We keep on getting deals, and this time we will only focus on Apple products. First, the latest M1 13-inch MacBook Pro is currently getting an $80 discount. This means that you can get one of the most powerful laptops in the market with 256GB SSD storage and 8GB RAM for $1,219. The best part is that you can get it on both its Space Gray and Silver color variants. If you want more storage space, you will have to settle for the Silver option, as it’s the only one with a $100 discount in its 512GB version, which leaves it up for grabs at $1,399.
Suppose you’re an Intel fan, and you don’t want Apple Silicon in your Mac. Well, we’ve also got you covered. Both the 13-inch and the 16-inch MacBook Pro with an Intel processor are on sale. The 13-inch model starts at $1,600 with a $199 discount that’s available when you clip-on the on-page coupon. This will get you the Space Gray color variant with an Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD storage, or get the Silver color option for $1 more. If you want more storage, you can get the 1TB version for $1800, as it will also save you $199.
Now, the 16-inch MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM, 512GB storage space, and a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor is getting a $300 discount, which leaves it at $2,099.
The latest iPad Pros are also on sale. You can get the 12.9-inch model with 128GB storage with WiFi support for $949 after a $50 discount. More storage options are also on sale, as the 256GB version is getting a $100 discount, leaving it at $999, and the 512GB version is selling for $1,224 after a $75 discount. If you want the smaller 11-inch iPad Pro, you can also get one starting for $759.05 if you get the 128GB version in Silver. The 256GB version is available for $845, and the 512GB storage option is going for $1,040 after a $59 discount.
If you look at Apple’s hardware portfolio, it becomes pretty evident that anodized aluminum has been a favorite of the company for a long spell of time, with surgical-grade steel only recently making its way to the iPhone. While aluminum has its own set of advantages, Apple might be looking to diversify the choice of material on the table, and one of the options it is currently experimenting with is titanium. Now, titanium is stronger than aluminum, but it comes with its own set of manufacturing challenges that make it more expensive to work with.
Coming back to Apple, the company is trying out titanium for making enclosures of devices ranging from iPads and iPhones to Macs after giving the metallic sheet (or unibody block) a textured finish using a mix of blasting and etching. In Apple’s case, the company also seeks to give it a unique glossy finish, as per a patent filed before the USPTO that was first spotted by the folks over at PatentlyApple.
“According to some examples, it may be preferable to utilize a combination of an etching and blasting process while anodizing the titanium part. In particular, the anodized layer of an etched and blasted titanium part may be protected from chemical (e.g., fingerprint oils) and mechanical removal (e.g., rubbing against objects) due to the anodized layer being recessed and submerged within the valleys of the textured surface of the anodized part that has been etched and blasted,” Apple notes in the patent description.
While titanium is stronger than aluminum, and the etching process makes it a better option for hiding weld lines, it doesn’t mean the next MacBooks and iPads will ditch aluminum just yet in favor of titanium. However, if Apple manages to achieve the quality standards that the company strives to find, it is quite likely that some of Apple’s product might very well be made out of of titanium instead of aluminum in the foreseeable future.
To recall, another patent filed by Apple mentions imparting light-absorbing features to the surface of a dyed anodized part. We aren’t sure if this anodized part is made out of titanium, but it sure makes a compelling case. This is the one that also raised speculations about a matte black MacBook in the making. But these are patents at the end of the day, so there is always a chance that the idea might never make it to a commercially available product.
We start today’s deals with a vast selection of headphones to enjoy your favorite beats. We will start with one of the best over-ear headphones alternatives you can find in the market. The Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless overhead headphones, which usually sell for $350, are now selling for $278 after a $71.99 discount. You can get a pair in any of its three color options since they’re all going for the same price. You will get industry-leading noise canceling with Dual Noise Sensor technology, up to 30 hours battery life with quick charge, and touch sensors to pause, play or skip your favorite tunes.
Now, if you think that the Sony WH-1000XM4 may be too much for you, there are other options. The Sony WHXB900N are also on sale, and you can grab a pair for $148 in its Black or Blue color options. This will get you a $100 discount, noise-canceling technology, and up to 30 hours of battery life. Finally, the Sony WHCH710N are another option to consider, as you can now get them for just $98 after a massive $101.99 discount. These are the more affordable option, but they feature up to 35 hours, noise cancellation, quick charging, and more.
Now, you can also score a new Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote for just $22 after getting an $8 discount, and turn your regular TV into a smart device that will let your stream all of your favorite content and more. You can also grab the 4K version, which is available for $50, but no savings here. However, you can improve your experience with a Roku Smart Soundbar, 4K/HD/HDR Streaming Media Player that’s currently getting a $30 discount, leaving it at $150.
Apple’s latest iPad Air, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and more are on sale
Apple’s latest M1 Mac mini, Surface laptops and more are on sale today
As expected, let’s begin the week with some deals as those don’t seem to bet slowing down at all. The Galaxy S21, S21+, the Ultra and every product we got at Unpacked is still available for pre-orders with huge savings but, you only have 3 days left to pre-order it. So, if you get the Galaxy S21, it is available for just $99 and the S21+ for $299, if you have an eligible device for trade-in and you also get $100 or $150 respectively in instant credit for accessories and 6 months of Spotify. When it comes to the S21 Ultra, that one is available for just $499, with up to $200 in instant credit, a smart tag, and 4 months of YouTube Premium. Yes, I know, they’re still going. If you’re looking to protect your new Galaxy, SUPCASE is still our number 1 choice for rugged cases and we’ll leave links for both Amazon and SUPCASE.com. Where you can use code POCKETNOW15 to get a 15% discount. If you want an older device that’s too good for the deals, the S20 FE is available for $425, while the Z Fold 2 is still available for $1000 if you have a device for trade-in. If you’re looking for a computer, the M1 Mac mini is currently $50 off, leaving the entry level variant for $650 at Amazon and B&H. The Surface Book 3 is $203 off at Amazon, leaving the Intel Core i5, and 8GB of RAM model for $1396. We have more deals on LG Monitors, other Samsung products and more.
HUAWEI considers sellings its P and Mate flagship phone brands: Report
Moving on to Huawei, the company has been doing some interesting moves in order for their US ban to continue affecting the successful mobile business they had. Recently the company sold their HONOR brand which, actually means that Honor can now launch phones with Google Mobile Services. Now, there’s a weird conflicting report from Reuters claiming that Huawei has been in talks to sell their P and Mate Series to a consortium of buyers. Apparently this is another government-backed consortium of investments firms from Shanghai and the talks have been going on for weeks, as Huawei is claimed to have started to internally explore the possibility of selling their brands as early as September. Now the conflicting twist is that Huawei themselves have refuted the report. They put out a statement saying that they have “learned of some rumors regarding the possible sale of their flagship brands, and they said that there is no merit to these rumors whatsoever. Huawei has no such plan”. The reason why we’re still covering this is because, something similar happened to Honor as it was tipped that the company was selling it, Huawei said it wasn’t, and we know how the story ended. So yeah, at the moment, the Mate and P Series are still huge in China but what the future holds is yet to be seen.
Samsung and Apple’s upcoming smartwatches might allow blood glucose monitoring
Let’s talk about Smart Watches for both Apple and Samsung as, it looks like both companies are looking to push new health-centric features in 2021. So far we’ve seen ECG, blood pressure measurements, blood oxygenation and more. Not all are entirely accurate, but they’re there. Now, it looks like the next big upgrade will be blood sugar or glucose measurement. According to an ETNews report, the Galaxy Watch Active 3 will employ a non-invasive technology to take your glucose level measurements, while using an optical sensor. When it comes to Cupertino, they will reportedly be using the same technology to offer this feature, and they have apparently filed the patents and they are doing testing for the accuracy and efficiency for the blood sugar monitor. This technology was showed off at CES by a Japanese company, and bringing it to the mainstream is good for everybody at the end of the day.
Sony will revive the Xperia Compact phone in 2021, and here’s how it looks
Now let’s talk compact smartphones. The iPhone 12 mini was an interesting experiment, but we’ve been hearing that they slowed down production to boost the Pros which have been doing far better. Now if you remember, Apple didn’t pioneer this market. It was Sony, and it seems the compact is making a comeback. We have some new renders from OnLeaks of an Xperia Compact. According to these renders, this phone brings a 5.5in display with a waterdrop notch and somewhat of a thick chin at the bottom. When it comes to the cameras, it’ll reportedly bring a dual module at the back with one of them being a 13MP sensor. Also, it’ll bring a dedicated camera shutter button, a headphone jack and the fingerprint sensor comes embedded in the power button. OnLeaks mentions that the phone will be a tad bigger than the iPhone 12 mini, even if the displays will be of almost the same size and it also looks like this is more of a mid-ranger when compared to the 12 mini. Imagine that, dedicated camera button and headphone jack on a mini phone.. Seriously how hard can that be?
Apple’s new AirTags could be getting closer to launch
Let’s keep talking about Apple and unreleased wearables, but this time with the ones we’re still waiting for, AirTags. We’ve been waiting for these Tile-like trackers for the longest time, with sources like Jon Prosser claiming that they are ready to go, but Apple has delayed them multiple times due to the pandemic. A couple of weeks ago, Evan Blass posted some pictures of the accessories that will be used to carry around the AirTags, like these Nomad leather keychains as well as a Glasses Holder, for you to be able to track your glasses. Now we have a new image from a tipster on Twitter, showing an AirTag holder allegedly made by Spigen which will be sold on Amazon. This is another keychain with a black design, and you can see the AirTag sticking out in the center. So again, AirTags are Apple’s upcoming trackers which will work like the Galaxy Smart Tags, and according to multiple sources like Ming Chi Kuo, they are set to launch but, we don’t really have a timeline as for when so we’ll just have to wait. It’s just interesting that what matters is not the bare airtag, but instead the accessories that would use them to become smarter.
Story of the day:
Samsung’s Exynos SoC with AMD GPU conquers Apple’s A14 Bionic in leaked benchmarks
And finally for the hottest news today let’s move on to Samsung and your favorite topic, their Exynos processors. I know, bad joke.. But bare with me, it seems this is about to change. A couple of weeks ago now we got the Galaxy S21 Series which comes with the Exynos 2100 in some regions. And in case you haven’t heard, Samsung abandoned their custom CPU cores to use ARM’s design, meaning that the Exynos 2100 can compete with the Snapdragon 888 when it comes to CPU prowess. Not necessarily the same story on graphics though, but that’s about to change. Samsung is partnering with AMD to power the next generation of Exynos chips and these may come sooner than expected to the market. A Korean publication allegedly has some benchmarks of Samsung’s unnamed new chips which should debut in 2022. Now, we should take these with a big grain of salt as, they didn’t provide any screenshots but, according to these numbers, the A14 Bionic should be scared. In the Manhattan benchmark it beat it by 60 frames at 181.8 fps, in the normal Aztec ruins it beat it by almost 60 frames again, and in high Aztec Ruins it still beat it by 28 fps. And we know, this is Apple’s processor for last year and we should expect some upgrades from the A15 but guys, this is Exynos we’re talking here. This could solve everyone’s problems with Exynos if AMD and Samsung execute it correctly.
It seems that Apple is finally ready to launch its long-awaited AirTags, as accessory makers seem to have stepped up their game. These companies are more than prepared to receive Apple’s new tracking devices, as they have come up with keychains, cases, and more items to keep them protected and close to your personal belongings.
We have been getting tons of rumors concerning the new Apple AirTags, but unfortunately, no official launch date. In the past, we saw patents revealing possible uses for these trackers, but it seems that Apple may have to settle for less, or at least in the beginning. Evan Blass already revealed a couple of AirTags accessories from Nomad, including a keychain made from leather and microfiber that would hold the tracker. A glasses strap, which comes with a rubber tensioner to hold the tracker in place and a premium braided black cord. But the latest leak comes from iMatteo, who posted what may be one of Spigen’s keychain options for the upcoming AirTags.
Now, 2021 has just started, and there’s a long way to go. Still, we hope to see the new AirTags soon, as Apple is already preparing some of its apps to support these new devices. A clear example would be the recent discovery of a hidden ‘Items’ tab in the Find My app, which is expected to manage the upcoming object trackers.
Samsung joined hands with AMD back in June last year to license the latter’s RDNA graphics architecture. The multi-year deal would allow Samsung to arm its Exynos processors with AMD GPUs, ditching the Mali graphics engines that have so far been a mainstay on Samsung’s in-house chips. While an AMD-powered Exynos chipset is still far away – especially since Samsung unveiled a new flagship SoC called Exynos 2100 earlier this month – some details have already started to surface online regarding the upcoming Samsung silicon. And from what we’re hearing, it will crush Apple’s A14 Bionic when it comes to raw graphics prowess.
As per an ITHome report that claims to sourced benchmark scores from a Korean community website, the upcoming Exynos SoC with an AMD GPU leaves the A14 Bionic inside the iPhone 12 far behind. The performance comparison was reportedly done via a trio of synthetic benchmark tests – GFXBench to be precise – and the alleged results are as follows:
Upcoming Exynos SoC with AMD GPU
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1
GFXBench Aztec Normal
GFXBench Aztec High School
As you can see in the table above, graphics performance of the AMD-driven Exynos chip in question is far ahead of what Apple’s A14 Bionic can reach. Now, A14 Bionic is one of the most powerful SoCs out there, and Apple’s in-house chip has outperformed the best that Qualcomm has to offer for the past few years. So, it is quite surprising to see an Exynos SoC armed with an AMD GPU surpassing Apple’s latest-and-greatest by such a huge margin. And IF true, it is also a testament to how big a performance gain the RDNA architecture-based AMD GPUs will bring for upcoming Exynos SoCs.
Now, previous reports have claimed that the first wave of Exynos chips rocking an AMD GPU will arrive in 2022. But as per tipster @IceUniverse, the first Exynos 2xxx and Exynos 1xxx series processors with AMD GPU might be launched in the second or third quarter of 2021. And if that turns out to be true, the next Galaxy Note or Galaxy Z Fold series phone might feature an Exynos SoC packing an AMD GPU to handle the graphics department.
We will see Samsung release Samsung × AMD GPUs in the second or third quarter of 2021, which will be used in the next Exynos 2xxx and next Exynos 1xxx processors, Samsung may change the release time of the new processors.
We start this week’s deals with some interesting deals. First, we have Apple’s latest Mac mini with the M1 chip that delivers tons of power for just $649, translating into $50 saving. You will get 256GB storage space and 8GB RAM. You can also get the 512GB storage version for $859 after getting a $40 discount. The 512GB version is only available for this price at Amazon, while the 256GB version is up for grabs at Amazon and B&H Photo Video.
Next up, we have some Microsoft Surface laptops on sale, as you can get up to $360 on selected devices, bundles, and accessories. First, we find the Microsoft Surface Book 3 with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage space for $1400. This model includes $200 off all of its 13.5-inch and 15-inch models, which means you can get the maxed-out version with a Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and 2TB storage for $3,200. You can also get the Surface Pro 7 plus the Pro Type Cover Bundle for $1,700. This laptop comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB storage space in two color options for you to choose from, and you must also choose your Type Cover that comes in five color options.
You may also want to consider getting a new monitor, as LG has some interesting deals. First, we find the 32-inch LG UltraFine Display Ergo UHD 4K IPS Display for $597 after a $103 discount, or get the 27-inch Ergo IPS UHD 4K Ultrafine Monitor for $500 with $99 savings. There are two more 27-inch options from LG, as the LG 27-inch UHD IPS Display with VESA DisplayHDR 400 is available for $490 after a hefty $210 discount. Or get the 27-inch Full HD Ultragear G-Sync Compatible Gaming Monitor with 144Hz Refresh Rate for just $300 and receive a $50 discount.
And while you’re at it, you may also want to get some extra storage space, as the Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD with 500GB storage space can be yours for just $100 after a $30 discount, or get the same capacity without the extra security provided by a touch sensor when you go for the regular SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD 500GB that’s currently going for $80, and you get the same $30 discount.
Looks like the smartwatch wars will be hotter in 2021. After bringing blood oxygen saturation, ECG, and blood pressure measurement to their smartwatches, Apple and Samsung have reportedly set their sights on another impressive feature for their upcoming smartwatches – blood sugar (or glucose) level measurement.
As per a report by ETNews, Samsung’s upcoming smartwatch – tentatively called Galaxy Watch 4 – will employ a non-invasive technology for taking blood sugar (or glucose) level measurements. The company will rely on an optical sensor for doing so. While the exact technology is yet to be detailed, Samsung researchers showcased a non-invasive blood glucose monitoring technique in collaboration with experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) back in January last year.
Samsung’s research team relied on a technology called Raman Spectroscopy that uses lasers to identify the chemical composition of blood. The team managed to deliver the highest accuracy rate for blood glucose level monitoring using a non-invasive technology by modifying the Raman Spectroscopy method. As per the ETNews report, Samsung is going to launch three smartwatches in 2021, and they will likely come with the new blood glucose level measurement capability.
But Samsung won’t be alone to offer this extremely helpful technology on its wearable devices. Apple will reportedly use the same technology to offer this capability on its upcoming smartwatch, tentatively called Apple Watch Series 7. Apple has reportedly gone through patent hurdles and is currently testing the accuracy and efficiency of blood glucose monitoring on a smartwatch.
CES 2021 gave us a glimpse of blood glucose monitoring on wearables
We already have seen this capability earlier this year at CES 2021. Japanese company Quantum Operation showcased what it claims to be the world’s first non-invasive monitor capable of continuously measuring blood glucose levels when worn around the wrist. Quantum Operation’s solution employs its patented spectrum sensing technology for bringing the feature to life. You can see a demo of Quantum Operation’s wearable glucometer device in action here:
The technology is extremely promising and can prove to be a life-saving addition to smartwatches, just like ECG measurement on smartwatches has often turned out to be a feature that has saved many lives in well-documented reports. However, both the companies will first have to get it approved by regulatory authorities in the regions where they plan to market the new capability on their respective smartwatches.
Apple introduced (or re-introduced) a new charging system on the iPhone 12 series called MagSafe, which relies on a ring of magnets placed beneath the rear panel for magnetically attaching to wireless chargers and juicing up the battery. And with the apparatus being made of magnets, it sure will cause some interference with devices – including medical devices – whose functioning and readings can be affected by other magnetic objects in their vicinity. As such, Apple has updated its support page telling users to keep their iPhone 12 series phones from getting too close to health devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.
Apple notes that the magnets inside the MagSafe hardware and the electromagnetic field generated by them might interfere with medical devices. However, the risk posed by the MagSafe system – and essentially the iPhone 12 series phones as a whole – is not too high, nor it is significantly higher than older iPhones without the MagSafe system. “Though all iPhone 12 models contain more magnets than prior iPhone models, they’re not expected to pose a greater risk of magnetic interference to medical devices than prior iPhone models,” Apple says in the support document (via Macrumors).
To ensure that the magnets and radio apparatus inside the iPhone 12 does not interfere with the sensors inside medical devices, Apple suggests keeping them 6 inches (or at least 15cm) apart and more than 12 inches (or 30cm) apart if the iPhone 12 is wirelessly charging. Lastly, Apple notes that if users suspect that their iPhone 12 or MagSafe charger is interfering with their medical devices, they should stop using their Apple device.
However, most medical devices such as pacemakers come with detailed instructions regarding the potential hazards of using other electronics when nearby. It is therefore recommended that one should consult a medical expert in detail regarding all the do’s and dont’s to ensure that their daily use devices such as phones, smartwatches, or wireless chargers do not interfere with the functioning of their life-saving medical devices.
If the previous decade has taught us anything, it’s that even if the vanguard phones are the ones that draw headlines, they’re not necessarily the best sellers. Most people will relate more to brands than capabilities, so on average, consumers just want a new Galaxy or iPhone for the least amount of money.
It’s the reason why we’ve seen this new approach of not just one Galaxy S or iPhone, and in these challenging times, I’m sure a very important question you might have, is where to draw the line. Which is the best bang for the buck affordable flagship that money can buy? Today, we decided to compare two of our favorites.
This is the Galaxy S21, Samsung’s least expensive flagship for 2021, and if you watched our recent review, one of the phones you should seriously consider right now. This is the iPhone 12, probably one of our favorite offerings in 2020, given how Apple was able to blur the lines between flagship features and price. I’m sure the fans are already drawing conclusions as to which one is going to win, but I’m gonna say it’s actually not that simple.
I think the debate between iOS and Android is so old, that I’m not planning to waste your time trying to get you to jump from one platform to another. The idea of this Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12 video is to help determine which phone is the better buy, and it starts with the hardware.
Physically both of these phones could not be more different. While Apple has decided to take a leap of faith on going entirely flat, Samsung has decided to flatten only the elements that are ergonomically convenient, which is smart given their differences in footprint. The Galaxy is 5mm taller, slightly narrower, slightly thicker, and yet manages to pull it off with just a meager 5 extra grams in weight. Both are made of aluminum frames, with Samsung favoring a shiny side rail versus Apple’s matte finish, but then both companies do the entire opposite at the back. As a result, the Galaxy handles fingerprints better, but I have a feeling the polycarbonate back Samsung provides does some leg work. It is controversial to launch a flagship with plastic, but keep in mind Apple’s ceramic shield is not present in the back.
Internally things get tight as both devices are relatively just as modern with Qualcomm and Apple’s 5nm processors. And sure, the Galaxy has double the RAM and almost double the battery, but we know that means nothing in the Apple world. What you should care about is that even if both devices don’t offer expandable storage, the Galaxy starts at double. Then they both offer essentials like fast and wireless charging, but only the Galaxy can reverse it. They’re both water-resistant and offer the same ways to remain connected, even up to both flavors of 5G. Where Apple swings back is in offering the new Ultra Wide Band on this iPhone, which this specific Galaxy S lacks.
But then when it comes to the displays, I’ll be more inclined to give this to Samsung. These are both OLED displays that support HDR10, with the S21 being only slightly larger as part of the trick since the iPhone is a tad wider. I’ll praise both for their color reproduction and amounts of detail, even if the iPhone only has a slight lead in pixels per inch. Really where the Galaxy wins is because it supports a 120Hz refresh rate versus 60, there is almost no notch to deal with versus the worse in the industry, and because it has an Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner under it, which is far more convenient during this pandemic. (Speaker test) In other elements like the speakers, I’d call it more of a tie.
Regardless of which one wins your hardware preferences, both are fragile, and even with the polycarbonate back on the S21, repairs on the front are not cheap, and that only gets ridiculous with the iPhone.
As I began this video, let me just once again clarify that I don’t plan to call winners based on iOS or Android. What I will do is tell you where your money is better invested. iOS makes it really hard for any Android OEM to compete unless you’re Google of course. The six-year-old iPhone 6s is still supported and you get your updates on day one, while Samsung only offers 3 years of support, is slow at them, and only gets slower the older your phone gets.
If this were the old grid of icons from Apple, I’d also give visuals to Samsung, but even here iOS 14 has finally evolved with widgets and a smarter app library versus Samsung’s app tray. I just find Samsung’s approach more dense, flexible, and useful, now even allowing the Google feed at the left, or the swipe menu for essentials like multi-window that iOS still can’t do. I’m also more of a fan of how Android 11 stacks notifications and even home peripherals.
The war of ecosystems is a tie, as both companies have gadgets that talk to each other well. I’d even say the battle of battery life is quite close as each device ended the day just fine, and that feeling extends to phone calls, and how each device handles 5G connectivity.
Really the last element left to help us break this minor and subjective tie is to compare the cameras. If you look at the spec sheet, you’d assume this is an easy win for Samsung, I mean you have a primary sensor that compares more with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, plus a telephoto the iPhone 12 lacks, but I’ll let the results do the talking.
I’m gonna call this a tail of opposite approaches. During the day the S21 tends to be warmer during the day, though results vary based on your focal length, while the iPhone is cooler, and really not a phone I’d recommend for anything other than ultra-wide and primary. I thought 3X digital on the iPhone could compete, but who am I kidding. I also notice more natural bokeh from the S21 given the larger physics of the sensor and also a tad more detail.
Once you turn off the lights I don’t recommend you use any other focal length as the ultra-wide is kind of washed, and telephoto in these conditions is actually a digital crop. I drift more to the Galaxy because the iPhone continues to be plagued with light reflections that Samsung barely deals with.
Things flip over literally with selfie photos where Apple gets warmer than Samsung. And sure, Apple’s deep fusion makes me look younger and handles skin tones really well, but I find Samsung to be more accurate, and it also offers less of a crop in selfie portraits.
Video is where the iPhone continues to reign supreme. Sure, Samsung has done a far better job with avoiding warping as you walk, but the sharpening is still there, even if in less of a degree. It’s a close call, but if I had to pick in that department alone I’d go iPhone, though the rest of the camera comparison belongs to the Galaxy.
Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: conclusion
To conclude, no worries, you know me, I’ll always call out a winner, but you can’t deny that in some ways this was a bit of a close call. Samsung wins Hardware, software drifts more to iOS, though it’s a matter of taste, then the camera really depends on what you care about most, be that photos or video, where I think the Galaxy is the better buy.
That said, once you jump into the price, Samsung wins. It’s a few dollars less expensive if you ignore the odd carrier discount from Apple, but then you get double the most things internally, more cameras, and if you were to take advantage of the pre-order deals, the Galaxy S21 gives you enough perks to buying back the charger and a pair of earbuds that neither offer in the box. I’ll be sure to link to some of my favorites in the description.
The bottom line, the Samsung Galaxy S21 wins. Those of you in the market for the best bang for the buck modern flagship that money can buy, this is it. I hate to take over Apple’s old slogan here, but seriously, I’d say the Galaxy S21 is not just the right amount of everything, but double that in a few elements here and there.
If you seek to enjoy the latest of what Apple has to offer without breaking your wallet, the iPhone 12 is just the perfect device right now. It rocks a beautiful design, blazing fast internals, reliable cameras, and a smooth software to boot. Just about the complete package.
The vanilla Galaxy S21 might not get as much attention as its Ultra sibling, but this one is a terrific device for its asking price. You get a beautiful 120Hz display, versatile cameras, cool aesthetics, and a feature-rich software. Plus, the deals and discounts just make it an irresistible offer.
Gaming monitors, Marshall Bluetooth speakers, and more accessories are on sale
iPhone 11 Pro, OnePlus 8T, Galaxy S21 and more phones on sale today
Looking for gaming peripherals? There’s a ton of Razer deals available right now
And yes, let’s end the week, as we end ever week, with Deals, and it actually begins with the ones you should not let go by. The Galaxy S21, S21+, the Ultra and every product we got at Unpacked is still available for pre-orders with huge savings. For example, if you get the Galaxy S21 it is available for just $99 and the S21+ for $299, if you have an eligible device for trade-in and you also get $100 or $150 respectively in instant credit for accessories and 6 months of Spotify. In the case of the S21 Ultra, that one is available for just $499, with up to $200 in instant credit, a smart tag, and 4 months of YouTube Premium. I know, it’s crazy. If you’re looking to protect your new Galaxy, SUPCASE is still our go-to choice for rugged cases and we’ll leave links for both Amazon and SUPCASE.com. Where you can use code POCKETNOW15 to get a 15% discount. If you want an older devices, the S20 FE is available for $350, while the Z Fold 2 is still available for $1000 if you have a device for trade-in. If you’re looking for an iPhone, Verizon currently has the 11 Pro for $400, leaving it at $599 on an installment plan. The OnePlus 8T is available on a Buy One Get One Free deal for 50% off, meaning you can get two entry level models for $1124. Finally, the Google Pixel 3 XL is available for just $300 over at B&H, if you want a great camera. We have more deals on Razer peripherals, LG smartphones and more.
Honor could launch smartphones with Google Mobile Services
Let’s move on to Honor, and a positive note for a change after all the mess that was 2020 for them. Recently, Huawei announced the sale of the Honor Brand due to “tremendous pressure” from the sanctions they’ve been imposed by the US. Well, a new report from a Russian publication claims that Google Mobile Services might be making a comeback to Honor devices, as they are no longer a Huawei subsidiary and, the sanctions imposed on Huawei don’t apply. The report claims that GMS could come back to Honor smartphones this Spring and the company has reportedly been working on two new lineups with support for GMS. This means that the new devices getting launched by Honor will no longer have Huawei’s App Gallery pre-installed, but older devices still won’t have access to GMS. They are currently preparing the Honor V40 which will debut on January 22 but, this one most likely won’t support Google Services. It is said to bring the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+, 8GB of RAM and 128GB with Android 10 running on Magic UI 4.0. We’ll see how this evolves as, this is kinda huge for other markets like Latin America now that Google Services are back.
LG’s smartphone business could be handed over to a Vietnamese manufacturer
LG’s new rollable smartphone could be canceled before its possible launch
Moving on to LG and more of a negative news, the rumors of the company selling their mobile division just got worse. On the last Pocketnow Daily we talked about how the company might sell or downsize their smartphone division due to losses over the years. Well, a new report claims that LG Electronics might want to sell their smartphone business to Vietnamese Conglomerate, Vingroup Co. This company is actually an ODM for LG and has been producing smartphones for them since 2018, being the third largest manufacturer in Vietnam after Samsung and OPPO. This company has a market capitalization of $16.5B and they reportedly want LG’s business in the United States, as they own 12.9% of the market on this side of the pond. Moving on to another report, at CES LG shared some teasers of their rollable smartphone which would debut in September. However, the Korea Herald reports that LG might pull the plug on the Rollable.
The cause is that the Wing has sold less than 100K units since it launched, being considered a financial failure. And now, insiders are doubting that the Rollable might make it to the market, because of the hefty price tag. They claim that even if it outperformed the Wing, it might not be enough to keep the whole division alive. We hope that LG manage to turn things around as, they don’t make the best smartphones but they did pioneer a lot of what we see today, and now their more experimental phones are also great to see.
iPhone 13 again rumored to flaunt a smaller notch, upgraded camera for Pro models
I feel like every year we hear a ton of rumors of what we’re getting with the next iPhones and half of them don’t happen but, this year everything seems so consistent. According to a new report from DigiTimes, a ton of the rumors we’ve been hearing about will be happening. First off they mention that the notch will be shrinking down thanks to a Face ID redesign. However, they claim that it will only shrink vertically, while maintaining the same width. The report also adds that the smaller iPhones, meaning the 13 and the 13 mini, will come with superior CMOS Image sensors, the ones we currently have on the 12 Pro and the 12 Pro Max. These sensors will reportedly be supplied by Sony and Apple will continue using the same 7-element system we currently get. Finally, the report also reiterates on the fact that all of the iPhone 13 family will bring sensor shift image stabilization which is currently exclusive to the 12 Pro Max. So once again, 2021 is sounding like an S year for the iPhones. The cause is that the Wing has sold less than 100K units since it launched, being considered a financial failure. And now, insiders are doubting that the Rollable might make it to the market, because of the hefty price tag. They claim that even if it outperformed the Wing, it might not be enough to keep the whole division alive. We hope that LG manage to turn things around as, they don’t make the best smartphones but they did pioneer a lot of what we see today, and now their more experimental phones are also great to see.
Samsung could be prepping to launch a cheaper, 4G Galaxy S21
You know, it’s funny but I seriously thought the S21 was like this year’s S20 FE, but it seems there’s a broader plan behind that. See, last year, when 5G wasn’t the norm yet, Samsung announced the S20 5G, but kept an LTE model with the Exynos for regions where 5G isn’t really available just yet. This year with the Exynos 2100, the company put 5G modems on all models. Well, a 4G variant of the Galaxy S21 was just certified by Bluetooth SIG with two different model numbers. Now, this could mean two things. Either Samsung is already working on the Fan Edition for this smartphone, or this is just a less expensive variant of the phone with no 5G support. Either way, this should be less expensive than the flagship model but, we don’t know if Samsung plans to downgrade the processors and other specs since they won’t be adding 5G. AS a recap of the specs, this means a 6.2-inch display, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and a similar camera array at the back. We know that it’s pretty early for Samsung to be working on the FE variant for this phone and that this might not be the case at all. Regardless, for those asking if the $100 price difference between the S20 FE and the S21 is worth it, I say it is.
Story of the day:
Next MacBook Air: Thinner, lighter, smaller, more powerful
Upcoming MacBook Pro could have a microSD card slot
Face ID support on iMac isn’t coming soon
And finally the hottest news today have to do with Apple. Let’s talk Macs as we’re currently expecting the next generation of Apple Silicon Macs and, we actually have a report for three separate line-ups here so bear with me. Let’s start with the upcoming MacBook Air as, a new report from Mark Gurman claims that the next MacBook Air will be a higher-end model and it will bring Apple’s MagSafe Charging technology and next-generation Apple Silicon processor. He also claims that Apple is considering making the laptop smaller, by shrinking down the bezels in the display, but it will still be a 13in panel. Apparently, there’s also some rumors of a 15in MacBook Air with 4 USB-C ports.. Finally.. But this isn’t certain at all. Since the MacBook Air was just refreshed, we’ll most likely see the changes Gurman mentioned until 2022, hopefully with 16 and 32-core processors. As for this year and moving on to the MacBook Pro, Gurman claims that the company is planning to bring back the SD Card Slot, which makes a TON of sense considering how Apple caters to content creators. The report also reiterates on details we’ve heard before, like the fact that it will feature a brighter panel, with higher contrast and that the Touch Bar is going away. Finally, we’re expecting a huge redesign for iMacs this year and one of the rumors was that we would get Face ID with this new design. Well, Gurman claims that it won’t happen, at least not for the models launched this year. So yeah, we should expect these iMacs and MacBook Pros around the middle of the year, and it looks like we’ll have to wait until 2022 for that higher end MacBook Air which sounds very enticing considering the Apple Silicon rumors.
The iPhone 12 Mini was labeled by many as the perfect small phone, one that doesn’t make any major compromises and delivers the vanilla iPhone 12 experience in a more compact form factor. The excitement was high around the device, but it appears that the hype couldn’t actually convert into sales figures for Apple, says a DigiTimes report, primarily due to the pandemic taking a toll on the phone’s target market.
“Pegatron has seen a slowdown in orders for the iPhone 12 mini as sales of the model in the US and Europe are affected negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to industry sources. The sources pointed out that the iPhone 12 mini is targeting mainly consumers in the US and Europe, but overall smartphone sales there have been significantly undermined by the pandemic,” the report says.
Another report claims that Foxconn has received extra orders for the iPhone 12 Pro models due to high demand. “Foxconn Technology Group (Hon Hai Precision Industry) is expected to see extra momentum in the first quarter of 2021 thanks to Apple increasing orders for the iPhone 12 Pro series, according to some market observers,” says another Digitimes report.
Multiple analysts and research firms have also indicated that the demand for iPhone 12 Pro models is higher, and catalyzed by the lackluster performance of iPhone 12 Mini, Apple is doubling down on the bigger and more powerful Pro models. In fact, as per a Morgan Stanley note (via PED30), Apple has cut short the orders for iPhone 12 Mini, and in return, has given an equivalent bump to the order figures for the iPhone 12 Pro models.
Earlier this month, sales figures shared by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (via Macrumors) revealed that iPhone 12 Mini was the lowest-selling model in the iPhone 12 series, standing at a mere 6% of the total iPhone 12 sales in the US market during the first few months following its launch.
Well, deals keep on coming; we previously saw that the iPhone 11 Pro and a nice selection of Android smartphones are currently on sale. However, we will now focus on some items to improve your work or gaming station. There are some compelling discounts on LG monitors that include the LG 34GL750-B 34-inch 21: 9 Ultragear Curved Gaming Monitor that’s currently available for just $450 after receiving a $100 discount. Our next option comes with a smaller $32-inch display, but that also means a lower price tag, as the LG 32-inch QHD Gaming Monitor with 144Hz Refresh Rate and Radeon FreeSync Technology is available for $347 with $53 savings. Finally the 27-inch LG 27GL650F-B Full HD Ultragear G-Sync Compatible Gaming Monitor can be yours for $300 after a $50 discount.
Next up, we have a selection of wireless earphones you can use to concentrate on the task at hand. We have a couple of Apple and Samsung options, as the Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise-canceling on-ear headphones are currently selling for $160 after a $139.96 discount on two color options. Next up, we have the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live with a $30 discount, which leaves them up for grabs at $126.74, or get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus for $110 with $40 savings. You can get them in three different color options for this price.
And since we’re already talking about audio devices, we will mention the Marshall Stanmore II wireless Bluetooth Speaker in its black color option. It is currently getting a $70 discount, meaning you can pick one up for $280. However, you can also give it more power with Alexa, as its Smart Speaker version is getting a $100 discount, which leaves it at $300. It will deliver great sound, and it will keep you connected at a range of up to 30 feet thanks to its Bluetooth 5.0 aptX technology. Next up is the Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker that’s currently selling for $200 after a $50 discount.
Now, you may also be looking to get more storage in your PC, and if that’s the case, we’ve got you covered as well. There are some great deals on Samsung SSDs, as the Samsung 870 QVO SATA III 2.5-inch SSD with 1TB storage space is selling for just $100 after a $30 discount. Next, we have another Samsung SSD with 2TB storage for $200, and you save $50. However, if you’re looking for an M.2 NVMe SSD, the Samsung 970 EVO SSD with 500GB storage space is currently getting a $35 discount, which means you can get yours for just $65.
We start today’s deals with some awesome smartphones. First, we have a rare but great discount on the iPhone 11 Pro. You can get yours over at Verizon and save $400, meaning you would only have to pay $599. However, an eligible Unlimited plan and a new line are required on this online-only deal. This would get you the 64GB version, but the 256GB and 512GB storage options are also available in Silver and Midnight Green for $750 and $950, respectively. You will see the $400 promo credit applied to account over 24 or 30 months, depending on the payment plan you choose. There are more deals available that let you get the Motorola One 5G for free and the LG Velvet 5G for just $5 a month, but you may want to act fast since these deals will end on Sunday.
Now, if you are planning on getting a new iPhone, you may also want to consider getting a charger. Remember that you will not find a power adapter or EarPods in the box anymore, so you may want to consider getting an AUKEY Focus iPhone Fast Charger 30W with Power Delivery that will get your iPhone charged in no time. It’s also conveniently on sale, as you can get yours for just under $18 when you add the on-page coupon.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Series is also getting some great discounts, as you can get up to $700 off with an eligible trade-in and up to $200 credit to use towards accessories to go with your new device. Depending on the discount you receive, the vanilla Samsung Galaxy S21 can be yours for just $100, while the Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra are available for $300 and $500, respectively.
Other Samsung deals include the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE that’s selling for just $350. The Galaxy Note 20 Series starts at $450 if you want the entry-level variant, or take the Ultra model for just $750. If you want a new foldable, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip starts at $100 in its LTE-only version, but you can also get the 5G enabled version for $250. Finally, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is getting the best discount, as you can get it for $1,000 after a $1,000 discount. You may also want to take a look at the official Samsung Galaxy S20 cases, as they’re currently getting a 50 percent discount, and they start at just $19.
Next up we have the OnePlus 8T that’s available in an awesome BOGO 50 percent deal. You can get two devices for just $1,123.50, which would leave each device for 561.75, with $375 combined savings. Remember that you would get 12GB RAM and 256GB storage space in each device, plus an awesome camera and a 65W Warp Charge power adapter.
Finally, the Google Pixel 3 XL with 64GB storage space is selling for $300 over at B&H. This unlocked device comes with a massive $500 discount, a single 12.2MP Dual-Pixel camera, dual 8MP front-facing cameras, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and a 6.3-inch QHD+ OLED display.
Today, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg published a new report regarding the launch of redesigned MacBook Air. The report not only mentions information about Apple’s next MacBook Air, but also goes on to say that iMac isn’t getting Face ID support any time soon. It further mentions that microSD card slot could make its comeback on the next MacBook Pro. The report says:
“The upcoming MacBook Pro is an example of Apple’s renewed focus on Mac loyalists. The company is planning to bring back an SD card slot for the next MacBook Pros so users can insert memory cards from digital cameras.”
For the unaware, the microSD card slot was part of the I/O on pre-2016-era MacBook Pro. Further, Apple is reportedly working on refreshing both 14-inch and 16-inch variants of its MacBook Pro. The former is codenamed J314 and a 16-inch version internally dubbed J316. Both these devices will move away from Intel processors and will be powered by the next-generation versions of Apple’s in-house Mac processors. These processors will be upgraded with more cores and enhanced graphics. The latest report once again claims that Touch ID is going away.
The upcoming MacBook Pros are tipped to feature brighter, higher-contrast panels. Moreover, these could mark the return of MagSafe on laptops. Over the past five years, Apple has relied on USB-C ports for both power and data transfer on its laptops. However, the company is said to be bringing back its magnetic power adapter. It will allow the laptops to charge at a faster rate.
Apple is planning to launch its new MacBook Pros by the middle of this year. It is also working on the redesigned MacBook Air, but it will launch later. The Air is also tipped to include MagSafe charging, and it could be slimmer, lighter and smaller. Yet, it could be more powerful than ever.