The next major smartphone launch event for Samsung, Samsung Unpacked 2020 is just a few weeks away. On February 11th, Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S20 trio of flagship smartphones as well as a new clamshell foldable smartphone. As we approach the launch event, we’ve already seen a few live images of the alleged Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone and a few CAD-based renders of the Galaxy S20 series. However, to date, we haven’t seen any leaks of the Galaxy S20 in the wild. Today, we are fortunate enough to bring to you the first live images of Samsung’s 2020 flagship. This is the Samsung Galaxy S20+.
The pictures above were sent to me by a source who wishes to stay anonymous. Some edits have been made to the image to protect the source, but none of the edits impact our ability to see the design of the Galaxy S20+. In the image of the rear, the first thing that stands out to us is the camera setup. We can see a total of 4 cameras, a flash, and what looks like a microphone hole. On the right side of the phone, we can see a volume rocker and a power button. There is no Bixby button unlike in the earlier S10 series.
The front of the display shows us very small bezels. The Infinity-O display is much less curved than before. Our source said it felt flat – almost similar to the Pixel 2 XL, in fact. Samsung appears to have opted for 2.5D glass instead of their usual curved glass. The hole punch is centered and smaller than the Galaxy Note 10. Just like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10, the Galaxy S20+ will come with a pre-installed screen protector.
We’ve referred to this phone as the Galaxy S20+ thus far, which if you’re familiar with Samsung’s S series nomenclature, means this phone will be the highest-end model. That’s actually not the case this year. This phone is expected to be in the middle of the S20 series. It will be slightly larger than the regular Galaxy S20 but it will lack the camera technology present in the higher-end “Galaxy S20 Ultra”. This particular model is rumored to come with a new 12MP 1.8μm main image sensor. Samsung is also throwing in an ultra-wide, telephoto, and likely macro lens. The microphone on the rear could help with Samsung’s zoom-in mic feature. It could also just help improve audio quality in videos in general, which I found to be a weak point on the Galaxy Note 10.
The Galaxy S20 and S20+ are expected to launch in a few different variants around the world. There will be the 4G Galaxy S20, 5G Galaxy S20, 4G Galaxy S20+, and 5G Galaxy S20+. The 5G and 4G LTE variants of these devices will look the same, but I believe the U.S. market will only be getting the 5G variants. I can’t speak about the specifics of network connectivity just yet, but given that the device, at least in the U.S., will pack the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 mobile platform (which can only be paired with the Snapdragon X55 modem), it should support the sub-6GHz networks of Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Since we expect the phone to launch on Verizon as well, it’s likely the device packs mmWave antennas to support Verizon’s Ultra Wideband (mmWave) network. Outside of the U.S., the phone is expected to pack the Exynos 990 SoC. Whether or not the S20 that launches in your country will have 5G enabled will depend on whether or not 5G network support is launched in your country.
These devices, and the leaks about them, are very exciting. Samsung’s flagships for the year are some of the most interesting Android smartphones. We are going to hear a lot more about the S20 series and the new foldable phone at Samsung Unpacked on February 11th. I will be there covering the event for the XDA Portal and XDA TV, so make sure to keep an eye out for more information to come.
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)