The world of foldable phones and 5G begins now, as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Fold get announced. Get the lowdown on that and more in five minutes on The Wrap.
For the week ending February 22, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and in case you haven’t worked it out yet, we are obsessed with phones. Not just us here at The Wrap, but people in general.
We like phones. We don’t talk on them as much as we used to, but we definitely like them. They’re great for web, for social, for email, and games, and so much more, and we all carry them around as if our lives depended on them. Which they kinda do.
You might even be thinking of buying a new phone, looking down at the handset that might be playing this podcast and thinking, “it’s about time”. Well, hold onto your horses there, because the first big announcements of the year have happened, and they’re just a start.
This week, Samsung announced what it had coming for folks keen to upgrade or just get something new, as the Galaxy S10 arrived.
If you can believe it, we’re up to version “10” of Samsung’s Galaxy handset, but it hasn’t been ten years. Actually more like nine, but focus on that “ten” for a second will you, because there are four of these phones to check out.
Yes, Samsung may well be making a phone choice more difficult this year, because there are four Galaxy S10 phones coming: there’s the Galaxy S10, the S10 Plus, the S10e, and the S10 5G, and they’re all a little different, and yet kind of the same.
There’s the standard Galaxy S10 with three back cameras and one on the front under a 6.1 inch screen, the bigger Galaxy S10 Plus with three cameras back cameras and two on the front under a 6.4 inch screen, and the smallest in the S10e with two cameras on the back and one on the front under a 5.8 inch screen.
Those are the 4G Galaxy S10 models, and probably the models most Galaxy buyers will look at, given they cover most things. They all get fingerprint and facial scanners, water resistance, wireless charging, and some high-speed WiFi, with the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus also letting you log in using your finger on the screen thanks to a new Ultrasonic screen reading technology.
But we’re missing one model, and it’s the biggest of the bunch: with a 6.7 inch screen and four cameras on the back, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G is an even bigger Galaxy phone, and is closer to the best you can find, even using that whole 5G thing, which parts of America and Australia will have access to.
Now Samsung’s S10 range wasn’t all the company announced, with new wireless earphones and new fitness-focused wearables like the Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Watch Active, but there was another device as well. One that folds.
You see Samsung has finally shown its first folding phone, and it definitely has our attention. Relying on a 7.3 inch on the inside with a 4.6 inch screen on the outside, the Galaxy Fold, as it’s being called, is a tablet that folds up to become a phone. It uses a special polymer and a new hinge mechanism to make it happen, and it means you can fold up this 7 inch tablet into a phone, using it as both. It’s about the height of convergence, and will even come with the three cameras of the Galaxy S10, as well as half a terabyte of storage.
But it will come at a price, and while Samsung Australia didn’t say what that was, the US price of close to two grand suggests an Australian price of around $3K is more likely.
All we can say is start saving, because it’s coming, and it’s probably going to attract attention.
And while Samsung occupied the tech news this week, it wasn’t the only thing that happened.
Panasonic and Fujifilm each have new cameras coming, the former with two zoom-friendly compacts, while the latter gets a quaint and retro mirrorless camera, ideal for folks who aren’t resting on phone cameras as the be-all, end-all.
Telstra updated its Telstra TV gadget, which in Australia is basically a Roku made to support Aussie accents, since we don’t normally have Roku here.
And there was even a little bit in the world of sound, as speaker and headphone company Altec Lansing made a return with a highly waterproof speaker for the pool — not necessarily the pool room — while French specialists Focal came out with a pair of $4500 headphones. Yes, they’re very expensive and very special. We imagine they’re the sort of things people would wear if they just spend $3K on a new phone.
Which will be very possible in the next few months. I mean there’s a lot coming, and you can expect even more next week, as Mobile World Congress kicks off in Spain.
For now, that’s all we have time for. But you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap will be back next Friday for more technology in five, available on Podcast One and Apple Podcasts.
Next week, spoiler alert, you can expect more phones in five minutes. For now, we’re wishing you the best, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.