September 28, 2020

The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G better than it sounds, and more tech news today

Samsung's Fan Edition sounds like another BTS collab but it's much more than that, and more tech news you need to know today!

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, 18 August 2020.

1. What even is the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G?

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Samsung continues to let the cat out of the bag early, and with fresh leaks over the last few days, now we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G.

But what the heck even is this? Some kind of fans only device, or x BTS collab or some indescribable nuanced Galaxy S20? None of those: in short, it’s a new Lite version of the S20.

Background:

  • More manufacturers are releasing mid-range alternatives to their flagship smartphones, with the ~$400 range in the US now more properly contested than it has been in years.
  • As innovations that you really need have stalled, people are finding that while $1000 flagships have it all, great phones with cameras, battery life, and performance that all tick the right boxes don’t have to be that expensive.
  • Samsung did try this last year with the S10 and Note 10 Lite models.
  • But in 2020, what was Lite is now Fan Edition, we think.

What do you get?

Straight off Evan Blass’ leaks channel this morning come these renders:

  • Which is not super exciting: it’s a remarkably 2020 looking smartphone, not trying to break the mold. The full leaks show six colors, including blue, red, white, light green and pink.
  • The leaked specs that matter include a 6.5-inch screen with the Samsung-style while the Infinity-O punch-hole.
  • A Snapdragon 865 SoC in the US and Exynos processor in the global edition are expected in the 5G models at least, perhaps with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage.
  • Cameras are a downgrade — we’re looking at a more simple setup if the renders are accurate. It’s still a triple-camera but leaks suggest a 12MP primary snapper, a 12MP wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x zoom, not the higher megapixel options.
  • Early reports from June indicated an October launch date for the device, and super early reports suggested a $750 pricetag.
  • Yes, the S20 Fan Edition would be cheaper than the Galaxy S20’s $999 at debut, but it would be a substantial increase over the Galaxy S10 Lite’s $650 price at launch and the ~$450 Galaxy A71.
  • In any case, it’s still a month and a half away, and if Samsung really does want to take a cut-down flagship to the mainstream, it may need to be aggressive.

Also:

  • Samsung confirmed which of its smartphones are getting three generations of Android updates, listing Galaxy S and Note flagships, tablets, foldables, and Galaxy A series phones.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S20 line will be the first to get Android 11 this year.
  • This matters, both to reduce planned obsolescence, give people more security with their devices, and give people more reason to buy a device from a manufacturer that will last.
  • More on all the Samsung devices listed here.

2. Apple and Epic Games escalate their feud over Fortnite. Apple has essentially threatened to remove Epic’s developer accounts and access, unless it complies with Apple’s steadfast limit on in-app purchases, and Epic has filed a restraining order to prevent this (Android Authority). Also: Apple fires back at Epic: ‘We won’t make an exception’ (The Verge).


3. The next Samsung phone you buy could be made in India: It could also help Samsung compete with Apple in terms of value for money. Actually, looking at 2021 and beyond, any phone you buy soon might be made in India or Vietnam, as China manufacturing drops (Android Authority).


4. Secret Service paid for location data from phone apps: The US government is facing more accusations of buying location data to track people down without the usual warrants (Android Authority).


5. Google is trying to test a secret 6GHz network in 17 different states. A new type of wireless broadband? (The Verge).


6. Chrome’s ‘Fast page’ label shows which websites have quick loading times (Engadget).


7. A patent for Apple Cloud Gaming has been published online and found, and it looks a lot like Apple’s own Xbox xCloud competitor. Which would explain why Apple refused to let Microsoft’s service onto its platforms (Patently Apple).


8. Oracle is reportedly in talks to buy TikTok’s US business. Oracle! The database company! (The Verge).


9. Apple is expanding its independent repairs program (Reuters) to include Macs, allowing mom and pop shops to fix Macs again. But Gizmodo points out Apple’s still Apple: these shops must agree to draconian terms like unannounced inspections, potential fines for possessing “prohibited� repair parts, NDAs, and more.


10. Also: There just aren’t enough laptops, and that could spell doom for many students (Gizmodo).


11. Nintendo will show 20 minutes of indie Switch games today, at 12 pm ET: Indie World (Engadget).


12. TestFlight forever: Developers are using Apple’s TestFlight tool to build and distribute apps away from the App Store, which avoids Apple’s rejections and helps create tiny communities (Protocol).


13. This cobalt-free battery is good for the planet—and it actually works (Wired).


14. The 100th SpaceX mission is set to go at 10:13 am ET today, chock full of more Starlink sats (CNET).


15. ELI5: “Why is Death Valley the hottest place on Earth? I thought it would be somewhere on the equator� (r/explainlikeimfive)


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