5 to include zoom support. Hopefully we’ll see more of that with the Galaxy Watch 6.

We’ll know more about Samsung’s future plans for its mobile device after its upcoming Unpacked event on February 1. But if Samsung’s 2023 release cycle is anything like last year’s, we can expect to see some of these products and possibly more.

#Rumored #Samsung #Tech #Wait

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