Samsung has lifted the curtain on its first bendable phone.
The tech giant debuted the Galaxy Fold on Wednesday during its highly anticipated Unpacked event in San Francisco. The device, which has been teased over years, will officially launch April 26 with a price starting at $1,980. Samsung confirmed the phone will feature a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display that allows users to fold the tablet-sized device to make it more compact. The Fold is also equipped with a dual battery system, a side fingerprint scanner, wireless power sharing, and six cameras: three rear lenses, two on the sides, and one on the cover.
“Today, Samsung is writing the next chapter in mobile innovation history by changing what’s possible in a smartphone,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “Galaxy Fold introduces a completely new category that unlocks new capabilities never seen before with our Infinity Flex Display. We created Galaxy Fold for those that want to experience what a premium foldable device can do, beyond the limitations of a traditional smartphone.”
During the keynote event Wednesday, Samsung also introduced the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10 5G, and Galaxy S10e. The latter will feature full HD+ flat screen, while the other higher-end devices will have a Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED display, which will result in vivid digital content.
The Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and Galaxy S10e will drop March 8 and cost $899, $999.99, and $749.99, respectively. Samsung has not announced the price for the Galaxy S10 5G, but it’ll be available exclusively at Verizon Wireless in the first half of 2019. AT&T, Spectrum Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Xfinity Mobile will begin carrying the device sometime this summer.
“Galaxy S10 builds on that incredible legacy, and delivers breakthrough display, camera, and performance innovations,” Koh said. “With four premium devices, each built for a unique consumer in mind, Samsung is leveraging a decade of industry leadership to usher in a new era of smartphone technology.”
Samsung also debuted a line of wearbales that consists of the Galaxy Watch Active, the Galaxy Fit, and the cordless Galaxy Buds. The smartwatch ($199.99) and ear buds ($129.99) will arrive March 8, while the fitness tracker is expected to drop during the second quarter of 2019.
“Unused Mobile Data Should Not Expire. – Mrs. Ursula Owusu To Telcos
The Ministry of Communications wants mobile network operators (MNO) in Ghana to desist from allowing all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers from expiring.
In a new directive issued by the Ministry to the network operators, it said, "all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge."
The directive was contained in a letter dated October 9, 2019, signed by the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful and addressed to the Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Joe Anokye with a copy to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication, Mr George Nenyi Andah and Mr Vincent Sowah-Odotei.
The letter, a copy of which has been by Graphic Online states that the move was following a series of meetings held between the Ministry, NCA and the MNOs.
The letter explained that the directive was coming as a result of the increase in the Communication Service Tax (CST) from 6% to 9% and the subsequent decision by the MNOs to pass the entire burden of CST to subscribers contrary to a previous arrangement.
"We must emphasise that the fact that CST was increased from the existing rate of 6% to 9% effective 4th September 2019. The tax has been in existence since 2008 and was increased to provide revenue for cybersecurity initiatives to protect the digital infrastructure and policies being used by both the public and private sector."
The letter stated that, "At the series of meetings held between the Ministry of Communications, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the NCA on 7th and 8th October, 2019, we were informed that prior to 4th September 2019, MNOs had not been passing on the CST to subscribers but had decided to take advantage of the 3% increase to pass on the entire tax to subscribers. This has effectively increased their profit margin at the expense of subscribers."
It said all efforts to get them [MNOs) to revert to the September 2019 situation has failed as they "literally exact their pound of flesh from their consumers."
The Ministry explained that to help minimise the negative impact of the current mode of deduction of the CST, it has therefore directed that "CST should be treated the same way VAT, NHIL, GETFund levy and all other taxes and levies imposed on entities doing business in Ghana are treated."
It said the "extraordinary upfront deduction of CST and notification of same to subscribers must stop with immediate effect."
"All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge."
"MNOs will be subjected to strict compliance with existing Quality of Service (QoS) standard to ensure value for the subscribers' money in accordance with their license obligations," it added.
The letter indicated that the directives were to take immediate effect.
Google Maps Now Helps The Visually Impaired.
Google Maps can now help visually impaired people get to their walking destinations more easily — by continually reminding them that they’re on the right path, warning them when there’s a busy crosswalk ahead, telling them how far away their next turn is using voice navigation, and automatically pointing them back in the right direction if they have to stop.
Here’s a cool video demonstrating the improved guidance in action:
Google’s blog post says the improved guidance is now available on iOS and Android, but only in English in the US and in Japanese in Japan, at the moment. If you want to use it, you can turn it on in Google Maps’ settings menu. The company says support for more languages and countries is “on the way.”
Google Set To Launch Pixel Watch.
Google’s elusive Pixel Watch could be about to break cover for the first time. A new report published by the Nikkei Asian Review suggests that next week’s Made by Google event will feature some unexpected hardware, including the long-awaited Pixel smartwatch and a 5G Pixel 4.
Quoting sources familiar with the subject, the site reports that “the search giant will unveil two new 4G Pixel smartphones, as expected, and possibly a new smartwatch and notebook too.” Unfortunately, there isn’t much else within the report regarding the potential smartwatch.
Much of this is old news: alongside this rumoured wearable device, we’re expecting to see the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, as well as the recently leaked Pixelbook Go and a suite of new Nest devices – including the successor to Google’s mesh Wi-Fi.
While nothing is confirmed, there had been rumours circulating before last year’s event about a Google-branded watch. Obviously, the wearable will run Google’s own Wear OS, but that’s about all we can say with any certainty; it’s likely that the Pixel Watch will be a premium device, however, and we expect it to lean heavily on the Google Assistant (as well as telling the time, of course).
If Google does follow through on this rumour, it’ll be the firm’s first foray into the world of wrist-based wearables, despite developing software for most other major smartwatch manufacturers. As key competitors, Apple and Samsung will no doubt be holding their breath.
Without a doubt, this year’s Made by Google event is the most leaked in recent history. There’s likely to be little left to surprise keen Google fans: the Pixel 4, 4 XL and Pixelbook Go have now all been discussed in depth by various leak sites. The new handsets are rumoured to be bringing hands-free operation and high-end 90Hz AMOLED displays, while the new Pixelbook is sporting a 4K display and an unusually textured rear.
We’ll keep you up to date on the Made by Google event as it happens on 15 October. Stay tuned for more.
Google’s Pixelbook Go Laptop Leaks In Extensive Photos.
Ahead of Google’s big hardware event next week, 9to5Google has gotten access to what it claims is a prototype of the company’s new Chromebook, the Pixelbook Go. 9to5Google previously revealed specs and other details on the device last month.
As expected, the Pixelbook Go has a 13.3-inch 16:9 screen in either 1080p or 4K resolution, two USB-C ports, and options for Intel Core m3, i5, and i7 processors. Other specs are said to include up to 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a headphone jack, and the Titan C security chip seen in the Pixel Slate.
The Pixelbook Go appears to have an unusual ribbed texture on the bottom, which 9to5Google describes as “somewhat similar to a washboard or the roof of a dog’s mouth,” so make of that what you will. The model that the site got its hands on has a coral color on the bottom with a matte finish on the top panel that’s reminiscent of the “Not Pink” Pixel 3.
It’s clear that the device is a prototype — the Google logo has been swapped out for a placeholder, and another wordmark reads “ProductName” above the keyboard. Still, it’s an extensive look at what Google is likely to announce next week, so it’s worth checking out 9to5Google’s full gallery.
Google’s event is happening on Tuesday in New York City, and we will of course be there to bring you all the news on the Pixelbook Go, the even-more-leaked Pixel 4, and no doubt much more.