The Samsung Unpacked in August 2020 Event this year was an event with a difference. The event, which took place on August 5th 2020, marks the first time that Samsung is doing a double event.
This after having done a Samsung Unpacked in February 2020, before the world was turned upside down, Fresh Prince of Belair style, by the Coronavirus.
For those who missed it, here is the Samsung Unpacked February 2020.
Samsung Unpacked in August 2020 Event, is also the first time that Samsung was launching a product completely via streaming online, which I watched on YouTube, sans the large crowds and the venues packed with journalists, differing sharply from Samsung Unpacked February 2020.
Without further ado, check out the video of the Samsung Unpacked August 2020 in all its glory.
After watching both I realized that seven products were revealed:
- Galaxy Note20
- Galaxy Note20 Ultra
- Galaxy Z Flip
- Galaxy Z Fold 2
- Galaxy Tab S7
- Galaxy Buds Live
- Galaxy Watch3
So why seven products? I got the unique privilege of doing a phone interview with Samsung Product Manager for Miami, Florida GianMarco Leri, about what transpired with Samsung’s Magnificent Seven.
Samsung Note20 – S Pen 3D Air gestures and Samsung Notes app
We spoke about the Note20, which hasn’t changed much save for a few differences with the screen and cameras.
The S Pen is also much improved, with more precision for increased accuracy and responsiveness. It also boasts five new Anywhere Actions makes touchless navigation of your device easily done with air gestures. This may herald a coming of more 3D like controls, where you no long her to touch the device, but instead you make gestures that the phone interprets and uses to execute commands.
He also mentioned Samsung Notes app’s new features such as auto-save and syncing capabilities from Tablets and Windows 10. This allows you to pick up right where you left off from device to device, making lost work a thing of the past.
Suffer from bad handwriting like I do? Then the Samsung Notes app’ will straighten out your bad handwriting. A cool feature that many PDF aficionados will adore is the ability to annotate and highlight PDFs.
A new feature is the twinning or recorded notes to a particular word or paragraph. To retrieve the recording, just tap a word in your notes to retrieve the recording. This merges written and spoken word in a way that makes the Note20 a must have device for the on the go reporter or roadwarrior.
Finally, the Samsung Notes app supports folders, so finding all your jottings is as easy as looking for named folders in Windows 10. All these notes can wirelessly be displayed on with a bigger screen via Samsung DeX as explained in Samsung DeX Offers Linux on Galaxy and Productivity on the Go, which wirelessly connect the Galaxy Note20.
Stay tuned for my article detailing the specs of the Samsung Note20 as well as a hand-on with the device.
Samsung Z Fold 2 and Samsung Z Flip – No case yet for these expensive phones
I was particularly impressed by the Samsung Z Fold 2 and Samsung Z Flip.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the Z Fold 2 as even GianMarco Leri seems to demonstrate. I presume that when the phone goes on sale in September 1st 2020, Samsung will show off more details.
Right now it seems that they are getting something right with the Z Fold 2 in bid to avoid the mistakes of the original Z fold and in the process renewing their commitment to foldable phones as the future.
Although for protection, the glass component here is still covered with a plastic cover using the same ultra-thin glass technology that Samsung debuted with the Galaxy Z Flip. This setup promises to be more durability, but is comparably more fragile than the hardened Gorilla Glass on regular smartphones.
GianMarco Leri also mentioned a redesigned the hinge in the Z Fold 2 that can be folded thousands of times during the lifetime of the product and still perform. It can fold through a wider array of angles as well as featuring additional springs for a smoother opening experience.
Movie watchers on smartphone will love this, as it means that they can now make the Z Fold 2 into a mini-cinema for friends that are adjustable to suit any viewing angle.
The hinges come with a similar sweeping technology also found in the Z Flip that sweeps out dirt and dust. The outside screen is now a narrow albeit full-size 6.2-inch panel.
They also upgraded the huge notch on the main folded out display with a mini-hole punch camera and the screen is a display technology with a 120Hz refresh rate as introduced in What Makes the 120Hz S20 Display Special according to Display Developers.
Still, a hands-on with this USUS$2000 device is needed to see if all is well with its display. Then it struck me; do the Samsung Z Fold 2 and Samsung Z Flip come with a protective case for the body and screen?
Neither phone has grippable surfaces or etched edges to make gripping them easier and a case could help to protect both the face as well as the body of these expensive experimental toys.
I brought this up with GianMarco Leri, who revealed, quite surprisingly, that the phones had no case and neither does Samsung intend to ship the product with a protective case. This surprised me, given the fact that the Samsung Z Fold and Samsung Z Flip had large, foldable screens prone to breakage and shattering if dropped.
Worse, if it was folded the on something like a Jamaican 1 dollar coin jingling around in my pocket or a lady’s purse, which albeit weak against the US Currency is strong enough to shatter Samsung ultra-thin and foldable Glass and plastic screen.
Costing US$2000 on average, that a huge loss and an even harder recovery, given the fact that little no support exists for these unique designs. He was non-committal on a case, albeit is suspect one may be in the works from third-party suppliers.
Galaxy Watch 3 – A Wrinkle in Wristwatches timeline needs metal wristband options
Samsung also announced the Galaxy Watch 3. First released in 2018, the Samsung Watch series as detailed in Samsung Watch helps you Stay Connected in the Galaxy and Live a Balanced Life, it was little more than a flash Android Toy back then.
2 years later it has been upgraded to run on Samsung’s Custom Tizen OS along with its sisters, the Galaxy Watch Active and Watch Active 2, which are geared more toward fitness and exercise fanatics. Available for purchase starting on August 6th for US$399.99, it boasts a few new features borrowed from its more athletics focused sisters while maintain it prior aesthetic:
- Physical rotating dial
- 2 – buttons on the side
- 4″ largest screen size
- Thinner and lighter than the original Galaxy Watch
It’s hard to gauge the progression of this product, as it had no version called the Samsung Watch 2; apparently they skipped that during the OS upgrade.
Still, it has the full-color, always-on OLED displays with Gorilla Glass and the chunky, almost Brick-Boss style that most Jamaican watch wearers will love, as we are not all in love with the sleeker, simpler and more svelte Active models.
The Watch 3 is available in 2 different sizes with the following colour combinations:
- 41mm in bronze or silver
- 45mm silver or black
Bluetooth connectivity pairing with Samsung phones is fairly easy, but the Tizen OS does not play well with iPhone iOS. Still, as a plus, Tizen OS considerably is better than Google’s own Wear OS; expect a review on this soon.
Still, as I pointed out to Samsung Product Manager for Miami, Florida GianMarco Leri, metal wristband options should be available, as a leather wristband is not a very premium look. Worse, it will not fit well with my new Clarks Wallabees and Bankrobbers.
Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+ – Bonafide Apple iPad Pro killer
The Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus, costing US$649.99 and US$849.99 represent Samsung’s latest support of Android Tablets.
This latest iteration of the Tablet is also a challenge to the Apple iPad Pro, as it no sports some premium features including:
- Optional keyboard cases available
- Silver, black, or bronze Colour Options
- Samsung’s S Pen stylus
Optional keyboard cases available cost US$199.99 for the S7, US$229.99 for the S7 Plus. Throw in the same Samsung’s S Pen stylus in the box that magnetically attaches and charges on the back of the tablet, and not only do we have the perfect work companion to the Note20 but also a bonafide Apple iPad Pro killer.
Like the Note20, the S7 and the S7 Plus run at 120Hz for smooth visuals with a 16:10 aspect ratio. So basically, like the Z Fold 2, this is also a great display for videos and movies, despite having a smaller work surface that the Apple iPad Pro!
This is more laptop than Tablet, and GianMarco Leri, pointing out the fact that Samsung was phasing out Laptops as they focused more on making Television sets, with the only exception being the Samsung Chromebook.
The Tab S7 Plus has an in-screen fingerprint scanner, while the Tab S7 has one built into its power button. Samsung has tweaked the S Pen into a sleeker cylinder, design specifically to work with the tablet and not just borrowing it from the Note20.
Even more exciting is the potential to make the S& and the S7 Plus into a desktop replacement via pairing through DeX. The Tablets supports Samsung’s DeX interface, making the tablet more useful as a desktop once you have the keyboard or upgrade to a bigger Bluetooth keyboard.
DeX, which has been around in various forms since the Galaxy S8 smartphone in 2017 and was promised to be more integrated with the Samsung Note 10 as opined in Samsung Galaxy Note10 brings Jamaican passions to Life with Next-Level Power.
This has long been and interesting concept with little of no execution from Samsung. If the Tab S7 finally does live up to its promise, then we may soon see Samsung Tab S7 can double as a secondary display for your Windows PC or even used with the Samsung line of UHDTV this Fall.
The Samsung Unpacked in August 2020 Event – The Magnificent 7
The Samsung Unpacked in August 2020 Event was the Magnificent 7 trying to kill 3 birds with 7 different stone; Mobile (Galaxy Note20, Note20 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2), Tablet (Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus) and Smartwatch (Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Watch3), a play on a popular saying by Caribbean people.
Samsung Product Manager for Miami, Florida GianMarco Leri seemed to think the future is Smart TV and Mobile. 2021 is still unwritten, albeit Samsung has unpacked it for us: the future is Foldable high resolution smartphones with Tablets that can double as Desktops.
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