All about the Samsung Galaxy S10, MWC ’19 and foldable phones | TECH(talk)

hi and welcome to Tech Talk where we
talk about what’s going on in technology news and give you some insights that
hopefully are useful it’s a big week this week in mobile Mobile World
Congress is going on Samsung has the new s10 out there’s a
lot of talk about folding phones and 5g I’m Ken Mingis executive editor computerworld I’m here with Dan Rosenbaum we’re gonna talk about all that in just
a minute to stick around ok so Dan thanks for being here I
appreciate it my pleasure big week in mobile you know obviously there’s a lot
of stuff going on around Mobile World Congress you had the recent Samsung
announcement of its s10 line not just one phone but three or four depending on
how you count it folding phones are in the ether and so I thought it’d be a
good chance to talk to you let’s I guess we should probably start with the s10
because you you have had that in hand for a few days to sort of get a feel for
what it’s like and so let me just ask you but off the bat you know did Samsung
deliver this year is this a an evolutionary phone or a revolutionary
phone well its own evolutionary phone there are there there are four phones in
the s10 line there’s the the s10 II which is the smaller one the regular s10
which is sort of normal size and MDS 10 Plus which is their their plus-sized
phone but there’s and you can you can order them now and they’re going to be
delivered I think the beginning of March but there’s if there’s a fourth phone
there’s the s10 5g and that one’s not good that one’s not going to be
available till the second quarter sometime so so that one is a little bit
revolutionary but the s10 line in general is is pre evolutionary steps so
it’s so basically three different phones three different price points three
different screen sizes I assume right right and that’s it I mean to go ahead
this the small one is is a five point something the big one is six point four
I’m looking down so I can I can pick it up that’s the s9 and this is the this is
the s10 it’s you can see it has very little bezel to it yep and screen blanks
out because in all demos of course is green blinks out so you can see
you see that screen and here’s here’s the s9 his last year’s floor I’ll put
them back to back you can see yep they’re the same size
yep exactly but the bezel there’s last years from now you see the
the nose and the chin and here’s this year’s phone somewhere is this year
Odyssey very very little bezel to it right so the screen is is a huge upgrade
from from last year to this year and it’s got the latest chip that it has
that’s a Snapdragon 805 I think a 55 yeah yeah yeah yeah and let’s see if I
can get get this to show you see oh yeah the fingerprint mark yep yeah
that’s that’s an in screen fingerprint sensor they moved the sensor from from
the back to the bottom and the chin now it’s under the screen got it and and in
the in the top two in the top three if you want to count the 5g a trim lines
and they have what they call an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor so you not
only can tell tell the 2d whether the whirls and the ridges are with 3d so I
guess in order for someone to break that you need to like cut off their thumb or
something and then plug it in they say it’s more secure I’ll take your word for
this that’s not a test I think computer world wants me to run now for the please
it’s not cut off any thumbs until we have to let me ask you though you know
as you’ve used it have you had any problems using the the new sensor the
thumbprint sensor on the front of the screen is it work no it’s pretty it’s
pretty quick I went when it works it’s very quick it’s it’s a little finicky
and I’m not sure if as user error or or technology error they pushed an update
between the time they sent this to two reviewers in the time that the embargo
came off and we could start writing about it and talking about it and it
made it better so probably it’s coming it’s fine I
don’t think it is convenient to face ID myself yeah
but you know face ID isn’t an option in Android really and and the fingerprint
sensor is okay I know that when Samsung rolled rolled these out that one of the
things that were talking about what they talked about three things they talked
about the screen which you’ve mentioned they’ve talked about the upgraded
hardware inside speed and performance sure and they also talked about the the
cameras have you had a chance to try and try the cameras yet and see how they did
they deliver on what Samsung is promising in terms of photos they really
do the the upper end Samsung’s you can see well maybe you can’t see there are
three cameras back here yep I can see normal normal wide and and an ultra
wide-angle and you know night night cameras are just amazing now so so with
between the androids improvement between the the the improvement in the cameras
themselves that that Samsung’s put on either the cameras are really terrific I
don’t know if there’s a huge business application for them but but but the
cameras are very very nice yeah I you know it’s interesting that I really have
been impressed with what androids been doing on the computational photography
side to me that it feels like they’ve sort of moved beyond Apple a little bit
there in terms of the final product we’ll see of course every year it’s you
know one up some announcement chef but okay so sounds like solid phones and you
know I took an early look at your review which will be on computer world soon and
you know you make a very good point that these are very good phones but given the
fact that we’re sort of on the cusp of the move from 4G to 5g are they the
right phone at the right time so you know maybe this is a good chance to sort
of shift into it a little bit about where we’re going with the you know the
5g we which is not available yet from Samsung won’t be out until I guess
before the middle of the year Oh second quarter yeah that’s for the
middle of the year yeah they’re talking really really soon I think I think it
bothered them a lot that they couldn’t couldn’t get the phones available at the
beginning of March with with the rest of them you know these phones come out in a
really funny time in the industry these are maybe the last
the last big flagship 4G phones you’re gonna see and I have to wonder if it
makes sense to be buying a really expensive 4G phone though the the 10
plus comes out to $1,000 for the entry price for that for that jemma phone and
phones now getting replaced every three years so today today right right this
light now yep yeah there isn’t a lot of 5g out there there are some trials going
on in four or five maybe ten cities or around the United States and a couple
more overseas in a year they’re going to be major deployments out and running in
three years 5g is going to be a really common thing so do you want to be buying
a really good expensive phone that you’re gonna be using in three years
that isn’t going to be using the fastest network and most capable network
available I don’t know I would I don’t know that’s that’s that’s a really
really hard piece of calculus for a business to do yeah and and I think
Samsung is really getting getting hung right right on the on the tip of that
hook it’s it’s when they do their product announcements it’s it’s their
clock yeah they do a big announcement at mobile world they do a big announcement
in the summer in the summer we’ll probably see something else and maybe
maybe a lower price 5g phone although lower prices don’t really seem to be how
that markets going yeah I don’t see the market sort of back backsliding like
that yeah it is interesting because you know obviously there are improvements
across the line you know in terms of comparing to last year year before so
maybe if you’ve got a two or three year old phone and you really do need to
upgrade these are perfectly perfectly suitable upgrades but yeah but as long
as you know that you’re you’re you know you’re buying a device it’s pretty much
at the end of the line when it comes to networking in terms of 4G and unless I
guess you hold out for the 5g device in which case you’re sort of buying
ahead of the curve because 5g the network itself isn’t really there yet
but in a year you’ve got a good phone that’s got 5g capabilities that
theoretically would be able to you know work with the new networks theoretically
although 5g is a little bit of a moving target and there are three different
bands I I don’t know if this this new 5g phone will be able to work with with all
bands I don’t know of all bands are even gonna be why be deployed in the next
within the next three years so 5 G’s is a hard thing on the carrier side it
requires a lot more towers it requires a lot more advanced a lot more bandwidth
the backhaul problems are immense because you you’re you’re pushing a lot
more data through so 5 G’s are a harder problem than even 4G was and forge you
is no walk in the park yes I remember in fact all of this kind of reminds me in
the early days of of Wi-Fi when there was 802 11 a and B and C and in an ABG
and you know and you could buy routers and you could buy devices that would
work with specific routers and things but they didn’t all play together and
you might not get the latest you know networking that you wanted and so here
we are at the edge of 4G 5g and you know lots of promises around 5g you know
better bandwidth better ability to you know to access a signal in crowded
places but it’s not really there yet other than in these trials and and in
fact even in a year you know it may be more widespread but how widespread it’ll
be you know is anyone’s guess my understanding was there was a demo at
that mobile world the other day where a telecom executive place what was
supposed to be the first live public video call outside of China using 5g ok
and this call went from from one end of the stage to the other end of the stage
and it didn’t go very well when you talk about demos you know
that’s one of the ones you might want to get right you want to practice that so
it’s just absolutely 100% seamless but yeah I mean that’s the thing about it as
you say you know this is very complicated technology and
you know as we’re trying to rest the carriers are trying to roll this out and
the hardware to the device manufacturers are trying to match up the radios
they’ve got in the devices to the network that’s coming you know there’s a
lot of room for if not error at least a mismatch between the device and the
networks that are coming I you know I personally you know I usually upgrade my
iPhone every year because I’d like to get the latest and greatest but I’ve
been seriously thinking about holding off this year because we are sort of on
that cusp and I’d like to see where Apple goes in 2020 I don’t think there’s
gonna be a 5g phone from Apple this year but I think they’re more likely there
might well be one in 2020 you know and I mean if someone like me if I’m if I’m
thinking of holding off then it you know it might make sense for what it’s worth
yeah yeah an entry business business buyer or an IT department this is a big
deal this is a problem there’s a lot of money at stake and and maybe the thing
to do is to to not get a full thousand dollar top-of-the-line flagship phone to
step back to something you know the the oneplus phone one plus 60 perfectly good
phone maybe half a generation behind for a G phone and it goes for only and you
should put the only in air quotes only $550 right so you know that’s that’s
still a fair amount of change and if you want to really save money
well you don’t swallow your pride and go for something something cheaper I mean
there there are there are Android phones out there for $100 yep you know it is
not written in stone somewhere that your executives have to be carrying
thousand-dollar phones that are gonna be you know out of date in in six months to
a year right and not I’m not I’m not out of date in the Oh this isn’t the the
hottest you know fastest coolest thing I mean I mean out of date it’s not going
to be using the fastest technology available right exactly I mean so you
can save money on both ends you know you can save money on getting a less
expensive phone and you know and use the technology that’s out there now and then
wait for the network to arrive make sure you got the right device and then if
you’re going to spend whatever however many hundreds you’re gonna do at
least you know that you’re getting a you know the right device is gonna work on
the network the way you think it will yeah now they’re gonna take away my tech
journalists card for saying that you shouldn’t buy the the fastest most
expensive thing but I think maybe this in this case the fastest most expensive
thing might not be the best thing that you want to be splurging up yeah and
it’s also interesting that this comes at a time you know obviously the the mobile
phone market in general seems to have been slowing down there seems to be a
lot of saturation in some of the more you know developed countries and so
you’ve got phones being unveiled at a time when sort of we’re in the middle of
this networking change il be curious to see how these things sell in the same
way I’ll be curious to see how Apple devices sell this year given that you
know I think there is a growing recognition that we are moving toward 5g
that it’s not here yet I mean even though what is it AT&T says it’s got
some you know it’s got some fake own network that it says is it is boji
exactly it exactly so so we’re at a transition point it’s gonna be
interesting let me ask you speaking of transitions you know obviously something
else that’s been in the news the last week or so last couple of weeks folding
phones you know and I have to admit I I’m not a big folding phone fan in terms
of trying to say that three times quickly in terms of you know form and
function I I’m not quite sure what the use case is there and especially given
the prices I mean these things are running you know nineteen hundred
twenty-five twenty-six hundred dollars that’s a name very expensive I mean you
know a very expensive device and you know anyway your what do you think I
mean is this is this I think I think I think we agree I mean folding
electronics has been something that’s been building for five five six seven
years there’s a actually really interesting technology standards group
of folding electronics they just had a meeting there the other week and folding
screens has been sort of the Holy Grail company royal was the first one out with
something that you could put your hands on they were showing it I see yes a
couple of months ago now Samsung came out with this with this folding phone
that sort of all folds like a book yeah who’s a huawei huawei I believe you came
out with with the phone that that sort of fold folds back on itself and and no
one is talking about why you would want this no one would talk no one’s talking
about the use case no one’s talking about the the ruggedness of it I these
flexible screens are fine but I promise you they’re not covered with Gorilla
Glass no so so you’ve got a good so you’ve got the two thousand twenty five
hundred dollar tablet let’s call it a tablet yeah that folds up and they can
crit in your pocket and that’s really expensive and that can probably get
scratched and damaged easily well you know as I was saying I’m not sure I see
the downside to this yeah well right I was yeah we were we were joking about it
earlier you put a hinge in the middle of a screen what could possibly go wrong
and I mean I this this to meet I mean look I get it the technology is cool it
is very cool to see these things you know being used even though I’m not
quite sure how you’d use them day to day but it feels more like this is you know
technology advancing for the sake of technology advanced is not for some sort
of real world it’s not what I don’t know what problem it’s solving oh we’ve never
seen that before have we no we of course we haven’t you know no of course you
haven’t I mean I’m flexible I I understand
flexible screens I understand use cases for flexible screens I can see them
flexible screens and flexible batteries in smartwatches I can see them in
medical technician or I can see them I can see them built onto onto card
dashboards I mean fabulous dashboard with a big flexible cutter swoopy
display I do not understand this for folding and putting into your pocket
yeah I’d be the only form factor this makes sense to me is if you wanted to
bring back and flip phone because for a flip a flip phone close down while
you’re protecting the screen the flip phone fits in your pocket well you know
a lot of ways I I missed the flip phone I always a big flip phone saying you you
can hang up the phone with it with a good sweater by closing it and you by
God you hung up that phone so back to the future and you there are
rumors about motorola coming out with the with a full-screen razor phone Wow
okay and that might be one of those take my money mail moments yeah all right
well all right I’m gonna I’m gonna drive a nail on the wall if you do that then
want to revisit if that comes out but it does feel like you know it’s like I sort
of back to the future you’ve got the technology that’s here now but not
solving a problem but it may spur you know a different kind of form factor
than what we’re used to you know again back to the flip phone or however you
want to describe it but it does feel ease go ahead these candy bar phones are
are not a great form factor nuke you’re carrying around seven inches of really
expensive fairly fragile glass yeah you know how many people are you seeing
walking around with with screens that I just smashed to bits yeah yeah so
something some some technology some display technology that you could maybe
fold over to protect wow that’s me that sounds like a problem that technology
might actually solve who knew all right so to sum up um the the the Samsung
Galaxy S 10 line very good very evolutionary phones that if you really
have to have you know the latest and greatest from Samsung you’d be fine
buying it but we’re on the cusp of the move to 5g you’re locking yourself into
the old network which within the next year or two is likely to be replaced by
5g fairly widespread although there’s still some questions about that and I
think we’re on the same page when it comes to folding phones that’s just an
idea that needs to fold as it were there’s just an idea that that’s maybe
in need of a little more evolution a little more refinement shall we say a
little more refined okay any final thoughts before I let you go did we
cover every no I think we covered all right we’ll have to come back with the
faux AT&T fogey sometime and have another discussion absolutely love to
talk 5g okay hey Dan thanks so much for taking the time to
talk to me for now for mobile week mobile month whatever it is that’s a

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