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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra hands-on and first impressions
by João Carrasqueira
Samsung introduced the Galaxy S21 family a couple of months ago, and so far, we've reviewed the standard Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S21+, which have the most in common among the three members of the lineup. Now, Samsung has sent us the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which takes everything up a notch.
The S21 Ultra is Samsung's range-topper, and that permeates through every part of the spec sheet. You get up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage, whereas the two smaller models max out at 8GB and 256GB, respectively. The model we got has 12GB of RAM, and that's still more than the Galaxy S21, but it also only has 128GB of storage. The S21 Ultra still has the same Exynos 2100 chipset (or the Snapdragon 888 in North America), though.
What else makes this phone "ultra" is that it has a large four-camera setup on the back, in addition to a time-of-flight sensor to help with depth perception. There's a 108MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and two whole telephoto cameras, one with 3x optical zoom and a periscope lens with 10x optical zoom, both with 10MP resolution. The display is also Quad HD with refresh rates between 10Hz and 120Hz, while the other two S21 models only support Full HD and can only slow down the refresh rate to 48Hz.
We're currently in the process of reviewing this phone, but in the meantime, you can check our first impressions of it in the video below:
By Jay Bonggolto
Samsung is set to hold another Galaxy Unpacked event on April 28
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung held its recent Galaxy Unpacked event in March where it unveiled the Galaxy A52, A52 5G, and A72. Now, the tech giant has released a new invite for yet another Unpacked event this month.
The affair will take place on April 28 and it will be Samsung's fourth Unpacked event this year. It will also be streamed live on the company's website at 10am Eastern Standard Time.
Although Samsung didn't mention anything about what the event will be for, the teaser states: "the most powerful Galaxy is coming." Seeing as the South Korean tech giant has already announced quite a plethora of phones this year, there's a slim chance it could be yet another typical smartphone. At the moment, there's no clear indication as to what Samsung might introduce a few weeks from now.
That said, it's possible we could be seeing a new foldable device from Samsung soon. Note that the Galaxy Z Flip launched around this time last year, but Samsung has yet to unveil a new foldable phone. It's also hard to rule out the possibility of a new smartwatch coming out at the event. Other speculations point to the debut of Samsung's first Windows 10 PC powered by its own Exynos processors. It's anybody's guess for now.
By Jay Bonggolto
Samsung's future phones may have sensor-shift cameras for more stable images
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung's flagship phones have long had optical image stabilization (OIS), and most recently it incorporated the same camera technology into its mid-range Galaxy A lineup, starting with the Galaxy A72. Soon, the tech giant may introduce a more advanced image stabilization system to its phone cameras.
A new report from GalaxyClub suggests Samsung's future smartphones will feature sensor-shift cameras like that of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. For the uninitiated, this type of camera is integrated with sensors that move to compensate for vibrations when you're taking a photo. In contrast, OIS involves moving the lens to stabilize the image.
There's no clear indication as to when we might see this image stabilization system in an actual phone. For now, Samsung is reportedly testing the sensor-shift camera for a new device.
That said, there's every chance the image stabilization system could be integrated into Samsung's next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S22 series. In addition, a few days ago, a Twitter post made rounds on the web claiming that the South Korean tech firm was collaborating with Olympus for the camera of its next-generation flagship devices. The Japanese camera maker is known for building cameras with sensor-shift systems, so it's possible that Olympus may be developing the rumored sensor-shift camera for future Samsung handsets.
Samsung's new tracker can help you find objects with your camera
by João Carrasqueira
Samsung has announced an upgraded version of the SmartTag tracker that was introduced alongside the Galaxy S21, called the SmartTag+. Item trackers like the SmartTag+ can be attached to items like handbags or keychains so you can locate them using your phone.
In the case of the SmartTag+, not only does it come with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, it also supports Ultra Wide Band (UWB), thus offering more accuracy with its tracking abilities. Only a few phones in Samsung's lineup support UWB, though, specifically the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Galaxy S21+, S21 Ultra, and Z Fold2.
If you do have a UWB-enabled phone, however, you can use the new AR Finder feature in the SmartThings Find app to find your lost objects using your camera. Thanks to the UWB technology, not only can you see how far the item is, you can see what direction it's in, so you can point the camera around and your phone will guide you to the SmartTag+.
On top of that, you can leverage the community of SmartThings user to help locate the SmartTag+ even if it's out of range of your phone. Users have to opt in to help others locate their items, but if someone has enabled that capability and they pass by your lost tag, you'll be able to find it on a map. The SmartThings app can also be used to assign certain actions like turning off lights to the button on the tag, making quick actions a bit more accessible, though this feature also works on the original SmartTag.
The SmartTag+ will be available from April 16 in select markets and rolling out to more countries gradually. Those in the United States can expect it "in the coming weeks".
By Rich Woods
Samsung's 2021 Galaxy A series is coming to the United States
by Rich Woods
Today, Samsung announced that its array of 2021 Galaxy A smartphones are coming to the United States. Among the mid-range options, which support 5G, are the Galaxy A32, Galaxy A42, and Galaxy A52. On the entry-level side of things, it's introducing the Galaxy A02s and Galaxy A12.
“Over the past year, we’ve come to rely on our phones more than ever to keep us connected and provide some much-needed fun and entertainment,” said Drew Blackard, vice president of mobile product management at Samsung Electronics America. “The 2021 Galaxy A series delivers all of that. These are the perfect smartphones for anyone who wants the quality and innovation synonymous with Samsung at a great price.”
In fact, the Galaxy A32 5G, powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 720 chipset, is Samsung's first sub-$300 5G smartphone. And all of the 5G handsets have 4K video recording features like 4K Video Snap, which lets you take a picture from your 4K videos. They also come with this like fast charging, microSD expansion, and Adaptive Power Saving.
The Galaxy A52 5G is at the top of the pack, obviously, and it actually has a 6.5-inch FHD 120Hz Super AMOLED display, whereas the A42 has a 60Hz Super AMOLED screen and the A32 has a 90Hz LCD. The A52 comes with a 64MP main sensor that has OIS and a 12MP ultra-wide lens, along with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. The cameras on the A32 and A42 aren't quite as high-resolution, with 48MP main sensors and 8MP ultra-wide sensors.
The Galaxy A52 5G starts at $499.99, the A42 5G starts at $399.99, and the A32 5G starts at $279.99. The A12 and A02s start at $179.99 and $109.99, respectively, and pack 3GB or 2GB of RAM with 32GB of storage. The A42 is available tomorrow, while the rest are available on the 9th.
It's worth noting that this is a market that LG just exited from, being that it just shut down its smartphone business entirely. OnePlus is trying to enter the entry-level to mid-range market with its Nord brand, and Motorola plays in it with its Moto E and Moto G brands.