Samsung was on fire yesterday as it launched five new devices at its Unpacked 2020 in San Francisco. TM Roh, head of Samsung’s mobile business, took to the stage to announce several new high-profile devices including the $1400 Galaxy Z Flip, its second new foldable phone that opens and folds like the flip phones of yesteryears. Samsung also unveiled its trio of new Galaxy S20 devices – Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra with upgraded cameras, powerful specs and 5G. And last but not least, the South Korean major also unveiled the Galaxy Buds Plus, a pair of truly wireless earbuds.
Here’s a quick recap of everything Samsung had to show off at the Unpacked 2020.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
After a disastrous debut of the Galaxy Fold, Samsung is back with a new foldable phone. This time with the Galaxy Z Flip, its second foldable phone. However, the Galaxy Z Flip is not a successor to the Galaxy Fold. In fact, the 6.7-inch foldable phone folds into a square about half its size, with a 1-inch secondary display on the front for notifications. Motorola’s Razr is another Android-powered foldable smartphone that can fold in half.
The phone costs $1400 (roughly Rs 99,712) and will go on sale this Friday in the US. But the Galaxy Z Flip is cheaper compared to Motorola Razr, which is priced at $1500,
This is Samsung’s second foldable smartphone after the ill-fated Galaxy Fold. That $2000 (roughly Rs 1,42,446) foldable phone was delayed for several months after several reviewers said the screens on their devices was broken. With the Galaxy Z Flip, however, Samsung said it has taken all necessary precautions. The phone uses an ultra-thin glass screen which should be more durable than the foldable plastic OLED screen seen on the Galaxy Fold, Motorola Razr and Huawei Mate X.
The South Korean major also assured that the phone’s newly designed “hideaway hinge” will prevent dust and debris from entering the smartphone. Samsung says the phone should stand up 200,000 folds.
Alongside the standard version of the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung also introduced a Thom Browne-branded Galaxy Z Flip. There’s no mention of the price, but expect this special edition to cost over $2000.
Samsung first teased the Galaxy Z Flip during the Oscars 2020 two days before the “Unpacked 2020”. Read our first impressions of the Galaxy Z Flip.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is perhaps the most powerful smartphone in the world. Its specifications are somewhat at par with high-end laptops, making the S20 Ultra falling in the category of super-premium smartphones. Like Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max, Samsung is targeting pro users with the Galaxy S20 Ultra. The phone offers everything you would expect from a flagship smartphone: 5G, 8K video recording, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, 16GB RAM, a massive 5,000mAh battery, and a 6.9-inch 120Hz screen.
With the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung is promising a great camera experience. To begin with, the phone has large camera arrays on the back that includes an insane 108MP camera sensor. Samsung says the S20 Ultra’s huge 108MP sensor uses 9-in-1 pixel binning, meaning the phone can capture 12MP shots with the equivalent of 2.4µm pixels. Samsung also offers a brand new feature called “Space Zoom”, which means the camera (it also uses a periscope-style lens, paired with a 48MP telephoto lens) can take up to 10x optical zoom shots, which can be extended to 100x digital-hybrid zoom.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s price starts at $1400 (roughly Rs 99,712), making it expensive than Apple’s iPhones. The iPhone 11 Pro Max, in contrast, starts at $999 (roughly Rs 71,224). Unsurprisingly, the top-end variant of the Galaxy S20 Ultra costs $1600 (roughly Rs 1,13,959).
The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s sky-high price and monster specifications signal a change in the business strategy. Samsung has seen a slide in sales of its flagship smartphones in developed markets, so this could be a new way to squeeze more profit.
Besides the Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung is also launching two more variants in the Galaxy S20 lineup: the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus. The Galaxy S20 starts at $999 (roughly Rs 71,224), while the Galaxy S20 Plus starts at $1200 (roughly Rs 85,472). Both phones feature 120Hz displays, 5G connectivity, and the latest Snapdragon 865 processor. In India, however, Samsung will likely make the S20 and S20 Ultra available with 4G LTE connectivity. Read our first impressions of the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra will go on sale in select markets on March 6.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Samsung does not want Apple to win the truly wireless earbuds market. So to take on Apple’s popular AirPods, Samsung has introduced the Galaxy Buds Plus in the market. The $150 Galaxy Buds Plus misses on active noise cancellation (ANS), which is a huge letdown. But to compensate for the lack of ANC, the Galaxy Buds Plus offer 11 hours of battery, which is longer than AirPods’ 5 hours. The Galaxy Buds Plus also supports wireless charging capabilities, too.
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