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Samsung’s Mission-Ready Galaxy S20 Coming Soon, But Don’t Plan On Buying It

Samsung unveils the Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition. This military-grade smartphone caters to warfighters, meaning you probably can’t buy it.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition is coming in just a few months, but it's not something we'll see in civilian hands. The "mission-ready" variation of Samsung's flagship device comes with a wide range of complicated features.

Samsung's Galaxy line represents one of the biggest trendsetters in all of the smartphone industry. The flagship Galaxy devices – the Galaxy S phones – tend to go neck-and-neck with the sales of Apple's iPhones on an annual basis, and because there are so many variations of Galaxy phones outside of that line, it has a more ubiquitous ecosystem. Combine that with the fact that they run on a version of Android, the world's most popular operating system, and it's easy to see why some people find Samsung phones a little boring. Everyone has them, they all look relatively the same, and we know what to expect from them.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S20 Review Roundup

Samsung appears to be trying to shake that perception with folding phones, but the upcoming Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition is a huge step in the "from out of left field" direction. The device is a military-grade smartphone with a wealth of features intended to aid combat personnel in the field. It has the most intimidating case you'll ever see, and a wide range of connection options that dwarf the average smartphone. It's very impressive as a piece of mobile technology but, unless you're a part of a military intelligence organization, you won't be able to the S20 Tactical. Samsung's website says the device will be available "through select IT channels".

Beyond the fortress-like case, the mission-ready Galaxy S20 Tactical is packed with bells and whistles. This is a communications device for military operators so it needs and has comprehensive encryption systems. It uses "DualDAR architecture" which has NSA-approved security. The device supports multiple communications standards, including the typical LTE and 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and CBRS, while also connecting to tactical radios, but it also adds a stealth mode that turns off outgoing communication signals. The S20 TE runs lots of important-sounding, acronym-based military software, like ATAK and APASS. If all of that sounds like stuff the average user won't need, it also supports landscape view screen unlocking, which practically zero phones do right now. The display even includes automatic touch sensitivity adjustments so it can be used with gloves. Specs-wise, it matches up to the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, the highest-end phone in Samsung's lineup today.

Beyond all that, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition was reportedly designed alongside military personnel. It's not just an amalgamation of things Samsung thought would be cool to put in a phone marketed toward soldiers. And, interestingly, this phone represents another opportunity for Samsung to show off the usefulness of DeX, its software that cleverly turns a phone into an Android desktop PC after plugging it into a monitor or keyboard. Most civilians don't have a use for such a feature, which is why no one ever talks about it, but DeX could see new life on the battlefield, where a tiny phone won't be nearly as good as a monitor for spreading intel. It does border on ridiculous but it's also probably miles ahead of any other phones being used in the field.

More: Why Galaxy S20 Is The Best Samsung Phone To Buy (Not Galaxy Z Flip)

Source: Samsung

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