News

Samsung Galaxy S21 Series now official

A few new improvements and features here and there

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We knew it was coming, and like its predecessors, the leaks came flooding. Now, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is official. The series, like last year’s S20 is composed of three phones — the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Like the series that came before it, the Galaxy S21 series follows much of the same hierarchy in terms of size and performance. Here’s a quick look at the three phones by the numbers to get you acquainted.

Galaxy S21 Series Specs

Galaxy S21 Galaxy S21+ Galaxy S21 Ultra
Display 6.2”

Dynamic AMOLED

120Hz

6.7”

Dynamic AMOLED

120Hz

6.8”

Dynamic AMOLED

120Hz/4K

Processor Snapdragon 888/ Exynos 2100

*Depending on the region

Build Polycarbonate Plastic Gorilla Glass Victus Gorilla Glass Victus
RAM + ROM Up to 8GB + 256GB Up to 8GB + 256GB Up to 16GB + 512GB
Battery Capacity 4000mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

4800mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

5000mAh

25W wired charging

15W wireless charging

Rear cameras 12MP Ultra Wide f/2.2

12MP Wide f/1.8

64MP Telephoto f/2.0

12MP Ultra Wide f/2.2

12MP Wide f/1.8

64MP Telephoto f/2.0

12MP Ultra wide f/2.2

108MP Wide f/1.8

10MP Telephoto1 f/2.4

10MP Telephoto2 f/4.9

Laser AF

Selfie camera 10MP f/2.2 40MP f/2.2
S Pen support No No Yes

*Sold separately

*No slot for storage

Colors Phantom Violet

Phantom Pink

Phantom Grey

Phantom White

*Varies depending on market

Phantom Violet

Phantom Grey

Phanton Silver

Phantom Black

*Varies depending on market

Phantom Silver

Phantom Black

Improve Camera features

The megapixel numbers on the phones have largely stayed the same from the Galaxy S20 series. However, Samsung said the improvements they made will largely come in the software department.

Other than improving their computational photography, they have also improved and added upon features that were introduced in the Galaxy S20 series. AI has been applied to Portrait Mode — and nope, it’s no longer called Live Focus.

When shooting using the telephoto lenses, there’s now ZoomLock to aid people with shaky hands. It uses AI to help keep the shot steady and the subject in frame.

Samsung took time to develop the video taking capabilities of the Galaxy S21 series. For instance, Single Take Mode now uses AI to analyze more frames per second.

There’s 8K video recording that lets you take a high resolution photo while you’re recording. Then, there’s the Director’s View Mode that lets you do a number of things. It lets you shoot from both the front and rear cameras at the same time. It also shows you the view from the other cameras and lets you switch between them as you please.

Performance

Jury’s still out on this aspect but it should be no different than the flagships of the past. It’ll be interesting to see how the benchmarks compare between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 units and those that are equipped with the Samsung Exynos 2100 which is promising to be the largest step up for Exynos to date.

As stated on the specs sheet above, all three models have Dynamic AMOLED Display with support for 120Hz screen refresh rate for that oh so smooth viewing and scrolling experience.

S Pen support

As rumored, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will have support for the S Pen. However, unlike the Galaxy Note series, it doesn’t come bundled and does not the smartphone doesn’t have a slot to keep the S Pen tucked in. The S Pen can be bought separately for US$ 39.99.

If you’re keen on getting the S Pen, Samsung has first party cases that have a provision for the S Pen. The cases start at US$ 69.99.

No charger in the box, other things to note

After mocking Apple for removing power bricks, Samsung is doing the exact same thing. The Samsung Galaxy S21 series will also not come with power adapters.

The entire Galaxy S21 series also has UWB or Ultra Wide Band. It lets users point their phone at another Galaxy phone to send files. The feature set has been expanded to include unlocking your car with your phone.

Samsung is also launching an accessory called Smart Tags. These are trackers you can attach to your keys or your backpack. You can then use these to locate your items using the SmartThings Find App.

Pricing and availability 

Starting prices are as follows:

US Philippines
Galaxy S21 US$ 799.99 PhP 47,990
Galaxy S21+ US$ 999.99 PhP 57,990
Galaxy S21 US$ 1,199.99 PhP 69,990

More US pricing and availability details here.

More Philippine pricing and availability details here.

Apps

Google is working on a snoring, coughing detector

Might show up for the Pixel first

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Snoring can be a curse for you and the people you sleep with. Unfortunately, outside of anecdotal evidence, it’s hard to pinpoint how bad snoring can get. Some devices have developed features to detect and measure snoring. Google, joining other companies with the feature, is reportedly developing snore and cough detection for the Pixel.

First reported by 9to5Google, Google Health Studies added a new study exclusive for Google employees. The study specifically revolves around collecting audio during sleep. Google also explains that the study will eventually help Android build features that can help users fix their sleep quality.

According to the source, the upcoming detector will be a “bedside feature” that will measure nocturnal snoring and coughing. However, despite recording audio, it still promises to have the user’s privacy in mind. It’s expected that the feature will drop for the Pixel first before moving on to other Android devices.

Snoring detection isn’t new, of course. In fact, Google is already familiar with the feature, since Fitbit, a company that Google owns, offers the feature for some of its smartwatches. In Fitbit’s case, the feature contributes to the wearable’s entire suite of wellness tracking.

However, it’s a double-edged sword. While the feature can be helpful, it’s also a massive battery drain, since it requires the device’s power the entire night. Hopefully, battery efficiency is a focus in Google’s eventual take on the feature.

SEE ALSO: Google’s AI created these photos, and they look so real

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Gaming

PSVR2 is launching with over 20 major games

Horizon VR game still headlines

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Samsung had a lot to say during its latest investors meeting. Besides unveiling its general plans for the future, the company also teased the devices that are coming in the near future. For a while now, that future lineup includes the PSVR2. If you were thinking of buying the virtual reality wearable for yourself, Sony has good news for you. The PSVR2 will have over 20 major titles on launch.

Naturally, if you buy a pricey piece of hardware, you usually want it to come with a good set of ways to use it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with new gaming devices. For example, the PlayStation 5, despite being out for almost two years, still doesn’t have the most expansive lineup of games that every gamer must play.

Thankfully, the PSVR2 won’t follow in the same, sparse footsteps of the gaming console. According to the meeting (via Video Games Chronicle), the wearable will launch with over 20 first- and third-party games. The headliner is still Call of the Mountain set in the Horizon universe, of course. Unfortunately, the presentation didn’t reveal any other games in the lineup.

If anything, virtual reality gaming has been growing for a while now. In recent history, the market has seen notable titles like Half-Life: Alyx and Beat Saber.

After facing a potential delay, the PSVR2 is expected to launch sometime next year.

SEE ALSO: PSVR2 might be delayed to next year, report says

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News

Foldable Pixel reportedly delayed to next year

Google isn’t happy

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For years, Samsung has been the most dominant force in the foldables market. Though other brands, especially Chinese ones, have brought their own devices to the table, Samsung’s lineup of foldables are undeniably strong, flaws and all. That said, other giants are working on their own entrants. However, it will take a lot longer before the crowd really fills up. According to reports, Google has postponed its own foldable Pixel for next year.

Reported by TheElec, Google has reportedly decided to delay the first foldable Pixel. The company was supposedly unhappy with the current iteration of its prototypes. The next target launch window is next spring. Notably, the device, which has been in development since last year, is sourcing its screen from Samsung Display.

Currently, not much is known about the foldable device yet. Previous reports have speculated on a 7.57-inch main screen (and a 5.78-inch screen when folded), though. A more recent one has also dropped “Pixel Notepad” as a potential name for the device.

Regardless of the status of its foldable Pixel, Google is enjoying a lot of success with its new lineup of smartphones. Last year, the Pixel 6 series refreshed the company’s slate of devices, bringing new hype for the company. This year, Google is continuing that trend with the Pixel 6a and the upcoming Pixel 7 series.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming Google foldable might be called Pixel Notepad

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