Pocket productivity powerhouse unpacked

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung's new Galaxy Note 20 will be available in South Africa from 21 August 2020. Picture supplied by Samsung

Powerful new stylus features, an upgraded camera and beefed up Microsoft Office integration make Samsung’s newly launched Galaxy Note 20 a strong contender for best business smartphone of 2020.

The South Korea-based tech giant unveiled its productivity-focused powerhouse at its recent Unpacked virtual launch event, along with the second generation of its Z Fold folding device and new smartwatches, earbuds, and a tablet.

The Galaxy Note 20 line, the successor to last year’s Note 10, comprises three variants, the standard Samsung Note 20, the Note 20 5G and the Note 20 Ultra.

All three devices are powered by a Samsung’s Exynos 990 processor and come with a triple-lens rear camera, with the Ultra boasting a higher resolution, bigger display (6,9 inches vs 6,7 inches), additional main camera features, and 12GB of RAM compared to 8GB on the standard edition.

The trademark S-Pen Bluetooth connected stylus has been improved promising four-times lower latency than that on the Note 10, which should make for snappier, lag-free note taking, sketching and other applications.

All three models include an in-screen fingerprint sensor and IP68 water and dust resistance.

The standard Note 20 and its 5G equivalent have a triple-camera system comprising a 64MP primary camera sensor and two 12MP lenses, while the Ultra boasts a significantly more powerful 108MP primary camera capable of shooting 8K video at 24 frames-per-second.

For video conferences and selfies, all three phones have 10MP front-facing cameras with dual-pixel auto focus and an 80-degree field of view.

Office in your pocket

Samsung also announced plans for more integration between Note 20 devices and Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Office apps, building on the existing partnership between the two tech heavyweights.

Owners of certain Samsung smartphones can already use Microsoft’s Your Phone app to access phone messages, notifications, photos and calls from their Windows 10 PCs, as well as control phone apps from their PCs. Note 20 devices will get this ability and, later this year, will be able to run several mobile apps side-by-side on their PCs.

Samsung also announced improvements to its DeX technology for connecting remotely to compatible devices.

Both models of the Galaxy Note 20 (standard and 5G) will be available in South Africa from 21 August 2020 in three colours – Grey, Green, and Mystic Bronze – while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will be available in Mystic Bronze, Black, and White. Pre-orders are open now, with Samsung offering a R4000 voucher to encourage early birds.

Contracts start at R899 per month for the standard Note 20, R999 for the Note 20 5G and R1,299 for the Note 20 Ultra 5G. Prepaid prices are R24,999, R27,999 and R36,999 respectively. – GeekWire.co.za