04/10/2022

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6 Exciting Gadgets We Want From Samsung This Year

6 Exciting Gadgets We Want From Samsung This Year

Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra compared

The Samsung Galaxy S22 line.


Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

It’s already been a busy year for Samsung. The tech giant introduced the Galaxy S21 FE in January, just ahead of the Galaxy S22 series’ launch in February. It also released three new tablets and a lineup of Galaxy Book laptops before February was over.

While the Galaxy S line is one of Samsung’s most popular devices, Samsung releases Galaxy devices across many categories and will likely debut other products throughout the year. We can’t say for certain which ones, but there were several major product lines left out of Samsung’s January and February announcements.

Here’s a look at the other Samsung products I’m hoping to see in 2022. Samsung typically holds an Unpacked event each August, so it’s possible that at least some of these gadgets could arrive then. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

The Galaxy Watch 4, which debuted in August, marked an important milestone for Samsung’s smartwatches. It’s the first model to ship with the new version of Google’s Wear OS software that was created in partnership with Samsung. Some of the benefits of that partnership are already evident in the Galaxy Watch 4, particularly its compatibility with the wide selection of apps available in the Google Play store. 

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The Galaxy Watch 4.


Lexy Savvides

But we were hoping to see more Google-inspired features, as my colleague Scott Stein wrote in his Galaxy Watch 4 review. The Galaxy Watch 4 didn’t even come with the Google Assistant at launch, although that’s changing in the coming months. Hopefully the next model will maintain the features we already love — like its wide variety of health tracking features and excellent display — while also infusing more of the Google experience in the software. It would also be great to see longer battery life, considering the Galaxy Watch 4 only lasted between one and two days during CNET’s testing. 

We haven’t heard much about the Galaxy Watch 5 yet, other than a report from Korean tech site ETNews that suggests the device may be able to measure body temperature. There’s a chance more rumors could surface as August approaches. 

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The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2.

New Samsung Galaxy Buds

Samsung has released new earbuds in August for the past two years, so there’s a chance it could do the same in 2022. The question, however, is whether the company may launch a new version of the high-end Galaxy Buds Pro, the standard Galaxy Buds 2 or the bean-shaped Galaxy Buds Live

Regardless of the model, a new pair of earbuds could be in the works, according to Galaxy Club. The Netherlands-based blog speculated in December that a recent battery entry on Korea’s product safety certification website could belong to the charging case for a new pair of Samsung earbuds. 

We won’t know for sure until Samsung makes an announcement. But if Samsung does launch a new version of the Galaxy Buds Pro, we’d love to see a design with a tighter fit for better noise cancellation. 

Products like Samsung’s Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Watch are becoming an increasingly important part of the smartphone experience, which makes me think Samsung will continue to release new earbuds on a regular basis. A device’s appeal isn’t just about the phone itself, but how well it works with other products we often use in conjunction with our phones — like headphones, fitness trackers and smartwatches. 

It’s a strategy that’s worked well for Apple, which has become a top player in the wearables market thanks to the Apple Watch and AirPods. I’m sure Samsung will continue to compete in that regard.

Galaxy Z Flip 3

The Galaxy Z Flip 3.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the most practical foldable phone available right now. But it comes with some important compromises when compared to Samsung’s nonfolding Galaxy phones, particularly around the camera and battery life.

If Samsung keeps with its current pattern, we could see another Z Flip 4 in August that will hopefully address those shortcomings. There aren’t many rumors about the Z Flip 4 yet, aside from a report from Korean news outlet The Elec indicating that Samsung’s next flip phone will have a slightly larger cover screen. 

Such a change would make it even easier to see notifications without opening the device, which was one of the original Z Flip’s biggest flaws. Samsung fixed that on the Z Flip 3 by making the cover screen four times bigger. But making the display even slightly larger could go a long way in making the Z Flip’s front display even more useful for reading notifications. I’m also hoping Samsung will continue to add new software features that take advantage of the Flip’s bendable screen, like Flex Mode. 

A Samsung patent covered by the tech blog Lets Go Digital showing a device that looks like the Z Flip, but with a rotating camera located inside the hinge, has also caused some speculation. But a move like this seems far off, especially since Samsung’s design changes on the Z Flip have mostly been incremental so far. 

Samsung launched the original Galaxy Z Flip in February 2020, while the 5G version came just a few months later in August. It also announced the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in August 2021. Samsung’s timing has varied, but the fact that it’s already launched three versions of this phone in two years makes me believe it could be a regular part of Samsung’s annual upgrade cycle.

Galaxy Z Fold 3

The Galaxy Z Fold 3.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

While the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is designed for people who want to make their phone more compact, the Galaxy Z Fold takes the opposite approach. Open it up, and you’ll find a 7.6-inch tablet-size display on the inside. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the third iteration of Samsung’s large-format foldable phone, and it’s by far the most polished. 

But it still feels awkward to use as a regular phone when closed, which remains its biggest drawback. Samsung already tried to address this by making the Z Fold 3 thinner and lighter than the Z Fold 2, and I’m hoping it continues in this direction.

Similar to the other products on this list, we haven’t heard many rumors about the Galaxy Z Fold 4 yet. But based on the improvements between the second and third generations of the Z Fold, I’d expect to see a new processor, some design refinements and hopefully better battery life on the next version. It would also be great to see software improvements that make better use of that large internal screen.

This phone would also hopefully take advantage of Android 12L, which is being especially designed for foldable phones, tablets and dual-screen devices.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 2 in August 2021 and 2020, respectively, while the first Galaxy Z Fold was released in September 2019. That makes it seem like the Z Fold has also become a regular part of Samsung’s annual product lineup, so there’s a chance we could see a new device closer to the fall. 

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Samsung’s Flex S concept


Sean Booker/CNET

A new type of Samsung foldable

Foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip are still relatively new to most people. But Samsung is already thinking about what might come next, as the company proved at CES 2022 when it showcased several new foldable concepts. If recent leaks hold true, one of those gadgets could become more than a concept soon enough.

A well-known leaker who goes by Ice Universe on Twitter recently said Samsung is planning to launch a “mysterious” third foldable device this year. But Ross Young, analyst and CEO of Supply Chain Consultants, replied that it may have been pushed back to 2023. 

Of the concepts Samsung demonstrated recently, I’m most excited about the Flex S. This concept folds like an accordion and has two hinges, resulting in what looks like three display panels joined together. It can be used as a regular phone when completely folded, but unravels to become a tablet-sized display that looks larger than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. 

When it comes to foldables, I typically prefer devices that offer more screen space — like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 — over flip phone-style devices. Regular phones are already compact enough, so I see more value in having a phone that can provide more screen space for reading and watching videos when I need it. The Flex S concept from CES 2022 seems like an evolution of the Galaxy Z Fold in that regard.

Only Samsung knows what’s next in its pipeline. But considering competitors like TCL are also publicly experimenting with new foldable designs, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another idea from Samsung in the near future. Aside from remaining competitive, market research indicates that sales of foldables are starting to accelerate, giving Samsung more incentive to remain a forerunner in this space. 

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The Galaxy S21 FE.


Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S22 FE

Samsung’s “Fan Edition” smartphones are a more affordable alternative to its Galaxy S series devices. The Galaxy S20 FE launched in 2020 as a cheaper version of the Galaxy S20, but the Galaxy S21 FE didn’t arrive until early 2022 — just ahead of the Galaxy S22’s debut.

That makes it difficult to know when Samsung could release the Galaxy S22 FE, if it does so at all. Samsung is essentially positioning the Galaxy S21 FE as its previous-generation option aimed at those who typically buy last year’s device to save some money, which makes me think it will maintain this strategy by continuing the FE line. 

If the Galaxy S22 FE is anything like the S21 FE, it’ll likely have a screen that’s larger than the regular S22’s but smaller than the S22 Plus. It may also have a bigger battery than the standard Galaxy S22, since the S21 FE’s battery is larger than the regular S21’s. 

Should that be the case, I think the Galaxy S22 FE has the potential to be the best choice in Samsung’s lineup for those in need of an affordable Android phone. While I generally loved the regular S22, it was slightly too small for my taste and the battery life was lacking. Samsung has an opportunity to address both of those points in a future FE model.

Samsung may be best known for its Galaxy smartphones when it comes to mobile devices. But products like the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Buds prove the company has been putting more of a focus on smartphone-adjacent devices, too. As for what’s next after smartwatches and earbuds, that’s a question only Samsung can answer. But I’m still hoping to see a pair of smart glasses one day.