Samsung’s Unpacked 2020 event traded in a live audience for a somewhat awkward all-digital presentation, but this year’s live stream was packed with tons of new devices and feature announcements. Here’s everything the company showed off for those who need a recap.
Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
The presentation kicked off with the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra smartphones. These large smartphones feature 60Hz and 120Hz displays respectively (6.7 inches on the Note 20 and 6.9 inches on the Note 20 Ultra), and are built with the “toughest Gorilla glass ever,” according to Samsung.
Both phones are capable of charging up to 50% of battery in just 30 minutes thanks to Samsung’s fast-charging technology. Both devices start with 128GB of storage and 8 or 12GB of RAM (for the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, respectively), and they support 5G. As always, that only really matters if you live somewhere with decent 5G coverage — otherwise, not much of a selling point, nor something you should use to define your next phone purchase.
The 5G support should pair well with the newly announced Xbox Xcloud service coming to Android devices on September 15th. Speaking of Microsoft, the “Link to Windows” feature has also been expanded, featuring better app syncing between Samsung and Microsoft software and the ability to control more phone apps from your PC’s desktop through the Your Phone Windows 10 app.
Preorders for the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra begin at 12:01 ET on August 6th, including a gaming bundle that includes a Bluetooth controller and a free trial of Xbox Live with Cloud. The Galaxy Note 20 starts at $US999 ($1,387) while the Note 20 Ultra starts at $US1,299 ($1,803).
Tab S7 and S7+ tablets
Samsung’s new tablets aim for that sweet spot between Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro hybrids. Both the Tab S7 and S7+ use the Snapdragon 865+ chipset, and include the S Pen accessory and 5G support out of the box. The only major difference is the screens; the Tab S7 uses an 11-inch 2560×1600 120Hz LED display, while the S7+ pushes features a 12.4-inch 2800×1752 AMOLED screen.
Like the Note 20, Samsung carved out plenty of presentation time to show off the Tab S7/S7+’s many features. Notably, the tablets can be used as second screens for your PC, and they support all the Microsoft cross-platform features of the aforementioned Note 20 — including Xbox XCloud, Microsoft To-Do, Teams, and Office apps — plus the ability to control your phone with Samsung’s DeX interface.
The announcement that got my attention was that one of the best iPad and Windows drawing apps, Clip Studio Paint, will be available for the first time on Android on the Tab S7/S7+.
The Tab S7 ($US649 ($901)) and Tab S7+($US849 ($1,179)) release on August 21st. The S-Pen is included with both, but the detachable keyboard cover with built-in trackpad will be sold separately
Galaxy Buds Live
Despite being named like a streaming service, the Galaxy Buds Live are Samsung’s next iteration of its fully wireless earbud line. The Galaxy Buds Live’s biggest upgrades are active noise cancelling and a six-hour battery life, plus an extra 21 hours or charge from the new charging case. Other highlights include a new design built for long-term, in-ear use, and that its made with recycled materials
The Galaxy Buds Live will be available on August 6 for $US169 ($235).
Galaxy Watch 3
Samsung’s new wearable includes the heart rate monitor, pedometer, and workout tracking of previous models, but has been updated with fall detection, Samsung Pay support (via NFC), and new hardware that can track include blood oxygen and blood pressure — except in the U.S., for now. Samsung is working with regulators to get these features approved and will update U.S. models to enable them sometime after launch.
The Galaxy Watch 3 comes in LTE and Bluetooth-only models, with 41mm and 45mm watch face sizes. All versions have 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, and wireless charging. Its also rated 5ATM water-resistant.
The Galaxy Watch 3 launches on August 6, starting at $US399 ($554) for the 41mm version and $US429 ($596) for the 45mm version.
Galaxy Z Fold 2
The last announcement was Samsung’s next attempt at a foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 will have a wide full-cover outer display you can use while the device is folded. The inner, foldable screen is a 120Hz display built with Samsung’s “Ultra Thin Glass” (UTG) screen material. That will hopefully solve any issues with flimsy screens and surface bubbles that plagued the original Galaxy Z Fold. Samsung also said the phone will have the same “all-day battery” and Fast Charging as the Galaxy Note 20.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s other big innovation is its reinforced hinge. The Z Fold 2 can stay open at different angles, similar to the Galaxy Z Flip, and the phone’s screen will be flush when closed — at least that’s what Samsung’s promising. The hinge also has a built-in “sweeper” that works similarly to a vacuum’s bristles to keep dust and other gunk out of the hinge’s gap.
Samsung did not discuss a price for the foldable phone, but says it will share more details on September 1 — when preorders for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 open up.