Features

Mobile World Congress will be different in 2018

Setting the stage for the biggest smartphone show on earth! And how Samsung’s upcoming S9 will disrupt the whole show.

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This year’s Mobile World Congress is shaping up to be quite different. And I have a feeling it’s in large part because of the Samsung Galaxy S9 launch, happening just one day before the show’s actual start.

Last year, the Korean tech giant chose a later time and place for its flagship launch, giving other brands the chance to share the MWC spotlight.

MWC 2017 was a particularly exciting show to cover; Huawei launched the P10, LG the G6, Sony the Xperia XZ Premium, and Nokia an entire lineup of handsets.

Last year, I remember being quietly thankful for Samsung’s almost absence from MWC (they unveiled tablets instead. The show then became a place where other brands could all take part in the conversation, and smaller brands were allowed a chance to be part of the narrative.

Perhaps strategically then, and completely within its own rights, Samsung is choosing to exert its dominance at MWC 2018, using it as the platform to launch its most anticipated flagship sequel.

With the Galaxy S9 expected to dominate the headlines, Samsung’s closest rivals will have to go big or go home.

We hope to be pleasantly surprised by HMD Global, whose nostalgia-fueled Nokia 3310 reboot was the unprecedented star of last year’s show.

Their launch event is also set for the 25th, the same day as Samsung’s. Expected are at least two phones: the Nokia 1 meant for developing markets, and a new midranger the Nokia 7+. Although the actual news-maker — if patent filings are to be believed, the Nokia 10 with five rear cameras — is being saved for a later date. But wouldn’t it be great if we saw another retro phone make a comeback?

Also on the 25th, Sony is expected to unveil its new flagship, the Xperia XZ2, but that’s all we know so far. It’s almost uncharacteristic of the smartphone industry to go without any leaks. We’ve got our fingers crossed that the surprises will be great.

Then on the 27th, ASUS will launch the ZenFone 5. A newcomer to MWC, reps from ASUS tell GadgetMatch their presence at the event will elevate the company’s stature in the smartphone space. The original ZenFone 5 from 2014 disrupted the smartphone industry, and their #BackTo5 campaign hints at a similar thrust.

Others have prudently decided to take a back seat and create moments of their own at a later date.

Unlike previous years, LG and Huawei will not be launching their 2018 flagships in Barcelona. Both brands will be at MWC with smaller announcements instead.

LG will instead be showing off its new Artificial Intelligence features called Vision AI that will power its upcoming flagships. As well as its midrange K8 and K10 smartphones.

By not going with its usual launch schedule, LG will have the time to further refine the upcoming G7 (name not yet confirmed), secure the right parts, and prep to hit retail stores closer to the phone’s launch date. Factors that could have done last year’s phone some good. If last year’s V30 was any indication, and with LG’s new ThinQ AI announcements at CES coming into play, the G7 has the potential to be a runaway success.

Huawei’s is also pushing back its P11 (or P20) launch event to March. I have high hopes for Huawei, whose forward-thinking AI approach to smartphone computing set them apart last year. A later launch date for their next flagship launch will allow them to chart their own path and stand out as the smartphone leader they are quickly becoming.

At MWC, Huawei will be launching a line of new tablets. But we really look forward to sitting down with CEO Richard Yu to speak about the current roadblocks that stand in the way of their entry into the North American market.

Whatever the case, if this is how the cards fall, then 2018 looks to be a great year for smartphone enthusiasts, and for us journalists who cover them live. It all happens in Spain at MWC 2018. We hope you’ve got your seat belts fastened, because its going to be a thrilling ride.   

24 Hours Series

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4: First 24 Hours

And a quick unboxing video!

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The Galaxy Z Flip4 was just announced, and it’s the perfect time to get the review devices.

But this time, we’re doing it in a different way.

Here’s Michael Josh’s unboxing and first 24-hours with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4.

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Features

GadgetSnaps: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 in New York

Snaps from the Unpacked trip

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The Unpacked event for Samsung’s newest foldables was a little unusual but it was still a blast. After the event, we immediately got our hands on both the Galaxy Z Flip4 and Galaxy Z Fold4. So, what did I do? I took the Galaxy Z Fold4 and snapped away around New York City. 

The camera department is one area that the Galaxy Z Fold4 got an upgrade in. Here’s what it looks like on paper: 

Cover: 

  • 10MP, f/2.2

Under display: 

  • 4MP, f/1.8

Rear: 

  • 12MP Ultra Wide, f/2.2
  • 50MP Wide-angle, f/1.8
  • 10MP Telephoto, f/2.4

Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s get to the photos!

Food 

Let’s start with something that everyone loves taking photos of. Food! In true Samsung fashion, these tasty treats are made to look even tastier with Samsung’s tendency to make colors really pop.

Galaxy Z Flip4

Galaxy Z Flip4

Galaxy Z Flip4

Here’s one taken with 3x zoom. 

And here’s a couple flexing Samsung’s Nightography capabilities. 

Galaxy Z Flip4

Galaxy Z Flip4

Zoom in, zoom out

Like the Samsung Galaxy S22+, I had fun taking photos with the main wide angle lens, the ultra-wide angle lens, and the multiple zoom capabilities. 

Here’s a quick demo of what that looks like on this cool United States of America flag display in our hotel lobby. 

Ultra-wide 

1x (Main wide angle)

3x Zoom. (As we zoom in, you’ll see exactly how they made this and it’s pretty cool). 

10x Zoom. In case you couldn’t tell from the 3x Zoom pic, these are beer cans, arranged in a way that they would look like the American flag when viewed from across the room. 

Here’s a 20x Zoom shot for good measure. 

I went up close for this next shot, using the main wide angle lens, for a different perspective. 

Galaxy Z Flip4

And here’s a shot of the same area with someone passing by. I sort of wanted to see how the Galaxy Z Fold4 processes a person in motion and this was pretty good. At least, I think so. 

Galaxy Z Fold4

I later on learned that this person on the shot is Yejin Choi. One of the Generation17 Young Leaders that Samsung featured on this trip. You can read and watch about her amazing contribution to education here. 

Fun at Times Square

Hours after the Unpacked event, we made our way to Times Square to capture the BTS Times Square takeover ℅ Samsung. 

On the way, I took a quick snap of Madison Square Garden — the Mecca of basketball. Too bad it’s the offseason so I couldn’t catch an NBA game. This was taken inside a moving vehicle.

Galaxy Z Fold4

And then we got to Times Square where the ultra wide angle lens really came in handy. Just take a look at this shot. 

Galaxy Z Fold4

I tweeted a quick video capturing the moment, taken using the Galaxy Z Flip4. 

I also put the Galaxy Z Fold4’s zoom capabilities to the test. And it was pretty impressive. Caught this nice shot of BTS member Jungkook.

Galaxy Z Fold4

And here’s a group shot so ARMYs don’t come after me. 

Galaxy Z Fold4

I took a few selfies while I was here for good measure. This was using the 10MP camera on the cover. As you will see on the clouds behind me, the dynamic range varies in every shot. And this was just the camera auto adjusting the colors. 

Spidey sighting!

Of course, what’s a New York trip without encountering Spider-Man? We saw this dude dressed up as Spider-Man Miles Morales and I just had to take shots.

For some dramatic effect, I used the portrait mode here and I think they came out well, creating a nice little separation between Spidey and the rather busy background. 

Galaxy Z Fold4

Galaxy Z Fold4

Walking around the Big Apple

Here are a few more shots of just me basking in the City that Never Sleeps. 

There are plenty of pizza places around New York. This one had a nice neon sign that I thought would look good on camera.

Galaxy Z Fold4

You can rent bikes too. These are found everywhere. Although, this photo was taken fresh off some rain that’s why a lot of them are just parked here.

Galaxy Z Fold4

This was taken at the cafe in the hotel where we typically had breakfast. It was taken right around the time it was raining. I just liked the contrast of the warm light inside the cafe and the cold, dull sight of the rain outside. 

Galaxy Z Fold4

Growing up, I watched a lot of American TV series. Walking around town, I was amused at how familiar the neighborhood seemed only because I’ve seen them a lot on TV. 

Here’s a shot when it’s bright and sunny. Taken right outside Kobrick Coffee.

Galaxy Z Fold4

A quick selfie with Michael Josh and Chay who were hard at work producing Reels and YouTube videos while I was just hanging around. 

Galaxy Z Fold4

Here’s a shot of Michael Josh posing with the Galaxy Z Flip4 in hand. 

Galaxy Z Fold4

The Galaxy Z Fold4 photo-taking experience

I’ve used both the Galaxy Z Fold2 and Z Fold3 and I can say that it was a tad more fun snapping with the Galaxy Z Fold4. 

The image results using the main camera, I found, were very satisfactory. Samsung is still doing its usual Samsung things in that the photos tend to look more saturated. But that’s a plus for most people, especially if you just want to snap a quick one and quickly share on social media. 

There are instances, though, where the overprocessing is a little too obvious. Take the photo below. Right on the top-left side, you’ll see some weird color lines that you otherwise probably wouldn’t see without any heavy-lifting from the photography AI.

Galaxy Z Fold4

The color reproduction among the rear camera lenses still isn’t 100% consistent unlike what I experienced with the Galaxy S22+. But they’re not half bad and aren’t immediately noticeable if you don’t compare them side-by-side. 

And if you take shots carefully, the color consistency can be surprisingly good. Take a look at the shots below.

The reduced weight, especially compared to the Galaxy Z Fold2 which I spent time with the longest, also made it easier to take photos when the Galaxy Z Fold4 is folded.

Not the best visual aid since I just took this while inside the hotel room, but here’s what that kind of looks like.

Overall, I had a grand time taking pictures with the Galaxy Z Fold4. The results aren’t too wild. In fact, they look vivid, sharp and ready for the gram. And the whole experience using the Fold to snap photos also feels natural. Sometimes even more so than the regular smartphones most of us have in our pockets right now. 

I’ll leave you with this shot of our hotel’s dark front desk area with a rather inspirational neon sign.

That’s it for now, make sure to tune in to GadgetMatch wherever you like to find your content to see more of Samsung’s foldables and accessories. 

Watch our Galaxy Z Fold4 Hands-on.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Hands-on: What’s New?

Any differences from last year’s Galaxy Z Fold3?

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Samsung paved the way for foldable smartphones that transform into tablets.

That engineering marvel made the Galaxy Fold possible.

After three years, the Galaxy Z Fold continues to evolve.

The Galaxy Z Fold4, while it may look almost the same as the Z Fold3, offers upgrades that one should consider.

What are those changes?

You should definitely watch our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 hands-on for you to find out.


Pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold4: howl.me/1782498420013699516

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