Today’s Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event means exciting times ahead for Samsung fans as the South Korean company unveiled their latest lineup of Galaxy phones; the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Flip.
After a rocky start with the Samsung Fold last year, Samsung starting their Galaxy Unpacked event where they revealed the Galaxy Z Flip, which was teased at the Oscars on Sunday night.
The Galaxy Z Flip closes like the already launched Motorola Razr. It comes in three colours, Mirror Purple, Mirror Black and in some countries Mirror Gold.
Flex Mode allows the phone to open at different angles, pretty much the same way your laptop does. This allows the phone to use this unique form factor as two screens for multi-tasking. The hinge mechanism is fully sealed and even the internal gap is protected by a fibre barrier which is designed to prevent dust or sand from damaging the phone.
The Galaxy Z Flip will be available in limited quantities in Mirror Purple and Mirror Black, from March 27, 2020. The Galaxy Z Flip will have an RRP of €1,520 and will be available to purchase from Three Ireland and the Samsung estore (https://shop.samsung.com/ie/)
During a pre-briefing event in London last week, I was able to get hands-on time with the handsets, prior to the launch event in San Francisco today, Tuesday, February 11.
Each year Samsung put a strong emphasis on cameras, but this year, even more so. With up to four lenses and other new and innovative hardware and software features never before seen on a Galaxy device, Samsung says that these pro-grade cameras and features will change the way we capture every detail.
The standard S20 sports a triple camera array that includes an ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.2, a wide-angle: 12MP, f/18 and a telephoto 64MP f/2.0. The S20+ has the same triple camera setup as the S20, but adds a fourth camera Samsung call a DepthVision camera. This can capture depth information from a scene and improve the accuracy of things like bokeh effects in portrait mode. The S20 Ultra has the same ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.2 camera as the others, however, the wide-angle lens is a whopping 108MP, f/18 while the telephoto lens is 48MP with a much narrower aperture of f/3.5.
One of the other standout camera features is 3X Hybrid Optic Zoom with Super Resolution Zoom up to 30X on the S20 and S20+. The S20 Ultra goes way beyond this with a 10X Hybrid Optic Zoom and the Super Resolution Zoom goes up to 100X. These massive zoom ranges are something Samsung aptly refers to as Space Zoom.
The Space Zoom uses a combination of hybrid optical zoom and AI-powered digital zoom. In practice, this worked well in our demonstration during the hands-on time, but at 100x, even on a tripod, there was a lot of shakes visible on the screen. The resulting photos were impressive considering the magnitude of the zoom and the fact it is taken with a small smartphone camera sensor. However, the lighting at the event wasn’t great, so it’s hard to properly judge how good the results will be in the real world and with better light. This is a useful feature to have even if only for the rare occasions where you can’t get close enough to your subject. I have often used 50X on the Huawei P30 Pro with useable results. At 100X it is difficult to see what you’re looking at, so Samsung has cleverly solved this by providing a wider angle preview of the scene to help you to find your subject.
The new Single Take mode allows you to take multi shots from all camera lenses simultaneously. A pretty cool feature but not sure how useful it will be.
The displays on all three phones look stunning. Vibrant colours, with super sharp images and brightness we’ve come to expect from class-leading Samsung screens. However, Samsung have double the refresh rate from 60Hz to 120Hz and the difference is noticeable. So much so, it’s hard to unsee it and go back to a mere 60Hz. Everything just feels incredibly fast and smooth.
Around the front, both the S20 and S20+ come with 10MP f/2.2 selfie cameras while the S20 Ultra uses a much higher resolution 40MP camera at f/2.2. All three phones use a punch-hole design in the display to house the front-facing cameras. There’s also the usual face unlock and ultrasonic in-display fingerprint reader, same as found on the Galaxy S10.
The new Samsung Galaxy S20 is the world’s first phone to be capable of recording video in 8K. 30 seconds of 8K will gobble up over 300MB of storage, which is far less than I would have expected considering the massive resolution. You can also easily change the resolution to 4K, Full-HD or HD in post video production, making 8K a flexible option for those who like to edit their videos afterwards. Samsung said that you will be able to cast the 8K video from the S20 to their 8K TVs or even upload it directly to YouTube. One of the really cool and useful features is you can take a 33MP photo from the 8K video. Search through a video to find your favourite moments and turn them into hi-resolution photos.
You can now take videos in the new Pro Mode, in much the same way you would with a mirrorless or DSLR camera.
All of the new phones come with 5G, which is great for future-proofing, but what impact it will have on battery life is unknown at this point. Currently, 5G coverage is limited to big cities in Ireland and right now, only eir and Vodafone offer the service.
In partnership with Google, Samsungs new S20 line now come with native support for video chat using the Google Duo app. The app has been optimisation for better video chat with increased video resolution up to 1080p and you can also use the wide-angle camera.
Samsung claims that gaming on the S20 will be next level with their fast response 120Hz touch sensor and 120Hz dynamic AMOLED display. You’ll get AI-Powered performance with the ability to quick-launch up to five players and you’ll be able to play Forza Street on the S20 with other gamers on a PC for the first time ever.
In terms of hardware, the S20 features a 6.2-inch, Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x (563 ppi) with HDR10+ certification and a 120Hz refresh rate. The S20+ has a 6.7-inch, Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x (525 ppi) with HDR10+ certification and a 120Hz refresh rate. The S20 Ultra has a massive 6.9-inch, Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2x (511 ppi) with HDR10+ certification and a 120Hz refresh rate. All three phones in Europe will ship with Samsung’s 7nm 64-bit Octa-Core Processor.
The S20 Ultra has a 5,000mAh, the S20 has a 4,000mAh and the S20+ has a 4,500mAh battery. All phones will ship with improved wireless charging speeds with fast wireless charging 2.0. They’ll also feature faster Wireless PowerShare, which allows you to use the S20 to charge other devices like Samsung’s smartwatches or Galaxy Buds.
All variants and all colours of the Galaxy S20 family will be available in Ireland through the usual Samsung operator and electrical partner channels and through the Samsung eStore (https://shop.samsung.com/ie/) from 13th March 2020.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra begin 11th February 2020. For a limited time, consumers who pre-order a Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra will be able to claim a pair of wireless Galaxy Buds+ (RRP €179). Customers who avail of the pre-order will receive their device three days early.