Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Thursday, June 25.
1. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: With the lot
With new Galaxy Watch 3 renders courtesy of Evan Blass doing the rounds, Samsung’s next wearable and likely the best smartwatch for cross-platform use is getting closer.
That does look good? Ignoring the leather band and assuming Samsung go with a variety of fun band designs to suit everyone, we can see some useful details now all-but-confirmed: 5ATM water resistance, Gorilla Glass DX protection, MIL-STD-810G certification, and built-in GPS.
Why it matters:
- Samsung’s original Galaxy Watch back in late 2018 was the great hope for a combined smartwatch and fitness trackers. Plus, the rotating bezel for interaction was super-useful.
- The Galaxy Watch Active 2 showed further improvement to an extent and showed Samsung was listening to feedback.
- Now the Watch 3 is hoped to bring even more complete features and design to an Android-focused smartwatch.
- What’s available for Android is not a high bar to clear. Devices like the Fitbit Versa 2 are great for fitness tracking and for, you know, telling you the time on your wrist, but not so much for smartwatch features.
- The Apple Watch, on the other hand, is a high bar to clear, and it’s just that it doesn’t work on Android that keeps it from being the universal king. You need some kind of iPhone or iPad to use it well. (There are messy hacks not really worth mentioning.)
- What the Galaxy Watch 3 needs to get right is where the Apple Watch rules, in terms of all-round haptics, touch interaction, voice controls, third-party apps that work, and battery life, and mixing fitness tracking with smartwatch capabilities.
What Samsung is bringing:
- Based on certification filings, reports, and leaks, the Galaxy Watch 3 is going to tick boxes. The rotating bezel looks to be back, as it should be, and there are must-have features like built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, a blood pressure monitor, an ECG, and a 5ATM water resistance rating making it water-resistant at a depth of 50 meters, and Gorilla Glass protection.
- It should also pack 1GB of RAM, and reportedly run Tizen OS 5.5, as opposed to Google’s problematic Wear OS.
- If Samsung wants to challenge Apple, it basically needed all these elements, plus battery life to boot.
- A recent FCC listing gave away sizes, including variants at 41 and 45mm variants, which is a slight decrease in size compared to the Galaxy Watch’s 42 and 46mm models.
- Battery sizes will be 247mAh and 340mAh batteries, the same as the Galaxy Watch Active 2, which should mean two-day battery life.
- If there’s a negative, it’ll be Tizen OS. This is Samsung’s own OS it’s been making for years, and gives the Korean giant closer control over its hardware and software but third-party app support is nothing like Android or watchOS. I’ll be watching reviews to see how Tizen has evolved. And, will Samsung dare include Bixby this time around?
- The original Bluetooth-only Galaxy Watch (42mm) launched for $375, while the 46mm model went for $400. With LTE, the price went higher.
- A $375 starting price might be the target again.
- For comparison, the latest Apple Watch 5 at 40mm starts at $399, 42mm at $429, with cellular adding $100 on top.
- In terms of when you might get it, rumors have suggested a July launch and August availability, but lots of device launches have been slipping. (Anyone seen or heard the Pixel 4a?)
2. Here’s something: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G specs leak, packing Snapdragon 865 Plus …meaning it’ll be faster than the Galaxy S20? (Android Authority).
3. OnePlus Nord appears on Amazon India, launch imminent (Android Authority).
4. League of Legends but Pokémon: New 5v5 Pokémon Unite is a MOBA for Switch and mobile (Android Authority). Also: this Taiwanese grandpa is playing Pokémon Go in the year 2173. From 11 phones in 2018 to 64, apparently he’s helped out with Asus sponsorship. Legend (Kotaku).
5. “With YouTube Music, Google is holding my speakers for ransom” (Ars Technica).
6. Google will delete your data by default—in 18 months. Minor quibble: for new users only for now, everyone else still has to opt-in. And maybe that’s as long as your data is useful, anyway? (Wired).
7. Intel Skylake chip issues in 2015 were reportedly the tipping point in Apple’s efforts to switch to its own processors. Humorously, the information comes from a former Intel principal engineer on YouTube, who describes key information …while flying in a plane sim (Apple Insider). Also, Apple’s new ARM-based Macs won’t support Windows through Boot Camp, but next steps are up to Microsoft (The Verge).
8. In January, a faulty facial recognition match led to a Michigan man’s arrest for a crime he did not commit, in what may be the first known case of its kind (NY Times).
9. This is very long, interesting, and very bizarre: Inside a social media cult (OneZero).
10. 😊 This is nice: “What’s a small act of kindness you were once shown, that you’ll never forget?” (r/askreddit).
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