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Despite coronavirus concerns, tech aficionados gather at Samsung Unpacked

New partnerships with Google, Netflix, Thom Browne hailed by Galaxy fans

Spectators fill the Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)
Spectators fill the Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Around 3,000 industry officials and tech aficionados including some famous Twitterians gathered at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday for the unveiling of the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy S20 lineup, despite persisting fears over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Some attendees at the Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event were spotted with masks on throughout the hourlong show, being aware of the continuously spreading virus across the world, particularly in the Asian region, including South Korea, Samsung’s home country.

But they didn’t refrain from cheering and applauding the latest Galaxy products and Samsung’s new partnerships with global companies like Google, Netflix and Thom Browne. 

Participants experience the new devices at the Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)
Participants experience the new devices at the Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Tuesday. (Samsung Electronics)

During the event, Samsung and Google announced their expanded partnership to integrate Google’s video chat service DUO into the contacts, phone and message apps of the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Z Flip phones, allowing users to switch to a video call with a single tap.

Samsung also announced Netflix as its official mobile entertainment partner that will unlock bonus content related to its titles and more tightly integrate the over-the-top content service into Samsung phones.

With New York-based fashion company Thom Browne, Samsung will introduce Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne edition that features the brand’s signature colors of red, white and blue together with Galaxy Watch Active 2 and Ear Buds+ for a complete connected look. 

Rebecca Hirst, head of UK mobile product market, grabbed attention as she appeared onstage to introduce the Galaxy Z Flip at the beginning of the event wearing a Thom Browne cardigan. 

Galaxy Z Flip
Galaxy Z Flip "Thom Browne" Edition (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung’s new mobile business head Roh Tae-moon successfully made his debut on the global stage where he introduced his vision for mobile innovations pivoting on new user experiences for the next 10 years.

However, there were some complaints raised by high-profile tech maniacs who have been following the leaked details of new mobile products prior to the event, noting that all the new Galaxy phone models were similar to the leaks with no surprises.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
Korea Herald correspondent
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