[From the January 13th, 2020 Wiretapped newsletter.]
With CES behind us, it’s finally time that we can start focusing on things other than 8K AI-powered televisions and robots that deliver your toilet paper. I’ve got a relatively brief lineup of stories, but a few of them are pretty big, particularly the first one.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G confirmed in new leaked photos
My buddy Max Weinbach over at XDA-Developers just got his hands on new real-life images of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S20 Plus 5G smartphone. He posted them to Twitter, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say they went viral.
Right off the bat, the photos confirm Samsung’s next flagship will be called the Galaxy S20 instead of the S11. The model in the photos is the Plus-sized version with presumably a larger screen and battery compared to the standard S20. In addition, this phone will connect to 5G when it starts shipping. Weinbach says it’s a “massive” phone, one that’s even larger than last year’s S10 Plus. The photos also show off the minimal bezels, centered hole-punch selfie camera, penta-camera system on the back, and a sticker that literally says “Do not leak.”
The S20 series will be unveiled on February 11th in San Francisco.
Samsung unveils new phone with a 4,050mAh removable battery
Elsewhere in the Samsung world, the company just took the wraps off a new industrial phone called the Galaxy XCover Pro.
The device doesn’t have a great list of specs. They’re pretty basic with a 6.3-inch 2220×1080 display, an Exynos 9611 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and dual rear cameras. But the phone isn’t designed for power-intensive tasks. Instead, it’s built for industrial environments thanks to its multiple safety test certificates. To aid in the whole rugged-phone-for-out-in-the-field theme, the company threw in a large 4,050mAh battery that’s removable. It isn’t common you see a removable battery in a phone nowadays, but I guess Samsung wanted to add somewhat of an exclusive convenience to this phone to give it an edge.
The Galaxy XCover Pro, as surprising as it is, will be sold unlocked here in the United States. It’ll cost $499 whenever it goes on sale.
OnePlus says its next phone will ship with a 120Hz screen
Speaking to The Verge, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the next phone the company announces will have a 120Hz display. Last year, the company included a bunch of 90hz panels on its devices, and for 2020, it’ll up the refresh rate by 30Hz.
According to OnePlus, the display was made in partnership with Samsung to deliver a beautiful OLED viewing experience and extra smoothness thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate. The company has done work to the core of Android to make gestures and animations look smoother when emulated at 120Hz, while a special motion estimation / motion compensation (MEMC) chip will help with making content you watch on the screen look smoother. In addition, the screen will reach a max brightness of 1000 nits for HDR content, have a touch sampling rate of 240Hz, and include suport for 10-bit color.
This phone will likely be called the OnePlus 8 since a report out of Android Police suggests a device with that name is just around the corner and will launch on Verizon with 5G support. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, obviously, but for the first half of 2020, things look pretty exciting.
Huawei says it’s selling 100,000 Mate X phones a month
Huawei has released some rough sales figures for its first foldable phone which Android Central managed to pick up. According to the company, the Mate X smartphone has been selling 100,000 units a month since its launch in November. This is around the same rate Samsung is selling the Galaxy Fold since a) the phone launched in September and b) they’ve sold somewhere around 400,000 to 500,000 units. These figures don’t do very much to confirm whether buying a foldable is worth it right now, but they do confirm that the public has an interest in foldable devices. In that case, 2020 should ve a very interesting year for the foldable market.
Apple launches replacement program for iPhone XS and XR battery cases
Wrapping up today’s newsletter is yet another repair program from Apple. This time around, it’s for the company’s iPhone XS and XR Smart Battery Cases. Due to a fault in the hardware, some cases might not charge at all, whether over a wired connection or while on a wireless charging pad. Because of this, if you’re having the issue, Apple will replace your case for free. You’ll wanna visit their website for instructions on how to get your replacement case which is linked here.
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