This week on The Wrap, we’ll learn all about how Samsung’s changing its foldables this year in the Flip 3 and Fold 3, plus check out new hearables, wearables, and the latest streaming service to hit Australia. All that and more in five.
It’s the middle of August 2021, and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and even though lockdown where The Wrap is recorded continues, the tech news is still happening, with this week being led by Samsung.
We’re getting stuck right in super quickly this week, because there’s a lot of news from the makers of the Galaxy phones as it launches two more, both of which were more or less expected. There’s little surprise here, but Samsung has launched its two latest foldable phones, devices that have screens that fold in half to make them different sizes.
On the small side, there’s the Galaxy Zed Flip 3, a 6.7 inch phone that folds into a smaller one, slamming shut rather like a clamshell phone from the old days. Think of it as the size of an iPhone 12 Pro Max unfolded, but folded into something more like a compact mirror of sorts. Inside is a fast chip, support for 5G, two cameras, and a look that’s a little retro, as well as a water resistant design.
Then there’s Samsung’s other foldable, which is more like an un-foldable. That’s the Galaxy Z Fold 3, a reasonably 6.2 inch phone that unfolds into a big and wide 7.6 inch tablet. Much bigger in general, the Z Fold 3 comes with three cameras on the outside plus two selfie cameras, one of which is hidden under the screen, something that’s becoming a bit of a trend these days. Oppo and ZTE both have one, and now Samsung does, too, so other brands aren’t probably far behind.
However the Fold 3 doesn’t just stop at a big phone that unfolds to be a bigger tablet, and includes a fast chip, 5G, water resistance, and support for the S-Pen, making it a phone and tablet you can draw and scrawl notes on like the Galaxy Note, except bigger all around. There won’t be a Galaxy Note this year it seems, because this foldable is it.
Both foldable phones won’t be cheap, mind you, starting at $1500 for the Flip and $2500 for the Fold, though there are also special editions at nearly twice the price.
They’re joined by a new pair of earphones getting noise cancellation down to a little over $200, while Samsung has a couple of new watches worked on with Google in the Galaxy Watch4. They’ll come with lots of sensors to track your body, including heart rate, body composition, muscle mass, and an ECG, though the jury’s still out on whether that last one will work in Australia.
But the Watch4 range is coming here, rocking up in two models in two sizes, making it four distinct options when they launch in September.
That’ll join plenty of other watch options, but there are lots of options for everything. Plenty of phones, earphones, wearables, and streaming services to get your movies and TV shows from. And there’s actually one more of those this week in Australias, as Paramount Plus launches locally.
Paramount’s take on a smorgasbord of content joins the obvious players — Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Binge — not to mention the catch-up services in Australia from ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine, and Ten, though Paramount has some of what the latter has because it’s connected to Ten.
From what we understand, it’ll take some content off the other services locally, so you might see Dexter move from Stan to Paramount and others, but it’s yet another service, even if it’s one in HD only for the moment.
You can watch it on lots of devices, but there’s also now a pair of glasses that have screens in them from TCL that you can watch anything on, arriving in the TCL Nextwear G, a $900 pair of glasses with literal screens inside. That’s one upgrade worth considering if you fancy a personal cinema on your head, while Sony offered a personal upgrade to a PlayStation 5 — if you’re lucky enough to have one — with solid-state upgrades now in beta, working with sticks of storage from both WD and Seagate.
And there’s also a lot happening in the world of security this week, such as calls from a fake Amazon Prime Video team who want your credit card details to fake text messages telling you to click on a link which installs malware on your phone.
Just remember to keep your wits about you, because the more we’re all home, the more scammers and cybercriminals are ramping up their need to reach into our pockets.
Finally, we’re quickly checking out a pair of headphones from Razer, the Opus X. At $170, they’re some of the least exy noise cancelling headphones we’ve seen, with a look like that of Sony’s headphones, but without touch controls.
The noise cancellation here isn’t much more than basic and the controls can’t be customised, but you get a comfy design with a decent sound that offers more than you’d expect the price to. Geared at gamers, they come in black, pink, and bright green, as well as a low latency mode for gamers to stay connected.
The bass can be punchy and the sound is somewhat warm, basically offering a wireless pair of headphones that does the job better than the price would suggest, even if the cancellation could be better.
For the price, there’s definite value. For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found every week at Listnr, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Otherwise, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.