Galaxy Note20 leads Samsung's huge Unpacked hardware launch
At the latest of its regular Unpacked hardware launches, Samsung has unveiled no fewer than five major new gadgets – with the premium, stylus-equipped Samsung Galaxy Note20 smartphone leading the way.
Besides two models of the Note20, Samsung also debuted the Galaxy Z Fold2 folding phone, the Galaxy Tab S7 tablet, the Galaxy Buds Live earbuds, and the Galaxy Watch3 smartwatch (succeeding the Galaxy Watch).
More on those other devices in a moment, but the Note20 is likely to grab most of the headlines. The follow-up to last year's Galaxy Note 10, the Note20 comes in both a standard and an Ultra model.
Both models feature the same Snapdragon 865 Plus processor running everything – the best in the business for Android phones in 2020 – plus 5G connectivity as an option, Android 10 on board with the usual Samsung tweaks, and of course the famous S Pen stylus (which apparently has lower latency than ever).
The Note20 Ultra is undoubtedly the more powerful phone though. It has a bigger screen (6.9 in versus 6.7 in), running at a faster refresh rate (120 Hz versus 60 Hz), and it has a better rear camera too, though both phones have a triple-lens setup. The Note20 tops out at 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, whereas the Note20 Ultra can go up to 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage.
These differences are reflected in the price, of course – the Note20 starts off at US$999.99 while the Note20 Ultra is going to cost you at least $1,299.99. Mystic Bronze, Mystic Green and Mystic Gray are your color options for the Note20, with the Ultra model coming in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black and Mystic White.
Then there's the Galaxy Z Fold2, the successor to the original Galaxy Fold that was first unveiled all the way back in February 2019 (the name seems to have gained a "Z" as well). The display is a larger 7.6 inches when opened, the rear display is now a full-screen 6.2 inches, and the camera systems have been improved too.
While we know the colors that the phone will be available in – Mystic Bronze and Mystic Black – Samsung only teased the folding device today. Full details and prices will be announced in September.
Tablets, earbuds, and a smartwatch
Samsung wasn't stopping with the smartphones at its Unpacked event. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is replaced by the 11-inch OLED Tab S7 and the 12.4-inch LCD Tab S7+, the latest premium Android tablets from Samsung. They're direct rivals to the iPad Pros from Apple, and optional keyboard cases are available.
As well as the latest S Pen bundled in the box, these tablets come with the option of 5G connectivity, a display refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, and configurations that go up to 8 GB of memory and 256 GB of internal storage. Besides the differing screen sizes and screen tech, they're pretty similar, with a Snapdragon 865 Plus CPU in both. Pricing starts at $649.99 for the smaller model and $849.99 for the larger Plus edition.
Also on show, the Galaxy Watch3 is an update on the original 2018 Galaxy Watch, with the Watch Active 2 a sportier alternative that bridged the gap in 2019. This new smartwatch again comes running Samsung's own Tizen software, so it'll work with Android and iOS, and as well as all the usual health features you get both blood oxygen and blood pressure monitoring on top (though oddly these additional features aren't available at launch, and will be arriving later via a software update).
Like last time, there's a rotatable bezel around the casing, but Samsung says the overall device is slightly thinner and lighter than the first Galaxy Watch. The two screen size options remain the same at 1.2 inches or 1.3 inches, but the actual casings are smaller – 41 mm instead of 42 mm on the 2018 model, and 45 mm instead of 46 mm.
Prices start at $399.99 for the smaller model and $429.99 for the larger one (LTE versions are available in both cases if you're willing to pay a little more). That's a significant price bump over the first Galaxy Watch, but you might well consider it worth it for a lighter, more capable smartwatch.
Last but not least, Samsung has launched a new version of its wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds Live. With a revamped, bean-shaped design and active noise cancellation, they could be the perfect companions to your new Note20. We've written more about these earbuds in a separate post.