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Samsung may be planning a Galaxy Note20 FE instead of a Note21
by João Carrasqueira
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra For a few months now, we've been hearing that Samsung may be killing off the Galaxy Note lineup of smartphones, simplifying its lineup and making way for the new foldable form factor of the Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold families. Those reports went along with the possibility of S Pen support in the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which materialized at last week's Unpacked event.
While Samsung has yet to confirm the fate of an eventual Galaxy Note21, analyst Ross Young - CEO of DSCC - has shared some predictions on Twitter regarding the Note lineup (via TechRadar). Instead of releasing a Galaxy Note21, Samsung may be planning a Galaxy Note20 FE at some point this year.
FE - short for Fan Edition - is a name Samsung used last year for the most affordable member of the Galaxy S20 family. We gave that phone high praise for its killer price point and the features it offered at that price, and it looks like Samsung may actually have learned something from it, as the entire Galaxy S21 lineup has lower prices than last year's equivalents.
A more affordable, but still capable version of the Galaxy Note20 could be a solid proposition for fans of the S Pen. When we reviewed the Note20 Ultra, we found that it didn't justify its ludicrous price tag, but an FE model could certainly improve that. Of course, we'll need to wait for Samsung to actually confirm a Note20 FE exists.
Samsung is making the first 90Hz OLED displays for laptops
by João Carrasqueira
Samsung Display seems to be making some pretty major investments in OLED laptop displays. Recently, the company showed off an under-display camera for laptops that was enabled by its OLED panels, and today, it announced another first - a 90Hz OLED display for laptops.
Now, high refresh rates are nowhere near new to laptops, and we have some devices going up as high as 300Hz refresh rates for their screens. However, all of those panels are LCD, and OLED panels for laptops are all still 60Hz. This is somewhat similar to what we saw happening with phones a few years ago. The Razer Phone was one of the first phones to have a 120Hz refresh rate, but it was LCD. The first high-refresh-rate OLED phones aimed for 90Hz, though we've seen it go up from that quickly.
According to Samsung, OLED displays offer a higher response speed than LCD panels - as much as 10 times higher - so the 90Hz OLED actually feels smoother than a 120Hz LCD. The firm tested screen drag when moving a window around at high speeds on the aforementioned types of displays, and it measured a 0.9mm drag on the 90Hz OLED, versus 1mm on the 120Hz LCD.
Samsung says its 90Hz OLED laptop displays will go into full production in March, after which point we should start seeing them in new devices. However, even regular OLED displays aren't all that common on laptops, so it's up in the air how many devices will actually make use of these panels.
Samsung introduces the 870 Evo SATA SSD with faster speeds
by João Carrasqueira
Samsung has announced the latest iteration in its lineup of 800 Evo series of SSDs, the 870 Evo. The new drive is a modest upgrade over its predecessors, but it does have some improvements, starting with speed.
Samsung says the 870 Evo uses its latest V-NAND flash memory and controller and so it reaches the maximum speed of the SATA 6Gbps connection, with 560MB/s sequential reads and 530MB/s sequential writes. Samsung also says random read performance is up to 38% faster for QD1 reads compared to the 860 Evo, but the specs list doesn't actually show the performance for QD1 reads on the new drive. In fact, comparing the QD32 reads and writes with the previous generation, the 870 Evo actually appears to be a bit slower, with similar reads, but 88,000 IOPS for writes, slightly below the 90,000 IOPS of the 860 Evo.
Samsung also says the 870 Evo offers up to a 30% increase in sustained performance compared to its predecessor. The new model features Samsung's TurboWrite technology to help sustain its peak performance using an SLC buffer, though the drive itself uses TLC memory. Samsung promises "class-leading" longevity, too, with up to 2,400TBW (terabytes written) on the top-tier 4TB model.
The Samsung 870 Evo SSD is available starting at $39.99 for the 250GB model. The 2TB and 4TB are only up for pre-order, and prices max out at $479.99.
By Abhay V
Samsung begins rolling out One UI 3.1 for the Galaxy Tab S7 series in South Korea
by Abhay Venkatesh
Samsung has begun rolling out Android 11-based One UI 3 to a bunch of its devices, including the crop of its flagship phones. However, it looks like its flagship tablets, the Galaxy Tab S7 and Tab S7+, are being treated to the company’s latest version of the software – One UI 3.1. The Galaxy S21 series phones are the first ones to ship with that version of One UI out-of-the-box.
One UI 3.1 brings with it all the features and improvements shipped as part of Android 11 and One UI 3, including minor design improvements, new personalization features for the lock screen and wallpaper, performance improvements thanks to better memory allocation and management, and much more. The release also enables the head tracking features introduced by the Galaxy Buds Pro. These accompany the Android 11-based One UI 3 features such as updated in-box apps, a refreshed notification shade design, chat bubbles, improved system animations, and much more.
Guessing from user comments on the Samsung Community forums, it looks like the update currently is beginning to roll out to users in South Korea. The folks over at TizenHelp have posted the entire translated changelog of the update, which weighs in at around 2,442 MB in size and comes with the January security patch. Interestingly, the release schedule in the Samsung Members app for the Tab S7 series points at a February rollout, suggesting that the rollout has started early. However, it could be a while till the release propagates to more users across regions.
Additionally, it is not clear when the company plans on offering the update to older flagships such as the Galaxy S20 and Note20 series.
By Jay Bonggolto
Samsung brings the Galaxy A12, A32 5G, and A02s to the UK
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G Samsung announced today that the Galaxy A12, Galaxy A32 5G, and Galaxy A02s are coming to the UK. These phones were previously unveiled in the past few months and the latest announcement marks an expansion to their regional availability.
Starting today, you can purchase the Galaxy A12 (first unveiled late last year) for £169 via Samsung's channels and partner retailers in the UK. It's available in white, black, and blue color options. The Galaxy A32 5G, which debuted last week, costs £249 in black, white, blue, and violet color variants. It will ship beginning on February 19. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A02s is the cheapest among the three at £139. It will ship in the coming weeks in white and black colors.
Samsung Galaxy A12 All three smartphones have the same 6.5-inch HD+ TFT Infinity V display and 5,000mAh battery with support for 15W fast charging. The devices are powered by octa-core processors, although Samsung didn't specify each of the phones' chipsets. That said, we know from the company's previous announcement that the Galaxy A12 is powered by MediaTek's Helio P35 SoC.
Both the Galaxy A12 and A32 5G have a quad-camera setup on the back. The A12's camera module consists of a 48MP main sensor, 5MP ultra-wide shooter, 2MP macro sensor, and 2MP depth sensor. The A32 5G also features a 48MP main sensor, 8MP ultra-wide camera, 5MP macro sensor, and 2MP depth sensor. The A02S, on the other hand, has a triple camera setup on its back, comprising a 13MP main sensor, 2MP macro camera, and 2MP depth sensor. The selfie cameras of the A32 5G, A12, and A02s are 13MP, 8MP, and 5MP, respectively.
Samsung Galaxy A02s Memory-wise, the A32 5G and A12 have 4GB of RAM while the A02s has a 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage (expandable up to 1TB with a microSD card). The A32 5G includes 64GB of internal storage that's expandable up to 1TB while the A12 has either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage that's also expandable up to 1TB.