The Samsung Galaxy S20 launch is in a matter of weeks, and we’re eager to see everything that might be unveiled at this year’s Unpacked event. The tech giant often takes the opportunity to debut more than just phones, and some much-anticipated gadgets could see the light of day.
Case in point: at the Samsung Galaxy S10 launch back in February 2019, the phonemaker introduced the AirPods-like Samsung Galaxy Buds. Now that Apple’s released its AirPods Pro, we expect Samsung to fire back by debuting the much-rumored Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus.
We’re also curious if we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 5G, a version of the company’s pro tablet that could connect to the next-gen networks - something that would put Samsung ahead of Apple in the tablet game.
Speaking of getting ahead, we’re also awaiting news on the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 as well as the rumored Samsung S Flip foldable.
At the less likely end of the spectrum are much-wanted but little-rumored products like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2, which we haven’t heard much about in the years since its much-beloved predecessor hit the market. And, of course, we might see a Bixby Speaker.
If there’s one thing we can virtually guarantee, it’s that the Samsung Galaxy S20 won’t debut alone. Here’s what we’re looking forward to at the event.
Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S20 along with the likely larger Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus will take center stage at Unpacked. We’re expecting a few innovations from the new flagships, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about these phones. First and foremost: will they all be 5G-capable?
Either of these phones will almost certainly pack the Snapdragon 865 chipset, which requires a 5G-capable modem like the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55, so we could reasonably assume the phones will be able to connect to the next-gen networks out of the box. It’s still possible that Samsung will release cheaper 4G-only versions alongside 5G ones, but it seems like it would be more trouble than it’s worth.
Most of what we’ve heard about the phones has involved incremental improvements: thinner bezels, centerline selfie camera, larger 6.2-inch (S20) and 6.7-inch (S20 Plus) displays - but a few, like a souped-up 64MP telephoto lens with 3x zoom and 120Hz max screen refresh rate, have us excited. However it seems like Samsung is saving the most substantial improvements for the biggest, baddest model...
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
This is more like it. The largest, highest-specced version of the S20 line is rumored to be called the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. It might be called the S20 Ultra 5G, which makes it an even more obvious inheritor of the massive Samsung Galaxy S10 5G that launched in mid-2019; this time, we’re expecting the top-top-tier phone to arrive at the same time as its smaller siblings.
The Ultra is rumored to pack a max-sized 6.9-inch display and seriously souped-up cameras: a 108MP main shooter, a 48MP telephoto with 5x zoom, and a 40MP front-facing camera. (All S20 phones are rumored to pack the same 12MP ultrawide lens, while the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra both come with time of flight sensors.) Put simply, the S20 Ultra is poised to be the highest-tech phone out there, with a rumored 100x digital zoom packaged as ‘Space Zoom.’
Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite / Note 10 Lite price and release date
Curiously absent in the S20 lineup is a follow-up to the S10e budget flagship. It’s entirely possible that Samsung is following Apple in making its prime-named phone (the standard Galaxy S20) the cheapest option. Or Samsung could be slotting its recently-announced Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite into the budget flagship role.
We’ve already seen and played with these phones at CES 2020, but we could finally learn when they’ll be sold and how much they’ll cost. While their specs are technically a year behind the new S20 line, that should work in their favor when it comes to affordability, and they’ll likely cost less than the S10e did at launch - making both these handsets strong contenders for the best mid rangers out there.
There’s another possibility, of course: both the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite were specifically created to appeal to different markets than those that embrace Samsung’s priciest flagships. If that’s the case, we may not hear about the S10 Lite and Note 10 Lite at all.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are rumored to be Samsung’s answer to Apple’s AirPods Pro - noise-canceling premium true wireless earbuds, but in this case, for Android phones. At least, that’s what we’re expecting - but rumors have both supported and refuted the possibility of noise-canceling.
Even without packing the AirPods Pro’s standout feature, the Galaxy Buds Plus could outshine the Pro in terms of battery life - one rumor suggests they could last up to 12 hours.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 2
The original Samsung Galaxy Watch was a powerhouse with a neat rotating bezel that made navigating the smartwatch easier - and a more fun, tactile experience. While the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 introduced a digital haptic version of this feature, it’s not the same and we’re eager for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 2.
We haven’t heard much at all about the Galaxy Watch 2, which itself suggests we probably won’t see this smartwatch at Unpacked 2020. But we can still dream.
New fitness tracker?
It’s entirely possible we get a successor to the Samsung Galaxy Fit, or perhaps even another budget fitness tracker like the Samsung Galaxy Fit e. We haven’t heard any news or rumors, so there’s no real hype building around a new device from Samsung. But if we don’t get another smartwatch this year, it might make sense for the company to whet appetites with a refreshed fitness tracker.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 5G
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 was a welcome surprise: a higher-specced tablet to rival the iPad Pro, but with a few extras that stand out in contrast. The Tab S6 includes an S Pen in the price (which is lower than the iPad Pro), has an improved desktop-simulating Dex mode, and its keyboard accessory (sold separately) has a touchpad. It’s an intriguing contender that only gets more exciting with 5G.
A Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 5G launching at Unpacked 2020 would beat Apple to the punch, which hasn’t released a 5G-capable iPad yet. It would also be rather useful for on-the-go professionals that need to upload and download files rapidly, like media editors.
Of course, 5G networks are still in early days - and a Tab S6 5G would need to be keyed to each provider’s 5G network. We’ll see how Samsung handles this if it does release a 5G tablet.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Ah, the enigmatic Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. It’s unclear if this is simply a code name for the Galaxy Fold 2 or a forked device in its own right that, rumor has it, will be a clamshell-style foldable that hinges on its horizontal access, somewhat similar to the Motorola Razr.
We’ve also heard that it could have two hinges - so that it can be folded into a Z-shape, hence the name - but that’s uncertain, and sounds finicky for a company to attempt just a year after its first foldable was famously delayed for screen durability issues.
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2
For all the vertical-fold diehards, we’ve also heard that the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 will follow its predecessor’s footsteps as a ‘hot dog style’ foldable - but bigger and better. Specifically, leaks have told us it could have bigger battery, faster charging speeds, better cameras, and other incremental improvements.
While Unpacked 2020 seems soon after the original Fold’s delayed launch in late 2019, it could be a jumping off point to leave behind the baggage and start anew with a (much more tested) successor device.
Samsung Bixby Speaker
There’s long been rumors of a Bixby-supporting smart speaker in the works at Samsung - or, as it might be known, the Samsung Galaxy Home. Whether this ends up surfacing is unclear, but the appeal is obvious: a smart speaker housing the unpopular but ubiquitous-on-Samsung-devices AI assistant Bixby to compete with all the Amazon Echo and Alexa-powered speakers in the world. We haven’t heard rumors of one coming - but anything’s possible at Unpacked 2020.