New year, new class of phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S11. Samsung’s devices made waves in 2019, from the Editor’s Choice award-winning to the unforgettable . 2020 is only destined to get better. (And that goes for Samsung’s next foldable phone, too.)
The industry is already buzzing with leaks and predictions as we approach 2020, about everything from the the Galaxy S11’s official lineup and price, to the camera setup and battery (hint: it could be massive). I throw in my own educated guesses too, because Samsung often follows historical patterns and topical trends, so certain things make sense.
For example, the Galaxy S11 will be the first of Samsung’s four 5G phones to deliver on the 5G promise in a meaningful way. Samsung got a start with 5G this year, with the S10 5G, Note 10 Plus 5G, Galaxy A90 5G and Fold (in the UK and South Korea), but many are variants of 4G devices that already exist. The Galaxy S11 family of phones is a mainstream handset that has the ability to help bring 5G’s faster data speeds to the masses.
There are a lot more supposed specs to absorb, so here they are — the Galaxy S11’s most important rumored features so far, plus what we don’t know and what we think we might get.
Three models, three sizes: Galaxy S11, S11 Plus, S11 Pro
First things first. The Galaxy S11 isn’t going to be one phone, that we know. It’s rumored to be three, just like last year’s S10 family of 4G models.
Some rumors name the phones as the S11E, S11 and S11 Plus, but more recent whispers, including that from frequent Twitter leaker Evan Blass, suggest S11, S11 Plus and S11 Pro, which is a lot closer to Apple’s strategy with the iPhone 11, which is the base model for that line.
Here are the rumored screen sizes:
- Galaxy S11: 6.2-inch or 6.4-inch
- Galaxy S11 Plus: 6.7-inch
- Galaxy S11 Pro: 6.9-inch
Blass also stated that all the Galaxy S11 phones could have curved sides, unlike 2019’s, which had a flat display that I sometimes preferred.
February 11 or 18 launch, later release dates
The all-important question: When do we get to see this thing for the first time? February is a given. Samsung has unveiled its Galaxy S series in late February or early March for years, sometimes at the Mobile World Congress tech show (a.k.a MWC), sometimes before, and a couple of times, even after.
If Samsung follows last year’s model, we’ll see the Galaxy S11 and its kin appear shortly before MWC. If we let the rumors guide us, Samsung will show its hand on either Tues, Feb. 11 (this is in Greek) or Tues, Feb. 18. So yeah, February seems solid.
Look for the phone to go on preorder shortly after, with units shipping a week or two after the reveal. I’ll continue to update this story with fresh rumors, so come back for more.
Could like a cross between the Note 10 and Galaxy S10
The Galaxy S11 renders are out, and so are the concept designs, which I love because they can bring the rumors to life.
So what might we get with Samsung’s S11 phone? Rounded shoulders, which have become the Galaxy S trademark, but with a more squared-off look reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 10. A slim body. Curved sides for all models, unlike the Galaxy S10E’s flat screen, which I actually really liked.
The camera array could become square, off to the left, and stick out from the surface, a lot like the iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4. I really hope that’s not the case. Cameras that stick out are more vulnerable to breaking when you drop your phone. A case is an absolute must.
5G guaranteed, but there’s a catch
I mentioned 5G earlier. This is a rumored feature, but also a given. The Galaxy S11 is 99.9% likely to use the powerful Snapdragon 865 processor in it, which chipmaker Qualcomm won’t make available to phone brands without the 5G modem it pairs with. Ipso facto, you get a phone with the Snapdragon 865, you get a 5G-ready phone.
The same goes for any regions that will package the Galaxy S11 with Samsung’s in-house Exynos 990 5G processor, which often happens in Asia, especially Samsung’s home country of South Korea. (Ice Universe says Samsung is “determined” to use Snapdragon 865 for South Korean models.)
I promised a catch and here it is. While the Galaxy S11 will be 5G-ready, not every phone may be able to access 5G. Cities and countries that are 4G-only will only be able to use 4G networks, so the 5G Galaxy S11 could very well act like a 4G phone.
We’ll see how it all shakes out, but I’d be surprised if Samsung used any chip other than Snapdragon 865. The Galaxy S series is its mainstream flagship and Samsung is the world’s largest phone-maker. It will want to put its best foot forward by delivering the phone with the “best” chip.
108-megapixel camera, periscope lens, 5X optical zoom
Now for the fun stuff, the camera. We already talked about how rumors, leaks and renders predict a square camera array overflowing with cameras. It gets wilder.
Samsung is said to be outfitting the Galaxy S11 (or at least one variant) with a 108-megapixel main camera sensor. Is that madness? It sounds like madness. But Chinese brand Xiaomi already beat Samsung to it with the Mi CC9 Pro, which already uses a 108-megapixel camera.
In addition, the Snapdragon 865 chip we talked about above can support a 200-megapixel camera. You may not be using all 108 pixels all the time, but having that extra resolution can be helpful for zooming in and cropping. If you like the sound of all that, thank the chipmaker for making it happen.
Screen: 120Hz AMOLED display
We talked about phone screens earlier, but here’s what else we’re likely to get: the ability to turn on a 120Hz screen refresh rate. That will make animations and scrolling a whole lot smoother than the standard 60Hz refresh rate wwe have now.
While a 120Hz refresh rate is great for gaming and other quick transitions (even 90Hz like on the ), it’s a battery hog. The Galaxy S11 could put the power in your hands with settings to switch between 60Hz to preserve battery life and 120Hz if you want to rev up animations.
This is pretty much a done deal since both the Snapdragon 865 and Exynos 990 5G support 210Hz screens.
A whopping 5,000mAh battery?
Different size phones get different size batteries, and another rumor from the prolific Ice Universe dials in the Galaxy S11 “Plus” battery at 5,000mAh, which is ridonculous.
Keep in mind that the “Plus” could also be the “Pro” (e.g., the highest-end model of the trio), which makes far more sense to me than the middle phone getting a battery that size. For reference, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus battery is 4,300mAh and battery life is outstanding.
There have been some phones with ultra-large batteries before, so 5,000mAh fits my expectations. For instance, the Asus ROG Phone II has a 6,000mAh battery, which makes it a gaming beast.
In-screen fingerprint reader
I loved the concept of an in-screen fingerprint reader, until I used it in the Galaxy S10. The accuracy, speed and convenience never quite lived up to the promise for me.
My best-case scenario would be to the Galaxy S11 return to some form of secure face unlock, combined with the in-screen reader. Samsung already knows how to do this well. Remember, the series got iris scanning in the S7, but dropped it for the S10. Google has now done it better, with the Pixel 4’s gesture tracking lending a hand.
We could at least see a more robust form of in-screen biometric scanner, if Samsung decides to take advantage of the Snapdragon 865’s support for two-finger scanning, which is meant to improve the technology on all fronts. I sure hope it does.
Android 10 and Samsung One UI 2
There’s little doubt that every Samsung phone in 2020 will run on Android 10 and the company’s own One UI 2, which was announced in October and is now available in beta.
I’m much more excited about Android 10, which brings systemwide dark mode to phones, gesture navigation, some seriously impressive live captioning and new privacy settings. One UI 2 aims to push icons and screen controls toward the bottom of the phone so they’re easier to reach one-handed.
Galaxy S11 series: Price will break $1,000
Now for the question on everyone’s mind: How much is the Galaxy S11 going to cost me? As always, it will depend on which model you buy.
Let’s start with the Galaxy S10 prices for the base storage configuration:
- Galaxy S10E: $749, £669, AU$1,199
- Galaxy S10: $899, £799, AU$1,349
- Galaxy S10 Plus: $999, £899, AU$1,499
- Galaxy S10 5G: $1,300, £1,099, AU$2,950
5G costs the phone-makers more to buy and integrate, so we could see a price bump right off the bat. You’ll also spend more if you opt for a model with greater storage, say 512GB, assuming Samsung offers it and begins storage at 128GB.
If the largest version (“Pro” or “Plus”, depending on the remuros) lines up with the S10 Plus pricing, it’ll start at $1,000. With the 5G component and more camera tech, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that rise to $1,100, a price that matches the Galaxy Note 10 Plus today.
Originally published earlier this week.
Photography expert Austin Mann pushes new MacBook Pro to its limits with incredible results – 9to5Mac
Image by Mann made from 100 stacked TIFF files on MacBook Pro
Following up on his amazing test of the iPhone 13 Pro camera in Tanzania last month, photography expert Austin Mann has shared his review of the MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip. Spoiler, Mann concludes the new MacBook Pros “will substantially affect absolutely everyone,” not just pros. Read on for a closer look at what Mann accomplished with the new notebook and the performance he saw.
After Tanzania for his incredible iPhone 13 Pro shoot, Mann spent time in Flagstaff, Arizona “testing the new MacBook Pro M1 Max w/ 64 GB RAM and 8TB SSD!” Off the top, he said, “This thing is nuts and I love it.”
Answering a question many will be asking, Mann believes these notebooks aren’t just for pros:
“Is the upgrade just for pros or is it for everyone, too?”
My resounding answer is: the upgrade in the M1 MacBook Pros will substantially affect absolutely everyone… the battery life is not just slightly better, it’s on a radically different planet. This machine stays cool and handles whatever you can throw at it, whether that’s making a family photo album in Photos or rendering an animation in After Effects.
After covering his thoughts on the return of all the I/O, sharing he is glad to see the Touch Bar removed and more, he got into testing the performance of the new MacBook Pro.
While speed is always attractive, I’ve been most curious about the efficiency and power management so I ran a few non-scientific tests… one of them went as follows:
I charged the 16″ MacBook Pro M1 Max to 100% and then disconnected from power.
First, I ran an image stack in Starry Landscape Stacker on 100 TIFF files (150MB each)… it took 4m24s to render and battery life was still at 100% (the fan remained inaudible.)
Stacking 100 TIFF files (150MB each) took 4m24s.
Second, I ran a Cinebench test, which finished in just a few minutes and still the battery was 100%.
Third, I went back the 100 TIFF image files and opened them into StarStax and processed a “Gap Filling” blend of all 100 TIFF files. This intensive process took another 2m36s and still the battery was at 100%.
To get the battery to go down even 1% here’s what he did next:
So I opened 8 images into Adobe Camera Raw and used Photomerge to create a giant panorama… this happened quickly and guess what, the battery life still showed 100%.
At this point I kind of ran out of options so I went back to Cinebench to run the test again on loop… about 2.5 minutes into that test, the battery life FINALLY dropped down to 99%.
Overall, Mann was highly impressed with the speed and efficiency:
In summary, the most impressive performance from new MacBook Pro M1 Max wasn’t just speed (it was about twice as fast) but it was insanely efficient in how it managed both its power and heat which matters as much or more than pure speed.
Mann also detailed his experience with the new Liquid Retina XDR display:
Rendering this detail was previously not possible on the MacBook Pro and it’s going to be really nice to have this display power with me in the field as it’s helpful to know what detail is there and how far I can push an image.
As for changes, Mann had two wishes:
1) I wish the SD Card slot was similar to the slot in the Sony A1 which takes BOTH SD and CF Express. This would be really handy for me today and I think more practical and useful for most creative pros in the near future.
2) Really wish there was a matte/non-glare screen option. Years ago, this was an option on Apple’s laptops and with the recent Pro Display XDR “nano-etch” anti-glare option, I was crossing my fingers we might see something similar on the M1 MacBook Pro.
Be sure to check out the full review from Mann on his website here.
Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners will need to install day-one update – MobileSyrup
According to a post on Google’s ‘Pixel Phone Help’ site, Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners will need to update their phones “to get all the features.” The post explains that once users complete the phone setup, the update “automatically downloads silently in the background” and will prompt users to reboot the phone once it’s ready.
The post also recommends updating apps to the latest versions as well to ensure access to all features.
The Verge further elaborates, noting that users should look for build number ‘SD1A.210817.036’ (or ‘SD1A.210817.036.A8’ for Verizon customers). You can find that number either by opening the notification shade and swiping down again to reveal the quick settings widgets (the build number will be visible below the widgets but above the edit, power and settings buttons). Alternatively, you can head to Settings > About Phone and scroll to the bottom to see the build number.
Day-one software updates seem to be the norm these days, whether you’re picking up a new phone, laptop, game or other tech. As a reviewer, I’ve started making it common practice to set new devices aside to update after I first set them (I’ve had more than a few scenarios where a laptop performed really poorly because I hadn’t installed some critical software update yet).
As for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, the day-one update is likely the cause behind some of my woes during testing. I noted in my Pixel 6 review that several features weren’t available or didn’t work (I even made sure all my apps were up to date and, as far as the Pixel 6 was concerned, Android was fully updated too). Naturally, after publishing the review, the day-one software update arrived and fixed several problems, although some features still aren’t available because I’m in Canada.
All this is to say, update your phones (and other tech)!
Self-driving “Roboats” ready for testing on Amsterdam’s canals
Visitors to Amsterdam may soon spot a self-driving watercraft the size of a small car cruising silently through its ancient canals, ferrying passengers or transporting goods or trash.
It will be the electric-powered “Roboat”, a catchier name than “autonomous floating vehicle” for a project shortly due to start test journeys aimed at improving the crowded city’s transport options.
“We have a lot of road traffic and congestion, e-commerce, logistics cluttering the small streets in the city,” said Stephan van Dijk, Innovation Director at Amsterdam’s Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, which is designing and engineering Roboat with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
“At the same time we have a lot of open water available in the canals … So we developed a self-driving, autonomous ship to help with logistics in the city and also bringing people around.”
After four years of trials with smaller versions and refinements of the concept, the makers showed off the first two full-size, functional Roboats on Wednesday
One of the first test applications of the craft will be for an unglamorous but important task: trash collection.
The job is normally done by trucks, but they are a safety hazard on the city’s narrow streets and cause traffic jams. Instead, Roboats stationed at the waterside will act as floating trash containers, scooting back to base when they’re full.
The city, which is backing the project, is considering locations for a trash collection pilot project starting early next year, Van Dijk said.
Roboats will need to be connected digitally to the city’s water traffic management to avoid collisions, but Van Dijk said one big advantage is that they don’t require human drivers and “see” as well at night as during the day.
“So we can use also night-time to pick up waste and bring in construction materials into the city, while for instance leisure boating is more (active) during the day,” he said, leading to better distribution of water traffic.
Technical details of Roboat are at the project’s website https://roboat.org, including its battery performance and wireless charging system.
Below the waterline, it works somewhat like an upside down air drone: two propellers, fore and aft, and two thrusters on either side of the bow, allow it to manoeuvre nimbly, including smooth berthing that would put most human skippers to shame.
Laser imaging at the front, GPS systems on front and back, and multiple cameras on the sides help with positioning. Programming the Roboat is done from computers on shore.
It is not yet permissioned to enter the city’s normal water traffic with passengers. But longer term, the medium size and slightly boxy chassis of the 1,200 kg (2,645 lb) craft can be used for passenger, trash and transport models, and it was developed so that Roboats can link together.
Linking Robats will open the door to more one-off uses, Van Dijk said, such as creating a floating concert platform, a temporary bridge, forming a barge, or, in sea-faring versions, to form a circle of Roboats to help contain an oil spill.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling and Piroschka van de Wouw, Editing by William Maclean)
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