Samsung’s highly anticipated Unpacked 2020 event aired live just a few weeks ago, where they showcased their latest technology, from stunning visuals to realistic AR.
The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are now real things instead of a mere word of mouth. Alongside them, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, Galaxy Watch Active 3, and Galaxy Z Fold 2. Also, with Samsung’s continued partnership with Microsoft, the companies’ have seamlessly integrated their tech, creating a more wholesome and connected experience. Here’s everything Samsung released at its latest event.
Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will arrive with an abundance of powerful specs. Both models have the latest Snapdragon 865+ processor with 5G support in the United States or the older Exynos 990 for other world markets.
Both phones will also have an IP68 waterproof rating, support for wireless charging and come in the company’s stunning new mystic bronze, black, gray, white, and green hues. Both batteries allow for a whopping 50% charge in less than 30 minutes, and the S-Pen now comes on the left side of the phone, and is more precise with a drop to 9ms latency, almost reminiscent of the Apple Pencil.
The Note 20 comes with a 6.7-inch, 1080p, 60 Hz AMOLED display with 8GB of RAM, but no expandable storage capability. It will have a 12-megapixel ultrawide, 12-megapixel wide-angle, 64-megapixel telephoto camera, 3x hybrid optic zoom.
The Note 20 Ultra, however, comes with a 6.9 inch, 1440p, 120 Hz AMOLED display with 12 GB of RAM, and 512 GB storage that is expandable with a MicroSD card slot, and a 4500 mAh battery.
The phone comes with a 12-megapixel ultrawide, 108-megapixel wide-angle, 12-megapixel telephoto camera, 5x optical zoom, and an all-new laser auto-focus sensor, which is a significant upgrade compared to the Note 20. This phone has sharp, square edges and a super-premium look and feels to it.
Both Note 20 models will have a 10-megapixel front-facing camera and 8K video capture. Unlike the Ultra, the Note 20 has more curved edges and larger bezels and front-facing camera punch. The phone has become significantly thinner, but at the cost of a slab-like camera bump. Though both come with the Gorilla Glass Victus (the most durable Gorilla Glass on a smartphone), the Note 20 comes with a mere plastic (polycarbonate) back that revels in comparison to the Ultra’s premium glass back.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra could be the most premium and luxurious phone on the market, perhaps justifying its $1,300 price. The Note 20, on the other hand, has a lower, yet still astounding $1,000 price tag. Though it’s $300 cheaper than the Ultra, it lacks premium qualities and specs comparable to more affordable phones, according to many tech reviewers. The Note series releases later this month on August 21st.
Galaxy Z-Fold 2
Samsung also had many surprises up its sleeve. It unveiled the successor to its original foldable devices, the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Tech reviewers like Mrwhosetheboss, claim the phone addresses a majority of the problems from the previous device, with a more premium and elegant design, a larger 6.2 inch front display, and a better hinge mechanism.
When unfolded, the phone stretches to a whopping 7.6 inches, says The Verge, both screens have a 120 Hz refresh rate. It’s available in two colors, mystic black and its latest mystic bronze, and with a reinforced body combined with a 4,500 mAh battery that lasts all day, the Z Fold 2 might be revolutionary.
It has the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chip and 12GB of RAM, but no expandable storage. Some tech reviewers have stated that the Z Fold 2 has too many unnecessary components, like having three cameras when only one can be used at a time, which contributes to a bulkier design.
Regardless, the Z Fold 2 could be an excellent device. It’s a significant step up from its predecessor and has a stunning design. On September 1st, Samsung will confirm pricing and other details about the phone, and pre-order will also begin on that day.
Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+
Samsung revealed the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, coming in with an 11 inch LTPS LCD and 12.4 Super AMOLED display, respectively. It’s boxy, slim and lightweight, and comes with a sleek design. Like their other products, the Tab S7 and S7+ will come in the new mystic black, mystic silver, and mystic bronze scheme, powered by the latest Snapdragon 865+ chip and a 13MP and 5MP ultra-wide on the back with an 8MP camera on the front. The tablet will feature an 8,000 mAh battery for the 11 inch model and a 10,090 mAh battery for the 12.4 inch model.
Like the Note 20, the new S-Pen only has 9ms of latency, a significant boost compared to previous models, and now magnetically attaches to the back of the tablet right below the camera module, as shown in the image.
The new keyboard has a larger mouse and can securely hold the S-Pen, through a slot on the back. When opened, it reveals the pen. With Samsung’s new partnership with Microsoft (more on this later), Samsung DeX has significantly improved and allows for more effortless connectivity. According to David Lee’s review of the device, DeX works best on the tablet and accessories. A simple click of a button can turn the device from a tablet to a computer in a matter of seconds.
The new Galaxy Tab S7 a hot contender to Apple’s Ipad Pro and could even give it a run for its money (literally). According to Tom’s Guide,
The Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus will be available in the US in fall 2020 and in select markets on August 21. The Tab S7 starts at $649, while the Tab S7 Plus starts at $849.
When the times comes, the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 could easily stack up against its competitors and knock them out of the park. With all the accessories and functionalities, this tablet could easily cost over a grand, but it’s still cheaper than the IPad Pro by about $100.
Galaxy Watch 3
Alongside its Note 20 lineup, Samsung showcased the Galaxy Watch 3. The Watch 3 succeeds the Galaxy Watch that was first released in 2018 and joins the Galaxy Watch Active and Watch Active 2 (yes, there is no Galaxy Watch 2). It’s similar to the prior model with its physical rotating dial, but with more precision, and two side buttons, but chunky and less sleek than the Active models.
The Watch 3 is available in two sizes, a 41mm and 45mm model. The 45mm variant is available in three colors, the mystic black, mystic silver, and a titanium mystic black, whereas the 41mm option is available in two hues, mystic bronze and mystic silver. The company says the new watch is 14% thinner and 15% lighter than the original Galaxy Watch, and that the screen has increased to 1.4 inches on the larger variant.
Though Samsung has warned that any physical stats are just estimates, blood oxygen (SpO2 and VO2 Max) monitoring, and in Korea, blood pressure and EKG stats will be available. It also has a new fall detection feature and will notify a contact for help.
Samsung is trying to push for greater personalization and customization, so the Watch 3 now has over 80,000 watch faces and has hands-free Bixby assistant, Samsung Pay, a speaker for calls, and extended battery life. Both models of the watch “have full-color, always-on OLED displays with Gorilla Glass,” claims The Verge, and it now runs on
Samsung’s Tizen platform, which means they work best with Samsung’s own phones, run okay on other Android phones, and don’t really play all that well with iPhones, even though Samsung technically supports connections to iOS. Samsung’s wearable platform is generally considered to be better than Google’s own Wear OS, however.
Samsung's Galaxy Watch 3 was available for purchase beginning on August 6th, with prices starting at $399.
Galaxy Buds Live
Finally, Samsung has also released its new true-wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Live.
So nicknamed the beans, these buds come with a slew of new features and a remarkable design. According to Samsung, the buds are eco-friendly, with the case and earbuds made of recycled materials, and it’s available in three colors, mystic black, mystic white, and mystic bronze. It has 12mm auto-drivers and long battery life up to 6 hours and another 21 hours in the case, says Chris Welch from The Verge. They fit well inside the ear but don’t have any silicone tips.
The Galaxy Buds Live are the first of Samsung’s to have active noise cancellation, with a 97% reduction in low-band background noise, though many reviewers have claimed that it’s disappointing. The buds now have a bass boost and multiple mics, and with its comfortable fit, it has an incredibly dynamic sound quality. The price for the buds starts around $169, making it super affordable and cheaper compared to the Apple AirPods Pro, and was available starting from August 6th.
Samsung x Microsoft
Besides the release of its new hardware, a significant takeaway from Samsung’s Unpacked Event was its advancements with Microsoft. The two companies have partnered together on mobile gaming bundles and optimized their apps to integrate their software. They’ve even announced that a Windows 10 PC or Samsung tablet can control various apps from a Samsung Phone.
Samsung unveiled the new Note 20 handset (shown to the left), a collaboration of Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service and a particular version of the Xbox Game Pass app.
This will allow gamers to play right on their phones and on the go. This new integration will only be available on the Galaxy Store, excluding Google’s Play Store. According to The Verge:
there’s also a gaming bundle for the Note 20 coming that will include three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate alongside a third-party controller designed to play streamed games.
The two corporations have further integrated their productivity and office software. Samsung Notes will sync with Outlook and OneNote, and Samsung Reminders will sync across various Microsoft services like Microsoft To-Do, Teams, and Outlook.
Samsung claimed it’s working with Microsoft to optimize apps like PowerPoint, Word, and Excel for the display of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 or use the Galaxy Tab S7 as an external display for Windows 10 machines. Samsung’s DeX provides a better multitasking ability from the phone, tablet, and computer, to even the TV by mimicking a cloud-like software between devices for easy access to everything.
Though the partnership began last year, these new integrations could help both companies drive their ecosystems further into our lives.
The can promote current users to purchase products from the other company and encourage non-users to switch to Samsung and Microsoft. This powerful relationship could go far, and its a win-win situation for everyone.
Samsung lineup of 2020 products are astounding, with modern and premium designs and next-generation specs, the Galaxy ecosystem has become even better. The company is all about productivity and connectivity, which shows through to its products this year. With its new partnership with Microsoft in gaming and office software, consumers get the best of both worlds from Microsoft and Samsung. With just a few more weeks until their new lineup leaves factories and into the hand of consumers, Samsung might be the best in its market.
Want to learn more about Samsung and Microsoft? Check out these websites:
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