At its Unpacked event on Tuesday in San Francisco, Samsung debuted a handful of new Galaxy devices that make it clear the company’s gunning straight for Apple.
From a new foldable phone to new wireless earbuds to a new flagship smartphone line, Samsung finally revealed its new round of products after weeks of leaks, rumors, and even an ad during the 2020 Academy Awards.
So, here’s a quick rundown of everything the company announced on Tuesday.
The Galaxy Z Flip
Samsung has returned with a new foldable phone despite 2019’s disastrous rollout for its original effort: the Galaxy Fold. Fortunately, things look like they’re going much smoother this time around with the Galaxy Z Flip.
The Z Flip is probably the one product Samsung announced today that isn’t intended as an Apple competitor. Rather, it’s a shot at the Motorola Razr, which just hit retail last week. Featuring a small 1.1-inch Super AMOLED display on the cover, the clamshell-style phone unfolds with a massive 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display.
It’s got some pretty sweet cameras, too, with a hole-punch 10MP selfie camera on the main screen and a dual-camera system on the back with a 12MP wide-angle lens and 12MP ultra-wide lens. It also features 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Android 10.
But the Z Flip’s secret weapon is probably “Flex Mode” which allows you to set your unfolded screen to show something different on the two halves, like watching a YouTube clip up top and leaving a comment on the bottom display.
It’s a pretty nice package that will start at $1,380 — just under the Razr’s $1,500 price tag — and hit stores in time for Valentine’s Day on Friday, Feb. 14.
The S20 and S20+
Samsung shook up the naming system for its flagship smartphone line, going with “S20” instead of “S11” which would have been next in the order (you know, like how Apple skipped the iPhone 9 and went from iPhone 8 to iPhone X?).
Like Apple’s iPhone 11 line, Samsung’s S20 line is all about the camera. The S20 and S20+ feature a 10MP hole-punch front camera. On the back, both phones have a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP ultra wide lens, and a 64MP telephoto lens. The S20+ adds a Time-of-Flight sensor for richer depth in photos.
Speaking of that telephoto lens, both the S20 and S20+ get up to a 30X zoom using Samsung’s Super Resolution Zoom technology, handy for getting in close on a subject when you’re still a bit far back.
As for everything else..?
The S20 has a 6.2-inch Gorilla Glass 6 screen while the S20+ ups that to 6.7-inches.
We don’t know a whole lot about how the battery life will hold up in real-world testing quite yet, but both devices have considerable juice. The S20 has a 4,000mAh battery while the S20+ packs a 4,500mAh battery. The company claims both have the capability of “adjusting to your mobile habits to save power and last way longer on a single charge.”
As for color options, you can get the S20 in “Cosmic Gray,” “Cloud Blue,” and “Cloud Pink,” starting at $999. The S20+ comes in “Cosmic Black,” “Cosmic Gray,” and “Cloud Blue,” and starts at $1,199.
The S20 Ultra
Okay, so let’s take the S20+ and kick it up a notch. The Ultra is basically Samsung’s answer to the iPhone 11 Pro Max, adding on some extra bells and whistles, and power to create a premium, top-of-the-line third variant to the flagship lineup.
Based on how much Samsung is pushing the S20 Ultra’s quad camera, it’s clear the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the direct competitor here. The S20 Ultra features a 40MP hole-punch front camera, while the rear system boasts a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 108MP wide-angle lens, and a 48MP telephoto lens. It also has the same Time of Flight sensor as the S20+
But the S20 Ultra is really all about that ZOOM. Starting with a 10X Hybrid Optic Zoom, the S20 Ultra also uses “Super Resolution Zoom enhanced by camera AI” to achieve up to a 100X digital zoom, which is pretty crazy, even if there will be some degradation in picture quality at that point.
All three phones are capable of capturing 8K video. But given that pretty much no one has an 8K TV yet (many folks are just now catching up with 4K), this is a pretty empty feature.
And, of course, all three devices feature a new Night Mode for low-light photos and have 5G network capabilities.
All of that captured content should look pretty great on the S20 Ultra’s 6.9-inch Gorilla Glass 6 screen. But the phone itself only comes in two colors — “Cosmic Black” and “Cosmic Gray” — and starts at $1,399.
Finally, Samsung unveiled the new version of its Galaxy Bud wireless earbuds, the Galaxy Buds+, as challengers to the AirPods Pro throne.
One big advantage the Buds+ have over the AirPods Pro? Battery life. While the AirPods Pro can get you 4.5 hours on a single charge and up to 24 hours with the charging case, the Buds+ deliver up to a whopping 11 hours of listening on a single charge and give you up to 22 hours with the case.
And if you’re in a hurry, Samsung claims just three minutes of charging can give you “around one hour” of listening time.
Featuring a two-way dynamic speaker to handle a rich combination of both high notes and deep bass, the Buds+ also come with three different microphones to help block out ambient noise when you’re speaking to someone.
And, yes, that means the Buds+ also come with ambient sound control, available in three settings (low, medium, high).
Throw in the usual list of touch controls, four different colors — black, white, red, and blue — plus a friendly price of $149, and you’ve got a set of wireless earbuds that could seriously give the $250 AirPods Pro a solid challenge.