The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition arrived today, offering Samsung, er, fans the chance to buy an S20 phone for hundreds less than the price of the flagship model. Good news: Best Buy is offering it for even less than that.
Worth noting: If you choose the Activate Now option, you can get the phone for as low as $499.99 with a new line or account at Sprint or $549.99 with Verizon. But then you might be on the hook for a pricier service plan than you want, for a longer period of time than you want. My advice: Look to no-contract, pay-as-you-go services like Cricket, Mint Mobile and Visible.
So what’s the deal with the S20 FE? In his story, Galaxy S20 FE is the affordable $700 phone we need right now, CNET’s Andrew Hoyle provided this overview: “The price might be more affordable, but the key specs don’t seem to have suffered all that much. There’s a 6.5-inch, 2,400×1,080-pixel Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and a lightning-fast Snapdragon 865 processor.”
I’m not sure I agree with calling a $700 phone “affordable,” though obviously it’s more so than a $1,000 S20. And at $600 it’s definitely priced more like a midtier model.
Either way, a $100 savings right out of the gate, with no contract or activation requirement? That I can definitely get behind.
At $1,450 (about £1,120 or AU$2,020), the Galaxy Z Flip 5G costs $70 more than the original Galaxy Z Flip cost when it was released in the US in February. For that extra cost, you get 5G capabilities and Qualcomm’s upgraded Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset (as opposed to 2019’s Snapdragon 855 Plus processor). In fact, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G is the first Samsung phone to feature that CPU, which promises to enable faster Wi-Fi download speeds, render graphics faster and help batteries last longer.
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Samsung’s latest phone will join a tiny but growing collection of foldable phones including the Galaxy Fold and the new Z Fold 2 — and the Microsoft Surface Duo, which was also just released this month. In February, Motorola launched a revamped version of its iconic Razr phone for $1,500 — and a second version of the foldable Motorola Razr was also just announced last week. The Fold, which costs nearly $2,000, opens up like a book, unlike the Razr and the Z Flip. This pricier, larger and heavier Samsung foldable also comes with a significantly larger battery and a more extensive camera setup.
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: 3 months later, I can’t stop using…
For a full comparison, take a look at CNET’s specs chart below.
Galaxy Z Flip specs vs. Galaxy Fold vs. Moto Razr
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Samsung Galaxy Fold
Internal: 6.7 inches Dynamic OLED with folding glass (UTG) External: 1.1 inches Super AMOLED
Internal: 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED External: 1.1-inch Super AMOLED
Phone makers have spent more than a year trying to convince people that there’s a reason to get a foldable phone, with little success to show for it. Yes, it’s undeniably cool to open up a phone to reveal a larger display. And yes, any extra screen real estate is always welcome. But no — paying anywhere from $500 to $1,000 more than a top flagship just so you can fold your phone into a slightly smaller device isn’t a premium most of us are ready to take on (at least judging by the sales).
Don’t look now, but with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung may have just made the most compelling case yet for why you need a foldable phone. And it boils down to the same argument for why you need a smartphone in the first place — to take care of business. Samsung’s argument is that the extended screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 lets you take care of that business in ways that simply aren’t possible on a conventional phone.
Is it a winning argument? Our initial Galaxy Z Fold 2 review is pretty positive, though the phone’s success will ultimately depend on how many people want to pay that astronomical $2,000 asking price. But it’s clear from the way that Samsung presented the Galaxy Z Fold 2 that it views this phone as a productivity booster.
“Samsung has learnt a lot from its first generation device and software is an area that has seen considerable refinement,” said Geoff Blaber, vice president for research in the Americas for CCS Insight. “Productivity should be among the lead advantages of a foldable form factor so it’s critical to encourage people to shift from the tried and tested form factor of a 5-inch-plus touch screen. To that end it’s inevitable that productivity is central to the device’s positioning.”
How the Galaxy Z Fold 2 makes you more productive
When Samsung first previewed the Galaxy Z Fold 2 back in August, it emphasized the design changes from the original Galaxy Fold. There was a good reason for that approach — if last year’s Fold made any sort of impression, it was for the design issues that delayed its launch while Samsung worked to improve the phone’s durability.
By initially talking up the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s new-and-improved hinge and bigger screens, Samsung could then spend the phone’s launch event talking about how those features can help the users get more things done. “A new form factor only becomes meaningful when it unlocks new user experiences,” said Patrick Chomet, Samsung’s head of customer experience, during this week’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 live stream.
Apps optimized for the big screen(s)
To that end, Samsung has put a considerable effort into showing what that 7.6-inch internal display enables users to do. Running the Gmail app on the Galaxy Z Note 2’s screen, for example, you can read a message on one side of the screen while still keeping an eye on your inbox on the other side. It’s an experience that’s familiar to anyone with a tablet or laptop, but one that hasn’t really been possible on a smartphone display up until now. Microsoft Office is expected to have a similarly optimized look on the Galaxy Z Fold 2, as are YouTube and Spotify (though you wouldn’t really describe those apps as productivity boosters).
The larger exterior screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 — it’s now 6.2 inches, up from 4.6 inches on the original Fold — also helps you get more tasks done, and not just because you’ve got more screen to work with. Like the original Fold, the new model sports an App Continuity feature where you can start using an app on the cover screen before opening up the Fold to pick up where you left off on the larger interior display. But now, when it’s time to move on, you can fold up the phone and go back to using that same app on the external screen without missing a beat.
Better multitasking (and drag and drop)
The original Fold let you run three apps at the same time, and that’s continuing with the Galaxy Z Fold 2. Now you can set up presets of paired up apps, launching those App Pairs with just a tap. The improved multitasking on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 also means you can drag and drop content from one app window into another — adding a photo to a message, say.
One of the more impressive things I saw during this week’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 launch involved a demo with a pair of Microsoft Office apps. During that demo, Powerpoint and Excel were running side-by-side on the Z Fold 2’s display, allowing a user to work in both apps at the same time, moving information from the spreadsheet into a presentation. It’s that kind of work with Microsoft on the Office interface that really helps push the Galaxy Z Fold 2 as a productivity tool, according to Mikako Kitigawa, a director analyst at Gartner.
Flex mode makes a big difference
Meanwhile, improvements to the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s hinge — it can now open at different angles — allow this larger foldable phone to adapt one of the best features of the Galaxy Z Flip. That foldable flip phone offers a Flex mode, where you can open the phone at a 90-degree angle and essentially split the screen in half: one side becomes the viewing area and the other becomes an area for controls and other actions.
Flex mode was one of my favorite things about the Galaxy Z Flip when I reviewed that phone, and the capability figures to really come in handy on the Galaxy Z Fold 2. One of those apps — Google Duo — can use Flex mode to put the video chat on the top part of the 7.6-inch display, while controls for adding more people to the chat and muting the call are available on the bottom half of the screen. That leaves you to keep your hands free, just as if you were using a laptop.
Galaxy Z Fold 2’s cost remains a concern
Emphasizing the productivity boosting aspects of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 goes a long way toward addressing one of the foldable’s remaining sticking points — its $1,999 cost. That’s a lot of money to pay for a phone, considering that the Samsung’s productivity-minded Galaxy Note 20 Ultra costs $700 less at $1,299, and no one’s going to confuse that for a bargain-basement price. But Samsung can make the argument that for $1,999, you’re effectively getting a phone and a tablet, given all the things that the Fold 2’s screen allows you to do.
And that’s an argument Samsung’s going to have to be pretty convincing on, as the analysts I spoke to still struggle to identify a big audience for a device like this.
“I would imagine that the potential users would be gadget lovers and techies who like to try new things,” Kitigawa said. “[The folding] phone market is new. But with the price point, the buyer segment would be limited.”
“This is still a very exclusive device given the price point and form factor,” said CCS Insight’s Blaber. “Technology enthusiasts who are prepared to spend upwards of $1,999 are a niche, but they’re also critical to the process of development and refinement as foldables seek to move into the mass market.”
Galaxy Z Fold 2 outlook
When the Galaxy Z Fold 2 ships on Sept. 18, it will bring more than a few questions with it. Durability will continue to be a concern, even after Samsung’s assurances that it got the design right this time. There’s no listed water resistance, for example, which seems like an oversight on a phone that runs two grand. And the vast majority of phone shoppers are likely to look at the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s extended screen and decide that a sub-$1,000 smartphone with a conventional display suits them well enough.
Still, since the first Galaxy Fold got its preview in early 2019, I’ve looked at each subsequent design and thought, “Well, that’s impressive and all, but why would anyone need that kind of device?” With the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung is finally providing an answer.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 has already received a colorful hands-on video review.
The review contains comparisons with the Galaxy Fold.
Preorders for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will begin on September 1.
Are you bored sick waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2? Yet another live video of the foldable phone has now arrived to keep you occupied. The clip takes the form of a hands-on review published to YouTube (via SamMobile) which showcases a fair bit even if you can’t quite understand the language.
There’s plenty to glean from the tidy visuals. For starters, the video compares the Galaxy Z Fold 2 with its Galaxy Fold sibling, and the latter really looks like a prototype. The newer foldable’s outer display is far larger than the Galaxy Fold’s and seems far more usable, too.
The review also demonstrates that you could, in theory, play games on the outer display or use it for navigation. Using this screen with one hand also seems pretty easy (perhaps not for clumsy folk) as the folded edges provide more surface area to hold.
As for the foldable display, gone is the notch and in comes the punch-hole, a feature that also seems to free up a considerable amount of screen. The Galaxy Z Fold 2’s center crease on its 7.6-inch display is also apparent in this clip in some angles, but viewing the screen straight on doesn’t seem to highlight it.
At the rear, the more pronounced camera hump may be an issue for some who wish to use the Galaxy Z Fold 2 on flat surfaces. The device wobbles about when lying on a table or desk, an annoying sacrifice for better camera hardware. Flex Mode, which allows the phone to be used in a mini-laptop format, largely negates this issue though.
Preorders for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 will commence on September 1. There’s no word on pricing just yet, but expect it to still cost a fair bit. That said, it does look like a more refined machine than its predecessor.
The S Pen is the key differentiator between Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. That’s why the stylus was never made compatible with any Galaxy S flagship. However, if a new report out of South Korea is believed, Samsung might be making a major change to its lineup in 2021.
It’s claimed that the Galaxy S21 will come with an S Pen as Samsung is set to ditch the Galaxy Note series next year. The S Pen will only be available with the top-of-the-line model which would ostensibly be called the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Is the Galaxy Note series going to end next year?
The report mentions that the Galaxy S21 is in development at Samsung under the codename “Unbound.” It’s going to come in three different models and if Samsung doesn’t change the names, expect them to be called the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra. The S Pen will only be available with the Ultra.
It adds that the Galaxy Note 21’s launch isn’t set in stone yet for the second half of 2021. Samsung might launch an S Pen-equipped Galaxy Z Fold 3 in its place, at least that’s what the industry sources mentioned in this report would have you believe. This would leave the foldable device as the only flagship handset Samsung releases in the second half of the year.
The company would certainly see a drop in overall shipments. Samsung is typically able to ship 10 million units of a new Galaxy Note before the end of the year. Shipments won’t be anywhere near that for a foldable phone, at least over the next couple of years. Samsung would also be constrained by the production volume of the Ultra Thin Glass used for the Galaxy Z Fold 3’s display. It currently makes 600,000 panels per month and is aiming to increase capacity to 1 million panels by the end of 2020. So it won’t be able to produce as many foldable phones.
If this information is accurate, it would mean that the Galaxy Note 20 is the last iteration of this iconic series. Samsung might feel that doing away with it is a great way to secure a significant market share for the Galaxy Z Fold series. Shipping an S Pen with the foldable might be enough to entice Galaxy Note loyalists to switch. Samsung’s margins on the Galaxy Z Fold handsets may also be enough to allow it to strike a balance between the number of units shipped and the amount of revenue generated compared to a Galaxy Note device.
Nevertheless, this will be a significant shakeup of Samsung’s lineup, and would also require a big design change for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Is this something you’re interested in seeing?
The Note 20 Ultra comes to this fight with three rear cameras, including a 108-megapixel main wide-angle camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 12MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and 50x Space Zoom. Samsung also includes a laser auto focus sensor along with a 10MP selfie shooter.
Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max answers back with a triple rear camera array consisting of 12MP wide camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera and 12MP telephoto lens that can achieve 2x optical and 10x digital zoom. And this phone has some special photo features of its own, including Deep Fusion for better detail and next-gen Smart HDR.
We pitted these handsets against each other in several rounds of competition in our Galaxy Note 20 vs iPhone 11 Pro Max camera face-off to see which is the best camera phone you can buy.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Flower
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra starts out strong with this comparison of a flower taken outdoors. The red in the petals is closer to real life, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s shot introduces more violet. The white balance also looks a bit better in the Note’s shot and I like the bokeh effect more.
To the iPhone’s credit, the white area of the flower pops a bit more against the background, and the background is more in focus. But overall the Note 20 wins this round.
Winner: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Night mode
It’s no contest here. The iPhone 11 Pro Max produces a brighter shot, as you can make out the basket more clearly as well as the fruit inside. The lemon and especially the apples down below are less visible in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s photo.
Winner: iPhone 11 Pro
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Pond
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and iPhone 11 Pro Max both captured detailed photos of this manmade pond with fish swimming about. However, the shrub on the right looks more natural in the iPhone’s shot and the stone has more gradations in color. The Note 20 Ultra’s pic is brighter, though, and I like how the waterfall pops with greater contrast in Samsung’s pic.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: 10x zoom
This is where the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra pulls ahead. It offers a 5x optical zoom and a 10x hybrid optical zoom that delivers a considerably sharper image than what the iPhone 11 Pro Max can muster with its 10x purely digital zoom. You can make out more detail in the tree that straddles this creek, as well as in the surrounding leaves and the pebbles in the foreground.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max manages to not blow out some of the sunnier highlights, which the Note 20 Ultra does, but overall Samsung’s more powerful optical zoom easily wins here.
Winner: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Portrait
The Live Focus mode on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is plenty capable, as it delivered a good bokeh effect on this portrait my daughter snapped of me in a nearby park. You can make out the stubble in my face, and my blue shirt pops.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max captured a warmer portrait with more even lighting overall, and you can see it does a better job handling the sunlight bouncing off my right arm. But the iPhone’s photo also looks a bit too warm. Still, of the two shots, I would rather share the iPhone’s pic.
Winner: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Produce
This round is not that easy to call. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra delivers punchier colors overall, especially in the the green, orange and red peppers. But once again the iPhone 11 Pro Max produces more natural-looking hues along with more detail when you zoom in. There’s more of a sheen on all of the peppers in the iPhone’s shot, and the ivory peppers in particular have more contrast versus the Note 20. The wooden cases also look sharper with the iPhone’s camera.
Winner: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Selfie
Samsung’s phones have a tendency to smooth faces, and that’s certainly the case here with this Note 20 Ultra selfie. My face is a bit too bright and somewhat washed out, like a softening beauty filter has been applied. The iPhone 11 Pro Max’s selfie looks more realistic. In addition, the creek and grass in the background look sharper on the iPhone, with more detail in the highlights as well.
Winner: iPhone 11 Pro Max
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro: Special features
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a couple of special camera features that really stand out versus the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The first is Space Zoom, which goes up to 50x. Check out this tweet to see how the Note 20 Ultra allowed me to zoom all the way in on a fish market sign from across the highway. The iPhone 11 Pro simply can’t do this.
The power of 50x zoom. Its kind of scary. #GalaxyNote20Ultra pic.twitter.com/LpGPCuzyzGAugust 18, 2020
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also benefits from having a 108MP main sensor. It’s really designed to be used when you’re outdoors but it gives you a lot of creative freedom to crop in on a photo after you shoot. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 12MP main sensor, so you can’t pull something like this off.
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The iPhone 11 Pro has a pretty cool photo feature of its own in Deep Fusion, which captures many exposures in quick succession before sifting through each one pixel-by-pixel to produce an optimized result.
It’s not a dramatic difference, but you can see that Deep Fusion delivers more texture and detail in the hoodie, shirt and in the surrounding faux brick wall. You can also make out more of the subject’s stubble with Deep Fusion on.
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Verdict
The iPhone 11 Pro Max wins more rounds in this contest and overall it captured better looking images in different lighting conditions. The iPhone tends to deliver more realistic colors, while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra leans toward more saturated hues, so which you prefer may depend on your tastes. I personally like the iPhone 11 Pro for portraits and selfies, and its Night mode is more effective.
Where the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra pulls ahead is with its 108MP sensor (which is great for cropping after the fact) and especially its more powerful zoom. The iPhone 11 Pro Max simply can’t go as far as the Samsung, although the upcoming iPhone 12 Pro could narrow that gap with a telephoto that cuts in closer.
This Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs iPhone 11 Pro Max face-off is very close, but overall the iPhone wins for image quality and the Note for its versatility.
We’ve gotten another look at the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 thanks to a new listing on the Chinese telecom regulation authority’s (TENAA) website, which clearly show off the side and front views of the next foldable.
True, the phone is turned off in the photos, so we aren’t getting any new ideas about how it’ll look in-use, like we did at the Z Fold 2’s unveiling in early August. But the images in the TENAA filing offer a few perspectives we didn’t see before – for instance, the foldable’s camera block is chunky, protruding out more than most phones we’ve seen. Good luck resting it on a flat surface.
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The photos also reaffirm that the rear cameras looks identical to the one on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, but without the vertical oval below the flash on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s camera block, which holds the new laser focus. That’s an unfortunate omission from a foldable phone that’s expected to cost as much as or more than the original Samsung Galaxy Fold (whose launch price was $1,980 / £1,900 / AU$2,900).
The TENAA listing didn’t come with a full specs sheet, sadly, but did include a model number of SM-F9160, as first spotted by GizmoChina. The publication is also asserting that US preorders for the device will be open on September 2 and go on sale on September 18, affirming a recent claim made by leaker Evan Blass.
iPhone Flip: all we’ve heard about the rumored Apple foldable phone
Foldable to the future?
Despite the foldable being shown off in the TENAA listing’s photos, we can’t see our most eagerly-anticipated feature: the 6.2-inch front screen spans nearly the full length of the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s outer side, which is far more than the 4.6-inch front display of the original Galaxy Fold.
At Samsung Unpacked, we saw the new foldable in teaser footage, and learned Samsung redesigned the hinge with vacuum cleaner-like bristles to flush out dirt and dust every time you unfold the device. Pack on a 4,500mAh battery and 5G compatibility in all regions, and the Fold 2 seems like it improves on some (though not all) shortcomings in the original device.
We’ll know more when Samsung holds an event on September 1 that we expect will include a far more robust unveiling of the device.
The Elecsources have maintained that Samsung could release the S20 FE 5G in South Korea in October for 900,000 won, or about $750. It’s not certain if the phone would come to the US, although we wouldn’t rule it out. If it does, it could fill a conspicuous gap. There’s a chasm between the $999-plus S20 series and mid-tier phones like the $600 Galaxy A71 5G. A cut-down S20 could court those who want flagship-level speed and display tech without paying for features they don’t think they’ll appreciate.
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iFixit, a company known for its tech product teardowns, has dissected Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Live wireless headphones. Despite not officially calling them Galaxy Beans, the word “bean” is actually printed inside each earbud — which shows that at one point or another, the company was totally calling these earbuds the vegetables they resemble.
Comparing to other wireless earbuds like Apple’s AirPods Pro, iFixit points out the Galaxy Buds Live are not hard to pry open, and actually some of the easiest buds they’ve ever dissected. Inside, you can clearly see “bean left” and “bean right” on the cable that connects the two halves of each earbud.
iFixit also found that the battery is a standard size and not too difficult to replace, but you will have to gently lift up the glued driver before you can pull the battery out. The Galaxy Buds Live uses a 3.7v CP1254 lithium-ion battery, a button battery that’s, unfortunately, difficult to find online, according to iFixit.
iFixit also discovered in the teardown that the Galaxy Buds Live’s wireless charging case includes a 1.81 Wh battery, which it says is “substantially bigger than” the batteries found in wireless charging cases for both the Galaxy Buds and Buds Plus — which makes sense given Samsung’s battery life claims. The company says that the Galaxy Buds Live includes up to 29 hours of battery life when both the earbuds and charging case are fully charged, compared to 13 hours for the Galaxy Buds and 22 hours for the Galaxy Buds Plus.
The organization awarded Samsung’s latest wireless earbuds with an eight out of ten in repairability. That’s not surprising considering previousGalaxy Buds were some of the more repairable wireless earbuds iFixit had seen.
When you buy a Galaxy Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra you might notice that the box feels a little lighter than normal. No, it’s not the new plastic back on the Note 20 that’s causing that light feeling. The actual reason is that Samsung no longer includes a pair of wired headphones in boxes of its high-end phones. Pause and let that sink in. Are you outraged? Are you indifferent? Do you even use the included headphones that come with your phone? Is this a deal-breaker for you?
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On the Note 20’s website there’s a “what’s in the box” section that is absent of any headphones. Samsung confirmed that all of this is true and that it won’t include wired headphones in the box for tphones sold in North America.
It’s wonderful that the new Galaxy Note 20 phones omit headphones from the box. Think about how much e-waste this will minimize. Samsung could become a role model for other phone-makers who will hopefully follow suit. Earth isn’t really designed to handle yearly phone upgrades.
Here’s my attempt to answer all your questions about Samsung’s missing headphones.
Now playing: Watch this:
First Look: Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra
Does it really come with less?
I know people will be pissed that they’re paying $1,000-plus (that’s $50 more than last year’s Note 10) for a phone that comes with fewer things. In a physical sense there are fewer things in the box, which again can be beneficial for the environment.
Yet, I’d argue that both the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra come with more. You get 5G, a high refresh rate display (on the Ultra only), a faster processor, better telephoto cameras, longer OS upgrade support, higher resolution video, Gorilla Glass Victus (on the Ultra only), a faster S-Pen and larger screens.
Are you getting less value?
It doesn’t help that for years, Samsung made a point of highlighting the $99 value of its “included” wired headphones. So if last year’s Note 10 cost $950, shouldn’t the Note 20 cost $851?
That comes down to how much you value the improvements and new features that I mentioned earlier. As we’ve seen with other phones this year, like the Galaxy S20 line and OnePlus 8 line, 5G phones cost more. At least they do right now.
Do you really need another pair of ‘free’ headphones?
I’d challenge you to look around your house, in your car, bags or office (if you’re fortunate enough to access it right now). You might actually already have a pair of wired headphones that can work.
But this is a little more complicated. You need a pair of headphones with a USB-C connector. Last year, Samsung eliminated the headphone jack from the Note 10. So even if you do have headphones lying around, chances are they have a 3.5mm headphone jack and won’t be compatible with the new Note phones. Also the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra don’t come with a headset jack to USB-C dongle.
I don’t live in North America, why do I care?
You make a good point. If you don’t live in North America, you have nothing to worry about. Samsung will continue to include a pair of wired headphones with a USB-C connector in the box.
If I don’t have USB-C headphones what am I supposed to do?
Samsung has your back. If you need a pair of USB-C wired headphones, Samsung’s customer service will give you a pair for free. The company will even cover shipping and handling.
What about Bluetooth headphones?
That’s what Samsung is hoping people opt for, I’d wager. Not only is the wire gone, but you can use a pair of Bluetooth earbuds across your devices. A pair of wireless headphones like the new Galaxy Buds Live (nicknamed “Galaxy Beans”) cost $170. That is definitely a lot more than free. But you’re likely to keep a pair of wireless earbuds longer than a wired freebie.