What you need to know
- Samsung announced a slew of products at its Unpacked event on August 5.
- The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are hitting store shelves later this month.
- Also announced was the Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Buds Live, and Tab S7 series.
2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year, both in and out of the tech industry. Phone launches and events have been upended like never before, but like clockwork, Samsung was still able to churn out another Unpacked event (albeit in a digital format rather than in-person).
This latest Unpacked was one of the busiest ever, with Samsung announcing product after product. We have a lot to dig into, so without further ado, here's your recap of the Samsung Unpacked event that took place on August 5, 2020.
Galaxy Note 20
To no one's surprise, the star of this Unpacked was the Galaxy Note 20 series. There have been rumors and leaks regarding the phone for months at this point, so it's nice to finally have it be made official.
This year's Note takes the form of two distinct devices, including the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It's a similar approach to what Samsung did in 2019 with the Note 10 and Note 10+, though the differences are more substantial this time around. For example, while both phones have AMOLED displays (6.7-inch for the Note 20 and 6.9-inch for the Note 20 Ultra), they're of differing resolution and refresh rate. The baseline Note 20 gets a 2400 x 1080 resolution and 60Hz refresh rate, whereas the Note 20 Ultra has a much more impressive 3088 x 1440 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.
There are also big differences in the camera department. On the Note 20, you're treated to a fairly typical setup — 12MP primary camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, and 64MP telephoto camera with 3x hybrid optic zoom. Things get more interesting with the Note 20 Ultra, which features a 108MP primary camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 12MP telephoto camera that supports 5x true optical zoom.
Under the hood, the stark contrast between the phones continues. On the Note 20, you'll find 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,300 mAh battery. The Note 20 Ultra, by comparison, has 12GB of RAM, 128 or 512GB of storage, and a 4,500 mAh battery. Similar to last year, only the more expensive Note 20 Ultra offers expandable storage via a microSD card.
Both phones do share the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor, however, along with 5G connectivity for both sub-6 and mmWave standards. There are also a ton of new features for the iconic S Pen, such as improved precision, reduced latency, and a redesigned Samsung Notes app.
Pre-orders for the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra begin on August 6 and go through August 20, with official sales beginning a day later on August 21. You'll pay $1000 for the Note 20, and if you want the Note 20 Ultra, it'll set you back at least $1300.
Galaxy Tab S7
Android tablets are few and far between these days, but Samsung remains as one of the few companies that continues to churn them out year after year. Joining the Note 20 series is a lineup of Galaxy Tab S7 tablets, and assuming this is a form factor you're still interested in, there's a lot to like.
You have two choices here, including the Galaxy Tab S7 and the Tab S7+. The former comes with an 11-inch LCD display at 2560 x 1600, whereas the latter gets a massive 12.4-inch AMOLED screen with a higher 2800 x 1752 resolution. Both tablets support 120Hz refresh rates, have slim bezels, and are powered by the same Snapdragon 865+ chipset found in the Note 20. Rounding out the experience is your choice of 6 or 8GB of RAM, along with 128 or 256GB of storage. And, because this is 2020, there will be 5G variants of both models.
The Tab S7 and S7+ ship with an S Pen in the box, offering the same features that you get on the Note 20 S Pen. You can also purchase an optional Book Cover Keyboard accessory, which turns the tablet into a mobile workstation and ties in nicely with the Samsung DeX desktop interface.
Samsung says that the tablets will be available later in the fall, with the Tab S7 starting at $650 and the Tab S7+ going for at least $850.
Galaxy Watch 3
Another product category that Samsung has remained resilient in is that of smartwatches, and following the well-received Galaxy Watch Active 2 from last year, this time around we're getting the classier Galaxy Watch 3. Although it lacks the "Active" moniker of its cousin, the Watch 3 strives to deliver ample fitness/health features in a body that doesn't look out of place with a nice suit.
From a hardware perspective, the Galaxy Watch 3 is 14% thinner, 8% smaller, and 15% lighter than the original Galaxy Watch — making it more accessible to those of us with small wrists. It also brings back the physical rotating bezel, which is something Samsung omitted with the Watch Active 2. Depending on which style you get, the Watch 3 comes in a stainless steel or titanium case.
Looking at the fitness goodies, there's a lot on offer. You get access to over 40 different workout modes, seven exercises that can be automatically detected, an improved running mode, trip detection, and more. The idea here is to equip the Watch 3 with fitness features if you want them, all without compromising on its fancier design.
You can go out and purchase the Galaxy Watch 3 beginning August 6, with it being available in 41 and 45mm variants. Pricing starts at $400 and $430 for the Bluetooth models, respectively, with the LTE ones costing $450 and $480.
Galaxy Buds Live
Next, we have the Galaxy Buds Live. Samsung's Galaxy Buds lineup has quickly become one of the prominent forces in the space of true wireless earbuds for Android phones, and the Buds Live look to be the most ambitious entry to date.
It all starts with that design, which aims to deliver a one-size-fits-all form factor and be "like nothing you've seen or worn before." It's certainly an interesting look, but it remains to be seen if this risk actually pays off. At the very least, Samsung deserves credit for trying something different.
The design isn't the only noteworthy thing, however, as the rest of the Buds Live looks to be just as impressive. These are Samsung's first true wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation, and when you add that together with 12mm drivers and a dedicated bass duct, the end result should be an impressive audio package. You'll get up to 8 hours of continuous playback with ANC turned off, or 6.5 hours with ANC enabled. When you throw in the charging case, you're looking at 29 hours of total use (sans ANC).
You can also buy the Galaxy Buds Live as of August 6, and they retail for $170.
What was your favorite announcement?
That's everything we saw at Samsung Unpacked, but now we want to hear from you — what was your favorite announcement of the show? Leave us a comment below and let us know!
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