Samsung has indeed moved to recall their flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7, amid reports of problems with the device’s battery, namely, it’s been exploding. Samsung had said it would replace any affected phones but stopped short of a recall, however, they have now issued a full recall for every Note 7 produced. A Samsung rep called the move “heartbreaking” but said they wanted to do what’s best for customers. We can certainly appreciate that.
Samsung said that as far as they know so far, only about 35 phones total were affected, but that was apparently enough to trigger the mass recall and stop sales of the phone, which had unexpectedly huge pre-order sales. Samsung says on their website they will replace the phones free of charge.
Whither OLED as quantum dots take over Samsung TVs?
Let’s stick with news from Samsung but change gears to their TV business and a big tech announcement at IFA. OLED TVs are still the bar by which all others are measured in terms of contrast and picture quality, but Samsung says a new generation of S-UHD LCD TVs implementing quantum dot technology will meet or even beat the color and brightness abilities of an OLED TV. And, they’ll be cheaper to make.
That’s right: Samsung says producing the new generation of S-UHD TVs will rival OLED in terms of black level, color, contrast – and price. OLED panels are notoriously difficult to make, that’s why they are so expensive. But LCD panels are pretty much a known quantity, and Samsung says they will add the quantum dot tech, which ditches required light filters and uses a dark blue backlight to nearly eliminate the bleed and halo problems that plague regular LCD screens.
So when can you buy these new wonder TVs? Soon, according to Samsung. And if they’re as good as they claim, it may turn out that OLED technology, however great it may be, may never really get a chance to shine.
Surprisingly effective VR headset from an unexpected source
Of course, VR is a hot topic at IFA 2016 and the newest headset making an unexpected splash is the Snapdragon VR820 from computer chipmaker Qualcomm.
The big advantage of the VR820? It’s self-contained so you’re not tied to a PC with cables or anything, like some other current VR setups. Also, there are twin cameras on the front that enable spatial tracking and gesture recognition on the fly. And third, the built-in display is 4K, so image quality is yet another step up on what’s available now. The demo unit we tried on worked great, but Qualcomm says it’s not quite ready for market.
If you think the Snapdragon VR820 is similar to Intel’s Project Alloy, another, perhaps less stylish setup (as if any are stylish), you’d be right, and we think self-contained VR systems are the future, however ungainly they might be right now. Qualcomm says the VR820 will be shipping to development partners in the next few months, so hopefully by next year, an actual product will come to market.