Samsung unveiled five new devices during its first ever virtual Galaxy Unpacked event which was live-streamed from Korea on 5th August. Tech fans were shown a range of new products, including new phones, tablets, smartwatches and earbuds. The presentation focused on combining the power to work and play with these new devices as part of what the tech company calls the “next normal”. As well as showing off new hardware, Samsung announced new partnerships with Microsoft to expand its ecosystem, with exclusive features and more seamless synchronisation across different devices.
Galaxy Note20 / Note20 Ultra
The latest phablet in Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is a powerful device, optimised to boost productivity as well as gaming. Featuring a new S Pen, Samsung managed to significantly reduce the latency compared to predecessors which enables a smoother writing experience. The device also uses machine learning to predict inputs as you draw, further reducing any delays to a minimum.
The screen maintains a similar design to the previous model, with an Infinity-O display featuring a circular punch hole on the top centre for the selfie camera. Both versions of the phone maximise screen space with a 6.7-inch AMOLED display on the Note20 and a slightly bigger 6.9-inch on the Note20 Ultra. Samsung also upgraded the display refresh rate to 120 Hz on the Note20 Ultra, but the base model will miss out on this and maintain a 60 Hz refresh rate.
The Galaxy Note20 series features three rear cameras: ultra-wide, wide-angle and telephoto. With a Pro Video mode and 120 fps video at FHD (full high definition), these phones will be able to produce professional-looking video. Audio sources can also be adjusted on the device, switching between mics and external sources. The device will also be capable of taking sharp pictures of objects far away and compensate for low light settings with Night Mode.
To achieve more connectivity across different devices, Microsoft’s Your Phone app enables access to mobile apps directly from a Windows 10 PC. This will enable users to send messages, manage notifications, sync photos and make calls through their computer. The Samsung Notes app also syncs to Microsoft OneNote and Outlook for even more integration between the two. As part of another major collaboration with Microsoft, Galaxy Note20 users will be able to play over 100 Xbox games on their phones directly from the cloud with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate from 15 September.
The Galaxy Note20 series will be available in select markets from 21st August.
Galaxy Tab S7/S7+
The new version of the Galaxy Tab combines the power of a PC, the flexibility of a tablet, and the connectivity of a smartphone. A more powerful processor and an improved keyboard experience, along with the new S Pen, should help users get more done in less time. The 12.4 inch Super AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate will also allow users to take advantage of the new cloud-based gaming service, as well as high-definition streaming using 5G. To demonstrate the tablet’s capability to multitask, the presenters ran three apps simultaneously in a split-screen view. To help users explore their creative side, the tablet will come preloaded with popular apps such as Noteshelf, Canva and Clip Studio Paint.
The Galaxy Tab S7/S7+ series will be available in select markets from 21st August.
The next generation of Samsung’s smartwatch series is significantly slimmer but more expensive than previous models. Keeping a familiar design, the watch will come in two variants with either a 1.2 inch or a 1.4 inch display. These include the popular rotating bezel which can be used to navigate throughout the Watch OS. The watch is built with stainless steel and high-quality leather. For the first time, users can also pay for an even more premium titanium model.
With its premium look, the Watch3 positions itself more upmarket than Samsung’s previous health-focused Active line. However, the Watch3 will retain the same fitness capabilities as previous versions with Samsung Health providing more than 120 different home training programs. To help users monitor their health more closely, the watch is equipped to measure blood pressure, perform electrocardiograms and track oxygen consumption.
The Galaxy Watch3 is already available to pre-order at £399.99 and up.
Galaxy Buds Live
Samsung is giving its wireless headphones a fresh design this year. The new shape is built with a comfortable fit in mind and is truly unique on the market at the moment. This is combined with a bigger 12mm speaker along with a bass duct to make sounds deeper and richer. Galaxy Buds Live have three microphones and a Voice Pickup Unit to improve the Ambient Sound feature seen in previous models.
If users want to completely shut themselves off from the outside world however, they can do so with Active Noise Cancellation. The Buds still come in their sleek charging case, which easily fits in pockets and keeps the buds ready to go. Another new feature is the ability to stream sound directly to two different sets of buds, allowing users to share audio without compromising on just using one bud each.
Galaxy Buds Live are already available to pre-order at £179.00.
Galaxy Z Fold 2
Last but not least, Samsung officially announced the successor of last year’s Galaxy Fold. It will feature a larger external display and a new camera system, with hole-punch cameras that make the model look more elegant than the original. The cover screen is 6.2 inches, which is a big upgrade from the 4.6 inch display on the original. Meanwhile, the full unfolded main display will be 7.6 inches, making the phone look larger than the Galaxy Fold and feel more like a flagship phone.
While the original Fold was priced at $1,980, Samsung did not announce a price or release date yet. The full reveal of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is coming on 1st September.