Samsung Galaxy S21 Release

Samsung Galaxy S21 Specs – Cheaper, Smarter, Lean!

Welcome to the Everyday Epic!” On January 14, Samsung finally took the wraps off by unveiling the much-anticipated Galaxy S21 lineup—and the South Korean tech giant did not disappoint. While all the 3 devices in the lineup boast of admirable qualities and improvements from the predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra characteristically stole the limelight—staking its claim as the Android phone to beat in 2021.

With the official shipping date scheduled for January 29, eager consumers are likely wondering whether making pre-orders and hitting the stores is worth it. What does the Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup offer?

In a nutshell, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Series is the pinnacle of consumer-ready tech ingenuity encased in a—dare we say—bewitching casing! But you’re probably here for more than a one-sentence description of Samsung’s latest instalments. So, read on…

From a sleek design, impressive power ‘under the hood’, to a few out of the box (literary) surprises, here’s a snippet of what the recently revealed Samsung Galaxy S21 Series offers.

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Specs Sheet  

As the ‘upper crust’ of Samsung devices and probably Android phones, it perfectly reasonable to expect nothing but the most high-tech and exquisite features in the Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup. And this is the exact direction Samsung took.

Here’s what the Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup packs under the hood:

Specs Samsung S21 Samsung S21 PLUS Samsung S21 ULTRA
Dimensions 6 x 2.8 x 0.31 inches

(6 ounces)

6.4 x 3 x 0.31 inches

(7.2 ounces)

6.5 x 2.97 x 0.35 inches

(8 ounces)

Build/Body Mid-frame: Aluminum

Back: Polycarbonate Plastic

Front: Gorilla Glass Victus

Mid-frame: Aluminum

Back: Gorilla Glass Victus

Front: Gorilla Glass Victus

Mid-frame: Aluminum

Back: Gorilla Glass Victus

Front: Gorilla Glass Victus

Display Full HD+ (6.2 inches) Dynamic AMOLED 2X flat display, 2400*1080 pixels Full HD+ (6.7 inches) Dynamic AMOLED 2X flat display, 2400*1080 pixels QHD+ (6.8 inches) Dynamic AMOLED 2X curved display, 3200*1440 pixels
Refresh Rate 120Hz 120Hz 120Hz adaptive (supported at QHD+
Back Camera Main: 12MP

Ultra-Wide: 12MP

Telephoto: 64MP

Main: 12MP

Ultra-Wide: 12MP

Telephoto: 64MP

Main: 108MP

Ultra-Wide: 12MP

3X Optical: 10MP

10X Optical: 10MP

Front Camera 10MP 10MP 40MP
Chipset (US/UK) Snapdragon 888/ Exynos 2100 Snapdragon 888/ Exynos 2100 Snapdragon 888/ Exynos 2100
RAM 8GB + 128GB/256GB 8GB + 128GB/256GB 12GB + 128GB/256GB, 16BG + 512 GB
Power/Battery 4,000mAh 4,800mAh 5,000mAh
Colors Phantom White, Phantom Gray, Phantom Pink, and Phantom Violet Phantom Violet, Phantom Gray, and Phantom White (+exclusives) Phantom Gray and Phantom White (+exclusives)
OS Android 11/One UI 3.1 Android 11/One UI 3.1 Android 11/One UI 3.1
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6, 5G Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6, 5G Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6E, 5G
Security Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner

 

Design

The resounding feedback from the online community of tech reviewers—including MrWhoseTheBoss, MKBHD, and Unbox Therapy—is that the Samsung Galaxy S21s are eye candy, design-wise. They have an understated, clean, and sleek look.

The most obvious change to the phones’ design is the interesting integration of the camera module on the back. Samsung decided to retire the ‘Island’ design that had its fair share of critics—and instead opted to merge the camera module to the Aluminum midframe in a seamless flow. This reduces the annoying wobble and gives the phone an aesthetic upgrade. The back design is further compounded by a two-tone color, which Samsung calls ‘Phantom’.

Other noteworthy features include a USB 3.2 Type-C port, NO headphone jack, a speaker grille on the bottom, dust protection, and an IP68 waterproof rating.

 

Cameras

To quote TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business at Samsung, “be on the lookout for super-intelligent, pro-grade camera and video capabilities in 2021.” Could this refer to the S21 lineup? Maybe; maybe not—we’ll have to put the lenses to the test. But here’s what they hold on paper:

The Galaxy S21’s camera setup is more-or-less borrowed from its predecessor’s—with the exception of the highest-end Galaxy S21 Ultra.  Both the Galaxy S21 and S21+ sport a triple camera setup—consisting of the Main Sensor (12MP), an Ultrawide Sensor (12MP), and a Telephoto Lens (64MP).

The Ultra variant has two 10MP cameras and a 108MP main camera with a spruced-up second-gen image sensor to make up for the shortcomings of its predecessor.

If you’re one of those people who can’t resist recording noteworthy events, the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports 4K (60fps) video recording. And there’s a “Vlogger View” feature in the camera software that allows you to use both the rear and front camera at the same time—sweet, right!

 

Battery

The Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra models will feature a 4,000mAh, 4,800 mAh, and 5,000mAh battery, respectively. While this doesn’t offer a significant boost from the Galaxy S20 Series, you can expect your device to hold more power courtesy of improved chipset efficiencies.

Charge-wise, they boast of 15W wireless charging, 4.5 reverse wireless charging, and 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging. Again, we couldn’t expect any less from a flagship.

 

Accessories – Ditching the Charger, iPhone-Style

Remember when Apple decided to leave out a charger in its iPhone 12 packaging for environmental reasons? Well, Samsung is heading down that same road.

The recently announced devices will not ship with chargers in most regions. If you want one, you can order it at a reduced price. And that’s not all… You should also forget about the microSD card slot (not that anyone uses it anymore). This drive to reduce e-waste results in an uncharacteristically small and compact packaging box. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how the Android community responds to the changes.

Amid all the dialed down accessories there’s one noteworthy addition. Samsung just tossed their famous S Pen Stylus into the Galaxy S Series lineup. Specifically, the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Although the device does not have the same housing cavity as the Galaxy Note Series, Samsung offers case options to both store and charge the Stylus. Could this spell the end of the Galaxy Note Series?

Let’s Talk Money – Galaxy S21 Prices

The past year has not been kind to a lot of people—and Samsung seems to understand this situation. This is because the phone manufacturer slashed the base price of the Galaxy S21 lineup.

The Galaxy S21 ($799) and S21+ ($999) are a whopping $200 cheaper than their predecessors—while the S21 Ultra ($1199) takes the price-cutting up a notch by retailing for $300 less than the S20 Ultra before it. While they’re still relatively high-priced, who would say no to an upgrade that saves you a couple of bucks?

 

Samsung Came Out Swinging!

The year may be in its infant stages, but it seems we already have a winner for the most value-driven phone of 2021. It’s interesting to see what other manufacturers have up their sleeves to usurp Samsung’s strong start.

And as you contemplate grabbing the biggest and baddest Android device in town, play safe! Observe COVID-19 safety rules and slap a protective screen protector from Tech Armor for your precious Samsung devices. (PS: Kick your hygiene up a notch with a Tech Armor Cleaning Kit).

Smartphones in 2021 – What’s Coming and When?

At its advent, you would have been completely justified to think that 2020 would not be a good year for smartphones and other devices. It did not seem like it would be a good year for anything to be frank. The biggest (annual) mobile device trade show of the year – Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 – was cancelled due to health concerns and most of the big companies pulling out. CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2020 happened early enough in the year not to be affected by the pandemic. Other events like IFA 2020, the Apple Event, and other big announcement events were different this year. No tech enthusiasts were in attendance, and instead, the events were live-streamed over various platforms. It was a new way of doing things, and while hands-on experiences are so important for tech devices, this new way was necessary.

 

A Good Year for Smartphones

Luckily, the resilience of smartphone manufacturers shone through and we got a plethora of devices – arguably more than previous years. The big players unveiled the latest and greatest they had to offer and more. To the credit of the manufacturers, this year saw more price points catered to so that no one was left out during these trying times. There truly is a device for everyone.

With the new released came further innovation. The manufacturers’ attempts to outshine each other brought about some great features and prices. There were attempts to push the boundaries of today’s technology, and as a result, we saw some great things this year, with a promise of even better things in the next few years.

 

We take a look back at what we got in 2020 and use that as a baseline to predict what we might get to see come 2021. All in all, there are reasons to be excited. No matter what kind of a smartphone user you are, you just cannot deny how cool some features we’ve seen are.

 

Big Smartphone Features We Saw in 2020

 

  1. 5G

5G has been the topic of discussion in prior years and 2020 finally saw it debut on smartphones. On paper, 5G is revolutionary. It brings with it a change in how we use our phones and other devices. The data transfer speeds are (sometimes) miles ahead of what is achievable on 4G. Running a speed test on 5G for the first time is like seeing a new magic trick. You can download a movie in seconds and an entire season of episodes in minutes. There is one caveat though: coverage.

 

5G coverage has improved and is set to be even better with the inclusion of the technology in the 2020 iPhones. It is bound to be mainstream within the next year or two. Because of its nature, total 5G coverage would require many receivers placed all over, at least for the top tier 5G bandwidth (mmWave). As a workaround, carriers are providing slower 5G with better reach. It is worth noting, however, that even slow 5G is better than 4G.

 

  1. The First 5nm Processors

Smartphone processing power has come leaps and bounds and yet another milestone was reached in 2020. The already fast 7nm architecture processors became second best to the first 5nm chip – Apple’s A14 Bionic. It is efficient, powerful, and became an even bigger deal when it was used as the blueprint for Apple’s revolutionary M1 chips for the Macbooks. The second 5nm chip was Huawei’s Kirin 9000, which was then followed by Qualcomm’s announcement of the Snapdragon 888 chip. Even Samsung is expected to feature their new Exynos 1080 chip in their next flagships. What all the 5nm chips have in common is the raw power and efficiency, which means greater performance with no negative effect on battery life.

 

  1. Android 11 & iOS 14

Each year sees the newest flavors of both Android and iOS. In 2020 we got both, with each bringing something different when compared to previous offerings. IOS 14 brought Android-like UI changes in the form of widgets that changed how users interacted with their home screens. Android 11 built on top of Android 10 and doubled down on privacy and security. There are some nifty features like a smarter AI Assistant that improve the overall user experience.

While the experience is very streamlined and standard across the board for Apple devices, it is a vastly different case for Android. Each manufacturer uses a skin to deliver what they think is the best version of the OS. Samsung introduced OneUI 3.0 for its newer devices while Oxygen OS 11 was unveiled for OnePlus devices. New versions of MIUI, ColorOS, and FunTouch OS were also unveiled, all based on Android 11.

 

  1. 108Mp Cameras

Devices bearing the Ultra and Pro monikers have brought some insane features in the past, but 2020 saw that taken to new heights. Devices like the S20 Ultra and the Mi Note 10 had 108MP main cameras – a mind-blowing figure. Using such a large sensor on a phone is an achievement in itself, and the images captured had lots of detail even when zoomed into.

 

  1. Insane Zoom Capabilities

On top of 108MP cameras came over 100x zoom, albeit hybrid (optical + digital). It was more of a marketing gimmick than anything else because zooming past a certain level makes photos unusable. Still, owners of phones like the Samsung S20 Ultra have all the bragging rights when it comes to zooming capabilities. From a more realistic standpoint, an optical zoom of 5x or 10x is very, very impressive. Such telephoto cameras are the gold standard.

 

  1. Super-Fast Wired & Wireless Charging

The huge numbers did not just stop at the cameras in 2020. The Mi 10 Ultra debuted with 120W wired charging and 50W wireless charging. I do not know what part of that you find most impressive. When wired, the phone goes from 0 to 41% in 5 minutes, and up to 100% in 23 minutes. Its wireless charging can fill it up in 100 minutes. Additionally, it has 10W wireless reverse charging, a technology that appeared in more upper echelon devices in 2020.

 

  1. High Refresh Rates

Smooth scrolling, responsive gaming – benefits of high refresh rate screens. What started at 90Hz quickly moved up to 120Hz and subsequently 144Hz as seen in 2020 gaming phones and some mainstream ones. High refresh rates improve the experience of the user, not exactly the phone’s raw power or capabilities. There are split camps as far as high refresh rates go – some do not care and some just cannot live without it. Which side are you on?

 

  1. The Return of Mediatek

You’d be forgiven for not knowing about MediaTek. The chip makers have been second best to Qualcomm for the longest time but had their resurgence in 2020 through their Dimensity range of chipsets. Cheap, but powerful, they featured in many midrange devices allowing manufacturers to offer very competitive prices, something not quite possible with Snapdragon chips.

 

  1. Weird, but Cool Smartphones

The LG Wing was a standout 2020 phone because of its rotating screen and all the possibilities it brought. This was in addition to the second generation foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the clamshell design Moto Razr throwback.

 

  1. The First Under-Display Camera

The ZTE Axon 20 became the world’s first smartphone with an under-display camera. It was announced in September and became available for purchase in December, although with limited availability.

 

 

What big features are coming in 2021?

 

  1. More 5nm Processors

While a lot of 5nm processors were announced in 2020, we are bound to see the bulk of them incorporated in smartphones in 2021. The most powerful generation of smartphones yet will make its way to your pocket in the course of this year, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 making its debut on the Xiaomi Mi 11 and S21 soon after.

 

  1. Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

Announced in 2020, the Snapdragon 888 is more than just another 5nm processor. The improvement from the previous gen 875 is quite significant, with boosts in CPU and GPU capabilities. Other huge talking points are camera capabilities, AI, and 5G. For camera, the 888 is capable of HDR video, insane low-light shots and snappy performance. Unlike the previous processor, the 5G modem is hosted on the chip making it cheaper and more power-efficient. There is a new AI chip that will make AI tasks all the more awesome.

 

  1. Invisible (Disappearing) Cameras

At CES 2020, OnePlus showcased the Concept One phone that had one headlining feature – the cameras at the back were there in one second and gone in the next. It electrochromic glass, the same technology that McLaren uses in its supercars to darken the sunroof. It is an aesthetic feature that will probably be in niche devices. It is still cool though.

 

  1. Rollable Displays

First showcased on TVs, we could very well see a smartphone with a rollable display for the mass market. Bets are up for which manufacturer will be the first to do it and the first to do it right. Unlike the disappearing cameras, rollable displays solve an actual problem – foldable phones have a crease and an unorthodox form factor. A rollable display can maintain the shape of a normal phone while still being able to extend to larger sizes.

 

  1. Even Faster Charging Speeds

Manufacturers like Oppo have already showcased 125W wired charging and 65W wireless charging. If this is anything to go by, 2021 will be the year where battery capacity does not matter as much if all it takes is a few minutes to get it charged to full capacity.

 

  1. Under Display Cameras

While the feature debuted in 2020, it is bound to go mainstream in 2021 – at least for the high-end devices. Having an uninterrupted display without the moving mechanisms required for a pop-up selfie camera should be quite the addition to smartphones.

 

  1. First Portless Phone

This is most likely going to be Apple if the past years are anything to go by. They made the headphone jack irrelevant – and with the inclusion of Magsafe – they might do the same to their infamous lightning port, at least on their iPhones. They already removed the charging brick from the retail packaging.

 

  1. The Return of TouchID

With the inclusion of OLED displays on the 2020 iPhones, Apple can now include TouchID on the 2021 iPhones and hopefully reduce or get rid of the huge notch entirely.

 

 

What devices are coming in 2021

 

  1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Lineup

Sources claim that we might see the S21 as early as January. The camera bump might see a new design with flat displays. There should be a new color as well – Mystic Purple. The best news? The series might start at a lower price than its predecessors.

Past years have seen complaints from regions that received S-series phones with Exynos processors because they were inferior to the Snapdragon versions. 2021 may be different though. Samsung’s in-house 5nm processor may finally be just as good as the latest Qualcomm processor, at least in terms of raw performance.

Lastly, we may see the last Galaxy Note device this year, or none at all! The S21 might just have S-Pen support.

 

  1. Galaxy Z Fold 3

The Fold 3 might just be replacing the Note in 2021. It is set to have S-Pen support and under-display cameras.

 

  1. Pixel 6

Google chose to focus on good performance and more affordable pricing and the result was a mid-range flagship. Chances are that Google will go the same route for the Pixel 6, but with much better camera performance, which is saying a lot for a Pixel device.  More interestingly is that the Pixel 6 might use a version of Samsung’s 5nm Exynos processor.

 

  1. iPhone 13 Lineup

Not a lot is known about the iPhone 13 series, but it might just be the first portless smartphone lineup. A 120Hz ProMotion display is all but guaranteed at this point. Fingers crossed that the notch shrinks in size!

 

  1. OnePlus 9 Lineup

OnePlus might have three devices in their lineup – the standard 9, the Pro, and the new 9E. The 9E might be the affordable flagship, sort of like the 8T. The design of the OnePlus 9 might be new, specifically on the placement of the camera modules.

 

  1. 2021 iPads

Apple’s iPads are the best tablets – period. With the strides that Apple is making both in hardware and software, the gap between them and second-best can only get wider. 5G may be included in the entire lineup, as well as iterative upgrades.

 

Looking Forward

There is certainly a lot to look forward to in 2021 – this applies to both smartphones and life in general. We can only sit and wait – as we protect ourselves – and protect all our current devices with the brilliant Tech Armor Accessories.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ - Device Review

Plus means better. Plus means more. The Galaxy Tab S7 was already a great android tablet offering from Samsung, so by extension, the S7+must be a cut above.

Not a lot can be said for Android tablets. They have been underwhelming at best, with Apple’s iPads being miles ahead in almost every aspect, including popularity. Samsung’s capability, however, has never been in question and the Galaxy name is associated with some of the best hardware there is in mobile devices – and their tablet hardware is on the verge of catching up. So how good is the S7+ really? What improvements has it made on the S6 and how does it stack up against the regular S7 and its fierce rivals?

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 & S7+ | Samsung US

 

  1. Display

The Galaxy Tab S7+ sports a 12.4” Super AMOLED 120Hz display. There is everything to love about that sentence. If nothing else, Samsung is known to have the best displays on the market. This is an improvement in both size and quality when compared to the 11.0” LTPS 120Hz screen on the regular Tab S7 and even more so when compared to the Tab S6. It is a 16:10 display with 2800×1752 resolution, coming to a pixel density of 266 PPI. It has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and is HDR10+-capable. The display is buttery smooth and an absolute delight to consume media on.

 

  1. Performance

Samsung did not hold any punches when it came to performance. The Tab S7 has the very powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ with 6/8GB RAM (LPDDR5), 128/ 256/ 512GB storage (UFS 3.1 Flash) combinations. It flies. It has Samsung OneUI 2.5 based on Android 10 out of the box. Reports say that Android 11 for the Tab S7+ is already in beta, though.

The 120Hz refresh rate helps breeze through the UI, though there are a few software hiccups consistent with Android tablets. App optimization is one of these problems, and it can consistently make you forget that the hardware you are using is impeccable. This one of the areas where iPads leave Android tablets in the dust.

The Tab S7+ has a 10,090 mAh battery with 45W fast-charging, though only a 15W charger is included in the box. You will get between 14 and 15 hours of battery life while watching video, better than the iPad Pro.

Samsung DeX is also present, a feature that allows you to use the tablet like a desktop PC.

 

  1. Connectivity

There are two versions of the Tab S7+, the 5G version and the Wi-Fi model. The 5G model supports both mmWave and Sub-6, and the latter has Wi-Fi 6. Both models have Bluetooth 5.0.

 

  1. Design

The Tab S7+ has hints of the 2020 iPad Pro in its design, which is the device it is meant to be challenging for the title. It is a thin slab of glass and aluminum with flat edges. At the top is the power button, volume rocker, microphone and the card slot. On the opposite end right in the middle is they keyboard connector for connecting the accessory. On the left are two speaker grills and a microphone, with the right side having two more speaker grills and a USB-C port. The camera module at the back is above the groove where the S Pen magnetically rests and charges when not in use.

Color options available are Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, and Mystic Bronze, though the 5G version is limited to Mystic Black.

 

  1. Camera

The Tab S7+ has a dual camera system with a 13 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide) main camera capable of 4K@60 video and a 5 MP, f/2.2, 12mm ultrawide lens. The front camera is a 8 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide) lens capable of 1080@30 video.

 

  1. Accessories

Unlike the iPad, the Tab S7+ ships with the S Pen ready. The Samsung Book Cover keyboard, though sold separately, is a necessity to fully take advantage of what the S7+ has to offer. They keyboard also serves as protection for the thin tablet and attaches magnetically.

 

Verdict

The Tab S7+ is by far the best Android tablet there is. It has fantastic hardware, but has a few software issues to overcome before it can truly dethrone the iPad Pro.

 

The Best Screen Protection For the Best Android Tablet

The S7+, like all investments, needs to be well-cared for. Inevitabilities like drops and scratches are not likely to worry you if you are assured that it is protected at all times. And who does not like options?

The Tech Armor HD Clear Film screen protectors are not made out of glass, but of Japanese PET film and high-grade silicone adhesives for rainbow-free viewing clarity and easy, bubble-free installation. They have anti-fingerprint, oleophobic coating that resists smudges and helps maintain the pristine clarity of your Tab S7+. Oh yeah, and it’s a pack of 2!

If a matte feel is your thing, the Tech Armor Anti-Glare/Anti-Fingerprint Matte Film screen protector is the way to go. Also coming in a pack of 2, it does what it says in the name to very  high standards. Protection without compromise. Get yourself a pack here.

Device Review - Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra

The Best Samsung Phone of 2020 Walks Among Us – A Look at Note 20 & Note 20 Ultra

Every year, Samsung gathers the best smartphone specs and puts them into one lineup.  As Samsung’s most powerful phone of the year, Note phones always attempt to snap the competition out of existence.

The Note 10 announcement in 2019 brought with it Samsung dual-release format that saw 2 Note phones released: the Note 10 and Note 10+. The difference between the two was mainly in the size, with the regular note being significantly smaller than the plus model.

Flash forward to 2020 and Samsung released 2 phones as well: the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. Borrowing from the Galaxy S lineup, the Ultra moniker is meant to signify the most premium of premium smartphones. What dis this mean for the regular Note 20?

Well, this year saw significant differences between the two models, the size being the least of them. Just how good are this year’s Notes? Is the Ultra worthy of its name? Here’s a quick review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra.

 

Galaxy Note 20

The vanilla Note 20, at face value, look pretty similar to the Ultra. That is until you start looking a little closer. Coming in at $1000, any buyer would expect to receive a lot of high-end specs for the price. Unfortunately, the Note 20 falls just short of expectations, even with some improvement on last year’s offerings.

 

Build and Design

The Note 20 is available in 3 colors: Mystic Bronze, Mystic Green, and Mystic Gray. It sports the same squared-off design found in the Note 10 series but with one very questionable design choice: it has a plastic back. For context, the regular Note 10 came in 5 colors and featured a Gorilla Glass 6 back. Gorilla Glass (5) can still be found on the Note 20, but just on the front. It is a flat panel, with the curved edges only appearing on the back of the phone.

The camera arrangement is different on this year’s Notes, with significantly bigger lens cutouts housed in a wider camera bump. The bump adds to the 8.3mm thickness. The front has an Infinity-O cutout for the selfie camera.

The bottom of the phone has a bottom-firing speaker, the USB-C port, a microphone, and the S-Pen slot which is found in the bottom left as opposed to the right as in previous years.

It has IP68 water/dust resistance.

 

Display

The Note 20 has a 6.7” Super AMOLED display at 60Hz and 1080p resolution. It is a great Samsung panel by all means. It is a much bigger screen than last year’s regular Note, which came in at 6.3”. This is in line with the idea of a Note phone and Note lovers will appreciate the bigger screen. The glaring feature here is the lack of a high refresh rate screen which has almost become a 2020 staple, appearing at almost all price points. Lack of a QHD-capable screen might also be an issue, but most people enjoying high-refresh rates on Samsung flagships have had to stick to 1080p anyway.

 

S-Pen

The S-Pen, the hallmark feature of the Note series, saw great improvement this year. While all the great and gimmicky features remain, the latency has been reduced by about 40% as compared to last year. It gives a true pen-to-paper feeling this year.

 

Battery and Charging

The Note 20 has a 4,300 mAh battery with 25W fast-charging. The battery is up from 3,500 mAh last year, but the charging speed remains the same.

 

Memory and Storage

The Note 20 has a decent 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.0 storage, similar to last year. There is no expandable storage onboard but the provided storage should suffice for most buyers.

 

Cameras

The Note 20 has a triple camera setup:

  • Main: 12MP f/1.8
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2
  • Zoom: 64MP f/2.0 3x, 30X SpaceZoom

The Note 20 has a similar camera setup to that of the S20 lineup, with the ability to record 8K video on the 64MP sensor. The photos are great, not very far off from the Note 20 Ultra

 

Note 20 Ultra

It is really in the name. The Note 20 is the premium device. It has significant improvements, not only on last year’s most expensive model, but also on its 2020 sibling.

 

Build and Design

The Note 20 Ultra is a squared-off glass and aluminum sandwich: pardon the tech YouTuber cliché. It comes in 5 colors compared to the 3 in the regular Note, adding Mystic Black and Mystic White to the color options. The Mystic Bronze on the Ultra looks and feels great with its matte finish. The front and back sport the new Gorilla Glass 7, also known as Victus. It feels like an expensive phone, and it is at $1,300.

The Note 20 Ultra is surprisingly thinner than the Note 20 at 8.1mm, even though it is 16 grams heavier. It has flat edges and squared corners as compared to smoother edges on previous Notes.

 

Display

The Ultra is bigger with a 6.9” Super AMOLED screen at 120Hz and QHD+ resolution. It is slightly bigger than the Note 10+ which had a 6.8” display. It is one of, if not the best display on a smartphone. Better than any other Samsung phone, Note or otherwise. It is also the biggest display on a Samsung phone yet. It is slightly curved, just enough to look as good as last year’s Notes while greatly reducing cases of accidental touches. The 120Hz and QHD+ resolution are great specs, but unfortunately cannot be enjoyed simultaneously. The higher refresh rate is only at 1080p. What a waste.

 

S-Pen

While the 46ms latency on the Note 20 is impressive, the Ultra one-ups that with 9ms. 9! Coupled with the high refresh rate screen, this is as close to drawing on a real canvas as it gets. The older Notes do not even come close!

 

Battery and Charging

Both Notes share the 25W fast-charging, but the Ultra has a bigger 4500mAh battery. However, the cut down specs in the Note 20 give it a better endurance rating than the Ultra.

 

Memory and Storage

The Ultra comes with up to 512GB of on-board storage, with MicroSD storage expansion supported for up to 1TB.

 

Cameras

  • Main: 108MP f/1.8
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP f/2.2
  • Zoom: 12MP f/3.0 5x, 50X SpaceZoom

With a huge and very noticeable camera bump, the Note 20 Ultra offers more than just a wow factor. The 50x sensor cuts down on the issues that plague the S20 Ultra and produces excellent photos.

 

Both 2020 Notes share the following specs:

Processor

Samsung continues its very controversial inclusion of Exynos processors for flagships in European markets. The better Snapdragon 865 Note phones are sold in the United States. Benchmarks and real-world tests showed that last year’s Exynos 9825 Soc was behind the Snapdragon 855. The Snapdragon 865 comfortably edges out this year’s Exynos 990. Either way, the Note 20 offers improved performance as compared to the Note 10 and 10+.

 

Connectivity

There are 4G and 5G variants for the Note 20, allowing buyers to choose based on preference or 5G availability. 5G was not available at all for 2019 Notes.

 

Final Thoughts

While some choices made for the regular Note 20 are mind-boggling, it is still a solid offering giving the full ‘Note’ experience. The price, the worst of those choices, is not appealing at all and might just be Samsung’s way of pushing more people towards the Ultra. The Ultra is a beast of a phone, ticking all the right boxes and then some. It might be huge and unwieldy to some, but it is a great media machine.

 

Samsung Note 20 - What to Expect

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is Nigh – Here’s What to Expect

The wait is nearly over! The most anticipated Android smartphone is officially a few weeks away. Samsung recently confirmed the dates for its virtual Galaxy Unpacked 2020 event—which is scheduled for August 5.

We expect the South Korean company to unveil the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and a couple of other mobile devices—including the Galaxy Tab S7 and a 5G version of Galaxy Z Flip. As for the shipping date, rumors point to August 21, pending further confirmation.

As we countdown days to the unveiling of arguable the most powerful Android phone yet, here’s what to expect from the device:

 

Overview of the Specs

Galaxy Note 20 Galaxy Note 20 Plus/ Ultra
Screen size 6.42 inches with a resolution of 2345 x 1084 6.87 inches with a resolution of 3096 x 1444
Refresh rate 60Hz or 120Hz 120Hz
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990
RAM 8GB 12GB
Storage 128GB 256 or 512GB
Cameras (Rear) 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto, and time-of-flight sensor 108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 13MP telephoto, and laser focus sensor
Battery 4,170mAh – 4,300 mAh 4,500 mAh – 5,000 mAh

 

Models – 2? Maybe 3?

Drawing on the naming of its predecessors, most people assumed that Samsung would follow in its trend by naming the upcoming devices Note 20 and Note 20 Plus. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

A Bluetooth certification uncovered by MySmartPrice suggests the existence of a Note 20 Ultra. But then again, the rumor mills have consistently claimed that there will be two variations of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. Long story short, expect two model – the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Plus/Ultra.

 

Galaxy Note 20 Design Envisioned In Concept Renders

 

Display – Optimized Big Screen

A “more fine-tuned” 120Hz refresh rate technology, a low power display technology that could slash 20% of power consumption – the Galaxy Note 20 offers a lot to admire, if the rumors are true.

The regular Note 20 is expected to feature 6.42-inch screen (2345 x 1084)—while the larger Plus/Ultra model boasts of a 6.87-inch screen (3096 x 1444). You can also expect a more advanced in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that’s large enough to read two fingers simultaneously.

 

Design – Spick-and-span

As we enter the last lap to the much-anticipated release of the Note 20, we’re beginning to see glimpses of actual photos of the device. The most accurate leak comes from non-other than Samsung themselves.

In a July 1 post by The Verge, the news website got wind of a leak that appeared in Samsung Russia’s page. It showed a copper-colored device that’s similar to some of the earlier renders. A leaker known as Jimmy Is Promo also released what appears to be a hands-on picture of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phablet (Here’s are the front and back images). And judging from the uncanny resemblance with the image leaked by Samsung, we can assume it’s legitimate.

Other notable feature includes a change in the position of the S Pen housing from right to left, a plastic back cover for the Note 20, and four color hues (Mint Green, Copper, White/Grey, and Black). Oh, and the S Pen is rumored to offer new capabilities—including acting as a pointer.

 

Cameras – Space Zoom Abandoned?

Leaks of the purported camera placement have been circulating since the turn of the year. And most of them draw a similarity to the Galaxy S20. This includes the quad-lens setup and 108MP main camera for the Note 20 Plus. The device will also feature a laser focus sensor to solve focusing issues seen in the S20 Ultra.

It’s worth noting that a leak by Ice Universe suggests that Samsung may retire its 100x Space Zoom camera – at least until they iron its flaws. Instead, the manufacturer will adopt a 50x telephoto lens with a periscope-style design.

 

Processor – The Top Dog of Android

Qualcomm recently announced it most powerful 5G-enabled chipset – the Snapdragon 865 Plus. Although there’s no official claim on whether the Samsung Note 20 will run on the new chipset, history tells us that it’s given—and Ice Universe reiterates.

To make things more interesting, benchmark results flagged by the serial leaker show a phone thought to be the Note 20 topping the 3Ghz mark. The device in question managed a multi-core score of 3,220 and 985 on the single-core test. This outpaces every Samsung device—and possibly all Android phones.

 

Battery – Packing More Juice

The Galaxy S20 could get a 4,000 mAh battery — while the Ultra/Plus variant gets 4,500 mAh battery. This is a commendable upgrade from its predecessor. Combined with the energy-saving fine-tuned refresh rate technology and low power display technology discussed earlier, we could see a significant boost in daily longevity.

 

Price – Nothing New

For such as feature-packed mobile device, none of us was really expecting anything less than $900 or even $1,000—and the rumors confirm our suspicions. Besides, the Galaxy Note series has always been a premium offering since its early days.

Its predecessor retails at $950 with the Plus model going for $1,099. Similarly, Samsung’s other flagship—the Galaxy S20—starts at $999 to as high as $$1,399 for the S20 Ultra. Catch the drift? In fact, some rumor sources even claim that the Galaxy Note 20 might be the most expensive release by the company.

 

Planning to Buy the Best Android Mobile Device Yet?

With only a few weeks to go before Samsung unveils a device we’ve been drooling over for the better half of 2020; the excitement is at a fever pitch. Whether you choose to set aside $1,000 for arguably the best device of the year or stick with the Galaxy S10, Tech Armor has you covered. Our top-of-the-range screen protectors are designed to keep your investment in pristine condition.

Apple vs Samsung

Apple Vs. Samsung – The Ultimate Feud for Global Dominance

Every year—like clockwork—an age-old debate boils over in the smartphone market. It’s a seemingly never-ending battle between two of the world’s largest tech companies; Apple and Samsung.

Whenever the latest Apple or Samsung flagship phone is released, the announcements are typically followed by passionate arguments from either camp. It’s very much like how a geyser erupts after tossing Mentos in a bottle of Coke. Social networks and media outlets are set ablaze with side-by-side comparisons pitting the brands against each other—and rightfully so.

In the mobile phone industry, Samsung’s Galaxy series and Apple’s iPhone stand tall at the pinnacle of the heap—dwarfing competitors. They both offer cutting edge devices that leverage brand loyalty, user experience, and good designs to stay at the top. Although other phone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi are gaining ground in the industry, the Samsung-Apple duo unequivocally lay claim to the most anticipated high-end smartphones.

But which brand reigns supreme? Would you rather buy the latest Samsung, or Apple smartphone? Read on as we dig into one of the longest-running battles in the tech world—including comparisons of the market share, business models, software/hardware features.

 

Apple Vs. Samsung: Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Patent Feud – Deadline

 

Where it All Began – A History so Dramatic it Sounds Scripted

Samsung and Apple have a turbulent relationship—and it seems to get more agitated with every passing year. But why would the companies single out each other in an industry full of other players? Aside from being the top dogs snarling for the alpha spot, the ‘grudge’ between Samsung and Apple is a personal one. To understand how deep it cuts, let’s rewind to moment the two companies first interreacted. (PS: The narrative below is adapted from Geoffrey Cain’s Samsung Rising as previewed by Forbes)

 

Part 1: A Blossoming Relationship Begins

It was back in 2005 when 3 Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. executives set their destination for Steve Jobs’ home in Palo Alto. In their possession was “trump card” that would kickstart their journey to conquering the emerging smartphone market.

Their pitch was a tiny NAND flash memory that sat in one of the executive pockets. To Steve Jobs, this was a game-changing solution for the iPod—compared to the less efficient traditional hard disk. As per the script, Jobs made Samsung the sole supplier of the flash memory. What he didn’t know was that Samsung had more ambitious goals beyond just supplying parts to Apple. As Geoffrey Cain puts it, the 2005 deal in Palo Alto gave Samsung “a launchpad from which to eventually get into smartphones, when they came out.”

 

Part 2: True Intentions are Revealed

Barely 5 years since Steve Jobs met the Samsung executives for the first time, the South Korean multinational released its first smartphone. In the snap of a finger, the supplier was now the challenger. “Samsung was the Apple iPhone chip supplier that dared to compete directly against Apple.”

To Jobs, this felt like one of Shakespeare’s tragic narratives of betrayal and backstabbing. In his owns words, he wanted to “launch thermonuclear war” on Samsung and the Android operating system that powered their devices. But the main issue was not that Samsung had manufactured a smartphone—it had more to do with the design. Samsung had allegedly copied Apple’s design for the iPhone—only with a different operating system.

 

Part 3: Friends Turn into Sworn Enemies

Whereas Steve Jobs was raring to take the fight to court, Tim Cook (Apple’s supply chain expert at the time) was cautious of the consequences. In particular, Samsung was a crucial supplier to the Cupertino-based company – it seemed the seeds planted by Samsung in 2005 were bearing fruits.

In an attempt to salvage the situation amicably, Cook and Jobs met Jay Lee (currently Samsung’s vice chairman) to present their grievances and propose to license some of the allegedly infringed patents. Samsung’s lawyers were not for the idea—and they instead argued that Apple was the one responsible for copying their patents.

In 2011, Apple filed a barrage of lawsuits in several countries against Samsung—with the former countersuing. The outcome? The once good friends were now sworn enemies. The war had been ignited. (PS: The 2011 lawsuits were only  settled in 2018 after Apple was awarded $539 million as compensation).

 

Part 4: The War Rages on A Decade Later

The year is 2020, the world is in turmoil after a virus from Wuhan swept across every continent—crippling economies. But even in such a tragic time, Samsung and Apple still make the headlines. The flame ignited in 2011 is still burning.

Type “Samsung Vs…” on any search engine and the first thing that pops up is either “Samsung Vs Apple” or “Samsung Vs iPhone.” The chatter and arguments on social media grow to a fever pitch every time one of the companies announces their next flagship model. We’ve already seen Samsung’s S20 series and people are eagerly awaiting the release of the iPhone 12—to once again bring up the topic of who’s the alpha dog.

So, who leads the pack today?

 

Market Share – Who Bites the Largest Chunk of the Pie?

According to market data by Statista, Samsung has sat at the “Iron Throne” as the leading smartphone vendor (in shipments) since 2012. This was after the South Korean company dethroned Apple—with the latter taking over after the dramatic fall of Blackberry.

However, the global market share of these companies is highly segmented. For example, Apple had a commanding 58.46% share of the U.S. market as of May 2020, while Samsung settled for 25.11%. In Samsung’s home country (South Korea), the company dominated the smartphone market with a 65.98% claim—compared to Apple’s 23.15% market share.

It’s worth noting that data by Strategy Analytics and Counterpoint Research suggested that Apple briefly nabbed a higher market share (19%) than Samsung (18%) during the 4th quarter of 2019. The Cupertino-based multinational raked in an impressive $22.2 billion in profits during the same period—making it the company’s most profitable quarter ever.

This massive leap in the market was largely attributed to widespread popularity and the huge sale of the iPhone 11. On the other side of the world in Seoul, Samsung’s profits dropped by 38% during the final quarter of 2019. While this may seem to imply that Apple is clawing its way back to the top (in terms of shipments), it doesn’t tell the whole story.

There are other factors to consider. For example, iPhones are generally released during the final quarter of the year—right around the holiday season—while Samsung’s S-series flagships are often launched around May/June. With this in mind, it’s expected that Apple would be more popular during the turn of the year. Plus, Samsung shipped nearly 295 million devices along the year—compared to Apple’s 193 million.

If the rivalry between Apple and Samsung could be settled by who owns the largest piece of the pie—taking the overall statistics by face value—Samsung would easily come on top. But there’s more to the narrative than the number of products shipped.

 

Business Model – Different Paths, One Goal

What goes on behind the closed doors of Apple’s or Samsung’s war rooms? What underlying goal drives the respective company’s strategies? And how do the executives, marketers, and other strategists go about enforcing their plans for global domination? From a business model perspective, Samsung and Apple are like opposite sides of a coin—they’re different but ultimately converge at one common outcome.

On the one hand, Apple’s position in the market is largely attributed to a focused and meteoric rise. Although Samsung “moves” more devices, Apple makes significantly more profit per sale. The company thrives on integration, product design, and target marketing—pushing R&D down the list of priorities. Tim Cook and his team tend to monitor market developments, then they swoop in with a radical improvement to wow consumers when the market is ripe for the taking. This has been the underlying strategy since the era of the first iPods—and it’s still seen today. Think about; the multiple rear cameras, the notch, fingerprint sensors—all these iPhone features debuted after other players had done the risky or dirty work.

On the other hand, Samsung has a knack for diversifying its portfolio. Whether it’s medical electronics, smartphones, tablets, cellphone carriers, appliances, TVs, cameras, gaming systems, LED lights, sensors, semi-conductors, or flat panels—Samsung is game! The company’s main competitive strategy revolves around vertical integration.

 

Software/Hardware Comparison – Latest iPhone Vs. Samsung Flagships

Let’s take the feud down to the streets—away from the courts or board rooms. Which company currently boasts of the best flagship smartphone? For this mega face-off, we decided to compare Apple’s latest smartphone (the iPhone 11), to the Samsung Galaxy S10—i.e., they’re both from 2019. Although the South Korean company has already released the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, Apple is still a few months away from its 2020 release (the iPhone 12).

PS: Keep in mind that we used the base models for the comparisonwith the iPhone 11 debuting 6 months after the Samsung Galaxy S10.

  Samsung Galaxy S10 iPhone 11
Display 6.1” at 1440×3040 pixels 5.8” at 1125×2436 pixels
Size 5.90 x 2.77 x 0.31 inches (149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm) 5.67 x 2.81 x 0.32 inches (144 x 71.4 x 8.1 mm)
Weight 5.54 ounces (157 grams) 6.63 ounces (188 grams)
RAM 4GB 8GB
CPU Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820 A13 Bionic Processor
Rear Cameras 16-MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 12-MP telephoto (f/2.4), and 12-MP dual-pixel wide (f/1.5, f/2.4) 12-MP wide (f/1.8), 12-MP telephoto (f/2.0), and 12-MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)
Front Camera 10-MP dual-pixel 12-MP
Storage 128GB or 256GB 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB
Unlocking Feature Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor (under display) Face ID
Operating system Android 10 iOS 13.3.1
Battery Capacity 3,400mAh 3,110mAh
Charging USB-C Lightning
Starting Price $899 $999

 

On paper, each phone gets a punch or two over the other—but the world we live in is not built on paper. There are tons of factors to consider before taking up arms against either one of the two. What really matters is the overall experience—which is a combination of each phone’s ecosystem, OS, specs, and personal preferences.

Plus, most of us have already claimed our unwavering allegiance to one camp—and telling you otherwise is merely a remedy for another age-old debate. All in all, if you have the financial flex, you can’t go wrong with either of these devices—or their newer models.

 

Whoever Reigns Supreme, Keep Your Device in Pristine Condition

So, who do you think sits on the “Iron Throne” of the smartphone industry? Samsung or Apple? Whichever company tickles your fancy, one thing’s clear: they both manufacture the most-coveted high-end devices in the market.

As is expected of any valuable device, you need to safeguard your investment—and no, we’re not talking about any drastic measure. Installing a high-quality screen protector could go a long way in giving your iPhone or Samsung smartphone the royal treatment it deserves. Don’t let fanboys in the opposing camp find a reason to criticize your Samsung or Apple device for its scratches or cracks—get a Tech Armor screen protector today!