Technology UK

How the new Samsung Galaxy S21 mobiles compare with the equivalent iPhones

Samsung has announced its new flagship S21 series phones which the company says offer new levels of connectivity and productivity to users.

But how do they stack up and compare to their rivals?

Galaxy S21 and S21+

The key features here are that both come with 5G compatibility and a triple rear camera system.

The main difference between the S21 and S21+ is that the former has a 6.2-inch display and the S21+ is slightly larger at 6.7-inches.

Those screens are both edge-to-edge Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O displays.

It’s complete with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate which means smoother scrolling on the web and social media as well as when watching video.

Are you going to get one? Let us know in the comments below

Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro have been revealed

The triple rear camera system on the phones is AI-powered to aid with better photo and video capturing with an improved Portrait Mode and Space Zoom which allows users to capture images at up to 30x zoom.

Video capturing tools are also well-stocked, with 8K Video Snap allowing users to not only capture 8K resolution video but also grab clear still images from within that footage.

There is also the new Director’s View mode which enables users to see and switch between the viewing angles of the different cameras in order to get the shot they’re looking for.

Crucially, all this comes at a reasonable price for devices of this specification – the S21 starts at £769 and the S21+ starts at £949.

And what about the S21 Ultra?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is displayed at Samsung 837 on January 11, 2021 in New York City
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has also been uncovered

The largest of the three new phones, the S21 Ultra comes with a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, which Samsung says for the first time combines both Quad HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate.

It also has a quad-camera system made up of ultra-wide, wide and dual tele-lenses which include a 108-megapixel sensor.

The Space Zoom feature is enhanced here too and is able to shoot images at up to 100x.

The full range was revealed to the public by Samsung

A whole video can be recorded in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) across all four of those lenses and even the front-facing camera is at the very top end of smartphone capability.

The Ultra is also the first Galaxy S series device to be compatible with Samsung’s S-Pen stylus, meaning users are able to make notes, annotate and edit files using the pen.

The S21 Ultra starts at £1,149.

So how do they compare to the iPhone 12 range?

Apple iPhone 12 Pro seen on display at an Apple store in Taipei
Apple iPhone 12 Pro seen on display at an Apple store in Taipei

The iPhone 12 handsets best comparable to the S21 series are the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The 12 Pro starts at £999, while the Pro Max costs £1,099.

The 12 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, which is the same as the slightly cheaper iPhone 12, while the Pro Max has a much larger 6.7-inch version.

Both the Pro and Pro Max have a triple rear camera array of 12-megapixel wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, as well as a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scanner.

This is used for better object detection and room scanning and to improve autofocus on subjects in low-light images as well aid augmented reality experiences.

Another notable feature on all four iPhone 12 handsets is the introduction of Ceramic Shield to the display.

This is a type of hardened glass which Apple says is four times more resistant to damage if the phone is dropped.

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Technology US

BMW’s Digital Key Plus will let iPhones unlock the iX from a pocket or bag

BMW has announced an upgraded version of its mobile car key technology dubbed Digital Key Plus. It promises to allow iPhone owners to unlock select BMW cars without having to take out their phones. The feature relies on ultra wideband (UWB) which has been included in Apple’s flagship iPhones since the iPhone 11 thanks to the U1 chip. Digital Key Plus will debut on the all-electric BMW iX which launches later this year in Europe and next year in the US.

The big benefit of Digital Key Plus, according to BMW, is that it uses UWB so it works with an iPhone that’s still in your pocket or bag. In contrast, the current Digital Key system used by Apple and BMW is NFC based, so you have to hold an iPhone (or Apple Watch) near the car’s tag to unlock it. BMW also emphasizes the security of its new UWB approach, noting that it’s resistant to relay attacks that might try and jam or intercept its signal and offers “the greatest possible security.”

At present, only a limited number of iPhones include the U1 chip that offers UWB support. It debuted in the iPhone 11 and was later included in the iPhone 12, but was missing from the budget iPhone SE 2020 that released early last year. The U1 chip was also included on the Apple Watch Series 6, released last year.

Apple built support for digital car keys into iOS with version 13.6 last year, following its announcement at WWDC 2020. MacRumors notes that BMW is currently the only car manufacturer to use the technology, though Business Korea reports that Hyundai has plans to adopt the feature later this year.

There’s a push to make UWB a standard for digital keys. When it announced support for digital car keys in June last year, Apple said it was working on an industry-wide standard that would use its U1 chip. In today’s announcement, BMW says it’s working with Apple and the Car Connectivity Consortium to build UWB support into version 3.0 of the Digital Key specification.

Technology US

This incredible exploit could have let hackers remotely own iPhones without even touching them

Ever watch that movie, or play that video game, about the hacker who can instantly take over someone’s device without touching it at all? Those scenes are typically unrealistic as heck. But every once in a while, a real-life hack makes them seem downright plausible — a hack like the one you can see examples of in the videos above and below.

Today, Google Project Zero security researcher Ian Beer has revealed that, until May, a variety of Apple iPhones and other iOS devices were vulnerable to an incredible exploit that could let attackers remotely reboot and take complete control of their devices from a distance — including reading emails and other messages, downloading photos, and even potentially watching and listening to you through the iPhone’s microphone and camera.

How is such a thing even possible? Why would an iPhone even listen to a remote hacking attempt? According to Beer, that’s because today’s iPhones, iPads, Macs and Watches use a protocol called Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL) to create mesh networks for features like AirDrop (so you can easily beam photos and files to other iOS devices) and Sidecar (to quickly turn an iPad into a secondary screen). Not only did Beer figure out a way to exploit that, he also found a way to force AWDL to turn on even if it was left off previously.

While Beer says he has “no evidence that these issues were exploited in the wild” and admits it took him six whole months to sniff out, verify and demonstrate this exploit — and while it’s been patched as of May — he suggests we shouldn’t take the existence of such a hack lightly:

The takeaway from this project should not be: no one will spend six months of their life just to hack my phone, I’m fine.

Instead, it should be: one person, working alone in their bedroom, was able to build a capability which would allow them to seriously compromise iPhone users they’d come into close contact with.

Eerie stuff.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company does cite Beer in the changelogs for several of its May 2020 security updates that are linked to the vulnerability.

You can read Beer’s lengthy explanation of exactly how the hack worked right here.

Technology US

Microsoft and Apple working on Xbox Series X controller support for iPhones and iPads

Microsoft and Apple are working together so the new Xbox Series X and Series S controllers will work on iPhones and iPads. Currently, the new controllers are not officially supported in iOS or iPadOS, but Apple says “Microsoft and Apple are working together to bring compatibility for the Xbox Series X controller to customers in a future update.”

This isn’t the first time the two companies have had to work on improving Xbox controller support. Apple worked with Microsoft to add support for the Xbox Elite 2 controller and the Xbox Adaptive Controller to iOS 14 earlier this year. The support debuted nearly a year after the Elite 2’s release, though.

It’s not clear how long it will take Apple to certify the new Series X controllers, but there are signs that DualSense support might come soon. Apple Insider reported recently that iOS 14.3, which is currently in beta, “appears to include behind-the-scenes support” for the PS5’s DualSense controller.

Apple hasn’t mentioned the DualSense in its support note, but hopefully it doesn’t take the company a year this time to include the support for the DualSense and new Xbox controllers.

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Technology US

Apple will pay $113 million for throttling older iPhones in new “batterygate” settlement

Apple doesn’t find itself apologizing often, but it’s a big deal when it does — like in 2017, after customers realized the company had been quietly throttling the speed of older iPhones. Apple quickly explained it was designed to protect those phones from aging batteries and offered $29 battery replacements to smooth things over, but lawsuits followed, with the company first agreeing to a $500 million class action settlement earlier this year.

Now, the company’s agreed to a second settlement — this time, with 34 US states — that might see the company paying an additional $113 million. The states attorneys general had sued Apple for hiding both the throttling and battery degradation from iPhone owners, arguing that Apple “fully understood” that by concealing the issues, it could spend a year profiting off of people who bought a new iPhone when they only really needed to replace their phone’s battery to avoid throttling or unexpected shutdowns.

Apple denied that, of course, and the settlement means a court won’t decide whether there was any actual wrongdoing.

The settlement (PDF) hasn’t been fully approved by a judge yet, but there’s a chance states might see their money sooner than actual iPhone owners. If you applied for your $25 worth of the $500 million class-action settlement, you probably did so in July, but the process is still underway. There’s a fairness hearing on December 4th that’ll decide whether the settlement was handled properly. Currently, Apple will pay a minimum of $310 million to settle that earlier lawsuit and up to $500 million depending on the number of claims. It’s too late to submit new claims now, as the deadline ended in October.

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Technology US

Vergecast: Two more iPhones, Apple’s ‘One More Thing’ event

We started this week with some reviews of the alternatively-sized iPhone 12s — the mini and the Pro Max. We ended this week with an all-new episode of The Vergecast. All that stuff in between? That’s what our Vergecast crew talked about on the show today.

Vergecast co-hosts Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn start the show discussing their reviews of the new iPhones — Nilay on the Pro Max and Dieter on the mini — and how the really big iPhone and the tiniest iPhone rank in battery life, screen size, and ergonomics.

Believe it or not, there was another Apple event on Tuesday. During its “One More Thing” hardware event, we saw Apple debut its own M1 processor chips, which power a new Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, and Mac mini. Deputy editor Dan Seifert and news editor Chaim Gartenberg join the show to discuss these new computers, their processors, and how potentially powerful they are.

There’s a little more in between all of that — like people vaping into Xbox consoles, Google’s updated photo storage plan, and the reason why a bunch of The Verge’s Macs weren’t working right before this show.

Listen here or in your preferred podcast player to hear the full Vergecast discussion.

Stories from this week:

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Technology US

Budget roundup: the latest low-cost iPhones and Android phones

Even if you’re trying to keep costs down, you’ll probably want to replace your old phone eventually. Whether it’s because the battery is no longer keeping a decent charge or because the operating system is no longer being updated, smartphones usually start losing their usefulness around their third year (or sometimes earlier).

The best way you can figure out your next phone is to check out the reviews and use them to decide what features are most important to you, and balance that against the cost of the device. Here are some recent reviews of budget smartphones to help you make that choice. Read the summary, and click on the title to get the whole story.

Google Pixel 4A

The price is the most important thing to know about the Pixel 4A. It makes the Pixel 4A’s many good points — like its flagship-tier camera — that much more impressive. It’s also the source of some (but not all) of its compromises, like the processor I worry won’t stand the test of time. In Android circles, Google’s Pixel line is often disdained for being at least half a step behind its competitors. Much of that scorn is deserved, but I think not all — and the Pixel 4A makes a much stronger case for itself than other Pixel phones.

The Google Pixel 4A 5G is a good phone for reasons that have almost nothing to do with the “5G” in the name. The ostensible reason for the phone to exist is to offer 5G connectivity to customers who want a more affordable phone. It starts at $499 for most carriers but costs $599.99 on Verizon. But the actual reason to buy one is much simpler: it offers a bigger screen, great cameras, and a faster processor compared to the standard Pixel 4A. It even has a headphone jack.

OnePlus Nord
Photo by Jon Porter / The Verge

It’s easy for the OnePlus Nord, with its starting price of £379 (around $484), to make it seem like OnePlus is going back to its roots. But since its flagship phones aren’t going anywhere, the midrange Nord is instead the next step in OnePlus expanding its lineup. OnePlus is stepping into a new era, not returning to an old one.

Motorola’s ambition for the past few years has been to own the budget and midrange phone space. And the newly announced Moto G Fast and Moto E (no numbers anymore) are the final pieces of that puzzle for this year’s lineup, joining the previously released Moto G Power and G Stylus at even lower price points. Starting at $149.99 for the new Moto E and $199.99 for the Moto G Fast, the new phones mean that Motorola now has budget phones at every $50 increment between $149 and $299. That’s a lot of phones, and it turns out they aren’t very different from each other.

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

I’m glad Apple has resurrected an old idea and released another iPhone SE. It starts at $399 for a model with 64GB of storage. For people who want an iPhone, it makes buying a brand-new phone for less than $700 a whole lot easier. Before this refresh, you’d be choosing between refurbs or switching over to Android. Pointing out that the iPhone SE is an iPhone is redundant, but it’s important for people who don’t want to switch. It’s also a guarantee of a base level of quality. That makes this review simple: how much are you giving up when you’re only paying $399?

The $449 TCL 10 Pro is a little bit special because this is a big attempt from the company to make a name for itself in the world of smartphones. TCL’s logo is right there on the back of the device and, thankfully for TCL, it makes a great first impression thanks to a big screen, minimal bezels, and a sleek camera array.

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Tech News

Amazon Sells More iPhones on Opening Day Than Previous Year’s Sale

Amazon said that it has sold more iPhones on the opening day of the Great Indian Festival — which was only for Prime members — than the entire sale last year. The feat appears to be the effect of Amazon’s deep discount on the iPhone 11 listed for Rs 47,999. Overall, the company has said that the Great Indian Festival, on till October 21, has registered its biggest ever opening this year. Unsurprisingly, the top sold categories have been smartphones, large appliances, and consumer electronics, with Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi selling products in record numbers. This comes on the back of a year where, despite the early setbacks to e-commerce owing to COVID-19, online sales have gone on to set records.

The top-selling electronics have been smartphones, laptops, headphones, tablets, cameras and smartwatches, along with security cameras and drones being popular searches. Asus, Lenovo, and HP have been the top-selling brands in laptops; Samsung and Apple in tablets and TP Link and Netgear in networking products.

iPhone 11, Redmi Note Series, Redmi 9A, OnePlus 8T and OnePlus Nord, and Samsung M31 have been the top-selling phones. OnePlus 43-inch and 32-inch, along with Samsung 32-inch, have been the most popular among TVs.

Amazon said that it has sold 2.5 times more Kindle devices than last year’ sale with a few days still to go. Its Fire TV Stick along with Echo (3rd Generation) have been among the top 10 products sold on the website during the sale. Streaming category as while sold twice the units of last year’s sale. The Great Indian Festival also launched 1,100 new products, the most popular among them being the OnePlus 8T and Nord, the Samsung M31 Prime Edition, and the Xbox Series S.

Amazon also said that 85 percent more people signed up for a prime membership to get early access to the sale than last year. And Alexa had a field day at the opening. The company said that Alexa devices answered 1 million requests on the Amazon website app to help customers navigate through different stores. Over 1,10,000 sellers received an order and 32 percent sellers on Amazon had their biggest day on the e-commerce website. Made available in five languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Kannada — apart from English, the Great Indian Festival has recorded sales from 98.4 percent pin codes in the first 48 hours.

How to find the best deals during online sales? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Headline USA

The rumor is confirmed, the new iPhones will no longer come with headphones or charging center | The NY Journal

The company reported that it will seek to reduce 100% of carbon emissions by 2030

The iPhone 12 will only come with a USB-C to Lightning cable for charging.

NOAH BERGER / AFP / Getty Images

Apple will no longer include its pair of wired headphones and a power adapter with new iPhones, the company announced Tuesday when introducing the iPhone 12, in an effort to reduce packaging and emissions.

He iPhone 12 It will only come with a USB-C to Lightning cable for charging. You will have to buy a USB-C charger priced at $ 19 separately if you want to use the box cable, though you can still charge the phone with any old iPhone charger with a Lightning connector.

Headphones will cost another $ 19 if you don’t have a pair or if you don’t use the wireless Airpods.

Apple said the decision is part of the company’s effort to reduce 100% of carbon emissions by 2030.

Disposal of accessories, says Apple, will use fewer raw materials and thinner packaging.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental policy and social initiatives, said Tuesday that many customers already own Apple’s wired headphones and charging chargers, of which they have already been sold. 700 million Y 2 billion power adapters.

Critics of Apple said using the environment as an excuse to increase margins and lower shipping costs, because Apple did not lower the prices of its iPhone.

Related: Apple sues a company that sold more than 100,000 iPhones and iPads instead of recycling them.

CNET noted that the move may be a way to offset the costs of including 5G support, which typically drives up phone prices even higher. But many criticize Apple for forcing customers to buy an additional accessory.

“In total, the changes we have made for the iPhone 12 reduce more than 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year. It’s like taking 450,000 cars off the road a year, ”Jackson said during the presentation of the iPhone 12.

“Apple has found another way to force you to buy an expensive charger to make these gadgets work,” wrote Jason Koebler on the Vice site.

You may be interested:


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Technology US

Apple’s new iPhones won’t ship with earbuds or wall chargers

Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup ships without a wall charger or pair of Lightning earbuds in the box to reduce the phone’s environmental impact, the company announced today. Instead, they’ll come with just a USB-C to Lightning cable.

Apple says it’s not including a charger or earbuds with the iPhone 12 series on environmental grounds, and similarly didn’t include a charging brick with this year’s Apple Watch models. It says the move means it has to consume less raw materials for each iPhone sold. It also allows for a smaller retail box, which means 70 percent more units can fit on a single shipping pallet and reduce carbon emissions. Overall, Apple estimates the changes will cut over 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 450,000 cars from the road each year.

Earlier reports of the change have been met with outrage online, with some suggesting that it has more to do with increasing Apple’s margins and decreasing its shipping costs rather than protecting the environment. Regardless of Apple’s motives, however, the move is likely to decrease e-waste either way.

As part of its announcement, Apple said there are already 700 million Lightning headphones out in the world, as well as 2 billion Apple power adapters, suggesting most people will already have both accessories.

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