Galaxy Unpacked: Samsung Unveils Note 20 Smartphone and a Whole Lot More

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Today, via live broadcast, Samsung unveiled the next generation of several new devices, including the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7 & S7+, Galaxy Buds Live, and Galaxy Watch 3. The announcements were made at Samsung’s “Unpacked” event, which, for the first time, was online-only. The irony of the Unpacked event is that the showcase was literally packed full of new tech. Here are the biggest highlights and takeaways.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 128GB 5G Smartphone
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 128GB 5G Smartphone

Galaxy Note 20

The first announcement was the new Galaxy Note 20. Last year, Samsung introduced a novel concept for the Note series: two size variants. This year, Samsung is doing it again. The Note 20 will be available in a “standard” 6.7" format, or you can get the “Ultra” version, which has a 6.9" display. Both screens are AMOLED Infinity-O Displays, though the Ultra has a higher overall resolution, ppi, and refresh rate.

Galaxy Note 20

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Size

6.7" Infinity-O Display

6.9" Infinity-O Display

Resolution

FHD+ 2400 x 1080

Quad HD+ 3088 x 1440

Pixels Per Inch

393 ppi

496 ppi

Refresh Rate

60 Hz

120 Hz

As with past generations, Samsung invested a significant amount of resources in upgrading the Note 20’s camera setup, with an apparent emphasis on the total number of megapixels. Both models feature three cameras on the back. The Note 20 comes with a 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP wide, and a 64MP telephoto lens. The Ultra, on the other hand, comes with a 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP telephoto, and a monstrous 108MP wide-angle lens. Both, too, are equipped with Samsung’s “Space Zoom” feature, though the Ultra model can achieve up to 100x zoom, while the standard model maxes out at 50x. On the video side of things, both phones received similar upgrades, including the ability to shoot 8K video.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The S Pen continues to be one of the defining features of the Note series, and Samsung made sure to advance it accordingly. According to Samsung, this year’s S Pen offers better precision, response, and a more “lifelike” feel—three categories in which the S Pen already excelled. Samsung also added five new “Anywhere” gestures, which expands the number of remote tasks you can perform with the S Pen significantly.

 

Samsung showed off plenty of other Note-able highlights, as well. Both phones support 5G and are available with the latest processors; both have fairly massive batteries that support Fast Wireless Charging 2.0. For audiophiles, both models feature stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos technology. The list goes on, but the takeaway is the same: This looks like best smartphone Samsung has ever released—at least until next year.

Galaxy Tab S7

After the Note 20, Samsung moved on to its latest Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab S7. Like the previous generation of Galaxy tablets, the Tab 7 is designed to benefit users whenever and wherever they go, regardless of their needs. It’s a content machine and a laptop. You can use it to stream movies, teleconference, or even as a second display. In short: You can use it for just anything, although that functionality does come at a premium price.

Galaxy Tab S7
Galaxy Tab S7

Like the Note 20, the Tab S7 is available in two variants: the base 11" model and the plus-sized 12.4" model, otherwise known as the Tab S7 and S7+. Along with the size difference, the Tab S7+ has a few other features the standard Tab S7 does not, most noticeably an OLED panel and in-screen fingerprint scanner. Otherwise, the two tablets appear to have fairly identical specs, including their processors, memory configuration options, and camera setup. Not surprisingly, the Tab S7+ does have a bigger battery to account for its size, but the performance should be comparable. Both models ship with the latest S Pen. 

Galaxy Buds Live

The Galaxy Buds Live might have been the most eye-catching moment of the entire event, if for no other reason than their unique aesthetic. They look like space beans. That’s not a dig. The “Mystic Bronze” variant, in particular, is objectively gorgeous and awesome. The best way I can think to describe it is to say that it looks like something a rich person in the future would wear. Which means I want it.

Galaxy Buds Live
Galaxy Buds Live

But aesthetics aside, the Galaxy Buds Live also pack plenty of features that should allow them to compete at the top of Bluetooth earbud market. Among its top highlights are the obvious true wireless design, active noise cancellation, large 12mm drivers, strong battery life, and a wireless charge case. The water-resistance rating is only IPX2, which means heavy sweating or running in the rain while wearing them is probably not a good idea.

Galaxy Watch 3

We also got to see Samsung’s newest smartwatch, the new Galaxy Watch 3. Similar to the Mystic Bronze Galaxy Buds Live, the Watch 3 projects a luxurious quality that jumped out right away. According to Samsung, it’s thinner, lighter, and smaller than the previous generation—yet somehow has a larger display. The overall functionality hasn’t been altered so much as it has been expanded. The Galaxy Watch 3 uses the same popular rotating bezel mechanic as before. But now it can access a whole new set of complications and capabilities, including an expansive list of health and wellness features that can monitor everything from your blood pressure to VO2 levels.

Galaxy Watch 3
Galaxy Watch 3

Galaxy Z Fold 2

The fifth and final announcement was a bit of a surprise: The Galaxy Z Fold 2. Samsung didn’t give us a ton of info about its new foldable device. But what we saw was that exterior display is now larger than before: a full 6.2" on the front. The main foldable display is going to be 7.6"  and have a 120 Hz refresh rate. Of course, what we all want to know is how this new Fold is going to hold up in terms of durability. Samsung spent a decent amount of time addressing the real-world criticisms of the original Fold (respect, btw) and in doing so, assured us those deficiencies have been resolved. The fact that Samsung came right out and talked about the design issues of the previous model does seem to indicate the company is confident in this build quality of this latest Fold, which, if warranted, is very exciting news. We’re supposed to hear more about the Galaxy Z Fold 2 on September 1—personally, I can’t wait.

Galaxy Z Fold 2
Galaxy Z Fold 2

There were so many announcements at this year’s Unpacked event, it’s hard to wrap your head around it all. Despite being a longtime fan of the Galaxy Note, I would be lying if I said my favorite thing wasn’t the Galaxy Buds Live (they look like space beans—I love them). What about you? What stood out? Any winners or losers? Let us know in the Comments section, below.

4 Comments

"For audiophiles, both models feature stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos technology." - Yet sadly the Headphone Jack is gone for good. Pour one out.

Does B&H have any external DACs for USB C?

We do! Here is one example, but we do have a few others in that category:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1453582-REG/fiio_k3_headphone_amplifier_and.html

Awesome! Thanks! I'll take a look! Still kind of a bummer that I may have to carry another thing in my pocket.

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