Google will hold an event in July focused on what’s new for the smart home.
The event will take place on July 8 and will be broadcast online due to the difficult task of holding events indoors and amid crowds of people due to the coronavirus crisis. The full agenda of the event, including the opening conference, is on the Google page.
“[El evento] it’s an opportunity to get together and take a look at the new and upcoming smart home features for developers and users alike, “said Toni Klopfenstein, head of developer relations at Google, in a statement.
Michele Turner, Director of Product Management in the Smart Home Ecosystem, will manage the July 8 presentation. Turner will give details on Google’s initiatives in home automation, but there is no mention of any new product disclosures.
It is rumored thatof streaming for televisions. According to reports, the streaming on the Internet it will be called Google TV instead of Android TV. Likewise, Google would be developing a new device for streaming similar to Chromecasts.
Google hasn’t commented on the name change for the service and the new product, but the July 8 event would be a good time to confirm – or dispel – the rumors.
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Galaxy S20 FE isn't a revolution in mobile tech, but it's what 2020 calls for – CNET
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and S20 Ultra might be packed to the hilt with the latest, greatest tech, but they also come with sky-high prices to match. That makes them a tricky sell at a time when purse strings are tightening and rivals like OnePlus are making great phones at more affordable prices. The Galaxy S20 FE (which stands for “fan edition”) aims to offer much of what you’ll find in the company’s top-end phones but with a few tweaks here and there in order to keep the price down.
That price is $700 — the same as the 5G. (Only the 5G version will be offered in the US.) That’s a significant price drop, given that the 5G Galaxy Note 20 Ultra retails for $1,300 (£1,179, AU$1,999). It also undercuts the , which has a similar set of specs but costs $899 (£799). So much for OnePlus’ famous affordability.. In the UK and Australia, it’s £599 or AU$999 for a 4G version, and £699 or AU$1,149 for
The price might be more affordable, but the key specs don’t seem to have suffered all that much. There’s a 6.5-inch, 2,400×1,080-pixel super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and a lightning-fast Snapdragon 865 processor (for the 5G models; there’s an Exynos 990 chip in the 4G models — the same one found in the Note 20 Ultra and S20 Ultra).
There’s a triple camera setup on the back, although the resolutions are lower and it lacks high-end features like the 100x space zoom (30x zoom is offered, but it relies heavily on digital zoom) or 8K video recording, neither of which I think you’ll miss. It still offers things like 3x optical zoom, optical image stabilization, night mode photos and the “single take” feature which captures multiple versions of the same shot when you hit the shutter button (zoomed in, zoomed out, a video, a GIF, different filters) allowing you to decide which to share afterwards.
Physically, it looks much the same as the rest of the S20 series. It has a Gorilla Glass 5 display (rather than Gorilla Glass 6 on the Note 20), and the back is made from a toughened, matte plastic rather than shiny glass. It still has IP68 waterproofing though, along with an in-screen fingerprint scanner and it’s available in a wider range of snazzy colors, including a vibrant red, a lavender purple, navy blue, mint green and orange — all of which look much nicer than the sinfully dull gray on Samsung’s most expensive S20 Ultra.
The phone is available for preorder globally from Wednesday, with in-store sales starting on Oct 2.
No, this phone isn’t a revolution in mobile technology, but that’s not what Samsung needs to do right now. What it should be doing is offering a solid all-round experience at a more attractive price, which on paper at least is exactly what the S20 FE provides. We’ll find out how it stacks up against similarly priced competitors like the OnePlus 8 Pro in the full review, but for now you can see how its specs compare in the chart below.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs comparison chart
|Samsung Galaxy S20 FE||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra||OnePlus 8 Pro||Apple iPhone SE (2020)|
|Display size, resolution||6.5-inch super AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels||6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X||6.78-inch AMOLED; 1,440×3,168 pixels||4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels|
|Dimensions (inches)||TBA||2.99 by 6.57 by 0.35 in.||6.51 by 2.93 by 0.35 in.||5.45 by 2.65 by 0.29 in.|
|Dimensions (millimeters)||159.8 by 75.5 by 8.4mm||76.0 by 166.9 by 8.8mm||165 by 74.4 by 8.5mm||138.4 by 67.3 by 7.3 mm|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||190g||7.76 oz.; 220g||199g||5.22 oz.; 148g|
|Mobile software||Android 10||Android 10||Android 10||iOS 13|
|Camera||12-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 8-megapixel (3x telephoto)||108-megapixel (wide-angle), 48-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), time-of-flight camera||48-megapixel main, 8-megapixel telephoto, 48-megapixel ultrawide, 5-megapixel “color filter”||12-megapixel|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (5G) Samsung Exynos 990 (4G)||64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5GHz + 2GHz)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Apple A13 Bionic|
|Storage||128GB||128GB, 512GB||128GB, 256B||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|RAM||6GB||12GB, 16GB||8GB, 12GB||Not disclosed|
|Expandable storage||1TB||Up to 1TB||None||No|
|Battery||4,500 mAh||5,000 mAh||4,300 mAh||Not disclosed, but Apple claims it has the same battery life as iPhone 8|
|Fingerprint sensor||In-screen||In-screen||In-screen||Home button|
|Special features||120Hz screen refresh rate, support for 30W fast charging and 15W fast wireless charging||5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; 100X zoom; water resistant (IP68)||5G enabled, Fast-charging, fast wireless charging, 120Hz display||Water resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$699||$1,399 (128GB), $1,599 (512GB)||$899||$399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£599 (4G), £699 (5G)||£1,199 (128GB), £1,399 (512GB)||£799||£419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$999 (4G), AU$1,149 (5G)||AU$1,999 (128GB), AU$2,249 (512GB)||AU$1,435 converted||AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)|
Samsung's less expensive Galaxy S20 FE is 'very much a response' to the pandemic – CNET
Samsung’s got another Galaxy S20 in store for its fans, and the device has been tailored for our unusual times. The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, also known as the , packs some high-end features found in the rest of the S20 lineup — like low-band 5G connectivity — but at a starting price of $700 (£699, AU$999). That’s $300 less than the regular Galaxy S20. Adding super-fast millimeter wave 5G connectivity for the Verizon model brings the price up to $750 (though the carrier is currently offering a promotional $50 discount).
The 6.5-inch S20 FE has the same Snapdragon 865 processor as the rest of the lineup and includes IP68 water resistance. It sports three rear camera lenses, including a 30x Space Zoom like what’s featured in the S20 and S20 Plus. It’s available in six bright colors. One of the device’s biggest differences from the rest of the lineup: The back is made of plastic instead of glass.
Samsung, which unveiled the FE on Wednesday during cheaper but lower featured Galaxy A devices. During the novel coronavirus pandemic, that could turn out to be a lot of potential buyers., hopes to attract people who shy away from a $1,000 phone but still want flashier features of the company’s Galaxy S lineup. And it’s those people who want that Galaxy S brand instead of the
“It’s very much a response [to the pandemic],” Drew Blackard, vice president of product management for Samsung Electronics America, said in an interview ahead of the news. “We’ve seen the need for a really more value segmented offer that focuses on those core features that we know our users love the most and prioritize the most.”
The company had considered introducing a device that fell between the A Series — which ranges from $110 to $650 in the US — and the bottom end of the S Series, which starts at $999, Blackard said. It’s done something similar in the past, like .
But thecaused Samsung to speed up the FE’s development and release, something it could do because it controls many parts of its supply chain. The FE, which goes on sale in the US on Oct. 2, arrives about seven months after the other S20 phones hit the market, whereas the S10 Lite became available in the US .
“One of Samsung’s core advantages and competitive advantages in the market is speed,” Blackard said. “We can very quickly design new products and get to market.”
Samsung, which lost its crown as the world’s biggest phone maker to Huawei in the second quarter, has been introducing its new devices in a difficult environment. Instead of facing a strong market for phones, with 5G and foldable screens getting people to upgrade their devices, most handset makers are seeing lower demand amid the raging novel coronavirus pandemic. Nearly a million people have died, over 31 million have been infected and millions more are out of work, unsure when they’ll next earn a steady paycheck.
While tech overall has seen a spike in demand during the pandemic, the phone market has struggled. Consumers are opting for less expensive devices, saving their money altogether or spending their cash on PCs and other work-from-home and entertainment supplies. This year, smartphone sales are expected to hit a 10-year low because of the pandemic, according to CCS Insight.
Samsung, despite launching its new Galaxy S20 lineup in March and its less expensive Galaxy A phones over the following months, saw the biggest year-over-year drop of the world’s top five phone makers in the second quarter, Canalys said. Samsung’s 30% decline allowed Huawei to leapfrog it to become the world’s biggest smartphone vendor for the first time, the firm noted. It was the first time in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple shipped the most phones.
Samsung now hopes the S20 FE helps turn things around.
“The new Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is ideal [for the current environment],” said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Techsponential. “It gives people differentiated features … all at a price people are looking to pay.”
Samsung was counting on this year’s Galaxy S20 lineup — its first crop of phones that all feature 5G connectivity in the US — to woo buyers who’d been waiting to upgrade their devices. Then COVID-19 swept across the globe. The US went into lockdown about a week after Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup hit stores. Because consumers were worried about money — and couldn’t see the new devices in person — demand fell. In July, Samsung said its mobile business revenue tumbled 18% from the previous year.
In the US, Samsung sold about 44% fewer Galaxy S20 models in the first four months of sales than the Galaxy S10 last year, according to M Science, a data analytics provider that tracks stats like mobile adoption.
What Samsung has found is that its less expensive S20 model has attracted the most buyers in recent weeks. In a normal year, it’s the priciest Galaxy S or Note phone that sells in the highest numbers, at least at first, Blackard said. About six to eight weeks later, after the mega fans have made their purchases, the lower end models sell better.
That happened this year but in a more pronounced way, Blackard said. The Galaxy S20 Ultra was the top-selling device of the lineup at launch, he said, just as the Note 20 Ultra surpassed sales of the cheaper Note 20. But then the less expensive models became more popular.
“Within the first six to eight weeks [after] launch, you start to see that transition happen,” Blackard said. “And in this case, it just happened more sharply than it did the year before.”
Cheaper is king
Phone makers have responded differently to the pandemic. In the case of Apple, it likely developed the iPhone SE well before the coronavirus spread widely, but its launch timing proved to be fortuitous. At $399, the SE is the cheapest new phone in Apple’s lineup, and it includes a feature that’s perfect for the times: a Touch ID fingerprint reader. That makes it easier to unlock the device while wearing a mask, versus the Face ID technology in Apple’s pricier phones.
That device helped Apple report strong financial results, even as the company delayed its high-end iPhone 12 lineup, in part because of pandemic-related production issues. Instead of arriving in September, as iPhones normally do, the devices will likely launch in October.
Samsung’s answer to the iPhone SE was its Galaxy A lineup, a batch of devices available overseas for years but arriving in the US for the first time. The four new 4G LTE models ranged from $110 for the Galaxy A10 to $400 for the Galaxy A51. Samsung even introduced two 5G devices, the $500 Galaxy A51 5G and the $600 to $650 Galaxy A71 5G, giving the South Korean company two of the cheapest 5G phones in the US.
The Galaxy S20 FE falls more in line with Apple’s iPhone 11. It’s part of the premium range but lower priced. The iPhone 11 has been one of Apple’s top sellers over the past year.
Samsung hopes the FE performs the same way.
Android's yearly updates aren't for you anymore – Android Police
This year’s big Android update has finally arrived, but there’s not quite the excitement around its release that was common just a few years ago. Given the current worldwide pandemic and Google’s shift to working from home, it’s impressive that Android 11 arrived even close to on time, but the upgrade seemingly crossed the finish line with little fanfare.
The upgrade process has long been a point of criticism for Android, so much so that Google has pulled most public information about how many devices are running the latest OS version. Apple can roll out iOS updates across its entire portfolio of phones and tablets at once, but Google is only a small cog in the Android upgrade machine — chipset makers have to update their hardware drivers, then device manufacturers add their own modifications on top of that, and finally carriers give the final sign-off (sometimes with even more changes, like custom VoIP implementations).
These more staggered updates often limit excitement around new Android versions to the platform’s most devoted fans. Over the years, enthusiasts have largely been responsible for getting others pumped about Android OS updates — folks on Reddit, writers at tech blogs, and of course, the fantastic readers of Android Police. However, as Android becomes a more mature software platform, even enthusiasts don’t have as much to talk about as they did in previous years.
Android 11 focuses almost exclusively on platform changes instead of new features.
Android 11, just like 10 and 9, focuses almost exclusively on underlying platform changes instead of shiny user-facing features. Scoped Storage and temporary permissions continue to rein in unruly behavior from third-party apps, 5G is better supported, apps can’t replace the system navigation anymore, and so on. As with Android 10 and 9, many of the new APIs are there to replace legacy implementations that aren’t as secure or manageable. For example, the new Bubbles feature largely exists to encourage developers to stop using screen overlays. Android updates have also focused on adapting to new form factors, with notch support in Android Pie and compatibility with foldable screens in Android 10.
Simply put, Android updates aren’t necessarily for you anymore. Android is no longer the consumer-focused product it once was, with highly-publicized announcements and tie-ins with candy brands. Android has become a software platform first and foremost, intended for manufacturers to build experiences with, rather than itself being the experience. When so much of the Android experience depends on the OEM or app updates delivered through the Play Store, the underlying version mostly only matters to developers.
It’s easy to look at this change from a cynical perspective. Part of me still sees Google’s lack of updated distribution data as an admission of defeat to the “Android is fragmented!” crowd, but the truth is that the average person wouldn’t notice much of a difference between Android Pie and Android 11. Most of the changes to Android in that time have been behind-the-scenes improvements to privacy and security, and all the core applications (Chrome, Google Photos, Gmail, etc.) have been updated through the Play Store for years. Project Mainline has accelerated this trend, by keeping even more components of Android updated without the need for full system upgrades.
The de-emphasis of features in the OS update cycle has also led to some proclaiming that Android updates are now overrated or don’t matter, which couldn’t be further from the truth. While manufacturers like Samsung and LG often ship features on their devices months or years before they appear in ‘stock’ Android, they can’t make drastic changes to security and APIs, or they would risk breaking compatibility with most apps. TikTok has dominated the news cycle for months over claims that it has been collecting too much personal data, which is exactly the behavior Google has been attempting to curtail with newer platform releases.
Android updates aren’t that exciting anymore, but they’re still as important as ever. Just like a decade ago, updates bring new APIs to developers, much-needed core changes, and new building blocks for manufacturers to use when creating new devices and form factors. The only difference is that most of the new features you and I care about aren’t usually attached to OS upgrades anymore.
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