This story was originally published and last updated .
Android tablets have always been a bit awkward, as products. With the platform lacking the huge ecosystem of tablet-optimized apps that the iPad enjoys, or the large desktop legacy world you can access on something like a Surface Pro, many have asked the question "Why?" when it comes to an Android-powered slate. Perhaps it's not really one worth asking, though, when a company as large as Samsung is bothering to introduce an $850 tablet at all. With the Tab S7 and S7+, Samsung is bringing a capital-P "Premium" tablet hardware experience, and we've spent the last few days using the latter.
Samsung's Galaxy Note20 series is new, with plenty of new features like an upgraded camera system, faster chipset, and 120Hz display (at least, in the Ultra), but the S Pen inside the two phones has picked up some new features as well. From reduced latency to new air gestures, Note20 owners have some changes to look forward to.
The first folding-screen Galaxy got off to a rough start when many units started failing left and right, halting its retail release for several months. It didn't turn out to be a smash hit even later, mainly due to its sky-high pricing. Samsung’s reincarnated flip phone for 2020 wasn’t a true successor to the Galaxy Fold, but it did help iron out some of the initial design complications and helped make foldables more affordable. Now a new report claims that the second generation of Samsung's ultra-premium foldable would take cues from both the Galaxy Z Flip and the recent S20 line.
The Galaxy Note10+ is now in the lay people's hands and some of them might be wondering what's going on inside their phones. A few might even be tempted to wedge their fingernails right under the tightly-sealed back cover of the phone. Well, for the rest of us, there's Zack Nelson of YouTube fame and another JerryRigEverything video to scratch that itch.
More than anything else, the S Pen is what makes the Note a Note rather than a bigger Galaxy S. Samsung has made small tweaks to the design over the years, but the Note 9 introduced a big change in the form of Bluetooth. The Note 10 and Note 10+ evolves the S Pen even further with the addition gestures.
There are only a few hours left before the Note10 is officially unveiled, but if you can't wait that long to learn the full details, here's something to keep you busy: Pictures showing the device in blue have leaked, though it's unclear whether that version will be available in all markets.
Samsung traditionally holds two Unpacked events per year: one for the latest Galaxy S phone, and the other for the latest Galaxy Note. You can probably guess which is being announced at this August 7th Unpacked event even without reading this article's title or looking at the S Pen in the teaser image, but yeah, it's the Galaxy Note10.
The S Pen has always differentiated the Note series from other flagship smartphones, and each year Samsung has made it a little bit better. With the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung enhanced the S Pen with Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to supercharge 30 minutes of power in under a minute. Today, the USPTO has granted a patent that could see the S Pen also used as a camera with an optical zoom — potentially removing the need for a camera notch (or hole-punch).
Powering mobile accessories is tricky business, with companies forced to balance concerns of capacity, charging speed, and ease of use. That challenge is doubly hard for something like a stylus, where space is at an absolute premium. Samsung's S Pen has long offered a graceful solution to these issues, leveraging Wacom digitizer technology to power the stylus by way of an electromagnetic field, without requiring any power supply on the S Pen itself. But now with the new Galaxy Note9, Samsung is giving its stylus Bluetooth connectivity, seriously complicating this arrangement. Luckily, Samsung has come up with another elegant solution, though one with some important limitations.