News

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2: A head-to-toe improvement

An expected refinement

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When the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 was first unveiled at the Galaxy Note 20 series Unpacked event we barely knew anything about the device. Now, Samsung has completely revealed everything.

As expected, this is a refinement of the first generation Galaxy Fold. Curiously, Samsung is calling it their third generation folding device following the Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip.

Here’s what’s under the hood: 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2

Main Display 7.6” QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (22.5:18) Infinity Flex Display (2208 x 1768), 373ppi
Cover Screen 6.2” HD+ Super AMOLED Display (25:9), 2260 x 816, 386ppi
Cover Camera 10MP Selfie Camera : F2.2, Pixel size: 1.22μm, FOV: 80 ̊
Front Camera
Rear Triple Camera 12MP Ultra Wide Camera : F2.2 ,Pixel size: 1.12μm, FOV : 123 ̊

12MP Wide-angle Camera : Super Speed Dual Pixel AF, OIS, F1.8, Pixel size: 1.8μm, FOV: 83 ̊

12MP Telephoto Camera : PDAF, F2.4, OIS, Pixel size: 1.0μm, FOV: 45 ̊

RAM and Storage 12GB RAM with 256GB internal storage (UFS3.1)
Battery 4500mAh (typical) dual battery

Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless

Wireless PowerShare

Security Lock type: pattern, PIN, password

Biometric lock type: Face Recognition, Side-mounted Fingerprint sensor

Knox protection: real-time monitoring and protection.

Secure Folder: a secure space on the device to keep content such

Colors Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze

[Customization Hinge Color]

Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Metallic Red, Metallic Blue

Smoothing out the edges

As expected, the Galaxy Z Fold2 looks more like a finished product than its predecessor. The 6.2-inch Infiniy-O (punch-hole) cover screen makes it usable when folded. You can check emails, look up directions, watch videos, and pretty much anything you would normally do on your phone.

Unfold it and you’ll be greeted by the 7.6-inch main screen that now has a punch hole front camera instead of the hideous notch that was present in the original Galaxy Fold. That massive screen also has a 120Hz refresh rate.

The Galaxy Z Fold2 is held together by the Hideaway Hinge with the CAM mechanism that helps you prop up the fold in whatever way you want it to. They also added the sweeper tech first used on the Galaxy Z Flip. This repels dust and dirt between the body and the hinge.

Different capturing modes

The numbers on the cameras aren’t gonna jump out at you. What’s unique is the number of ways you can capture stills and footage with the device.

There’s Capture View Mode that lets you preview your last five shots on the bottom half of the screen without leaving the camera app.

There’s also Auto Framing which lets you shoot videos hands-free. When over three people are detected, it will automatically zoom out to capture everyone. It uses a machine learning algorithm to detect human faces. Trackable distance is between 1.5m to 2.5m.

It also retains the feature that lets you use the front camera as a viewfinder but use the main camera to take the photo for a higher resolution image. You also get staple Galaxy camera features like Pro Mode, Single Take, Bright Night, and many others.

A multitasking machine 

Everyone says this about devices with massive screens but Samsung has put in extra attention to make sure that the ONE UI version on the Galaxy Z Fold2 meets the needs of mobile multitaskers.

Multi-Active Window now lets you have more control and should be easier to use. There’s an improved Multi-Window Tray that lets you use multiple files from the same app and view them side by side.

You can drag and drop seamlessly to move or copy files and can switch between traditional screen or large screen layouts on the Main screen depending on your preference.

This is also the first foldable to implement the use of three apps all at the same time. With Edge Panel, you can customize how those three apps are laid out. The new Screen Capture tech also lets you take a screenshot and just select one of those three apps as the final product without needing to resize and edit.

Everything was just really built intuitively in a way that makes sense for the Fold2’s form factor.

Thom Browne Edition

As revealed during the Galaxy Note 20 series launch, the Galaxy Z Fold2 will have a Thom Browne Edition.

Other than the signature geometric grey and multicolor stripe look, software additions include a new lock screen and exclusive photo filter.

Each Thom Browne Edition Package includes the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Watch3, Galaxy Buds Live and an array of fully customized accessories all featuring elements of Thom Browne’s iconic design.

Galaxy Z Premiere 

Just like previous Galaxy Fold owners, Galaxy Z Fold2 consumers have access to the Galaxy Z Premier Service. It’s an on-demand concierge support from a dedicated team of product experts.

Galaxy Z Fold2 owners will be provided one-time device protection against accidental display damage within one year of purchasing date.

With Galaxy Z Premiere, Galaxy Z owners can get a membership to Founders Card21, access to a prepared meal from a Michelin star restaurant, and an elite fairway golf and country club program at clubs across the U.S.23 with more benefits being added all the time.

Pricing and availability 

In the US, The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 will retail for US$ 1,999. It will be available starting September 18 in carrier and Unlocked by Samsung versions through Samsung.com, carriers and select retailers online.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G begin September 2, 2020 at 12:01 am ET.

Original Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip users can trade-in their device to get the Galaxy Z Fold2 for as low as US$ 25/month with up to US$ 800 trade-in value. Users can save up to US$ 650 on trade-ins of other eligible devices. These offers are for a limited time.

Meanwhile, The Galaxy Z Fold2 Thom Browne edition will retail for US$ 3,299 and will be available for pre-order beginning September 2, 2020 with general availability on September 25, 2020.

In the Philippines, The Galaxy Z Fold2 will be available in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze on

September 25, 2020 for select Samsung Online Partners and October 2, 2020 for select Authorized Samsung Stores.

Pre-order period is from September 12 to 24, 2020.

Accessories

realme launches Watch 2 Pro, TechLife Robot Vacuum

While teasing more devices

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realme

This hardly comes as a surprise anymore as every brand is coming out with their slew of smart devices. realme is, likewise, venturing outside the smartphone arena as they launch the realme Watch 2 Pro and realme TechLife Robot Vacuum.

realme AIoT

The company is transitioning from their 1+4+N strategy to the 1+5+T strategy. Still tells the normal everyday person nothing at first glance but realme explains it as:

1 — smartphone, as realme’s smartphones are at the center of its AIoT ecosystem
5 — key categories for realme’s AIoT products. These include the True Wireless Stereo (TWS), Wearables, TV, laptops, and tablets.
T — stands for TechLife. This is realme’s open partner platform. It aims to support innovative and dynamic AIoT startups through the sharing of realme’s own sales channels.

TechLife focuses on three product categories: Smart Entertainment (TV boxes, projectors, speakers and game accessories), Smart Care (vacuum robots, air purifiers and body fat scales), Smart Connect (smart sockets, smart light bulbs and cameras)

After announcing the realme GT to take care of “1”, realme is covering “5” with the realme Watch 2 Pro, and the “T” with the Techlife Robot Vacuum.

realme Watch 2 Pro

If you follow tech news a lot, you know how this goes. The realme Watch 2 Pro is supposed to be your partner for an active and healthy lifestyle.

It comes with a variety of monitoring features. These are an accurate GPS system, an Sp02 monitor for blood oxygen tracking, and a heart rate monitor. For an active lifestyle, it comes with 90 sports modes.

It’s also larger than its predecessor. It has a 1.75-inch (4.4cm) display with 600 nits of peak brightness. It’s also again promising up to 14 days of power with its 390mAh battery. You’re also offered over 100 different watch faces so it’ll never feel old.

realme TechLife Robot Vacuum

This device is kicking off realme’s whole TechLife line. It has the LiDAR Smart Mapping and Navigation System, the same state-of-the-art technology used in the navigation systems of modern electric vehicles and aircraft. Sounds overkill for a vacuum but if you want your space spic and span you wanna make sure the vacuum can get to all areas that it should.

The realme TechLife Robot Vacuum has a super-high suction and mopping power of 3000Pa. This means it’s capable of cleaning large amounts of high-density garbage while keeping noise levels as low as 55dB on quiet mode.

It also features a 5200mAh battery, a 600ml dust bin and a 300ml smart electronic water tank, ensuring that users do not have to constantly charge and empty the vacuum during cleaning.

It’s designed to fit into any home with a maximum height of just above 10cm. It has a sleek and classy design with the top cover of the device made from an impact resistant tempered glass.

More TechLife products coming

realme also teased a media-focused realme Pad tablet and their first laptop — the realme Book.

Price and availability

The realme watch 2 Pro will be available starting June 16 for EUR 74.99. The basic realme watch 2 retails for EUR 54.99.

The realme TechLife Robot Vacuum price and availability details to follow.

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News

realme GT unveiled in realme’s first ever global launch

Announced during realme’s first global launch

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realme GT

realme picked the best theme — speed — as they launched the first in their GT series: the realme GT. Announced in the company’s first ever global launch, the realme GT is packed with flagship specs that promises a fast and smooth performance.

Grand Tourers design

Keeping in line with the speed theme, realme says the realme GT’s design is based on the concept of grand tourers (GT) sports cars. These road machines were made for high speed, long-distance driving. They’re also known to come with high performance and luxury features. Just with this, it’s clear the market that the new flagship is aimed at.

realme has always been pretty fancy with their design. For the realme GT, they’re offering a glass covered design with a 3D light reflecting pattern. There’s also a vegan-leather covered version with a repeated acceleration symbol.

The glass version comes in two colors — Dashing Silver and Dashing Blue. They come with a series of shooting arrow patterns on the back of the phone, symbolizing speed and dynamism.

Meanwhile, the vegan leather edition is available in a rare Racing Yellow, staying true to the brand’s colors. It’s the first one with a dual-tone leather design which is indeed quite unique.

realme GT

Made to be fast

Powering the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. It’s the same chip found on some of the best flagship Android smartphones released in 2021 so far. Flanking it are an LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. Configurations vary per variant. We’ll go more in detail in the pricing section.

We’ve experience some minor heating problems with other Snapdragon 888 devices. realme mitigates this with a new generation stainless steel VC cooling system. It optimizes the phone’s heat dissipation structure. realme says this showed a 50 percent increase in cooling efficiency.

Inside the realme GT is a 4,500mAh battery with support for 65W SuperDart charging. A feature that’s set to get you from zero to 100 percent in just 35 minutes.

Elsewhere on the realme GT

It has a 6.43 inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 360Hz touch sampling rate — something mobile gamers might be particular to. Being a flagship, it also naturally has support for 5G and Wi-Fi 6.

It’s also equipped with a 64MP triple camera system with the usual features like portrait mode as well as a brand new night portrait mode. Like most flagships, there’s also AI assist so you can point, shoot, and post to your heart’s content.

The realme GT has Dolby Atmos Dual Stereo speakers, Hi-Res Audio, and a 3.5mm audio jack with low latency and low interference charge. Lastly, it’s one of the first devices to come with Android 12 Beta 1. Later this year, it will be updated to the new realme UI.

realme GT

Price and availability

The realme GT is now available for purchase in selected countries, including Poland, Spain, Russia and Thailand. Additional markets to follow.

Pricing are as follows:

12GB+256GB realme GT — EUR 599
Early bird sale for EUR 499 to all consumers during Amazon Prime Day starting June 21.

8GB+128GB realme GT — EUR 449
Early bird sale for EUR 369 on AliExpress.

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India

Airtel starts 5G trials in India, shows off 1Gbps speed

Commercial availability still a year away, though

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India is yet to roll out 5G services, but there’s finally some good news. Airtel has kicked off its 5G trial network in Gurugram, Delhi’s neighboring city,  just a little over a month after the government gave its go-ahead to carry out trial runs.

Airtel is testing its 5G network at a speed of over 1Gbps, and the site where the trial is running is operating in the 3500MHz band. According to a report by ET Telecom, Airtel has been allotted the 5G trial spectrum in 3500 MHz, 28 GHz, and 700 MHz.

Rival telcos Jio and VIL (Vodafone-Idea) have been allotted spectrums in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands. State-backed telco MTNL has also received permission to start trials. The runs are being carried out in compliance with the guidelines of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Airtel is currently working with Ericson on the equipment, while other providers include Nokia, Samsung, etc. Jio has announced will be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology. The trails shall go on for six months. Chinese companies like Huawei have long been sidelined.

5G in India

The Indian government is yet to auction the 5G spectrum; hence a commercial roll-out is at least a year away. Earlier in January this year, Airtel claimed that they had become the first telco in India to demonstrate 5G services over a commercial network in Hyderabad. However, these are internal runs.

It noted that in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full-length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone, a demonstration that has underlined the company’s technology capabilities.

The plans to unveil 5G in the country took a backseat due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The industry couldn’t adopt the latest technology quickly as the market was devastated by low tariff wars, pending tax issues, and reducing capex. VIL was barely able to survive bankruptcy, but the debt continues to haunt it.

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