A look at the biggest reveals from Samsung’s Unpacked event

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Samsung's Unpacked event had plenty of reveals to look forward to.
Image: Samsung

Samsung recently hosted a virtual Unpacked 2020 event to show off several of its newest products. While the show was a little bit awkward in the online format, consumers did learn a lot about several upcoming and newly-launched Samsung products.

The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra unsurprisingly highlighted the show. However, there are plenty of other gadgets—including a refreshed pair of wireless earbuds and the Galaxy Watch 3—worth mentioning.

So, let’s dive in to the biggest reveals and announcements from Samsung’s Unpacked 2020 showcase.

Galaxy Note 20

Thanks to a handful of rumors and leaks, the Galaxy Note 20 wasn’t very mysterious. That being said, Samsung has finally confirmed the specs of its large, powerful phones. It also gave them a price tag and a release date.

Both the Galaxy Note 20 and the Note 20 Ultra will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. The recently released chip offers better performance in powerhouse devices. Both models will also ship with 5G support, wireless charging capabilities, and an IP68 waterproof rating.

However, they aren’t identical.

The Note 20 is getting a 64MP telephoto lens while the Ultra has a 12MP lens. Although that sounds like it should be opposite, the Note 20 Ultra still comes out on top. It also features a 108MP wide-angle lens and 5x optical zoom. The more expensive phone sports a 120Hz OLED display as well as more RAM and support for a microSD card.

As for pricing, the Galaxy Note 20 will retail at a starting price of $1,000. Meanwhile, the Note 20 Ultra will cost slightly more at $1,300. It’s interesting that those numbers don’t look nearly as large as they used to. Today’s smartphone market is filled with devices that cost upwards of a thousand dollars and the Note 20 family is no different.

The Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will be available on August 21.

Galaxy Z Fold 2

While the announcements surrounding the Note 20 lineup were expected, Samsung had a surprise up its sleeve. The final reveal of the day was the successor to the original Galaxy Fold smartphone. It features a sleeker design, a new camera system, and a bigger external display.

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the first major redesign of Samsung’s flagship foldable phone. With plenty of room for improvement over the original model, it appears that the new device corrects many of its predecessor’s shortcomings.

Perhaps the biggest change is a much larger 6.2-inch display. Recall that the original Galaxy Fold had a tiny external display. The new screen makes the whole phone feel much more usable and modern. Speaking of, it runs at a 120Hz refresh rate. The “main” display inside the phone stretches to a roomy 7.6 inches when it is unfolded.

Another notable upgrade is the fact that the screen is no longer made from flimsy plastic. Instead, it is now ultra-thin glass. This should make it less susceptible to damage than the original Fold. Samsung is also including its “Flex Mode” from the Z Flip, which allows the phone to be used in halfway-open configurations and stand up on a flat surface.

Like the Note 20 lineup, the Z Fold 2 also boasts the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. Overall, the new phone is thinner at just 6mm thick and there is a smaller gap between the displays. That makes it much more pocket-friendly.

As of now, Samsung hasn’t assigned a release date to the Z Fold 2. It did say that more information will be coming on September 1. Consequently, the new folding smartphone will be available for preorders on the same day.

Galaxy Tab Gets 5G

Samsung’s tablets can’t begin to compete with the popularity of Apple’s iPad lineup. However, they are still relevant because Samsung relentlessly upgrades them.

At the virtual Unpacked event, it announced two sizes of the new Tab S7. There will be an 11-inch and a 12.4-inch model. Both tablets run Android 10 beneath Samsung’s OneUI software. Like the two phones mentioned above, the S7 tablets run on a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. That should indicate how powerful the chip is.

In line with Samsung’s newest phones, the tablets also feature 120Hz screens, but only the larger model has an OLED panel. The 11-inch version has an LCD screen.

Perhaps the most notable upgrade to the lineup is 5G support.

The new S7 tablets will retail for $649.99 and $849.99 respectively. They should be available this fall, although an official release date hasn’t been announced.

Galaxy Buds Live

Over the past few years, Samsung has released several high-quality pairs of wireless earbuds. That trend will continue this year in the form of its new Galaxy Buds Live. They feature a jellybean-like shape and are a bit smaller than the Galaxy Buds Plus.

Don’t let their size fool you, though. These earbuds pack in some advanced features—including active noise cancellation. Considering the Buds Plus are arguably the best wireless earbuds on the market, it’s a safe bet that the Galaxy Buds Live will be even more impressive.

During its Unpacked presentation, Samsung showed off how easy it is for the buds to connect to multiple devices. That feature will help them compete with Apple’s Airpods, which are known for their ability to do so.

Galaxy Watch 3

Although Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup isn’t as popular as the Apple Watch, it owns a significant portion of the smartwatch market. During the Unpacked event, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch 3. The naming is a bit confusing since there wasn’t a Galaxy Watch 2, only the Watch Active 2. Yes, it’s a mess.

Not only is the new model thinner than previous versions, it also features a larger 1.4-inch display on the 45mm variant. The Galaxy Watch 3 brings the return of a physical bezel as well. It’s a fan-favorite feature that helps it compete with bezel-less offerings from Apple and Fitbit.

It will be $70 more expensive than the previous version and will start at $399.99.

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