Camera Comparison: iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Earlier this week we picked up a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and did a feature overview to see if it's worth $1,400, but we also thought we'd take a deeper look at Samsung's newest smartphone to see how the cameras measure up to the cameras in Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Max.

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Hardware Details


Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra, like the iPhone, has a multi-lens rear camera setup. There's a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, and a DepthVision Camera for portrait shots.


For comparison's sake, the iPhone is sporting a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera.

Portrait Mode


When it comes to Portrait mode photos, the Galaxy S20 Ultra wins out thanks to that depth sensor. There's not a major difference, but the images coming from the S20 Ultra appear to be sharper and the edge detection is better. The iPhone does win out when it comes to dynamic range, and the S20 Ultra seems to have a bit of desaturation in some images, but overall, the S20 Ultra wins this category.


Standard Camera Tests


When it comes to standard photos using the three different lenses on each camera, we actually preferred the iPhone images for the most part because the iPhone offered more balanced color and better dynamic range, but with high-end smartphone cameras, a lot comes down to personal preference.


The S20 Ultra seems to be overexposing highlights in images with the sun and clouds, resulting in too much contrast. In images with less dynamic lighting, the results are closer and both look great.


The exception here is the ultra wide-angle camera. The S20 Ultra is just producing a sharper, crisper ultra wide-angle picture, while the iPhone produces a softer image. That's not too much of a surprise, though, because the sensor of Apple's ultra wide-angle lens isn't as good as the sensor in Apple's wide-angle camera lens.


S20 Ultra Space Zoom


The Galaxy S20 Ultra has some bells and whistles worth pointing out, such as a 100X "Space Zoom" feature. The iPhone 11 Pro Max maxes out at 10X digital zoom. The S20 Ultra clearly wins here, though you're not going to get a lot of use out of 100X zoom photos.


What is impressive, though, is photos taken with the 30X zoom feature. Samsung's 30X zoom pictures are crisper and clearer than Apple's 10x zoom photos.


S20 Ultra Single Take


There's also a "Single Take" feature that takes photos and videos from different angles and then spits out a bunch of different options like Boomerang-style videos, pictures with filters, videos with music, and more, so you have this kind of auto editing feature that can produce some interesting photo and video options you might not have thought to do on your own.


S20 Ultra 108-Megapixel Camera


We do need to mention that massive 108-megapixel camera. It definitely has focus issues at the current time, and it's hard to get it to focus.


When it does work, it can provide sharp, detailed photos that are great if you need to crop in, and it has great depth of field for some nice background bokeh.


A 108-megapixel camera produces massive file sizes, so this isn't a lens you're going to want to use often. Luckily, Samsung did built in a feature that lets it take more reasonable 12-megapixel photos.

Night Mode


Both phones have a Night Mode, and both Night Modes work fairly well. On the Galaxy S20 Ultra, it's a mode you need to enable that's not turned on by default, which is a bit of a hassle.


The iPhone seems to have better HDR processing and delivers a more usable photo in extreme low lighting conditions. In situations with just a bit more light, though, it's a wash - both produce nice images.


Video Comparison


One of the Galaxy S20 Ultra's major new features is 8K video, which is higher quality than the 4K video offered by the iPhone. 8K video from the S20 Ultra looks great, but image stabilization is poor, which means the 8K video is not as good as it sounds on paper.

When comparing 8K video from the S20 Ultra to 4K video shot on the iPhone 11 Pro (both at 24 frames per second because that's the max for the S20), the S20 Ultra's crop factor, rolling shutter, and lack of stabilization are highly noticeable.

Pitting 4K video against 4K video (at 60fps), both cameras perform similarly in terms of stabilization and focus, though the iPhone 11 Pro Max seems to be just a bit more stable. Both are just about equal, though.

Front-Facing Camera


As for the front-facing camera, there's a 40-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture in the Galaxy S20 Ultra, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max features a 12-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture.


You might think the 40-megapixel camera is significantly better, but we didn't see a whole lot of difference between the S20 Ultra and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Samsung does have a "beauty mode" that we turned off, while the iPhone has no similar mode that can be toggled on.

Conclusion


In a nutshell, as with most high-end smartphone camera comparisons, there's no crystal clear winner. Both the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the iPhone 11 Pro Max have good cameras that are capable of capturing some amazing photos in good lighting conditions.

The iPhone wins out when it comes to dynamic range and video stabilization, but the S20 has better portrait mode photos. Standard point and shoot images are going to come down to personal preference, so make sure to watch the video to see all of our comparisons.

Tag: Samsung

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Hands-On With Samsung’s New S20 Ultra: Is It Worth $1400?

Samsung in February announced its most expensive non-foldable smartphone to date, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which has a starting price of $1,400, which is $300 higher than the starting price of Apple's $1,099 iPhone 11 Pro Max.


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Apple is often criticized for its high price points, but this year, Samsung went above and beyond matching Apple's expensive smartphones. We recently picked up one of Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphones to see if it's worth the $1,400 price point.

First off, the S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch OLED display that looks fantastic. Out of the box, it's set to 1080p with a 60Hz refresh rate, but you can bump that up to a 120Hz refresh rate for super smooth scrolling. If you want to use the QHD setting with a higher resolution, you'll be limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, likely due to battery life concerns.


The Galaxy S20 Ultra includes 12 to 16GB RAM (16GB for the highest-end option priced at $1,600), 128 or 512GB of storage (again for that $1,600 model), an SD card expansion slot, a Snapdragon 865 processor (Qualcomm's latest and fastest chip), an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a 5,000mAh battery, which offers impressive battery life.

Samsung has also outfitted the Ultra with some impressive cameras, though some of what's new is a little bit gimmicky. There's a 108-megapixel wide-angle lens that can take some great photos, but 108-megapixel images are massive in size and aren't super great when you're taking a bunch of photos and using smartphone storage.


The lens uses a large sensor that lets in a lot of light to create natural depth of field effects, but we've had some trouble getting the camera to focus properly due to some bugs that Samsung has yet to address.

There's also a 100X Space Zoom feature that's impressive on the surface because it lets you zoom in super far, but a 100X zoom photo isn't actually usable because it's so grainy and unclear. The more modest 30x zoom, though, is quite good.


You can do 8K recording on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but with the lack of focus tracking, the huge crop factor, and the large file sizes, it's not really worth it because 4K video is more than suitable and it offers better focusing tools. We're going to do a full camera comparison with the S20 Ultra and the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ later this week, so make sure to check back for that video.

The S20 Ultra, like the entire S20 lineup, comes with 5G connectivity, which is major selling point. Most people can't really take advantage of 5G networks yet because they're still in the early stages of rolling out, but people who own S20 smartphones will be ready to take advantage of 5G when it's ready.


Right now, 5G is kind of hit or miss. The fastest 5G, mmWave, is limited to some urban areas and suffers from interference from buildings and trees, while 600MHz 5G, designed for rural areas, isn't a whole lot faster than LTE at the current time. 5G is going to get better and it's going to get better quick once 5G is standard across all smartphones, but for now, it's not an entirely necessary feature.

It's not really fair to compare Samsung's February 2020 smartphones with Apple's September 2019 smartphones as Apple is working on upgraded iPhones with specs that better match those found in the S20 lineup, but until those new iPhones come out in fall, Samsung's S20 lineup, and the S20 Ultra in particular, is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market.

Many people may buy their smartphones on plans that split the payments across 24 months and also offer regular upgrades with trade-in, but $1,400 is still a lot to pay even over many months. So is the Galaxy S20 Ultra worth it? No, not for most people.


Just like the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ isn't for every user, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is aimed at those who want the best of the best in terms of specs. We wouldn't recommend the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ to the average user over the iPhone 11, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra is also not for the average user, which is why Samsung is selling it alongside the $999 S20 and the $1,200 S20+.

What do you think of Samsung's S20 Ultra? Would you shell out that amount of money for a smartphone? Let us know in the comments.

Tag: Samsung

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Testing Samsung’s New $1,380 Galaxy Z Flip Foldable Smartphone

Samsung last week unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip, which began shipping out over the weekend. We managed to get our hands on one of the new foldable smartphones, and thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to the Galaxy Fold and how foldable smartphone technology is progressing.

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The Galaxy Z Flip is the followup to Samsung's original Galaxy Fold, which did not receive stellar reviews because it felt more like a prototype than an actual smartphone worth purchasing. The Galaxy Fold was a smartphone that unfolded into a tablet, but the Galaxy Z Flip is a smartphone that folds down to become more compact.


Like the flip phones of yore, the Galaxy Z Flip folds in half top over bottom, compressing down into a little pocketable square. It's thick, like two smartphones stacked on top of each other, in fact, but some people are going to prefer that as it is still more easily pocketable than a large-screened smartphone that does not fold.

When opened up, the Galaxy Z Flip features a 6.7-inch display, which is made from a flexible glass for the first time, a departure from the plastic of the Galaxy Fold. Over the glass, there's still a laminate layer, which scratches easily and has been the source of some complaints.


We haven't seen scratches, even after accidentally dropping the Z Flip four feet onto the floor, but it does feel a little bit delicate. When unlocking the display with a finger, the nail kind of presses down a bit, and if it was longer or sharper, we wouldn't be surprised to see minor screen damage.

One Galaxy Z Flip owner has also had an issue with the display cracking at the fold in the cold, but that seems to be an isolated incident. Our model wasn't taken out into the cold, but it was fine when using it day to day briefly in cold Ohio weather when going from the car to the house.

When it comes to the hinge, the Z Flip's opening and closing mechanism feels a lot smoother and we're not as worried about dust or debris getting into the hinge and mucking things up.


All in all, the Galaxy Z Flip isn't experiencing the same kind of issues that were seen with the Galaxy Fold, and in the hand, it feels more durable and has a better build quality, but make no mistake, this is still a device that needs to be treated delicately.

When it comes to the internal components, the Z Flip is lacking. It runs well, but when it comes down to it, these are components that were introduced last year. It only has a 1080p display, plus an older processor and camera technology that's inferior to the upgraded cameras used in the Galaxy S20 series.


We're going to do an in-depth camera look in a future video with the S20 Ultra and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but the Z Flip's cameras are basically the same cameras used in last year's Galaxy S10.

One of the main new features in the Z Flip aside from the foldable design is the little mini display that's visible on the outside of the phone when it's closed. The display can show notifications (tap them and open the phone to get to the relevant app), display the time and date, offer up media controls, and provide details on battery percentage. Most notably, it serves as a mini viewfinder when taking selfies.


Display quality is fine with the 1080p display, but the crease down the middle is definitely visible at times. In usage, though, it kind of fades away much like the notch on the iPhone.

Samsung has added a "Flex Mode" to the Z Flip, which allows it to be used for certain tasks when half folded, kind of like a little tiny MacBook. Flex Mode isn't particularly fleshed out and doesn't work with many apps right now, but when functional, it uses the top as a display and the bottom for controls.


So with the camera app, you can see yourself in the viewfinder at the top of the display and then the settings and the camera modes can be accessed on the bottom of the display. Since it sits upright like a notebook, it's available for hands-free selfies and video calls.

Foldable smartphones are an interesting concept and there's definitely promise of better things to come, but the Galaxy Z Flip is just not a phone the average person should go out and buy.


It's incredibly pricy at $1,380, it needs to be handled with the utmost care, the specs are mediocre for such an expensive device, and we ultimately have no idea how it's going to hold up to a few years of usage.

Foldable smartphones are fun to play with, but most people should stick with traditional designs at the current time to get the most bang for their buck. If you're going to be shelling out $1,300 for an Android smartphone, the Galaxy S20 series, especially the S20 Ultra, is a much better buy.


‌iPhone‌ users, of course, likely aren't going to be lured away from the ‌iPhone‌ in favor of the Galaxy Z Flip simply because it runs Android, but it's useful to see what Apple's competitors are doing as devices like the Z Flip could hint at ideas that Apple might want to explore or stay away from in future devices.

What do you think of Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip? Let us know in the comments.


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Latest Foldable Smartphones Experiencing Failures and Durability Issues

Foldable smartphones are the latest device trend, and companies that include Motorola and Samsung have released new foldable smartphones over the course of the last few weeks.

The first foldable smartphone from Samsung, the Galaxy Fold, had major durability issues that caused its launch to be delayed. Samsung's newest foldable device, the Galaxy Z Flip, seems to be faring a bit better so far, but there are some complaints about the build quality and problems with the display. The same is true of Motorola's latest smartphone, the RAZR.

Motorola RAZR foldable smartphone, image via Ray Wong

Over the weekend, YouTuber JerryRigEverything tested the durability of the Galaxy Z Flip's display, which is made of a bendable "Ultra Thin Glass" for the first time rather than the plastic material used for the Galaxy Fold.

The testing suggests that the display of the Galaxy Z Flip scratches like plastic and isn't resistant to scratching or other damage. A fingernail on the display was able to make a permanent dent, which is concerning for a smartphone that costs $1,380.


In response to that video, Samsung told CNBC in a statement that the display should be "handled with care" and that it has the same protective layer used in the Galaxy Fold, which perhaps explains some of the scratching.

Another Samsung Galaxy Z Flip user on Twitter got his smartphone, opened the box, opened the phone, and then had it crack right down the middle. He suggests that it could have been due to cold weather.

Image via Twitter

Cracking at the fold was a problem that plagued the Galaxy Fold, and Samsung does warn against pressing hard on the screen and making sure there's nothing on the screen when it's folded closed, but a crack down the middle right out of the box is unexpected behavior.

The $1,500 Motorola RAZR, another foldable smartphone that came out in February, is also seeing durability issues. Ray Wong from Input over the weekend said that the site's Motorola RAZR has a display that's peeling apart just a week after it was purchased.

I'm too scared to even fold up the phone now because the more I close it the wider the spread gets. There's a long streak across the top of the bubble and at first glance, you might mistake it for a scratch. It's not a scratch; there's no physical damage on the surface of the lamination. It's literally the pixels splitting from the two layers.
The damage is more than just cosmetic - the touchscreen is broken and the warping on the surface makes touches and taps unresponsive. Wong isn't sure what caused the damage, but as with the Galaxy Z Flip crack, he speculates that it could be related to cold temperatures.

There have been a few rumors suggesting Apple is working on foldable display technology, but given the super high price points of foldable displays and the ongoing durability issues that have impacted every foldable smartphone to date, Apple may be planning to hold off on a foldable iPhone.

Apple in early February shared a patent for a foldable device with movable flaps to prevent the display from creasing, and that's the latest that we've heard about an Apple device with foldable display technology.


Interestingly, Apple has also separately patented a self-heating display for a foldable device to prevent damage in cold weather, which seems to be a significant issue for foldable devices at the current time.

Of course, Apple patents a lot of technologies that don't ever come to fruition, so whether or not these patents and other related patents hint at Apple's work on a foldable ‌iPhone‌ remains to be seen. At the current time, there are no rumors indicating a folding ‌iPhone‌ is something that we can expect to see in the near future, and certainly not in 2020. The 2020 iPhone lineup will be similar to the 2019 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, though Apple is planning to implement new technologies like 5G connectivity and 3D cameras.


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Samsung’s New Galaxy Buds+ Compared to AirPods and AirPods Pro

Samsung at its Unpacked Event in San Francisco this week unveiled the new Galaxy Z Flip and the S20 smartphone lineup, and accompanying its new flagship devices, Samsung also launched its next-generation wire-free earbuds, the Galaxy Buds+.

In our latest YouTube video, we took a look at the new Galaxy Buds+ to test them out, and we did a quick comparison with the AirPods and the AirPods Pro.

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Design wise, the Galaxy Buds+ look pretty much identical to the original Galaxy Buds, but there's an extra microphone that's been added and the charging case now has a glossy finish instead of a matte finish. The size, fit, and comfort are unchanged.

The Galaxy Buds+ are closer in design to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ than the ‌AirPods‌ because of the soft silicone tips that fit into the ear canal to provide a tighter seal, but there is no noise canceling technology included in the Galaxy Buds+.


With the second-generation version of the Galaxy Buds, Samsung aimed to improve audio quality for music and phone calls along with battery life, both of which do seem to be better. The Galaxy Buds+ now last for 11 hours before needing to be recharged with the case, and the sound seems to be improved.

Though closer in design to the ‌AirPods Pro‌, the price point and the functionality of the Galaxy Buds+ better matches the standard ‌AirPods‌. The Galaxy Buds+ are $149, so $10 cheaper than the standard ‌AirPods‌ without charging case and $100 cheaper than the ‌AirPods Pro‌.


There are touch controls on each Galaxy Bud+ earbud, which can be used to play/pause, skip tracks, and activate voice assistants. Those are the only three functions available when connecting the Galaxy Buds+ to the iPhone, but with an Android device, the long press function can be customized to auto-launch Spotify.

Samsung also offers tools for controlling ambient sound levels (though we didn't notice much of a difference with this enabled), and adjusting the sound profile. There are a few preset options for increasing bass or treble and there's an option for making audio more dynamic or soft. There's no true equalizer function, but it's better than what's available for ‌AirPods‌, which is nothing.

Galaxy Buds+ on Android can read notifications to you, a function not available when using them with the ‌iPhone‌. ‌AirPods‌ offer a similar function in iOS 13, allowing Siri to announce incoming messages.


Galaxy Buds+ can also be connected to multiple devices at the same time such as a TV and an Android phone so you can hear incoming notifications, but this is not a feature that works when using them with an ‌iPhone‌.

Overall, the Galaxy Buds+ audio seems to be improved and they sound better than the ‌AirPods‌, but there's not a huge difference. There is a major difference in sound quality compared to the ‌AirPods Pro‌ in favor of the ‌AirPods Pro‌, but that's probably not a fair comparison given the Galaxy Buds+ are $100 cheaper and not meant to compete with Apple's noise canceling headphones.

Android users who have considered getting ‌AirPods‌ for their smartphones might want to consider the Galaxy Buds+ instead, but those who use both iOS and Android may still want to go for the regular ‌AirPods‌ because of the H1 chip functionality. The H1 chip in the ‌AirPods‌ and ‌AirPods Pro‌ powers hands-free "Hey ‌Siri‌" requests, improves connectivity and improves range, and also enables fast switching between Apple devices connected to the same iCloud account.

What do you think of Samsung's improved Galaxy Buds+? Let us know in the comments.


Tag: Samsung

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Samsung’s Answer to AirDrop Finally Arrives With the Galaxy S20

Last month we reported that Samsung was working on its own AirDrop killer for Galaxy devices, called Quick Share. On Tuesday, the Korean company unveiled its new trio of Galaxy S20 phones, and we finally got a better idea of what the local file-sharing feature can do.


On the face of it, Quick Share works just like Apple's AirDrop, in that if you're near another user with a supported device, they will show up on your screen and you can share a picture, video, or file with them. Similarly, Galaxy users can also choose to receive files from anyone or only people in their contacts.

However, Quick Share has an added feature that AirDrop lacks – it allows you to share files with up to five people simultaneously. With AirDrop, you can only send to one recipient at a time.

It'll be interesting to see if Apple develops AirDrop further in response to Samsung's Quick Share feature, given that we already know Apple is continually looking to improve its ad-hoc file sharing service. The most recent addition to AirDrop's capabilities is "directional AirDrop," which allows users to point an iPhone 11 at another iPhone user to instantly share files with them.

The feature was made possible by the U1 Wideband chip included in ‌iPhone 11‌ devices that allows the distance between two Ultra Wideband devices to be measured precisely by calculating the time that it takes for a radio wave to pass between the two devices.

airdrop
Apple says that the directional AirDrop feature is "just the beginning" of what is possible with Ultra Wideband, and says that "amazing new capabilities" are coming later.

The first Android smartphones with Ultra Wideband technology are expected to be released starting later in 2020. Meanwhile, Google is also working on its own AirDrop-like feature called Nearby Sharing for Pixel phones.
In addition, China's big three mobile vendors are working collectively on an AirDrop-style peer-to-peer transfer protocol that is expected to launch this month. All of which suggests the development of new close-proximity file-sharing features could well hot up between the big players in the coming years.

Quick Share is currently only available for the new Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra 5G, but Samsung says support for other devices is coming soon.


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Samsung Unveils Galaxy S20 Smartphones With 5G Connectivity, New Cameras, $1,000 to $1,400 Price Range and More

At its Unpacked event in San Francisco, Samsung today introduced its Galaxy S20 5G lineup, featuring the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra smartphones with 5G connectivity, new camera technology, and more.

The Galaxy S20 features a 6.2-inch AMOLED display, the Galaxy S20+ features a 6.7-inch AMOLED display, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra features a 6.9-inch AMOLED display. All three displays are full screen with small camera cutouts and ultrasonic fingerprint sensors, facial recognition capabilities, HDR10+ certification, and 120Hz refresh rates.


The Galaxy S20+ and the Galaxy S20 Ultra work with both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G networks, while the Galaxy S20 is limited to sub-6GHz 5G connectivity. mmWave is the fastest 5G, but will be limited to major urban areas, while the slower sub-6GHz network will be more widespread.

Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung's entry-level Galaxy S20 features a triple-lens camera setup with 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens.

Galaxy S20+

The Galaxy S20+ features the same cameras, along with a fourth "Depth Vision" camera, while the Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 48-megapixel telephoto camera, along with the Depth Vision Camera.

Samsung says all of the cameras in the new smartphones are able to let in more light for better images in poor lighting conditions, and the S20 Ultra can shift dynamically between a 108-megapixel mode and a 12-megapixel mode.

Galaxy S20 Ultra Cameras

All three smartphones feature "Space Zoom" that allows users to zoom in up to 30x on the Galaxy S20 and S20+, while the S20 Ultra has 10x lossless zoom for a total of 100x zoom.

A "Single Take" feature lets the Galaxy S20 smartphones take a number of photos and videos at once, like live focus, cropped, ultra wide, and more, and then use AI to recommend the best shot of the bunch.

The new smartphones support 8K video shooting with "Super Steady" and anti-rolling stabilization features. There are also 10-megapixel front-facing camera setups on each of the new smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S20

All of the new smartphones are powered by a 7-nanometer 64-bit Octa-Core processor. The S20 and S20+ offer 12GB RAM, while the S20 Ultra offers 12 or 16GB depending on the model purchased. Storage starts at 128GB, but a 512GB option is available for the higher-end devices.

The S20 features a 4,000mAh battery, the S20+ features a 4,500mAh battery, and the S20 Ultra features a 5,000mAh battery. Fast wireless charging is supported and the smartphones ship with a 25W charger.

Samsung is offering the smartphones in multiple colors. The S20 is available in Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, and Cloud Pink, while the S20+ is available in Cosmic Gray, Cloud Blue, and Cosmic Black. The S20 Ultra is available in Cosmic Gray and Cosmic Black.

The new Samsung smartphones will be available for purchase on March 6, with pre-orders to kick off on February 21. Pricing starts at $999.99 for the Galaxy S20 5G, $1,199.99 for the Galaxy S20+ 5G, and $1,399.99 for the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G.

Alongside the new Galaxy S20 smartphone lineup, Samsung also launched the Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone and the Galaxy Buds+, coming on February 14 for $149.


The Galaxy Buds+ are Samsung's latest AirPods competitor, featuring a two-way speaker for improved sound, three microphones, longer 11-hour battery life, and improved connectivity. MacRumors videographer Dan is attending Samsung's Unpacked event and Samsung is allowing members of the media to test out the devices after the announcements are finished, so we'll have a hands-on video coming later today featuring the Galaxy Z Flip and the new Galaxy S20 smartphones.

Tag: Samsung

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Samsung Debuts New ‘Galaxy Z Flip’ Foldable Smartphone, Priced at $1,380

Samsung today officially debuted the Galaxy Z Flip, its newest flagship foldable smartphone. Unlike Samsung's first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, the Z Flip is a smartphone-sized device that folds in half. Samsung called it a stylish smartphone designed for trendsetters and people who want to stand out.

Samsung first unveiled the smartphone on Sunday with a commercial that was shown during the Oscars, but the full announcement includes additional details about the device.


The major selling point for the Galaxy Z Flip is its small size, as it can fold in half and be tucked into a pocket. When folded out, it features a 6.7-inch Infinity Flex AMOLED display that's full screen with the exception of a small camera cutout at the top. Samsung says that the Z Flip is its first ever smartphone with a 21.9:9 ratio, and that the display is made from bendable "Ultra Thin Glass."


There's a Hideaway Hinge, which Samsung calls a "work of engineering art," with the hinge able to withstand 200,000 folds. The hinge uses a sweeper technology that includes nylon fibers to repel dirt and dust, a problem that affected Samsung's first foldable smartphone.

The phone can be used folded out into a traditional smartphone shape, but it can also be used folded in half similar to a makeup compact with the bottom half propping up the top half for a hands-free mode.


When folded in half, the Z Flip is in "Flex Mode," with an interface optimized for a hands-free selfie and vlogging experience using the 10-megapixel front-facing camera. Because the Galaxy Z Flip can hold its position at multiple angles, Samsung says it can capture "amazing low angle" photos that "play with perception" using the rear camera.

A Multi-Active Window feature allows users to multi-task by opening up the Multi-Window Tray to drag and drop the apps they want to use. One app can occupy each half of the Z Flip.


There's a small display on the back of the smartphone so that when it's folded up, users are still able to see the time, incoming notifications, and other relevant information. Tapping a notification on the cover screen will transition to the app while unfolding the phone.

Samsung included a dual battery inside the Galaxy Z Flip with a 3,300mAh capacity. That doesn't quite match the battery life of the S20 series, but Samsung says it will "last all day long."

Samsung says that the Galaxy Z Flip will be available in limited quantities in Mirror Purple and Black starting in the U.S. and Korea on February 14, 2020, followed by Mirror Gold in select countries. Pricing starts at $1,380.

Tag: Samsung

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TV Ad Reveals Samsung’s Unannounced ‘Galaxy Z Flip’ Phone

In an ad break during last night's Academy Awards, Samsung gave viewers an unexpected first look at its as-yet-announced Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone, which the company is supposed to officially unveil on Tuesday.

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The look of the phone in Samsung's commercial matches up with previous leaks, with the device being shown folded up, opened at various angles as well as opened completely flat. At one point, the ad shows the phone sitting on a flat surface at a 90-degree angle while a Google Duo video call takes place on the screen.

The ad also provides a first glimpse of the phone's small full-color digital screen on the back that can show a caller's ID and includes touch sliders for accepting and rejecting calls when the phone is folded up. Two colors of phone are shown – purple and black. The commercial ends with the tagline "Change the shape of the future".

The Galaxy Z Flip is rumored to feature an ultra-thin glass screen that Samsung is said to have developed in an effort to avoid the display issues that plagued the Galaxy Fold. Even so, it looks like Samsung hasn't been able to iron out a common wrinkle of foldable phones – the ad's small print reads: "You may notice a small crease in the center of the main screen, which is a natural characteristic of the screen."

The 6.7-inch Galaxy Z Flip is expected to be more affordable than the Galaxy Fold, which costs $1,980 in the U.S. The original Fold was beleaguered with display issues from the off, and Samsung will be hoping the Flip doesn't suffer a similar fate. There have already been reports of hinge problems with Motorola's just-released $1,499 Razr flip phone.

The Galaxy Z Flip will be officially announced alongside the Galaxy S20 – of which three models are expected – at Samsung's Unpacked event in San Francisco on February 11.

There are no rumors suggesting that Apple has plans to release a foldable smartphone anytime soon, but Apple is undoubtedly looking into foldable devices and has patented some foldable display technology.


This article, "TV Ad Reveals Samsung's Unannounced 'Galaxy Z Flip' Phone" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple App Store Preview Confirms Existence of Samsung’s Rumored Galaxy Buds+ With Official iPhone Support

Apple last night unwittingly confirmed the existence of Samsung's upcoming next-generation Galaxy Buds+, which are set to compete directly with Apple's own AirPods Pro wireless earphones.


Confirmation came via an App Store preview of the wireless earphones' iOS app, first spotted by CNET, indicating that the Galaxy Buds+ will be officially compatible with iPhone 7 and newer devices running iOS 10 or higher.

Other than that, the app description reveals little else about Samsung's new earbuds. However, serial gadget leaker Evan Blass has subsequently shared an official-looking spec sheet of the upcoming Galaxy Buds+ compared to the current Galaxy Buds.

According to the spec sheet, the Galaxy Buds+ will have almost double the battery life of their predecessor, with 11 hours for the buds themselves plus an additional 11 hours from the charging case, compared with six hours for the standard Galaxy Buds and 7 hours for its charging case.

Image via @evleaks

Unlike Apple's ‌AirPods Pro‌, the Galaxy Buds+ don't have active noise cancellation, but the design remains the same as the current Galaxy Buds, so there is some passive sound isolation. Otherwise, the new earbuds have upgraded speakers and an additional microphone, so expect improved audio.

The Galaxy Buds+ will cost $149, up from $129, and will be available in black, white, red, and blue colors. Speculation suggests that Samsung may also include the earbuds in the box with the upcoming Galaxy S20, but this hasn't been confirmed.

After CNET highlighted the existence of Apple's App Store preview, a Samsung spokesperson told the website that the company is "excited to introduce Galaxy Buds+ soon." Samsung noted that its app "will allow iOS users to enjoy an optimized sound experience, on the go."

Samsung will hold its Unpacked event on February 11 in San Francisco, where it's expected to introduce its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S20, along with a new folding phone called the Galaxy Z Flip.

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Apple has reportedly been experiencing "much higher" than expected demand for its $249 ‌AirPods Pro‌, and the company is said to have ask its supplier Luxshare Precision to double production of the high-end earphones to two million units per month.

Together with the Apple Watch, the AirPods and ‌AirPods Pro‌ have been a driving force behind growth in Apple's wearables category, which recently set new fourth quarter revenue records worldwide.

Related Roundup: AirPods Pro
Buyer's Guide: AirPods Pro (Buy Now)

This article, "Apple App Store Preview Confirms Existence of Samsung's Rumored Galaxy Buds+ With Official iPhone Support" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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