The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is Samsung’s next flagship phone, and the foldable will introduce several significant improvements over its predecessor. And, if new leaks are accurate, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will start at double the storage compared to its predecessor, or 512GB of built-in memory. The flash upgrade is welcome on a flagship device that will most certainly lack support for microSD storage expansion. That also means the most expensive Fold 4 model will go up to 1TB in storage space.
But it’s not all good news, as storage upgrades don’t come cheap.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 storage leaks
If you thought the Galaxy Z Fold 4 series will not deliver a major product update, the wave of Fold 4 leaks should have made you change your mind by now. According to reports from trusted sources, the new foldable will be lighter and thinner than its predecessor.
Not only that, but the handset will get an update to the aspect ratio, which will make it easier to use when folded. Moreover, the hinge crease might be milder than before.
More importantly, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will deliver a big camera update that should address criticisms regarding the Fold 3’s camera. Also important are the Fold 4 specs, with a recent report indicating that the new Samsung handset will feature the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor. That’s good news to anyone familiar with the Galaxy S22 performance debacle.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 storage options leaked in Korea. Image source: handphone.or.kr But that recently leaked specs sheet indicated the Fold 4 will come in two storage configurations: 256GB and 512GB. That’s in line with the previous model and a logical move for Samsung. That 256GB entry-level tier is double what you get on most smartphones. And that tier would let Samsung keep in place last year’s price, but that’s just speculation.
A new finding from Korea indicates that Samsung will make 512GB and 1TB versions of the Galaxy Z Fold 4. That’s according to a website that seems to be run by the Korea Association for ICT Promotion.
According to Redditors, that’s a website that manages information about lost cellphones in Korea. But the database also includes a hidden search service for smartphone model numbers, including unreleased devices.
What about the price?
The listings on the website only show two storage tiers for the Galaxy Z Fold 4: 512GB and 1TB. While some of the Fold 4 models in the list do not have storage designators, there is no entry for a 256GB model.
We’re just speculating for the time being, but if the information in this database is accurate, then Samsung might double the storage on its next-gen foldable flagship.
On the other hand, the 256GB storage tier is critical. That’s the kind of storage space you should expect from the cheapest Fold 4 model. Put differently, a bump to 512GB might also help Samsung justify a price increase for the new Fold 4.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 design render: Foldable screen (top), cover screen and camera details (bottom). Image source: @OnLeaks and Smartprix One of the best things about the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is that the entry price dropped. The phone starts at $1,799, and that’s before all the crazy deals come in. Samsung did its best to lower the cost, offering buyers plenty of sales and the ability to trade in multiple gadgets.
Nobody could blame Samsung for keeping that entry price in place or raising it, given the larger economic context. But it’ll be interesting to see if Samsung is ready to sell a 512GB Galaxy Z Fold 4 for $1,799. This would essentially give buyers a free storage upgrade.
Again, we’re assuming there’s no 256GB version of the Fold 4. But there’s no proof that Samsung dropped the 256GB tier for the Fold line.
Samsung will unveil the Fold 4 on August 10th, according to a leaker. We should learn more details about the new foldable’s storage options well before then.
The post Samsung might give the Galaxy Z Fold 4 a major storage upgrade appeared first on BGR.
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The Galaxy Z Fold 3 fixed several problems that affected the previous two generations. The 2021 handset is more durable than its predecessors, including the foldable screen. And it’s more affordable than Samsung’s previous Fold versions. But the Fold 3 still had some issues that customers complained about. One example is the camera, which Samsung might fix with the next-gen Galaxy Z Fold 4 phone.
After revealing Galaxy Z Fold 4 design details that tease some big improvements, a leaker is back with camera specs for the upcoming foldable.
Don't Miss: Today’s deals: $8 LifeStraw rival, $100 Vizio soundbar, 1800 thread count sheets for $20, more The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is thicker and heavier than other phones. And it has an unusual aspect ratio when the phone is folded, compared to traditional devices. The new Fold 4 design aims to fix that. The phone will be significantly lighter than the Fold 3, according to reliable Samsung leaker Ice Universe. Moreover, the phone will be slightly shorter and slightly wider.
As a result, the handset will be easier to use when folded. But the phone will still be thicker than traditional devices. That’s a compromise we expect from all foldables that use this type of design.
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 phones in various colors. Image source: Samsung The same leaker also has knowledge of the Fold 4’s camera system. Ice suggested on Twitter that Samsung is looking to improve the camera experience, although some compromises are also expected.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera specs
Some Galaxy Z Fold 3 buyers complained that the camera experience isn’t on par with the Galaxy S21 series, despite the flagship phones having launched in the same year
The leaker posted the camera specs for the new foldable phone on Twitter. If the information above is accurate, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will feature a 50-megapixel wide camera, 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera capable of 3x zoom.
Increasing the pixel count alone does not guarantee a better camera experience. Nonetheless, Samsung used three 12-megapixel sensors on the Fold 3. The Z Fold 4 is in for a significant upgrade for the primary camera.
Ice also indicated that the zoom sensor might outperform the one on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
But the leaker also warned that the Fold 4 camera upgrade might not satisfy all needs. He said the phone won’t offer “dramatic” camera hardware changes becasuse Samsung wants the handset to weigh less than 260 grams.
As a result, Samsung has to make some compromises when it comes to the overall Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera experience.
That means you won’t get the same zoom as a traditional phone. And the phone’s overall thickness might impact the camera module’s “bump.”
Galaxy phones don’t stay secret, but none of this will be confirmed until Samsung announces it. The Korean giant is expected to hold its Galaxy Z Fold 4 Unpacked press conference in August. This gives us about three months to learn more details about Samsung’s new foldables for 2022.
The post Galaxy Z Fold 4 camera leak teases another big upgrade appeared first on BGR.
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Samsung was one of the first major smartphone makers to jump on the smartwatch ship, and, unsurprisingly, its first smartwatch didn’t use Google’s nascent Android Wear back then. It struck off on its own with a customized version of Android running inside the Samsung Galaxy Gear. It has come full circle and has returned to Android again, this time with Wear OS running on the upcoming Galaxy Watch 4 series. Surprisingly, there might still be some owners of the Galaxy Gear around, and Samsung is now urging them to switch to its Tizen OS if they want access to some smartwatch apps.
The Galaxy Gear launched way back in 2013 and was the only one of its kind, so it’s rather surprising to hear that Samsung still has the smartwatch and its users in mind eight years after. Even more surprising is that Samsung was actually still running a version of its app store specifically for that Android-based OS after all this time. Samsung is shutting that down next month, however, but it hasn’t abandoned owners of the smartwatch just yet (another surprise).
Samsung actually gave Galaxy Gear owners a way forward back in 2014 when it was clear that it wasn’t going to stick to its own Android smartwatch OS. Back then, it offered an update to its new Tizen-based wearable platform, the very same OS that would take Samsung’s smartwatches to relative success for a couple of years. Apparently, not everyone took the opportunity back then, but Samsung is now pretty much forcing their hand.
An update to the Samsung Galaxy Store notifies owners of the smartwatch that it will be shutting down the Galaxy Store for Galaxy Gear devices on August 5, 2021. While the smartwatch will continue to function, users won’t be able to install or reinstall apps after that date. They can upgrade to Tizen moving forward if they want access to apps, but it’s a one-way street and there’s no turning back. Moreover, not all Galaxy Gear apps will be available on Tizen, but there might be similar ones by now.
It is rather impressive that Samsung has apparently managed to support a relatively obscure 2013 smartwatch for this long. Unfortunately, the same story can’t be said for more recent Tizen-based smartwatches that may be blocked from upgrading to the new Samsung-branded Wear OS. Whether that’s because of hardware requirements or some arbitrary policy from Google remains a mystery.
By STF News
Anti-Aliasing is an important addition to any game to improve visual quality by smoothing out the jagged edges of a scene. MSAA (Multisample Anti-Aliasing) is one of the oldest methods to achieve this and is still the preferred solution for mobile. However it is only suitable for forward rendering and, with mobile performance improving year over year, deferred rendering is becoming more common, necessitating the use of post-process AA. This leaves slim pickings as such algorithms tend to be too expensive for mobile GPUs with FXAA (Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing) being the only ‘cheap’ option among them. FXAA may be performant enough but it only has simple colour discontinuity shape detection, leading to an often unwanted softening of the image. Its kernel is also limited in size, so it struggles to anti-alias longer edges effectively.
Space Module scene with CMAA applied.
Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing
Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing (CMAA) is a post-process AA solution originally developed by Intel for their low power integrated GPUs 1. Its design goals are to be a better alternative to FXAA by:
Being minimally invasive so it can be acceptable as a replacement in a wide range of applications, including worst case scenarios such as text, repeating patterns, certain geometries (power lines, mesh fences, foliage), and moving images. Running efficiently on low-medium range GPU hardware, such as integrated GPUs (or, in our case, mobile GPUs). We have repurposed this desktop-developed algorithm and come up with a hybrid between the original 1.3 version and the updated 2.0 version 2 to make the best use of mobile hardware. A demo app was created using Khronos’ Vulkan Samples as a framework (which could also be done with GLES) to implement this experiment. The sample has a drop down menu for easy switching between the different AA solutions and presents a frametime and bandwidth overlay.
CMAA has four basic logical steps:
Image analysis for colour discontinuities (afterwards stored in a local compressed 'edge' buffer). The method used is not unique to CMAA. Extracting locally dominant edges with a small kernel. (Unique variation of existing algorithms.) Handling of simple shapes. Handling of symmetrical long edge shapes. (Unique take on the original MLAA shape handling algorithm.) Pass 1
Edge detection result captured in Renderdoc.
A full screen edge detection pass is done in a fragment shader and the resulting colour discontinuity values are written into a colour attachment. Our implementation uses the pixels’ luminance values to find edge discontinuities for speed and simplicity. An edge exists if the contrast between neighbouring pixels is above an empirically determined threshold.
Neighbouring edges considered for local contrast adaptation.
A local contrast adaptation is performed for each detected edge by comparing the value of the previous pass against the values of its closest neighbours by creating a threshold from the average and largest of these, as described by the formula below. Any that pass the threshold are written into an image as a confirmed edge.
This pass collects all the edges for each pixel from the previous pass and packs them into a new image for the final pass. This pass also does the first part of edge blending. The detected edges are used to look for 2, 3 and 4 edges in a pixel and then blend in the colours from the adjacent pixels. This helps avoid the unnecessary blending of straight edges.
The final pass does long edge blending by identifying Z-shapes in the detected edges. For each detected Z-shape, the length of the edge is traced in both directions until it reaches the end or until it runs into a perpendicular edge. Pixel blending is then performed along the traced edges proportional to their distance from the centre.
Before and after of Z-shape detection.
Image comparison shows a typical scenario for AA. CMAA manages high quality anti-aliasing while retaining sharpness on straight edges.
CMAA demonstrates itself as a superior solution to aliasing than FXAA by avoiding the latter’s limitations. It maintains a crisper look to the overall image and won’t smudge thin lines, all while still providing effective anti-aliasing to curved edges. It also provides a significant performance advantage to Qualcomm devices and only a small penalty to ARM.
Image comparison shows a weakness of FXAA where it smudges thin lined geometry into the background. CMAA shows no such weakness and retains the colour of the railing while adding anti-aliasing effectively.
MSAA is still a clear winner and our recommended solution if your game allows for it to be resolved within a single render pass. For any case where that is impractical, CMAA is overall a better alternative than FXAA and should be strongly considered.
Graph shows the increase in frametime for each AA method across a range of Samsung devices.
Filip Strugar and Leigh Davies: Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing (CMAA) – March 2014. Filip Strugar and Adam T Lake: Conservative Morphological Anti-Aliasing 2.0 – April 2018. View the full blog at its source
Refresh for Success: Improve Your Process to Keep Designs Fresh with Tan Nguyen from butterfly-effected, GmbHBy STF News
Spring is here and it’s a good time to clean house in your digital world. From your design process to Galaxy Store presence, it’s important to think about changes that could make things more efficient. To help you get started, members of the Samsung Developers community have been sharing advice on how they’ve successfully refined their processes and their Galaxy Store presence.
We continue our series with Tan Nguyen from butterfly-effected, GmbH. A themes and watch faces designer, butterfly-effected has a long history with Samsung, having provided content for our first mobile content store, the Samsung Funclub. Read on to learn about Tan’s process for quality control that allows him to grow, while keeping their designs fresh.
How did you get into designing themes and watch faces?
Since 2006, we’ve been working with Samsung in different areas. For the UEFA Euro 2016 Football Championship, Samsung planned a promotion and asked us if we could create some themes for them. We were amazed at the number of downloads and created more. After seeing amazing results again, we continued designing more. That´s basically how everything started.
Has your design approach evolved over time?
Our process begins with collecting ideas, sketching and then selecting the best ones for production. Then we do extensive Q&A on the design and the technical part (e.g. are the colors visible in all combinations?). If everything passes, we send them to our partners for their approval before we upload them to the store.
In the past, we spent a lot of time on the technical part, because everything was new. Now we have more experience and the tools have matured, so we can focus more on the creative part and design. The Samsung Galaxy Themes Studio editor has an integrated visibility check that is a helpful tool when finalizing designs.
Geometric Perspective by butterfly-effected, GmbH
Do you have a system in place to organize your designs and the way you present them?
We created our own system to keep track of all the designs, designers, tasks, sales and revenue share for our brands. In addition to Galaxy Store, we use social media, mainly Facebook, to present new products to customers and fans.
How often do you revisit your old designs and update them?
We take the most downloaded designs (even the free ones) and update them on a regular basis. Time is allocated for that, and we update as many as possible without affecting the production of new themes. Some themes have more sales after the update, others do not. But in general, there is an increase, so it makes sense to revisit older designs — especially since products without an update tend to experience a drop in sales.
Black Fiber by butterfly-effected, GmbH
When new platforms are released, do you check to make sure all designs are working?
When a new platform is released, there are usually many different firmware versions. This can make the creation and the Q&A process quite complex if the tester’s firmware, Remote Test Lab (RTL) and our phones show different things.
We always prioritize checking on products with higher downloads. We use RTL when new issues arise (e.g. color combinations) that we can´t reproduce or fix in Galaxy Themes Studio.
What advice would you give a designer about organizing and maintaining their work?
Backup all source files and keep a file with all the layers. Also, it is helpful to use version control software to not lose track of supported devices and firmware.
Thanks to Tan for sharing helpful advice on improving the Q&A process and prioritizing updates to keep designs fresh. You can connect with Tan and butterfly-effected, GmbH on their Facebook Themes Page and Facebook Watch Faces Page. You can also check out butterfly-effected’s full collection of designs in Galaxy Store.
We hope this post helps you start your spring refresh for success. Remember, making Galaxy Store updates is key to keeping your seller account active. You need two activities every three months that trigger an app review by the seller portal team. An activity takes many forms, and can be anything from uploading a new app, to updating a current app, or changing the description or adding/updating photos. However, changing the price of an app does not count.
Stay tuned next week for the final installment in our ‘Refresh for Success’ series and follow us on Twitter at @samsung_dev for our latest updates.
View the full blog at its source