Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Monday, 19 October 2020.
1. Galaxy S30 in January all but confirmed
The next major Samsung Galaxy S series phone doesn’t have a concrete name yet. It’s likely to be the Samsung Galaxy S30 series, but it’s possible Samsung will go with S21, and align with calendar years? We don’t know, yet.
But that is probably the least interesting thing about Samsung’s next major flagship release, and for now just calling it the S30 is where we’ll sit.
What is happening is more surprising:
- The S30 may be released in January 2021.
- And a reliable leaker, who’s been spot on with the Galaxy S series recently, has shown off the base S30 and the top-spec S30 Ultra.
- Last year, Samsung announced the S20 series on February 11, with the phones going on sale in March, quite a bit later.
- A January announcement therefore is a jump but not a leap as such. Ideally, the phone would be on sale much quicker too.
- There’s some weight to the reports, first tabled by Korean media publications. They cite reasoning as Samsung attempting to “take advantage of Huawei’s absence,” as Huawei struggles to get access to silicon which is hobbling their smartphone releases.
- Android Central then doubled down by reporting a confirmed January release over the weekend, noting it’s the closest release to an iPhone launch ever.
- So, bank on a January 2021 launch — release TBA!
- By late November 2019, leaks of the Galaxy S20 (then dubbed the S11) were appearing from OnLeaks, and while those early camera arrays weren’t too accurate, the design, shape, and sizing were on point.
- Now, in mid-October, OnLeaks is back at it again.
- Reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer has released video renders of the S30 Ultra and the base S30, showing similar design language to the S20 series, and now with an even bigger camera module on the back.
Here’s the standard S30 first:
And here’s the S30 Ultra, in a helpful spinning gif:
- The camera bump, should it be accurate, is starting to become unwieldy. It’s the same for the iPhone but the unbalanced nature just isn’t great. I personally don’t care too much, given cases are basically essential on a new phone these days anyway and that reduces any problem.
- While there are no details on internal specs and hardware, we do have some numbers.
- According to Hemmerstoffer, the Galaxy S30 base or standard model will have a 6.2-inch flat screen, with a hole-punch front-facing camera.
- The S30 Ultra has the expected larger screen, with a curve, listed as “roughly between 6.7 and 6.9 inches”.
- The Ultra also appears to have four camera sensors, with some leaks suggesting two zoom lenses, plus wide and ultra-wide sensors.
- Back to internal specs: it’d only be a surprise if the Galaxy S30 series didn’t pack the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 chipset.
- Samsung has a history of introducing the latest Qualcomm flagship into the Galaxy S series, and there aren’t any credible rumors to suggest that won’t happen again in 2021.
- One of the biggest wins with the Snapdragon 875 over the 865 is the expected integrated 5G modem (likely the X60 modem, still largely unknown).
- Just integrating the modem alone will help with smartphone internal designs, and battery life should be better too.
- It could make the S30 series take a big enough jump over the S20 series to be a super worthwhile new smartphone release.
Buds 2: The other detail emerging is that the S30/S21 release will also see new earbuds, in the Galaxy Buds 2. Not much else to report on them for now.
2. Xiaomi is working on 80W wireless charging, which is pretty significant if it’s efficient (Android Authority).
3. Redmi’s boss wants to be like Apple and release a mini smartphone, but claims battery life sacrifice is too much (Android Authority).
4. Extensive Huawei Mate 40 Pro leak gives us just about everything there is to know (Android Authority).
5. Why aren’t we using NFC to its fullest potential? (Android Authority).
6. Pretty devastating Surface Duo review: “The Surface Duo isn’t good at anything, while still bringing a lot of the cost and complication of a foldable smartphone” (Ars Technica).
7. The Citizen Browser Project: 1,200 Americans are to be paid to install a custom web browser which will audit how Facebook and YouTube’s algorithms influence the spread of information, and misinformation
8. Japan to join forces with US, Europe in regulating Big Tech firms: antitrust watchdog head (Reuters).
9. From everyone doing Marie Kondo to “The Comforts of Clutter”: Objects saved and accumulated can be a balm for uncertain times (NY Times).
10. Japanese theme park lets you work from a Ferris wheel. Including uncomfortable looking image! (CNET).
11. You can get up close to this Coronavirus—It’s made of glass (Wired).
12. Computer scientists break the ‘Traveling Salesperson’ record by a tiny amount with big implications (Wired). Enjoyable quote: “The traveling salesperson problem ‘isn’t a problem, it’s an addiction’”
13. NASA is set to land on asteroid Bennu tomorrow, with the ‘touch-and-go- sample collection happening at around 3:12 pm. More details here! (NASA).
14. A disturbing Twinkie that has, so far, defied science (npr.org)
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