What just happened? Samsung officially introduced its Galaxy S20 line of phones at its Unpacked keynote on Tuesday. The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra are all 5G compatible with some of the newest technology to improve photos, movies, and games.
The Korean tech titan is particularly proud of the new camera architecture in its Galaxy S20 series, which sports some impressive features. The flagships have some of Samsung’s biggest image sensors yet. The S20 and S20+ sport a 64MP camera, while the S20 Ultra bumps resolution to 108MP. The larger sensors take in more light and improve photo quality in dim environments.
The Ultra can also switch between 108MP and 12MP using a technology Samsung calls “nona-binning.” This innovation takes nine pixels and combines them into one. It does this at the sensor level rather than through software processing.
Coupled with a new imaging AI, the cameras have incredible zoom capabilities that combine optical and digital zoom functions. Samsung touts a 30x zoom on the Galaxy S20 and S20+ and a 100x on the Ultra. The hybrid zoom's AI uses multi-image processing to reduce resolution loss at higher magnification levels. Additionally, the new sensors are capable of capturing video at up to 8K resolution, while the AI uses motion analysis to provide stabilization to even out the bumps when capturing video.
Taking advantage of the S20’s 5G speeds, Samsung has partnered with YouTube so that users can upload their 8K videos directly to their channel from the device. The company is also banking on 5G to provide other benefits, including improved video chat with up to eight contacts via Google Duo, a better Netflix experience, and “console-style” mobile gaming.
Although it did not mention it specifically, It sounds like Samsung is positioning its S20 line to take advantage of 5G to bring cloud gaming to the device. The S20’s 5G capabilities should provide ample throughput and processing for a stable experience on platforms like Stadia. Aside from game streaming, Samsung said that Microsoft will be launching its mobile racing game Forza Street on the Galaxy Store later this spring.
The new flagships will also have new security features powered by the Knox platform.
“The most secure device Samsung has ever made, the Galaxy S20 is protected by Knox—the industry-leading mobile security platform that protects the device from the chip level through to the software level,” says Samsung.
The company also says that the S20 has a new “secure processor” that prevents hardware-based attacks.
The new Galaxy phones support fast charging as well. The S20 and S20+ come equipped with a 25W charger, while the S20 Ultra has 45W “Super Fast” charging.
There are a variety of models to choose from in the line. The S20 is limited to 128GB of storage, but the S20+ and Ultra come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models. The standard color for all models is Cosmic Grey. Other color choices include Cloud Pink (S20), Cloud Blue (S20 and S20+), and Cosmic Black (S20+ and Ultra).
Customers can pre-order a Galaxy S20 starting today with shipments going out on March 6. The S20 starts at $1,000, the S20+ is $1,200, and the Ultra will sell for $1,400. For a limited time Samsung is offering up to $600 off with qualifying trade-ins.