As the year winds down it’s a great time to reflect on the top stories of the past 12 months. This is the third of four installments where we look at the stories that shaped this year.
We’re now into the biggest stories of Q3. The months July through September were a return to big announcements after the usual quiet of summer. This is the time we typically see Apple’s big iPhone event, but in 2020 that was pushed back into Q4 for the first time in a decade.
Samsung, on the other hand, delivered on its usual Galaxy Note unveil. The Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra became official, but it was the Ultra that held everyone’s attention. A new 4x optical zoom camera and a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate screen. The 108MP sensor got equipped with a laser autofocus module to fix the focus issues that plagued the S20 Ultra, and the S Pen was faster than ever with an instantaneous 9ms latency making it feel as if you write on paper.
We also saw many rumors and reports suggest that these wer ethe last Notes as Samsung’s new strategy in 2021 will be to release a Galaxy S Ultra with S Pen support and leave the fall flagship spot for the Galaxy Z Fold line. Still Samsung later denied those so it appears the Galaxy Note line will live on in one for or another.
The second generation Galaxy Z Fold 2 was unveiled on September 1 with a state of the art CAM mechanism hinge that hides when the device is fully unfolded. The inner display had slimmer bezels and a smaller notch, while the outer display grew substantially. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 was the first foldable phone that didn’t feel like a prototype.
Xiaomi showed off its absolute best smartphone to date with the Mi 10 Ultra. It had a premium design, a 120Hz display, a Snapdragon 865 chipset, 120W charging, but it was the cameras that made it stand out. A new 48MP main camera with one of the biggest sensors around, a 5x zoom periscope camera, another 12MP 2x zoom camera and a 20MP ultrawide with autofocus. Sadly the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra was not to leave China.
After a very strong teaser campaign OnePlus delivered the Nord midranger. It had a 6.44-inch AMOLED with 90Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 765G with 5G, 48MP regular and 8MP ultrawide cameras (alongside a pair of depth and macro sensors) and an affordable price – €399/$399/INR 28,000.
Those were the key stories of Q3 of 2020. In our next, and final installment of this series we’ll look at Q4 of 2020.
It sport a punch hole display and packs a total of five cameras – one of the front and four at the back.
Including the same Snapdragon 865 chipset and 4,000 mAh battery. Just about everything features improvements and extra polish, though.
The Galaxy A9 (2018) was the first quad-camera phone in the world – Samsung loves experimenting with camera on the A-series.
The Notes are the unrivaled stylus champions and the Fold2 brings key improvements, but are there weak spots in the new premium lineup?
Both Notes have larger displays than their predecessors – a 120 Hz panel in the case of the Ultra, 60 Hz for the vanilla model.