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A 108-Megapixel Camera and a New Flip Phone: Samsung Takes Giant Leap with Galaxy S20 and Z Flip

Space zoom!
IMAGE Paul John Caña
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South Korea is on a roll. Just days after director Bong Joon Ho won a truckload of Oscars for the groundbreaking movie Parasite, the country’s—and the world’s—biggest smartphone maker unleashed a new range of mobile phones that aims to put it ahead of its competitors. 

Photo by Paul John Caña.
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During the livestream of its twice-a year Unpacked extravaganza held Tuesday in San Francisco (early Wednesday morning in Manila), Samsung officials unveiled its latest suite of Galaxy mobile phones that feature incredible new camera features as well as a new flip phone.

I've been an iPhone user for years, but for the first time, I'm seriously considering switching to Samsung because of these new phones, particularly the S20. 

Here’s what you need to know about the new phones:

1| The Galaxy S20 Comes in 3 variants

After launching the S10 last year, Samsung skipped 11 to 19 and went straight to 20, in a not-so-subtle nod to the start of the new decade. The most important thing to know about these new mobile phones is that all of them are 5G capable. Samsung already pioneered 5G in mobile phones when it launched the S10 last year, but this time, all the phones in the S20 series are equipped with the latest 5G technology. 

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Photo by YouTube/SAMSUNG.

The basic S20 has a 6.2-inch screen and will retail for P49,990, the 6.7-inch S20+ will go for P55,990, and the S20 Ultra is priced at P69,990. All are available for pre-orders startin Wednesday, February 12.

2| Samsung says the S20 is the “phone to end all cameras”

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Which only means that the company listened to consumers who said that enhanced camera capabilities is one of the most important features they look for in a new mobile phone.

Samsung is betting that the S20 line can replace traditional digital cameras with its suite of new features. The S20 itself has four camera lenses while the S20+ and the S20 Ultra have one more for 3D depth. The former two can take up to S64 megapixel (MP) photos while the S20 Ultra can take an astounding 108MP photos.

Photo by YouTube/SAMSUNG.
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3| Zooming without quality loss

Officials demosntrated the enhanced zoom quality in the S20, taking a video of the windmills in Pililla, Rizal from the rooftop of the company’s offices in Taguig, a distance of about 50 kilometers. This Space Zoom feature, so-named because it works much like a telescope, allows users to zoom up to 100x. 

It’s only available in the S20 Ultra though, as the S20 and the S20+ can only zoom up to 30x.

Photo by Paul John Caña.
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4| 8K video recording

Samsung says 8k is the future of video, and it is being made available in a mobile phone, in the S20 series, for the first time. Video stabilization has also vastly improved.

5| Single Take feature cuts the pressure off taking the perfect shot

The S20 is outfitted with a feature called Single Take that lets users record up to 10 seconds of video and then generates up to 14 different versions of that take, including Live focus, cropped, Ultra Wide and others. 

6| Introducing the Galaxy Z Flip Phone

Anyone who misses the almost calming routine of flipping a phone open or close will gravitate toward the new Galaxy Z Flip Phone. Different from the Galaxy Fold, the Galaxy Z Flip Phone has a 6.7-inch display, but folds neatly into half that, much like a woman’s compact.

There’s also a strip screen that highlights notifications when it’s closed. Tap the notification you want and it will take you straight to that app when you flip the phone open.

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According to Samsung, the ultra thin glass it uses in the Galaxy Z Fold can last up to 200,000 flips.

Photo by YouTube.

7| And the Galaxy Buds+

Featuring two-way speakers, three mics for excellent sound and voice quality, and up to 22 hours of battery life, 11 hours from Buds+ and an extra 11 hours in the case. Best of all, it’s also iOS compatible, so you can use it even with an iPhone.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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