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.
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.
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.