Samsung took the wraps off its newest Galaxy Note phones on Wednesday: the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The new devices come with faster processors and improved cameras compared to last year’s models.
The two phones have much in common with Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup, with the biggest differences being the Note’s signature stylus and the more expensive model’s new Ultra Wideband technology. This feature makes the Note 20 Ultra better at sensing nearby objects so that it can more easily share content with other devices and potentially work more seamlessly with smart home gadgets in the future. Apple’s iPhone 11 also supports this technology.
Samsung has launched its new Galaxy Note20 smartphone, and it is due to be in South Africa on 21 August.
But it’s pricey. The base model costs R25,000. The top-end Ultra model is on pre-order for R36,000 cash.
For that money, there’s quite a handsome selection of second-hand cars available right now, including a 2008 Dodge Caliber.
Samsung just launched its new Galaxy Note20 smartphone – and it’s pricey. Really, really pricey.
The company announced two models for the plus-sized phone: the Galaxy Note20 (in 4G and 5G variants) and the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, the one with all the bells and whistles.
The models will go on sale in South Africa on 21 August, and are already available for pre-order at outlets like Telkom and Vodacom.
Considering consumers everywhere are hard-hit by Covid-19 and the resulting economic damage, the phone has a pretty hefty pricetag. According to Samsung, the base model retails for R25,000 while the Ultra retails for an eye-watering R37,000.
Telkom currently has both models up for pre-order. The base 4G model will set you back R899 over 24 months, and you’ll pay R1,399 per month over 24 months for the Ultra. For the Ultra, that’s a lifetime cost of R33,576, including a FreeMe 3GB contract from Telkom.
Takealot is offering them for pre-order at an astonishing R37,000. For comparison, the newest iPhone 11 Pro is currently on special for R24,000.
It’s not just Takealot and Telkom. Though most of the other retailers Samsung lists as accepting pre-orders aren’t displaying prices, online retailer Hi is also listing the Ultra at R37,000. Delivery is free.
A second-hand 2002 BMW 5 Series 525i Auto, with 150,000 km on the clock costs the same price. Or you can get a 2008 2.0 Dodge Caliber that has done 215,000 km.
Or, for the same money, you can buy a Mobicell Astro smartphone – one of the top smartphones in South Africa for under R1,000 – use it for a week, throw it away, buy a new one, and keep doing that for more than a year and a half.
So what do you get for the price of a second-hand car? Well, the cameras are really nice.
The Galaxy Note20 has a 64MP primary camera, with two 12MP lenses. The Note 20Ultra has a 108MP camera. That’s enough for filming in 8K resolution.
They also have really nice AMOLED displays. The Galaxy Note 20 has a 6.7-inch display while the Ultra has a 6.9-inch display.
If that doesn’t appeal, you could always buy yourself a car.
Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 2, its sequel to the foldable smartphone it introduced in early 2019 that was initially criticized after some reviewers reported that their devices had broke.
Samsung did not reveal how much the Z Fold 2 will cost or when it will be released, but it plans to reveal more details on September 1. Pre-orders for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will also begin on that same day.
One of the biggest improvements to come with the second-generation Fold is its larger cover screen. When closed, the Z Fold 2 will have a 6.2-inch display – a major upgrade from the 4.6-inch front display on its predecessor. Such a change addresses one of the biggest complaints about the original Galaxy Fold; it felt nearly useless when closed because its display felt too small and cramped. Inside, the new Galaxy Z Fold 2 will have a 7.6-inch tablet-sized screen.
Samsung also says it’s made improvements to the phone’s design to make it more durable with a reinforced hinge. The company says it tested more than 100 different ideas to prevent debris from entering the phone, landing on a sweeper mechanism inspired by vacuum bristles located under the hinge.
That’s particularly important because the original version of the first Galaxy Fold broke for some reviewers after just two days of use. Some critics with the affected units experienced issues after accidentally removing a protective film, while others reported debris entering the hinge. The episode caused Samsung to delay the phone’s launch by several months.
The new Fold also borrows some features from the Galaxy Z Flip, the foldable flip phone Samsung revealed earlier this year. Like the Z Flip, the new Z Fold 2 comes with a screen made of glass instead of plastic. It also can stay open at multiple angles like the Z Flip.
Samsung’s latest foldable will have a display with a 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling – just like the new Galaxy S20 Ultra – and adapts the same hole punch-like cutout for the camera as Samsung’s other devices.
Otherwise, Samsung says the Z Fold 2 has a thinner body with a smaller gap between the screens. It’ll be available in two colors: black and bronze.
Samsung is betting on forward-looking technologies like 5G connectivity and foldable designs to stay ahead of rivals like Huawei and Apple. Huawei surpassed Samsung to ship the most phones in the second quarter of 2020, according to The International Data Corporation, despite the United States trade restrictions it’s facing which prevent the company from using Google’s apps.
Part of the new Z Fold 2’s success and appeal will likely hinge on its price. Samsung’s new foldable also comes at a time when industry giants like Apple and Google are turning their attention to launching new phones that are more affordable, costing well below R10,000.
Samsung is making a bigger effort to challenge Apple’s dominance of the smartwatch industry with its new Galaxy Watch 3, which comes loaded with additional health features like fall detection and ECG monitoring.
It’s another sign that Samsung, one of the largest wearables makers in the world, is focusing on health capabilities to remain competitive with Apple and Fitbit.
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch 3 on Wednesday alongside its new Galaxy Note 20 smartphones, a new pair of wireless earbuds, and two new tablets. The watch comes with a new feature called Trip Detection, which sounds a lot like the fall detection capability that Apple introduced with the Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018. Trip Detection can tell when you’ve taken a hard fall and enables you to send a message to designated emergency contacts.
For users in South Korea, the Galaxy Watch 3 will also be capable of taking an electrocardiogram (ECG) and monitoring blood pressure. Apple also first introduced the ability to take an ECG on the Apple Watch Series 4 using the watch’s electrical heart sensor. The Apple Watch, however, cannot measure blood pressure.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 3 will get another health-oriented feature not found on the Apple Watch: the ability to take SpO2 readings, which can be used to check your blood oxygen levels. Fitbit already offers this feature, and Apple is rumored to be working on it for the Apple Watch as well.
Like the Apple Watch and Fitbit devices, Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch will also be capable of taking VO2 max levels for measuring aerobic fitness levels.
It’ll also support other more basic health-oriented features like the ability to monitor heart rate, activity metrics, and sleep.
Apple was the top seller of smartwatches in the first quarter of 2020, accounting for 36.3% of global smartwatch shipments according to research firm Canalys. Samsung, by comparison, placed in third with 12.4% of the market, following Huawei which placed in second. Samsung’s new smartwatch is also further evidence that tech giants are delving more deeply into the health space to help their wearable devices stand out.