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Samsung Unpacked: Galaxy S20, Galaxy Buds+, Z Flip & A New Smart Home Device?

The start of a new year in the tech industry means big announcements and trade shows.

For mobile fanatics, the weeks between Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress (MWC) have just one impressive spectacle – the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked.

Samsung’s biannual show has become a February tradition, which starts Tuesday 11 February at 11pm (AEST), at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts.

In recent months, Samsung has been hit with several high-profile leaks showing off the flagship Galaxy S20 lineup, while also teasing its fans with global advertising campaigns, hinting at what’s to come.

(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

What exactly is going to be launched at Galaxy Unpacked 2020? The latest Galaxy S flagship is speculated to be announced, featuring a list of impressive improvements.

The new range is likely tipped as being named the Samsung Galaxy S20 flagship range, and the product’s launch will come as a relief to many consumers and journalists after months of leaks and rumours.

The devices included in this range are expected to be called the S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra.

Rumours and leaks aren’t clear on the exact sizes of the displays yet, but the Galaxy S20 has been tipped to feature either a 6.3-inch or 6.4-inch display, with the Galaxy S20 Plus speculated to have a 6.7-inch display, and finally, the S20 Ultra could sport a massive 6.9-inch display.

Expect all three models to utilise Samsung’s amazing Dynamic AMOLED technology, with a single front-facing selfie camera in a hole-punch cutout. Additionally, a 120Hz refresh rate is also speculated to feature, which will give the phones a seamless user experience when scrolling and swiping through multiple programs.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 is also expected to be featured, with additional upgrades to RAM and storage. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is rumoured to have options for 12GB or 16GB of RAM and a combined 1.5TB of storage.

The design features are expected to include a small bezel and silky, rounded edges for a strong aesthetic.

But the camera is expected to see the most changes. According to speculation, the S20 models will all sport four rear cameras, with at least one of the models to feature a new 108-megapixel main lens that’s likely to incorporate pixel binning for improved low-light performance.

 

That impressive lens is expected to be joined by an ultra-wide-angle lens, and a telephoto lens that will offer a 10x optical zoom thanks to its periscope setup.

As for battery life, each model will feature a different sized battery, but they are all expected to be impressive. Rumours from last November said the S20 would feature a 4,000mAh battery, while a 5,000mAh cell is rumoured for the S20 Plus. The battery size for the S20 Ultra is not yet known, or speculated, but it would make perfect sense for it to exceed the 5,000mAh for the S20 Plus.

It’s also rumoured that the S20 flagship range will also come with 5G as standard.

Pricing for the phones is becoming clearer as leaks continue with similar, consistent information. According to John Prosser, the official AT&T pricing for the new 5G phones in the US will be:

·      Galaxy S20 — $899

·      Galaxy S20+ — $1,099

·      Galaxy S20 Ultra — $1,299

But there will be more than just smartphones on display.

The new Galaxy Buds+, also victim to numerous leaks and rumours, are expected to be announced.

The Galaxy Buds were a surprising release last year, with popularity reflected in sales after the earbuds offered comfortable, true wireless listening with impressive sound and a 6-hour battery life.

When rumours of Galaxy Buds+ hit the industry – everyone got excited, with tons of speculation and leaks.

Rumours are suggesting Samsung will not be making any drastic changes to the product, but the features that have been speculated are still exciting. Early rumours suggested longer battery life, better quality of sound and faster charging.

Most recently, respected leakster, Evan Blass, revealed the Galaxy Buds+ would sport a generous 11-hours life per charge, with a full recharge being available in the case. The charging is so fast that owners could be provided with one hours’ worth of listening after just one minute of charging.

A dual driver design should boost audio performance and an IPX2-rating will protect the buds from rain or sweaty workouts. Support for multiple Bluetooth connections is also available, with one-touch Spotify access and an app for iOS and Android available from launch.

The pricing of the Galaxy Buds+ is rumoured to be around $149 and will be available in black, white, red and blue. They are also expected to be offered as a free additional gift with every purchase of the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip.

The Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung’s take on the revamped and increasingly popular flip phone reboot, is also extremely likely to be featured in the Galaxy Unpacked event.

The Z Flip is a follow up from the first-generation Galaxy Fold and is set to take on Motorola’s revamped Razr – which has sales already on back order.

Like the Razr, the Galaxy Z Flip is rumoured to emulate a clamshell phone, unfolding into a traditional phone shape, as opposed to unfolding into a tablet-sized display.

The Z Flip is also expected the use the last generation’s hardware. Rumours say the upcoming model will use the Snapdragon 855 instead of this year’s Snapdragon 865. While the phone is still likely to be powerful enough for most consumers, it seems like a step backwards for the innovative tech giant.

But using old hardware may be the reason behind the rumoured cheap pricing, with speculation saying the Galaxy Z Flip will be priced around the Motorola Razr’s $1,500 price tag instead of the Galaxy Fold’s $2,000.

But the device will still be impressive – with leaks claiming it will sport a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display and the new ‘Hideaway Hinge’ that would disappear once the phone is open. The hinge is most likely a response to the issues that surrounded the first-generation Galaxy Fold.

The display will also be protected by the new Ultra Thin Glass (UTG), which is rumoured to be just as flexible as the polyamide plastics used on the Galaxy Fold, but comes with improved resistance against scratches.

Consumers can expect to see a tiny 1.06-inch display near the camera lenses that will replace the secondary display seen on the Galaxy Fold. Instead of a full screen, it will be a small dedicated space used for receiving notifications, displaying time and battery level.

The camera won’t be as advanced as the Galaxy S20 or Galaxy Fold, but it will still house some impressive features. A dual 12-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle and ultra-wide lens is expected to be featured.

The fingerprint sensor will be found on the side of the phone and it will also have wireless charging capabilities.

But perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Home and Home Mini, which were absent throughout 2019, will finally make an appearance at the Unpacked event.

If the smart home speaker device does make an appearance, it’s only likely to be the smaller Galaxy Home Mini, according to speculation.The device has been beta tested in Korea since August last year and rumours are swirling that the Galaxy Home Mini is ready for released, with the launch date set for 12 February.

The Galaxy Unpacked event would seem like an obvious platform to unveil the device and bolster sales for Samsung’s first smart speaker.

The device is expected to be smaller than the Galaxy Home, with a similar fabric covering and aesthetic. It will be powered by Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant, tuned with AKG’s sound tech and will work in collaboration with Samsung’s SmartThings smart home system.

An interesting feature is an infrared blaster that would enable the Home Mini to control older devices without smart functions – given the other devices are in range and sight.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed or leaked, but rough calculations expected from the South Korean tech giant is expected to be around US $85. This is more expensive than the Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot but may reflect higher quality of the AKG-tuned speaker and infrared blaster.

Finally, will the Galaxy Unpacked event see the launch of a new Galaxy Watch?

(EPA/RAINER JENSEN)

Rumoured to feature much larger storage options, the new Galaxy Watch 2 would be a welcome launch with certainly lots of hype surrounding rumours of one being under development.

But the likelihood is, unfortunately, low. Despite it being some time since Samsung released of the Galaxy Watch, the new Galaxy Watch is still under early development, so don’t expect to see a Galaxy Watch 2 on 11 February.

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