Verizon used to be among the slowest carriers to update their phones, but that may not be true anymore. Big Red became the first US carrier to send out the Android 11 update to the Galaxy Note10 mid-January, only a couple of weeks after it debuted on the Exynos-powered international Note10 models. And now, a month later, T-Mobile is jumping on the bandwagon and has started rolling out Android 11 to its Note10 and 10+ units.
The November security patch is slowly coming to more carrier-locked Samsung phones while handsets around the world have already started getting the update in October. This time around, the Verizon Galaxy Note20 series and the AT&T Galaxy Fold were the first carrier-locked devices in line to receive the patch, most recently followed by the Verizon Galaxy Z Fold2.
Android Auto ended last year by rolling out to 36 more countries, but the infotainment system has been suffering from a few bugs lately. Thankfully, Google is now rolling out an update that should fix compatibility issues with various phones, notably including the Galaxy S21 series.
Mobile gaming is more popular than ever before, and Samsung's flagship phones are perfectly suited to the task. Big high-refresh-rate displays, large batteries, and top-of-the-range processors means that these device can handle any game you throw at them. For an extra boost to gaming performance, Samsung is releasing its GameDriver software on the Play Store, letting it update GPU drivers without the need for full system updates.
Just prior to CES, Qualcomm hosted us at a small event in Las Vegas to benchmark test its new Snapdragon 855 processor. There were breakfast sandwiches (pretty good!) and coffee (eh). What follows are benchmark scores. This is a pretty straightforward post.
First, let me be clear that we place essentially zero weight on benchmark results as a reflection of real-world performance or user experience. Benchmarks are benchmarks, they're numbers. We publish this information for strictly informational purposes, because some people want to know! No one here is saying one phone is "better" than another because it benchmarks higher. With that out of the way...
Samsung kicked off this month's security patch rollout last week with the budget Galaxy A50. Within days of that release, some of its recent S Pen-clad flagships are also being bumped to the latest Android security level. Alongside their international variants, the US Note20 and Note10 series have started getting the October update, starting with the unlocked models.
Samsung started beta testing its Android 11-based One UI 3.0 update a few months ago, and ever since then it's been expanding to more test devices and locations. Now the company has released official details for when the final One UI 3 release is expected to start coming to many of its handsets in markets worldwide, giving Galaxy users an idea of when to expect the upgrade on their own phones.
Samsung just released the Galaxy S21 last week, and now, the first teardown video is already available for you to gaze at. It comes courtesy of YouTube channel PBKreviews and features a complete disassembly and reassembly of the regular S21, complete with the first repairability assessment. Spoiler alert: It looks like many parts could be pretty easily replaceable, except for the battery.
Samsung's Galaxy Watch3 is (by most accounts) the best Android-compatible smartwatch, with its traditional design, rotating bezel, and good software experience. However, the original starting price of $400 was ridiculous, even compared to Samsung's other smartwatches. Thankfully, the price has now been temporarily reduced by $150 across the board, with the cheapest option dropping to $250.