Samsung Galaxy UNPACKED Event, February 2020

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Today, at its Galaxy UNPACKED event, Samsung unveiled a trove of new products, including its latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S20. Along with the S20, the other big headlines were the new foldable phone, the Z Flip, and a new generation of Galaxy Buds. Here’s everything we saw.

The show kicked off with the debut of the Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung’s second attempt at a foldable phone, but the first of its kind to feature a foldable glass display. Samsung bills the Z Flip as a “statement-making” smartphone that’s as bold as it stylish, and frankly, the manufacturer is not wrong. Say what you will about the viability of foldable phones, this is an objectively sleek-looking device. Closed, the Z Flip resembles something between an elegant compact and a futuristic clamshell. Unfold it to reveal a 6.7" Infinity Flex Display with 2636 x 1080 resolution and 21.9:9 aspect ratio. For comparison, that’s a higher screen resolution than what you’ll get with the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

The Z Flip also features Samsung’s new Hideaway Hinge, which is the bendable backbone that makes the whole thing possible. Based on what we saw, the Hideaway Hinge allows the Z Flip to unfold smoothly and remain open at a variety of different angles—much like a laptop. From what we could tell, when the Flip is open, the hinge is darn near invisible. Looking at both the video and stills, I can’t detect a seam at all. Of course, we won’t know for sure until we get our hands on one, but so far it looks very impressive.

Of course, foldable or not, today’s smartphones are nothing without their cameras. Samsung knows that, so, on top of the other innovations, it equipped the Z Flip with a solid setup that features two rear lenses (both 12MP) and a 10MP selfie camera. It’s not the most powerful camera system Samsung has ever put in a smartphone—it’s not even the most powerful system at today’s event—but it is flagship quality, and with Samsung’s long-established rep for producing some of the best smartphone camera systems in the world, we’re confident it will more than suffice.

Galaxy Z Flip
Galaxy Z Flip

The Z Flip’s other notable features include a Snapdragon 855+ CPU, 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage, and a solid 3,300mAh battery. The Z Flip runs a specialized, foldable-friendly version of Android 10.0 skinned with Samsung’s One UI 2. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, we don’t have long to wait for the Z Flip. Samsung announced carrier-unlocked versions will be available February 14.

Apart from the Flip, the other big headliner was the official unveiling of Samsung’s newest Galaxy S smartphones. The latest series includes three model variants, the Galaxy S20 5G, the Galaxy S20+ 5G, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. As the names suggest, each of the new phones is 5G-ready, making the S20 series Samsung’s first fully compatible 5G lineup.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Series
Samsung Galaxy S20 Series

As with years past, the most conspicuous difference between the three models is the screen size. From smallest to largest, the displays measure 6.2, 6.7, and 6.9". They’re all Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Displays, which is way too many words to describe a screen. Honestly, at this point, Samsung should just say, “It’s a Samsung display, so just assume it’s perfect.” Arguably more interesting is the fact that all three displays have an adjustable refresh rate that goes up to 120Hz, meaning that they should be able to handle even the most demanding mobile gaming experiences. That says a lot about what Samsung thinks about mobile gaming as a platform, and where it might be headed.

Samsung Galaxy S20, Plus, & Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S20, Plus, & Ultra

The Galaxy S20 series also boasts what Samsung is calling “an entirely new camera system.” That declaration might be up to some debate, but what isn’t debatable is the fact that the S20 features the largest image sensor Samsung has ever put in a smartphone and maybe the most powerful camera we’ve ever seen in a mobile device.

Samsung Galaxy S20
Samsung Galaxy S20

From smallest to largest, each S20 variant sports a slightly better camera setup. The standard S20 has three lenses on the back (64MP telephoto, 12MP wide, and 12MP ultrawide). Both the S20+ and S20 Ultra have four lenses on the back (telephoto, wide, ultrawide, and depth), but the Ultra’s telephoto has higher resolution (108Mp vs 64MP). All three camera systems feature Samsung’s new Space Zoom technology, although the magnification power is greater with each variant, and each can shoot 8K video. There are plenty more camera features to talk about but, as with the screen, probably what matters most is the name on the back. It’s a Samsung phone, so you know the camera is going to be better than anything that’s come before, and likely better than most everything else on the market.  

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

Groundbreaking cameras aside, the S20 series’ other notable specs include 12GB of RAM (up to 16GB in the Ultra), 128GB of storage (up to 512GB in the “plus” and Ultra), good-sized batteries that start 4,000mAh batteries, and the latest CPUs running the most current version of Android.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The event wasn’t all phones. Samsung also introduced the new Galaxy Buds+. Anyone familiar with the original Galaxy Buds know that they were some of the best true wireless earbuds market, and based on what we saw today, this plus-sized version should match (or top) them. The new buds are bigger, have better battery life—up to 11 hours off a single charge—and are now iOS compatible, so watch out, Apple.

Samsung Galaxy Buds+
Samsung Galaxy Buds+

The Galaxy Buds+ are available for pre-order now and should be shipped later this month while the phones will be available soon. You can also order accessories for the devices, including a whole new batch of Samsung S20 smartphone cases.

If you have any questions about the new phones, or you want to share your thoughts about anything we saw today, let us know in the Comments section, below.  

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