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Tech News

Samsung may have an answer to Apple's AirPower wireless charger

July 22, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Mobiparts.de

Whenever Apple releases its AirPower multi-device charger, it might have some fresh competition. Recently discovered images and listings have revealed Samsung’s Wireless Charger Duo, which (as the name implies) could offer fast charging to two devices at once. It wouldn’t be as flexible as Apple’s device since you’d need to place your devices on specific spots. However, you could top up a phone and the upcoming Galaxy Watch at the same time, or even two phones at once if you’re using it as a family charging station.

We wouldn’t make bets on pricing at this point. Given that the leaks revolve heavily around the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Watch, there’s a good chance that Samsung could unveil the Wireless Charger Duo at its August 9th event. It might just be a matter of weeks before you can check one out first-hand.

This is the Samsung Wireless Charger Duo (EP-N6100) for the Galaxy Note 9. Charges the Galaxy Watch alongside the phone. pic.twitter.com/VnP10xAhvb

— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) July 21, 2018

Tech News

Samsung will reportedly launch foldable-screen phone in early 2019

July 18, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Chris Velazco/Engadget

Samsung has been teasing the prospect of a foldable-screen smartphone for years, and even hoped to launch one this year. Now, however, it looks like that pipe dream might become a reality… if a little later than expected. Wall Street Journal sources have claimed that the folding-screen handset (codenamed “Winner”) is now slated to arrive sometime in early 2019. It would have a 7-inch screen and would fold in half “like a wallet,” with a compact “display bar” on one side of the folded phone and cameras on the back. It sounds somewhat like the design from a 2016 Samsung patent application, although there’s little doubt that the real world product would vary sharply.

The company will reportedly start by targeting the handset at niche audiences like gamers. However, it eventually hopes for a “broader” debut in the second half of 2019, and the goal is to offer a third flagship on par with the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines. This might not be a one-off experimental phone like the Galaxy Note Edge, then.

There might be a major wrinkle to that, however: the price. Between the exotic display and the requisite high-end components (such as a large battery and a fast processor), Winner could “easily” cost more than $1,500. If you thought the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X were expensive handsets, they would seem like relative bargains after this.

You should see something somewhat more affordable in the future. The same tipsters reported that Samsung’s promised Bixby smart speaker is expected to launch in “the next month or so” for $300 with a release likely coming around that of the Galaxy Note 9. The device supposedly looks like a bowl on legs, and would tout directional audio that can be sent in the direction of whoever’s speaking. Samsung may pitch it as a high-end music player, which would have it compete with the likes of Apple’s HomePod and Google’s Home Max. It might face an uphill battle — Bixby is still struggling more than a year later, and there’s no guarantee that version 2.0 will lure people away.

Tech News

Samsung's new DRAM chip will make phones run faster and longer

July 17, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Samsung

Samsung has been busy improving its microSD range, introducing SSDs with faster write speeds, and opening the world’s biggest mobile factory, but the electronics maker doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon — it’s just completed tests on a 8GB LPDDR5 DRAM prototype, a faster, low power RAM that will be used to power machine learning applications and AI in 5G phones.

Compared to devices that use LPDDR4X chips, the 8GB LPDDR5 DRAM module offers a data rate which is up to 1.5 times faster. At 6,400 Mbps, LPDDR5 can transfer around 51 GB in one second, which Samsung says is the equivalent of roughly 14 HD video files. It also comes in two bandwidth flavors — 6,400 Mbps at 1.1 operating voltage, or 5,500 Mbps at 1.05 V. LPDDR5 has been specifically engineered to reduce voltage while in active mode, but Samsung’s emphasizing the ‘deep sleep mode’ — a feature which slashes power usage to half of the ‘idle mode’ offered by LPDDR4X chips.

These power saving attempts will supposedly decrease power consumption by up to 30 percent, and in the long run, help increase the the battery life of future smartphones. While Samsung didn’t spell out when LPDDR5 chips would be ready to hit the market, production will coincide with demand from global customers.

Tech News

Business and gaming boost PC shipments for the first time since 2012

July 13, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Base image: Eric Gaillard / Reuters

Supposing you’ve followed the PC’s steady downward spiral over the last few years, the following news might surprise you: Between April and June worldwide PC shipments marked a 1.4 percent increase compared to the same timeframe last year. Market analysis firms Gartner and IDC agree that it’s largely due to business customers upgrading to Windows 10 laptops, desktops and workstations. But the latter asserts that shipments totaled 62.3 million units (representing a 2.7 increase) while the former reports shipments jumped by 62.1 million units (a 1.4 percent increase). The biggest areas of growth? Premium models and entry-level machines.

It’s important to note that this is an increase in computer shipments, not sales — even though one impacts the other, they’re different numbers entirely. More than that, this is just three months, with both firms noting that the same period last year was relatively soft. Still, any news is good news for PC makers. HP led the pack, notching nearly 8 percent increased shipments, with Lenovo, Dell, Apple and Acer rounding out the rest of the top five, according to IDC.

Gartner says that this won’t last long, though, predicting that business demand will drop in two years once organizations have finished upgrading for Windows 10. Consumer sales weren’t anything to write home about, with Gartner saying that folks like you and me continue “to impact market growth” because more and more people are doing typical computer tasks on their smartphones and tablets instead.

However, IDC says that hardware shipments for folks who demand more from their computers — gamers — grew. If you pause a moment, it’s not too difficult to piece together what happened here. Last summer, cryptocurrency mining was all the rage and drove GPU prices through the roof, leaving people who wanted to play the Prey reboot at the highest resolution possible in a lurch. Now that crypto has fallen out of the zeitgeist, it means more people are able to afford gaming PCs.

Tech News

The Wirecutter's best deals: A 500GB Samsung SSD, and more

July 12, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Wirecutter

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read their continuously updated list of deals here.

Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB SSD

Street price: $120; deal price: $100

While we’ve seen multiple recent promo code deals on this SSD that dropped it near $100 and even one extremely short-lived deal that saw it dip a few dollars below the century mark, this is still a really good price. The street price of this drive has dropped since its release, as is the usual for SSDs, but it’s rare to ever see it cheaper and the price compares favorably to that of our top pick, the Crucial MX500.

The Samsung 860 Evo is our runner-up pick in our guide to the best SSD. Andrew Cunningham, comparing it to our top pick, wrote, “Samsung’s 860 Evo is as good as or better than the Crucial MX500 in almost every metric: It’s a little faster, it consumes less power, it has much higher endurance, it comes in 2.5-inch, mSATA, and M.2 versions, and it has the same five-year warranty and encryption support. It’s also your best option if you need an mSATA SSD. But at this writing, it’s more expensive than the MX500 at every capacity, especially 1 TB and 2 TB. Most people wouldn’t notice the differences between the 860 Evo and the MX500, and people who need something faster or with greater endurance should be looking at PCI Express SSDs like our upgrade pick. If the two drives were the same price or nearly so, the 860 Evo would be our pick, but for now most people shouldn’t spend any more money than it takes to get the MX500.”

Kensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring

Street price: $30; deal price: $21

Down to $21 from a typical price of $30 when you clip the on-page coupon, this is a nice opportunity to save on an already affordable entry in the world of trackball mice. The Kensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring is a budget pick in our trackball guide. While it’s only a two-button option and must operate via wired USB connection, it’s a solid choice at this price.

The Kensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring is the budget pick in our guide to the best trackballs. Thorin Klosowski wrote, “The Kensington Orbit Trackball with Scroll Ring typically costs a third as much as the Expert Mouse but has a smaller ball and offers only two buttons instead of four. It uses only a wired connection, not wireless, so you don’t have to worry about battery-life or connection issues. It’s flatter than the Expert Mouse, which can be more comfortable, and the scroll ring moves more slowly. If you’ve never used a trackball before and

Tech News

Samsung’s new care center is meant to improve customer service

July 12, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Samsung

Today, Samsung announced that it is opening a Connected Customer Care Center in Greenville, South Carolina. This facility is aimed at improving and streamlining customer service across Samsung’s entire range of products. The tech-focused center specifically emphasizes the connection between the varied devices, gadgets and appliances Samsung makes.

“Today’s announcement goes beyond our commitment to providing superior care for Samsung products, and ensures that Samsung customers are able to receive world-class education, training and support to connect their products and maximize their use however and whenever they would like,” said Michael Lawler, senior vice president of Customer Care at Samsung Electronics America, in a release.

The center will include two training centers for agents, a video chat support area that is both private and secure and a showcase of some of Samsung’s newest products. Most interestingly, it will also include a “connected living lab,” which will house some of Samsung’s products, as well as those of direct competitors, so agents can compare real-life experiences using these products.

Samsung has such a wide range of products, so it’s certainly interesting to see it emphasize the connection between everything it makes. The company appears to be putting a lot of thought behind its customer interactions; let’s hope that translate to more positive consumer support experiences.

Tech News

Samsung leak shows a silver Galaxy Tab S4 and new S Pen design

July 11, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Evan Blass (Twitter)

Here’s a glimpse of what Samsung could reveal during its Unpacked event on August 9th. Notable gadget leaker Evan Blass (evleaks) has tweeted photos of a white (or silver) Galaxy Tab S4, the next iteration of the Korean conglomerate’s S Pen-equipped tablets. The first photo he tweeted doesn’t show much of the tablet’s white or silver part, but it clearly shows the optional keyboard cover and Samsung’s new S Pen design. He released another image showing the tablet’s white/silver backside, though, which also revealed that the Tab S4 could look just like its predecessor.

More of that “white.” pic.twitter.com/pQltterQJv

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 11, 2018

The most obvious difference you’ll notice between the Tab S4 and the Tab S3 is the new S Pen design. It looks like it no longer has the previous pen’s clip that made it look like a conventional pen, and it sports a glossy finish instead of matte.

Galaxy Tab S3 pen (left) versus S4 pen (right). pic.twitter.com/KruaZGD2e3

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) July 11, 2018

AndroidHeadlines has also also released what it says is the photo of the Galaxy Note 9’s front panel. If it’s legit, the Note 9 could look pretty much like its predecessor, as well, unless Samsung has significantly redesigned its backside and edges.

Tech News

Samsung trademark hints at a future Galaxy Watch

July 10, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Samsung

Samsung’s upcoming smartwatch, currently referred to as the Gear S4, might be getting a total makeover. A logo registration for a Galaxy Watch has been spotted floating around in South Korea, which has led many to believe the new device will be Android-powered. Or more specifically, Wear OS-powered.

This would be a surprising move, given that Wear OS is Google’s wearable device platform, and Samsung and Google haven’t always had the most harmonious of relationships. Plus until now, Samsung seems to have been quite content using the Gear-branded hardware with Tizen, the company many speculated it bought as an insurance measure against Google’s dominance.

On one hand, Google may have used some of its leverage with Samsung to use Wear OS in the new wearable and ditch Tizen altogether. On the other, Samsung may simply want to juice sales of its timepieces by slapping a brand name that pretty much everyone in the world already knows. As many have speculated, however, Wear OS needs Samsung far more than Samsung needs Wear OS.

Samsung has a planned event in August for the Galaxy Note 9, but it’s unlikely we’ll hear anything about Gear S4/Galaxy Watch there, and may have to wait until the IFA 2018 convention in September before the company reveals its plans for the next device.

PC News and Reviews

Chinese DRAM Companies Stealing DRAM IP From Samsung and SK Hynix

July 9, 2018 — by ThinkComputers.org0

dram-stealers-960x785.jpg

DRAM makers today build their products on intellectual property (IP) which they have acquired over decades. Chinese DRAM makers do not have this type of IP and are not willing to license it from an established DRAM maker either. It seems as if both Samsung and SK Hynix are the latest victims of large-scale industrial espionage by Chinese DRAM makers, who are stealing this IP.

“Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have become the target of industrial espionage by Chinese memory chip manufacturers. In semiconductors, patents are critical to the cost structure. The companies have to protect what they have spent decades building. The result is Chinese companies are attempting to infringe on Samsung and SK patents,” said a Korean official involved in the investigation of IP theft.

“Without intellectual property, you can’t become a meaningful player. You need brand-new technology and you have to have capability for large-scale production. Also, you should be qualified for product specifications and designs and to meet demanding customer application requests. All of these can be done with intellectual property that has been built over the course of decades. Chinese companies aren’t ready for this,” said a Samsung engineer. “Chinese companies are finding the development of DRAM and flash-memory manufacturing processes is more difficult to than they thought.”

Source:Korea Times

Tech News

Samsung opens the world's biggest smartphone facility in India

July 9, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Bloomberg via Getty Images

As the world’s biggest consumer electronics maker, Samsung is constantly expanding its manufacturing operations across the world. Today, it formally opened the doors on its latest development in the Indian city of Noida, a facility the company claims is now the largest phone factory in the world.

Samsung already has a considerable presence in the US, Korea and Brazil, but with smartphone growth beginning to slow in those markets, the South Korean chaebol has turned its attention towards India — where demand for handsets is more encouraging. The expansion of Samsung’s Noida facility — one of two manufacturing plants in the country — will help Samsung increase its phone production by almost double.

The plant will make up to 120 million phones a year — up from 67 million — and potentially include other electronic appliances like refrigerators and flat panel televisions down the line. The 35-acre facility will reduce time to market and give Samsung more elbow room to export to neighboring regions — ultimately giving Samsung a leg up on its competitors.

The Noida manufacturing plant is Samsung’s second major production zone in India alongside its Sriperumbudur facility. More than 10 percent of its total production currently takes place in India — but that figure could rise to 50 percent within the next three years if everything goes to plan.