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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

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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 Unveils Flagship Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite For Rs 39,999

Galaxy S10 Lite also comes with on display fingerprint scanner

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Samsung
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, a long-lasting 4,500mAh battery with its 25W superfast charging technology. IANS

Samsung on Thursday launched another flagship Galaxy S10 Lite smartphone for Rs 39,999 in India that can be pre-booked across Flipkart, Samsung.com and leading retail stores from January 23 till February 3.

The 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 Lite with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal memory will go on sale from February 4 and those who pre-book the device would get one-time screen replacement at Rs 1,999, covering accidental screen damage within one year of purchase.

The company also offered an additional Rs 3,000 cashback with ICICI Bank credit cards on the device that will be available in Prism White, Prism Black and Prism Blue colours.

“We’re confident that Galaxy S10 Lite’s Pro-Grade Camera, flagship performance and uninterrupted visual experience will excite consumers and create a huge demand for the smartphone,” said Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Mobile Division, Samsung India.

Galaxy S10 Lite houses triple-camera system at the rear — Steady OIS Camera (48MP), Ultra-Wide (12MP) and Macro (5MP) sensors. The device sports 32MP selfie camera. The USP of the device is the super-steady Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a gimbal-like hardware that tilts the camera unit to ensure blur-free photos and videos while in action.

“In line with our vision to offer a greater choice to consumers who are seeking to upgrade their smartphones, we are happy to strengthen our premium offering with the launch of Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite,” said Aditya Soni, Senior Director – Mobiles at Flipkart.

Samsung
Samsung on Thursday launched another flagship Galaxy S10 Lite smartphone for Rs 39,999 in India that can be pre-booked across Flipkart, Samsung.com and leading retail stores from January 23 till February 3. IANS

The Galaxy S10 Lite comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, a long-lasting 4,500mAh battery with its 25W superfast charging technology.

The device comes with Super AMOLED edge-to-edge Infinity-O display that introduces users to the 20:9 expansive view with remarkable screen ratio. The unique Infinity-O Display packs an array of sensors and camera technology into a hole-in display so people can maximize your screen real estate without any distractions.

ALSO READ: Motorola To Launch Foldable Smartphone “Moto Razr” on February 6: Tech Report

Galaxy S10 Lite also comes with on display fingerprint scanner. (IANS)