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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series: Staying the course

Everything you love about the Note, and then some

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For years now, the Samsung Galaxy Note series has been the pinnacle of power and productivity in Samsung’s flagship smartphones. That remains true this year with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series. 

The series consists of two handsets — the regular Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Samsung seems to have a clear vision with what role each one plays.

The Galaxy Note 20 is being positioned as a device for breaking into the world of the Galaxy Note. If you’re coming from a different phone but want to make the switch, this is the Note to get. It has all benefits of the Note line without being an overwhelming spec and feature monster.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is for the legacy users — loyalists of the Galaxy Note line who are familiar with its ins and outs and can make the most of all its power.

It’s a clean delineation, but will the market follow through? Only time will tell.

Breaking down the specs

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Galaxy Note 20
Display 6.9” edge Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O Display

496ppi

HDR10+ certified

120Hz refresh rate

6.7” flat FHD+ Infinity-O Display

393ppi

HDR10+ certified

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+

(Exynos 990 in some markets)

Front Camera 10MP, f2.2, 1.22μm
Rear cameras 12MP Ultra Wide Camera

Pixel size: 1.4μm

FOV: 120 ̊

F.No (aperture): F2.2

108MP Wide-angle Camera

PDAF, OIS

Pixel size: 0.8μm

FOV: 79 ̊

F.No (aperture): F1.8

1/1.33″ image sensor size

12MP Telephoto Camera

Pixel size: 1.0μm

FOV: 20 ̊

F.No (aperture): F3.0

Laser AF Sensor

Space Zoom

5x Optical Zoom

Up to 50x Super Resolution Zoom

OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

Tracking AF

12MP Ultra Wide Camera

Pixel size: 1.4μm

FOV: 120 ̊

F.No (aperture): F2.2

12MP Wide-angle Camera

Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS

Pixel size: 1.8μm

FOV: 79 ̊

F.No (aperture): F1.8

1/1.76″ image sensor size

64MP Telephoto Camera

Pixel size: 0.8μm

FOV: 76 ̊

F.No (aperture): F2.0

Space Zoom

. 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom

. Up to 30x Super Resolution Zoom

OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

Tracking AF

RAM and Storage 12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 512GB internal storage

12GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage

8GB RAM (LPDDR5) with 128GB internal storage
SIM and Expanded Storage One Nano SIM

One MicroSD slot (sold separately, up to 1TB)

One Nano SIM
Battery 4500mAh 4300mAh
Charging Improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0

Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless

Wireless PowerShare

OS Android 10, OneUI 2.1
Network and Connectivity [5G]

5G Non-Standalone (NSA), Standalone (SA), Sub6 / mmWave

[LTE]

Enhanced 4×4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LTE Cat.20

Up to 2.0Gbps Download / Up to 200Mbps Upload

[Wi-Fi]

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2.4G+5GHz, HE80, MIMO, 1024-QAM

Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 1.2Gbps Upload

[Bluetooth]

Bluetooth® v 5.0, USB type-C, NFC, Location (GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BeiDou)

[Ultra Wide Band]

NFC

Sensors Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor

Proximity sensor, Ambient Light Sensor

Water Resistance IP68

Very much a 2020 flagship

As far as 2020 super phones go, the Galaxy Note 20 can go pound-for-pound with pretty much any phone that hits the market in the second half of the year. That is, of course, assuming you’re in a market that gets the Snapdragon 865+ variant.

Everything else here also screams 2020 flagship. It’s 5G-ready, has a 120Hz refresh rate (at least for the Ultra variant), and has wireless charging.

It will also support Android’s “answer to the AirDrop” — Nearby Share. It’s a feature that’s long been rumored. It lets Android users seamlessly share files with any nearby Android phone. Simply pull up the share sheet on any file, photo, and/or video and it will detect phones that can receive the file/s.

The texture of the phone has also been taken into consideration. Samsung promises less fingerprints and smudges with its textured haze effect on the glass back.

Productivity and S Pen improved 

The Galaxy Note series wouldn’t be what it is without its key accessory — the S Pen. Naturally, this has been improved for better accuracy and responsiveness for an experience that’s as close to “pen-to-paper” as possible.

The new trick up its sleeve is the Anywhere actions. There are five to be exact. This allows for touchless navigation — like returning to the home screen or taking a screenshot — as simple as a flick of the wrist.

The Samsung Notes app also gets significant improvements. Its auto-save and syncing features have been upgraded. This means you can seamlessly switch from one device to another and continue where you left off.

If, like me, your penmanship is atrocious, the Notes app can straighten it out for you. It also lets you annotate and highlight on PDF files as well as record audio as you take notes.

This is Chay’s handwriting and not mine

It will work seamlessly with a Windows 10 PC thanks to the upgraded Windows Link. With it you can send messages, manage notifications, sync photos and mirror your phone.

Elevated gaming 

The Microsoft integration goes beyond productivity. All work and no play, after all, can burn you out.

Starting September 15, you’ll be able to access Xbox games on the Galaxy Note 20 directly from the cloud (beta) using the Xbox Game Pass ultimate. That means access to a wide library of games on your phone — and not just the mobile kind.

Gaming, overall, should also feel leveled-up with the AI game booster. Bluetooth audio response optimization, and 240Hz touch latency (on the Galaxy Note 210 Ultra).

Samsung Dex has also been upgraded so you can take both productivity and play to a larger screen. Previously, you needed a dock and/or a dongle to use this feature. Now, you can do so wirelessly so long as the Smart TV supports Miracast. So you can continue using apps on your phone, while playing media on the TV.

Better videography

Samsung is also expanding the Galaxy Note’s video capabilities. The Galaxy Note 20 series can record 8K videos. Its Pro Video mode comes with various controls like focus, audio, exposure, lighting, zoom speed control.

It can also shoot videos at up to 120 fps for that added cinematic flare. Audio sources can also be managed. You can adjust gain and choose between onboard mics or external sources.

Pricing and availability

In the US

The Samsung Galaxy Note series will be available in the following variants:

  • Galaxy Note20 Ultra starts at US$ 1299.99: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, Mystic White in 128GB and 512GB models with 12GBM RAM.
  • Galaxy Note20 starts at US$ 999.99: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Gray, Mystic Green in 128GB model with 8GB RAM.

Pre-orders begin August 6, 2020 at 12:01am ET. Consumers who pre-order can get US$ 100 Samsung Credit with a Galaxy Note20 5G or US$ 150 Samsung Credit with a Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G.

Consumers who pre-order can use their Samsung Credit towards the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Bundle. The Bundle includes a Bluetooth gaming controller which is optimized for playing Xbox games from the cloud (beta) on the Galaxy Note20 series and three (3) months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, starting September 15, 2020.

The promotion will last for a limited time and only while supplies last.

Starting on August 21, 2020, the Galaxy Note20 series will be widely available in carrier and Unlocked by Samsung versions through Samsung.com, carriers and retailers online.

In the UK

The new Galaxy devices will be available to pre-order starting August 5, 2020 and will be available to purchase via Samsung.com/uk and select partners starting August 21, 2020.

From August 5-20, customers can claim a complimentary Galaxy Gift when pre-ordering any of the Galaxy Note20 series. Pricing are as follows:

Galaxy Note20: 

Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G:

 

Gaming

Metal Gear Solid Remake possibly coming to the PS5 and PC

If confirmed, this is already on top of the next-gen console’s insane lineup of games

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Metal Gear Solid

A Metal Gear Solid Remake might be upon us! According to several sources, it’s possible that we will be getting a full remake of the PlayStation classic for both the PS5 and PC.

YouTube creator RedGamingTech touched on this in his recent video, confirming from his numerous sources. Essentially, it suggests that the remake will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive with an available PC version.

The same YouTube creator also mentions that Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and 4 are reportedly getting PC ports — or remasters. Whether or not all of these are true remains to be seen. But, if it is true, this will definitely bolster the amount of titles that will be available to the PS5, whether that’s upon launch or within the first year of its release.

Metal Gear Solid was first released in September 1998 for the PlayStation and PC. It’s a stealth game that follows Solid Snake — a soldier tasked to neutralize the terror threat FOXHOUND. The game was well-received by fans and critics. It sold over six million copies.

Within weeks since the price and release date reveal, people went crazy over Sony’s PlayStation 5. Apart from this, several game developers announced that they already have titles ready for the next-gen console.

Are you excited for this possible remake? What PS5 game are you most looking forward to?

SEE ALSO:
PS5 official pricing
Sony unveils more games coming to PS5

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Automotive

Tesla plans to make a US$ 25K autonomous electric car soon

Elon Musk is extremely optimistic

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At its Battery Day event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company intends to launch an affordable electric car within three years. The aimed price is around US$ 25,000 — a radically low price for an electric vehicle. The future car hasn’t received a name yet, but rumors suggest it could be Tesla Model C, where C stands for compact.

The announcement was made after Musk reviewed Tesla’s battery development and manufacturing. He is confident that these factors shall help the company offer cut-throat pricing and make the cutting-edge technology available to the masses.

However, the most interesting feature of the car will be its autonomous capability. Sensors and other onboard equipment are expensive and it remains to be seen whether Tesla is able to fulfill its promise.

Musk revealed a new battery design that incorporates a larger and more efficient cell. The new technology is dubbed “tabless” and is said to increase density by five times, offering 16 percent more range. But the technology announced is likely to take years to implement.

The cost of electric cars has consistently dropped in the last few years and Tesla is relying on this trend to hype up its future products. According to The Verge, Prices have already fallen from a lofty US$ 1,100/kWh just ten years ago to about US$ 156/kWh in 2019.

Altough, this isn’t the first time Musk has announced an affordable EV. The Model 3 was initially touted to cost US$ 35,000 but the base option starts at US$ 37,990 while the Performance variant goes for US$ 54,990.

Ultimately, Tesla hopes to make 20 million vehicles a year, Musk said

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Enterprise

Facebook took down pro-China, pro-Duterte accounts

Reportedly China-sponsored and inauthentic accounts

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With the American presidential elections fast approaching, Facebook is taking an active approach against potential election interference. For one, the social media platform is moderating its content more stringently for misinformation. Now, erring accounts are on the chopping block. Today, Facebook took down pro-China, pro-Duterte accounts in the Philippines.

If you’re worried about a potential violation of the right to free speech, the platform claims that the ban affects “inauthentic Chinese accounts,” according to a new security report. In a list containing more than 200 accounts, most were potentially interfering in Asian and American politics. Facebook also included more than 40 pages, nine groups, and more than 20 Instagram accounts.

Most of the accounts were based in the Philippines, commenting (and supporting) China’s claims on the West Philippine Sea and President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions. They also criticized Rappler. Posts were in English, Filipino, and Chinese.

On the flip side, the smaller chunk of suspended accounts is in the United States, showing support for both Democrats and Republicans.

Whereas the American-based accounts have only around 3,000 followers, the Philippines-based accounts have amassed more than 376,000 followers at the time of suspension. Meanwhile, the implicated groups drew in more than 60,000 followers. The accounts spent US$ 60 on ad spending in Chinese yuan. They also spent a whopping US$ 1,100 in Philippine peso.

Undoubtedly, Facebook is taking a more active approach against political interference. It marks a renewed approach compared to its efforts in 2016. Back then, the platform received a lot of flak for affecting the elections in both the United States and in Southeast Asia.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is paying users to delete their accounts

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