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Instagram officially launches Reels in attempt to take on TikTok

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Instagram has announced that it is bringing a feature called Reels that allows you to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools.

It is obviously an attempt to compete with TikTok, the widely popular (and controversial) social media platform, and is already arriving in 50 countries.

Instagram Reels is now found in the Instagram Camera (the button in the top left corner) where the whole interface was redesigned. There is a variety of tools for editing, including adding Audio, AR Effects, Timer and Countdown for all the fun dances you want to do.

Sharing Reels is done the same way Live videos or regular posts are shared – they go to a dedicated tab on the profile and can be seen and discovered by everyone, or, if your privacy settings are set to Private, only the people following you.

Once the reel is ready, it can be saved as a draft, have the cover image changed, pretty much all the post-edit features available as when posting a video.

Instagram officially launches Reels in attempt to take down TikTok

Watching Reels is simple as seeing a regular photo or video. A reel appears either in the Feed or in the Discover tab, and Instagram is tagging some as “Featured” to “help users discover original content that will entertain and inspire”.

Instagram is yet to issue a full list of countries where Reels is officially available, but aside from Brazil, where it was tested, it has also launched in the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Australia, France and Germany.

Source



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Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra hands-on review

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Introduction

The Galaxy Note20 series is finally official. Samsung introduced the Note20 and Note20 Ultra last night and now we’re going hands-on with the ultimate S-Pen-packing Galaxy for 2020.

Similarly to the S20 family from the spring, the Ultra comes with exclusive all-out hardware not available on the vanilla model. In a somewhat bizarre turn of events that includes the 120Hz 1440p+ display, while the Note20 has a plain 60Hz 1080p panel. Earlier this year even the smaller S20 had the high refresh rate and the extra pixels.

The Galaxy Note20 Ultra retains exclusivity on some of the camera bits too. The periscope telephoto, is something you won’t be able to get on the Note20, though it’s a different module than the one on the S20 Ultra. For zooming in, the Note20 has the same 64MP non-telephoto telephoto that stirred some controversy on the S20 and S20+ for the way it was marketed.

The 108MP Nonacell primary cam is also an Ultra-only feature and this appears to have been carried over from the S20 Ultra. Same thing with the smaller Note’s 12MP main shooter that you can find on the S20 and S20+.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra hands-on review

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G specs

  • Body: 164.8×77.2×8.1mm, 208g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), stainless steel frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins); Colors: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White.
  • Display: 6.90″ Dynamic AMOLED, 1440x3088px resolution, 19.3:9 aspect ratio, 496ppi; HDR10+, Always-on display, 120Hz@FHD/60Hz@QHD refresh rate.
  • Chipset: Exynos 990 (7 nm+) – Global, Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865+ (7 nm+) – USA: Octa-core (2×2.73 GHz Mongoose M5 & 2×2.50 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55) – Global, Octa-core (1×3.00 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585) – USA; Mali-G77 MP11 – Global, Adreno 650 – USA.
  • Memory: 128GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 10, One UI 2.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 108 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/3.0, 120mm periscope, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom, 50x hybrid zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm; LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama.
  • Front camera: 10 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/3.2″, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel PDAF; Dual video call, Auto-HDR.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS & OIS; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 25W, USB Power Delivery 3.0, Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging, Reverse wireless charging 9W.
  • Misc: Fingerprint (under display, ultrasonic), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; FM radio (Snapdragon model only; market/operator dependent); Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support), ANT+, Bixby natural language commands and dictation; Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified); S Pen Stylus, 9ms latency (Bluetooth integration, accelerometer, gyro).

The Ultra is protected by the brand new Gorilla Glass Victus front and back and both phones get a stainless steel frame – that’s a first on a Samsung smartphone. Oddly enough, the Note20 comes with a plastic back – that one we hadn’t seen in a while on a high-end Samsung handset.

Both Notes get the S Pen too, at least this much is still guaranteed. It’s been moved to the left of the phone now, a major change from all previous generations. It comes with added gestures and it’s got improved latency for an even more pen-on-paper-like feel – on the Ultra, that is, the vanilla model doesn’t get that either.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra hands-on review

We’ll go over what’s new and what’s remained the same in a bit more detail on the next few pages, click along.

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Realme X3 Pro pops up on Geekbench with Snapdragon 855+

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We’ve been hearing speculations about an incoming Realme X3 Pro but the company is still staying silent on the topic. Earlier this year a device with the model number RMX2121 was spotted on TENAA and leaksters suggested this is the phone; today a different device codenamed RMX2083 shined on Geekbench with Snapdragon 855+, raising the question which one is the real X3 Pro.




Alleged Realme X3 Pro on Geekbench

The Realme X3 and the Realme X3 Superzoom both arrived with the Snapdragon 855+, so why wouldn’t the company keep it consistent?

However, a third model number RMX2170 was also suggested to be the X3 Pro, raising the question which is the right one.

The Realme X3 had some good specs, while the Superzoom took the lineup to another level with 5x optical zoom in the telephoto camera, up to 12 GB RAM and a 32 MP selfie shooter.

If the Realme X3 Pro is going to try and become the king of the family, it better bring 65W charging to the scene, or why not even the 125W UltraDART standard, unveiled last month.

Source | Via



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Leaked document suggests Pixel 5a is coming next year, a foldabe phone is in the works

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An internal document escaped from Google’s grasp and it hints at a possible folding Pixel. The document details every phone since the Pixel 2 and features four yet to be announced devices: Barbette, Raven, Oriole and Passport.

Barbette is possibly the rumored Pixel 5a – Google has so far officially confirmed only the Pixel 5 5G and 4a 5G. The Raven and Oriole should be the next generation Pixel 6 duo. Note that Google phones typically have code names based on fish species, but this document uses other code names, making it tough to crack.

This leaves the Passport, which is explicitly described as a foldable. It and the two Pixel 6 models are scheduled to launch in the last three months of next year, so we’re in for quite a wait.

A patent drawing of a foldable Google phone from 2019

It’s not clear which (if any) of these is the Pixel phone that will allegedly have a 6.67” 120 Hz display.

Google didn’t reveal when the the Pixel 5 5G and 4a 5G will become available, but this document claims that they will arrive in October (the company did say that the Pixel 4a 5G will cost $500, $150 more than the vanilla 4a).

The Pixel 5a will follow with a launch set for Q2 of 2021. It’s described as a “lower end mid year device”.

Source

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*This story/news has not been edited by karwar.net staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra India pricing revealed as pre-orders open

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Samsung announced the Galaxy Note20 and Galaxy Note20 Ultra yesterday through a virtual event along with their US and European prices, and today we learn about the Note20 duo’s Indian pricing.

The Galaxy Note20 is priced at INR77,999 ($1,040/€880) in India, while the Note20 Ultra will set you back by INR104,999 ($1,400/€1,180). Both smartphones come with 256GB of internal storage, but the regular Note20 has 8GB RAM while the Note20 Ultra comes with 12GB RAM onboard and supports 5G networks.

The Note20 and Note20 Ultra are already up for pre-orders in India through Samsung’s online store. The Note20 is offered in Mystic Green color while the Note20 Ultra comes in Mystic Black shade. The Mystic Bronze color is common to both.



Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note20 • Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

The Note20 pair comes with a Snapdragon 865+ SoC or the Exynos 990 chipset, depending on the region. Samsung hasn’t revealed which chipset the Indian units have under the hood on its official website, but chances are customers in the South Asian country will get the Exynos 990.

Alongside the Note20 and Note20 Ultra, Samsung also unveiled the Buds Live TWS earphones, Galaxy Watch3 smartwatch, Tab S7 series tablets and the Galaxy Z Fold2. These are already listed on Samsung India’s website, but their prices are currently unknown.

You can head this way to check out the detailed specs of the Note20 and Note20 Ultra, and over here for the full announcement coverage of the duo. You can also read our Unpacked event coverage wrap-up here.

Source

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Honor sets IFA event for September 4

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The IFA exhibition in Berlin is scheduled to take place in a new format this year between September 3 and September 5, and several companies are embracing the idea of having physical events once again.

We already have a confirmation that Realme will attend, and today we received an invite that Honor is also having a press conference which will be on September 4.

The theme of the presentation will be “Expand Your Smart Life”, where Honor will introduce a wide portfolio of products, including smart bands, personal computers, and tablets, while the image also contains a phone.

Other smartphone companies that are confirmed to attend are LG, TCL, and Huawei, all with conferences scheduled for the first day. The opening keynote will be hosted by Qualcomm where we might hear more on the chip company’s roadmap for Q4.

The event used to be a lot bigger with more well-known brands, but given the health situation and the travel restrictions, most are likely to stick to local announcements instead of global unveilings.

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Samsung Galaxy Note20 duo, Z Fold2, the Watch3 and Buds Live detailed in promo videos

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Samsung’s mobile ecosystem took a large step forward yesterday. The company unveiled the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra, which merge productivity, entertainment and photography while also upgrading the trademark feature of the series, the S Pen.

The playlist below starts with a gentle introduction of the Note20 Ultra and moves on to show how the phone balances its new objectives. Microsoft was deeply involved with both work and play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

The third video focuses on how the Notes interact with the two new wearables – the Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Watch3. More on the wearables themselves below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Yesterday was a big day for foldables too, with the Galaxy Z Fold2 bringing larger displays with significant improvements (like an adaptive refresh rate up to 120 Hz). Besides the Mystic Bronze and Black colors, the there will be a limited edition of the Z Fold2 designed by Thom Browne (this will be bundled with the Watch3 and Buds Live).

Samsung struck gold with the BTS edition of the Galaxy S20+ and the collaboration continues. Watch the band members unbox the new Galaxy Z Fold2 and their first impressions (they’re handling the Mystic Bronze one).

You can check out our coverage wrap-up for helpful links to all the new devices announced yesterday along with comparisons against their competition.

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OnePlus shows Always On Display designs in teaser videos

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CEO Pete Lau posted a video that gives the backstory of the design for the new Always On Display functionality that is coming to OxygenOS 11. OnePlus partnered with the Parsons School of Design to come up with a selection of looks and elements that will adorn the display while the phone sleeps.

The featured design is called “Time”, but it’s really a timeline. As the day rolls on, the clock will move across the line, leaving markings every time you used the phone. In the evening, you’ll see an account of how often and when you used your phone.

Oxygen OS 11 interface will be revamped as well, Lau describes it as “asymmetric design, layout grid,” saying it will be “magazine-like”. Dark Mode will also be polished with inspiration from Dutch design student Leandroo Li Anzhu. According to him, dark mode should be about more than setting the background to black, instead it should have layers.




OxygenOS 11 will bring a new user interface design

The new version of the OS (based on Android 11) should be available for all models from the OnePlus 6 and later. However, the company is keeping mum on whether the Always On Display feature will be exclusive to new models or if it will be enabled on some (all?) older devices.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

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Oppo Reno4 Pro gets camera improvements in second software update

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The global version of the Oppo Reno4 Pro that went on sale yesterday is receiving its second software update. The first update (CPH2109_11_A.13) was rolled out before its July 31 unveiling with July 5, 2020 Android security patch. Now the second update released by Oppo bumps up the security patch level on the smartphone to August 5, 2020.

Additionally, the new update, that sports build number CPH2109_11_A.15, comes with improved camera effects and system stability as well as optimized network and phone call performance.



Oppo Reno4 Pro software update

Oppo Reno4 Pro software update

The new firmware is only seeding in India right now since that’s the only market where the international Reno4 Pro is currently available for purchase.

The global Oppo Reno4 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 720G SoC and is built around a 6.5″ FullHD+ 90Hz curved AMOLED display. It runs Android 10-based ColorOS 7.2 out of the box and packs a total of five cameras – a 32MP snapper on the front and a 48MP primary camera on the back that’s joined by an 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor units.

Fueling the entire package is a 4,000 mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging.


Oppo Reno4 Pro international variant
Oppo Reno4 Pro international variant

Oppo Reno4 Pro international variant

You can read our detailed written review of the global Reno4 Pro to learn more about it, or watch the video review below.

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Commemorative Redmi K30 to officially arrive on August 11

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Xiaomi got a phone approved by TENAA last week, and we suspect it is the Redmi K30 Ultra. Later the company confirmed a new device is scheduled to arrive this month, celebrating its first decade in the world of smartphones.

The new Redmi K30 was initially expected on August 14, but today Xiaomi revealed the launch will be on Tuesday, August 11. The machine-translated name of the phone is K30 Extreme Commemorative Edition, but it will likely go with the much simpler Ultra when/if it escapes China.

The big difference from the Redmi K30 Pro and Redmi K30 Pro Zoom appears to be the chipset – the TENAA listing points to Dimensity 1000+ from Mediatek instead of a Qualcomm platform. All the other specs appear to be the same – a 64MP main camera, a 20MP selfie shooter, up to 12GB RAM and 512 gigs of storage.

The device might be very similar on the inside, but it is the looks that confirm we’re looking at the same phone – this M2006J10C device has the same circular setup with an X design for the cameras, the same positioning of the buttons and the Redmi logo, and the dimensions down to the last millimeter.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

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Our Oppo Reno4 Pro video review is out

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The Oppo Reno4 Pro announced for the global markets last week went on sale in India yesterday. The international version is different from its Chinese counterpart – it comes with a less powerful chipset, no 5G connectivity, downgraded cameras, and plastic build. However, it also comes with an aggressive price and it ends up a properly competitive package.



Oppo Reno4 Pro global variant

Oppo Reno4 Pro global variant

The Snapdragon 720G SoC performs well in daily usage, and the cameras have a decent image and video quality overall. The plastic build makes the global Reno4 Pro one of the lightest smartphones we got our hands on recently, making it comfortable to use for prolonged periods – whether you are binge-watching your favorite shows or playing games.

We already published our in-depth written review of the smartphone with a detailed analysis. But those who are short on time can watch our video review attached below, where Will quickly takes you through all the aspects of the mid-ranger.

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New phone called Realme C12 with a 6,000 mAh battery gets multiple certifications

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Realme C11 and Realme C15 are the latest affordable devices by the young smartphone brand, and now there will be a third addition to the C lineup, called Realme C12. It appeared on multiple certifications along with the model number RMX2189, revealing Realme is planning to make it widely available and not limited to a single market.



Realme RMX2189 certifications
Realme RMX2189 certifications
Realme RMX2189 certifications

Realme RMX2189 certifications

The Realme C12 is certified in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China – all four of them being major markets for the company. Some of the listings also revealed a 6,000 mAh battery, although it will support charging rates of 5V at 2A, or just 10W, so not modern fast-charging of any sort.

This new phone is likely to be a middle ground between the Realme C11 and Realme C15, so it will likely share some of the features like an HD+ screen with waterdrop notch for the selfie camera and Android 10 with Realme’s own UI 1.0 on top.

Among the more questionable specs is the position of the fingerprint scanner, the number of cameras and whether the chipset is going to remain Helio G35 – the same one powering the other two Realme C phones.

Via



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AnTuTu releases Top 10 list of Android performers for July

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Although most of all high-end Android smartphones are powered by the Snapdragon 865, some are faster than others in terms of raw performance scores. Although scores aren’t everything, here we are reporting AnTuTu list of the top 10 performing Android smartphones for the month of July.

The list consists of the highest-scoring devices tested on AnTuTu benchmarking app between July 1-31 and the scores listed are averages of all the scores given on AnTuTu version 8. If the phone has multiple variants, it takes the variant with the highest scores.

Every smartphone in this list runs the Snapdragon 865 chipset, and at least 8GB of RAM (most of them use 12GB of RAM). At the top of the list is the Oppo Find X2 Pro, followed by the Oppo Find X2 with 12GB and 8GB of RAM, respectively. In third and fourth are the Redmi K30 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. The top four devices broke the 600000 score mark.

Then come the iQOO Neo3, Oppo Ace2, vivo X50 Pro+, and the realme X50 Pro. The number 9 and 10 spots go to the Meizu 17 Pro, and the iQOO 3 which ends the top 10 list with a score of 587,087.

In our review of the Oppo Find X2 Pro, we found excellent performance scores, and that Oppo is great at thermal management since the phone barely got warm, even after repeating benchmark scores. It’s also thanks to its UFS 3.0 storage and LPDDR5 RAM – and of course, Color OS-specific optimization as well.

Check out GizChina’s report (at the Via link) of AnTuTu’s chart for a full breakdown of each phone on the list.

SourceVia

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Galaxy Note20 is getting a gaming bundle and a special Xbox Game Pass app

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As rumored before, Samsung and Microsoft have been working on some special Xbox-related features for Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra buyers. There’s a special gaming bundle on the way, which includes three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PowerA’s MOGA XP5-X Plus, a controller made with xCloud in mind (which is Microsoft’s game streaming service).

The Note20 owners will also have a special Xbox Game Pass app in the Galaxy Store, allowing Xbox players to redeem tokens and make in-app purchases like buying skins or DLC items in the Xbox Store. The Xbox Game Pass app in the Google Play Store, on the other hand, won’t support such in-app purchases.

Galaxy Note20 is getting a gaming bundle and a special Xbox Game Pass app

This partnership builds upon Samsung and Microsoft’s continuing cooperation, which has gotten closer and closer in recent years. In the future, it’s not inconceivable that we’ll also see xCloud on Samsung TVs, for example.

Source

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Google Pixel 4a in for review

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The Pixel 4a comes soon before Google will announce the Pixel 5, and a 5G variant of the Pixel 4a. We don’t know the pricing of those two phones yet, but we know that they will cost more than the Pixel 4a, which starts at $350 and offers a bunch of storage, ample RAM, and solid Google Pixel-fied software with updates directly from Google.

The Pixel 4a is not drastically different from the 3a released over a year ago. The 4a gets updated silicon, more screen space, and a slight bump in battery capacity. With the Pixel 4a, Google is no longer including Active Edge hardware in the frame – so you can’t squeeze it to talk to Google Assistant anymore. A swipe up from the corner will perform the same action, but we can’t help but miss it… just a little bit.

Google Pixel 4a In For Review

Although the camera hardware is nearly identical to the 3a’s, the main camera gets a slightly brighter f/1.7 lens (versus the f/1.8 on the 3a’s). We expect to a bump in performance with the added RAM and Snapdragon 730 chipset, but we’re expecting comparable camera performance. Perhaps we’ll see some slight improvement thanks to new software processing and additional camera features like Live HDR+ previews.

Google Pixel 4a In For Review

The Pixel 4a feels light and well-balanced in the hand. The size is also petite compare to what we’re used to seeing, even from sub-$300 smartphones. The white accented power key is a nice touch on the “Just Black” model, and even as we begin to see midrange smartphones drop the headphone jack as well, the Pixel 4a retains it.

Google Pixel 4a In For Review

We’re expecting an overall experience identical to the Pixel 3a XL last year, which we reviewed as well and we easily recommended. With a lower price point, expanded display, and added storage, we anticipate it will be just as easy to recommend. As we dive into the full review, let us know what you’d like to know about the Pixel 4a.

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Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra will get three major Android OS updates

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Towards the end of its online Unpacked event earlier today, Samsung announced that its flagship devices starting with the Galaxy S10 will get three major Android OS updates.

That includes the S10 and Note10 families of course, as well as the S20 and just unveiled Note20 series, and (we assume) the foldables too. The company hasn’t exactly named devices in a list, so this could in theory also apply to the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, we just can’t be sure. Hopefully some clarification will be issued soon.

So, for the Note20 family this means the devices will get Android 11, Android 12, and Android 13. Some people are interpreting this to mean “three years of OS updates”, except that’s not what Samsung’s wording implies. And since Android 11 is almost out of the (Google) gate right now, it’s more like two years and a few months until Samsung releases the Android 13 update (going by past timelines).

Via



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Samsung Unpacked coverage wrap-up – GSMArena.com news

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Samsung used to unveil new Galaxy Note models at IFA, but in recent years it moved that unveiling to its own Unpacked event. That event has since grown with no less than 7 new devices debuting at it this year.

You can (re)watch the livestream from the event or just jump to the good stuff. Below we’ve included various useful links covering the new devices, so you can use this page as a jumping off point.

To summarize quickly, the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra build on the camera advancements of the S20 phones with new S Pen features. Battery life should be better than the Note10 generation too.

The Galaxy Z Fold2 represents a major upgrade in terms of screen and cameras over the original model. It’s still pricey, but it’s as cutting edge as it gets.

Then there are the two Galaxy Tab S7 slates. Both have 120 Hz screens and come with an S Pen, you can buy a keyboard cover separately. It has a touch pad, making it perfect for use with DeX.

Finally, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 brings back the hardware rotating bezel and the Galaxy Buds Live are Samsung’s first buds with active noise cancellation (not counting AKG-branded buds).

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note20

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 5G

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G

Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

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Razer made a special heat dissipating case for the Galaxy Note20 and Note20 Ultra

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The Razer Arctech is a series of phone cases for the iPhone and Razer Phone 2. The company has now launched two new models for the Galaxy Note20 and the Galaxy Note20 Ultra.

Similar to other Arctech cases, the Razer Arctech Pro for the Note20 series features Razer’s trademarked Thermaphene cooling technology, which consists of a thermally conductive layer sandwiched between the inner lining and the perforated exterior. The heat is then dissipated through the perforations on the back.


Razer Arctech Pro for Note20 Ultra
Razer Arctech Pro for Note20 Ultra
Razer Arctech Pro for Note20 Ultra
Razer Arctech Pro for Note20 Ultra

Razer Arctech Pro for Note20 Ultra

Additionally, Razer claims the case is drop certified, although doesn’t quite specify what exact certification. There’s also an anti-bacterial coating on the outside of the case to prevent growth of bacteria. The Arctech Pro comes with 2-years of warranty.

The Arctech Pro is priced at $45 for the Note20 or Note20 Ultra version. You can have it in any color you want as long as it’s black (and green).

Source

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Apple iPhone 12 to have wireless charging with magnetic attachment

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The last few generations of iPhones have been supporting wireless charging, but the 2020 iPhone 12 lineup might enhance the experience..

Cupertino is planning to introduce the first phone with magnetic positioning – very strong magnets will move the phone automatically to the optimal position on the charging pad.



This is how the iPhone 12 magnets will be positioned
This is how the iPhone 12 magnets will be positioned

This is how the iPhone 12 magnets will be positioned

According to some leaked molds and coils, the first generation with magnetic positioning will be the iPhone 12 family, expected to arrive next month. The magnetic molds appeared on Weibo, where they were shot alongside other components like the plate for the camera setup and the volume and power buttons.

Apple iPhone 12 to have wireless charging with magnetic positioning

And as an added bonus the new feature will probably require a compatible charger to work. Which suggests that Apple might finally be ready to release an official wireless charger after the fiasco that was the Air Power project.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

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Samsung Galaxy Buds Live hands-on review

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After months of speculation that the Galaxy Buds+ will be Samsung’s first entry into the world of truly wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation, it became clear that Samsung is working on a completely different product to fill that spot.

Meet the Galaxy Buds Live – truly wireless earbuds with an innovative design and ANC.

Unboxing, design

They come in a simple retail box with a single USB-A to USB-C charging cable, silicone wingtips and the case with the buds themselves.

The charging case itself is very small – smaller even than the AirPods 2 case. It still holds 500mAh worth of charge in addition to the 60mAh in the Buds Live and it can be charged both through USB-C and wirelessly. The two buds fit magnetically inside and won’t fall off accidentally.


The Galaxy Buds Air come in a tiny case
The Galaxy Buds Air come in a tiny case

The Galaxy Buds Air come in a tiny case

Samsung completely rethought the earbud concept with the Galaxy Buds Live. Some designs bulge outward, others stretch downward, but the Galaxy Buds Live seem to hang on the ear itself. The radical new design required a total horizontal rearrangement of the components. On the inside we see the 12mm speaker and bass duct on the bottom, an IR sensor and the twin pins for charging.

On the outside there are three microphones that Samsung uses alongside what it calls a voice pickup unit to enhance voices during calls. More on call quality a bit later on.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live hands-on review

The Galaxy Buds Live come in three colors – Mystic White, Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze, which is the one we have here. This color emphasizes how much the buds look like beans.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live hands-on review

They are smaller than their respective rivals on the market. Their drivers are also smaller, especially compared to Apple’s AirPods second-gen and Pros.

Samsung chose an open ear design for the Galaxy Buds Live, just like Apple’s non-Pro AirPods. Some people prefer this design mostly because of its more comfortable fit – open ear designed buds don’t go as deep into your ear canals and thus have less of a vacuum feel.

That’s in contrast to the Galaxy Buds/Buds+ and AirPods Pro, which use in ear design. Generally in ear buds offer much better noise isolation and deliver bass better. Ultimately it’s a personal preference.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live hands-on review

We tried the Galaxy Buds Live between a few of the people here at HQ and got mixed experience. Some people found the Galaxy Buds Live tricky to fit properly and feeling loose. Others found them a perfect fit. In all cases however the provided wingtips made a big difference for in-ear security.


Different ears, different fit
Different ears, different fit

Different ears, different fit

Features

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live can connect to basically any Bluetooth device – Android, iOS and PCs all work fine. Naturally Samsung has invested some effort to offer even more polished experience on Galaxy phones.

You can get Samsung’s Galaxy Buds app on both major operating systems but only Galaxy phones will get the quick connect prompt when you open the Galaxy Buds Live case.

The infrared sensors on the inside of the Galaxy Buds Live let them detect if the buds are in your ears and will pause playback if you take them out. This works on any Android phone but doesn’t work on iOS.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live hands-on review

The Galaxy Wearable app is integral to the buds use. From it you can setup the sound characteristics with six presets – Soft, Dynamic, Bass boost, Clear, Treble boost and Normal – enable and disable the active noise cancellation, issue software updates and choose what tapping on the Galaxy Buds Live does.

A single tap on each bud will pause or resume playback. A double tap will prompt the next song, triple tap the previous one. You can customize what tap and hold does on each bud – it can bring up Bixby, Spotify, increase and decrease volume or activate or disable the noise cancellation.








The Samsung Galaxy Buds app

You can reset the buds from the app and there’s a neat Find My Earbuds feature that will make them ring.

Sound quality, active noise cancellation, battery life, conclusion

So how to the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live sound? In a word – bassy. We were surprised of the level of bass from an open ear earbud. We found the Galaxy Buds Live sound best in their Dynamic or Normal setting, which leverages the best balance of volume and bass. Mids are very pronounced, which combined with the deep bass results in a powerful and rich sound.

The Galaxy Buds Live get quite loud, as loud as Apple’s AirPods Pro, but not as loud as the AirPods 2. They’re also inferior to the Galaxy Buds+, which are both louder and have better bass, thanks to their in ear design.

So, stellar sound quality, how about that active noise cancellation? We’re less impressed with that. Just like with the Huawei Freebuds 3 the active noise cancellation is let down by the open ear nature of the Galaxy Buds Live. Open ear buds just don’t isolate as much ambient noise on their own so as to give the active noise cancellation a solid foundation.

ANC managed to tone down some of the buzz in our office, but not to an extent where it makes a huge difference. When you use ANC in collaboration with loud music, you can successfully eliminate most distractions, but on its own it can’t drown out most of the noise around you. Apple’s AirPods Pro are much better in this regard – We would love to see ANC on Samsung’s other earbud design – the Galaxy Buds+ with ANC might be a winner.

The Galaxy Buds Live offer great battery endurance. We were able to squeeze 5 hours 15 min of listening at 100% volume – very close to Samsung’s promised 5.5 hours. You can extend that by thirty minutes by disabling Bixby Voice Wake-up and a further two hours if you turn off ANC.

After they were completely depleted, we got 50% charge back in the earbuds from about 25 min in the cradle. The case can charge the buds twice and a half according to official numbers, which means you’ll have a hard time depleting its charge ever. We charged the case itself in about 40 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live hands-on review

The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live cost €189/£179 and will be bundled with early Galaxy Note20 pre-orders in some markets. In comparison the Samsung Galaxy Buds+ normally retail for €160 but can be had for €110 right now, while the Apple AirPods 2 generation are €130 at the moment (€175 normally), and the AirPods Pro are €210 (normally €270). That puts the Galaxy Buds Live at a slight disadvantage, especially compared to the Galaxy Buds+, which sound better and isolate outside noise well despite their lack of ANC.

However if you like the open ear fit you should definately shortlist these. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live are feature-packed, come in an unobtrusive case with both fast wired charging and wireless charging, they sound great with good mids and solid bass and work very well with all Android phones.

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