When using online services that are free, there is usually an option to pay for a more premium version of that service that comes with additional perks that some users might appreciate. But what if you were to pay for a product, but then be told you had to pay more to use some of its features?
That's what Samsung could be planning to do with its upcoming Galaxy S24 series of phones, where a post on X by @Tech_Reve claims that Samsung is toying with the idea of charging users a subscription fee to use the on-device AI features.
Now, it was previously rumored that AI could be a big new feature of the Galaxy S24 phones. This was supposed to be a good thing as it could finally bring some features that would put it on par with Google's Pixel series of phones, but if this rumor is true, we're not sure if that's such a good idea.
It is unclear why Samsung might want to charge for this. We know that companies like Apple and Google offer subscription services for things like cloud storage, music, and videos, but it's fair because those are additional things that don't necessarily take away from the user experience if users choose not to pay for them.
In this case, if Samsung is going to make a big deal about AI on its Galaxy S24 phones, locking those features behind a paywall just seems outright dumb. Hopefully it's not true, but we'll have to wait and see come January 2024.
While the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 supports the S Pen accessory, there is no silo or other housing for the S Pen on the body of the foldable. And the S Pen is an optional additional purchase for those buying the book-style foldable. But that might change as a U.S. patent awarded to Samsung Electronics by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicates that Samsung has devised a way for owners of a future Galaxy Z Fold model to store the digital stylus on-device so it will always be there when they need it.
Samsung gets a patent for on-phone storage for the S Pen on a Galaxy Z Fold phone
The patent is titled "Electronic device using electronic pen and method thereof," and was given the number US 11,803,268. An illustration from the patent posted on "X" by @xleaks7 shows how the S Pen can be stored on the back or the side of a future Galaxy S Fold handset. No, it's not a silo like you'll find on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it is a slot that the S Pen could fit into. The S Pen is an optional accessory for Galaxy Z Fold 5 buyers who can store it in a special stylus case that has a place where the S Pen can be housed until needed.
By leaving room along the side of the phone or on the back, Samsung would be able to offer the Galaxy Z Fold 6 with the S Pen out of the box and give users a place to store it on-device without making the device any thicker. Samsung is expecting to sell over 10 million foldable phones next year and is looking to increase the number of higher-priced phones that it ships next year. Samsung's average selling price (ASP) for its smartphones is $295 compared to $988 for Apple so anything it can do to generate more demand for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 will help the company with its goal.
Just because Samsung has received a patent for on-phone storage of the S Pen for the Galaxy Z Fold 6 doesn't mean that the design change will happen next year, or at all. Many companies routinely apply for patents on some ideas even if they don't plan on using them in the near future.
The illustrations in the patent documentation also show an S Pen with extra buttons. One button would be used to interact with the phone while the S Pen tip hovers above the phone;s internal display. Another button could quickly change the color of the lines being "drawn" by the S Pen on the display without having to open the Settings on the phone.
Samsung might need to eat a price hike forced on it by including the S Pen with the Galaxy Z Fold 6
One thing to keep in mind is that if Samsung were to add the S Pen slots on the Galaxy Z Fold 6 next year and include the digital stylus with the phone right out of the box, it probably would have to raise the price of the device by about $50 or eat the additional cost. Considering the competition that the Galaxy Z Fold 5 has with the Pixel Fold, we wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung keep the Galaxy Z Fold 6's starting price unchanged. The Pixel Fold also has a $1,799 starting price.
Another competitor that might force Samsung to include the S Pen out of the box with the Galaxy Z Fold 6 is the OnePlus Open. While that device does not include a stylus, many believe that it might have a better photography system than the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
According to Tom's Guide, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 could feature dust resistance, a larger and wider cover display, but it could be equipped with the same camera array used for Sammy's 2023 book-style foldable. Whether Samsung throws an S Pen into the mix along with a slot for the accessory is anyone's guess. The new foldable models aren't due until next summer so there is still plenty of time before we might find out what Samsung has in mind.
If you're looking to get the best and most powerful flagship phone of 2024, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could be it. This is according to benchmarks which has revealed that the Galaxy S24 Ultra could be running an overclocked version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
Based on the benchmarks, the Galaxy S24 Ultra was clocked at 3.4GHz. For context, the official speeds offered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is 3.3GHz, meaning that Samsung will be using a slightly faster variant.
This seems to be a similar strategy that Samsung used this year with its Galaxy S23 Ultra where they had an exclusive deal with Qualcomm to supply them with an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The deal isn't permanently exclusive as Qualcomm later made it available to other handset makers, but at least for a period in time, the Galaxy S23 Ultra was the fastest phone available in the market.
That being said, CPU clock speed is only one aspect of a phone. There are other factors to consider when choosing a handset, like battery life, charging speed, cameras, size and weight, display, and so on. But if you're after the best possible performance, the Galaxy S24 Ultra could be it.
We heard rumors that Samsung was working on a new color variant for the Galaxy Z Flip 5 called the "Retro Edition". For those curious about the phone, it has since been officially launched but unfortunately, it will only be available in South Korea, the UK, Germany, Spain, Australia, and France.
As for what makes this the "Retro Edition", it turns out the colorway was not inspired by the Galaxy S3 as we previously thought. Instead, it is an homage to the Samsung SGH-E700 that was launched way, way back in 2003, a good two decades ago.
For those who are old enough to remember the handset, this is indeed one of Samsung's classics and a phone that I actually personally owned back in the day. It was one of the first few phones from back then that came with a built-in camera, and also software features that allowed users to capture photos and animate them.
These days these types of features are almost a given, but back then it was kind of groundbreaking. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Retro Edition will come with three Flipsuit cards that feature different Samsung logos throughout the years, a Flipsuit case, and a collector card engraved with a unique serial number.
A while back, we got word that Samsung began launching a new budget Android device (albeit discreetly) in select markets, with the Galaxy Tab A9 series. Initially spotted on Samsung's Guatemalan and UAE websites, the lineup consists of the Tab A9 and the larger Tab A9+.
With that in mind, the company has finally - and formally - announced the launch of its new budget tablet devices, which are now available in select markets worldwide. They're also priced just around the 300-dollar price point, making them more affordable than most competitors out there.
In terms of specs, the base model Galaxy Tab A9 comes with a small 8.7-inch IPS screen, with a rather average 800 x 1340 pixel resolution. The tablet also features up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage inside, alongside MediaTek's Helio G99 processor. The tablet will be available in Wifi and LTE variants, and will run on a modest 5,100 mAh battery.
Meanwhile, the larger Tab A9+ will comes with a larger 11-inch LCD screen with a 1200 x 1920 pixel resolution and 90hz refresh rate. Unlike its smaller sibling however, the A9+ is powered by a larger 7,040 mAh battery, with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. There's also a 5G version in addition to a standard Wifi model.