Samsung is looking to catch up to Apple and Qualcomm with its own modem that can allow smartphones to communicate with satellites.
As reported by TechCrunch, the company has announced its own solution for allowing smartphones to communicate with satellites, setting up a technology battle between two other giants. The chip, called the 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) modem, will allow equipped smartphones to stay connected in areas with no cellular connectivity.
Samsung says that it plans to integrate the modem in its proprietary Exynos processor, which is used in a range of the company’s devices.
Min Goo Kim, vice president of communication processor development at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement that its goal is to “take the lead in advancing hybrid terrestrial-NTN communications ecosystems around the world.”
Samsung’s move here sets the company up with another battle with Apple and Qualcomm, two companies that have already either announced similar technology or, in Apple’s case, already rolled it out to their latest iPhone 14 smartphone lineup. Interestingly, while Samsung plans to integrate its satellite modem into its own chip, its latest flagships use a Snapdragon processor.
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If you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra, you are the lucky recipient of Android’s February security update.
As reported by XDA Developers, Android has officially rolled out its security update for the month of February. Google usually rolls security updates for the platform out on a monthly basis, and February is no exception. While some phone makers can take a while to implement the update for their devices, Samsung tends to be pretty quick about it.
That reputation holds up with the February update, with Samsung already rolling it out to the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Both phones are already able to download and install the security patch. The report specifically notes that “both the global and US carrier unlocked variants are receiving the new update.”
So, what’s in the update? Being a security update, there likely aren’t any new features for the phones to be seen, and that tracks based on the release notes that Samsung has made available. The update addresses a number of security vulnerabilities for Android, some of them considered “critical” or “high” in terms of their importance. So, if you have a compatible phone, make sure you install that update!
Samsung’s security update comes a week after the company hosted its Galaxy Unpacked event, its first in-person event since the pandemic began. At the event, the company announced the Galaxy S23 series with starting price of $799.99 and a 200MP camera system — a move aimed at taking on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineup. It also unveiled a new lineup of Galaxy Book laptops with one primed to go after the market Apple has been recently dominating with the Apple silicon-powered MacBook Pro models.
At the event, Samsung also announced that it would be teaming up with Google and Qualcomm on mixed-reality, another potential threat to Apple and, of course, Meta.
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Need to make a repair on your Samsung phone? The company might soon have an app for that.
As reported by SamMobile, Samsung has made a trademark filing for a new app that has sparked rumors the company could take on repair companies like iFixit for its own devices. The trademark filing, among other things, makes mentioned of a new “Self Repair Assistant” app.
If the company releases such an app, it could help the company expand its self-repair program which, despite being launched over the summer of 2022, has also added a few devices to the program to enable consumers to repair certain aspects of their devices.
Samsung is the second major phone company to launch a self-repair program to bring such concepts in-house. Apple has already launched its own self-repair program and continues to add devices that customers can purchase parts and tools for in order to make their own repairs as opposed to taking it to an Apple Store or third-party retailer.
If it does launch such an app, it could enable the company to support more devices for self-repair more quickly. It also poses a threat to third-party repair companies like iFixit, whose business is based on helping customers repair their devices themselves. With a Self Repair Assistant app, Samsung could be looking to get into that business.
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When it launched in back February, the Galaxy S22 received generally positive reviews from most outlets. They praised its performance, cameras, bright display, and familiar design. All in all, the Galaxy S22 appeared to be a worthy, albeit predictable successor to the S21. But there are many S22 owners who would disagree with that assessment. In fact, one popular Reddit thread is filled with frustrated Galaxy S22 owners talking about how bad the phone is.
Is the Galaxy S22 really that bad?
On Sunday, an anonymous user shared their S22 experience with the Samsung subreddit. The user explained that they had “the worst experience” with an Exynos-equipped Galaxy S22. Most of their issues seemed to be gaming-related.
According to the user, the 2022 flagship phone doesn’t offer High or Ultra graphics options on PUBG Mobile, but the game runs choppily anyway. Furthermore, they claimed that Call of Duty: Mobile runs worse on their S22 than on their old S10. They made sure to point out that the Galaxy S10, which is over three years old, also has an Exynos chip.
The user also said that recording for 5 minutes in 4K resolution at 60 FPS “gets the phone so hot to the point I can barely hold it.” Needless to say, this S22 owner wasn’t thrilled with the purchase and ended up selling the phone shortly after posting.
Other negative experiences
The original poster wasn’t the only one underwhelmed by the Galaxy S22. Here’s another Redditor that ran into similar problems with their S22:
Yet another Redditor revealed that they returned their Galaxy S22 Plus:
One Redditor suggested that the Exynos chip was the likely culprit behind the issues:
It’s worth noting that most of the disappointed users seem to have units with Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 onboard. Samsung phones with Exynos chips only sell in specific regions, such as Europe and the Middle East.
Here in the US, the Galaxy S22 ships with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. In GPU benchmarks, the Snapdragon 8 regularly blew the Exynos 2200 out of the water, which might explain the discrepancy.
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No matter how careful you are, chances are that you will drop your phone eventually. When and if this does happen, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope that it didn’t cause any damage. Thankfully, even the glass-covered smartphones that companies are releasing now are rather sturdy. But there are still risks, which is why content creators continue to conduct drop tests with any new phones. Speaking of which, over the weekend, PhoneBuff shared a new drop test video, pitting the iPhone 13 Pro Max against the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
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As PhoneBuff explains in the video, Samsung included a couple of notable upgrades on the Galaxy S22 Ultra that should improve its durability. First, Samsung says its front display uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus Plus. Weirdly, it’s unclear what makes it “plus,” because there is no documentation on Corning’s website about this specific product.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra also features a new Armor Aluminum frame. Samsung claims that it’s 10% stronger than the 7000 series aluminum frame that it typically uses.
So, are these improvements enough for the Galaxy S22 Ultra to beat the Ceramic Shield and stainless steel frame of the iPhone 13 Pro Max? Watch and find out:
Results of the drop test
As you can see in the video, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the clear winner.
Early in the drop test, the iPhone and Galaxy appeared to be equally durable. After one back drop, both phones got several minor scuffs and each suffered a crack on the rear panel. The iPhone was slightly worse for wear. Other than that, both were fully operational.
The corner drop was also inconclusive. Even with its sharp corner, the Galaxy S22 Ultra didn’t sustain any serious damage. The scratches are clearly more noticeable on the S22 Ultra, but the iPhone 13 Pro Max also had a dent after the drop.
The face drop was the most damaging for both phones. The front display glass shattered on both the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. All of the fancy names in the world did not save the displays from shattering upon hitting the concrete. With that said, the damage looked significantly worse on the Galaxy. The cracks covered more of the display, and the under-display fingerprint scanner stopped working altogether.
Finally, it’s worth noting that as PhoneBuff continued to drop both phones ten more times from even higher up, the condition of the Galaxy worsened much more quickly than that of the iPhone. By the end of the drop test, the S Pen wouldn’t even come out of the S22 Ultra’s slot. Meanwhile, the iPhone 13 Pro Max continued to work flawlessly.
In the end, the iPhone 13 Pro Max received an impressive drop test score of 39/40, while the Galaxy S22 Ultra received a 34/40. Both phones are relatively durable, but the iPhone will seemingly stand a better chance of surviving multiple rough tumbles.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 13 guide.
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