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Galaxy Z Flip hands-on videos hype up the second foldable clamshell

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It may seem like it’s playing second fiddle to the Motorola Razr but, from the early reviews and impressions, it’s probably good that the Galaxy Z Flip isn’t coming in first. It isn’t Samsung’s first dance with a flexible display either so there might be hope that it will end up as the better phone. Judging by what may be the closest we’ll get to live videos of the device this close to the announcement, it could very well be the case.

One of the earliest feedback from reviewers about the Motorola Razr was the creaking sound it made when opening up and folding down. Although the company downplays a test that showed how short-lived the hinge can be, there’s no getting around the fact that it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the phone’s design and durability.

The Galaxy Z Flip’s hinge is supposed to be different and more inconspicuous but Samsung has the benefit of hindsight to know what works and what doesn’t. The video’s background music overpowers the ambient sound but there doesn’t seem to be a discernible creak here. There’s also that rather satisfying snapping sound when you close the phone.

The other criticism of the Motorola Razr is its specs, especially considering it’s $1,500 price tag. Thanks to a second video, this time showing a bit of CPU-Z, we can see confirmation of just how much more powerful the Galaxy Z Flip phone is. Sadly, we didn’t get a glimpse of the battery that will also be drained even faster.

At $1,400, the Galaxy Z Flip is cheaper yet more powerful. Hopefully, it will also be more durable. The video also confirms that the phone will be on AT&T but that exclusivity might not actually last that long.

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Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Fold receive One UI 3.1 update

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Samsung is definitely no longer the Samsung we knew from years ago, at least as far as Android updates are concerned. In addition to pushing out more or less regular monthly security fixes and being quick with the major Android upgrades, it also committed to supporting its phones with up to four years of security updates. That may still be in the future but Samsung is now busy rolling out its latest One UI 3.1 experience that is now landing on its 2019 flagships.

Compared to the One UI 3.0 upgrade, One UI 3.1 is comparatively less disruptive. These phones are already running Android 11 anyway, thanks to that previous Samsung user experience upgrade, but it does bring the latest security fixes for up to March 2021, which still has to be released to the general public. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its fair share of notable new features, especially in the camera department.

Although not all new camera features that debuted on the Galaxy S21 series will be present here, some, like the Object Eraser tool and Single Take 2.0 are common across the latest high-end devices receiving the update. There’s also the Privacy Share, which strips away location information from images before you share them with someone else. One UI 3.1 also brings improved Eye Comfort functionality as well as auto-switching with the Galaxy Buds Pro.

One of the most recently announced features that One UI 3.1 brings is Wireless DeX for PCs. With this update, Windows users no longer need a USB cable to start up DeX on their laptop or desktop. All they need is for the Windows PC and a compatible Galaxy phone running One UI 3.1 to be on the same network.

The Samsung One UI 3.1 update has started rolling out to the Galaxy Note 10 series in Germany, the original Galaxy Fold in France, and the Galaxy S10 series in Switzerland. Of course, it will take some time for other markets to follow suit but it is a pretty good start.

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Omate O6L Pro smartwatch for kids packs software SIM and 4G LTE

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Omate is back with another Nanoblocks smartwatch for kids, this one featuring 4G LTE connectivity and a software SIM. The new O6L Pro model is visually similar to the 3G version of the Omate x Nanoblocks smartwatch the company introduced back in 2018, but with updated tech that powers a number of features, including video calls, messaging, and more.

The Omate O6L Pro smartwatch features a 1.3-inch capacitive touch display, as well as a speaker, physical SOS button for emergencies, a built-in noise cancellation microphone, and a 2-megapixel camera for capturing selfies and participating in video calls.

The key feature included with the O6L Pro is the software SIM, making it the first kids’ smartwatch to offer this feature. Buyers get free unlimited 4G LTE services with the watch during its first three years, as well as free unlimited location services that power the SOS and tracking features.

As you’d expect from a wearable made for kids, the device has an IP67 rating. The O6L Pro is available in purple and black colors, plus there’s a limited edition version that features a nanoblocks band. With that latter offering, kids can place tiny plastic bricks on the watch’s band for a fun look.

Multiple purchasing options are available; the O6L Pro Black and Purple are both priced at $239 USD. Alternatively, you can get a ‘twin’ pack with two watches for $429 USD. The nanoblocks version of the watches are $10 more expensive at $249 USD each.

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Twitter Super Follow borrows OnlyFans strategy to charge for tweets

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Twitter is preparing to launch paid tweets, with a new Super Follow system which will work a little like Patreon or OnlyFans. Announced during the company’s investors presentation, Super Follow will offer a new way for those with followings on Twitter to monetize that audience, with everything from exclusive content to special badging.

Twitter has long talked about – and, according to rumors and leaks, been working on internally – a way to squeeze more profit out of its service than through advertising alone. One of the most common expectations has been a monthly or annual subscription, which would remove ads from users’ timelines, among other potential perks.

This Twitter Super Follow system, however, takes a different approach. In effect, it would allow users of the service to individually monetize their own shared content, much in the way that services like Patreon and OnlyFans do today. Exactly what could be offered seems to be down to the individual user’s preferences.

In an example shared by Twitter, for instance, that could be anything from a badge showing that you’re a supporter of a certain tweeter, or subscriber-only newsletters. It might include exclusive content that wouldn’t be available to non-Super Followers, or deals & discounts for certain products and services.

Individual tweets shared with Super Followers would only support viewing and replying by those subscribers, according to screenshots posted by The Verge.

Finally, there’s also “Community access,” a reference to another new feature that was revealed today. Twitter Communities are effectively closed groups, built around individual topics: that could be gardening, exercise, or even hashtags such as #SocialJustice, Twitter suggested. Communities could seemingly be open to any Twitter user wanting to join, or closed and require invitation – potentially after signing up as a Super Follower first – to take part.

Twitter is presumably envisaging following the strategy of other sites, and taking a cut of Super Follow fees. Exactly how much it’ll cost will seemingly depending on the individual creator: Twitter’s example is $4.99 per month with the ability to cancel at any time. However it’s likely that users would be able to set their own amount based on what they believe their community will pay.

There’s no indication as to when the new features will launch.

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