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Samsung confirms stylus support is coming to Galaxy phones like the S21

The Note seems not long for the world, and cheaper folding phones are coming

Samsung’s president of mobile, TM Roh, dropped several hints about the company’s product roadmap in a blog post today. He confirmed Samsung will hold an event in January — presumably for the Galaxy S21. He also implied that S Pen support will come to more phones and that Samsung intends to broaden its line of folding phones with less expensive options.

The hint that’s likely to have the biggest impact on the greatest number of customers is stylus support for Galaxy phones beyond the Note line. That’s been rumored for some time now, but Roh also claims that Samsung intends to “add some of its most well-loved features to other devices in our lineup.”

It may mean that the other half of those rumors will also come to pass: that the Note line itself may soon be coming to an end, at least as a premium flagship in Samsung’s lineup. The Note hasn’t been that differentiated from the regular S line of phones for a while now. The main difference beyond design language has been that silo for the stylus.SAMSUNG WILL HAVE AN EVENT IN JANUARY TO ANNOUNCE NEW PRODUCTS

With S Pen support on Galaxy S phones like the upcoming Galaxy S21 line and Z phones like the Z Fold (and maybe even a Z Flip), Samsung probably figures it’s just as easy to store a stylus in a case as it would be inside a phone.

Roh also confirmed that Samsung will be providing more details in January. That’s when Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S21 line, a month or two ahead of when it usually does.

The S Pen wasn’t the only thing Roh hinted at in the post. He also said that Samsung intends to have a “portfolio of foldables” and that it wants to make the category “more accessible to everyone.” “Accessible,” in this case, is likely a reference to the price of folding phones, which clock in anywhere from $1,300 to $2,000 for a new phone right now. The rumor here is that there will be a Z Fold “Lite” sometime in 2021. If folding phones are ever going to be more than a curiosity, they’ll need to come down significantly in price. That appears to be what Samsung is aiming for.

The Z Fold 2 can support itself at different angles now.
The next version of the Z Fold will likely include support for stylus input.

Roh says that Samsung will put more emphasis on “pro-grade camera and video capabilities” on its phones. That’s not really much of a revelation, but it may mean that Samsung hopes to get back into a camera quality race with Apple and Google — a race Samsung has yet to definitively win. Roh promised an “epic new year” and specifically mentioned using AI to improve image quality. Computational photography is precisely where Samsung has traditionally fallen a little behind its competitors.

He hinted that it would begin to do more with UWB in 2021 as well. Like Apple, he’s promising that your phone will open your car door. Unlike Apple, he’s willing to talk about using it to locate objects and “even your family pet.”

That’s a lot of teases for Samsung’s January event, which we currently expect to happen on the 14th. That’s when we’ll see the Galaxy S21 announced and perhaps a bit more, an earlier start than usual to a new year of phones.

Source: The Verge

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Galaxy S20 Ultra leaked image offers another hint of 100x digital zoom

We’ve been hearing plenty about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S20 (previously known as the Galaxy S11) this week, and a newly leaked image gives us some idea of what the rear camera array on the Ultra model is going to look like.

Not only that, but the image posted by tipster Ishan Agarwal on Twitter makes another mention of the 100x digital zoom that’s supposedly coming to the most powerful and most expensive S20 in the range.

That matches up with spec sheets we saw yesterday and other rumors that have been floating around in the last few days. It appears that the Galaxy S20 Ultra is going to have a very impressive quad-lens camera attached on the back.

And Samsung is apparently so proud of what it’s been able to put together that a “100x” label will be attached right by the periscope camera that also offers up to 10x optical zoom – though we’re not sure if that’s truly optical or not.

Optical zoom means zooming in without any loss in picture quality, in the same way as conventional cameras do – even when you’re zoomed in, all the original detail is retained, up to the zoom level limit.

Digital zoom, meanwhile, uses software trickery to make educated guesses about details in images, and where pixels should be put as a picture gets bigger. It’s not considered as good as optical zoom, but it’s easier to do on a phone with limitations on space.

With Google, Apple and others now relying so heavily on algorithms and digital enhancements to make mobile pictures the best they can be, the line between digital and optical zoom is blurring.

We’ll have to wait and see exactly what optical and digital zoom levels the Galaxy S20 phones use, and how much of a role software processing plays. The big announcement day is February 11.

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Could this be Samsung’s bezel-less 8K TV?

Samsung may have a new, groundbreaking type of television to show off at CES in Las Vegas next week: a completely bezel-less, 8K QLED model. Dubbed by some reports as the Samsung “Zero Bezel” TV and reportedly carrying model numbers of Q900T and Q950T, this TV is believed to have bezels so tiny that the screen edge effectively disappears when viewed from a distance. On Tuesday, German website 4KFilme says it has its hands on a pair of leaked renders showing the screen in all its bezel-less glory.

We don’t have very much else to go on, and of course this being an unannounced product, there’s no word yet on pricing, release date, or what size options a set like this would come in. But that said, it does sound perfectly in Samsung’s wheelhouse given the display innovations its pioneered on its Galaxy smartphone line. We’ll likely know more next week when CES is in full swing and Samsung announces its annual TV lineup refresh.

Source: The Verge

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Samsung unveils new foldable flip phone concept

Samsung has teased a new foldable phone concept onstage at the company’s developer conference today. The new concept, which Samsung didn’t name, looks more like a traditional flip phone thanks to a foldable display that allows the device to fold in half.

“This brand-new form factor that we’re now exploring will not only easily fit in your pocket, but it also changes the way you use your phone,” explained Hyesoon Jeong, head of Samsung’s framework R&D group, onstage at Samsung’s Developer Conference. The idea behind the concept is to take Samsung’s foldable smartphone technology and push it to “become more compact,” and extend to new device form factors.

Samsung didn’t spend much time detailing the device, nor when the company plans to make this available. There was no mention of the hardware involved, and whether Samsung has improved its foldable display technology from last year.

The company did use this mysterious device as a bridge to discuss an upcoming update to its One UI efforts with Android. “As a pioneer in the foldable category, we understand that every innovative form factor requires an equally innovative user experience,” explained Jeong.

Samsung has been working on improving its Android user interface since it debuted the Galaxy Fold device earlier this year, and the company is now working on One UI 2. which looks like a more refined version of the changes the company introduced with the S10 and Note 10 this year.

One UI 2 includes more glanceable information, better reachability for one-handed use, and “more vibrant hues” throughout the OS. Animated icons will be available too, and a full dark mode. Overall, it looks like minor but useful changes to the customization Samsung offers today with its Android handsets.

Software aside, this new clamshell / flip phone foldable hardware looks like the future of devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. While the Fold started off life with a lot of screen issues, it’s clear Samsung isn’t ready to give up on foldable display technology. Samsung didn’t provide solid details today, but the company is teasing that the future of foldable phones might look like the popular Motorola Razr of the past.

Source: The Verge