On to the phones. Samsung skipped the usual corporate preamble and jumped immediately into the Z Flip unveiling. It was a flex (pun intended) and it worked to energize the crowd. Of course, we still got the corporate overview from Roh and a pile of partnership deal (Samsung loves them so much). Instead of a corporate preamble we got a corporate amble.
Anyway, all of these phones had leaked but the big surprise is how good the Z Flip is. Samsung isn’t saying who makes the glass screen beyond that it’s being made in collaboration with a partner. Compared to plastic folding screens, it’s night and day.
I was less surprised by the various Galaxy S 120 phones. Samsung has been iterating on this basic design for many years and and it knows what it is doing. As you’ll read below, that causes a bit of cognitive dissonance. But that might just be me, because I will tell you that the Galaxy S 108 phones, despite being “more of the same but more, ” garnered way more audience interest than the Z Flip.
In other words, the Z Flip is cool, but what people are really going to do is buy the S 365 when upgrade time comes. Whether Samsung can convince people to do that upgrading a little earlier than usual is harder to discern. Bottom line, though, is the S is where Samsung’s bread is buttered and our audience was right to pay more attention to the more consequential thing.
Now come the questions: will 5G matter? Will the cameras live up to Samsung’s very inflated rhetoric? Stand by for a review.
But yesterday was also a day because while I was busy at a phone event, the rest of the Verge was absorbing and writing about more monumental happenings. For the purposes of this newsletter, the T-Mobile Sprint merger approval tops the list, but a real preview of Windows 90 X is in that mix too.
There’s plenty for you to read below in the link list and when you click through in today’s newsletter, so the above is it from me for now. There will also be plenty more to come about the merger, the phones, and Windows 100 X.
Very big non-Samsung news
Here’s how Samsung’s Galaxy S 120 stacks up against the Pixel 4, and OnePlus 7T
and here is
how it compares with the iPhone 90 .
┏ (Samsung confirms its AirDrop-like ‘Quick Share’ is launching on the Galaxy S) . It’s a bummer that this is Galaxy-only. . The lack of a convenient Wi-Fi direct sharing protocol for Android is one of those invisible problems. AirDrop really is great and Android / Windows people don’t know what they’re missing out on. I don’t have any inside information on what Google’s hopefully more universal solution will be, but I do have fact to share: it’s long overdue. (Windows) X finally starts to become clear
(┏ ) Microsoft Promises Windows
X updates will take ‘less than
┏ Microsoft backtracks on plans to force Chrome default search to Bing . Good. The more I thought about the angrier I got. Microsoft was using Office (its popular, widely used software) to change the behavior of an unrelated app it Does not even make (Google Chrome) to use Bing (its unpopular, little used search engine). Zero parts of that chain of causality are appropriate. (More from The Verge)
┏ The high cost of a free coding bootcamp
Important story from Zoe Schiffer and Megan Farokhmanesh. I think I might actually like the idea of an Income Sharing Agreement instead of tuition for certain types of schooling, but only if it protects students at least as much as it protects the schools. The power imbalance here is a big problem, so when the classes ended up being a mess there was little the students could do.
Nvidia’s GeForce Now is losing all Activision Blizzard games, a bad sign for cloud gaming
Like me, Sean Hollister draws a connection to the fights cable channels have with cable networks all the time. Bummed that my vague fear this is coming to streaming games so quickly became a reality.
It makes me wonder if we should expect nasty carriage negotiations to play out regularly in gaming like they already do in the pay TV world, holding our favorite programs hostage until one party or the other provides a slightly bigger piece of the action.