Samsung’s 2020 Unpacked event: The biggest announcements

Samsung’s anticipated Unpacked 2020 event is all packed up. The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are now real things, as are the Galaxy Tab S7 tablet, the Galaxy Watch 3, and the Galaxy Buds Live (FKA “Beans”). Also, it announced the new Galaxy Z Fold 2. 

In case you missed out on the virtual presentation or just want to see the main highlights of the show without having to watch through the live stream yourself, The Verge has distilled them all into bite-size bits.

To begin with, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are loaded with powerful specs, starting at $1,000 for the Note 20 and $1,300 for the Note 20 Ultra. Both models have the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor with 5G support as well as an IP68 rating for waterproofing and support for wireless charging, but they differ in a few major ways.

Samsung put a 64MP telephoto lens in the Note 20 (versus the Ultra’s 12MP telephoto lens), but the Ultra has a 108MP wide-angle lens (compared to the Note 20’s 12MP offering) along with 5x optical zoom. The pricier Note 20 Ultra has a 120Hz refresh rate OLED screen, along with more RAM and microSD support.

The Note 20s also have a new kind of finish, which Samsung calls “Mystic.” It amounts to a textured finish on the glass that should hopefully do a better job of repelling - or at least hiding - fingerprints. The Note 20 Ultra will come in bronze, black, and white. The Note 20 will come in bronze, gray, and green.

Of course, Samsung had to have something else up its sleeve, as well. As a final announcement at the event, it showed off the successor to the original Galaxy Fold foldable phone. When it’s closed, the outside display that’s visible is much bigger than before. It’s 6.2 inches, whereas the main screen that comes unfolded when you open the device stretches to 7.6 inches. Samsung said that it reinforced the overall structure of the phone to make it stronger and improved the hinge, so hopefully it’s more durable than the first-generation model. More info on availability and pricing would be published on 1 September.

Another product that leaked extensively ahead of its official unveiling, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are the company’s latest wireless earbuds. They look like little jelly beans and they’re smaller in size compared to the Galaxy Buds Plus, but they pack in even more advanced tech, like active noise cancellation. Additionally, the company showed off how easy it is to connect to multiple devices, which is something that Apple’s AirPods are known for, so we’ll have to see how well that turns out in the finished product.

Meanwhile, the South Korean giant also announced the Galaxy Watch 3 - a smartwatch that is 14% thinner and 15% lighter than the Galaxy Watch. But at the same time it features a bigger 1.4-inch display. It’s also more expensive than the last iteration of the Galaxy Watch, bumping up the price by $70. It will be available in 41mm and 45mm sizes.

On another note, the smartwatches once again run on Samsung’s Tizen platform, which means they work best with Samsung’s own phones, run okay on other Android phones, and don’t really play all that well with iPhones, even though Samsung technically supports connections to iOS. Samsung’s wearable platform is generally considered to be better than Google’s own Wear OS, however.

On top all of that, Samsung announced two sizes of the Tab S7 tablet, consisting of an 11-inch and a 12.4-inch lineup, which start at  $1,000 and $1,300, respectively. Both run Android 10 with OneUI software, feature the powerful Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, and their displays have a fast 120Hz refresh rate, though only the larger of the two has an OLED screen. The smaller device has an LCD screen. According to the company, they will shipping 21 August.

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