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Galaxy Unpacked | Samsung makes the Note 20 and 20 Ultra official

The Galaxy Note 20 series in full. (Source: Samsung)
The Galaxy Note 20 series in full. (Source: Samsung)
The Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra 5G have been unveiled today (August 5, 2020) at the latest Galaxy Unpacked event. This series has turned out to conform to all its more recent leaks and rumors well. In fact, all Samsung really had to do was announce their pricing and availability.

Samsung has finally affirmed that the next generation of the Galaxy Note line of iconic phablets consists of 2 variants: the 20 and 20 Ultra. Thanks to a flood of up-to-the-minute accurate leaks, there is no real need to go over their specs again...which may be why the OEM glossed over so many during their presentation to the world at its very 2020 August Unpacked event, streamed live from South Korea on YouTube.

Nevertheless, it did confirm that the 20 has a flat, LTPS LCD 6.7-inch display, whereas the 20 Ultra moves on to its series' largest-ever 6.9-inch curved display. It is made of "Dynamic AMOLED 2X", which offers upgrades such as up to 25% greater outdoor visibility compared to previous panels.

It is also indeed 120Hz, although Samsung glossed over the resolution modes at which this refresh rate would apply. This screen also does have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, the "toughest" version of the material the company has ever made. The Note 20 Ultra also gets a glass backing, although that of the vanilla 20 is, as warned in earlier tips, made of "reinforced polycarbonate" (read: glasstic).

The new Note 20's prominent triple rear camera circles house a 108MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 12MP telephoto lens. The Ultra variant also has an exclusive laser auto-focus sensor. Oddly, Samsung did not go into more detail on how its rear shooters differ, although it patently has a periscope lens in one of its 3 round apertures.

The Note 20 series also, of course, gets an updated S Pen. This signature inbuilt accessory now has a response rate of 9 milliseconds (ms), as opposed to a minimum of 59ms in its predecessors. It is also now equipped with AI Point Prediction, an intelligent way of extrapolating where the business-end is going next in order to enhance fluidity on-screen.

Samsung also asserts that the new 120Hz mode also adds to the S Pen's true-to-life-writing abilities and efficacy. Some of its tailor-made features in One UI also come into play in the OEM's new and closer partnership with Microsoft.

This has resulted in an expanded Your Phone facility. Galaxy users can now also use their mobile apps on their PCs when connected to their phones. Notes (written ones included) and voice recordings can be synced to analogous Windows apps (e.g. Samsung Notes to OneNote, and so on) and also sent directly to Outlook.

This also extends to the new functionality of Xbox Game Pass. It allows a Galaxy Note device to sync with the Microsoft gaming network and play about 100 different games right on their mobile device. This may be helped by a Bluetooth controller to be found in one of the new phones' bundle deals, which go live with their general availability. 

On that note, the Galaxy Note 20 is now set to start at US$999, while the Note 20 Ultra will go for at least $1299. However, these prices pertain to the 5G models only: there will apparently be 4G/LTE-only SKUs, but only for certain markets that Samsung failed to specify during its show. The series will go on general sale from August 21, 2020, although preorders begin tomorrow (August 6).


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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-08- 5 (Update: 2020-08- 6)