Samsung killing off its Note series was a great idea as it helped consolidate the company's lineup of phones into a neat little bundle. Now users won't have to decide which phone to get as the Galaxy S Ultra series will now offer the best specs while also featuring support for the S Pen.
That is expected to continue in 2024 with the upcoming Galaxy S24 series, and now thanks to a report from MySmartPrice, it looks like the S Pen that is expected to accompany the Galaxy S24 Ultra has been spotted at the FCC with the EJ-PS928 model number.
In terms of the design, it doesn't look like anything has changed as it still looks pretty much like its predecessor. The physical button is still very much present, and according to the FCC listing it looks like it will have a 2402-2480MHz frequency range along with BLE support, which is honestly not too surprising.
While the sighting of the S Pen doesn't reveal any surprises, it does suggest that the launch of the phone could be close at hand. Samsung has been rumored to announce their new Galaxy S24 phones in the middle of January 2024 shortly after CES, so we only have a little over a month before we get all the official details.
Apple and Google are currently dominating the smartphone space, especially Google where their own app store is on pretty much nearly every Android device out there in the market today. This is a huge deal because all purchases made will see a portion of that money go to Google in commission fees.
Given the popularity of some mobile games and the millions of dollars that can be made through in-app purchases, it's not surprising that Microsoft now wants in on the action. Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of the Xbox division, has confirmed that the company is in talks with various partners about the launch of a mobile game store.
Microsoft currently has their own storefront for Windows apps, but a mobile game store could be a great alternative for developers of mobile games who might not want to pay the commission that Apple and Google takes. Presumably Microsoft could be offering a lower cut compared to Apple and Google otherwise it's hard to imagine why developers would go with them instead of using Apple or Google's native app stores.
That being said, there are definitely challenges that lie ahead for Microsoft. Firstly, they would need to convince customers to download or use a separate app store for games, especially if users prefer to consolidate all their apps. Secondly, there could be an issue with Apple, who at the moment still does not allow third-party app stores on its iOS platform.
The EU does have a law that is coming into effect that would effectively force Apple to open up its ecosystem, but Apple is fighting it and it remains to be seen how that will turn out.
Samsung's Exynos chipsets have been getting a bad rep over the years to the point where this year's Galaxy S23 ditched the Exynos chipsets entirely and went with Qualcomm. That will change next year where the Galaxy S24 series is expected to see the return of the Exynos chipsets.
Recently, there have been rumors that Samsung will be rebranding its Exynos chipsets to the "Dream Chip". It turns out those rumors were false, but it also turns out that the "Dream Chip" is real. Samsung has since officially denied the rumors in a statement to Android Authority, claiming that the rebranding rumors are not true.
They also revealed that the "Dream Chip" brand name is actually referring to an internal project name. This is interesting because previously, there have been rumors suggesting that Samsung could actually be developing chipsets specifically for their Galaxy flagship phones, similar to how Apple has its A-series of chipsets for its iPhones, and Google has its Tensor chipsets.
This statement from Samsung seemingly confirms the existence of the project, but what exactly it entails is anyone's guess. More importantly, there's no way of knowing if this project will be commercialized either. Also just to play devil's advocate, this "Dream Chip" project could refer to something else entirely and not necessarily be related to mobile.
Many companies do work on internal projects as part of R&D that never see the light of day, so until we hear otherwise, don't get your hopes up just yet!
As it stands, many companies rely heavily on Qualcomm for a lot of their components for their smartphones and tablets. The most obvious would be the chipset that powers our phones, then there is also the GPU, and also the modem.
Now, Apple was reported to be trying to build its own 5G modem in a bid to reduce their reliance on Qualcomm, but that effort seems to have failed as there are multiple reports claiming that Apple is apparently calling it quits on their custom 5G modem development. This is according to a post by "yeux1122" on Naver, as well as a post on X by @Tech_Reve.
While none of this has been confirmed, it does lineup with earlier reports in which it was suggested that Apple was running into various issues and hurdles during the development process. It seems that whatever prototypes Apple developed were far behind whatever was already commercially available, not to mention there were issues with the Intel code Apple had inherited when they bought over Intel's smartphone modem business.
It is unclear if Apple will attempt to pick this up again later on. The company is notorious for trying to do everything in-house where possible, and while they've had quite a bit of success with that, it looks like this 5G modem will have to be chalked up as a loss, at least for now.
A while back, a growing number of Pixel 8 owners noted that their devices' screens seem to have formed tiny bumps and ripples, which are most visible whenever the display is turned off and viewed under a direct bright light. Some have even complained that the bumps were present from the moment their phone was unboxed, leading to concerns over durability and performance.
With that being said, it seems that Google has noticed the complaints online, and has since issued a corresponding statement regarding the mysterious screen bumps, which have since been clarified as components pressing up against the display. According to a statement made to 9to5Google:
"Pixel 8 phones have a new display. When the screen is turned off, not in use and in specific lighting conditions, some users may see impressions from components in the device that look like small bumps. There is no functional impact to Pixel 8 performance or durability."
While this does bring some peace of mind at the moment, it still remains to be seen whether or not the screen bumps will affect performance and user experience over the next few months, since the Pixel 8 series handsets are still fairly "new" on the market.
The Pixel 8 series phones feature Google's newly-branded "Actua" displays, which (screen bumps aside) have gained favourable benchmark scores in terms of display quality and power efficiency.