Skip to main content

Samsung S9 smartphone to come in three — maybe four — versions?

So THAT’S what they were saying…

We’ve been waiting to give Google’s new Pixel Buds a go since they were announced a while ago. The $159 wireless earbuds – which are connected to each other by a single wire but connect to your phone wirelessly, just to be clear – include a clever feature we think we’re going to see much more of in the future: the ability to translate a language in near real time. Oh, and yeah, you can also listen to music and make call with them.

So how do they stack up against their most apparent competitor, Apple’s slightly more wireless and losable AirPods? DT audio critic Ryan Wanianta says that while the translation feature is definitely cool, the Pixel Buds fall a little short in other areas, at least for this initial generation. Check out his full review, especially if you’re a Google Pixel phone user.

(Screen) size matters

It’s practically raining amazing smartphones these days, and it looks like Samsung is pressing forward with the Galaxy S9 after the successful but also slightly troubled launch of the S8. With the apparent success of Apple’s new iPhone X, it looks like Samsung will try to launch three and maybe even four S9 models starting early next year. BGR is reporting that the S9 line will include the typical standard and “plus” phablet options, along with a sturdier “active” model.

However, BGR adds that sources say Samsung may also be planning to re-introduce a small or “mini” version of the phone in the 5-inch screen size range. Apple has had unexpected success with their legacy-sized iPhone SE, which is essentially an old-school 4-inch iPhone 4 with an iPhone 6S stuffed inside. Apparently, not everyone wants a phablet. Can’t say we disagree with the small-but-powerful idea. Just don’t wander into Zoolander territory.

City of Ideas

Here’s an interesting question: If you literally had all the money in the world, unlimited access to incredible technology and grand ambitions, what would you do? How about… build a smart city. That’s the plan that seems to be taking shape in Arizona, where billionaire and tech icon Bill Gates has purchased over 24,000 acres of scrubby desertBill Gates is building his own city, and he’s loading it with smart tech outside of Phoenix. So what’s the plan?

Gates and his partners in the Cascade Investment firm say they want to build the city of the future literally from the ground up, and this won’t be some Microsoft company town, either. The city, which seems to have the tentative name of Belmont, would be a hive of data centers, autonomous vehicles, scaled-up 3D printed construction, cutting-edge schools, gigabit connectivity, and pretty much every tech advance smart people like Gates can dream up.

Gates has done this before, albeit on a much smaller scale; with his gigantic home hear Seattle. The 66,000 square-foot residence is teched out to the extreme, and it’s now 20 years old, so suffice to say he has some experience with these ideas. Gates and friends haven’t turned a robotic shovel in the dirt yet, so we’ll be keeping close tabs on this unique project as it moves forward. Be sure to tell us what tech you’d like to see piut to use in Gates’ smart city project.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

Editors' Recommendations

Bill Roberson
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I focus on producing Digital Trends' 'DT Daily' video news program along with photographing items we get in for review. I…
Is Samsung readying a toughened-up version of the Galaxy S8?
samsung readying toughened version galaxy s8 dtd04142017

Takes a fallin' keeps on callin'

If you think today’s smartphones a bit too… delicate, good news: there’s now talk of a new Samsung Galaxy S8 variant featuring a bit more… robust construction. Samsung tracking site SamMobile says the phone has a model number and is codenamed “cruiser.” It’s not a new idea, of course. Samsung sold a version of the S7 called the S7 Active, which featured a bigger battery, a stock protective layer and even some camo.

Read more
Samsung reports robust pre-orders for Galaxy S8 smartphone
samsung reports robust pre orders galaxy s8 smartphone dtd04132017

What Note 7 fiasco?

It looks like Samsung has a hit on their hands with the new Galaxy S8 smartphone, if pre-order data is an indication. BGR reports that early figures show strong demand for the S8, with Samsung saying early orders are far outpacing previous pre-order numbers for the S7 and other top-of-the-line phones. Exact numbers weren’t released, but BGR said an official told them that over 725,000 preorders were placed in South Korea alone.

Read more
Samsung Galaxy S8 reaches out with Bluetooth 5 and near-gigabit LTE abilities
samsung galaxy s8 reaches bluetooth 5 near gigabit lte abilities dtd0330217

We'll see how well it swims with the other smartsharks

We’re still poking around the innards of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone after yesterday’s big reveal. Couple of things to note: the S8 is packing Bluetooth 5, which is a huge improvement over Bluetooth 4 LE, with at least double the range, the ability to stream to two pairs of headphones at the same time, and with its higher data rate, the ability to stream compressed video as well. Also, indoor range is now over 100 feet.

Read more