The Samsung Galaxy S20 series is one that has a little something for everyone. There are three official models: the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Now, the company has announced a new version of the Galaxy S20—one that is tailored for an altogether different userbase.
Essentially, Samsung has dressed up the regular Galaxy S20 with some additional features that will fulfil the military needs of “operators in the federal government and Department of Defense”. Changes appear to be software-based, with the Galaxy S20 TE (Tactical Edition) having much of the same internals as the regular Galaxy S20.
That includes a 6.2″ AMOLED display, the flagship-class Snapdragon 865, 12GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Additionally, you also have the same triple-camera setup: a 12MP main shooter, 64MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera.
So, what’s the big deal?
As you can tell from the images, the Galaxy S20 TE has a pretty rugged-looking exterior. This, however, doesn’t appear to be down to any sort of built-in durability. Instead, Samsung says that it uses “ruggedised case solutions, connectors, and hubs” to ensure that the device can handle rough terrain and accomodate tactical kit configurations. Additionally, the auto-touch sensitivity feature means that operators can use the touch display on the smartphone, even with their gloves on.
On the software side of things however, things start to get a little interesting. The Galaxy S20 TE has a night-vision mode that allows users to see the display even while wearing night-vision goggles, while there is also something called stealth mode.
Basically, when this mode is turned on, the smartphone disables LTE and RF broadcasting so that they can remain… well, stealthy. This, of course, sounds a lot like airplane mode, although I can’t deny that stealth mode sounds a heck of a lot cooler.
The company also touts their mobile-to-pc DeX solution for operators who need to complete filed reports, training, an mission planning on the go. I suppose that certainly makes sense, although you might have to lug an unweildy monitor around the battlefield if you truly want to get the “PC-like experience” that Samsung talks about.
And of course, the Tactical Edition has the same security protection that the regular Galaxy S20 has: Samsung Knox. Knox meets a range of security requirements from U.S. government bodies, including the NSA and the NIAP. The company also says that the Galaxy S20 TE is approved for use by the Department of Defense (DoD), so everything is pretty much covered on that front.
Unfortunately—and I say this with great regret—the Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition won’t be readily available to consumers. Instead, Samsung says that the military smartphone will be available sometime during Q3 2020 via “select IT channel partners”.
To find out more, click here for the full details.