I’m always excited to see new form factors start to emerge in tech. Gadgets like foldables or even dual-screen devices recall a more experimental time before the ubiquitous glass slab smartphones we know today, and they come with unique new use cases that can eventually influence the entire mobile industry.
But naturally, with new ideas come various problems and setbacks. The necessary materials for foldable displays, including thin, flexible glass and plastic, aren’t as durable as the glass used on most smartphones, and with so many moving parts, these gadgets can’t be water-resistant, either. You’ll also inevitably run into apps that don’t support the often-unusual aspect ratios of foldable phones, which can lead to letterboxing, poor scaling, or some combination of the two.
Using the Galaxy Z Fold 2 mostly feels like using any other phone. That’s a big deal.
Foldables are very much still a work in progress, as companies like Samsung and Huawei race to solve the problems they largely already tackled years ago in traditional phones. Here’s the good news, though: they’re getting there at an incredibly fast rate.
Last year’s Galaxy Fold was riddled with so many display issues that Samsung had to delay its launch by nearly six months — yet just a year later, the followup Galaxy Z Fold 2 has outstanding build quality that rivals even Samsung’s mainstream Galaxy S and Note designs. There haven’t yet been any widespread display issues on review units (fingers crossed), and the specs are exactly what you’d expect from a flagship phone in 2020.
I think we’re finally a point where foldables can be actual products worth recommending to consumers, rather than neat experiments to admire from a distance. They’re still expensive, sure; the Z Fold 2 costs a whopping two grand, and even more affordable foldables like the Z Flip 5G cost as much as top-end devices like the Note 20 Ultra.
But I can’t remember the last time I’ve been as sad to return a review unit as I was last week, when Samsung sent me a shipping label for my Galaxy Z Fold 2. It was the first foldable I’d used that felt like a finished product, and one with immediately clear benefits over a typical smartphone. Being able to switch from a somewhat standard smartphone experience to a 7.6-inch mini tablet enabled a unique multitasking experience, and created a feeling of deliberacy with every app I opened.
Its drawbacks were few and far between; the only one that regularly stayed at the top of my mind was the lack of water resistance, which made me particularly careful not to pull out the Fold 2 in the middle of the rain. Otherwise, using the Z Fold 2 felt like using any other phone, and that’s a remarkable feat.
Does that mean you should go out and buy a Z Fold 2 right now? Not necessarily; I don’t know that anybody should spend $2000 on a smartphone unless they’re really convinced it’ll positively impact their life. As much as I loved my time with the Fold, I’m not even sure that I would spend that kind of money on it — though Samsung’s high trade-in offers would certainly help ease the blow.
It’s getting harder to make the argument that foldables aren’t ready for the mass market, though. Not everybody needs one, just like not everybody needs the S Pen on Samsung’s Note line, or a 108MP camera, astrophotography, or reverse wireless charging. For those that think they can take advantage of the various advantages of foldable tech, though, I don’t see many reasons not to buy one at this point.
Even the Z Flip 5G has the latest Snapdragon 865+ processor, and fits more easily into a pocket than any other phone in years. The Motorola Razr 5G has a large cover screen that makes it easy to take selfies with the main cameras. The Z Fold 2 opens up to become a tiny tablet that fits in your pocket. These are all great features that you won’t easily find elsewhere, and they’re a testament to the weird, wacky, and wonderful world of foldables. If you want one, go out and get it.
A foldable without any fatal flaws
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is an incredibly refined device that folds out from a tall, narrow phone to a mini tablet, giving you plenty of room to comfortably multitask with split-screen apps. The three rear cameras are great as well, and the battery can last through the day with ease.
Sony seeing 'very considerable' PS5 demand ahead of launch – Kitco NEWS
TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp is seeing “very considerable” demand for its PlayStation 5 (PS5) console via pre-orders, its gaming chief said on Wednesday, as users rush to secure the next-generation device ahead of its Nov. 12 launch.
The Japanese tech company pre-sold as many PS5 consoles in the first 12 hours in the United States as in the first 12 weeks for its predecessor PlayStation 4 device, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in an interview.
“The demand as expressed by the level of pre-order has been has been very, very considerable,” Ryan told Reuters.
Sony, which went on to sell more than 100 million PS4 units, aims to persuade its user base to upgrade to its new device to play titles like “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” with enhanced graphics, sound and feedback via a new controller.
The launch comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has boosted gaming companies’ revenues but also disrupted retail networks, games development and manufacturing supply chains around the world.
“It may well be that not everybody who wants to buy a PS5 on launch day will be able to find one,” said Ryan, adding the company is “working as hard as we ever can” to ensure supply for the year-end shopping season.
Sony has built a network of in-house studios producing exclusive titles, including “Ghost of Tsushima” from Sucker Punch Productions, to fend off rivals including Microsoft’s Xbox and new entrants.
Sony’s will continue to grow its studio capability organically Ryan said, adding that “where we can bolster our in-house capability with selective M&A that might be possible.”
Analysts question how far the expansion in gaming driven by stuck-at-home consumers will continue longer term, with Ryan saying it will be up to Sony to drive that engagement.
“We’re definitely looking upwards and thinking that we can do better than we thought we could,” Ryan said.
Reporting by Sam Nussey and Noriyuki Hirata; Editing by David Holmes
Cyberpunk 2077 Delayed Until December – IGN – IGN
Cyberpunk 2077 will be delayed again by 21 days, with a new release date set for December 10, 2020.CD Projekt Red announced the news in a statement on Twitter citing the immense task of shipping Cyberpunk 2077 across nine consoles and two generations of hardware.
100 New Cyberpunk 2077 Screenshots: Gangs, Characters, and Playstyles Revealed
“The biggest challenge for us right now is shipping the game on current-gen, next-gen, and PC at the same time, which requires us to prepare and test 9 versions of it,” CD Projekt co-founders Adam Badowski and Marcin Iwinski said in a statement.
The launch platforms for Cyberpunk 2077 include Xbox One/X, Xbox Series S/X, PS4/Pro, PS5m PC, and Stadia.
Badowski and Iwinski also confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 was “almost a next-gen title” during development and so releasing the RPG across different generations requires effort for “every version” to run smoothly.
“We’re aware it might seem unrealistic when someone says that 21 days can make any difference in such a massive and complex game, but they really do,” the founders say.
We have important news to share with you pic.twitter.com/qZUaD6IwmM
— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) October 27, 2020
CD Projekt Red also addressed the news that Cyberpunk 2077 reached gold master a few weeks ago, but explained that “going gold” is not the end of development. “On the contrary, this is the time where many improvements are being made which will then be distributed via a Day 0 patch. This is the time period we undercalculated.”
The 21-day delay and additional development time will likely further raise questions about crunch culture at CD Projekt Red. In September it was reported that developers were required to work mandatory overtime to meet its November release date, and Badowski confirmed that employees would be “well compensated” for their time.
In the meantime, check out IGN’s Cyberpunk 2077 hands-on preview.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.
Upcoming Samsung Galaxy 21 won't come with a charger: report – MobileSyrup
Earlier this month, Apple announced that it would stop including earbuds and chargers in the box with its iPhone smartphones. Several Android manufacturers raced to mock Apple’s decision on social media, which will look awful when they likely follow suit and remove in-box chargers next year.
Samsung was one such manufacturer, with some of its social media accounts quickly posting about how Galaxy phones include a charging brick.
However, SamMobile spotted reports from Korean media that indicate Samsung could remove the charger from the box of its future phones, such as the recently leaked Galaxy S21 (or perhaps S30, depending on how you think Samsung plans to handle the naming scheme this year). Further, the company will likely continue to not include earbuds in the box, similar to how it did with the Note 20 Ultra this year.
If the rumour proves true, Samsung’s social media trolling may look rather foolish. Still, Samsung arguably handled the removal of earbuds from the Note 20 packaging better than Apple did. Customers could request a pair of earbuds from Samsung if they needed them. It’s not clear if this option was available in Canada, but we’ll update this post once we learn more.
Still, if Samsung does remove the charging brick and chooses not to offer free bricks to those who request them, the company’s approach will likely be easier to stomach than Apple’s. This is mostly because almost every major Android phone has a USB-C port, and on top of that, most offer Qi wireless charging. In other words, most people likely have some form of charger that will work fine with whatever phone they choose to get next, something that isn’t quite true with the iPhone and its proprietary Lightning cable.
Removing chargers to help the environment is the bare minimum these companies can do
Regardless of how it plays out, it’s hard to say what benefits, if any, removing chargers will actually bring.
Apple claimed that doing so would help the environment by reducing waste and environmental impact. For example, no longer including the charger in the box means Apple wouldn’t need to make as many chargers and would use up less natural resources. Another argument the company made was that removing these items allowed it to shrink the packaging, allowing it to ship more iPhones on a pallet, reducing the total number of shipments needed and its carbon footprint.
Most of these claims are easily debunked. For example, Apple still includes a cable in the box, but it’s Lightning to USB-C, which won’t work with most people’s existing iPhone chargers that feature USB-A ports, requiring them to buy new chargers anyway. That’s not to say that Apple’s efforts to help the environment by cutting down on waste are bad. Instead, the effort is misplaced, and there are many other ways the company could actually benefit the environment. Switching the iPhone to USB-C instead of Lightning is one method.
With Android phones, there may be more of an environmental argument since the USB-C charger you currently have will likely work with the USB-C phone you get — in other words, most people legitimately don’t need a new charger.
At the end of the day, there will be people who don’t mind the change — I’m firmly in this camp as, thanks to my job, I have more USB-C chargers than I know what to do with. Others will undoubtedly feel frustrated or ripped off by the lack of charging peripherals in the box. And either way, removing the charger from the box is about the bare minimum any of these companies can do to actually help the environment. It’s a start, but there’s a lot more manufacturers can do to make smartphones more sustainable.
Sony seeing 'very considerable' PS5 demand ahead of launch – Kitco NEWS
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