Tick tock goes the clock, and it’s already time for a new Samsung Galaxy Unpacked. The last Galaxy Unpacked event was in February and introduced us to the stellar Galaxy S10 series, the futuristic folding Galaxy Fold, and a slew of new wearables, including the Galaxy Buds.
There are no prizes for guessing what will show up at the upcoming Unpacked, but there may be a few surprises in store on August 7. Here’s what to expect.
But before we dive in, when and where does Galaxy Unpacked take place? We’ve written a comprehensive guide on how to watch Galaxy Unpacked live and revel in the reveals as they happen. It starts on Wednesday, August 7th at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT), and will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same place the Galaxy Note 9 was announced.
Alright, enough beating around the bush. Time to tackle the titan we all know is coming — the August 7 Galaxy Unpacked event will host the official reveal of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. The second Unpacked of the year has almost always played host to a new Note phone, and there have been too many rumors and leaks for us to think anything else. But there’s one element that’s out of the ordinary — we might not be seeing just one Note 10.
For the first time, Samsung will create a Note range. According to various rumors and leaks, August 7 will see the launch of the standard Galaxy Note 10 and a larger version, either called the “Galaxy Note 10 Pro” or the “Galaxy Note 10 Plus.” The Galaxy Note 10 is expected to have a 6.3-inch AMOLED display, while the Galaxy Note 10 Plus/Pro may well have an enormous 6.8-inch AMOLED screen. Both are expected to have a similar hole-punch display as seen on the Galaxy S10 range — but this time with a centrally-placed selfie camera lens. There’s also talk the new Note range will follow Apple, Motorola, and others in ditching the headphone jack.
Unusually for a Samsung flagship, leaks and rumors aren’t yet agreed on the specific hardware we’ll be seeing. Originally, it was assumed this year’s Snapdragon 855 flagship would take its place in both Note models — but that assumption was blown out of the water by the arrival of the upgraded Snapdragon 855 Plus. Early reports indicated Samsung would ignore the newer processor to work with the original 855, but more recent reports say the opposite, leading to some uncertainty as to which chip we’ll be seeing. That said, both phones will have tons of power either way, so don’t worry about it too much.
Samsung is also expected to fix one of our long-standing gripes with its flagship range: charging speed. While Quick Charge 2.0 is by no means slow, technology has moved on, and much faster recharging speeds are now possible. According to whispers, both the Note 10 and the Note 10 Pro/Plus will incorporate support for a staggeringly fast 45W charging speed (though both will ship with a 25W charger), and decently sized battery capacities of 3,600mAh and 4,300mAh, respectively.
The Note 10 range will also feature a strong camera system. According to most rumors, we’ll see a triple-lens system on the back of both models, comprised of a 12-megapixel lens with variable aperture (which may have three apertures rather than two), a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 12-megapixel zoom lens. The Pro/Plus model is also expected to have additional depth-sensing lenses referred to as “DepthVison ToF,” which stands for time-of-flight.
Finally, we need to address 5G. Early rumors said the Note 10 range would support 5G, but those whispers slackened off. More recently, we’ve seen more leaks that point to a 5G version of the Note 10 Plus/Pro on Verizon’s 5G network. With the S10 range supporting 5G, it would be odd for Samsung to leave this headline feature out of the Note 10.
Read more about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 range
It seems we won’t just be seeing wearables and mobile devices at Galaxy Unpacked on August 7; we may see the new Galaxy Book S too. We don’t know much about Samsung’s new laptop, but have had confirmation of the name and the look from veteran leakster Evan Blass.
According to the leaked images, we won’t see a 2-in-1 convertible like the Galaxy Book 2. Instead, it looks to be a lightweight laptop with slim bezels around the screen and a fully featured keyboard. The side view shows a single USB-C port and a headphone jack. Unless there are more ports on the other side of the device, expect that USB-C port to be used for charging and for USB peripherals. Power users may require a USB hub.
With a lot still unanswered about this device, this could be Samsung’s best-kept secret in the run-up to Galaxy Unpacked — and we’re champing at the bit to find out more.
Read more about the Galaxy Book S
The Galaxy Watch Active range may only be six months old, but Samsung’s keen to cement its place with a fast turnaround. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 refines the design of the original Galaxy Watch Active, adding a new 44mm option, new software additions, and a digital version of the much-loved rotating bezel. How do we know all this? Samsung’s new fitness wearable was already announced at a smaller event on August 5.
Since it’s already been shown off, should we strike it off the list of things to expect from Galaxy Unpacked? Nah. With amazing new features like a built-in ECG feature (yes, the same sort of heart monitoring as the Apple Watch Series 4) and the aforementioned digitally rotating bezel, it would be a bit daft for Samsung to not show it off a little bit again. That said, Samsung probably won’t give it too much airtime for fear of distracting from the main event.
But if Samsung does put the spotlight on the Watch Active 2, it has a good reason to do so. It’s stylish and sleek, but has fitness capabilities that belie its dandy look. It’s water-resistant up to 5-ATM, has LTE options, the cool ECG function, and Tizen OS’s smooth software. It’s a darn good smartwatch, and even if it doesn’t get much of a highlight on August 7, it’s still worth taking a look if you’re after a new fitness wearable you won’t be ashamed to wear day-to-day as well.
Read our Galaxy Watch Active 2 review
The Galaxy Tab S6 has already been revealed, but don’t rule out Samsung showing off its new tablet at Galaxy Unpacked. The new Galaxy Tab S6 is easier to hold than the Galaxy Tab S4, has a magnetic S Pen holder with wireless charging, and a stunning 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display. But it’s the keyboard that shows the biggest change. The keys are clicky and responsive, and the keyboard itself is roomy enough that it doesn’t feel cramped. This is especially surprising as it also has a laptop-style trackpad slung underneath that you can use to make your keyboard experience feel far more natural.
It’s powered by the Snapdragon 855 and comes with either 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You’ll also get a MicroSD card slot for more. A massive 7,040mAh battery should easily make it last a full day’s use. Prices start from $649 for the tablet and S Pen, but the keyboard will set you back an additional $179.
Read our Galaxy Tab S6 review
There are precious few folding smartphones in the world right now, and we thought Samsung’s Galaxy Fold would be freely available by now after it was announced at the last Galaxy Unpacked. Unfortunately, issues with the flexible display meant review units of the phone were recalled and the release was postponed. Thankfully, Samsung claims to have fixed those issues and has set September as the date for the Galaxy Fold’s re-release.
So does that re-release mean we’ll be seeing more of the Galaxy Fold at the Galaxy Unpacked on August 7? Perhaps — but it’s not a certainty. While a little extra attention may be what Samsung needs to make sure the world is aware the Galaxy Fold is fixed and is coming, it may also not want to overshadow the launch of the new Note 10 range. Keep your ears open, but don’t be surprised if Samsung decides to keep the Galaxy Fold on the down-low for now.
Read our Galaxy Fold review
Amazon and Google may rule the smart speaker roost, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung from launching its own rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home: the Galaxy Home. Except, er, it hasn’t yet.
Despite announcing the product at a Galaxy Unpacked in August 2018, the Galaxy Home has been AWOL for some time now. We were originally meant to welcome Bixby’s new home in the spring of 2019 — but that date came and went before we were told Samsung was now aiming for a fall 2019 release. So they needed a little more time get it right and to get all their ducks in a row — that’s fine, that’s totally normal.
Except, December 2018 saw rumors Samsung was already working on another Galaxy Home. May 2019 then graced us with leaks of a “Galaxy Home Mini.” Without actually releasing the original Galaxy Home smart speaker.
This might be forgivable if we’d heard anything about the original Galaxy Home in the meantime, but we haven’t. Search for “Galaxy Home” on Samsung’s Newsroom and there have been only a few mentions of the smart speaker in the last few months. An article centered on Samsung’s latest IoT devices from February 2019 mentions the speaker once. An article about the future of connected living apparently sees fit to gloss over the device entirely, not even mentioning it once. If we didn’t know better, we’d suspect Samsung wanted us to forget it.
If Samsung doesn’t want us to forget about the cauldron-shaped Galaxy Home, then it should probably spend a little time talking about the speaker at this Galaxy Unpacked. Otherwise, we may completely forget it exists by the time the next Unpacked rolls around.
Read more about the Galaxy Home
Updated on August 6, 2019: Updated the Galaxy Watch Active 2 section, and added speculation about the Galaxy Book S.
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