Phew! 2020 has been one cluster of a year, from the coronavirus pandemic and political unrest to economic disruption and the delay of the iPhone 12. So the arrival of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the start of a new generation of gaming, was set to be the kick in the rear this year needed. But there’s a slight problem.
The obvious sticking point here is that there aren’t enough platform exclusives for either console. And all of the big games that will debut on the PS5 and Xbox Series X will also come to the PS4 and Xbox One.
So waiting a little longer for the likes of Halo Infinite or a new God of War game to be ready to spearhead the Xbox Series X and PS5 respectively would have made the consoles’ launch much more kinetic. Though going by how fast the pre-orders of all the consoles have sold out, this lack of launch games doesn’t seem to have throttled the appetite for new gaming machines.
And I’ll admit that there’s something very appealing about having a lot more power to bring to bear on current-gen games to give them a boost in performance and visual clout. The Xbox Series X is particularly impressive with its Auto HDR function. But I don’t think that’s enough to really inject that excited “gotta have one” feeling for the new consoles that their predecessors arguably had.
Power going to waste
One of the biggest problems here is the mid-generation refresh the PS4 and Xbox One had with the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Both of these machines started to enable 4K console gaming, either with the use of checkerboard rendering or native 4K, particularly with the One X.
As such, the jump to 4K at 60 frames per second is very impressive. But not necessarily a revolutionary leap if you’re coming from the PS4 Pro or One X. The One X actually has more teraflops of graphical power than the Xbox Series S — 6 teraflops vs the 4 teraflops in the newer console.
With that in mind, I feel my Xbox One X still has a lot more to give in terms of performance as developers tend to get the most out of consoles as they get to the end of their lives.
Take Red Dead Redemption 2 for example: it runs at 4K and a reasonably steady 30 frames per second on the One X and looks fantastic doing it. Sure, 60 fps would be even better. But I’m not sure it’s $499 better.
And given the One X can do that on such a large game, imagine what could be done with an Xbox exclusive carefully calibrated to tap into the One X’s power. The long-life of the Xbox 360 showed what could be done with mature console hardware with Halo 4, which was a visual treat for a game running on a seven-year-old console. The same happened with the PS3 and The Last of Us, which looked fantastic when it arrived in 2013.
Not only do I think Sony and Microsoft could have squeezed more out of the current-gen consoles before they launched the PS5 and Series X, I also think it’s something they should have done.
The world is getting a lot more savvy to the threat of climate change, so surely it would be more environmentally friendly to get the most out of a machine before it’s finally consigned to the great console storage in the sky. After all, we’re talking about games consoles where the money is made on games and software subscriptions, not hardware sales, which drive the incessant refresh and iteration cycles of smartphones.
PS5 and Xbox Series X outlook
Don’t get me wrong, I find that the release of new consoles, and hardware in general, really tickles the “I want” glands. But the sensible part of my tech-addled gray matter tends to advise waiting or really weighing up the benefits of getting a new shiny hardware thingamabob.
Of course, I’m lucky enough to have an Xbox Series X to test. But if you’ve been chewing over whether to buy it or the PS5, I’d advise you to wait a little bit. There are going to be plenty of cross-platform games in the next year or so. And while they might not look as good on older hardware, game graphics are so good these days I don’t think you’ll miss out on too much.
As for Sony and Microsoft, I hope they spend more time really building out the feature set of their upcoming consoles, as I really want them to deliver true next-gen gaming in the next 12 months. Halo Infinite better look good, and God of War 2 needs to blow my tiny mind.
Apple to release iPad Pro with OLED display in H2 of 2021 – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
According to long-going rumors, Apple is looking to release an iPad with mini-LED display in H1 2021. Now we hear that Cupertino is also planning an OLED iPad Pro release sometime in the second half of 2021 with panels procured from Samsung and LG.
The news is based on reports from South Korean news outlet TheElec and further confirms Apple’s plans to still release mini-LED iPads in the first half of 2021. The new OLED display models will be solely for the iPad Pro models. Samsung Display has reportedly renovated its OLED production line at its A4 factory in Asan, South Korea in preparation for the new iPads.
OLED iPad screens will be manufactured with higher specification requirements to prevent burn-in and loss of brightness by stacking emitting layers on top of the OLED panels to ensure longer lifespans of the displays. Samsung Display has reportedly added a special distribution chamber to its OLED production line to meet Apple’s requirements.
The actual release date of the OLED iPads is still not finalized and is subject to change according to the new report. There’s also talk of 5G connectivity making its way to the 2021 iPad Pro lineup.
Should you buy the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ in 2020? – SamMobile
The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are nearing their three-year anniversary and now that the Galaxy S21 is just around the corner, you might be able to find the 2018 flagship on sale for a great price. The question is whether or not you should buy the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ in late 2020, lower price and all.
If you’ve read our previous story on buying the Galaxy Note 9 in 2020 then you might already have an idea of where this is headed, seeing how the two series were released six months apart and share many characteristics. See, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are still powerful and featureful-enough to be relevant in 2020, but they are far from futureproof.
In addition, the Galaxy Note 9 series offers the advantage of an S Pen paired with an updated S Pen suite of apps. In a way, the Galaxy Note 9 can represent an inexpensive way to acquire the S Pen, whereas the Galaxy S9 series doesn’t have a unique feature like the S Pen to cling onto. It’s slightly less relevant than the Galaxy Note 9 in this day and age because of this, but let’s take a quick look at a few other reasons why you’d want to buy or avoid the Galaxy S9 series in 2020.
Reasons to buy the Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+ in 2020
In short, the reasons why you’d want to buy the Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+ in 2020 lie in a few older features that have aged surprisingly well. For example, the Super AMOLED display doesn’t support 120Hz but it still has a high pixel count of 2960 x 1440 while supporting HDR10, and for better or for worse, it doesn’t have a notch or cutout.
The fingerprint scanner’s location is not very convenient but the sensor itself is very fast and accurate, more so than current under-display solutions. In addition, it’s equipped with an iris scanner as well as an Sp02 sensor – two technologies that are no longer included in the latest Galaxy flagship models.
Last but not least, the Galaxy S9 series is equipped with USB-C and 3.5mm ports. Granted, a lot more smartphone users are transitioning to wireless solutions but the 3.5mm port remains relevant for many people, whether it’s because they want to spend less money on earbuds or they reside in the completely opposite camp and wish to pair their smartphones with audiophile-grade headphones, many of which lack USB-C connectivity.
Reasons to avoid the Galaxy S9 / Galaxy S9+ in 2020
First things first, this isn’t a reason to avoid the Galaxy S9 series per se but it is an unavoidable fact that might cause you to lose interest in the lineup: it’s very difficult to come by in 2020. As of this writing, the Galaxy S9+ is M.I.A. on the Samsung USA portal whereas the Galaxy S9 is listed but it’s not available for purchase. Your best bet is finding a refurbished model sold by a third-party at a discount.
Then there’s the fact that the Galaxy S9 series will no longer undergo significant firmware changes. The lineup received One UI 2.5 last month as its last major update. Meanwhile, newer flagships that were shipped with Android 9 out of the box are now eligible for three major Android OS updates following Samsung’s change of policy.
Finally, even if the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ remain relatively competent today, their age is starting to show in certain areas. The Galaxy S9, in particular, has only 4GB of RAM, so if you really want to buy one of the two models then you’d probably want to go for the Galaxy S9+ with 6GB of RAM. Either way, they both lack 5G support and amenities such as Wireless PowerShare and faster-than-15W wired charging.
In conclusion, the S Pen is giving the Galaxy Note 9 more relevance in 2020 but the Galaxy S9 series isn’t as lucky. Should you buy the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ in 2020? Assuming you find a good deal and you’re not put off by the lack of new firmware updates, 5G, top-end performance, super-fast charging, a full-screen design, and newer One UI features, then it could still be a decent choice. It is a tough sell indeed…
Just remember that 4GB of RAM can become an issue, and depending on your expectations, you might be tempted to replace the Galaxy S9/S9+ with a newer phone sooner rather than later. The Galaxy S20 FE is already a good value proposition and it’s a newer, better phone even though it may lack some of the Galaxy S9’s older features. Check our new device comparison widget below for a closer look, or a reminder of what hardware the Galaxy S9 series has to offer.
RIP Galaxy Note: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will reportedly take over – Tom's Guide
Samsung is banking on its flagship foldable phone series, and it’s easy to understand why. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 impressed with its debut this fall, especially given the rocky launch of its predecessor. And with rumors heating up about the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung’s upcoming foldable could stake out an even bigger role in the company’s phone lineup.
How big? Korean publication Aju News claims that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will take center stage by the middle of 2021, as the phone maker discontinues its long-running Galaxy Note product line.
Dropping the Galaxy Note would be a big move for Samsung, as the phablet line has been a central focus at Samsung for a little less than a decade. Samsung hasn’t commented on the growing number of rumors about the Note’s fate, which started in earnest more than a week ago when noted leaker Ice Universe tweeted that there was no indication Samsung was working on a new version of the Note.
That hasn’t been the case with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which has been the focus of many rumors and leaks — the biggest of which suggests that it will feature a stylus similar to the Note’s S Pen. That has been the Note’s exclusive feature, which suggests to some that the phablet’s days are numbered in favor of a foldable phone with a larger screen.
Additionally, the Galaxy Note 20 series experienced sluggish sales, not long after launching. According to analytics firm Counterpoint Research, the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra ended up placing only fourth and eighth in the top 10 smartphone sales just in the first week of September alone behind the iPhone 11 line. With opening numbers like these, it seems obvious that Samsung would be wise to rethink its phone lineup.
The Aju News report claims that Samsung was able to find an in-screen digitizer that lets the S Pen work with the Galaxy Z Fold 2’s foldable screen that has a much thinner layer of glass than traditional smartphones. Without making changes to the S Pen, the stylus would scratch up the Fold’s display
Other rumors suggest that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will feature under-screen camera technology, a first for Samsung that will get rid of visible cut-outs for cameras in the phone’s screen.
According to Aju News, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could debut as soon as June, which would be earlier than the usual August/September rollout for the Galaxy Note. But we could get a sign that the Note’s days are numbered before then with the early 2021 release of the Galaxy S21. If that new phone lineup adopts more Galaxy Note features — like stylus support — the Galaxy Note’s days could be truly numbered.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday – CBC.ca
Apple to release iPad Pro with OLED display in H2 of 2021 – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
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