The Spectacle of Samsung’s Launch Event

On Tuesday of this week Samsung held its annual Galaxy Unpacked event in San Francisco. It did what most tech companies set out to do when they host a big event: Announce shiny new products (Galaxy S20! Another folding phone! Some earbuds!) and get customers stoked for features like “sub-6 5G compatibility” and “Space Zoom.” It was the kind of product launch that has become standard over the years for big tech companies.

This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED senior associate editor Julian Chokkattu and WIRED contributor Boone Ashworth join cohost Lauren Goode to chat about all things Samsung and more. We dish about the new products the company announced, but then we dig deeper to talk about how those products fit into the broader smartphone market. Does anyone really need to spend $1,000 on a phone in the era of the Pretty Darn Good Mid-Range Phone? And are these kinds of events necessary when so much info about the products is leaked in advance?

Show Notes:

Read all about Samsung’s big launch event here. Read Lauren’s hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Z Flip here. Check out Julian’s first look at the Galaxy S20 line here, and read his review of the Motorola Razr here. Read Shira Ovide’s story in Bloomberg about tech events here. And please watch this delightful clip of Michael Bay speaking at a Samsung event.


Lauren recommends this episode of The Daily podcast, about Clearview AI. Julian recommends the Pixelbook Go as a lightweight replacement for the 16-inch MacBook Pro he’s been carrying around. Boone recommends The Circle, a reality series on Netflix.

Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren is @LaurenGoode. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our consulting executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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