Now that CES is over, we focus our attention on the next major technical revelation – no rest for the wicked! Samsung announced its “Unpacked” event on 11 February before CES and is generally expected to have two phones: an update for the Galaxy S10 and a new clamshell-style folding phone.
Because nothing can ever be easy, Samsung has decided to change the naming scheme for the Galaxy S series from sequential, incremental numbering to the year of release. Or at least I hope that the fact that it will be released in 2020 is the reason that Samsung seems to call the next phone the Galaxy S20 instead of the S11. I hope that mainly because I don’t know if I can handle listening and responding to a different rationalization.
I’m not mad at the change, just disappointed. We already have arms competitions for specifications on phones, the last thing I want is another for how big the numbers are in their names.
Anyway, right on schedule we have photos from the real world that confirm that Samsung’s next flagship phone is called the Galaxy S20, if you had hope that this S20 rumor would not come true.
It is a good scoop of Max Weinbach at XDA developers. It seems that there are no fewer than five variants of this phone, but don’t hit Samsung too hard for that. As Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus last week, points out, every phone manufacturer must make additional versions of their phones during the 5G transition. So really think of three versions: the S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra.
That “Ultra” apparently becomes one spec monster, and I hope that Samsung uses it as permission to push the prices on the regular S20 to more reasonable areas. The iPhone 11 starts at $ 699 and ideally the Galaxy S20 will do the same. Samsung may have a bit of wobbling space because it is more willing than Apple to allow a wide range of carrier discounts.
If you missed it on Friday, there is also a blurry photo of the folding phone, reportedly called the Samsung Bloom. I like the rumor name, but I’m both optimistic and nervous about the positioning:
What’s new is the name and marketing for the Bloom. Ajunews says Samsung wants the device to appeal to young women and says that the clamshell design is easy to hold in one hand. Samsung Kohl, CEO of Electronics Electronics, told a partner: “We have designed Galaxy Bloom with the compact powder motif of the French cosmetic brand Lancôme.”
If Samsung is sincere here, then I really love that advanced technology is made for women. Big companies Should think better about how you can appeal to more consumers. The reason that I feel nervous is that Samsung itself has a poor record when it comes to navigating gender issues. Since 2017, Samsung has gender the possible voices for its Bixby assistant and has created descriptor tags for the female voice with ‘chipper’ and ‘cheerful’.
At the beginning of 2010, many companies made hamfisted attempts to make phones that were attractive to women (HTC Rhyme, anyone?) And we should expect better in 2020. If Samsung really wants to appeal to a wider range of genders with the Bloom hopefully it does more than make it small and make cosmetics a gesture. The shoe industry is finally figuring out how to design for women – the telephone industry can certainly do better.
I hope Samsung has learned from all those mistakes from the past.
News from The Verge
└ Trump’s attorney general asks Apple to unlock the iPhones of a shooter
└ Microsoft CEO says encryption backdoors are a “terrible idea”
└ Alphabet’s best lawyer leaves without an exit package after misconduct scandals
└ Microsoft says that Xbox Series X will not have exclusive first-party games at launch
It is a daring strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays for them.
└ Elon Musk: “Teslas will talk to people soon if you want. This is real’
I don’t know why the addition “This is real” makes this story, but it is absolutely what makes this story. I am going to add that sentence to everything I say that it is even difficult to imagine. “I will try to make a frittata this weekend. This is real. “Tomorrow I’m going to reduce the number of emails by 20 percent with an inbox.” This is real. “” I think stepping on a bath mat with your wet feet is very inattentive to do with your roommates. This is real.”
└ GTA IV has disappeared from Steam due to Games for Windows Live
Is it a piece to turn this weird story into an allegory of how dangerous it is to be completely dependent on the app store infrastructure for app and game functionality, regardless of how convenient it is for users not to have to deal with with multiple sign-in and no how large the check of the large platforms is? Probably, but not sure.
└ Apple receives legal approval for mysterious MacBook
I hope Apple this year aggressively renews the entire MacBook line with the new magic keyboard, optics and standard product cycles damn. The real magic in the magic keyboard will be the extra money that will magically appear on Apple’s quarterly profit from people misleadingly buying new laptops earlier than they would otherwise be because they are dead from the butterfly keyboard.
We saw more technical trends starting last week
└ The Verge Awards at CES 2020: welcome to the country of the concept
Note that we put scare quotes about “best” in the “” Best “of CES.” I’ve been writing about the balance between concepts and products for a week now, so I don’t have to add much more here. However, some good choices in the other categories are worth seeing!
└ Laptops were boring at CES, but there is hope for the future
This time CES ended up in a certain dip in the parts cycle. Exciting new chips and exciting new form factors are coming, but neither was really ready to come out in January. Don’t let it get you down.
└ This year’s monitors will be faster, clearer and more curvy than ever
I agree with this:
If I were to buy a gaming monitor today, I would probably want to make myself future-proof with HDR support, and I think this would probably mean that a high DisplayHDR specification should be considered essential. With regard to Mini LED, it is hard to say how much a leap forward this means – the effectiveness of LED dimming solutions can vary from model to model or from panel to panel. But if there is nothing else, this should indicate that you are looking at a monitor with serious HDR support
└ How gaming PCs compete with the PS5 and Xbox X series
Good analysis by Nick Statt. Expect to see many PCs and consoles wandering around each other’s turf this year.
└ Wi-Fi 6 is finally here
Wi-Fi 6 was never intended as a technology that is so powerful that it is worth upgrading. It comes with speed increases, up to 9.6 Gbps from a theoretical maximum of 3.5 Gbps on WiFi 5. But that extra bandwidth is more about allowing routers to scale across the multitude of devices in your home, in instead of delivering incredible speeds to each device (your internet speed is probably not near that maximum anyway).
└ OnePlus confirms that the next telephone jumps to a 120Hz screen
I have dealt with this briefly in the post, but for a number of reasons I am somewhat contradictory about this.
Firstly, although I prefer screens with a higher refresh rate, I am not yet convinced that they are not yet worth considering the battery life. What makes this a frustrating thing to turn into a spec race, because the incentive will be to send telephones with a higher Hz number instead of well-balanced telephones. I am not saying that OnePlus does that, but I do say that I am concerned that the incentives for everyone in the industry will be pulled in the wrong direction this year.
Secondly: this is not new, but OnePlus joins LG and Google in announcing features before the phone itself is announced. That’s all well and good, but if too many more companies jump on that bandwagon, it becomes really tiring.
└ Asus built a mini GPU specifically for the small gaming box from Intel
Another potential sign that this new form factor pushing Intel may have legs. I cannot yet decide whether hope works, but at least a small part of me wants it to work. Especially since I am sure that a group of people will adopt their vision this year and I hate that they will be abandoned next year and the following year.