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Samsung Galaxy S20+ in Live Images

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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.

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U.S., EU advocacy groups warn against Google's purchase of Fitbit – Yahoo Canada Finance

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U.S., EU advocacy groups warn against Google's purchase of FitbitU.S., EU advocacy groups warn against Google's purchase of Fitbit
FILE PHOTO: Fitbit Blaze watch is seen in front of a displayed Google logo in this illustration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Twenty advocacy groups from the United States, Europe, Latin America and elsewhere signed a statement Wednesday urging regulators to be wary of Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker company Fitbit Inc <FIT.N> because of privacy and competition concerns.

The 20 organizations – which include the U.S.-based Public Citizen, Access Now from Europe and the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense – argued that the deal would expand the already considerable clout in digital markets of Alphabet Inc’s <GOOGL.O> Google.

Acquiring Fitbit would give Google such intimate information about users as how many steps they take daily, the quality of their sleep and their heart rates.

“Past experience shows that regulators must be very wary of any promises made by merging parties about restricting the use of the acquisition target’s data. Regulators must assume that Google will in practice utilize the entirety of Fitbit’s currently independent unique, highly sensitive data set in combination with its own,” the groups said.

Australian and Canadian groups were among the signatories.

A Google spokeswoman said the tech wearables space was crowded.

“This deal is about devices, not data,” she said. “We believe the combination of Google’s and Fitbit’s hardware efforts will increase competition in the sector.”

Google announced the deal in November to take on competitors in the crowded market for fitness trackers and smart watches. Fitbit’s market share has been threatened by deep-pocketed companies like Apple Inc <AAPL.O> and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd <005930.KS>.

Australia’s competition authority said this month that it may have concerns about the deal and would make a final decision in August.

EU antitrust regulators will decide by July 20 whether to clear the deal with or without concessions or open a longer investigation.

In Washington, Google is under antitrust investigation by the Justice Department, a congressional committee and dozens of states for allegedly using its massive market power to harm smaller competitors.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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Samsung is selling a wireless charger that also sterilizes your phone – Engadget

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As the world comes to terms with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have learned that keeping a small distance and regularly washing their hands are important tools in limiting the transmission of the virus. However, when the humble smartphone is considered to be one of the dirtiest things someone can own, hand care may only go so far. In a bid to give its customers an phone-cleaning option that doesn’t involve an antibacterial wipe, Samsung has begun selling a wireless UV charger that promises to “kill up to 99 percent of bacteria within 10 minutes.”

The ITFIT UV Sterilizer is a very unremarkable white box that Samsung says is spacious enough to fit a Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, it’s not limited to just Samsung smartphones, or wireless gadgets like Galaxy Buds and the Galaxy Watch — if it fits inside then it can likely be disinfected (but may not be charged). Place the item(s) in the box, connect it to a USB-C power source and press the switch. The embedded 10-watt Qi charger will deliver power while it does its thing.

While it’s not an official Samsung design, the company sells the UV Sterilizer via a partnership with ITFIT, a Samsung sub-brand that seems to be applied to rebadged accessories. In the FCC listing for the device, the documentation includes a “Designed for Samsung” seal. Other ITFIT products made for Samsung include headphones and selfie sticks.

Wireless UV chargers aren’t new, but they’ve seen a huge rise in popularity following the coronavirus outbreak. Samsung doesn’t explicitly state that its UV Sterilizer successfully eradicates SARS-CoV-2, but a recent research study suggests that UVC lamps are capable of killing “more than 99.9 percent of airborne coronaviruses.”

The ITFIT UV Sterilizer is currently only being sold in Thailand for 1,590 baht (around $51), although it is also listed (but not available) in Hong Kong. There’s no word on whether it will go on sale in the US, but big-name accessory brands like Mophie and InvisibleShield (both owned by Zagg) are already on the case.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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EU signals deeper investigation of Google Fitbit deal – Financial Times

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The EU is examining whether Google’s proposed $2.1bn takeover of the fitness-tracking company Fitbit will give the company more data to entrench its search engine and advertising businesses, as consumer groups called for the deal to be blocked.

EU regulators have sent two questionnaires, adding up to around 60 pages, asking Google and Fitbit’s rivals whether the deal will damage competition, disadvantage other fitness tracking apps in Google’s Play Store, or give Google more profiling data to improve its online search and advertising businesses.

The questionnaires also ask rivals to assess the impact of the deal on Google’s growing digital healthcare business.

Separately, 20 consumer groups, including Europe’s umbrella consumer organisation BEUC and the Consumer Federation of America, issued a warning about the deal on Thursday.

“Regulators must assume that Google will in practice utilise the entirety of Fitbit’s currently independent unique, highly sensitive data set in combination with its own, particularly as this could increase its profits, or they must impose strict and enforceable limitations on data use,” they said, in a joint statement.

The detail of the questions posed by the EU suggests that Brussels is gearing up for an extended investigation and may block the transaction, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The EU has until July 20 to make a decision after the end of the initial phase of the investigation, and could waive the deal, extend the investigation or ask for concessions.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission raised concerns last month that the deal could lead to a strengthening of Google’s position.

“Past acquisitions by Google, of both start-ups and mature companies like Fitbit, have further entrenched Google’s position,” said Rod Sims, the Australian watchdog’s chair, last month. “The access to user data available to Google has made it so valuable to advertisers that it faces only limited competition.” 

The Australian authority said it is looking into the “uniqueness and potential value” that Fitbit’s data would give Google. 

“The risk is that Google would extend its empire of consumer data also into vital medical data and digital medical services undergo some kind of consumerisation rather than being available to the wider medical community,” said an antitrust expert in Brussels with direct knowledge of the deal.

At the time the deal was announced, Rick Osterloh, senior vice-president for devices and services at Google, said the company “will be transparent about the data we collect and why. We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.”

Google said: “Throughout this process we have been clear about our commitment not to use Fitbit health and wellness data for Google ads and our responsibility to provide people with choice and control with their data.

“Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. And we do not sell personal information to anyone.”

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