Samsung main image

Source: Samsung press / other

Samsung’s must-watch event Unpacked was held this week virtually and reinforced their commitment to the worlds’ new normal with products optimized for work and play. The event announced 5 new additions to the Samsung ecosystem– the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7, Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Watch 3, and the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Here’s everything we learned at Samsung’s latest event:

Galaxy Note 20 / Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Source: Samsung press / other

Release Date: Pre-orders begin August 6 and shipping starts August 21

Price: $999 / $1299

The Note 20 and the 20 Ultra are both powerhouse additions to Samsung’s phablet line. Both will be sporting upgraded batteries capable of recovering 50% in 30 minutes. Both get Snapdragon 865+ processors. They will be using Ultra-Wideband technology, which gives them the ability to share files akin to Apple’s Airdrop. And the S-Pen gets the same revamp with a design overhaul, making it feel more like a pen, and tweaks that enhance the Air Action functionality. Now, users will be able to interact with a large set of interface actions as well as take screenshots and sped up the latency between writing and the line showing on the screen. 

So the question we were left asking was, is the Ultra (which we presume is Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 11 Pro Max) worth the $300 bump?  Well, the answer really comes down to the finer details.  The difference in size isn’t much with the base model sporting a 6.7-inch screen and the Ultra coming in at 6.9. But when it comes to the type of screen and resolution, there is perhaps one of the first overt signs of the Ultra’s premium status. The base model has a flat FHD+ Infinity-O display with 2400 by 1080 resolution with a 60 Hz refresh rate, while the Ultra Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED with a 3,088-by-1,440 resolution with a 120 Hz refresh rate. In English, that means moving through processes on the Ultra will be twice as fast as the base model. 

The camera is the other big difference.  Here is what each is packing.

The Note 20 Ultra:

  • 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera
  • 108-megapixel wide-angle camera
  • 12-megapixel telephoto camera
  •  laser autofocus sensor

The Note 20:

  • 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera
  • 12-megapixel wide-angle camera
  • 64-megapixel telephoto camera

The edge definitely goes to the Ultra in terms of megapixels and, of course, the laser autofocus. The Ultra also has a 50x zoom while the base model has 30x. But both can shoot 8k video. So it’s really about how much the amenities mean to you when it comes to making a choice.

 

Galaxy Tab S7 / S7+

Samsung Tab S7+

Source: Samsung press / other

Release Date: August 21

Price: $649 / $849

The new S7s are the first 5G tablets that are designed to make working and playing easy… which might make working a little harder. There arent many differences between the S7 and S7+. The S7+ has the distinction of being the first tablet with a Super AMOLED display with a 12.7-inch WQXGA+  screen 2,800-by-1,752 resolution at 120Hz and a fingerprint scanner in the display. The S7 conversely has an 11-inch WQXGA 2,560-by-1,600 panel also with 120 Hz refresh, but the fingerprint scanner is built into the power button instead.

Other things to note were the improvements to the S-Pen, which are similar to the ones made for the Note. The new Book Cover Keyboard has been redesigned to give more of a PC feel with a larger touchpad as well as a full set of function keys and programmable shortcuts.

 

Galaxy Buds Live

Samsung buds live

Source: Samsung press / other

Release Date: August 6

Price: $169

If the Note 20 was the most anticipated, the new wireless Galaxy Buds Live might have been the most intriguing, be it the bean-shaped aesthetic or the jolt of energy that Yoonie Park provided. The new design is claimed to be the product of numerous prototypes trying to merge comfort and quality. While they might look a little odd, they are decisively better than having those little sticks hanging out of your ears. They come with active noise cancellation and are packed with an IR sensor, three mics, and an accelerometer to make sure your experience listening to music or taking a call is the best it can be.

 

Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Source: Samsung / Samsung

Release Date: August 6

Price: $399 – $479

The new Galaxy Watch design takes its cues from a more classic silhouette and is14% thinner, 8% smaller, and 15% lighter than the original Watch. Stand out changes on the device include the ability to monitor BP, ECG, and blood oxygen levels and tracking your sleep patterns as well as stress levels.

 

Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung Z fold 2

Source: Samsung press / other

Release Date: Pre-orders begin September 1

Price: TBD

The surprise announcement was the reveal of the Galaxy Z Fold 2. While not much was told, we do know that the new foldable takes into account the input they heard from users. One of the main criticisms of the original was the size of the front screen, and Samsung made a drastic improvement giving it a 6.7 in front display, a far cry from the original’s 4.6-inch display. Opened up, the screen is 7.6 inches. The hinge that connects the two screens has also been retooled to be even closer together, which allows for better viewing angles.

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