Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 during an event in South Korea next month, which means the 2023 Samsung foldables will hit the stores earlier than they have in past years. Samsung has started feeling pressure from competitors as various companies brought Fold and Flip designs to international markets. Then there’s the Pixel Fold, which is even more important than all the foldables coming out of China. This will be the only foldable Android device to deliver a Google-optimized version of Android.
Leaks have shown that Samsung is ready to respond to the increased competition. Both the Fold 5 and Flip 5 will feature design changes that should alleviate some concerns. But you’ll have to wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 to get the design change you’ve been asking for: A better aspect ratio for the external display.
Recent leaks showed that Samsung has “fixed” one annoying Fold and Flip design compromise that has never been a problem for any of Samsung’s rivals. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 will fold perfectly flat thanks to a new waterdrop hinge design. That means the annoying gap between the two phone halves of the screen will disappear.
Also, Samsung will increase the size of the Flip 5’s external display considerably to match similar models from Oppo and Motorola.
Since other vendors delivered these features before Samsung, it seems clear that Samsung didn’t care about changing the Fold and Flip designs too much in the previous years. Samsung was the dominant player in the foldable business in most markets. But there were no real alternatives until this year.
While Chinse vendors have eliminated the gap and enlarged the external display on Flip phones, those designs were not available in international markets. Samsung had nothing to worry about.
Google Pixel Fold folded (left) and unfolded (right). Image source: Google Chinese vendors and Google have also fixed an incredibly annoying Galaxy Z Fold design choice. Samsung’s external display is too tall, and the resulting aspect ratio isn’t great for using the phone while folded.
Most people will likely use foldable handsets when they’re closed more than when they’re open. You don’t need to unfold the handset for basic smartphone features. It’s only when you need enhanced multitasking or a tablet experience that you unfold the device.
Handsets like the Oppo Find N and Pixel Fold do not have the same problem. When folded, they look like regular phones, which is what Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold handsets should look like. Unfortunately, while the Fold 5 has no screen gap when folded, that tall aspect ratio is still a problem. If that’s not what you want from your Fold experience, you can buy something from the competition. Or wait for the Galaxy Z Fold 6.
Samsung leaker Ice Universe advised buyers a few days ago to skip the Fold 5 and wait for the Fold 6. Reacting to that remark, a different leaker said that the Fold 6 would bring a major design change in the aspect ratio of the external display. The Galaxy Z Fold 6 will be shorter or wider than the Fold 5, if Tech_Reve’s claim is accurate.
The leaker also said the Fold 6 would use the same image sensor as the Fold 5. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however.
It’s unclear where Tech_Reve obtained this information. But the leaker said a few days ago that the Fold 5 might be slightly cheaper than the Fold 4. If you can deal with the weird aspect ratio, that might be a good reason to get it.
The Fold 5 should still be a great Android flagship, featuring high-end specs just like the Galaxy S23 series. Still, the handset will be more expensive than most traditional smartphones, even after a price cut.
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[Interview] Advancing Equity in Entertainment: Creating an Inclusive TV Experience With Relumino ModeBy Samsung Newsroom
Samsung Electronics firmly believes in the power of technology to create a more inclusive world. When it comes to design, accessibility should be top of mind ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can fully enjoy the benefits of modern innovations. Traditional television can present challenges when accessing and comprehending visual content. However, through the use of visual aid features, Samsung is helping bridge the gap and providing an immersive and enjoyable viewing experience for all.
Relumino Mode, a viewing mode on select Samsung TVs, was designed to augment the visual capabilities of those with low vision, making it possible for anyone to engage with their favorite shows, movies and documentaries like never before. By highlighting specific parts of videos — such as contrast, color and sharpness — this feature makes it easier than ever to discern content on the TV screen.
To shed more light on this groundbreaking inclusive technology, Samsung Newsroom sat down with Dr. Kyungah Park and Jason (Jaeseong) Park from Visual Display Business, Samsung Electronics, to discuss everything from development to clinical trials.
▲ Jason Park (Samsung Electronics) and Kyungah Park, M.D. (Samsung Medical Center) discuss their journeys in creating and clinically testing Relumino Mode
Screens for All — Including People With Impaired Vision
Relumino, borrowed from Latin, means “to give back the light.” The idea is to restore vision as much as possible to people with impaired vision. Earlier this year at CES, Samsung introduced Relumino Mode on select Samsung TVs. This follows the wearable device “Relumino Glass” and the smartphone image processing software “Relumino App,” each revealed at CES in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Before that, Relumino was conceived in “C-Lab(Creative Lab),” Samsung Electronics’ in-house venture program. It has evolved and expanded ever since.
▲ Relumino Glass(left) and Relumino Mode for Samsung TVs(right)
“For several years, ‘Screens for All’ has been one of the key mottos for us. We’re working to further enhance TV accessibility and promote inclusion,” said Jason Park, who plans products and services for the Visual Display Business. “People with low vision are still a key demographic that need better TV viewing experiences.”
Innovation Rooted in the User’s Perspective
To develop Relumino Mode, planners and engineers met with a number of advisors who had visual impairments to understand their wants and needs.
▲ Jason Park, Visual Display Business, Samsung Electronics
“There’s an early experience that really changed my perspective,” shared Jason. “When we first met an advisor for Relumino Mode, I asked him to ‘Please come here and have a seat’ to which he replied, ‘Where is here?’ That was a hard and clear wake-up call for me. I was so embarrassed.” It was then that Jason realized that they were exploring a totally new territory and would have to first understand the way their users see the world.
▲ As part of the efforts to understand customers with visual impairments, Samsung engineers used special goggles to simulate blurry vision
Despite the decades of collective experience in enhancing TV picture quality, this particular project presented a unique challenge that none of the engineers had encountered before. Typically, their expertise lay in identifying even the slightest imperfections on the screen, but now they had to understand what it’s like as a user to have impaired vision. In addition to consulting advisors, the engineers utilized special goggles that simulated blurry vision, serving as a starting point for their exploration. Through a process of generating ideas, conducting trials and learning from mistakes, they eventually developed a solution that could be considered a genuinely effective viewing mode.
Clinical Trials and Direct Feedback
After initial research and development came trials on a larger scale. This is where Samsung Electronics decided to collaborate with Samsung Medical Center, one of South Korea’s most comprehensive medical facilities.
▲Dr. Kyungah Park, Department of Ophthalmology, Samsung Medical Center
“Clinical trials targeting people without disabilities are popular and recruiting subjects for these projects is relatively easy. Some even ask to join before we ask,” said Dr. Park. “But, that was not the case for the Relumino study. The pool was much more limited as we were more strict with our requirements — we targeted people who have lower vision than WHO’s vision impairment criteria.”
However, the people that Samsung contacted showed much passion for the project. “Many who joined the trials were very excited and didn’t mind traveling long distances for the study. Thanks to their support and encouragement, we were able to carry out the research,” Dr. Park added.
Four 55-inch Samsung QLED TVs were featured in the tests. One displayed the control image with no picture enhancements at all. The other three TVs showed the same content with Relumino Mode on high, medium and low. The TVs were installed on a meter away from each other onw a wall in a room with a specified amount of light.
The test was two-fold, with objective and subjective evaluations. A certified contrast sensitivity test was employed for the objective evaluation. For the subjective evaluations, participants were asked to examine a set of eight still images and two videos on each of the screens. Their satisfaction levels were measured on a scale of 0 to 10. Based on the results, researchers carried out additional interviews adjusting picture enhancement levels on the spot.
▲ A blurry vision goggle simulation of what Relumino Mode may look like to people with visual impairment
Relumino mode was well received by the group. One of the participants highly praised the technology, saying “I was thrilled to see the ball in a soccer match on screen. It can get frustrating if you can’t see the ball because of low vision, as you can imagine. Relumino Mode helped me see the ball clearly.”
“The subjects’ responses indicated the Mode’s subjective results while the contrast sensitivity testing showed its objective results. Both of these factors, combined, allowed us to find the optimal setting for a brilliant image on TV,” said Jason.
Screens for All, Today and Tomorrow
“While [the Relumino Mode] project focused on people with relatively severe visual impairment many people with slightly lighter symptoms still need help. I’d like to work on developing projects for them,” explained Dr. Park.
Jason shared a similar point of view, saying, “Samsung will continue to advance technology in the long term to provide personalized picture quality for people with vision impairment and let them enjoy TV comfortably.” Samsung remains committed to accessibility and strives to leverage its technologies to enable more people do what they enjoy.
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By Samsung Newsroom
Ultra-large TVs are taking the world by storm. The standard of ultra-large TVs, currently broadly understood as “larger than 75 inches,” continues to evolve with the growth in demand. Samsung Newsroom previously explored the main drivers of this trend, with a focus on the 2023 98-inch Neo QLED 8K. In this piece, we move on to discuss the intricate design process that helped showcase the behemoth of a screen in a sleek, elegant form factor as well as the details considered to push the immersive viewing (and listening) experience to the frontier.
▲ Video describing the 98-inch ultra-large TV design philosophy of Elimination
Pursuing Simplicity with a Purpose
▲ TV designer Jangho Kim described the 98-inch ultra-large TV design as “a process of focusing solely on the immersive experience and eliminating everything else”
The essence of the TV experience is defined by both what you see and what you hear. Samsung Electronics has long focused on creating a “TV without a bezel” to provide a seamless experience that eliminates unnecessary distractions, Samsung adheres to the idea of “simple, yet meaningful.” A few years ago, this journey came to the point of minimizing the company logo in the front; this year, the 19.9 mm bezel-less design of the 98-inch Neo QLED pushed the envelope to represent the culmination of Samsung’s design philosophy.
“We focus on the core activities of the TV experience — which is watching and listening to content — and deliver value by leaving only the beauty of simplicity,” said Jangho Kim, who helped design the TV.
‘Design’ Paving the Way for Even-Larger TVs
As screens get larger, users have higher expectations for a new viewing experience. The current embodiment of Samsung’s TV design philosophy can be summarized as “One Plate Design,” to provide a perfectly immersive environment while eliminating potential concerns about the 98-inch size.
“We created the ‘One Plate Design’ by adopting a basic, simple design language so that TVs don’t seem intrusive to space. Being completely flat, you can hang the TV flush against the wall,” said Kim. “The TV is physically slim, but with a purpose: it all adds up to provide a truly immersive experience.”
▲ With a minimalist approach, the “One Plate Design” (QN100B, in this case) gives the impression of a single plate floating in the air (left) with a simple, barely noticeable stand supporting it (right)
The stand also heeds the minimalistic design philosophy, providing a sturdy foundation that does not obstruct the user’s view. Made up of two sheets of metal, the compact stand evokes a clean design while holding the ultra-wide screen steady — it doesn’t need to visually boast its 98-inch-screen-bearing prowess. “We made great efforts to find the optimal structure and ratio that can firmly balance a 98-inch TV without shaking or falling over,” said Kim. “The stand was developed with a simple but sleek and stylish design that can naturally blend in with the TV.”
The creation of this new, innovative product is the result of many talented minds from different departments coming together. Kim expressed how the expertise of various engineers, including those from the circuit, mechanics and materials departments, helped tremendously in realizing the slim, sleek and simple design statement.
Incredible Detail on a Larger Scale
As the design language for TVs — like many other electronic devices — has become simpler, some jokingly say that there’s not much left to design. But Kim smiles and says, “that’s why the details become increasingly important.”
For example, the 2023 98-inch Neo QLED’s Slim One Connect box was newly designed to blend in even more seamlessly to the users’ environment. The One Connect box helps users simplify their viewing field by allowing them to connect power and various input sources (e.g., cable box, gaming console, LAN cable) through a dedicated device. Compared to previous models, which required a separate space to place the device, the new Neo QLED 8K’s Slim One Connect box can be easily latched onto the back of the TV or on the stand. Regardless of where you place the TV — whether on a wall, a dedicated TV stand or another piece of furniture — you can enjoy your viewing experience without being distracted by unsightly cables, wires or external devices.
▲ The new Slim One Connect box seamlessly attaches to the stand of the QN900C; sophisticated speaker holes can also be seen on the side
“We revamped the new Slim One Connect box to help users build a seamless TV environment in their homes,” Kim stated. “Ease of installment and minimal cable arrangements are also part of the TV experience. We took these aspects into consideration and really dug into the details in designing the new Slim One Connect box.”
▲ Speaker units in the back of a QN900C
Details can also be found in the sound system. Speaker holes were strategically placed on the side with woofer units in the back for both performance and aesthetic pleasure. “We are doing our best to maintain the beauty of the product at every angle — that includes the back,” explains Kim. The large units help add visual credibility to the set’s sound performance while making the TV visually pleasing from all angles.
These speaker positions, of course, have practical purposes, too. The various directions and spacing alignments of the units help better enable features such as Object Tracking Sound; the exposed woofers can bounce sound off the back walls and fill the room.
▲ Kim vows to continue the push to eliminate outdated ideas in pursuit of new values in his designs
As it continues to capture the attention of users around the world, the 2023 98-inch Samsung Neo QLED 8K is redefining “immersion” with its sleek design, crisp graphics and superior sound quality. Up front, all but the screen is basically eliminated. Details in the sides and back elegantly fill the rest of the immersive experience. A constant process of eliminating, innovating and refining, Samsung TV designs continue to thrive for an even more immersive viewing (and listening) experience.
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Samsung will host the first Galaxy Unpacked event of 2023 on February 1st, and that’s when we expect the Galaxy S23 series to make its debut. Of course, the new phone has already appeared online in the form of countless leaks, including an especially elaborate leak on Thursday featuring official marketing images from Samsung showcasing the Galaxy S23.
The leak from WinFuture’s Roland Quandt confirms virtually everything that we thought we knew about the Galaxy S23’s design. These images are purported official shots from Samsung — they aren’t mockups or renders from an artist with an inside source.
For now, WinFuture only has images of the base model Galaxy S23, not the Galaxy S23 Plus or Galaxy S23 Ultra. Those images reveal a device that looks strikingly similar to a Galaxy S22, with one significant change. Samsung has ditched the camera hump altogether after cycling through a few styles in recent years. Now, the camera lenses protrude directly out of the rear panel of every S23 model, as they did on the Galaxy S22 Ultra last year.
The leak also spoils the four color options of the Galaxy S23: Mystic Lilac, Cotton Flower, Botanic Green, and Phantom Black. Based on Samsung’s previous launches, we expect to see additional colors for the S23 Ultra and potentially even more down the line.
Color options for the base Galaxy S23 model. Image source: WinFuture Providing these are official marketing shots, they confirm the selfie camera will once again be positioned directly in the center of the display. The phone will be encased by a metal frame with a glass cover. The front and back of the phone are also completely flat.
WinFuture didn’t reveal any new details about the phone’s specifications, but we expect the Galaxy S23 to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a 6.1-inch Full HD display, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of internal storage, a 3900 mAh battery, and Android 13.
Samsung will formally unveil the Galaxy S23 on February 1st at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.
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By Samsung Newsroom
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