Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – Samsung’s new foldables plus new ANC gear

This week on The Wrap, we’ll dive into what’s new from Samsung’s Fold and Flip 4 foldables, plus check out the latest in noise cancelling gear, including a pair that will keep going as you make the longest flights. All that plus what’s new from Google and more in five.

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It’s the middle of August 2022, and you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with the first of the year’s last mobile announcements sorted, we clearly have to unfold and unpack quite a bit.

Before we get into that, there are also gadgets to listen through things, as Sennheiser, Beats and Samsung offered up something new.

Over in the world of Sennheiser, the company is talking up headphones made for travel and possibly a little more, coming in the Momentum 4. These are the fourth generation of Sennheiser’s Momentum Active Noise Cancelling headphones, with a main focus appearing to be on battery life.

Sennheiser is touting a staggering 60 hours of battery life on one charge here, which is the most battery life of any noise cancelling headphone, and enough to cover Sydney to New York and back, and still have a little left over.

Beats is also throwing in a pair of noise cancelling earphones this week, though they’re just a coloured variation of its Fit Pro earphones, as it collaborates with Kim Kardashian for a special edition.

Samsung is also doing the noise cancelling earphone thing with a new pair, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, and these are properly new.

They’ll be smaller than last year’s model, and include improvements to the noise cancellation with support for 24-bit high-res audio and spatial audio.

Both of those are becoming the norm this year, though Samsung hasn’t said quite how we’ll be hearing that new tech. Our guess is it’ll be tied to a new version of Android, but we’ll find out when they launch in September.

And we’ll also likely learn about one of Samsung’s other extras-that-wasn’t-a-phone, its new Galaxy Watch 5 models, coming in the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.

The difference between the regular and pro Watch 5 is basically size and material: the Watch 5 comes in 40 and 44 mills, both in aluminium, while the Watch 5 Pro is 45 mill and titanium.

However both seem built to handle quite a bit, thanks in part to the inclusion of sapphire glass up top. That’s one of those premium features normally reserved for expensive watches, and it may well help Samsung’s new wearable survive close encounters with the wall or floor, situations watches have to deal with.

It’ll be protecting a watch that can track health and get notifications from your phone, so clearly the phone is important, and there’s quite bit happening there, too.

Take the addition of a new mobile carrier in Australia, with a new virtual network operator popping up this week, Konec Mobile, which is basically a budget operator using the Telstra network, not unlike Boost or Belong.

It’ll have at least one Android phone from Oppo available on its network, which is fitting because there’s also news from Google this week which is releasing the next version of Android, Android 13.

There hasn’t been a huge amount of press about this new release, not like we see with Apple’s iOS. Thirteeen seems largely about a more uniquely customised look, improvements to health and wellbeing features, support for head tracked spatial audio, and making droid phones work better with computers, supporting copy and pasting from your phone.

The first phones to get Android 13 will obviously include the Google Pixel models, namely the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, recent Pixel 6a, plus Pixel 4 and 5 models from before, but if you have another Android model, you should get Android 13 soon, as well. Some of the earliest cabs off the rank include the Oppo Find X3 Pro, and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series, though they may also be held up slightly dependent on how long it takes for local editions to be ready. These things can take time.

We’ll be very excited to see another variation of Android land later, Android 12 L, which is a version focused on foldable phones, such as last year’s Galaxy Fold 3, but that may take some time.

It does look to be launching on a new foldable, though, with September seeing the launch of the phone’s follow-up, the Galaxy Z Fold 4, a variation on a theme and 2022’s hot new folding phone.

That’s the big story this week which sees a slightly lighter Galaxy Fold on its way to stores, getting a fast new chip, a big new camera, and that Android 12L stuff we mentioned earlier.

It can seem a little like a new hat as Samsung polishes what worked in the Galaxy Fold 3 and improves it slightly in the fourth model.

The Flip 4 is a little like that, but looks to improve a much better battery. For those playing along at home, the Samsung Flip is the modern take on the flip phone, folding a 6.7 inch screen in half to fit in your pocket.

Like the Fold 4, the Flip 4 is similar to the previous model, updating the chip and camera, but keeping the design largely the same. There is a much bigger battery though, an extra 400 milliamperes, which was one of our chief concerns last year in the Flip 3.

As to whether they’ll be enough to take on the new assortment of iPhones, that remains to be seen. But with new phones on the way, the back of half of 2022 is getting very interesting.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found each week at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get podcasts from. For now, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

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