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By Jefferson Mangubat
Samsung Chromebook 4 series is now available to purchase in the UK
by Jefferson Mangubat
Samsung has rolled out the Chromebook 4 and Chromebook 4+ to the UK market. The Chromebook 4 series was initially announced last year for budget-conscious consumers.
Starting today, UK customers can purchase the Chromebook 4 in Platinum Titan for £299.99 via Samsung UK's online marketplace. If you opt for its larger and heavier sibling, you can snap up the Chromebook 4+ in the same color offered in two storage variants for £349.99 (32GB storage) and £379 (64GB variant).
Both laptops are thin and lightweight, although the Chromebook 4+ weighs 3.7 pounds while the smaller variant comes in at 2.6 pounds. As a quick reminder, the Chromebook 4+ has a 15.6-inch FullHD display while the Chromebook 4 sports an 11.6-inch HD screen. Both variants have narrow bezels.
This lineup is powered by Intel's Celeron N4000 (Gemini Lake) processor and feature Intel's UHD Graphics 600. The Chromebook 4 series come with 4GB of RAM. Of course, both laptops come with the Google Play Store preloaded to run Android apps. Finally, the Chromebook 4 series is integrated with Google Assistant to let you perform various tasks such as responding to a message or checking the news just by using your voice.
Samsung Galaxy S21 series could feature Bixby Voice biometric unlock option
by Rajesh Pandey
Image Source: Onleaks (Voice) Samsung is seemingly planning on offering Bixby Voice as a biometric unlock method on the Galaxy S21 series. The device is expected to launch with One UI 3.1 out of the box, which should have this feature.
As SamMobile notes, Bixby previously had the ability to set a voice password for hands-free device unlocking which Samsung removed eventually. Now, with One UI 3.1 on the Galaxy S21 series, Samsung will bring back a similar feature that will allow users to unlock their device via their voice. It is possible that Samsung will include highly sensitive mics on the Galaxy S21 series to ensure the feature works properly.
While voice unlock might sound cool on paper, it is unlikely to be the most secure biometric unlock method around. Samsung already offers face unlock on its existing devices but it is not as secure as the fingerprint scanner since it only relies on the front camera and not any depth camera like iPhones. The company previously offered an iris scanner on its flagship devices which was far more secure but removed it in a bid to achieve a bezel-less look on its newer flagships.
Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy S21 series in mid-January to counter the iPhone 12 series from Apple.
By Namerah S
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Smartphones
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Gifting a loved one a smartphone can be a great way to show your affection towards them. Maybe your father has a really old phone that needs to be replaced, or maybe you have a younger sibling who is in college and can't afford to get an upgrade. No matter the occasion or the person, receiving a phone as a present will definitely put a smile on anyone's face.
If you're confused or completely lost for ideas, check out our list of recommendations down below:
Image via Apple Although the vast majority of people subscribe to the ideology 'the bigger the better', when it comes to smartphone sizes, there is still a large number of people who have more petite preferences. If not the size, the nostalgia factor could definitely be a reason for you to buy an iPhone SE for your special person this year.
Powered by the A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone SE has a small 4.7-inch Retina display, an IP67 waterproof and dust resistance rating and a single-lens 12MP f/1.8 rear camera. The phone is available in three shades, Black, White and PRODUCT(RED). You can purchase the Apple device for upwards of $299.
Mi Note 10
Image via Xiaomi Global Are you searching for a flagship phone on a budget? If you are, look no further because Xiaomi's Mi Note 10 is the perfect choice for you. Powered by the SnapDragon 730G, it has a 6.47-inch curved AMOLED screen, a gigantic 5260mAh battery, a penta-camera setup on the rear led by a 108MP main camera, 30W fast charging support, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor. It even has a headphone jack, which is something unusual for a 2020 flagship.
The Chinese all-rounder comes in three colours, has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you are interested in purchasing the Mi Note 10, you can find it here for about $499.
If your special someone is really environmentally conscious, perhaps this might be a great gift. The whole idea behind the Fairphone 3+ or any of the other Fairphone devices is to create sustainable, eco-friendly phones. In line with this philosophy, they use recycled materials and try to make their smartphones as long-lasting as possible. Most of the components in the smartphone can be replaced, upgraded or repaired very easily.
The base Fairphone 3+ sports a 5.65-inch IPS LCD screen, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, 3,040mAh and is powered by the Snapdragon 632 chipset. You can check out our review here and purchase the device for €469 here.
One of the prettiest looking phones this year would have to be the OnePlus 8 in Interstellar Glow - a colour option best described as the colour of the sky just before the sun sets. For that one flamboyant person in your life who is bright, perky and a lover of unicorns and all things rainbow, this shade hits the nail right on the head.
Not only is the OnePlus 8 a real good looker, but it also has great guts. The slim smartphone boasts a 6.55-inch fluid AMOLED display, 5G support, Snapdragon 865, 4,300mAh battery, Warp Charge 30T and a bunch of other features for a starting price of $699. You can check out our review here or purchase the OnePlus device on Amazon for a discounted price of $599.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Image via Samsung Mobile Press Lastly, we have the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, an elegant smartphone that serves as the perfect finish for our list. The Galaxy device has a 6.5-inch flat Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and is available in a wide range of assorted colours. Apart from the colour options, another plus point is that the device supports 5G.
Other noteworthy tech specs include a water resistance rating of IP68, RAM options of 6GB and 8GB, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, a 4,500mAh battery, Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 support and an under-the-screen optical fingerprint sensor. Currently, you can acquire a unit of the Galaxy S20 FE for $50 less than its usual price tag of $699 on Amazon.
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Samsung Galaxy S10 One UI 3 public beta program now live
by Rajesh Pandey
Samsung has started the One UI 3 and Android 11 beta program for the Galaxy S10 series (via SamMobile). The company has already been running the One UI 3.0 beta program for the Galaxy S20 and Note20 series for the last few weeks. It had also launched the beta program for the Galaxy Z Flip but had to pull the initial firmware due to high battery drain issues.
For now, Samsung has launched the One UI 3 beta program for the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+ in India, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, though there's a possibility that the program is expanded to more regions within the next day or two.
You can check if the One UI 3 beta program for the Galaxy S10 series is available in your region or not and then join the program using the Samsung Members app.
Samsung has been aggressively rolling out One UI 3 beta firmware builds for the Galaxy S20 and Note20 series signaling that a stable rollout is around the corner. For the Galaxy S10 series, the One UI 3 update is expected to hit the stable channel by the end of this year or early next year.
One UI 3 is based on Android 11 and comes with a number of UI changes including a streamlined Settings menu, updated Phone app, revamped notification shade, and more. You can read more about One UI 3 features here.
By Rich Woods
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Smartwatches
by Rich Woods
Smartwatches can be an excellent gift because not everyone has one. If they do have one, it might be a few years old, as it's not something that we refresh as often as a smartphone. If you're looking to get a tech gift for someone that seems to have everything else, a smartwatch might be the way to go.
Here are some of our favorite smartwatches:
Huawei Watch Fit
Huawei's Watch Fit was one of my personal favorite smartwatches of the year. It's also the most inexpensive one that I reviewed at $129.99, but what's cool about this little device is that it has guided workouts. It's a great way to stay in shape when we can't go out. Of course, it will track your regular workouts, deliver notifications, and more. It also gets up to 10 days of battery life.
You can check out out review here, or find the product here. It works with iOS and Android.
Huawei Watch GT 2
It probably looks weird to have two Huawei products back-to-back, but it wouldn't make sense to come back around to this, as the Watch GT 2 series is so similar to the Watch Fit. The Watch GT 2 Pro is definitely the most stylish watch that I reviewed this year, and it has everything the Fit has except the guided workouts, and then some. For example, this watch can playback music during your workouts. It also gets up to two weeks of battery life, something that's unheard of in a smartwatch.
Coming in at under $200 for the non-Pro, it comes in a 46mm size and a smaller 42mm size for those with smaller wrists. You can check out our review here and check it out here. It works with iOS and Android.
Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3
The TicWatch Pro 3 is the first smartwatch to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset, the first to use Cortex-A53 and the first major advancement to the chipset since Android Wear was introduced in 2014. For that reason, the TicWatch Pro 3 is actually the only Wear OS smartwatch that I'd recommend right now.
It also has a unique dual-screen technology, which puts an LCD display on top of the OLED screen, so it's not using much power when it's idling. You can check out the review here, and check out the product here for $299.99. Wear OS works with both iOS and Android, although using it with iOS can be a bit limited.
Samsung Galaxy Watch3
Samsung's smartwatches run its Tizen OS, and they're actually pretty good. The newest one is called the Galaxy Watch3, and it has new features like blood pressure, ECG, and blood oxygen monitoring.
The 41mm model normally starts at $399.99, but you can get it for $339 right now. The 45mm variant is normally $429.99 and is on sale for $369. Both LTE variants are $60.99 off as well, with the 41mm one coming in at $389 and the 45mm one coming in at $419.
If you're looking for something that's more inexpensive along the same lines, check out the Galaxy Watch Active2, which is $70 off at $179.99 and $199.99 for the 40mm and 44mm models, respectively.
Samsung's watches work with all Android devices that have access to the Google Play Store, but it has much better integration with Samsung phones.
It wouldn't be a smartwatch gift guide without the Apple Watch, a device that many consider to be the best on the market. It only works with iPhones, of course, and the newest update adds features like sleep tracking, third-party watch face support, and more.
Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3, and it's currently $20 off at $179. You can also grab the Apple Watch SE $20 off for $289, or the Apple Watch Series 6 starting at $379. Apple offers a bunch of different configurations, and the prices go up from there.
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