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Daily Authority: 🎁 Samsung unpacks today

It's go time for Samsung's Galaxy S22 series and the Tab S8 series. Plus, everything else happening in tech you need to know, today!
By
February 9, 2022

☕ Good morning! Samsung Unpacked happens about three hours after you get this email…

Samsung Unpacked

Later today, Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S22 series with its new Note-like approach, and Samsung’s new tablet series, with the Tab S8, which looks to be rejuvenated.

  • The event goes live at 10AM ET / 7AM PT, where all the news and rumors go quiet for a second and we get a sense of what Samsung is trying to do.
  • What I mean is, we seem to know much of what’s coming in terms of hardware, but the story Samsung will tell us about why it’s doing what it’s doing will be the between-the-lines stuff.
  • Remember, this will be the first Unpacked since Samsung merged its smartphone and consumer electronics divisions into the new MX division.
  • What we know about the S22: The S22 Ultra looks like a new phone with new ideas, while the S22 and S22 Plus models look a lot more like the S21 models, so more iterative upgrades. The Snapdragon/Exynos divide and how Samsung’s new chipset performs will be super intriguing.  There’s high hopes for the Ultra, though, from Samsung’s side of things.
  • What we know about the Tab S8: Like the phones, the Ultra version here is something new and a little bit wild — a massive OLED tablet, full of performance, much closer to being a laptop-sized tablet, with keyboards and pens. Why? Can’t wait to find out.
  • Otherwise, pricing details have leaked but that’s not the whole story: there’s the carrier deals, and all the little extra goodies Samsung wants to tempt you with if you buy outright with it. (I always check to see what Samsung might give me for my phone right now, and what I’ll have to pay to upgrade! And make sure you “reserve” to get an extra $50 off.
  • We also know that Samsung Electronics CEO Han Jong-Hee has been in Vietnam to check on the production of all the new gear ahead of time: will supply chain effects crimp supply of the phones and tablets?
  • Finally, the Samsung event will also be broadcast in its newly-constructed Decentraland virtual world, which all feels very Second Life-y, just now with crypto or whatever. I don’t really want to call it the metaverse, but that’s the buzz…

Roundup

👉 Would you buy a OnePlus tablet? Leak says it’s coming in the first half of this year (Android Authority).

📅 The Redmi K50 series launch date is next week already (Android Authority).

💡 These five advancements promise to “fix” the smart home in 2022: Matter, Thread, Google Fast Pair, and more (Android Authority).

🍎 Apple yesterday announced new Tap to Pay feature that will soon turn iPhones into contactless payment terminals, via Stripe — but US-only. (9to5Mac). Remember when Samsung did the same back in 2019 but only in Canada?

🥽 Apple realityOS? A mention of “realityOS,” the AR/VR operating system Apple seems to be building, has popped up in source code (MacRumors).

Leica now makes $14,000 watches, too (Gizmodo).

🗣 Sony’s next PS5 system update will add voice commands: “Hey PlayStation, play Fortnite.” (Engadget).

🏎 Ferrari is Qualcomm’s latest partner to build smarter cars, including in Formula 1, after a long association with Mercedes (The Verge).

🤔 Facebook market cap falls below $600 billion — which could actually help it dodge new antitrust scrutiny which targets that exact figure (CNBC).

🛰 A geomagnetic storm may have effectively destroyed 40 SpaceX Starlink satellites that just launched (The Verge).

🏥 Engineers develop surgical “duct tape” as an alternative to sutures (MIT).

📸 Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice winner revealed — the four runners up are possibly more amazing (Gizmodo).

Weirdness Wednesday

worlds worst rapper 4.5 billion crypto fraud

There’s an enormous, whole, complete thing where this incredibly awkward rapper/entrepreneur-hustler, Heather Morgan, and her husband Ilya Lichtenstein somehow have been implicated in the alleged theft of 119,756 Bitcoin, now worth many billions of fiat, from Bitfinex, back in 2016.

The short story is: the Department of Justice has finally found almost all of the billions worth of Bitcoin stolen during the 2016 hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex (seizing 94,636 Bitcoin, which is the department’s “largest financial seizure ever,” according to its press release), but the characters implicated at the center are very wild:

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor