Samsung's newest foldables are here, complete with lower prices, water resistance, and sturdier materials for the hinges, body and display. The updates found in Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are meant to reassure consumers that foldables aren't as fragile as they may seem.

The new Z Fold 3, which expands outward from a phone into a tablet and comes with S Pen support for the first time, starts at $1,800. The Galaxy Z Flip 3, which features a compact clamshell design that shields the inner display, starts at $1,000. Samsung showed both phones off Wednesday during an online Unpacked event.

In virtually every way, Samsung sought to address the problems found in its earlier foldables, ranging from worries about the screens being too delicate to criticism that only tech ultra-fans could afford their steep prices. The South Korean electronics giant hopes the changes make its devices -- now in their third generation -- appeal to more consumers and eventually become a bigger chunk of the overall smartphone market.

"We really do think we're finally at that price point ... with the foldable Z series that we can take these mainstream," Drew Blackard, vice president of mobile product management for Samsung Electronics America, said in an interview ahead of Unpacked. And "we wanted to make sure that there's no compromising ... including durability."

Samsung and other vendors are counting on foldable devices to be the future of the mobile market. The company has incorporated the screens in its highest end products since 2019, but they haven't yet taken off with consumers. Early flaws in the initial Galaxy Fold's display raised doubts that foldables were strong enough to withstand daily use, let alone a rainstorm or a fall from a nightstand. And prices, which reached as high as $2,000 for last year's Z Fold 2, were aimed more at one-percenters than at typical smartphone buyers. The durability and pricing questions prevented most consumers from buying foldables, particularly in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Samsung hopes the Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 will change that.