New Samsung stuff: Bend it, shape it, anyway you want it
Revealed: the Galaxy Fold, the buds and the watch
Last week Samsung threw a lot of phones – and more – at us to celebrate its 10th anniversary of the Galaxy phone range (and 25 years of being in SA.) There is a lot of ground to cover so here we go:
SAMSUNG GALAXY FOLD
The one we have all been waiting for was finally – properly – revealed to us. With a 11.7cm front display the phone folds open like a book, opening to an 18.5cm display thanks to a specially designed unbreakable hinge.
The glass bends as promised, and seamlessly communicates between the front and the middle displays thanks to app continuity. So basically, if Google Maps is open in the front, the map will open up on the inside when you fold it open.
But that’s not all that the giant display is capable of. You can seamlessly run three apps on the mini tablet-like screen at once. You can watch a video, WhatsApp your friend and book a flight all at the same time with no lag.
This is possible because the phone runs on two batteries, stored on either side of the phone. The phone also has a premier chipset, 12GB of RAM that allows data to be read twice as fast as other smartphones. For everything else, there is the 512gig memory that comes standard.
It has six cameras: three at the back, two on the inside and one in the front. Because, of course, they needed to have at least one more than the new LG V40 ThinQ.
All those batteries, screens and cameras will set you back though. What we are looking at is $1,980 (about R28,000) before tax, import and local providers’ slice on top. I imagine it will be closer to R38,000 when they’re done. Expect it in SA towards the end of May.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S10 SERIES
The new Galaxy S comes with new bells and whistles. Each version of the Galaxy S10 has more screen than ever before with its new “Infinity O Display”. This basically means less bezel and more screen for your buck. That same screen will now be a dynamic AMOLED that supports HDR10 + with dynamic tone mapping that optimises the colour of your screen. Fear not! All that screen does not mean more harmful light as it sports 42% less intrusive light.
There is a built-in fingerprint scanner on the front of the screen (a la Huawei) that is so advanced it cannot be duped by 2D or 3D duplicates of your thumb prints.
The Galaxy S10+ now boasts three cameras at the back, including a 123-degree wide angle lens that operates at the same angle as the human eye, allowing for ridiculously panoramic photos with wider frames. You can now shoot videos in HDR and edit in-camera. Thanks to Samsung’s collaboration with Adobe, you have a mini Premier Rush Suite that lets you edit, colourise and add text graphics to your videos on the go.
But in terms of collaborations, the biggest is that of Instagram. The social media giant now allows you to create Instragam posts and stories right inside your selfie cameras (there are two of them now).
Samsung’s already long-lasting battery now lasts 25% longer than the S9. It also boasts wireless charging share (a la Huawei), which means you can charge your friends’ phones as well as your Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Active watch all on the back of your phone.
SA will be one of the first countries to receive the phones. Expected March 8, at the same time as Samsung’s home stomping ground, Korea. You can expect to pay R15,999 for the S10e, R18,999 for the S10, R20,999 for the S10+ 128 gig, R25,999 for the 520gig, and R35,999 for the 1Tb.
SAMSUNG S10 5G
This announcement of the most premier of the series may also the most illusive – based on the premise of a world when 5G networks are finally up and running. Not only will that be a while for even our fastest moving telecommunications compatriots overseas, but most definitely for us. Although there are rumours that some version of 5G will launch globally this year, it will still be built on pre-existing infrastructures and not the new backbone tech needed. So we will have faster wireless communications, just not the full dream that Samsung promises in its impassioned speech.
However, it is most certainly a “doomed if they do or don’t” situation. You may as well make the announcement before the tech is even ready – so as to say you did – before your rivals Huawei have their say on March 26.
The phone supposedly has a 17cm screen – the largest of any Galaxy ever made – all the better to see your four rear camera images. One of which is a 3D depth-sensing camera that will break out feats such as full augmented and virtual reality, as well as facial recognition.
All that screen and camera is going to need a monster 4,500mAh battery, 256GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. Curiously, it has less RAM than the S10 series but this is because 5G will make everything smoother and faster by merely existing.
Price and launch date remain vague.
It was only going to be a matter of time before the Koreans took on Apple’s ever-so-popular Airpods.
The buds work for six hours of music or five hours of calls and can be voice-activated through AI overlord Bixby. You can even communicate to your phone through the Buds and Bixby to access your apps hands-free.
The new Galaxy Buds come with a charging case which can be charged wirelessly on the back of your phone and pair up with your phone simply by opening the case (a la Airpods).
They will set you back $150 (about R2,000 before tax and import duties).
GALAXY WATCH ACTIVE
The watch got a much needed face lift. Sporting a far slicker design and lighter frame, this new version is built to take on Fitbit – as is the new Galaxy fit tracking band.
It has heart monitors, is 50m-depth waterproof and has a sleep tracker. It can also do all the nice smartwatch-pairing-with-phone-stuff such as accessing apps and retrieve notifications.
You are looking at $200 (about R2,800 before tax and import duties).