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RIP Galaxy Note: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 will reportedly take over – Tom's Guide

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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. 

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Galaxy S21 vs. S20 vs. S20 FE vs. Note 20 specs compared: All of Samsung's updates – CNET

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Samsung’s new lineup (from left): the $800 Galaxy S21, $1,000 Galaxy S21 Plus and $1,200 Galaxy S21 Ultra. 


Drew Evans/CNET

This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

Samsung took to its virtual Unpacked stage last week to take the wraps off its next-gen Galaxy S21 lineup, consisting of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra. All three are available to preorder now, and will ship on Jan. 29.

So it’s a good time to revisit the company’s now last-gen flagship phones, the Galaxy S20 family, to examine what the South Korean phone-maker has changed, especially in light of its lackluster sales performance. The short answer? Not a whole lot.

Although Samsung made tons of improvements to last year’s Galaxy S20 series (including the addition of 5G and higher refresh rates, for instance), there are few salient changes in the Galaxy S21 lineup. For instance, the base S21’s major features like the screen size (6.2 inches), battery (4,000 mAh) camera module, and display (120Hz), remain largely unchanged. 

To be clear, Samsung did make the usual upgrades to the phone’s processor and the software it runs — it’s now on Android 11 with a Snapdragon 888 processor. It also improved the fingerprint sensor and 5G connectivity. Plus the highest-end S21 Ultra can now support a stylus known as the S Pen (sold separately), which is one of the more significant changes that blurs the line between the S series and the more pro Note series. There’s also the revamped camera housing design, which accentuates the camera lenses on the phones’ backs while linking them with their metal frames.


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Our first look at the new Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus

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But the standout feature of the S21 isn’t found in the device’s hardware or software. It’s its price tag. The S21 lineup has a starting price of $800 (£769, which is approximately AU$1,350), which is $200 less than last year’s $1,000 Galaxy S20. According to CNET’s Shara Tibken, it’s also the “flagship device’s biggest advantage in an increasingly crowded 5G phone market.”

It’s also important to note what Samsung removed from its S21 family to allow it to start at that lowered price. One of the most controversial changes is the lack of an in-box wall adapter and earphones. The South Korean company is pushing its customers to reuse older accessories in the name of the environment, just like Apple did with the iPhone 12 family. The S21 line also lost expandable local storage, joining last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Z Flip foldables in ditching the microSD card slot because “usage has markedly decreased.”

If you want more more information on the differences between Galaxy S21 versus the Galaxy S20, take a look at our chart below.

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs. S20 vs. S20 FE vs. Note 20 specs

Galaxy S21 Galaxy S20 Galaxy S20 FE Galaxy Note 20
Display size, resolution 6.2-inch Flat FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display (2,400×1,080 pixels), 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X; (3,200 x 1440) 6.5-inch super AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels 6.7-inch AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 421ppi 563ppi 405ppi 393ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 2.80 x 5.97 x 0.31 in 2.72 x 5.97 x 0.311 in 6.29 x 2.97 x 0.33 inches 6.36 x 2.96 x 0.33 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm 69.1 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm 159.8 x 75.5 x 8.4 mm 161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.03 oz; 171g 5.75 oz; 163g 6.70 oz; 190g 6.84 oz, 194g
Mobile software Android 11 Android 10 Android 10 Android 10
Camera 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 8-megapixel (3x telephoto) 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 10-megapixel 10-megapixel 32-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video capture 8K 8K 4K 8K
Processor Snapdragon 888 or 64-bit Octa-Core Processor 2.8GHz (Max 2.4GHz +1.8GHz) 64-bit octa-core processor (Max 2.7GHz + 2.5 GHz + 2.0 GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (5G) Samsung Exynos 990 (4G) Snapdragon 865+
Storage 128GB/256GB 128GB 128GB 128GB
RAM 8GB 12GB (5G), 8GB (LTE) 6GB 8GB
Expandable storage None Up to 1TB Up to 1TB None
Battery 4,000 mAh 4,000mAh 4,500mAh 4,300mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-screen In-screen In-screen In-screen
Headphone jack No No USB-C USB-C
Special features IP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 30X Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging 5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; water resistant (IP68) 120Hz screen refresh rate, support for 30W fast charging and 15W fast wireless charging S Pen stylus; 5G connectivity; Wireless PowerShare; water resistant (IP68)
Price off-contract (USD) $800 (128GB) $999 $699 $1,000
Price (GBP) £769 £799, £899 (5G) £599 (4G) £699 (5G) £849 (4G) and £949 (5G)

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How to Make Signal Your Default SMS Messaging App on Android – How-To Geek

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Signal

Signal is a popular privacy-focused, encrypted messaging app. It’s an alternative to WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and others. There’s a lot to like about the app, and if you make the switch, it can even replace your SMS app.

Like its competitors, Signal is mainly used for instant messaging other people who use the app. However, the Android app has an extra feature: It can be set as your device’s default SMS messaging app. Unfortunately, the functionality isn’t available on iPhone.

RELATED: What Is Signal, and Why Is Everyone Using It?

Not only will you be able to communicate with your Signal contacts, but you’ll also be able to send and receive text messages with your phone number. All of your conversations can be in one place. Let’s do it.

Warning: SMS messages sent through Signal are “insecure,” meaning they’re not encrypted like messages between Signal users.

First, open the Signal app on your Android device. Next, tap the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner of the app.

tap the three-dot menu icon

Select “Settings” from the menu.

select settings

At the top of the Settings menu, tap “SMS and MMS.”

Select SMS and MMS

Next, you will see “SMS Disabled” at the top. Select it to proceed with making it the default.

SMS Disabled

A pop-up window will ask you to choose your default SMS app. Select “Signal” and tap “Set as Default.”

choose Signal as default sms app

That’s it. Sending an SMS message is the same as sending a Signal message. The contacts list will show people on Signal at the top, indicated in blue.

contact list

If for whatever reason you would like to send an SMS to a Signal contact, you can do that, too. Start by typing a message like you normally would.

enter a message

This time, instead of tapping the send button, tap it and hold.

tap and hold send button

Now you have the option to switch to “Insecure SMS.” As previously mentioned, SMS messages are not encrypted like Signal messages.

send as SMS

The send button will now be gray with an unlock icon. Tap it to send the SMS message.

send as SMS

You’re all set! Now you can keep all of your conversations, whether they’re over Signal or SMS, in one place. Keep in mind that you will not be able to access SMS through the Signal Desktop app.

RELATED: The 5 Best Alternatives to WhatsApp

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Samsung is already slashing the Galaxy S20 series' price in Canada – MobileSyrup

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It hasn’t even been a full week since the Galaxy S21 series’ reveal and Samsung is already discounting the cost of its S20 series, including the already more affordable S20 FE.

At the Samsung Experience Store, you can grab the Galaxy S20 FE, S20+ and S20 Ultra at a lower price — currently, the base S20 is out of stock. It’s unclear how long this sale will last, but this may be the phones’ regular cost until they’re moved out of circulation.

The S20 FE costs $764.99 but is regularly $949.99. It’s worth noting that this probably should have been the cost of the S20 in the first place, considering the device’s price in the United States.

The S20+ is priced at $1,349.99, saving consumers $230 as the device’s original cost is $1,579.

Lastly, the S20 Ultra now costs $1,549 but was originally $1,849.

These lower prices are closer to the recently revealed S21+ and S21 Ultra. The S21+ is now $1,399, and the S21 Ultra costs $1,649.99.

Source: Samsung Canada 

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