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.
Perhaps it's safe to say that while the record for the first-ever smart foldable launch goes to the Royole Flexpai, it was Samsung that really kickstarted a large part of the foldable smartphone trend. It's been half a decade now since the launch of the first-ever Galaxy Fold device, and we've seen a lot of new foldables from other manufacturers since.
As such, a new report suggests that Samsung might be planning to up the ante, that is by selling more foldable devices in 2024 - around 20 million, in fact. This estimated number will include sales of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5, as well as the upcoming Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6. Perhaps the South Korean tech giant is finally feeling the onslaught of new foldables from the top Chinese OEMs.
Just recently, research firm Counterpoint Statistics reported that Samsung dominated global market sales this year - the company was able to secure a fifth of the total sales in Q3 2023 thanks to its popular A-series smartphones, which continue to outsell its flagship devices and foldables.
Going back to Samsung's 20-million sales goal, it's also reported that the company will focus on launching thinner and lighter foldable devices next year, something that we've seen on some of this year's devices from competing brands such as xiaomi, Oppo and OnePlus.
For a while, TSMC was leading the way when it came to the development of chipsets, creating more transistor-dense chipsets using smaller fabrication processes compared to the competition. But now it looks like TSMC is starting to fall behind and Samsung could actually beat them at their own game.
A recent report from PulseNews has revealed that TSMC has apparently slowed down their development progress in Baoshan due to a slowdown in the demand for chips. This also means that TSMC could delay the launch of their 2nm chipset, which in turn could result in Samsung launching a 2nm chipset before TSMC does.
It was initially expected that TSMC would be the first to launch a 3nm chipset, but Samsung actually managed to beat them to it. Assuming Samsung manages to maintain their pace and developmental progress, it is possible that Samsung could once again beat TSMC by launching the first 2nm chip.
This has huge implications because many companies like Apple and Qualcomm actually rely on TSMC for their chipsets, but if Samsung could create something better before TSMC does, those companies could start shifting more orders over to Samsung. It probably isn't as simple as that as things like pricing, quality control, yield rates, and more need to be factored in, but for now, it looks like Samsung is winning the race.
The rumors are claiming that for the Galaxy S24 series, Samsung could return to the Qualcomm and Exynos variants, where some markets could get Qualcomm's chipsets, while others would get Exynos chipsets.
If you're not a fan of the Exynos chipsets, then you might need to open your wallets a little bigger. This is because according to a report from Korean publication The Elec, it seems that Samsung will be using Qualcomm's chipsets exclusively for the Galaxy S24 Ultra variant, while the base Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24+ could use Qualcomm and Exynos chipsets.
This is kind of good news for those who were already planning to get the Ultra model, but for those who didn't, you'll either have to choose to pay more for the Ultra version or make do with the Exynos chipset, assuming you're living in a region that will get the Exynos models.
While the Exynos chipsets are pretty decent on paper, they do fall short in several areas compared to Qualcomm. This has angered a lot of users who don't have a choice in which chipset they receive, but yet still pay the same amount as the rest who are in markets that have the Qualcomm variant of the phone.
Also, recent benchmarks have suggested that the GPU in the upcoming Exynos 2400 chipset falls behind the current Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, making things worse. Either way, take this with a grain of salt and we should have more details early next year.
Samsung has been working on getting its phones ready for the Android 14 update. The company has been beta testing One UI 6.0 (which is based on Android 14) for a while now, but they have since officially announced the update at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) 2023.
One UI is basically a modified version of Android 14. It will come with all the new features and changes that are part of Android 14, but with some tweaks and changes here and there that will help it stand out from the rest of the competition.
While we already know what to expect from One UI 6.0 based on the betas that have been released so far, Samsung did mention that overall, the update is expected to make their phones easier to navigate, easier to manage, and also offer up more customizability to make your phone truly unique to you.
Samsung also announced One UI Sans, a new font that will be used in the update that they claim will improve readability. They will also be introducing AI features where the OS will be able to analyze photos you're looking at and can recommend the best editing tools. The company stopped short of mentioning when the update will be released, but based on past release schedules, there is a good chance it could start rolling out by the end of the year.