Tech Last Week #006: Samsung Galaxy S22 series, Watch 4 update, and more

Last week was quite an eventful week in tech. Not only did we have the first “Unpacked” event from Samsung. We also got news about the upcoming Android 13 release. Let us dive right into it.

Samsung officially announces S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra

Last week, Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra. We learned little new information about these phones that wasn’t already leaked in the past couple of weeks. In case you missed it, here are the specifications for the three devices:

Samsung Galaxy S22

📺 6.1″ 1080 x 2340 AMOLED 120Hz
🧠 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
🗄️ 8GB RAM 128/256GB Storage
📷 50MP Wide 12MP Ultrawide 10MP Tele 10MP Front
🔋 3700 mAh
🎨 Black, White, Pink Gold, Green, etc
🎁 25W Fast Charge, 15W wireless
💸 $800+
📆 2022.02.25

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

📺 6.6″ 1080 x 2340 AMOLED 120Hz
🧠 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
🗄️ 8GB RAM 128/256GB Storage
📷 50MP Wide 12MP Ultrawide 10MP Tele 10MP Front
🔋 4500 mAh
🎨 Black, White, Pink Gold, Green, etc
🎁 45W Fast Charge, 15W Qi
💸 $1000+
📆 2022.02.25

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

📺 6.8″ 1440 x 3080 AMOLED 120Hz
🧠 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
🗄️ 8-16GB RAM 128GB-1TB Storage
📷 108MP Wide 12MP Ultrawide 10MP Tele 10MP Peri 40MP Front
🔋 5000 mAh
🎨 Black, White, Burgundy, etc
🎁 45W Wire, 15W Qi
💸 $1200+
📆 2022.02.25

Samsung is expected to ship the phones to customers on the 25th of February. At the time of writing, some models of the S22 Ultra (e.g. 1TB model) have already been sold out. If you are interested in upgrading this year, be sure to get your order in soon.

The model I am currently most interested in is the regular-sized S22. As I have stated previously, the S22 is roughly the same size as the Pixel 5. I think the Samsung Galaxy S22 could be a good upgrade for those looking to get a more versatile camera system. I’ll be interested to see if the 50MP primary camera can beat out the trusty 12MP primary camera on the Pixel 5. The battery is another area I’ll be interested in comparing. The S22 does have a smaller battery compared to the Pixel 5, but the S22 does have a variable refresh display. My guess right now is that the S22 will have slightly less battery life, but we’ll have to see.

Massive new Galaxy Watch 4 update to bring new watch faces and more

Aside from announcing the S22 series, Samsung also released a large update for their Galaxy Watch 4 series. With the update, you get One-UI 3.1 for the watch. The major updates include better health tracking, more watch face and strap options, and a tease about Google Assistant coming soon.

I was able to install the update on the day of the Unpacked event. So far, I have noticed a slight update to the UI for the pattern lock and a sleep coach program that requires you agree to additional privacy policies.

Read more on Samsung’s website

Apple empowers businesses to accept contactless payments through Tap to Pay on iPhone

Apple plans to release an update later this year to allow iPhones to accept NFC payments. iPhone users that run a small business will be able to accept payments without any additional hardware.

My initial reaction to this is that this will make a significant dent in Square, Toast, and other “point of sale” companies’ market share. For small businesses, this additional functionality will make it extremely easy for people to accept contactless payments. I can see Tap to Pay on iPhone being very prevalent at farmer’s markets and food trucks.

Read more on Apple’s website

Samsung is now offering 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security updates

One of the highlights last week was Samsung announcing that they will be providing 5 years of security updates and 4 years of major OS updates for their flagship phones. Below is a list of all eligible devices:

  • Galaxy S Series: Galaxy S22, S22+, S22 Ultra as well as Galaxy S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, S21 FE and upcoming S series devices
  • Galaxy Z Series: Galaxy Z Fold3, Galaxy Z Flip3 and upcoming Z series devices
  • Galaxy Tablets: Galaxy TabS8S8+, S8 Ultra and upcoming Tab S series devices
  • Galaxy Watch: Galaxy Watch4, Galaxy Watch4 Classic and upcoming Galaxy Watch series devices

Ironically, Samsung now provides longer OS updates than Google does. Samsung security updates have also been more timely and stable. We are a long way away from the days when Samsung was the largest offender of not updating their phones. I must commend Samsung for their efforts and continuing to push the envelope.

Android 13 Developer Preview 1 is here

Last week, Google released the first developer preview for Android 13. There are quite a few changes that are coming with Android. The ones that stand out to me are the two additional privacy changes that were introduced.

The first one is a new photo picker API. The new API allows apps to use a standard optimized photo picker that only allows the app to have access to the photo you share rather than all the photos on the device. Google plans to bring this new API to all devices Android 11 and higher through a Google Play system update. The second is nearby permissions for wifi. Previously, apps that connected to nearby wifi devices would require location access even if it didn’t require it to function. With the update, apps no longer need to request your location in order to find nearby wifi devices.

For more information please check out the Android Developers Blog

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