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The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is finally here: first expected way back in August 2021, the release now in January 2022 doesn’t contain a lot of good news or signs the wait was worth it: at the price, it feels like it’s too late to matter. And, the new Galaxy S22 is around the corner.
What we have:
- Previously, the S20 FE was a sort of later, cheaper S20.
- Now the S21 FE is… a later, almost as expensive S21, and still comparable to the S20 FE.
- Samsung has attempted to cherry-pick some of the crucial features of each for this S21 FE, with no frills.
- The 6.4-inch S21 FE, when compared to the base 6.2-inch S21, comes with a slightly weaker camera system and stripped back build, and less RAM. But, it does pack a bigger battery, adding 500mAh, and it launches with One UI 4.0 and Android 12, meaning an extra year of Android upgrades.
- However, it may need that extra battery: the display doesn’t have adaptive refresh to slow down the refresh rate to limit battery drain, so actual screen time might be compromised? We’ll find out.
- So, with all that in mind, it starts at $699, available Jan. 11.
- That’s $100 less than the base Galaxy S21’s retail price… but, er, the S21 has been seen for as low as $600 way back on June 23, 2021. The S21 Plus went for $750, just $50 more, multiple times in 2021.
- And it’s already in the hands of reviewers, with my colleague Eric Zeman putting up an early hands-on last night, with more to come as it’s put through its checks and balances of a full review.
Am I wrong, though?
- A surprise, to me, was that Samsung said the Galaxy S20 FE sold some 10 million units since launch in Q4 2020.
- That means Samsung has a very popular new part of its device family, and it basically absolutely had to follow that with a sequel.
- One of my colleagues here just sees it as the S20 FE with a new chipset.
- But… I just can’t see it working this time around for what I mentioned above: it’s probably too late. Plus there’s the Pixel 6 at $600, and the OnePlus 9 as well at the same MSRP.
- And, significantly, most expect Samsung to launch the S22 series within weeks, and without some kind of generous launch deal from Samsung, I see no reason to rush into this.
At CES 2022, OnePlus took the wraps off the OnePlus 10 Pro, with a bunch of images released to show off the next flagship, but precious else announced just yet.
What was announced:
- Essentially, this confirms the OnePlus 10 Pro and very likely, the 10 series, though we just have photos of the Pro design.
- What we see is a triple-camera setup, a large-sized module on the back, again showing a Hasselblad partnership. There’s two colors, marketed as Volcanic Black and Forest Emerald.
- The lenses don’t show a periscope setup for the telephoto lens, so no long-range optical zoom here.
- We also see the OnePlus alert slider, and design choices made with the rear camera housing and so on, but we don’t see the front of the phone just yet.
- It’s set to be launched in China on January 11th, but a global launch could be months behind.
- That’s it for official details thus far: it’s possible OnePlus will reveal more during CES 2022.
- Otherwise, reports point to the 10 Pro featuring a 48MP main shooter, plus 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto.
- There’s also a likely Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, with high-end RAM and storage configurations, and a 5,000mAh battery.
- The display could be as large as 6.7-inches, with rumored specs at QHD+ 120Hz.
🐯 Samsung plans to stalk Apple with so-called Tiger strategy (Android Authority).
🏂 Galaxy Z Flip 3 Olympic Edition announced: It’s snow upgrade, really (Android Authority).
💻 Acer launched a trio of new Chromebooks, debuts Mediatek’s long-awaited higher-performance Kompanio chip in top-end model (Android Authority).
🔜 Intel, AMD tease big CPU announcements for CES (The Verge).
💪 Withings’ swanky new smart scale can record an ECG, provide body comp analysis (Android Authority).
📺 LG’s C2 OLED TV line will include its brighter ‘evo’ panels in 2022 (Engadget).
🚰 Moen’s new Smart Faucets can be controlled entirely with gestures (Gizmodo).
🌞 New solar shingle debuting at CES 2022 can be nailed directly to your roof (CNET).
🛀 Kohler’s fog-emitting smart Stillness Bath is yours for $8,000 (Engadget).
🚪 Are we ready for the smart front door? Masonite thinks so (The Verge).
🔋 Mercedes-Benz unveils sporty, ultra-long-range Vision EQXX electric concept car with solar roof, and also in EVs: Ford said it will double production of electric F-150 Lightning to 150,000 trucks per year (The Verge).
👩⚖️ Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of defrauding investors in four counts — perhaps oddly, though, the jury found she didn’t conspire to defraud patients. Likely appeals to come? (The Verge).
🍎 Apple becomes first $3 trillion company after boost from pandemic demand (Ars Technica).
🩺 There’s now a free-to-use 40TB medical imaging data set called Nightingale Open Science, which may assist train machine-learning tools to predict medical conditions earlier (FT, $)
🥶 Could being cold actually be good for you? (Wired).
🤔 “What are the two types of people?” (r/askreddit).
Here’s something — a chart showing the number of people with Wikipedia pages that died in a given year:
- There’s a log scale on the y-axis that helps keep the graph sane, but it’s not a huge surprise that there’s more pages for people dying in the current generation due to increased media and documentation, and a growing population.
- There is truly a load of discussion about factors and why there’s a little flat spot in the graph between around 1600 to 1800, and more.
- By the way, news and events in 2022 have already started being logged, including deaths (Wikipedia).
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor