Feb 11, 2020 - Technology

Samsung debuts Galaxy S20 with focus on cameras

Photo: Samsung

In launching the Galaxy S20 line on Tuesday, Samsung zoomed in on the improved picture-taking abilities of its latest flagship smartphones.

Why it matters: The move is an acknowledgment that the camera is the biggest thing that helps spur consumers to buy a new smartphone.

The camera enhancements are a mix of software and hardware changes.

  • On the software side, a new Single Take mode lets people easily capture a combination of videos and stills of key moments.
  • On the hardware side, the S20 and S20+ have 64-megapixel main rear cameras, while the S20 Ultra has a 108-megapixel main camera. The S20 will also support 8K video capture.

Details: The S20 will come in three versions, all of which include 5G capabilities in the U.S.

  • The entry-level S20 will sell for $999 and comes with a 6.2-inch screen and includes support for only low-band flavors of 5G.
  • The S20+ includes a 6.7-inch screen, supports both low-band and millimeter-wave 5G networks, and starts at $1,199.
  • The S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch screen and adds a nifty 4x optical zoom lens and starts at $1,399.

All models will be available for pre-order on Feb. 21 and arrive in stores March 6.

Meanwhile: The company also detailed a new foldable device, dubbed the Galaxy Z Flip, which it teased in an Oscars commercial on Sunday. The clamshell device will cost around $1,400 and go on sale Feb. 14.

Go deeper: Samsung aims for high note with latest smartphone

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Wall Street's obsession with an esoteric airwaves fight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street has become fascinated with a battle over 5G airwaves at the Federal Communications Commission — not because of the next-generation technology itself, but because of the potential investment wins.

Why it matters: The twists and turns of the FCC's debate over a swath of satellite airwaves has put billions on the line and shows a divide between D.C. and Wall Street on how to think about 5G.

With no Mobile World Congress, product announcements start rolling in

Inside the Mobile World Congress (MWC) pavilion in Barcelona, Spain during the dismantling of the stands following the cancellation of the fair due to the coronavirus crisis and company cancellations. Photo: David Zorrakino/Europa Press via Getty Images

With the cancellation of Mobile World Congress, many tech companies now have lots of products to announce and no physical place to do it. The result has been a flurry of press releases and webcasts designed to replace planned in-person gatherings. In the last 24 hours or so, Intel, Sony and Huawei have all announced new products and components.

Why it matters: The show was to have been a key launching point for a number of products, including several high-end 5G-capable phones.

Google releases developer version of Android 11

Image: Google

Google released an earlier-than-expected test version of Android 11, offering developers a glimpse of what to expect in the final release later this year. Among the changes in the early code are improved support for 5G and foldable devices, as well as more granular security protections.

The big picture: Once upon a time, Google waited until its spring I/O developer conference to share code for the next version of Android, but has been moving the release earlier in recent years to give developers more time to prepare for the under-the-hood changes.