Samsung launches new Note series aimed at enterprises
By Edwin Yapp August 19, 2020
- Tight tie up with Microsoft means it’s targeting enterprise space
- Note 20 improves on previous Note 10, with greater specs and features
NEWS ANALYSIS AS the world continues to grapple with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd conducted business as usual when it launched its latest flagship device, the Samsung Note 20 series smartphone and a slew of other products, albeit through a global streaming event on August 5.
The world’s largest smartphone by market share introduced the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, its premium smartphones; the Tab S7 and S7+, its new line of tablets; the Galaxy Watch3, a smartwatch that touts advance health features; the Galaxy Buds Live, its wireless earbuds; and Galaxy Z Fold 2, the successor to the Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Z flip.
Interested parties can pre-order your choice of device with Samsung. Pricing for the Note 20 starts at RM3,899 and the Note 20+ at RM5,199
To stay on top of the game, the South Korean giant has no choice but to continue to innovate by pushing the boundaries of the smartphone as a productivity device, according to company officials.
This can be seen in the Note 20 series of smartphones and both its Tab S7 and S7+ series of tablets, both devices tout closer cooperation with business productivity giant Microsoft Corp.
Speaking to Digital News Asia about the launch of Samsung’s new line of devices for 2020, Counterpoint Research director and partner Neil Shah said the plus points of the new Note 20 series were in their beautiful designs, color palettes, and workflow continuity with Microsoft and Samsung cloud.
“The wireless DeX, ultra wide band (UWB) support and improved S Pen on a very fluid 120Hz dynamic super Amoled display are also great additions to the line up,” he said.
Asked what kind of differentiators the Note 20 series aims at, Shah explained that no brand has yet been able to crack the prosumer-grade device segment that supports stylus action. To add to this advantage, he argued that Samsung has taken two strides ahead of its competition with its partnership with Microsoft.
“The deeper integration of productivity and cloud connectivity as well as cloud gaming makes the Note 20 series a compelling value proposition as an all-in-one productivity/recreational device.
Asked how Samsung is trying to position itself with this year’s Note 20 line up, Shah said he believes there has been a big gap left by Blackberry in the enterprise segment that is now being filled with employees bringing their own devices to the enterprise, which is a nightmare for chief information officers (CIOs).
“I believe with the deeper Microsoft partnership, as well as Samsung’s Knox Security, the Note 20 series makes it more of a natural choice for CIOs to recommend them in the enterprise space,” he argued. “Samsung’s position is quite unique here and no other brand has been able to bring to the table. This will also help accelerate the 5G era.”
A more powerful, productive Note
The Note 20 series improves on a number of features the company is famed for. For starters, it now boasts of a new S pen, which the company claims now feels more like ‘real-time’ writing having brought its response latency down to 9ms from 42ms. This coupled with its high refreshed display rate of 120Hz, makes writing on the screen closer to that of the feel of pen on paper.
The S pen also supports new ‘air’ gestures, which Samsung said makes touchless navigation possible with the devices such as returning to the home screen or taking a screenshot with a flick of the wrist.
To help users capture, edit and share ideas across their smartphones, tablets or Windows 10 PCs, the Samsung Notes app features auto-save and syncing capabilities, so users can pick up right where they left off as they move from device to device.
Also improved is the ability for Samsung Notes to annotate and highlight in PDF format; record audio as users jot down notes, and tap the words in the Notes app to take you to that moment in the recording. Along with this is a new file/ folder management that makes everything easier to find.
The Note 20 also has Microsoft’s Your Phone app with Link to Windows integration that enables users to easily access their mobile apps directly from your Windows 10 PC. The seamless connection enables users to send messages, manage notifications, sync photos and make and receive calls all from your Windows 10 PC.
Moreover, Samsung Notes app syncs to Microsoft OneNote and Microsoft Outlook and Reminders syncs with Microsoft Outlook, To Do and Teams.
Not to leave out the recreation abilities of the Note 20 series, the smartphones will be able to access over 100 Xbox games beginning September 15, with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, including hits such as Minecraft Dungeons and Gears 5.
The Galaxy Note 20 series gaming experience is further enhanced with its AI game booster and Bluetooth audio response optimisation, and 240Hz touch latency on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
Other features of the Note 20 include:
- You can wirelessly connect the Galaxy Note 20 series to a Smart TV when you need a bigger screen;
- With 21:9 aspect ratio and 24fps recording, the Galaxy Note 20 series’ 8K camera now gives you access to ultra-high resolution and a professional quality video experience
- Supports 5G on both Sub-6 and mmWave networks. Supports Wi-Fi 6 networks with optimised latency for various streaming services.
- Supports Ultra Wide Band (UWB) on Note 20 Ultra, which allows users to share files automatically with a pre-approved list of people.
- Here are full specifications of the Note 20 and the Note 20 Ultra.
Tablets, Watch and Buds refreshed,
Meanwhile, its S7 and S7+ tablets are geared towards productivity, supporting everything from videoconferencing to fast downloads and streaming.
Both devices come equipped with a top-of-the-line processor, which includes 5G capabilities, an improved keyboard experience and an improved S Pen with similar capabilities as the Galaxy Note 20 series.
For entertainment, the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ feature an immersive display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, For users who want even more space to work, play, and create, Galaxy Tab S7+ offers an extra-large 12.4” Super Amoled display. Both devices come equipped with a book cover keyboard and Bluetooth mouse.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 3 sports some new features such as its blood oxygen feature, which touts the ability to measure and track oxygen saturation over time, for fitness and wellness purposes. It also has the ability to detect potential fall of the wearer, a running analysis which claims to help a user run better, improve form and prevent injuries. It also comes equipped with more than 120 different home training programs so you can track your workout progress on your watch.
As for the Galaxy Buds Live, the wireless earbuds is tuned by AKG’s sound expertise and sports a bigger, 12mm speaker compared to Galaxy Buds+. Along with a bass duct, the Buds audio claims to sound deep and rich so users can enjoy music. The Galaxy Buds Live comes with three microphones and voice pickup unit and features active noise cancellation too.
Samsung’s way forward
Counterpoint’s Shah said research shows that the tablet market demand will spike with the work-from-home and study-from-home situations, given the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, the Tab S7 series has the potential to be a work and play device, and therein lies their value proposition.
As for the introduction of the Galaxy Buds, Shah said Samsung has been steadily expanding its watch and hearables business but Apple Watch and AirPods continue to remain strong.
“I believe Samsung needs to broaden the offerings with multiple models across various price segments and not keep them at a premium offering but to scale the categories and grow from here,” he argued. “The unique design of the hearables Galaxy Buds Live will resonate with users as this is the fastest-growing segment in consumer electronics right now.”
Asked what were the pros and cons Samsung faced going forward, Shah said the tie-up with Microsoft is a win for Samsung, together with its vertical integration (components and semiconductors), 5G Intellectual Property, which helps it keep ahead of the onslaught of Chinese brands.
Shah however said Samsung still faces stiff competition in the United States from Apple Inc, and in India and Southeast Asia from brands such as Xiaomi, Realme, and Vivo.
“Absence in China, the world’s largest market, hurts Samsung so it has to make up from other markets such as North America, India, Europe, Latin America and Middle East Africa.
“While cracking into China will be difficult, protecting its share in India, Europe and the United States will be critical moving forward. “But I believe bringing 5G to mid-range devices sooner than Chinese vendors would certainly help Samsung,” he argued.
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