• Samsung unpacks three Galaxy S20 phones at London launch
  • S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra will offer ability to shoot video in 8K
  • Samsung also announces new partnerships with YouTube and Netflix

Samsung S20 phones

Samsung: Unveiled S20 phones at 2020 event

Source: Paolo Pescatore / Twitter

Samsung has launched its new range of flagship smartphone devices, offering the ability to record videos in 8K 24fps.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone range is made up of three devices: the S20 and S20+ 5G, which come with 64MP cameras, and the S20 Ultra 5G, which has a 108MP lens.

The devices are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor which supports 8K shooting and 5G.

Video footage is also enhanced by Samsung’s Super Steady technology, which offers anti-rolling stabilisation and AI motion analysis which aims to provide smoother video.

The S20, which is the “entry-level” device, offers a 6.2-inch WQHD+ Super Amoled screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It is powered by a 4,000mAh battery.

The Galaxy S20 Plus is slightly larger, at 6.7-inches, warranting a larger battery at 4,500mAh. It also comes with an additional time-of-flight sensor.

The ‘flagship’ of the set is the S20 Ultra, which packs a 6.9-inch screen, with a 5,000mAh battery to power it. It has a 108 MP wide-angle lens that is assisted by a 12 MP ultra-wide sensor and a 48 MP telephoto lens, which is capable of 100x hybrid zoom. The front-facing camera is 40 MP.

The new devices do not include an 8K screen, however, meaning video recorded in the higher definition format will have to be viewed on a different 8K device.

Samsung Electronics head of mobile communications business president Dr TM Roh said: “As we enter this new decade, 5G will completely change how we communicate and how we experience the world around us.”

“As all three Galaxy S20 variants come with 5G connectivity, Samsung is providing a next-generation device for transforming people’s lives. With an incredible, AI-powered camera, you can capture the moments as they happen and connect more seamlessly with the people you love.”

At the “Unpacked” launch event, Samsung also announced a new partnership with YouTube. This will allow S20 users to share their 8K videos directly with the Google-owned streaming service, using the phone’s speedy 5G upload speeds to boost the experience.

It has also partnered with Netflix at launch in an agreement that sees the streaming giant become Samsung’s “official mobile entertainment partner”. The alliance will offer bonus content related to Netflix titles and more tightly integrate the subscription-streaming service into Samsung’s Galaxy phones.

“The mission of this partnership to make the Netflix viewing experience on Samsung mobile the absolute best it can be,” Netflix’s chief marketing officer Jackie Lee-Joe said on stage in San Francisco as she announced the alliance.

The partnership will see content creators given access to an S20 device to show off behind-the-scenes material, which Samsung users will be able to view for free.

Other content will also be made available through Samsung Daily – a new home screen panel on the S20 range - including Narcos: Mexico, Sintonia, Elites and Netflix is a Joke comedy specials.

8K is a leading focus for the South Korean manufacturer, which has already launched a number of 8K TVs and partnered with the 8K Association earlier this year to launch a TV certification scheme.

The decision to focus on 8K content and 5G was labelled “smart” by PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore.

He said: “It is becoming increasingly harder for smartphone manufacturers to differentiate devices. Hence we are now seeing a huge focus on significantly improving existing features, improve user experiences and make devices future proof with new formats.

“Though it is still early days with 8K, Samsung is seeking to own this space with both the larger screen in the living room and on mobile devices.

“The move to support 8K is smart. Given the lack of 8K programming, expect mobile devices, not TVs, to be the driving force behind the creation and adoption of 8K content. This, in turn, will drive awareness of Samsung 8K TVs.”