Samsung today announced the launch of its new Portable SSD T7 Touch, an SSD with 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage space.
According to Samsung, the SSD T7 Touch combines a sleek and compact design with the fastest transfer speeds that are offered by the USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard.
Users can expect to see read speeds up to 1,050MB/s and write speeds up to 1,000MB/s, with the SSD T7 Touch coming in at twice as fast as the T5 and 9.5 times faster than external hard drives. It is able to reach its maximum speed when used with the NVMe interface.
Though it's faster, the SSD continues to weigh in at 58 grams, and it measures in at 3.3 by 3.3 by 0.3 inches, so it's pocketable.
The T7 Touch earns its "touch" name with the inclusion of a built-in fingerprint sensor along with password protection and AES 256-bit hardware encryption. The fingerprint sensor is able to recognize up to four fingerprints, which means it can be used collaboratively while still keeping files secure. Accessing data can be done by holding a fingerprint over the drive's casing to unlock it. There's also a built-in Motion LED that lets the user see the status of the device with a glance.
Samsung is offering the T7 Touch in silver or black and it comes in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities for $130, $230, and $400, respectively. It ships with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A cable, and is compatible with Windows and Mac.
Samsung plans to begin offering the Portable SSD T7 Touch later this month. Samsung will also launch an SSD T7 in the second quarter of 2020.
Samsung this weekend announced that its next event will take place on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, with the South Korean company set to unveil new smartphones that will compete with Apple's iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.
Samsung is expected to launch a trio of Galaxy S11 smartphones, which will be the company's new flagship devices when they debut, plus there's been talk of a new foldable smartphone that will rival the Motorola Razr.
Rumors suggest the new smartphones will feature a design similar to the Galaxy Note 10 with a hole-punch cutout at the top of the display. Screen sizes are rumored to be 6.4, 6.7, and 6.9 inches.
Features are said to include 5G connectivity, a four camera array with a 108-megapixel camera, 5x optical zoom, a 5,000mAh battery, a 120Hz display, and facial recognition capabilities.
Leaked images allegedly showing Samsung's next folding smartphone have appeared on Weibo, offering a preview of what the company's Galaxy Fold successor could look like.
Images via Wang Benhong - Weibo
First spotted by mobile leaker Ice Universe, the images depict a clamshell-like device reminiscent of a traditional flip phone that folds up into a compact palm-sized phone, making it small enough to easily fit into a pocket. Two cameras can be seen on the back next to a digital clock readout.
Bloomberg first reported in March that Samsung plans on releasing two additional folding smartphone models to succeed the Galaxy Fold. One was described as a clamshell-like device that folds from top to bottom, like the one shown in the images. Another, high-end folding smartphone is also reportedly in the works.
Samsung actually shared concept images of its clamshell device in October, and these images do bear a resemblance to them. Samsung offered no details at the time on when it planned to bring the handset to market, but earlier this month Bloomberg reported that the Galaxy Fold clamshell device would be launched in February alongside the Galaxy S11.
Images via Wang Benhong - Weibo
Here's where some of the details don't add up though. Bloomberg's latest report claimed the Galaxy Fold successor will get the same five-camera setup that's coming to the Galaxy S11, but the device in these leaked images appears to have only two cameras. It could be that Samsung decided having a giant photographic arsenal strapped onto the back of a flip phone wasn't a good look, but we'll just have to wait and see.
The new clamshell-like Galaxy Fold is expected to be more affordable than its book-style predecessor, which costs $1,980 in the U.S. Last month, Motorola announced the resurrection of its Razr brand in the form of a similar-looking vertically folding Android phone. The new mid-range Razr will cost $1,499 when it's released in January, so it'll be interesting to see if Samsung is willing or able to keep the price down on its next flagship foldable.
There are no rumors suggesting that Apple has plans to release a foldable smartphone in the near future, but Apple is undoubtedly looking into foldable devices given that its major competitors are coming out with them. In the past, Apple has patented some foldable display technology, and a rumor earlier this year suggested Samsung has provided folding display samples to Apple.
Its upcoming Galaxy S11 will sport a 108-megapixel sensor for the main camera -- versus the iPhone 11's 12 -- flanked by three more on the back of the device including an ultrawide-angle lens and 5x optical zoom, they said. The marquee device will also adopt a time-of-flight sensor for depth detection similar to one already in the Note 10+, a feature that can aid portrait photos and augmented-reality applications, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing specifications that haven’t been made public.
The high-resolution sensor and 5x zoom camera will also feature in its second Galaxy Fold device, which is expected to be unveiled in February, around the same time as the launch of the Galaxy S11 launch, according to Bloomberg. Affiliate Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co. developed the 5x zoom module, which went into production earlier this year.
The arsenal of lenses planned for the rear of the S11 are said to be a key part of Samsung's bid to outshine Apple in next year's smartphone stakes, with 5G connectivity and foldable devices forming the other core pillars of its head-start hardware strategy. Apple's next generation of flagship smartphones aren't expected to arrive until several months later in the fall.
Apple made major changes to the rear camera system in the 2019 iPhone lineup with the new triple-lens setup of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, and 2020 is expected to bring even more camera improvements.
Rumors suggest Apple will add a laser-powered time-of-flight 3D rear camera to the iPhone 12 Pro, which will bring significant improvements in augmented reality experiences.
The camera is said to be able to scan areas up to 15 feet from the device. Apple's front-facing TrueDepth camera uses similar 3D technology but because it's infrared and not laser-powered, it only works at distances of 25 to 50 centimeters.
Apple plans to release an all-OLED lineup in 2020 consisting of 5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch, and 6.7-inch models in the second half of the year, according to the latest prediction from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The 6.1-inch "iPhone 12 Pro" and 6.7-inch "iPhone 12 Pro Max" are expected to feature a triple-lens rear camera. So far, rumors indicate these two higher-end iPhones will use the new time-of-flight rear camera, so it may not be available in the lower-end iPhones that are going to have a lower price tag.
A security flaw in Android smartphones from companies like Google and Samsung allowed malicious apps to record video, take photos, and capture audio, uploading the content to a remote server sans user permission.
The vulnerability was discovered by security firm Checkmarx, and was highlighted today by Ars Technica. The flaw had the potential to leave high-value targets open to having their surroundings illicitly recorded by their smartphones.
Android is meant to prevent apps from accessing the camera and the microphone on a smartphone without user permission, but with this particular exploit, an app could use the camera and the microphone to capture video and audio without express user consent. All an app needed to do was get permission to access a device's storage, which is commonly granted as most apps ask for this.
To demonstrate how the flaw worked, Checkmarx created a proof-of-concept app that appeared to be a weather app on the surface but was scooping up copious amounts of data in the background.
The app was able to take pictures and record videos even when the phone's screen was off or the app was closed, as well as access location data from the photos. It was able to operate in stealth mode, eliminating the camera shutter sound, and it could also record two-way phone conversations. All of the data was able to be uploaded to a remote server.
When the exploit was used, the screen of the smartphone being attacked would display the camera when recording video or taking a photo, which would let affected users know what was going on. It could be used secretly when a smartphone display was out of sight or when a device was placed screen down, and there was a feature for using the proximity sensor to determine when a smartphone was facedown.
Google addressed the vulnerability in its Pixel phones through a camera update that was launched back in July, and Samsung has also fixed the vulnerability, though it's not known when. From Google:
"We appreciate Checkmarx bringing this to our attention and working with Google and Android partners to coordinate disclosure. The issue was addressed on impacted Google devices via a Play Store update to the Google Camera Application in July 2019. A patch has also been made available to all partners."
"Since being notified of this issue by Google, we have subsequently released patches to address all Samsung device models that may be affected. We value our partnership with the Android team that allowed us to identify and address this matter directly."
According to Checkmarx, Google has said that Android phones from other manufacturers could also be vulnerable, so there may still be some devices out there that are open to attack. Google has not disclosed specific makers and models.
Since this is an Android bug, Apple's iOS devices are not affected by the security flaw.
It's not known why apps were able to access the camera without user permission. In an email to Ars Technica, Checkmarx speculated that it could potentially be related to Google's decision to make the camera work with Google Assistant, a feature that other manufacturers may have also implemented.
At the Samsung Developer Conference this week, Samsung showed off a new conceptual design for a foldable smartphone, which could be technology that the company works on after the Galaxy Fold.
Rather than folding from tablet sized to smartphone sized like the Galaxy Fold, the design Samsung showed off today features a smartphone-sized device that folds in half much like a flip phone, collapsing down into a smaller size.
The device is also pictured folded in half in a way that would allow one half of it to serve as a stand for the other half, with a cooking video used as an example of a use case.
Samsung says that it plans to continue to explore a "range of new form factors" in the foldable category following the launch of the Galaxy Fold.
The Galaxy Fold finally debuted in September, months after its early 2019 unveiling. Samsung initially planned to launch the device earlier, but had to shelve it due to major issues that impacted the durability and performance of the device.
Samsung has since fixed those early problems, though the Galaxy Fold still seems to be a niche, high-cost device that's prone to damage and rather delicate, as we discovered in our hands-on.
There are rumors that Apple is exploring foldable display technology for the iPhone, but so far, we've seen no concrete evidence that Apple is seriously pursuing a foldable design at this point in time.
Samsung has issued a software patch for its Galaxy S10 smartphone to fix a flaw in the under-screen fingerprint sensor that allowed anyone to unlock the device with the help of a cheap screen protector (via Reuters).
The problem was brought to light last week, when a British user who applied a gel screen protector to her Galaxy S10 subsequently discovered that unregistered fingerprints could be used to unlock the device.
Samsung later admitted the issue can happen when patterns appearing on certain protectors that come with silicon cases are recognized along with fingerprints.
On Wednesday, Samsung issued an apology via its customer support app Samsung Members and told Galaxy phone owners to update their biometric authentication to the latest software version.
"Samsung Electronics takes the security of products very seriously and will make sure to strengthen security through continuing improvement and updates to enhance biometric authentication functions," the company said via the support app.
The Galaxy S10 is the latest in Samsung's flagship S series, which is updated each year and regarded as the iPhone's main rival, but the fingerprint recognition problem in its latest smartphone has already caused reputational damage, with some banks pulling their apps from the Play store in response to the security flaw.
Good morning Robert, We've removed the app from the Play Store for customers with Samsung S10 devices. This is due to reports that there are security concerns regarding these devices. We hope to have our app available again shortly once the issue has been resolved. SY
A major flaw in Samsung's Galaxy S10 smartphone has been discovered that basically means any fingerprint can unlock the device with the help of a cheap screen protector.
According to the BBC, a British woman discovered the authentication flaw after she applied a cheap gel screen protector bought off eBay to her Galaxy S10.
She soon discovered that she was able to authenticate as the owner by pressing her left thumbprint against the phone's onscreen fingerprint sensor – the problem being that she hadn't registered her thumb with the device's biometric authenticaton system.
Her suspicions were confirmed when her husband was also able to unlock the phone by pressing either one of his thumbs on the screen's built-in sensor. The screen protector was then applied to another relative's Galaxy S10 and the same thing occurred.
Responding to the incident, Samsung said it was "aware of the case of S10's malfunctioning fingerprint recognition and will soon issue a software patch."
Previous reports have suggested that certain screen protectors are "incompatible" with Samsung's fingerprint sensor because they leave a small air gap that can interfere with the scanning. The sensor relies on ultrasound to detect the microscopic ridges that make every fingerprint unique.
The Galaxy S10 is the latest in Samsung's flagship S series, which is usually regarded as the iPhone's annual rival. The Korean company launched the phone in March and referred to its under-screen fingerprint authentication system as "revolutionary."
Samsung's Galaxy Note 10+, the company's newest flagship device, was unveiled just a month ahead of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, and it's one of the main competitors to Apple's newest iPhone devices.
Both have triple-lens camera setups, so we thought we'd compare the camera quality of the iPhone 11 Pro Max with the camera quality of the Galaxy Note 10+ to see if one has an edge over another.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has 12-megapixel telephoto, wide-angle, and ultra wide-angle lenses. The Galaxy Note 10+ has the same general lens setup, but with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, so it wins out when it comes to megapixels for the ultra wide-angle camera.
When it comes to photo quality, both of these cameras can take some amazing photos and a lot of the variance is going to depend on your personal shooting conditions, including subject, lighting, and other factors, but there are some differences to be aware of.
The Galaxy Note 10+ seems to overdo highlights, washing out photos and overexposing them in some situations, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max doesn't tend to do that. The Galaxy Note 10+ also has a tendency to oversaturate images somewhat, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max offers more true to life colors.
Some people prefer that slight oversaturation and the brighter light areas that the Samsung device can produce, even if it's not quite as accurate to what you're seeing in front of you when taking a photo. You can, of course, tone down saturation in post processing for Galaxy Note 10+ photos or bump it up for iPhone 11 Pro Max photos, but out of the camera, colors can tend to look a bit more vibrant on the Galaxy Note 10+.
Though the Galaxy Note 10+ has a higher megapixel ultra wide-angle camera than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, it doesn't really produce better pictures. Quality seems similar between the two devices, and on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the new ultra wide-angle sensor is lacking some of the better features of its wide-angle camera, such as a lower aperture, larger sensor, optical image stabilization, and support for Night Mode.
So while the ultra wide-angle camera can get you some great wide shots of landscapes, architecture, and people, it's best for better lighting conditions, and the same seems to be true of Samsung's ultra wide-angle lens.
The Note 10+ and the 11 Pro Max each offer a nighttime mode for low-light photography, and both do a great job in poor lighting conditions using this feature. The Galaxy Note 10+'s penchant to overexpose can result in some brighter night time shots in some situations, but that's not always a desired effect. Night mode on the iPhone 11 Pro Max is designed to make sure a night time photo feels like it was taken at night, and that's an area where Apple excelled.
Samsung offers a feature called Live Focus, designed to offer an adjustable live background blurring effect for front and rear-facing photos, while the iPhone offers Portrait Mode. Both of these are similar, and have seen improvements over prior-generation smartphones from each manufacturer. Edge detection is better than ever, and the background blurring is better, so it's tough to pick a winner in this category.
As for video, both photos produced impressive 4K footage at 60 frames per second, though the 11 Pro Max had better auto stabilization features without having to delve into settings.
Both smartphones have similar front-facing setups. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 12-megapixel front-facing lens while the Galaxy Note 10+ has a 10-megapixel front-facing lens. There's a caveat with the iPhone's front-facing camera - in zoomed in shots (there's an option to zoom in and out now), the photos that you're getting by default are seven megapixels. You need to use the zoomed out mode to get the full 12-megapixel resolution.
When it comes to quality, the front-facing camera of the Galaxy Note 10+ seems to be a bit sharper than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, with more detail, while the iPhone 11 Pro has better color accuracy. Sometimes the Galaxy Note 10+ may be a bit too sharp for some people, so preference between the two will come down to how sharp you want your selfies to be.
Of course, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has Face ID for 3D facial biometric authentication, which the Note 10+ can't match. It does offer iris scanning and facial recognition capabilities, but neither are secure enough to serve as the sole authentication method for payments so there's still a fingerprint sensor.
When it comes down to it, both the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Galaxy Note 10+ are capable of producing incredible, crisp photos that can often rival what you'll get out of a dedicated camera. Neither one is clearly better than the other, and choosing one will come down to platform preference more than anything else.
That said, the Galaxy Note 10+ appears to be better for those who prefer a more saturated, color rich image and exaggerated highlights, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max appears to be better at producing colors and lighting that's more true to life.
Do you prefer Note 10+ or iPhone 11 Pro Max and think there's a clear winner? Let us know in the comments.
After months of waiting and a design overhaul, Samsung's first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, is now available to customers who want to shell out $1,980 for a device that can convert from a phone into a tablet.
We decided to pick up one of Samsung's folding smartphones to test it out to see if it's worth the price point, so check out our video for our Galaxy Fold unboxing and first impressions.
Samsung ultimately canceled the Galaxy Fold's launch and went back to the drawing board to address some of the problems that led to multiple broken devices within a matter of days after reviewers received a review unit.
So the new Galaxy Fold is supposed to have a more durable display with a better protective layer (which some reviewers thought was meant to be removed on the original version) and a strengthened hinge to prevent breakage from dust and debris, and other durability changes.
Samsung's updated device, as we discovered, comes with a whole host of paperwork and instruction, which makes for an odd unboxing experience. The Galaxy Fold is still delicate enough that users need to be instructed in the specifics of how to use it without breaking it. Many of the instructions are also outlined in a Samsung video:
Basically Samsung warns Galaxy Fold owners to use a light touch when interacting with the device, avoid water and dust, avoid excessive pressure, and to keep it away from objects that can be damaged by magnets. It's unsettling getting such a long list of warnings with a new smartphone.
Design wise, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is massive in size and heavy compared to a standard smartphone, but that's no surprise since it unfolds from a thick 4.6-inch smartphone into a 7.3-inch tablet.
There are volume and power buttons on the right side along with a fingerprint sensor, which is best suited to a thumb due to its position. There's a triple-lens camera at the back, two front-facing cameras at the front when it's unfolded, and one other camera on the front above the display when folded.
The versatility of the Galaxy Fold is useful because the small 4.6-inch folded size is ideal for one-handed use, but then the 7.3-inch display is ideal for when you have the time and space to use the phone unfolded. It's an interesting compromise for those smartphone users who have always preferred a smaller form.
Using a folded phone in practice is novel and it's not quite like anything else that's out there. The 7.3-inch display looks great, and it's perfect for media consumption and multitasking. Typing with the keyboard works well despite the split design.
There are new T-shaped brackets at the top and bottom of the Galaxy Fold that are meant to address the hinge issues present in the prior Galaxy Fold design. It also looks more resistant to dust, and the built-in screen protector now extends to the hinges and can't be accidentally removed.
The crease in the middle of the Galaxy Fold isn't really noticeable in person when it's in use, and it mostly blends right in.
We've only had the Galaxy Fold for a couple of hours, so it remains to be seen how well it's going to hold up over time, but Samsung is now offering a $149 screen replacement program for those who experience issues.
Despite the improvements, we've already heard reports of durability issues. TechCrunch's Galaxy Fold, for example, already has a broken display even though it wasn't damaged. TechCrunch's Brian Heater says he believes pressing on the display to close it may have caused the damage.
Since the Galaxy Fold is priced starting at $2,000, it's a niche smartphone, but if it proves popular, folding display technology could be the future.
Rumors and patents suggest Apple has explored folding display technology for the iPhone, but there's thus far been no concrete evidence that Apple has plans to release an iPhone that folds in half.