We already know the Xbox Series X is going to be significantly faster than Microsoft’s current consoles, but in a blog post by Xbox head Phil Spencer, the company revealed a few more details about how big of a leap it’s going to be. Most notably, Microsoft confirmed that the Series X will feature up to 12 teraflops of GPU performance. Previously, the company only vaguely said it was twice as fast as the Xbox One X, and four times more powerful than the original Xbox One. The new console will be powered by AMD’s Zen2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU architecture, the latter of which isn’t yet available on PCs.
The Xbox Series X will feature an NVMe SSD, as we previously heard, to dramatically speed up load times. And on the graphics front, Microsoft also reiterated that the Series X will feature hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing for “true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time.” The PlayStation 5 will also have its own spin on raytracing, and since it’s also running an upcoming RDNA GPU, it’ll likely be very similar to Microsoft’s approach. It’ll also be interesting to see how the consoles manage raytracing without hurting performance — something that’s been an issue with NVIDIA’s GPUs.
Microsoft also unveiled a new technology called “Smart Delivery,” which will allow you to buy a game once and play the best version possible on the Series X or Xbox One. It may not sound very exciting, but it’s going to be a useful feature for gamers as they transition to the new console. You could build up a library of Series X games with your current Xbox One, and it could conceivably let you keep playing the same title across multiple Xbox consoles in your home. The company says Smart Delivery will be standard for its exclusive Xbox Game Studio titles, like Halo Infinite, and it’ll be available for third-party developers to implement.
Beyond those tidbits, Microsoft fleshed out a few more details on previously announced Xbox Series X features. A new “quick resume” capability will let you instantly jump back into multiple titles from where you left off. That’s something you could do with a single game on the Xbox One, but it didn’t always work reliably and required using the “Instant On” power mode, which left the console in standby instead of completely powering it off.
Additionally, Microsoft is implementing “Dynamic Latency Input” (DLI) in the Xbox wirelss controller to reduce the delay between the buttons you’re pressing and what appears on the screen. Microsoft claims the new tech should synchronize input “immediately” for more responsive gameplay. I wouldn’t expect DLI to be something regular gamers notice, but it could be helpful for esports players and anyone who demands the lowest latency possible.
Samsung quietly changed trade-in values for its Galaxy Z Flip 4 promotion – XDA Developers
Over the past few years, Samsung has been aggressive when it comes to new smartphone launches, offering trade-in promotions, credits, and other incentives to lure in new and old customers. With the release of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, things were no different. The company delivered outrageous offers, like giving $900 in “enhanced” trade-in credit for a Galaxy Z Flip 3. This was a steal, considering the phone had a retail price of $999.99 when it was released a year ago. But now, it looks like Samsung is pulling back its offers, quietly changing its trade-in values.
The folks at 9to5Google spotted the changes, reporting that Samsung had lowered its trade-in values for the Galaxy Z Flip 3. As mentioned before, Samsung previously offered $900 in trade-in credit for any version of the phone. But now, the trade-in credit offered starts at $700 if you trade in a 128GB model of the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Those with a 256GB model will be eligible for $800 in credit, and the Bespoke Edition will bring in $900 in credit. Of course, these changes will disappoint some who were on the fence, but the offers are still pretty good even with the lower trade-in values.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 offers a familiar clamshell design with a more refined look, thanks to squared-off edges and a redesigned hinge. The compact foldable packs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC paired with 8GB RAM. The 6.7-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display offers a 120Hz refresh rate, with deep blacks and colors that pop. It gets a slightly larger battery than its predecessor, coming in at 3,700mAh. The phone offers wireless charging or 25W wired fast charging as an option if you’re in a rush. Those that love capturing the moment while on the go will be glad to know that the phone has dual 12MP cameras capable of shooting beautiful photos and videos.
Despite the lower trade-in values, Samsung is still offering other incentives like up to $200 in instant Samsung Credit that can be used towards accessories. It also offers a free memory upgrade, with the base model Galaxy Z Flip 4 upgraded to 256GB of internal storage. It’s also throwing in a case valued at $39.99. On top of that, by purchasing a Galaxy Z Flip 4, you’ll be eligible to receive four months of YouTube Premium, four months of SiriusXM streaming, three months of Spotify Premium, and six months of 100GB of OneDrive cloud storage for free. Simply put, this is still a great deal and should be taken advantage of.
Apple reportedly plans iPhone and Apple Watch event for September 7th – Ars Technica
Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and new iPhones in September. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that this year’s iPhone event will be held on Wednesday, September 7th.
According to Gurman, the non-pro iPhone 14 lineup will axe the 5.4-inch mini display size that Apple has sold for the last couple of generations. The standard 6.1-inch model will instead be joined by a large-screened 6.7-inch version, matching the screen size of the current iPhone Pro Max model. But these phones will also continue to use the current Apple A15 Bionic chip and will look externally similar to the iPhone 13.
The iPhone 14 Pro will reportedly be more exciting, replacing the current camera notch with a pair of pinhole cutouts for the front-facing camera and FaceID scanner; many Android phones have already switched to similar pinhole cutouts to save screen space. The Pro phones will also reportedly get a faster chip and an even-larger three-lens camera assembly anchored by a 48-megapixel wide-angle camera plus 12-megapixel ultra-wide and telephoto cameras.
Apple also plans to introduce new Apple Watches, the report says. The Series 8 watches will reportedly include a standard model that looks similar to the current Series 7, plus a long-rumored larger and more “rugged” titanium model with more battery life and additional fitness tracking features.
The basic Apple Watch SE will reportedly receive a faster chip—the current SE uses an Apple S5, and a new one could use an S6, S7, or some newer as-yet unannounced chip. This new SE model will hopefully mean the end of the long-lived Apple Watch Series 3, which the company still sells even though it won’t be receiving the watchOS 9 update this fall.
A September 7th announcement for the new iPhones and watches probably means at least some new devices will be available to buy toward the middle of the month, roughly coinciding with the release of iOS 16—Gurman says that Apple Store employees have been told to prepare for a September 16th launch.
Apple often holds an iPad- and Mac-focused event in October to complement the September event, which is when we’d expect to see updates to those products and the release of macOS Ventura and the reportedly delayed iPadOS 16. Gurman predicts we’ll finally see a USB-C version of the low-end iPad, new M2-based iPad Pros, and updated Mac mini and MacBook Pros before the end of the year.
Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 feature new 'Light' battery-saving mode – MobileSyrup
Samsung’s latest flagships running One UI 4.1.1 feature a new battery-boosting performance profile. This profile hidden in the settings on the Z Flip 4 and the Z Fold 4 is in a new section called ‘Performance Profile.’
In this settings section, there are two options called ‘Standard’ and ‘Light.’ The Light profile is described as prioritizing “battery life and cooling efficiency over processing speed.”
A user on Reddit that got their hands on a Galaxy Z Fold 4 early has put both modes to the test.
According to ‘Dudi4PoLFr‘, with Light mode turned on, benchmarking apps seem to drop about 20 percent of raw performance. This should, in theory, result in battery savings while still offering better overall performance than the Z Fold 3.
It’s also worth noting that the Galaxy Fold 4 and Flip 4 feature a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which Qualcomm says is 30 percent more efficient than previous device Samsung devices.
I haven’t noticed that much of an increase in battery life in my testing of the Fold 4 of far. However, I’ve yet to try the foldable’s new Light mode. I’ll have a full review of the Galaxy Fold 4 up on MobileSyrup in the coming weeks.
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