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Galaxy S20's rumored specs seem awesome. Here's what else I want from Samsung's new phone – CNET

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Samsung’s Galaxy S10 could get a major overhaul in the Galaxy S20 — unless it’s called the S11.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

If the rumors are right, the Galaxy S20 — formerly known as the Galaxy S11 — could be a beast of a phone, with a bold design on the back and a suite of powerful features within. Leaks and reports predict that the unannounced phone will have up to four rear cameras (one of them with 108 megapixels) along with a large, sharp screen and a massive 5,000-mAh battery. This sounds impressive. I want it all, but I also want the little things that can take a phone from impressive to enjoyable. 

Consider the Galaxy Note 10 Plus that sits beside me as I write this. It’s one of the best phones of the year — I even gave the standard Note 10 an Editor’s Choice Award for its balance of value, features and performance. Samsung has sold enough of them to firmly secure its place as the world’s largest phone brand. Still, if I could pass a magic wand over both Note 10s, there are a few extra features I would add. They’re the same things I want in the next flagship Galaxy phone.

Every device has minor annoyances that keep you from fully loving it. I’ve heard them all. “I love this phone, but I wish it did this,” or, “You know what I can’t stand? It’s that,” and then the person I’m talking to launches into a detailed account of a tiny feature or design issue that’s become the thorn in their side despite an otherwise good experience.

So far, my wish list for the Galaxy S20’s most important features — 5G speeds, processing superpowers and camera advancements — aligns with the rumors. Now I’ll give you the smaller bonus details that could help take the Galaxy S20 over the top for me.

Secure face unlock

I’m not afraid to say it: I miss Samsung’s iris-unlocking feature that was cut from the Galaxy S10. It wasn’t perfect, and I complained about it, but it was a good alternative to the fingerprint reader and secure enough for mobile payments, which is important for everyone.

I had hoped that the Galaxy S10 and Note 10’s in-screen fingerprint reader would be more accurate than it has been, and that it wouldn’t matter that iris scanning was gone. That’s not the case. I’ve gotten used to repeated print-reading errors, and to eventually typing in my passcode after getting fed up with yet another failure. I barely think about it anymore.

But compare this experience to Apple’s steadily improving Face ID and the excellent face unlock on the Pixel 4, it’s evident that Samsung has a chance to take its phones further. Even though I expect the Galaxy S20 could use Qualcomm’s new and improved in-screen fingerprint reader, there’s room for two biometric unlocking methods on the same phone.

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The Pixel 4 gets face unlock right.


Juan Garzon / CNET

Fix the problem with curved, edge-to-edge screens

Curved screen phones look amazing. They’re immersive and make images pop. But when you combine them with edge-to-edge displays, you wind up with a shrunken bezel, which gives your hand little to no buffer against accidentally touching the screen while simply shifting the phone in your hand.

Samsung has software to fight accidental touches, but it can only go so far. I constantly press something I didn’t mean to, just by holding the phone. With the screen’s curve so close to the edge it also means you’re tapping your cursor along a precarious bend where the screen drops off. If you’re using the stylus, it’s easy to run right off the edge of the waterfall. 

For Samsung, the curved display helps its Galaxy phones stand out, but we need a better solution now that bezels and borders are effectively a thing of the past. I hope the Galaxy S20 has one.

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Don’t get the Note 10’s S Pen too close to the sides or you’ll fall right off.


Angela Lang/CNET

Return of the headphone jack

File this one under “definitely not happening.” The dedicated headphone jack is gone, I know it’s gone and I even understand why. Samsung gets more room to work with inside the Galaxy S20 this way, which it could use for more sensors or a bigger battery, and USB-C is the standard all the phone-makers have rallied behind.

That said, I watch a lot of movies and shows with my wired headphones in, and while battery life is generally really good, there are times I need to recharge. That’s usually when I’m watching a show, of course. I don’t want to be forced to use wireless headphones (especially if I forget to charge them) and I’d rather not have to stop what I’m doing to charge back up. 

On the bright side, fast-charging on the Note 10 Plus never takes more than an hour to complete. Maybe it’ll be longer on the Galaxy S20. It’d just be nice to charge and listen at the same time, no matter my headphone choice.

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This camera mount said to belong to the Galaxy S20 is anything but subtle.


XDA Developers

A flush camera mount (yes, that likely means a thicker body)

If the photo leaks and rumors are right, all of the Galaxy S20 models will have a wide, rectangular camera array. If it winds up looking like the iPhone 11 or Pixel 4, the cameras could stick out awkwardly. 

A protruding camera mount never looks good, and it puts the lenses at risk for fractures and cracks if the phone falls without a case on. A cracked lens can decrease the quality of your photos. I’ve learned this the hard way. 

If the Galaxy S20 does wind up having a chunky camera module, you’ll pretty much automatically need a case just to help keep this area a little more flush with the rest of the phone. A slightly thicker phone body could potentially achieve the same effect.

I’m reminded of the Motorola Moto Z family of phones with the snap-on backs. Without any sort of “case” on the back, the camera looked like a comically large eyeball and the edges were too sharp to comfortably hold for long. I just hope that Samsung has comfort and usability at the top of its list.

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The Galaxy S10 Lite’s camera mount could hint at designs to come in the Galaxy S20.


Juan Garzon / CNET

A stripped-down UI that’s much closer to stock Android

Samsung already has a new interface layer for Android, called One UI 2, which aims to simplify the company’s software skin. Many phone-makers, including Samsung, prefer to have their own user interface to give their phones a distinct look and feel.

Unfortunately, the more the UI strays from Android, the longer it takes to test with software updates, like Android 10, for example. That means Samsung phones like the Galaxy S20 could continue to get Google’s software updates a lot later than its rivals. 

When you’re grinding your teeth waiting for exciting new Android features like system-wide dark mode in Android 10, it’s easy to lose patience. 

Motorola does a particularly good job keeping its OS close to Google’s vision, while also adding some of its own features and look. Samsung’s custom interface has a lot of great touches that I use and enjoy. I just wish updates came sooner.


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Galaxy S20’s top rumored specs

Here are some of the S20’s rumored features below, and here’s our larger collection of all the best rumored Galaxy S20 features so far. Chime in with your own features wish list in the comments section below.

  • Three phone sizes: 6.2, 6.4 or 6.9 inches
  • 5G speeds
  • Up to four rear cameras, including 108-megapixel sensor and 5x or 10X optical zoom
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor
  • 5,000-mAh battery

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The Battle Between YouTube And Twitch Heats Up, As Ludwig Moves To YouTube Gaming – Forbes

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A streak of Twitch streamers switching platforms continues, as Ludwig Ahgren announced he will be streaming exclusively on YouTube Gaming, beginning November 30. 

Ludwig is one of the most popular creators on the Twitch platform, amassing 3.1M followers. Earlier this year, he kicked off a 31-day stream to drive subscriptions, where he beat the all-time subscription record previously set by Richard “Ninja” Blevins. At his peak, Ludwig had 283,066 active subscribers on Twitch. 

But Ludwig is no stranger to YouTube. While he live-streamed on Twitch, he has created regular videos on YouTube for years and has 2.09M subscribers. Now, Ludwig subscribers will be able to receive his regular videos, as well as his live streams, in one feed. 

Twitch has long been the dominant kingdom of live-streaming stars. But now, YouTube is implementing the right mix of creator-friendly tools and the promise of audience consolidation to usurp live-streaming market share from Twitch. 

Even though YouTube Gaming has worked to snatch away some of the most popular live-stream stars from Twitch, Amazon’s live-streaming platform still accounts for 70.5% of all live-stream hours watched in Q3 2021, according to insights from Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet. 

Metrics also show that Facebook Gaming was the only platform to increase in hours watched in Q3, accounting for 15.7% of total hours watched. YouTube Gaming represents 13.8% of total hours watched. 

In an interview with the Washington Post in September, Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s Global Head of Gaming, claimed that while he did not consider YouTube as a direct competitor to Twitch, it does give popular content creators an opportunity to do more than just live-stream video. 

However, for more high-profile live-streamers, jumping ship from Twitch means big bucks. A multi-year exclusivity deal signed in August with Ben “DrLupo” Lupo was reportedly worth millions. YouTube has been able to poach Lupo, as well as Tim “TimTheTatMan” Betar, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop and Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, among others, from Twitch. 

In response to the competition, Twitch has also signed exclusivity deals with some streamers, including Jaryd “Summit1G” Lazar and Brett “Dakotaz” Hoffman, among others. However, a Washington Post report from September claimed that Twitch gave Lupo a lowball offer when compared to a previous deal offered by the streamer. Twitch has played defense in trying to stop defecting content creators since the launch of the now-defunct, Microsoft-owned live-streaming platform Mixer. 

It is likely not the last deal YouTube Gaming will make with a creator. In a tweet about the Ludwig deal, Wyatt wrote, “Our focus is building a world class VOD, short form, and live platform. And I have to reiterate; we still aren’t done yet! Welcome to the family, Ludwig!”

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Samsung to supply new advanced auto chip to Volkswagen

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Samsung Electronics on Tuesday revealed new auto chips targeting demand for advanced chips in cars, including one mounted in Volkswagen’s infotainment system developed by LG Electronics.

Demand is rising for “high-tech” automotive chips that can handle more entertainment consumption and increased electrical components in cars, Samsung said in a statement, saying that it plans to actively respond to the growing demand.

The chips, developed by Samsung’s logic chip design business System LSI, include a chip enabling 5G-based telecommunications for downloading high-definition video content during transit, and a power management chip for stable electricity supply.

A third chip, an infotainment processor that can control up to four displays and 12 cameras at once, has been mounted in Volkswagen’s high-performance computer called In Car Application Server (ICAS) 3.1, developed by LG Electronics’ vehicle components business, Samsung said.

Samsung and cross-town rival LG Electronics have both targeted the expansion of the global electric vehicle market and the rapid electrification of cars as opportunities to sell more high-tech chips and sophisticated components, analysts said.

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Cyber Monday Laptop deal: The VR-ready Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 6 is $350 off, but the deal ends soon – Space.com

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Cyber Monday is almost over, but we’re sneaking this Lenovo Legion 7i deal out the door at the last minute. If you’re looking for an extremely capable gaming laptop that can even handle VR gaming, then this deal is for you.

Right now, you can get the Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 6 for $1929.99 at Lenovo, down from it’s usual price of $2279.99. You just need to enter the discount code BFDAILYDEALS20 at checkout. That’s a $350 saving on this powerful and stylish gaming laptop that comes with an 11th generation I7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card. 

You also get a 1TB SSD for storing all your games and files on too. On top of that, it’s got a QHD (2560 x 1600) anti-glare display and colorful backlit keyboard.  

Another fantastic deal for people looking to get into VR gaming, especially if you’d already snapped up one of the Cyber Monday VR headset deals and now want a super-powered rig to run it from. The Lenovo Legion 7i has a tasty GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card that is brilliant for VR gaming, and should be able to handle AAA games for a few years to come too.

If you’ve grabbed a cheaper, standalone VR headset like the Oculus Quest 2, then you don’t need a laptop to power your setup (though you can still plug it in for a power boost), but for people who bought any of the other best VR headsets out there like the HTC Vive Cosmos Elite or Valve Index then you’ll want something like the Lenovo Legion 7i. 

Even with the discount, the Lenovo Legion 7i is a decent investment of cash, but luckily it’s well equipped to function as your everyday laptop too, as well as a gaming machine. The high resolution screen means it’s perfect for watching movies and TV on Netflix or other streaming services, many of which are also on sale for Cyber Monday. At the same time, the powerful specs and large screen mean it’s ideally suited for use as a photo and video editing laptop.

If you’re looking for something a little cheaper to power your VR setup though, you can still grab the Dell G15 Special Edition Gaming Laptop for just over $1500. The graphics card isn’t quite as good as the Lenovo’s but it’s also $400 cheaper.

Be sure to check out Space.com’s Cyber Monday Space deals, or our guide to the Cyber Monday camera deals. 

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