Samsung teases the new Galaxy Fold 2

With Galaxy Unpacked 2020 only a short while away. Samsung continues to tease its upcoming products ahead of the event on social media.

On Sunday, the company tweeted “One fold, infinite possibilities. Unpacked on August 5, 2020” with a video of what clearly mimics a foldable phone.

This was in response to his original tweet claiming the Fold 2 wasn’t going to be unveiled at 2020’s Unpacked.

But Samsung seems to be hinting otherwise. The second-generation version would come a little over a year after the original Galaxy Fold was released.

After Korean publication ETNews confirmed Galaxy Fold 2 specs in June, Young took to Twitter to post screenshots of the supposed specs.

According to his tweets, the Fold 2 could have a larger display on the inside coming at 7.5 inches. The front display on the Fold 2 might also be bigger. At 6.23 inches compared to the much smaller 4.3-inch cover on its predecessor.

The Fold 2 could come with a 120Hz refresh rate which would make sense considering Samsung’s S20 comes with that feature as well.

According to another tweet from Young, the Fold 2 might feature Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) as featured on the Galaxy Z Flip. It apparently should be more durable than the glass on the original Fold.

While I didn’t have any issues with the display while using the Z Flip, I didn’t get to spend more than 24 hours with it. But it’s safe to say that phone didn’t experience the same disastrous launch as the Fold did.

Samsung’s Galaxy Beans the new AirPods Pro competitor

Samsung’s virtual Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event is less than a month away. But we’ve already seen the leaks we need to predict its most likely announcements — including the new Galaxy Beans earbuds.

Yes, that’s right, Galaxy Beans. It’s been quite the week for beans.

Rumors of the earbuds first started circulating a few months ago, when the German site WinFutur posted leaked details and images. Then on Friday, a developer known as WalkingCat took to Twitter to post what looks like Samsung’s promotional video for the earbuds — one the company was most likely saving for its big event.

The new earbuds will come in either black, white, or a rose gold-esque “Mystic Bronze” to match the rumored Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Z Flip 5G. They also come with what appears to be a charging cradle.

The video ends with the words “Keep the noise out. Let the sound in.” That likely means the beans will feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). But the absence of silicone eartips leaves us wondering how effective these buds could possibly be at keeping noise out.

As reported by SamMobile, each earbud will have three microphones and two speakers. The lower sections of the buds will sit inside the ear canal, allegedly removing the need for those silicone tips. We’ll see.

Neither Samsung’s Galaxy Buds or Galaxy Buds+ feature ANC, but they do have an “ambient mode” setting which makes it easier to hear sound around you. Both models come with silicone eartips and wingtips, which help fill the space between your ear canal and buds, tuning out some of the noise around you.

Beyond Beans

Unfortunately, Galaxy Beans may not be the official name.

According to a tweet from well-known leaker Max Weinbach, which also corroborates WinFuture’s report, “Galaxy Beans” is the codename Samsung uses internally when referring to the earbuds — obviously because they’re shaped like kidney-beans. Some reports suggest they’ll be called the Galaxy Buds Live.

What to expect from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 event

It’s official: Samsung’s next big product launch is happening on August 5th at 10AM ET. It’ll be a virtual event as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The main product reveal is almost certainly going to be the next phone in Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. Its top-of-the-range smartphone lineup that pairs some of the most powerful phone hardware around with a big, beautiful screen and its signature S Pen stylus. Alongside it, however, there are rumors that we might see anything from new earbuds to wearables and even foldables.

Specifically, the current rumors floating around suggest that Samsung could unveil a 5G version of its recent Galaxy Z Flip handset. There have also been a bunch of leaks pointing toward the imminent reveal of a Galaxy Watch 3 smartwatch. Also a new pair of oddly shaped true wireless earbuds called the Galaxy Buds Live.

Based on what made an appearance at Samsung’s Note 10 launch event last year. There’s a good chance that all of these might make an appearance in August. Last year, in addition to the Galaxy Note 10, the company announced a new Under Armour edition of the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

Read on for a rundown of everything we’re expecting to see at Samsung’s next Unpacked event.

SAMSUNG’S GALAXY NOTE 20 SERIES

Samsung’s stylus-equipped Note phones tend to be the company’s big focus at its August Unpacked event each year. This year, we’re expecting Samsung to have at least two Note phones to show off, including a standard Note 20 (which will reportedly have a flat 6.42-inch 2345 x 1084 display, according to SamMobile) as well as a bigger Note 20 Ultra with a curved screen. Some reports have also referred to a Note 20 Plus with a 6.87-inch 2345 x 1084 display, but there’s also been speculation that this and the Ultra could be the same device.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5G – Leaked

It’s been the week of leaks for Samsung — there was the Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy Tab S7+. These weird Samsung Galaxy earbuds, and now the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. The promotional video, which was most likely reserved for the Unpacked 2020 event in August, was leaked for all to enjoy.

Max Weinbach posted the video on Twitter, giving us a closer look at the latest version of the foldable phone.

Judging by the video, it looks like the 5G variant will  be offered in two colors — “Mystic Bronze” (to match the Note 20 Ultra) and a dark gray color. The standard Z Flip is available in Mirror Purple, Mirror Black, and Mirror Gold.

Other than the new color though, the 5G edition doesn’t look all that different from the original version. There’s still a dual camera module, a small cover display for notifications, and the free-standing hinge.

Of course, since it’s equipped with 5G connectivity, the changes will probably be reserved for under the hood. While the standard Z Flip features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus processor. The Galaxy Z Flip might instead pack the latest Snapdragon 865 Plus with support for 5G.

As mentioned before, we can expect the rest of the specs to remain mostly the same. According to The Verge, Samsung might replace the 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with a 10-megapixel ultra-wide sensor instead — to pair with the 12-megapixel main camera.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review

Samsung Galaxy Buds

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus are the update the company’s true wireless earbuds (the original Samsung Galaxy Buds) desperately needed. They offer better battery life, improved call audio thanks to a third internal microphone, and a new dual-driver design. On top of that, there’s finally support for iOS through the new Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus app.

Not long after the Galaxy Buds Plus’ launch, Samsung released its first update. After some users reported hearing the strange sound of white noise while using the true wireless earbuds. According to TizenHelp, the firmware version R175XXUOATB5 is designed to fix this issue, as well as other problems including a “delay in pairing” and Bluetooth dropouts.

Price and availability

Samsung has launched its latest true wireless earbuds, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, at its Unpacked 2020 event in San Francisco. Where it announced that they’ll be available to buy online from February 14.

At $149.99 / £159 / AU$299, they’re about the same price as last year’s Samsung Galaxy Buds. They’re also significantly cheaper than the best true wireless earbuds of 2020, the Sony WF-1000XM3. Though these buds come with premium features like active noise cancellation.

Battery life and connectivity

The Galaxy Buds Plus boast a far longer battery life than the original Galaxy Buds. The earbuds themselves contain 11 hours of charge. While the charging case provides an additional 11 hours, bringing the total battery life to 22 hours.

That 11-hour battery life is pretty long for earbuds – but for the charging case, it’s not a huge amount of battery. It’s nice to see the Buds Plus with a larger internal battery, but a shame the charging case didn’t get something more substantial.

Final verdict

So where do the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus stand in the wide and deep echelon of true wireless earbuds? Well, somewhere in the middle. Thanks to its better battery life of around 11 hours (give or take) per charge, it’s a decent pick for people who hate charging their headphones at night. That said, it doesn’t feature a built-in virtual assistant nor does it have real water-resistance, it’s just IPX2.

Most egregious, however, is its lack of noise cancellation or even noise reduction, a feature that’s available on the similarly priced Amazon Echo Buds. Now sure, those may not sound as good as the Galaxy Buds Plus nor do they last as long. Those features lose their luster when you’re struggling to hear your music on a crowded subway train.

At the end of the day, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus present a good value for folks who just want true wireless earbuds they don’t need to charge everyday. They aren’t the best-sounding, but the dual-driver design is a big step up for Samsung.

Ultimately, you’d be better served by saving up for a pair of Apple AirPods Pro if you’re an iOS user or a pair of Sony  WF-1000XM3 if you use Android, both of which sound better and offer noise cancellation. They don’t last as long as the Galaxy Buds Plus do and cost twice as much, but they’re a better all-around pick in our opinion.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 – Launch Date

Samsung will launch its Galaxy Note 20 smartphone in August at an online-only event. Marking the first time a Note series flagship launch won’t be held in a real-world venue.

This is according to the Korea Herald, which cites industry sources as saying that the company has made the decision to go online-only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samsung typically launches its Note series smartphones in New York City over the summer. Last year’s Note 10 and Note 10+ were launched on August 7, with thousands of people in attendance.

According to the outlet, the exact launch date for the Note 20 is still in flux. Given there’s no need to organize a venue, Samsung may move the date to the most opportune time.

Besides the Note 20, Samsung is also likely to launch a larger phone, the Note 20+ at the same event.

Recent rumors indicate that the Galaxy Note 20 will have a 108-megapixel camera, as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset.

The news follows a report that Google will launch its Pixel 4a phone on July 13, also at an online-only event.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Review

Review

There are two big things to address with folding phones: the screen and the hinge. These two parts are such a focus because they’re the things that aren’t yet solved problems in the phone world. It’s where the experimentation is happening, and it’s also where the biggest points of failure are found.

Samsung’s so-called “Ultra Thin Glass” is 30 microns thick, on the order of a very thin human hair. That has consequences. Chief among them: any ding or nick in the glass could be catastrophic.

Then there’s the crease in the middle of the screen. It is there, no getting around it. I can see it when I’m looking for it, but I don’t see it when I’m not. It also feels a little odd, but not so much to put me off like it did on the Razr. The screen is also surrounded by big, raised plastic bezels. I don’t love them, but I also understand their necessity and don’t find them especially annoying.

Third, there is a small gap when the phone is closed. That’s a little scary because, again, the screen is fairly fragile, and it’s a space where debris could get wedged in. (The Motorola Razr, for its many faults, managed to fold completely flat without any gaps.)

Fourth and lastly, Samsung has added brushes and caps to the hinge to better protect it from debris getting inside. That’s the issue that likely destroyed the screen on my very first Galaxy Fold review unit last April. Will these new brushes work? Who knows! They couldn’t stand up to a dust test from iFixit, but it was a very aggressive test. All I can say is that I have more faith in this hinge holding up than I did in the Razr’s or the original Fold’s.

Samsung soon with a NEW $1,100 Galaxy Fold version

If the $1,980 price tag on Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is too much for you (it is), and you really want a foldable phone, you’ll be happy to know that there might be a far more affordable option coming.

According to the report, the cheaper Fold will look like the original Galaxy Fold but it will have last year’s components, allowing Samsung to offer it at a greatly reduced price. The compromises might involved a smaller cover display, 4G instead of 5G and 256GB base storage. The processor powering the phone should be Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865, however.

If accurate, the price difference between the original Fold and the new Special Edition Fold is massive and could ignite a whole new round of interest in foldable devices. That’s not to say that $1,099 is cheap, but it’s nearly half the price of the original Fold and at least in the same ballpark as most top flagship phones these days.

As for the true successor of the original Fold, the Galaxy Fold 2, it should become available this August, alongside the Galaxy Note 20. It will probably be just a tad cheaper than the Fold, though.