Samsung Unveils Galaxy Note 20 5G Amongst New Products

Samsung on Wednesday August 5 revealed its new premium flagship smartphone, the Note 20, alongside the new S7 tablet, Galaxy Watch 3, a new foldable handset, and its redesigned Galaxy Buds.

During a virtual Unpacked event streamed live from South Korea, the company confirmed it was committed to focusing on the Note series for its gaming capabilities, and announced a range of tie-ins with Microsoft products.

The company’s range of devices have escaped the production issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck rivals with manufacturing bases in China, as the majority of Samsung’s production takes place in Vietnam – a country that never instituted a national lockdown.

From left: Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7 and new Galaxy Buds. Source: Sky News

Following on from the Note 10, which was launched last year, the Note 20’s upper-tier version – the Note 20 Ultra – is a 5G-compatible phone looking to take advantage of the next generation of connectivity for its gaming features.

As part of the focus on gaming, Samsung has partnered with Microsoft, aiming to offer an “XBOX gaming experience in the palm of your hands” according to Conor Pierce, Samsung’s head of mobile for the UK and Ireland, who spoke to Sky News.

Game Pass Ultimate offers users access to a curated PC and console games library, including more than 100 popular titles such as Minecraft Dungeons, Forza Horizon 4, and Gears 5: Ultimate Edition.

Similar to Google‘s cloud gaming platform Stadia, the Note 20 will allow users to play games using cloud computing – having the games run on hardware the phones are connecting to remotely, giving gamers the ability to play higher-quality games on their mobile devices.

The 5G connection speed is also hoped to allow gamers to avoid the latency issues often experienced when playing games online, and the phones use the Wi-Fi 6 standard to keep connections at home strong even if multiple devices are asking for bandwidth from the router.

Hands on with the Note 20 Ultra. Source: Sky News

“I think people will be incredibly impressed with the gaming experience on the Note 20,” Mr Pierce said.

The products tie-in with Windows 10 computers as part of Samsung’s ongoing collaboration with Microsoft.

The Samsung Watch 3 is the company's new smartwatch
The Samsung Watch 3 is the company’s new smartwatch. Source: Sky News

The company also announced the next generation of its smartwatch, Galaxy Watch 3, and its wireless earbuds, Galaxy Buds, which have been redesigned and include active noise cancellation and a voice pickup unit.

Also announced was the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which Samsung said came “after releasing two foldable devices and listening to user feedback on the most requested upgrades and new features”.

The new Galaxy Z Fold 2. Source: The Verge

The launch of its first foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, had to be pushed back from its original April 2019 launch date after reviewers experienced breakages within a few days, while there were also problems with the display.

Other Specifications

As with last year, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 comes in two sizes. The regular Note 20 features a 6.7-inch FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080) display while the larger Note 20 Ultra integrates a 6.9-inch Quad HD+ (3,088 x 1,440) screen. The larger phone not only has a bigger display, but it also hits a higher refresh rate of 120Hz.

The biggest improvement to the Note 20 series is how much faster the S-Pen will feel as you’re scribbling on the display. According to Samsung, the latency on the integrated stylus has been reduced to as little as 26ms on the Note 20 and 9ms on the Note 20 Ultra.

Testing the new S-Pen on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Source: IGN

Internally both phones come running with a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor that’s a step above the regular Snapdragon 865 found in all of this year’s flagships including the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro. This new chip offers a higher clock speed of 3.1GHz over the normal Snapdragon 865 that runs at 2.84GHz.

There’s also a minimum of 8GB of LPDDR5 memory in the Note 20 and 12GB of RAM in the Note 20 Ultra. Storage meanwhile starts at 128GB for both versions, but only the Ultra model offers a larger 512GB capacity that users can further expand with a Micro SD card.

The Note 20 Ultra also has a larger 4,500mAh battery whereas the Note 20 has a 4,300mAh battery.

Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra Cameras

Testing the Note 20’s camera. Source: IGN

Following in the footsteps of the Galaxy S20, Samsung has added high-resolution cameras and optical zoom lenses on the Note 20 for combined hybrid Space Zoom features.

One change however is the 16MP Ultrawide camera that has been cut down to only 12MP in resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

  • 12MP Ultra Wide Camera: FOV: 120-degrees, Aperture: f2.2
  • 12MP Wide-angle Camera: FOV: 79-degrees, Aperture: f1.8, Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • 64MP Telephoto Camera: FOV: 76-degrees, Aperture: f2.0
  • 10MP Selife Camera: Aperture: f2.2
  • 3x Optical Zoom
  • 30x Super Resolution Zoom

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • 12MP Ultra Wide Camera: FOV: 120-degrees, Aperture: f2.2
  • 108MP Wide-angle Camera: FOV: 79-degrees, Aperture: f1.8, PDAF, OIS
  • 12MP Telephoto Camera: FOV: 20-degrees, Aperture: f3.0
  • 10MP Selife Camera: Aperture: f2.2
  • 5x Optical Zoom
  • 50x Super Resolution Zoom

Price

The Galaxy Note 20 starts at $1,000 (Ksh107,810) and will be available in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Gray, Mystic Green. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra starts at $1,300 (Ksh140,153) and will be available in Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White.

The colours of the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. Source: IGN

Release Date

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra release on August 21. Preorders for the Note 20 series begin on August 6 from midnight.

Other New Samsung Devices

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus

Samsung’s flagship tablet is getting even bigger for 2020. Whereas the previous Galaxy Tab S6 had a 10.5-inch screen, the Galaxy Tab S7 has moved up to an 11-inch WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) display.

Samsung also introduced a new Galaxy Tab S7 Plus model featuring its largest 12.4-inch Super AMOLED screen WQXGA+ (2,800 x 1,752). Both tablets also feature 120Hz display, four Dolby Atmos certified AKG speakers, and an octa-core processor. The Galaxy Tab S7 and Galaxy Tab S7 will release later this year for $650 (Ksh70,076.50) and $850 (Ksh91,638.50) respectively.

The new Galaxy Tab S7

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

Meet Samsung’s first pair of noise-cancelling truly wireless earbuds. These fully wireless earbuds feature 12mm drivers paired with three microphones.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live will be available starting on August 6 for $170 (Ksh18,327.70).

The new Galaxy Buds Live. Source: IGN
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