After a multitude of leaks, some of which were from Samsung themselves, it’s time for the Samsung Unpacked 2020 event. But, are there any surprises left? Well, let’s find out.
Here’s a quick run-down of what Samsung unveiled at the event.
Galaxy Z Flip.
Available: 14th February 2020.
Following some serious issues with Samsung’s first foldable smart phone, the Galaxy Fold. It was very interesting to see that their latest attempt at a foldable smart phone was arguably the star of the show. With a new, yet familiar compact design, the Galaxy Z Flip certainly stands out from the crowd with its mirror finish and small size. As the name suggests the phone folds to half it’s size when closed with a cover display on the front for notifications etc., but, when flipped open it reveals a full sized 6.7” screen with a hole punch front facing camera built in.
The foldable design also means that there are some interesting use cases when it comes to apps. One of the examples shown was the ability to fold the phone to a 90-degree angle with the top half showing a video while you were able to type comments on the bottom half. Almost like a mini laptop.
Of course, the main problem with foldable designs so far has been durability. Samsung were quick to point out that the Z Flip was good for 200,000 folds. How this translates when it comes to real world use, we’ll have to wait and see. They also mentioned the new “hidden hinge” which was designed specifically to keep out dust and other particles.
With a truly fresh design, at least when compared with today’s current smart phones, if Samsung really has ironed out the build quality and durability problems, then even at the high price, this Z Flip could prove to be popular.
Samsung Galaxy S20.
Available: 6th March 2020.
Price: Starting at $999.
The incredibly popular Galaxy S smart-phone line up has always been a big hit with consumers, so it was no surprise that there was a lot of excitement over the latest generation. The new Samsung Galaxy S20 range consists of 3 models, the S20, the S20 Plus and the S20 Ultra. All 3 models support 5G connectivity. More surprising however, was the totally rebuilt camera system. All 3 phones have 3 lenses, 1 wide-angle, 1 standard & 1 telephoto and the S20 and S20 Plus have an impressive sounding 64Megapixel camera sensor and 30x digital zoom. Not enough pixels for you? Well, don’t worry bbecause the S20 Ultra packs an amazing 108 Megapixel camera sensor. Another impressive feature announced was that all models are able to record 8K video at 24 frames per second. In fact, the entire Unpacked event was shot and streamed using S20 phones. Here’s some more details of note.
- Comes with integrated Google Duo messaging app.
- Supports Live Captioning.
- 120Hrz refresh rate display on all models.
- Up to 16GB Ram.
- Spotify pre-loaded.
- 1TB Possible Storage (.5TB internal & .5 SD Card)
Like the recent iPhone 11 range, the main focus of the Galaxy S20 phones was the camera. With some truly impressive advances in sensor size and 8K video recording support, Samsung have certainly hit the mark with the hardware. However, if this translates to great performance when it comes to image quality remains to be seen.
Galaxy Ear Buds Plus.
Available: 14th February 2020.
Finally, we come to the Galaxy Buds Plus. These wireless ear buds feature 2 drivers and a 11-hour battery life. Samsung also mentioned enhanced ambient mode which allows you to hear what’s going on in your surroundings. One feature that was missing however was active noise cancellation. But at the price point of $149 maybe it’s to be expected. The charging case offers a further 11 hours of battery life and also supports wireless charging and wireless power sharing.
Sadly, as is usually the case with tech events, there was no real mention of accessibility with any of the new products from Samsung. It’s safe to assume that Talkback will be available on the Galaxy S20 line-up and probably on the Z Flip as well. What I’m not so sure of though, is just how will the new foldable app interfaces work with a screen reader? Hopefully, this is something both Google, who supply the underlying Android software API and Samsung have considered.
Co-host & audio producer on the Double Tap Canada radio show. Occasional contributor to Double Tap TV, full time shed resident.