The Note gets several productivity upgrades, DeX goes wireless, and the S Pen has five new actions.
Samsung announced the newest Galaxy Notes at Samsung Unpacked event on Aug. 5 with a faster processor, 5G support, and productivity improvements suggested by power users.
The Galaxy Note 20 puts the emphasis on getting work done more quickly and efficiently while the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is designed for the Note loyalist with new camera features, including a laser auto focus sensor, a phase detection auto-focus, and 50x zoom.
Drew Blackard, vice president of product management at Samsung Electronics America, described the new features in a press briefing.
Both devices will be available on Aug. 21 with preorders starting on Aug. 6 at 12:01 a.m. The Note 20 starts at $999 and the Ultra at $1,299.
Here’s a look at the features that will mean the most to business users.
Smarter features for Samsung Notes
Samsung has added several new components to Notes. On the Note 20, the new Samsung Notes Live Sync allows users to save all notes straight to the cloud and access them from a phone, tablet, or PC. When it’s time to turn notes from a meeting into a PowerPoint presentation, Note users can access documents from the phone on a laptop.
Voice Note Replay is another new feature that allows users to attach and time-sync voice recordings.
“So, if you record and take notes at the same time, you can go back and tap any word that you jotted down, and with the Voice Note Replay, it’ll play back the audio from the exact moment that word was mentioned,” Blackard said during the press call.
The updated Notes application has these three new features also:
- Direct imports of PDFs into Samsung Notes
- Better handwriting recognition via deep learning technology
- New system for saving and organizing notes with a PC-like folder structure
Samsung Notes now automatically syncs with Microsoft Outlook as well. Samsung also has improved Link to Windows in this phone release to give users access to mobile apps screen mirrored right to a PC.
“Later this year, Link to Windows will support up to six apps at the same time, so you’ll be able to work across your devices in real time,” Blackard said. “We’ll also be enhancing the experience of drag and drop to make moving files between devices.”
SEE: Photos: A first look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (TechRepublic)
DeX goes wireless
Screencasting and moving from the small screen to a big one are easier than ever with the improvements to this feature. Now this feature works wirelessly, no cables needed. DeX, a Samsung application that converts a tablet or phone into a PC-like functionality, works on all smart TVs that support mirror cast, which includes all Samsung smart TVs from 2019 forward.
S Pen improvements
Samsung has improved the latency of the Note 20’s S Pen by 40% over the Note 10, and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra features an 80% improvement. That’s down to nine milliseconds.
Samsung has added several new Air Actions for the S Pen also. Blackard shared this example during the press call:
“Air Actions make leading a presentation from your phone more seamless than ever. You can use any of the five new gestures on your S Pen, which help you navigate your device and run the show from any app. So, imagine you’re in the middle of a presentation and you want to share a specific video from your gallery. Simply gesture with the S Pen from across the room. You’ll jump over to recent apps, open the video, and then you can hop right back into your presentation.”
Connectivity: 5G and ultra wide band
Both phones have 5G connectivity. The Note 20 also has ultra wide band (UWB) technology with directional and spatial awareness. This new proximity-based feature allows users to share files just by pointing a Note at another UWB device, functionality Samsung is calling “point to share.” UWB also enables the phone to be used as a touchless digital key. If the Note is in a person’s pocket or handbag, a UWB-enabled lock will unlock just as the person passes it. The Note 20 also has on-device optimizations for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Better battery life
The Note 20 can gain more than 50% charge in 30 minutes and has a 4,300mAH battery. The Ultra has a 4,500mAH battery.
The Galaxy Note 20 has a 6.7 inch display. The Ultra has a 6.9 inch display and a 120 hertz refresh rate. The phone also has an adaptive refresh rate, which means the device automatically adjusts to the content being viewed to optimize battery life. The Note 20 Ultra has full 5G support and the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 plus processor.
Finally, the Ultra will be available in mystic bronze, mystic black, and mystic white. The Note 20 comes in mystic gray, mystic green, and mystic bronze.
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