Sunday June 16, 2019
Home Lead Story Samsung&#8217...

Samsung’s New Phone Shows How Hardware Innovation Has Slowed

Samsung also said the popular shooter game "Fortnite" is coming to Android and will be exclusive to Samsung phones until Sunday

0
//
Samsung
The South Korean tech giant also wants to focus on consumers' ease of use and convenience.

Samsung’s new smartphone illustrates the limits of innovation at time when hardware advances have slowed.

The new phone, the Galaxy Note 9, will be faster and will last longer without a recharge. But while earth-shattering new features are in short supply, it will carry an earth-shattering price tag: $1,000.

The minor improvements reflect a smartphone industry that has largely pushed the limits on hardware. Major changes tend to come every few years rather than annually, and this isn’t the year for anything revolutionary in the Note.

The new phone will get some automatic photo editing and a stylus that can serve as a remote control. But the highlights will be a bigger battery, a faster processor and improved cellular speeds.

“You don’t see massive breakthroughs anymore from a hardware perspective,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “Everything is a little bit better, but nothing’s revolutionary.”

A 21 percent boost in battery capacity from last year’s Note 8 should translate to more than a day of normal use without a recharge. Samsung has been conservative on battery improvements ever since its Note 7 phone in 2016 developed a tendency to burst into flame, prompting an expensive recall and delivering a hit to the company’s reputation.

Since then, Samsung has subjected its phones to multiple inspections, including X-rays and stress tests at extreme temperatures. The company is also sending phones to outside labs, including UL, for independent safety tests.

Samsung
The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is seen during a product launch event in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., Aug. 9, 2018. (VOA)

“We’re three generations removed now,” Samsung’s director of U.S. product marketing, Suzanne De Silva, said of the company’s renewed confidence in the battery. “This is the right innovation at the right time.”

Although Samsung’s Note phones are large, niche products intended for power users, they offer a preview of what’s to come in the mass-market Galaxy S line. A dual-lens camera, with better zooming, came to the Note 8 months before the S9 Plus got it, for instance. The Note also got curved edges before that became standard on Samsung’s flagship phones.

The new phones will come out Aug. 24 in the U.S. Borrowing from the iPhone’s playbook, the Note 9 will have the same price regardless of carrier. The starting price is $1,000, an increase from the Note 8, but on par with Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone X. The Note 9 will get double the storage, at 128 gigabytes, compared with typical high-end phones, including the iPhone X. Samsung will also sell a 512-gigabyte version for power users for $1,250.

Even though the improvements from last year aren’t huge, Technalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell said they will come across as major for those who haven’t upgraded for a few years.

Thursday’s announcement in New York comes about a month before Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones. There’s been speculation — unconfirmed by Apple — that all new iPhones will ditch the home button and fingerprint sensor and rely entirely on facial-recognition technology found in the iPhone X. The Note 9 will still have a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone. In a jab at Apple, Samsung executives also frequently emphasize that their phones have standard headphone jacks, which newer iPhones no longer do.

The camera in the Note 9 will use artificial intelligence to detect what’s in a scene — whether that’s food, flowers or a sunset — to automatically tweak images to make them pop. It’s much like applying filters with an app, except that the phone will do this itself, much the way Google’s Pixel phones already do.

Also Read: Microsoft now Fixing ‘Surface Pen’ Inaccuracy Issues

As with the Pixel, the Note won’t be saving a version without the tweaks. Purists can turn the feature off to get images that reflect what the eye sees — an option unavailable with Pixel. The camera will also offer a warning if someone blinked in a shot, or if the image is blurry.

The Note’s stylus will now have Bluetooth, allowing people to control phones and apps from up to 30 feet away. This will let people control music or snap selfies just by clicking the stylus.

Samsung also said the popular shooter game “Fortnite” is coming to Android and will be exclusive to Samsung phones until Sunday. (VOA)

Next Story

Samsung Galaxy M40 Tech Review: Stunning Display, Better Chipset

The 16MP front-facing camera also has wide-angle and regular modes to choose from

0
samsung, tablet folded phone
The new Samsung S10 phones are displayed Feb. 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that it hopes reverses a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. VOA

In a bid to eat into Xiaomi’s mid-segment market share in India, South Korean tech giant Samsung has brought the fourth smartphone in its “Galaxy M” series to the country.

Galaxy M40 is the first M-series device to come with a punch-hole display and Android 9.0 out of the box.

Priced at Rs 19,990 and goes on sale next week, this is also the first “Galaxy M” phone powered by a Qualcomm 675 chipset which makes it more up-to-date as far as the software is concerned.

The M40 sports 6.3-inch FHD+ LCD display with a tiny circular cutout to house the selfie camera. The overall quality of the display was beyond expectation.

This is the first Galaxy M phone to house an Infinity-O display and the most affordable device with a punch-hole display camera (or in-display camera) in the Indian market, which makes the phone stand apart from its competitors.

In addition, the device has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen protection.

The rear panel is made up of a 3D-curved plastic with a glossy finish, which made the device look decent.

The power and volume buttons are placed on the right of device. To the left of the device is SIM tray which has two Nano-SIM slots while USB Type-C port and loudspeaker are placed at the bottom.

The triple-camera setup is vertically placed on the top left corner, giving the back of the smartphone a subtle look.

Under the hood, Galaxy M40 gets Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC with Adreno 612 GPU and 6GB RAM – the first Galaxy M-series smartphone to get a Qualcomm chipset instead of an indigenous Exynos processor.

Samsung, Home, Privacy
Arvin Baalu, vice president of product management at Harman International, talks about the Samsung Digital Cockpit during a Samsung news conference at the 2019 CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 7, 2019. VOA

There is 128GB internal memory onboard which can be further expanded up to 512GB via a microSD card.

With these combinations, the performance of the device was better then its predecessor. While performing day-to-day tasks, the smartphone showed no sign of slowing down or any hassles while playing games like PUBG Mobile.

The fingerprint scanner is placed at the back of the phone which acts quick to unlock the smartphone and there’s also face recognition which uses the selfie camera to unlock the phone.

Going ahead with the trend of triple camera set up, Samsung has used the very same formula out here. The camera set-up includes a 32MP telephoto, an 8MP ultra wide-angle camera and a 5MP depth sensor. Up front, the M40 gets a 16MP selfie camera housed within the cutout.

In addition, the rear camera is backed by Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based auto scene recognition.

The colours and brightness captured by rear cameras were appreciable. They worked well in presence of good-lighting conditions but faced difficulties to produce same results in the absence of natural light.

Also Read- Towards a Happier, Less Nastier Facebook

The 16MP front-facing camera also has wide-angle and regular modes to choose from.

The device houses 3,500 mAh battery – around 1,500mAh less in capacity than M30. Despite smaller battery, the smartphone delivered a decent battery time of around eight to 10 hours on normal usage.

Conclusion: The Galaxy M40 is a power-packed device with a fresh look and good performance. At the Rs 19,990 price point, the device is set to further challenge rivals like Xiaomi. (IANS)