Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2020: What to expect and how to watch
Samsung's next Galaxy Unpacked event will see the company unveil new smartphones, foldables and more.
Samsung is one of Australia's most popular phone brands, generally jostling with Apple when it comes to market sales figures. Periodically, it holds its "Galaxy Unpacked" events to launch new flagship phones, and there's one just around the corner. Here's what to expect from Samsung's first Galaxy Unpacked event for 2020.
When is Galaxy Unpacked 2020?
Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event takes place in San Francisco on 11 February 2020. Adjusting for international timezones, that equates to 6am AEDT on Wednesday 12 February 2020, relatively civilised for a US phone launch if you're on the eastern side of Australia. Sorry, Perth Samsung fans, you'll have to get up extra early to catch all the action.
How can I watch Galaxy Unpacked 2020?
Presuming you're not currently holding an invite from Samsung, the easiest way to watch Samsung's big show is online. It will broadcast via its YouTube channel as well as Samsung homepages across the globe.
What will Samsung launch at Galaxy Unpacked 2020?
Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event is designed to build hype for its handset business primarily, but it seems like this year we know a lot about what's upcoming from the South Korean tech giant. We're expecting 3 new Galaxy S range handsets, a new foldable phone, new headphones and possibly a new Bixby-powered smart speaker.
Galaxy S20 Range: Samsung's new premium play
You could be forgiven for thinking that the successor to 2019's Samsung Galaxy S10 would be the Samsung Galaxy S11. However, a significant quantity of leaks from a wide variety of sources all but confirms that Samsung's missing out on 10 whole model numbers, with the Galaxy S20 as its new flagship line.
As in 2019, it's expected that Samsung will offer up an "entry level" model, a "mid range" model and a "premium" model in its Galaxy S20 range, although it appears it's subverting what you might expect out of the naming schemes for these phones.
At the entry level, where 2019 gave us the Galaxy S10e the rumours suggest that we'll get the Samsung Galaxy S20. It's still expected to be a powerful device in its own right with a 6.2-inch borderless display, multi-camera array and an updated Samsung One UI launcher.
You can read more about the S20 in our rumour round-up.
If the entry level has the naming of the old mid-range model, it makes a certain amount of sense for that actual mid-range phone to get a new suffix, which is why it's expected to be called the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.
Still, every flagship needs its hero, and in the case of the Galaxy S20, it'll be the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. That's Samsung's most premium play for early 2020, with a massive 6.9-inch display, 108MP primary rear camera (yes, really), 5,000mAh battery and predictably, a somewhat high-end price point.
You can read all about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra in our full guide.
While Samsung naturally is holding its card close to its chest in the lead up to Galaxy Unpacked, there's simply no way that it won't launch the new Galaxy S20 range on 11 February, although there's still some debate as to quite how quickly you'll be able to buy one.
Galaxy Z Flip: The new foldable king?
Samsung didn't exactly have the smoothest launch for its Samsung Galaxy Fold handset in 2019, to put it politely. Last-minute delays saw its original debut held back for months, and it was very late in 2019 before they landed on Australian shores at all.
That hasn't dimmed Samsung's enthusiasm for foldable phone designs, with most rumours pointing to a Galaxy Unpacked unveiling for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
Where the Galaxy Fold was all about the best of everything that Samsung could offer at the time, the Galaxy Z Flip has a different target in its sights. It's a clamshell-style phone that's pretty clearly trying to grab as much attention as possible in the wake of Motorola's own Moto RAZR foldable phone. Mind you, if the rumours are true, Samsung may have cracked – pun not intended – the trick of making a foldable phone with an actual glass screen, which would put it well ahead of its Lenovo-owned competitor.
We've collected everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip here.
What seems most surprising about the Galaxy Z Flip is that some rumours suggest that Samsung might make the Galaxy Z Flip available before it starts making global shipments of the Galaxy S20 phones. We'll have to wait on that score – it would seem odd for Samsung to undercut its primary flagship phone business in favour of a flashier-looking-but-harder-sell-prospect like a foldable phone.
Galaxy Buds Plus: Like Galaxy Buds, but more so
Credible rumours point to the existence of an updated set of Samsung's AirPods competitors, the Samsung Galaxy Buds. The new Galaxy Buds Plus are suggested to enjoy better audio and more battery life, but there's not a lot more detail to hand just yet, beyond the suggestion that they might end up as a pre-order bonus for the Galaxy S20 phones. That's not an absolute guarantee that this is what Samsung will do in every single market, mind you.
Galaxy Home Mini: Smart speakers for the Bixby fans
The vast majority of leaks around the new phones have come from third parties, but for its smart speaker range, the credible source for a new product comes from Samsung itself… albeit inadvertently.
It appears that Samsung may have inadvertently made public a page advertising the Samsung Galaxy Home Mini in South Korea, with a purported release date of 12 February. That's essentially Galaxy Unpacked day, thanks to that pesky international dateline, and while Samsung has since taken down the detail-leaky page, it seems unlikely that if it is going on sale there that it won't give us a peek at it during the Galaxy Unpacked launch.
That being said, Samsung has been talking about launching its own Bixby-powered smart speakers for a very long time now. It wouldn't be entirely surprising for Samsung to only launch Bixby speakers in its own home market, or wherever it felt it had a good competitive chance in a market already saturated with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri-compatible speakers.
Are there any real surprises in store?
Look, if we knew what the surprises were going to be, they would hardly be surprises, would they?
However, there's not much indication of any other additional hardware coming out of Samsung's factories right now that could be showcased at its first Galaxy Unpacked event, and four phones and two audio products is a decent amount to talk about. While we've got a decent idea on the designs and specifications for these devices, there's less leaked about the software experiences behind them. Samsung may well have new clever camera modes, UI tweaks or full-on app experiences that you'll only find on these handsets waiting to be revealed. We'll have to wait and see what 11 February brings.
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