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Samsung offensive on Apple: Galaxy Tab S2 series

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Last year’s Samsung Galaxy Tab S, both the 8.4- and 10.5-inch variant, have become two of the most popular tablets on the market, and two of the tablets with most positive reviews online. Still, Apple’s iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 were more popular last year and up until now, but that might change soon enough as Samsung launched the successor to the Tab S line earlier this month. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is finally official after weeks of rumors and speculations, and while it’s not exactly an innovative new product, it does begin a serious offensive against Apple.

The Galaxy Tab S2 release is not the first or the only offensive Samsung launched against Apple, as with their recent Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 and today’s Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ announcement, the South Korean company is clearly targeting the people who have become accustomed to the premium feeling associated with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2. Samsung has a fair shot in the tablet market, even though the Galaxy S6 launches weren’t as profitable as expected with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2.

At the Samsung Unpacked event, we got to learn about the Galaxy Tab S2 release date, pricing, features and global availability somewhat, and while we weren’t overly impressed by what the company presented with the tablet upon its launch, we can still say that the new Galaxy Tab S2 is a top-notch flagship tablet that competes with all the major slates launched in the past couple of months (there haven’t been too many, though). Even if people seem to believe the tablet market is failing and tablets are going to fade into oblivion, the Galaxy Tab S2 presents serious incentive for consumers in Samsung’s mind, as it offers a premium design and a premium experience to go with it. As long as you’re in love with the cartoonish TouchWiz.

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First off, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is thinner than the iPad Air 2, which no doubt makes Tim Cook cringe in his seat as he begrudgingly watches the Samsung Unpacked event online. While the iPad Air 2 measures 6.1 mm, Samsung managed to get the Galaxy Tab S2 size down to 5.6 mm in thickness, which is impressive. Although many say a thin chassis for tablets is not exactly ideal, people seem to love the feeling of holding digital paper in their hands, as it were. Such devices are indeed pleasant to hold, to be fair. It’s like popping bubble wrap for some.

Moving, the Galaxy Tab S2 comes with a large model, which is actually only 390 grams compared to the iPad Air 2’s 440 grams, so Samsung tops Apple in this field once again. Sadly, the screen sizes on both models have dropped a wee bit, but that might be more of a pro than a con. The smaller Galaxy Tab S2 display measures 8 inches and comes with a 2048*1536 resolution Super AMOLED panel, while the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2 gets the same panel on a 9.7 inch display. The resolution is still optimal, but the aspect ratio switching to portrait mode does in fact stand as a testament to what company Samsung is clearly after this year. Most people seem to applaud the change in aspect ratio, as portrait mode seems to be preferred in the handheld tablet game.

When it comes to specs and features, both versions of the Galaxy Tab S2 have about the same specs sheet. They feature Samsung’s own Exynos 5433 CPU, backed by 3 GB RAM. As PCAdvisor points out, the CPU is the same as in the Galaxy Note 4 (the one which doesn’t come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon). Onboard storage is between 32 GB and 64 GB and here comes the most interesting part, the part which will actually help Samsung outdo the iPad Air 2 with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2: microSD card slot, with support up to 128 GB.

The fact that the Galaxy Tab S2 comes with a microSD card slot will please a lot of people involved in the recent upheaval about the feature missing from the Samsung Galaxy S6 and oddly enough, it looks like Samsung is serious about listening to feedback this time, and it might be working. TouchWiz is still horrible, but the company is on the appropriate road, or so it would seem.

The Galaxy Tab S2 camera measures 8 MP on the rear and 2.1 MP on the front, on both sizes of the tablet. The camera is not spectacular as far as we’ve seen, so we’re not sure if Samsung can compete with Apple in this department. Nonetheless, the optional 4G LTE and the always-present fingerprint sensor (which is a touch sensor, not a swipe sensor, yay) add to the overall appeal of the Galaxy Tab S2 series. The company did well this time and included decent batteries in both models, although these still might not be big enough.

The 8-inch Galaxy Tab S2 comes with a 4000 mAh battery while the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2 has about 5870 mAh providing the juice. Considering the smaller screens and lower resolutions, battery life could be impressive. Last year’s 8.4 inch Galaxy Tab S had 4900 mAh, while the 10.5-inch Galaxy Tab S had 7900 mAh to work with. There’s a big difference between those batteries (they probably couldn’t fit larger batteries in the 5.6 mm body of the Galaxy Tab S2), and we’re very curious as to how well they will hold up with moderate and heavy usage. This one we’ll have to see, but if Samsung nails the performance and battery life, we’ve a serious competitor against the Apple iPad Air 2.

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But the iPad Air 3 or iPad Pro are coming in September, so we doubt that Samsung is going to outdo one of those with the Galaxy Tab S2. Still, the new tablets are quite wonderful and the aspect ratio and design change do add to the appeal of the slate. The company also added a few nifty software features, like Android 5.0 Lollipop, Microsoft Office, 100 GB of OneDrive storage for two years, Pop-Up Window, Smart Manager and more unique native features will also be available to Galaxy Tab S2 buyers. So, basically, bloat. Still, the Microsoft stuff is interesting enough.

Now for the price, because that’s where Samsung is usually sensitive.  You can see all the Galaxy Tab S2 prices, calculated after the price in euro that Samsung provided. Although an exact release date for the tablet hasn’t been given, they are promised to appear on the international market this month, as stated by Samsung at the Unpacked event. Although the prices are a bit high for a tablet, they are about the same price as the iPad Air 2. so this is definitely an attempt at a premium device.

Approx. $445 for the 8-inch Galaxy Tab S2 with Wi-Fi, regardless of storage.

Approx. $525 for the 8-inch Galaxy Tab S2 with 4G LTE, regardless of storage.

Approx. $556 for the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2 with Wi-Fi, regardless of storage.

Approx. $635 for the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2 with 4G LTE, regardless of storage.

Although the Tab S2 wants to be a premium tablet, the plastic, ribbed back panel is not doing it any favors. Sure, the frame is metal and feels quite nice, the device itself is incredibly thin and light, but that’s about it. The back still isn’t metal or glass, which seems to sit well with customers that the company wants to target. Still, for those who don’t want metal because it makes tablets prone to overheating and it restricts the ports and features that one can include, the plastic back is sexy enough. It’s not as appalling as the one on the Galaxy S5 and it’s even better than the one on the Galaxy Note 4, so it’s ultimately a nice premium finish, even without the metal.

Overall, Samsung’s new tablets are pretty impressive, even though the next iPad will probably still outsell them, as it’s very close to its launch. The Tab S2 has been on sale in Singapore since the beginning of the month, but finally, these tablets are official and globally available, or at least they will be in the next two weeks.

As part of the editorial team here at Geekreply, John spends a lot of his time making sure each article is up to snuff. That said, he also occasionally pens articles on the latest in Geek culture. From Gaming to Science, expect the latest news fast from John and team.

Consoles

PS5, PS4 Game Death Stranding Coming Natively to iPhone 15 Pro

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PS5 and PS4 console game Death Stranding Director’s Cut is coming natively to the iPhone 15 Pro, demonstrating its power. The entirety of Kojima Productions’ seminal hiking sim, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil Village, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage, will be available on your phone. Bonkers!

Tech giant: “Continuing Apple’s leadership in smartphone silicon, A17 Pro improves the entire chip, including Apple’s biggest GPU redesign. The new CPU is 10% faster with microarchitectural and design improvements, and the Neural Engine is 2x faster, powering iOS 17 features like autocorrect and Personal Voice.

According to the company, the pro-class GPU is 20% faster and unlocks new experiences with a 6-core design that boosts peak performance and energy efficiency. Hardware-accelerated ray tracing, 4x faster than software-based, gives iPhone 15 Pro smoother graphics and more immersive AR and gaming experiences. The iPhone 15 Pro brings console games to smartphones for the first time.

As with all cutting-edge Apple products, participation is expensive. The iPhone 15 Pro will cost £999/$999 at launch, and the Max model will cost £1,199/$1,199 for a 6.7″ screen. The most basic option only gives you 128GB, so you’ll need more if you want to play Death Stranding on the go.

However, the blurring of standalone consoles and mobile games is fascinating. The success of Genshin Impact, a full-fledged open world, has shown there’s a market for console-like mobile games. It will be interesting to see how Death Stranding performs on this latest iPhone generation.

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Android

Launched Redmi Note 12 series: 200MP camera, 210W charging for less than $400

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The three phones have similar screens and processors, but they vary in a number of ways.

The Redmi Note series from Xiaomi has historically been the brand’s most well-liked smartphone line, providing excellent value in the entry-level market. The Redmi Note 12 series has now been unveiled by the firm in China.

The Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition, Redmi Note 12 Pro, and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus are the three phones we truly have this time. A flat 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, a Mediatek Dimensity 1080 5G processor, and a 16MP selfie camera are features shared by all three devices.

They both have a 3.5mm connector, NFC, IR blaster, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, among other things. In contrast, there are a few significant variances.

Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition

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The Note 12 Discovery Edition of the Redmi Note 12 has a 200MP HPX primary camera (f/1.65, OIS), making it possibly the most striking model. This camera can capture photographs with a resolution of 200MP, 50MP pixels (using four-in-one binning), or 12.5MP (using 16-in-one binning). Additionally, the phone offers a 2MP macro lens and an 8MP ultrawide camera.

The phone is notably different from its stablemates in that it supports 210W wired charging; according to Xiaomi, a full charge can be achieved in just nine minutes. Although you only get a 4,300mAh battery here, this high wattage comes at the expense of battery capacity.

Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus

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Thought a 200MP smartphone with a larger battery would be cool? With the Pro Plus model, you get precisely that. The triple back camera system will have the same 200MP+8MP+2MP resolution as the Discovery Edition.

The Pro Plus variant, on the other hand, chooses a 5,000mAh battery and still blazing-fast 120W cable charging. Xiaomi claims that a full charge should be achieved in about 19 minutes.

Redmi Note 12 Pro

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Have no interest in megapixels? The Redmi Note 12 Pro, which adds a 50MP IMX766 primary camera (f/1.88, OIS) in addition to the 8MP+2MP duo, fills this need. The Oppo Find X5 Pro and the Asus Zenfone 9 both feature flagship devices with 50MP sensors similar to this one. We therefore have high hopes that it will also produce acceptable image quality on the Note 12 Pro.

The Pro version additionally includes a 5,000mAh battery with 67W wired speeds. A 100% charge should be expected in a still quick 46 minutes.

Pricing and availability for the Redmi Note 12 series
The base 8GB/256GB variant of the Redmi Note 12 Discovery Edition costs 2,399 yuan (about $332), while the base 6GB/128GB model of the Redmi Note 12 Pro costs 1,699 yuan (about $235). Do you want Pro Plus? The 8GB/256GB variant thus has a starting price of 2,099 yuan (about $290).

Although Xiaomi acknowledged that these phones are currently limited to China, it advised us to “keep tuned” for international announcements. To be fair, the Chinese Redmi Note 11 series was very different from the international variants that debuted a few months later.

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Gadgets

What Has Changed Over Time Between the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy Z Fold 2?

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We let the specs speak for themselves. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 compares to the Z Fold 3 and Z Fold 2 in the following table.

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The revolutionary Galaxy Z Fold 4 from Samsung was released a few months ago. The foldable has the same $1,800 starting price as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 from the previous year. Samsung will need to convince consumers to pay up for its high-end devices this year, though, as a recession and record-high inflation are both predicted. But it would be difficult to find a better option than Samsung’s book-style foldables if you’re eager to ride the leading edge of foldable phone technology (and have the money to boot).

Continue reading Samsung Unpacked
Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, and Every Reveal from Samsung
Better Design, Same High Price for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Galaxy Z Flip 4 from Samsung Gets New Software Features
The company calls its foldable phone-tablet, the Z Fold 4, a “multitasking powerhouse.” It features a higher-resolution display, the most recent Qualcomm chipset, Android 12L out of the box, and a new 1TB option. (Scroll to the bottom for a side-by-side spec comparison for more specific information.) The business claims that in addition to providing features like new gestures and an enhanced taskbar, it has tried to make multitasking more intuitive.

The camera system of the Z Fold 4 was also enhanced by Samsung. Three cameras—a 50-megapixel primary sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens—are located on the back of the device. Both optical and digital zoom up to 10x are supported by that telephoto lens. In addition, there are two “front cameras.” The Z Fold 4’s main display has a 10-megapixel sensor, which is the most noticeable, while the internal screen has a 4-megapixel under-display camera.

Along with the updated specifications, Samsung stressed its desire to create foldable phones that are more environmentally friendly. The Fold 4 is the first of Samsung’s folding devices to employ parts manufactured from recycled fishing nets. There are several recycled components inside the phone, including the connector cap for the display and the bracket for the side keys. Nevertheless, it’s challenging to assess the significance of these changes without tearing them apart.

In relation to sustainability, Samsung claims the Z Fold 4 uses stronger materials. An “optimal layer structure,” which provides better damage prevention, is now used for its main cover. The typical aluminum frames and Gorilla Glass Victus on the cover and back support everything mentioned above.

The lack of dust resistance on the Z Fold 4 is still a drawback of its foldable nature. It still has the IPX8 classification from the previous year, meaning it can be immersed for up to 30 minutes in freshwater up to 1.5 meters deep. The Galaxy S22 line of smartphones, in contrast, features IP68 water- and dust-resistance, which means the devices can tolerate sand, grime, and dust. They can also be submerged for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters.

The S Pen storage slot is still missing, but Samsung has introduced a cover with a S Pen holder that is available for purchase separately. Check out the specs table below from CNET for more details on how Samsung’s cutting-edge Z Fold series has changed over time.

See how the Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Watch models compare for more information.

Galaxy Z Fold 4 vs. Z Fold 3 vs. Z Fold 2

Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G Galaxy Z Fold 2
Display size, resolution Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,176×1,812 pixels); External: 6.2-inch HD Plus (2,316×904) Internal: 7.6-inch AMOLED (2,208×1,768 pixels); External: 6.2-inch AMOLED (2,268×832 pixels); Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; External: 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED; 2,260×816 + 2,208×1,768 pixels
Pixel density TBC 387ppi (external) + 374ppi (internal) 386ppi (external) + 373ppi (internal)
Dimensions (Millimeters) Folded: 67.1×155.1×15.8mm (Hinge) ~14.2mm(Sagging). Unfolded: 130.1×155.1×6.3mm Folded: 67x158x16mm (hinge) ~14.4mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128x158x6.4mm Folded: 68.0×159.2×16.8mm (hinge) ~13.8mm (sagging). Unfolded: 128.2×159.2×6.9mm (frame) ~6.0mm (screen)
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 9.27 oz; 263g 9.56 oz; 271 g 10 oz; 282 g
Mobile software Android 12L Android 11 Android 10
Camera 50-megapixel (main), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 10-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (main) + 12-megapixel (wide angle) + 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover) 4-megapixel (under display), 10-megapixel (front cover) 10-megapixel, 10-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen Plus 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM/Storage 12GB + 256GB/512GB/1TB 12GB + 256GB/512GB 12GB + 256 GB
Expandable storage None None None
Battery/Charger 4,400 mAh 4,400 mAh 4,500 mAh
Fingerprint sensor Side Side Side
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack None None None
Special features Foldable phone, 30x optical, 30x space zoom, IPX8, 25-watt fast-charging (no in-box charger) 5G-enabled; Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate (front cover and main display), IPX8 water-resistance, S Pen support Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate, wireless charging support
Price (USD) $1,800 (256 GB); $2,000 (512GB), $2160 (1TB) $1,800 (256GB); $1,900 (512GB) $1,999
Price (GBP) TBC £1,599 (256GB); £1,699 (512GB) £1,799
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