When buying a new phone, it’s easy to think the most expensive option is the best available. Why wouldn’t it be? That extra money has to go somewhere. But if you went for a Galaxy S21 ahead of the significantly cheaper Galaxy A52S, you may have made a big mistake.
Samsung just revealed its 2022 roundup of C-Lab incubator projects ahead of the upcoming CES event. And hands down, the most interesting of the bunch is a smart guitar and app duo ZamStar, which is designed to make it easier to learn guitar and jam with other players.
New leaks suggest that Google’s first Pixel Watch won’t run on a Snapdragon or Tensor processor. Instead, it may use a Samsung-made Exynos W920 chip, the same processor behind the new Galaxy Watch 4. Additionally, the Pixel Watch could finally introduce on-device Google Assistant speech processing to Wear OS.
Samsung has committed to build a chip-making factory in Texas, just as the US starts to push for the expansion in semiconductor production within the country. The Korean tech giant will be investing $17 billion into the new facility, which will manufacture high-end and advanced chips for smartphones, 5G and artificial intelligence, among other applications. According to The Wall Street Journal, construction for the factory is scheduled to begin next year, while production within the facility is expected to start in the second half of 2024.
The US government has been taking steps towards boosting semiconductor production in the US, following the global chip shortage caused by shuttered plants and the high demand for PCs and other devices during the pandemic. This issue continues to have a huge impact across industries — just this year, automakers like GM and Ford had to suspend or cut production in their US plants due to supply constraints.
Samsung scouted locations in Arizona, New York and Florida for the new project and also considered Austin, where it has an existing factory. It ultimately chose Taylor, Texas for this new facility due to the generous tax breaks and incentives it offered, as well as the city’s capability to do rolling blackouts and providing electricity to certain facilities in the case of power outage.
Kim Ki-nam, chief executive of the Samsung Electronics Device Solutions Division, said in a statement:
“As we add a new facility in Taylor, Samsung is laying the groundwork for another important chapter in our future. With greater manufacturing capacity, we will able to better serve the needs of our customers and contribute to the stability of the global semiconductor supply chain. We are also proud to be bringing more jobs and supporting the training and talent development for local communities, as Samsung celebrates 25 years of semiconductor manufacturing in the US.”
Following a beta launch in September, Samsung has released its One UI 4 software with new features from Android 12 like the Privacy Dashboard. As usual, owners of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone lineup, including the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra, will be first in line to receive it.
The biggest change with the new skin is how it looks. One UI 4 now allows a more customized experience with new color palettes and widgets, along with a wider range of emoji features, GIFs and stickers. That sounds very much like Android 12’s Material You, except it’s not auto- or AI-generated.
The other difference from before is around security. Following the lead of Android 12, Samsung is introducing a Privacy Dashboard that brings all settings and controls into one place. For example, it will show when an app is attempting to access your camera, microphone or other sensor, and why it needed that data.
Other features include access to Samsung’s extended ecosystem of devices and third-party apps. That will ensure a “seamless experience” when using non-Samsung apps like Google Duo, the company said. It’s also promising a uniform look across devices like the Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Tab.
Since the release of One UI, Samsung has been trying to get the latest versions of Android onto its high-end smartphones as quickly as possible. It’s fair to say it’s done that here, as Google released Android 12 less than a month ago onto its Pixel 3 devices. One UI 4 is available starting today for Galaxy S21 device, “and will soon arrive to previous Galaxy S and Note series as well as Galaxy A series, foldables and tablets,” the company said.
Starting in early November, more than 100 Best Buy stores will start offering same-day repairs on Samsung Galaxy phones, which will create a more Apple-like experience. With this many stores offering the service, there’s likely one near you.
We’ve started seeing some almost believable malware, popping up on our Android devices. Remember never to click on ANYTHING that pops up while you’re browsing the web, no matter how much it looks like it came from your operating system or phone vendor.
We got the scary virus warning below clicking on an article on a political website TheHill.com (repeatedly, alternating with another dubious click-hole). It references a “hacking event” with yesterday’s date, and there’s even a 3 minute countdown-to-disaster timer. (HURRY! You better click NOW!) They even throw in the phone model for good measure, and it looks like it could be from Samsung, or a notice of an Android update. Yeah. Could be. But…It isn’t.
Don’t be fooled. Never click on pop ups. When in doubt, just hit BACK.
There’s no reason to let pesky Android notifications get on your last nerve. Set up “Do Not Disturb” mode and automatically mute annoying notifications at times when you don’t need them. Here’s how to do it on your Samsung Galaxy.
If you’re a big Samsung fan, you’ve probably already marked your calendar for August 11th, when the company is holding its next Galaxy Unpacked event. Though it has held many events already in 2021, at least this time around it’s one that we’ve been anticipating. In recent years, Samsung has unveiled new Note phones every August. But at this coming Unpacked, the company will not be showing off a new Note. Thanks to the enterprising rumor mill and, well, Samsung itself, we have a good idea of what to expect next Wednesday.
Foldables: The third generation
The company published a blog post last month in which its president TM Roh teased what’s to come. First up: foldables. Yes, that’s plural. We’ll be seeing the third-generation of the Galaxy Z series, including the next Z Flip and Z Fold. If you’ll recall, the Z Flip is the smaller, Moto Razr-style phone that looks like a regular phone that you can close in half. Meanwhile, the Z Fold is more of a tablet-phone hybrid, where a 6.2-inch device opens up to reveal a 7.6-inch screen.
What might Samsung bring in new versions of these devices? Based on the leaks floatingaround the internet, the Z Flip 3 will possibly have a 1.9-inch outer screen with a 6.7-inch internal flexible display. That external panel is significantly bigger than the 1.1-inch sliver on the older Z Flip, which could make it more useful when the device is shut. We’ve also seen reports that the inside screen will run at 120Hz and sport dual 12-megapixel rear cameras and a 10-megapixel selfie shooter.
Chris Velazco / Engadget
Meanwhile, the Z Fold 3 is rumored to have a similar setup to the existing model, with a 6.2-inch exterior panel and a 7.6-inch version inside. It’ll probably have triple 12-megapixel cameras and two selfie cameras on either side. Both models are reported to be rated IPX8 for water resistance, though dust resistance clearly still remains a challenge. These are all educated guesses based on what’s been leaked, so I’d take the details with a grain of salt.
What has been confirmed is that the foldables will support Samsung’s S Pen. The stylus has been a hallmark of the Note series and the company enabled support for it on its flagship S series earlier this year. In his blog post, Roh said the S Pen was specifically designed for its foldables.
A stylus made for the pliable screens on foldables has been a widely requested feature, and would make the larger, opened up displays more useful. Of course, Samsung shared little else about this S Pen besides the fact that it’s coming, so there are plenty of unknowns at the moment. How will it avoid damaging the softer, flexible screen? What size is its nib, what is its pressure sensitivity and will the foldables have onboard slots to house it? Will it have Bluetooth support for remote control actions? Clearly, these are things we’ll have to wait till Unpacked on August 11th to learn about.
Wearables: New headphones and Wear OS watches
Samsung also already spilled the beans on its upcoming Galaxy Watch running the new Wear OS that it co-engineered with Google. We’ve also seen plenty of leaked renders of the purported Galaxy Watch 4, which is likely to come in an Active and a Classic edition. The latter might be available in three sizes instead of just two, and appears to feature the popular rotating bezel Samsung’s watches are known for. Expect to see more details about the hardware and the UI at Unpacked, in addition to pricing and availability.
Cherlynn Low / Engadget
That’s not the only wearable that will make an appearance. We’ve also seen leaks indicating new Galaxy Buds 2 might show up at Unpacked. The company’s next wireless earbuds appear to have a more refined design and more color options. One report based on a beta version of an upcoming plugin on Samsung’s update server also indicated the possibility of active noise cancellation, touch controls and a simplified battery interface.
That’s pretty much all we know so far, though I wouldn’t put it past Samsung to have something else hidden up its sleeve for the event. Will Blackpink show up? I wish. But as for actual hardware, this is already a pretty long list of things to expect come August 11th. Samsung’s launch kicks off at 10am Eastern that day, and you should come watch it with us on Engadget’s YouTube channel. We’ll be starting at 9:40AM Eastern with a pre-show and hanging around after Samsung wraps to answer your burning questions. I hope to see you then!
Typically, your Samsung Galaxy Watch should connect to your Android phone or iPhone without any issue. But if it’s stuck on the pairing screen, or it can’t connect with your phone, here we detail various ways to fix a Samsung Galaxy Watch not connecting to an Android phone or iPhone issue. 1. Connect Galaxy Watch to Android or iPhone Properly The first fix is to follow the right steps to connect the watch and your mobile. If you have a completely new watch, open the Galaxy app (Android, iOS) on your phone. You will… Read more