Samsung’s first digital Unpacked placed somewhere in between recent events in terms of cumulative presentation and overall weirdness between Microsoft and Apple.
The series kicked off seven minutes late and a number of on-screen presenters definitely skewed towards the more… uncomfortable side of things, but overall, it was a good first virtual experience as the organization embraces what it is known as “The Next Normal.”
Mobile head TM Roh noted towards the end of the series, “Going forward, 5 G and foldable will be the main pillars of Samsung’s future.” 5 G is certainly a no-brainer. The occurrence saw the organization taking a step towards standardizing next-gen wireless technology through their flagship mobile devices — as well as making its first appearance on the company’s tablets.
As anticipated, the big news is Samsung’s latest edition of the perennial favorite phablet line. For both models Note 20 gets 5 G and now emerges in 6.7 and 6.9-inch models. The Ultra version obtains a refresh rate of 120Hz along with a hybridized 50x super zoom, using the same technology announced earlier this year with the Galaxy S20.
The most unsung addition could be UWB (ultra-wideband), which will allow for a range of new features like near range file sharing, a future unlock function (with partner Assa Abloy) and finding my phone-style function with an AR dimension. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, also made a brief remote cameo to reveal Game Pass access, carrying over 100 streaming titles to the device.
The models start at $1,000 respectively, and $1,300. They will begin shipping on 21st August.
The Galaxy Tab series is new to the 5 G game. Samsung claims the range contains “the first 5G-supporting tablets available in the United States.” The S7 and S7 + feature an 11- and 12.4-inch display, respectively, starting at $650 and $850. No news on availability of the 5 G models yet.
A pair of new wearable devices were added to the event. The Galaxy Buds Live is probably the more thrilling of the two. Samsung has consistently made solid wireless earbuds and the new edition finally adds active noise cancellation, along with some interesting features such as the ability to serve as a microphone for a linked Note unit. The Buds of Beans are available for $170 today.
If I said the most interesting thing of the Galaxy Watch 3 was not the physical bezel return — long the best thing about Samsung’s smartwatches, I would be lying. The introduction of enhanced sleep and health monitoring along with an ECG monitor that Samsung announced has just obtained FDA approval is also notable. The 41 mm and 45 mm Galaxy Watch 3 costs $400 and $430, accordingly. LTE models will also be available, priced at $50 more.
As for the foldable end of things, with the aid of celebrity boy band, BTS, the event also saw Samsung unveiling its new foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The emphasis on the new version is more on addressing the many issues that accompany its predecessor. That includes a new screen glass enhancement and a hinge that will sweep away debris that can fall in and break the screen in the process. Further details will be released on the foldable September 1.