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The 5 biggest announcements from the Samsung Galaxy S10 Unpacked event

The 5 biggest announcements from the Samsung Galaxy S10 Unpacked event


Four new S10s, the Galaxy Fold, and some wearables

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Samsung announces a new Galaxy S phone in the first half of every year, so while it’s no surprise that we would get an official look at the new S10 and S10 Plus devices today, the company also unveiled the Galaxy Fold, its first foldable smartphone. This was a product Samsung had teased since last fall and worked on for years, with its first prototype dating back to 2012.

Alongside the smartphones, Samsung also confirmed all of the new wearable devices it let loose earlier this month on its own app. Here’s a recap of all the biggest announcements from this year’s Unpacked event.

The Galaxy Fold is official, and it’s pricey

Samsung’s first foldable smartphone has been teased since last fall, and today, we got a few more details about what this device can do. When folded, the Galaxy Fold measures 4.6 inches, and it opens up to a 7.3-inch display tablet. You can browse apps on the phone as you would regularly and unfold the device to maximize the resolution. (Samsung calls this “app continuity.”) In the tablet mode, the device can handle up to three windows at the same time for multitasking. There also seems to be a corner notch on one side of the screen. A center line that divides the device into two halves is somewhat visible, but only when looked at from a slight angle. We’ll provide more details on this in the hands-on when we get a chance to check out the device ourselves.

Internally, it will come with 12GB of RAM, 512GB of memory, and two batteries that add up to a 4,380mAh. The Fold has six cameras: three in the back, two selfie cams, and one in the cover. A fingerprint sensor is on the side so you can unlock it when it’s in folded mode. It’ll be available in four colors: black, silver, a neon-ish green / yellow, and blue. The hinge color can also be partially customized, depending on what color you choose.

The Galaxy Fold comes in both LTE and Wi-Fi versions starting at $1,980, and it comes out on April 26th.

Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus... sans notch!

As with every new Samsung Galaxy S phones, the devices get a significant spec bump year over year: the S10 and S10 Plus now sport what’s called a dynamic AMOLED display, and they are HDR10+ certified to take even crisper, brighter photos. The camera sensors have been laser-etched into the screen, making it a notch-less display. The fingerprint sensor is also built into the display, so no more taping the back and possibly smearing the camera lens.

The new S10s also offer a triple-camera array on the back, with a new ultra wide mode and a shot suggestion AI similar to what Google has brought to the Pixel phones. There are some fun new camera effects, too, like live filters for blurring or swirling the background that overlays the effect before snapping the picture. The devices also include a new power-sharing mode that lets you charge a second device, like the new wireless Galaxy Buds, off the phone itself through Qi technology.

The S10 comes with a 6.1-inch screen, while the S10 Plus bumps its screen up to 6.4 inches with a slightly larger battery. They are compatible with Wi-Fi 6 for faster, more reliable connections — and, yes, they retain the headphone jack.

But also... the S10E and S10 5G

New to the lineup of the expected S10 and S10 Plus are the smaller S10E and the 5G-ready S10 5G. The latter will be available only through Verizon when the network becomes readily available. The S10E measures in at 5.8 inches, and it has a dual camera in the rear. Otherwise, it looks largely similar to its larger siblings.

On the other hand, the S10 5G will have a whopping quadruple-camera array with a telephoto lens on a 6.7-inch display. It’ll also have a 4,500mAh battery compared to the 4,100mAh one in the S10 Plus. Other upcoming 5G partners for the S10 5G include Sprint in France, T-Mobile in Germany, and Vodafone in the UK.

The S10, S10 Plus, and S10E will be open for preorders on February 21st at 12AM ET (midnight), starting at $900, $1,000, and $750, respectively. If you preorder by March 7th, the day before the devices land in stores, you’ll get a free pair of Galaxy Buds. Preorder dates are not yet available for the S10 5G, but the company says that it should arrive in the first half of the year.

Adobe Premiere Rush and Instagram mode come to the S10

Samsung is clearly targeting the growth of YouTube and influencer culture by including Adobe Premiere Rush with the S10 devices so you can edit, color-correct, splice, and add titles to videos right on the phone. The S10s will be one of the first Android phones that have Adobe Premiere Rush onboard, though Adobe says the app will come to Android generally soon.

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Samsung also invited Instagram head of product Adam Mosseri to the event to introduce a new Instagram mode in the camera app that allows you to edit or add stickers or captions to the photo right after it’s taken to share to their feed or as a story. While there’s not another app-specific mode, Samsung said it’s worked with partners like Snap and Line to improve the quality of photos taken through in those apps via the S10.

Wearables confirmed

Around the same time as Mobile World Congress is also when Samsung normally announces a new wearable device, and this year is no different. Leaked earlier this month, the company confirms it will be adding a Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit to the lineup. Both devices are water-resistant for swimming, and, like other fitness wearables, they can also track your heart rate and sleep. The Galaxy Watch Active will be available first on March 8th for $199, while the Fit comes out on May 31st for $99.

As briefly mentioned before, there are also new Galaxy Buds with built-in microphones and Bixby. The assistant now also supports British English, German, Italian, and Spanish. Though they’ll be included with S10 preorders, customers can also buy them starting on March 8th for $130. Like the Apple AirPods, they wirelessly charge in their own carrying case. A full charge lasts up to six hours.

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