COVID has made for one unusual year. Apple did its WWDC show back in the spring to much appraise even though it was virtual. They got their message across well.
Samsung’s show was dreadful lacking innovation and at times it was downright stupid. The goal though was to present their key products for this show which they did. However, it’s important to question the products themselves and the value they bring at the price.
What has Happened to Samsung
From a price perspective, we first saw that the phones Samsung would be delivering was not going to be, in any fashion, reasonably priced. Secondly, the two major products almost seemed as if they weren’t from the same family.
The first of the two was the Note Ultra. The second, more expensive of the two was the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. One has to wonder what the first one is all about.
It is an expensive phone at $999. It comes with a plastic back and although it has the s Pen option you quickly wonder what value are they placing on this phone. The memory is not expandable and the harsh reality is this is Android. To operate in a complete software environment, you have to have IOS. There is simply too much software that is not yet available for the Android. Thus, possibly covertly Android phones have always been less expensive. If you want a phone that works with everything you have to get an IOS device.
Who Is the Ultra For?
The Note Ultra, to put it bluntly, is a very odd device. At half the price no one would have questioned it. However, this is a premium product at a premium price and there is nothing about it that is premium. The plastic back is the first most obvious example of this.
Secondly, Android has always offered significant memory advantage. The ability to add an SD card to enhance memory functionality has always been considered superb.
Why does this phone exist. This is a very hard question to answer but in no way should anyone plop down any $999 for this device. It would be a complete waste of money.
Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
This phone makes sense. However, it is far too expensive. This should have been the $999 phone. It looks good but it is already being written off as “so what”. The Note has gone from an interesting and desirable device to a “so what.”
The s series of phones has proven to be quite the blunder. The Ultra is a complete write-off and so it should be. What could have made some sense here would have been to have the s20 and s20+ followed by the Note Ultra. This might have made some sense. As it stands, Samsung sort of has the odd nice phone and then a disaster.
It seems to be commonly accepted that the Fold is an interesting phone. It will likely be some years though before it will be considered mainstream. Again, what is happening with Samsung’s pricing. This is a time when people are trying to conserve money. A lot of people have lost jobs and income etc. The future seems bleak and whether it is or isn’t is irrelevant. The perception is what matters.
The Pixel 4a went over well and why not? It is a snazzy phone with all the bells and whistles at half the price of even a reasonably priced flagship. However, then you have the Note series of phones which are not at all reasonably priced. Who needs a camera on a phone with 100 or even 50 times zoom. Very few people would have use for this. Yet there it is. Plus, the price tag to boot.
The fold is innovative technology and for those who need more screen real estate than a practical phone can give them this devices time may have come. However, the pricing is still not known.
So much just happens to be sorted around timing. Samsung couldn’t have released their new “s” series phones at a worse time with COVID just breaking. Interesting yes, but somehow seles have been extremely poor and this is most likely due to the price. Only Apple with their ecosystem can weather storms as people always need access to good software. For the writer it may be just one application but that application is his bread and butter.
For Android the pot is narrow. Tremendous strides were being made with software becoming universal but it isn’t. The most unique and interesting software resides on the Mac. Then it is brought to Android. The cross platform functionality can work like a charm and does but not on everything yet. That day is still to dawn.
When it does everyone will benefit. Users currently say not able to access an Apple Smartwatch will be able to. Teams can be formed without regard to their platforms. For now though there is a trade-off which can be expensive. Samsung is not Apple. When buying a phone all these things have to be considered. Today’s dollars are not necessarily tomorrows. What tomorrow will bring is anyone’s guess.
Cross platform is real. It has been garnering strength for years. Often though along the road harsh realities step in and slow things down. The time is coming when these things won’t be an issue. However, this is not the case – YET!