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Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked Event: Rumors and Reality

Technology

Isadora Teich wrote this article

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Samsung was expected to introduce 5 new devices at its Galaxy Note 20 Event. There were a lot of expectations and rumors swirling in anticipation. Here’s what you need to know about their biggest releases!

Samsung’s big release event Galaxy Unpacked was on August 5th, at 10 AM ET. Due to the COVID-19, it was an entirely virtual launch. While they said they would introduce a total of 5 new products, the main focus was on the next phone in their Galaxy Note series.

Their Galaxy Note phones are some of the most powerful around, with large screens and signature S Pen styluses. However, no one was exactly sure what the other launches would be for some time. Some were expecting brand new earbuds or wearables from Samsung.

Leading Up To Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung released an event teaser trailer showing the silhouettes of all of the products. Also, some information was leaked about the upcoming launches beforehand. Based on this trailer and the leaks we were expecting to see:

-The New Galaxy Note 20 (Standard, Ultra, Plus)

-The Galaxy Fold 2

-The Galaxy Watch 3

-The Galaxy Buds Plus

-The Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Tablets

However, there was a chance that Samsung has managed to keep some information secret and there were some surprises in store!

Expectations of the Galaxy Note 20

This was expected to be the focus of the event.

Samsung’s stylus-equipped Note phones usually are the star of their Unpacked events. This year, we thought we might see two (or maybe 3) new Galaxy Note 20 phones, the standard, the plus, and the ultra version. Reportedly, the new standard Note 20 would have a flat 6.7-inch (2400 x 1080) display. The Note 20 Ultra would be larger and have a curved 6.9-inch 3200 x 1440 display.

Some sources also claimed that the Note 20 Plus would also be released with 6.87-inch 2345 x 1084 display. However, there was some speculation that this could be the exact same device as the regular Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra.

More About the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra costs $1,300, and the Note 20 costs $1,000. The screen sizes are the same as the Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra (6.7 and 6.9 inches). There’s 5G support across all of the devices too.

There are some differences in the cameras. The Note 20 Ultra skips the 64-megapixel telephoto sensor. It has a 12-megapixel sensor. instead. It has the same 108-megapixel main camera, which enables users to zoom up to 50 times closer to a subject without sacrificing image quality. The Note 20 has the same cameras as the S20+. However,  both Note phones have gotten rid of the depth camera.

The Note 20 Ultra and Note 20 have matte glass backs. They also have smaller battery capacities than the S20 range. However, they are a little more powerful, because of the newer Snapdragon 865+ processor inside.

There is an improved Pro Video mode in the camera app that offers finer control for filming too. It even enables users to pick the microphone on the phone that they want to use for recording. Keep in mind that only the Note 20 Ultra has a 120-Hz screen. The Note 20 has a traditional 60-Hz screen. The Ultra also has a curved screen, whereas the regular model has a flat panel.

Changes in the Samsung S Pen

Not much overwhelming change was expected when it came to the Samsung S Pen, but there have been some exciting developments. The S Pen is really what’s special about these new phones.

Samsung says the precision and responsiveness of its bundled stylus has improved drastically. There is also a new pen-specific feature. It’s called “Anywhere” actions: You can actually make five specific gestures with the S Pen to trigger customizable phone-specific functions. For example, if you swipe to the left in mid-air with the S Pen it could launch an app for you.

New Tablets

Samsung’s newly launched tablets are the 11-inch Tab S7 and the 12.4-inch Tab S7+. Interestingly, these are the first tablets that support 5G in the US. You get the same Snapdragon 865+ processor, just like the new Note 20 phones. They also have a 120-Hz screen refresh rate and four speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

However, the tablets have some key differences. The S7, for example, doesn’t come with an AMOLED screen. Instead, it has an LCD. The S7+ sports, on the other hand, has an AMOLED panel. They are priced starting at $650 for the 11-inch model and $850 for the 12.4-inch Tab S7+.

A Look At New Foldables

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 was expected to have a larger display on the cover of the device. This was supposed to make it much more usable while folded compared to the original Galaxy Fold. The original has a small cover display, making it difficult to use in this way. The internal screen of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 was rumored to have a much smaller hole-punch cutout for its selfie camera than the Galaxy Fold.

A lot of this has proved true. The actual Fold2 has the book-like style on the original Fold. The main difference is the main front screen when you close the device. You get a full 6.2-inch traditional screen while the Fold2 is closed. This is larger than the 4.6-inch front-screen on the original. There is also a single hole-punch camera on the inside, as expected.

Samsung has also addressed many of the Fold’s original manufacturing issues. The Fold2 is available in bronze and black. It costs the same as the original Fold, $1,980.

The New Galaxy Watch

It seemed quite certain that a new Galaxy Watch would be revealed at Galaxy Unpacked. The Galaxy Watch3 appeared in leaked images, renders, videos, and regulatory filings. They did in fact release the Galaxy Watch3.

The Galaxy Watch3 that was actually released has some big health-related improvements. You can use it to measure your VO2 max. You can also measure your SpO2, or blood-oxygen saturation level. Samsung is also premiering a new sleep scoring system in this watch. Sleep tracking has been available on Samsung’s watches before. For the Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung has worked with a national institution to develop a more effective algorithm.

Final Thoughts

We knew a lot about what was going to be unveiled at Samsung Unpacked, but not everything! It looks like an exciting range of innovations in Samsung devices have been introduced. Samsung is also making moves to level the playing field for Samsung Android users, announcing plans to support three generations of Android OS updates for some Galaxy phones.

This is a big deal, as the Android ecosystem has notoriously seemed to keep major OS updates from easily getting prepped and delivered to users (unless of course, you’re Google). Samsung previously only promised two years of updates.

What are you most excited about from Samsung? Which of these new devices would you most like to have for yourself and why?

Talk to me.

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