An advertisement for Samsung’s new 100X Space Zoom capability.
Many have predicted that 2020 will be the year that 5G really takes off and I believe that. Last year most major carriers announced their plans for 5G network deployment and in the US, every major carriers have some kind of 5G network based on mmWave, sub6 GHz, or both. Additionally, we’ve seen 5G-enabled devices begin to launch, built to take advantage of the high throughput and low latency the new technology promises. Last week came another milestone in the march towards eventual 5G ubiquity—the unveiling of Samsung’s first full 5G flagship smartphone lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G. There’s no doubt that these phones make for incredible, premium consumer devices, but the coveted enterprise market comes with some different, additional requirements for the devices it selects for its employees. Let’s take a closer look at the new lineup of devices, and what Samsung has done to optimize it for enterprise customers.
Galaxy S20 5G introduces 5G capabilities and much-improved camera
The Galaxy S20 lineup is comprised of three different phones—the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S20+ and the Galaxy S20 Ultra—all of which integrate the latest 5G technology. These new phones support sub-6 and mmWave spectrums (while the S20 supports sub-6, the S20+ and S20 Ultra are the first devices on the market to cover both). Additionally, these devices both non-standalone and standalone 5G capabilities. It’s exciting to think about the sorts of next-generation workplace experiences that will be enabled by these devices’ connectivity, particularly in the realm of collaboration. For example, these phones feature Google Duo integration, and for the first time, are capable of Full HD video chat.
I consider the S20 the first “5G world phone” in that it supports every flavor of 5G. That’s important for enterprises in that if they send their employees on trips, they will have 5G overseas. Carriers will need to advance to support this, but when they do, the S20 will be ready. The other benefit of 5G is speed and low latency, which, when mmWave networks are built out, is faster and much more secure than WiFi. Speed, of course, benefits workers in that they have a higher probability in having a good collaboration experience and if tethered to their notebook, an office experience making collaboration and simple file cloud-sharing much easier.
While the S20 5G capabilities are obviously highly newsworthy, almost equally important, in my view, is the new AI-based camera system Samsung incorporated into these devices. These cameras feature Samsung’s largest image sensors to date (3X larger than the S10’s, for that matter), which the company says delivers a significant increase in resolution and allows for better image quality in low light settings. The S20 and S20+ feature an 64MP camera while the S20 Ultra’s camera is a whopping 108MP monster. That said, the S20 Ultra’s users won’t be shackled to 108MP—it comes with technology from Nona Binning that enable it to toggle dynamically between the high resolution mode and a 12MP mode. Samsung also touts these cameras’ impressive new “Space Zoom” capabilities, up to 30X with the S20 and S20+ and up to 100X with the S20 Ultra’s cutting-edge folded lens. Space Zoom achieves this by combining hybrid optic zoom hardware with AI-powered digital zoom technology.
Samsung says these cameras’ resolution and advanced crop-zoom technology enable users to capture and crop images without losing image quality. Another cool feature of these camera system is something Samsung calls “Single Take,” which enables the device to capture a variety of photos and videos in different modes (live focus, cropped, ultra-wide, etc.) and utilize AI to suggest the optimum shot.
These cameras could particularly appeal to videographers, since they support 8K video shooting. Samsung also touts the camera’s Super Steady feature, which provides anti-rolling stabilization and AI motion analytics to smooth out bumpy recordings. One could imagine the utility of high-quality video capture for various marketing and social media applications. A partnership between Samsung and YouTube will enable users to quickly upload and share their 8K videos to the video streaming platform utilizing 5G’s high speeds.
For businesses, I believe the new camera will help in any use case that requires very big zoom, image and video quality, and help being creative. It’s hard for me to think of a vertical that couldn’t benefit from the new S20 camera.
Obviously, there are a few differences in specs between the three different modes, though they all run Android 10 and feature Samsung’s sleek new User UI 2 interface. The S20 features a 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic display, while the S20+ and S20 Ultra feature a 6.7-inch and 6.9-inch screen respectively. All the screens are HDR10+ certified, AMOLED 2X, and feature 120Hz display support. Additionally, Samsung reduced the size of the camera cutout by 55% from the S10, providing even more screen real estate. The three phones get progressively larger and heavier as you upgrade—the S20 weighs 163g, with dimensions of 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.99mm, the S20+ weighs 186g, with dimensions of 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm, and the S20 Ultra weighs 220g, with dimensions of 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm.
The S20 features a triple camera system while the other two devices feature quad cameras, and as mentioned earlier, the devices’ Space Zoom varies from up to 30X on the S20 and S20+ to up to 100X on the S20 Ultra. Also mentioned earlier, the S20 Ultra features a 108MP wide-angle camera as well as a 40MP front facing camera (opposed to the other two devices’ 10MP front facing cameras).
All the devices feature a 7nm 64-bit Octa-Core processor inside, more than likely from Qualcomm. They come with a variety of memory options—12GB RAM (LPDDR5) for the S20 and S20+, and either 12 or 16GB for the S20 Ultra. The S20 comes with 128GB of internal storage, while the S20+ and S20 Ultra offer a choice between 128GB and 512GB. Another feature the ability to add an optional MicroSD card up to 1TB. Enterprise users could literally sync their entire OneDrive library to their phones and never be away from their data
Another new feature that could appeal to enterprise customers is the ability to turbocharge performance by designating RAM in the background for select applications. As many as 3 applications at a time (5 for the 512GB version of the S20 5G Ultra) can be pinned directly to the RAM to be used whenever they are needed. I’m unaware of any businessperson who is completely satisfied with their app performance.
The new S20 5G can also be used to access FTP servers or network drives in the office. This is a crucial enhancement, given the fact that past iterations of Galaxy smartphones could only share to Internal Storage, an SD Card, 3rd party social media apps, and certain cloud providers. Samsung says that this ability means users will no longer have to rely on email to share sensitive files, which in turn means they won’t have to worry about file size limits slowing down collaborative efforts.
Yet another enterprise-friendly feature (coming to the device via firmware update later in 2020) is support for dual SIM cards. This move is meant to address the growing trend of device consolidation (virtualization of desktop phones, smartphone POS terminals, etc.), and Samsung says it will eliminate the difficulty of manually determining billable hour customer phone transactions from normal work calls. I think this is a smart approach that recognizes the evolving workforce needs in the modern workplace.
Enterprise grade security and reliability
Security is obviously a incredibly crucial consideration to enterprises when choosing a smartphone for their workforce. The S20 5G line comes equipped with Knox, Samsung’s mobile security platform, which the company says secures the device from chip through the software level. They also include a new processor called Guardian Chip, that protects them against hardware-based threats. Particularly relevant for enterprise applications, the S20 5G line features improved security for its DeX functionality. This includes enhanced eSE capabilities and an update to its UMC (Unified Credential Management) that Samsung says will enable the S20 5G to provide CAC Authentication. In laymen’s terms, businesses and government entities would no longer have to assign physical CAC cards to their employees. In order to authenticate their identity, all they would have to do is plug in their phone via a simple cable.
All of the devices feature Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 and Wireless PowerShare. Samsung says these phones feature faster charging speeds than any Galaxy model to date, a definite plus for enterprise deployments. You can’t have your smartphone battery dying on you in the middle of closing a business deal over the phone. The batteries range from 4,000mAh in the S20, up to 5,000mAh in the S20 Ultra. As far as Wi-Fi goes, they include support for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, and 1024-QAM. Their Bluetooth capabilities include Bluetooth v 5.0, ANT+, USB type-C, NFC, and Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, and BeiDou).
Samsung’s Galaxy phones have a history of innovation and now they’ve even beat Apple to the punch on having global 5G devices, 8K video, and 100X zoom ready for the market. The Galaxy S20 5G line looks impressive, and I can’t wait to try them out firsthand.
For businesses looking to equip their workforce with a truly premium device with enterprise-grade performance, reliability, connectivity, photography, and security, it’s hard to imagine a better candidate than the S20 5G. I’m excited to see the next generation of mobile experiences that these devices enable, for consumers and enterprise purposes alike.
Disclosure: Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and analyst firms, provides or has provided paid research, analysis, advising, or consulting to many high-tech companies in the industry, including Samsung Electronics, which may be cited in this article. The author holds no investment positions in any of the companies mentioned in this article.