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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review : Tech ARP Editor’s Choice!

Read our comprehensive review of the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, and find out why it won our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra : Model + Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is available in four main colours:

  • Titanium Black
  • Titanium Gray
  • Titanium Violet, and
  • Titanium Yellow

Here are the official launch prices for the three available storage capacities:

  • 256 GB : US$1,299.99 | £1,249 | A$2,199 | S$1,928 | RM6,299
  • 512 GB : US$1,419.99 | £1,349 | A$2,399 | S$2,128 | RM6,799
  • 1 TB : US$1,659 | £1,549 | A$2,799 | S$2,428 | RM7,799

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Colour Options Compared!

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra : Specifications Compared!

I created this table to compare the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s specifications to last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra!

Specifications Galaxy S24 Ultra Galaxy S23 Ultra
Display Size 6.8 inch
Display Type Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Display
Resolution
1440 x 3120 pixels
Refresh Rate Adaptive Refresh (1 to 120 Hz)
Protection Gorilla Armour
Titanium Frame
Gorilla Glass Victus 2
Armour Aluminium
Dust + Water
Resistance
IP68
Platform Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Memory 12 GB
Storage Options 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB
External Storage NA
Front Camera 12 MP camera, f/2.2
Main Camera 200 MP Adaptive Pixel camera, f/1.7
Zoom Cameras 50 MP 5x camera, f/3.4
10 MP 3x camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x camera, f/4.9
10 MP 3x camera, f/2.4
Ultra-Wide Camera 12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
Laser Sensor Laser auto-focus sensor None
Connectivity Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 7
Ultra-Wideband (UWB)
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB Type C
Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Ultra-Wideband (UWB)
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB Type C
S Pen Yes, IP68-rated
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass
NFC Yes
Battery 5,000 mAh
Charging 45 watt wired
15 watt wireless
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions 79.0 mm wide
162.3 mm tall
8.6 mm thick
78.1 mm wide
163.4 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
Weight 233 grams (mmW)
232 g (Sub6)
234 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra : What’s Inside The Box?

We got our hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphone right after its official launch. Let’s take a quick look at the box before we check out what’s inside!

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra : What’s Inside The Box!

Once you fully unbox the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, this is what you will find inside:

  • the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphone
  • a Quick Start Guide in two languages, and a warranty card
  • a USB Type C to USB Type C data and charging cable
  • a SIM tray extraction pin

That’s it! While the Galaxy S24 Ultra supports 45 watt fast charging, it does not come with the charger. You will need to purchase it separately. Neither does it come with a TPU bumper case to tide you over until you get a better one.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Key Features

Now, let us go through its key features, and show you why the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is worthy of our Editor’s Choice Award!

Boosted Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Performance!

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is powered exclusively by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy in all regions of the world. It comes with a slightly overclocked prime core.

  • 1 x Arm Cortex-X4 core (3.39 GHz, instead of 3.3 GHz)
  • 3 x Arm Cortex-A720 cores
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A720 cores
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A520 cores

This mobile SoC also comes with the Qualcomm Adreno 750 GPU which supports ray-tracing, an improved Hexagon NPU, and the Snapdragon X75 5G modem that supports Sub-6Ghz and mmWave connectivity.

Improved Cooling

To ensure that the processor remains cool, the Galaxy S24 Ultra sports a 90% larger vapour chamber. This should allow it to better sustain peak performance during intense gaming sessions or AI photo / video editing,

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S24 Models + Specifications Compared!

200 MP Main Camera

The Galaxy S24 Ultra sports the same 200 MP Adaptive Pixel main camera, which was first introduced in last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra.

It is built around the Samsung ISOCELL HP2 (S5KHP2) sensor, which is a large 1/1.3-inch sensor with 200 million pixels, each of which is 0.6 μm in size. The Galaxy S24 Ultra camera can combine up to 16 pixels to form a single large pixel for much better low-light performance.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can also record 8K videos at 30 frames per second, instead of just 24 fps in the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It also boasts better Adaptive VDIS capability, and improved optical image stabilisation (OIS), delivering silky smooth videos by doubling the angle to ±3°, from the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera‘s ±1.5°.

50 MP Telephoto Camera

The main camera upgrade in the Galaxy S24 Ultra is its new 50 MP telephoto camera, with a 5X optical zoom. It is said to be built around the Sony IMX854 sensor, which is a 1/2.52″ sensor with 0.7 μm pixels.

While its optical zoom reach has halved from 10X, a combination of its higher resolution sensor, and deep learning AI algorithms, allow Samsung to deliver better digital zoom. This new zoom camera also has the advantage of a wider f/3.4 aperture (compared to just f/4.9), which should improve its low-light performance.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra reuses the same 3X zoom and 12 MP ultra-wide angle cameras from the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

12 MP Selfie Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra also reuses the Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s 12 MP camera, with the same f/2.2 aperture. This is a Dual Pixel camera, which allows for faster and more accurate auto-focus.

SIM Tray Without SD Card Slot

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra supports two physical SIM cards, as well as a single eSIM. The SIM tray is located at the bottom, next to the USB port.

S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with the same S Pen as the Galaxy S23 Ultra. It too boasts a very quick 2.8 ms latency.

We tried swapping them and both S Pens appear to fit both devices. From what we can tell – they are physically and functionally similar, if not exactly the same.

USB Type C Port

At the bottom of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, you will find a SIM card tray, next to the USB port, as well as the S Pen in its slot. The USB port is, of course, the bidirectional Type C port, which is now the EU standard.

Read more : EU Orders All Brands To Use USB-C, Including Apple!

Corning Gorilla Armour

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is protected in the front by Corning Gorilla Armour glass, which is not only tougher against scratches, but also reduces reflection by up to 75%.

Titanium Frame

The Galaxy S24 Ultra is the first Samsung smartphone to feature a titanium frame, which is not only tougher, but also allows for a thinner chassis.

5,000 mAh Fast-Charging Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with a large 5,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which supports 45 watt fast wired charging, and 15 watt fast wireless charging.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Battery + Charging

 

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Battery Life Comparison!

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with a large 5,000 mAh battery, which has held steady for the last few generations – S23 Ultra, S22 Ultra and S21 Ultra.

To test its battery life, we turned off Automatic Brightness, to fix the brightness level and make sure the screen brightness does not change as the ambient brightness changes.

We also set its display brightness to 50%, which is slightly higher than the average indoor brightness level of 40% during the day.

We then ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, and this was the best result we obtained with the Standard and Adaptive refresh rates :

Look at that! The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra lasted almost 14 hours with the Adaptive refresh mode enabled, and lasted almost 16.5 hours with the Standard refresh mode!

This is a 6-7% improvement in battery life over last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra – approximately an extra hour of battery life, at the same battery capacity. Very nice!

Now, let’s compare its battery life at 60 Hz and 120 Hz, against the Z Flip5, the S23 Ultra, and the S22 Ultra smartphones.

Standard Refresh Rate (60 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra naturally has the best battery life with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz (Standard) – lasting just under 16.5 hours.

Even though it runs on powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is more power-efficient than Samsung’s older flagship devices like the Z Flip5, the S23 Ultra, and the S22 Ultra.

Work 3.0 S24 Ultra S23 Ultra S22 Ultra
Z Flip 5
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh
Battery Life 16 hrs 25 mins 15 hrs 18 mins 14 hrs 15 mins 11 hrs 4 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.06 mAh 4.36 mAh 4.68 mAh 4.46 mAh

Adaptive Refresh Rate (120 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s Adaptive refresh rate is so efficient, it lasts almost 14 hours. Even so, the higher refresh rate uses a significant amount of power.

Even with the same battery capacity and similar Adaptive Mode enabled, the Galaxy S24 Ultra uses 6% less power than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and 23% less power than the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Work 3.0 S24 Ultra S23 Ultra S22 Ultra Z Flip 5
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh
Battery Life 13 hrs 49 mins 13 hrs
0 mins
10 hrs
38 mins
9 hrs
9 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.83 mAh 5.13 mAh 6.27 mAh 5.39 mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Battery Recharging Speed!

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra supports up to 45 watts of wired fast charging, but unfortunately, does not come with the charger in-the-box.

So we tested it using the standard 15 watt and 25 watt Samsung fast chargers that shipped with their previous smartphones, which is what we believe most users will end up doing.

S22 Ultra S24 Ultra S23 Ultra S24 Ultra Z Flip 5 Z Flip 5
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh 3,700 mAh
Charger Output 15 watts 25 watts 15 watts 15 watts 25 watts 15 watts
Charging Time 64.5 min 68 min 88.8 min 106.5 min 105 min 129.5 min
Charging Speed
(per minute)
62.0 mAh 58.8 mAh 45.0 mAh 37.6 mAh 28.2 mAh 22.9 mAh

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra charges really fast with a 15 watt charger, and even faster with a 25 watt charger. It basically needs just over 1.75 hours to fully recharge with a 15 watt charger, and just over one hour with a 25 watt charger.

This gives us a battery life to recharging time ratio of about 7.8:1 (15 watt), or 12.2:1 (25 watt), which is good. You basically get about an hour’s worth of battery life for every 8 minutes you recharge at 15 watts, or 5 minutes at 25 watts.

If you prefer to get faster charging, you should purchase the optional 25 watt USB-C super fast charger. It will cut your charging time by a considerable 38.5 minutes for a full recharge:

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Performance Summary

There is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra offers top-notch performance, thanks to its use of a slightly overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy, and a 90% larger vapour chamber.

It shows in the benchmarks – the Galaxy S24 Ultra topped all of the benchmarks, except for work performance. It is particularly strong in 3D graphics and ray tracing performance. With gaming performance like this, dedicated gaming smartphones seem rather pointless.

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Work Performance

We first tested the Galaxy S24 Ultra using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 3.0 S23
Ultra
S24
Ultra
Z Flip
5
Z Flip
4
S23 FE
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8 Gen 3 SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8+
Gen 1
Exynos
2200
Performance Score 16408 14931 14655 14429 13971
Web Browsing 15680 11663 11404 12097 11664
Video Editing 7879 6474 7943 7387 7369
Writing 22257 20333 19525 17593 18138
Photo Editing 35533 34350 324420 31762 27060
Data Manipulation 12171 14070 11788 12523 12616

Interestingly, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 was much slower than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 used in last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra, and just barely faster than the SD 8 Gen 2 used in the Galaxy Z Flip5.

I should point out that these are peak performance results. The truth is – you won’t be able to actually tell the difference between all these flagship-class mobile processors in normal usage. They are all really fast.

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Storage Performance

PCMark also has an Android Storage 2.0 benchmark that measures the smartphone’s storage I/O performance.

Storage 2.0 Z Flip
5
S23
Ultra
S24
Ultra
S23 FE Z Flip
4
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 9
Gen 3
Exynos
2200
SD 8+
Gen 1
Storage Score 48435 41647 33005 31839 27271
Sequential Read (MB/s) 2676.53 2592.42 2907.37 1584.66 1350.51
Random Read (MB/s) 49.95 38.25 60.98 31.25 33.94
Sequential Write (MB/s) 2631.38 603.29 3084.95 510.16 256.81
Random Write (MB/s) 76.66 81.44 106.34 81.13 50.29

Samsung appeared to be using faster flash storage in the Galaxy S24 Ultra. However, its overall storage score was lower than the S23 Ultra and Z Flip5, due to much slower database read and write speeds.

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Gaming Performance

For gaming, we tested the Galaxy S24 Ultra using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark S24
Ultra
S23
Ultra
Z Flip
5
Z Flip
4
S23 FE
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 3
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8+
Gen 1
Exynos
2200
Solar Bay Unlimited 8576 NA 5481 NA 4570
Wild Life Extreme
Unlimited
5020 3814 3705 2636 2233
Wild Life Unlimited 20534 14554 14823 11144 8671
Sling Shot Extreme
Unlimited
19653 13904 13558 6912 9484
Sling Shot Unlimited 22656 16344 16661 10690 11348

Where the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra really shines is in its gaming performance. Its Adreno 750 GPU not only supports ray tracing, it does a fantastic job of delivering top-notch 3D graphics performance.

Not only does it have a faster GPU, the Samsung S24 Ultra also has a 90% larger vapour chamber that allows it to better sustain peak performance during intense gaming sessions.

Although ray tracing games are far and few in between for now, the new Solar Bay benchmark shows that the Galaxy S24 Ultra delivers 56% better 3D with ray tracing performance than the Galaxy Z Flip5, and 88% better performance. than the Galaxy S23 FE!

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Overall Performance

We then tested the Galaxy S24 Ultra using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu S24
Ultra
S23
Ultra
Z Flip
5
S23 FE Z Flip
4
Device SD 8
Gen 3
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
Exynos
2200
SD 8+
Gen 1
AnTuTu Score 1826776 1212174 1187296 1166868 856357
CPU 456400 261886 393404 329078 205939
GPU 682555 538823 282780 425455 362669
Memory 380519 236163 291048 193981 135707
UX 307302 175302 220064 218354 152042

Will you look at that? The AnTuTu benchmark shows that the Galaxy S24 Ultra is a solid 50% faster than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and Galaxy Z Flip 5 – both powered by last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Very nice!

But note that its temperature jumped by almost 12°C! At peak performance, the Galaxy S24 Ultra can get really toasty!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Camera Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Camera Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts a super-high resolution 200 MP main camera, built around the ISOCELL HP2 sensor. This is a large 1/1.3-inch sensor with 200 million pixels, each of which is 0.6 μm in size.

This 200 MP camera can combine up to 16 pixels to form a single large pixel for much better low-light performance. It can also record 8K videos at 30 frames per second, instead of just 24 fps in the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

It also boasts better Adaptive VDIS capability, and improved optical image stabilisation (OIS), delivering silky smooth videos by doubling the angle to ±3°, from the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera‘s ±1.5°.

Here are some photo samples I took using the 200 MP main camera in its standard 12 MP mode, at 4000 x 3000 pixels. Its standard JPEG file size is between 4 MB and 8 MB, but to save space, I highly recommend that you enable HEIF – the High Efficiency Image Format, to halve the amount of storage space required for each photo.

By default, the 200 MP camera takes 12 MP photos, combining sixteen pixels into one super-large pixel. Coupled with the improved lens and wider aperture, the final photos are not only much brighter, but have significantly lower noise.

Of course, the 200 MP capability is not there for marketing purposes. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra can truly take 200 MP photos, with a resolution of 16,320 pixels x 12,240 pixels, with each file at about 13-15 MB!

Instead of using the new 50 MP telephoto camera, you can use faraway shots at night using the 200 MP mode, to take advantage of its wide f/1.7 aperture. Then you zoom in, and crop out the section of the photo you want.

Take a look at this 200 MP photo that I took at the Marina Bay Sands using last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra. From that single photo, I could zoom in to make out individuals within the dome-shaped Apple Store hundreds of metres away – all unbeknownst that they were being captured on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra at night!

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Camera Performance Summary

If you want the best smartphone cameras for photo and video money can buy, you should definitely consider the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Please ignore the 200 MP marketing spiel. In everyday use, it has pretty limited use cases – best used for taking night shots of distance objects IMHO. 99.9% of the time, you are not going to be using this camera in its 200 MP mode.

What you are really getting is an awesome 12 MP camera with super-large pixels for really great noise-free images, and better low-light photos. Just look at the photo samples – everything looks much better when taken with this camera!

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Summary + Award

 

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Summary + Award

It is getting really tough for Samsung to introduce radical improvements in its flagship smartphones. So it’s not surprising that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is an evolutionary upgrade of the excellent Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Samsung didn’t even bother to hide that, reusing the same design almost to the millimetre! It even reused the same S Pen from last year. Its improvements were almost entirely internal.

Its display, for example, is the “same” as the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s display on paper. But it is brighter and offers improved power efficiency. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor not only offers really excellent performance, it is also more power-efficient, which helps to significantly improve its battery life.

Even though it comes with the same battery capacity as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the new Galaxy S24 Ultra boasts 6%-7% longer battery life! That’s an extra hour of battery life on average!

Aside from its Galaxy AI features (which will filter down to older models), the Galaxy S24 Ultra comes with a new 50 MP telephoto camera. While its optical zoom has been halved, its higher resolution sensor and deep-learning AI algorithms allow you to take better quality photos with digital zoom. It also offers better low-light performance, thanks to its wider aperture.

This builds upon Samsung’s legacy of offering the very best photographic and video recording capabilities in its flagship Galaxy S-series, especially when it comes to low-light photography. If you really love photography, and especially like taking photos at night, or in low-light conditions, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra will surely impress you.

Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is even tougher this year. It is protected by a Titanium frame for the first time, as well as the new Gorilla Armour glass in the front. As a bonus, Gorilla Armour really is less reflective.

For these reasons, we gladly award the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra our Editor’s Choice Award! Great work, Samsung!

 

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra : Price + Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is available in four main colours:

  • Titanium Black
  • Titanium Gray
  • Titanium Violet, and
  • Titanium Yellow

Here are the official launch prices for the three available storage capacities:

  • 256 GB : US$1,299.99 | £1,249 | A$2,199 | S$1,928 | RM6,299
  • 512 GB : US$1,419.99 | £1,349 | A$2,399 | S$2,128 | RM6,799
  • 1 TB : US$1,659 | £1,549 | A$2,799 | S$2,428 | RM7,799

Recommended : Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Unboxing : What’s Inside?

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-Bay NAS Review!

In this review, we are going to take a close look at the Synology DiskStation DS223j – its latest 2-bay NAS system, and find out how well it performs!

 

Synology J Series NAS Systems

The Synology J Series are its entry-level NAS systems – offering an affordable way to get networked storage for backup, or personal storage. They also have a more consumer look, with a white chassis.

The Synology J series comes in below the Value series, and lacks hot-swappable drives, and front USB ports. However, it has most of its key features, including support for the Btrfs file system.

Synology currently has two J series models – the 2-bay DS223j, and the single-bay DS120j.

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Price

As its entry-level 2-bay NAS system, the Synology DiskStation DS223J comes at an affordable price point.

It has a suggested retail price of US$189.99 (diskless), but you can get some pretty good deals online, with or without bundled drives:

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-bay NAS system:

Specifications Synology DiskStation DS223j
CPU Realtek RTD1619B
4 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.7 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine
Memory 1 GB DDR4 (non-ECC)
Drive Bays 2
Drive Compatibility 3.5-inch SATA
2.5-inch SATA (with optional adaptor)
Hot Swappable No
Internal File System Btrfs / EXT4
NAS Features Power Recovery
Scheduled Power On/Off
Wake on LAN / WAN
Front Ports None
Rear Ports 1 x RJ-45 1GbE LAN port
2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
Internal Fan Yes, 92 mm
Noise Level 18.2 dB(A)
Thermal Output 55.62 BTU/hour (active access)
13.64 BTU/hour (HDD hibernation)
Power Consumption 16.31 W (active access)
4 W (HDD hibernation)
Power Supply 60 W power adaptor
Power Input 100 V to 240 V DC power input
50/60 Hz, single phase
Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Storage Temperature -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F)
Size 165 mm high
100 mm wide
225.5 mm deep
Weight 0.88 grams
Warranty 2 Year Hardware Warranty

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j Box Contents

The Synology DiskStation DS223j comes in a large cardboard box, with a label to let you know exactly what’s inside the box. On opening the box, you will find the following items:

  • Synology DiskStation DS223j NAS system
  • 3.5-inch drive bay bracket
  • Pack of 10 drive screws
  • Pack of 3 chassis screws
  • Pack of 3 bracket screws
  • 60 watt power adaptor
  • AC power cord
  • RJ-45 LAN cable
  • Quick installation guide

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Next Page > Synology DS223 Performance

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j Performance

We tested three NAS systems, with these settings:

WD MyCloud EX4100

  • 4 x 6TB WD Red drives
  • RAID 1 with EXT4 file system

Synology DS223j

Synology DS214+

  • 2 x 4TB WD Red drives
  • RAID 1 with EXT4 file system

We then compared their read and write performance to a 1TB SDD, using a Gigabit LAN connection, and these two file sets:

  • Large File : Movie with a 9.3 GB file size
  • Small Files : 2193 photos with a 9.48 GB file size

Large File Read Speed

When it comes to transferring very large files like a movie, the Synology DS223j did very well, offering an average read speed of just over 100 MB/s!

Even the much older DS214+ model did very well, almost delivering 100 MB/s of throughput, and beating out 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 by 23%!

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Large File Write Speed

However, when it comes to writing files to the NAS, the number of bays, and the drive speeds are what counts.

The 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 is far ahead, because it’s able to write to two drives at the same time (in RAID 1).

The faster 4TB Synology Plus drives used in the DS223j allowed it to pull ahead of the DS214+ by 16%.

Small Files Read Speed

This is quite a surprising result. For some reason, the Synology DS214+ did very well in this test, beating even the 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 by almost 30%!

And the Synology DS223j, which is much faster in every way, delivered a much lower speed of just under 48 MB/s.

Small Files Write Speed

That’s completely flipped when it came to write speed – copying small files to the NAS systems.

Again, the 4-bay MyCloud EX4100 has the advantage here, because it can write to two drives at the same time.

But the Synology DS223j did very well here, coming within 23% of the MyCloud EX4100. This is likely due to its faster 4TB Synology Plus drives.

Next Page > Synology DS223j Verdict + Award

 

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Synology DiskStation DS223j Verdict + Award

The Synology DiskStation DS223j is a cheap but solid 2-bay NAS system. Its plastic chassis feels cheap, but it packs all of the key features most home users would need.

You get an affordable RAID 1 backup solution, with fast Gigabit LAN connectivity, and two USB 3.0 (rebranded as USB 3.2 Gen 1) ports at the back for when you need to copy files to or from a USB flash drive or portable HDD.

It also gives you access to the excellent Synology DiskStation Manager operating system, as well as hundreds of add-on packages which you can use to add capabilities to your NAS.

Synology updates its DiskStation Manager regularly, which is great, because it fixes bugs that may cause considerable grief. For example, when I started testing the DS223j, I encountered a problem accessing it on macOS with a VPN enabled.

No matter what I did, the Mac computer simply could not “see” or “locate” the DiskStation on the network. The only way was to disable the VPN. Fortunately, the problem “magically” went away a few updates later. *

Mac users will also be happy to know that it supports Time Machine backup. While it requires some simple setting up, it works perfectly… which is not something I can say about the MyCloud EX4100!

Prosumers might want to spend a bit extra to upgrade to the non-J version – the DiskStation DS223 from the Value series. Not only does it come with a front USB port (for more convenient use), it allows you to hot swap drives.

If any drive fails on the DS223j, you will need to power it down and open it up to swap out the drive. On the non-J version, you can simply slide out the old drive and replace it with a new one without even powering down the DS223 NAS. But of course – this is a nice feature that most home users probably won’t need.

Performance-wise – the DS223j runs on the same Realtek RTD1619B process as the non-J model. Its four Arm Cortex-A55 cores is more than fast enough for transferring files. Its CPU usage is usually less than 50%. Even when I ran data scrubbing, its CPU usage was around 15% on average.

And if you are wondering about whether you can live with just 1 GB of RAM on the DS223j, yes, you can. The RAM usage is usually less than 20% on our DS223j.

Generally, if you want something cheap and good from Synology, you can’t go wrong with the DiskStation DS223j. For these reasons, we think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

* It would have lost the award if Synology did not manage to fix the accessibility problem for macOS.

 

Synology DiskStation DS223j : Where To Buy?

As its entry-level 2-bay NAS system, the Synology DiskStation DS223J comes at an affordable price point.

It has a suggested retail price of US$189.99 (diskless), but you can get some pretty good deals online, with or without bundled drives:

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Review : Hits The Sweet Spot!

Here is my comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE smartphone!

Find out why this Fan Edition smartphone hits the sweet spot for many people!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Colour Options + Price

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with colour options of Mint, Lavender, Gray and Silver, with two exclusive colours on their website – Tangerine and Indigo. They are all offered with two RAM and storage options:

  • 6 GB + 128 GB
  • 8 GB + 256 GB

These are the available models and launch prices for the Galaxy S23 FE :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM2,999 (approx. US$633 / £519 / A$998)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM3,299 (approx. US$699 / £571 / A$1,098)

Here are some online purchase options for the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE:

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Specifications

Here are the key specifications for the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE smartphone :

Specifications Galaxy S23 FE
Display 6.3-inch Display
– Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel
– 1080 x 2340 pixels (403 ppi)
– 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate
– 1450 nits peak brightness
Protection Gorilla Glass 5
Water Resistance IP68
Platform Samsung Exynos 2200
CPU 1 x Cortex-X2 (2.8 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)
GPU Xclipse 920
Memory +
Storage
8 GB + 128 GB
8 GB + 256 GB
External Storage NA
Front Camera 10 MP camera, f/2.4
Main Cameras 50 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
8 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
Connectivity Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB Type C
S Pen None
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass
NFC Yes
Battery 4,500 mAh
Charging 25 watt wired charging
15 watt wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions 76.5 mm wide
158.0 mm tall
8.2 mm thick
Weight 209 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Unboxing + Contents!

In our unboxing video, you can see that the Galaxy S23 FE package is sparse, and only consists of:

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 FE smartphone
  • Set of documents – quick start guide in two languages, and a warranty card
  • USB Type C to Type C cable
  • SIM card extractor pin

As the unboxing video shows, the Galaxy S23 FE does not come with any charger, or earphones. Not even a TPU case to hold you over until you get a better case.

Next Page > Galaxy S23 FE Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Key Features!

6.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with a 6.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, with a 120 Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

Interestingly, this display is slightly larger than the 6.1-inch display on the Galaxy S23, but you won’t be able to tell the difference. In fact, its display looks pretty much like the Galaxy S23 – large, and beautiful, with excellent resolution, colour gamut, and brightness.

The display ostensibly changes its refresh rate according to your needs automatically, but I found that the Galaxy S23 FE’s display only switches between the 60 Hz and 120 Hz refresh rates. While that may not be quite so optimal for extended battery life, but you will glad to know that its battery life is actually really good with the adaptive refresh rate mode enabled!

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S23 runs on Samsung’s best in-house mobile chip – the Exynos 2200, which is fabricated on the 4 nm process technology.

Launched in January 2022, this is a flagship-class mobile SoC (System-on-a-Chip) designed to compete with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It has eight processor cores with a tri-cluster architecture:

  • a Cortex-X2 prime core running at up to 2.8 GHz,
  • three Cortex-A710 cores running at up to 2.5 GHz, and
  • four Cortex-A510 cores running at up to 1.8 GHz.

This mobile SoC also comes with the Samsung Xclipse 920 GPU, a dual-core NPU, and DSPs to support 8K video decoding at up to 60 fps, and camera resolutions up to 200 MP.

The Samsung Exynos 2200 also has a built-in 5G modem that supports Sub-6Ghz and mmWave connectivity, as well as LTE Cat.24 download and LTE Cat.22 upload speeds.

RAM + Storage

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and supports extended memory (RAM Plus) which uses 2 GB / 4 GB / 6 GB / 8 GB of your storage as virtual memory.

But frankly speaking – there is no need to even enable RAM Plus. 8GB of memory is more than enough to run multiple apps, and even the most memory-intensive games!

Samsung offers storage options of either 128 GB or 256 GB. It is important that you select the storage option that best fits your requirements, as the Galaxy S23 FE does not support storage expansion through a microSD card.

Dual SIM Support

The Galaxy S23 FE has a SIM card tray that supports two nano SIM cards. It also supports an eSIM, so technically, you can use up to three SIMs, but only two can be used at the same time.

Buttons

The only buttons you will find are on the upper right side of the Galaxy S23 FE – the Volume control buttons and the Power button, which doubles as the fingerprint sensor.

Pressing the Power button twice activates the Quick Shot mode, which lets you take selfies using the rear cameras with the Flex Window for preview and control.

Only One Port

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with a USB Type C port, which supports USB 3.2 connectivity. It does not come with a 3.5 mm audio jack, or a USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter in the box.

Protection

The Galaxy S23 FE is IP68 dust and water-resistant. That means it will withstand immersion in up to 1.5 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes.

In addition, it has a thick aluminium frame all around, and is protected on both the front and rear aspects by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, instead of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 in the Galaxy S23.

Battery + Charging

Powering all that is a 4,500 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which is actually 600 mAh (15%) larger than the Galaxy S23‘s 3,900 mAh battery.

The Galaxy S23 recharges at up to 45 watts, while the Fan Edition only supports 25 watt fast charging, but that is fast enough for most users.

It also supports 15 watt wireless charging, and can even wireless recharge other devices, albeit at just 4.5 watts. However, it does not come with an in-box charger. So you will have to use your old charger, or buy a new one.

Next Page > S23 FE Cameras + Photo Samples

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Cameras

Front Camera

In the front, the Galaxy S23 FE has a 10 MP punch hole camera, with an f/2.4 aperture. It’s decent, but nothing to shout about.

The pricier Galaxy S23 comes with a 12 MP camera in the front, with a slightly wider f/2.2 aperture, so you can expect it to perform slightly better in low-light conditions.

But I’m glad to report that this camera can also record video at up to 4K resolution at 60 fps, just like the Galaxy S23‘s front camera.

Triple Camera System At The Back

At the back, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE has a triple camera system, which consists of:

  • a 50 MP Dual Pixel camera, with f/1.8 aperture,
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera, with f/2.2 aperture, and
  • an 8 MP telephoto camera, with 3X optical zoom, and f/2.4 aperture

The main camera is built around the Samsung ISOCELL GN3 (S5KGN3) sensor, which has a small 1.0 µm pixel size. Hence, it defaults to 12.5 MP photos, which allows it to combine four pixels into a large 1.0 µm “virtual pixel”. Combined with a wide f/1.8 aperture, this allows for excellent low-light photographic capabilities.

I cannot find out what sensor the ultra-wide angle camera uses, but it has a 12 MP sensor, and a wide aperture of f/2.2.

Its telephoto camera though is built around the SK hynix Hi-847 image sensor. This is rather old sensor from February 2019, with a small 1.0 µm pixel size.

The main camera is excellent, and the ultra-wide angle camera is good. But I can’t help feeling a bit shortchanged with the telephoto camera. It could be better.

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Photo Samples

The Samsung Galaxy S23’s telephoto camera may be dated, but you will likely use its much newer 50 MP Dual Pixel main camera, and 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera.

Just make sure you enable (High Efficiency Image Format) so that the photos don’t take up so much space – the resulting HEIC photos are much smaller at between 2-3 MB in size.

Here are ten unedited photo samples for you to check out.

Next Page > Battery Life + Recharging

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with a decent 4,500 mAh battery, which is actually 15% larger than the Galaxy S23‘s 3,900 battery.

To test its battery life, we turned off Automatic Brightness, fix the brightness level, and make sure the screen brightness does not change as the ambient brightness changes.

We also set its display brightness to 50%, which is slightly higher than the average indoor brightness level of 40% during the day.

We then ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, and this was the best result we obtained with the Standard and Adaptive refresh rates :

Not bad! The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE lasted almost 10.5 hours with the Adaptive refresh mode enabled, and almost lasted 11 hours with the Standard refresh mode!

In other words – it does not make (battery) sense to switch to the Standard refresh mode. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in battery life.

Let’s compare its battery life at 60 Hz and 120 Hz, against the Z Flip5, S23 Ultra, and S22 Ultra smartphones.

Standard Refresh Rate (60 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE naturally has the best battery life with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz (Standard) – lasting just under 11 hours.

As this comparison shows, the Galaxy S23 FE isn’t quite as efficient as Samsung’s flagship devices like the Z Flip5, S23 Ultra, and S22 Ultra. But it’s close enough.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra S22 Ultra
Z Flip 5 S23 FE
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh 4,500 mAh
Battery Life 15 hrs 18 mins 14 hrs 15 mins 11 hrs 4 mins 10 hrs 57 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.36 mAh 4.68 mAh 4.46 mAh 5.48 mAh

Adaptive Refresh Rate (120 Hz)

But its Adaptive refresh rate is surprisingly so efficient, it actually uses (slightly) less power than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and Galaxy Z Flip5 smartphones. With a slightly larger battery, it actually lasted more than an hour longer than the Galaxy Z Flip5!

In fact, it’s so efficient that it almost matches the battery life of the S22 Ultra, which has a 28% larger battery!

Needless to say – we are highly recommending you stick with the Adaptive refresh mode for the Galaxy S23 FE!

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra S22 Ultra S23 FE Z Flip 5
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 4,500 mAh 3,700 mAh
Battery Life 13 hrs
0 mins
10 hrs
38 mins
10 hrs 20 mins 9 hrs
9 mins
Utilisation
per min.
5.13 mAh 6.27 mAh 5.81 mAh 5.39 mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Battery Recharging Speed!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE supports up to 45 watts of wired fast charging, but unfortunately, does not come with the charger in-the-box.

So we tested it using the standard 15 watt and 25 watt Samsung fast chargers that shipped with their previous smartphones, which is what we believe most users will end up doing.

Work 3.0 S22 Ultra S23 FE S23 Ultra S23 FE Z Flip 5 Z Flip 5
Battery Capacity 3,300 mAh 4,500 mAh 5,000 mAh 4,500 mAh 3,700 mAh 3,700 mAh
Charger Output 15 watts 25 watts 15 watts 15 watts 25 watts 15 watts
Battery Life 64.5 min 73 min 88.8 min 96 min 105 min 129.5 min
Recharging Speed
(per minute)
62.0 mAh 49.3 mAh 45.0 mAh 37.5 mAh 28.2 mAh 22.9 mAh

Not bad! The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE chargers really fast with a 15 watt charger, and even faster with a 25 watt charger. It basically needs just over 1.5 hours to fully recharge with a 15 watt charger, and just under one hour and 15 minutes with a 25 watt charger.

This gives us a battery life to recharging time ratio of about 6.5:1, which is pretty good. You get about an hour’s worth of battery life for every 9.25 minutes you recharge.

If you prefer to get faster charging, you should purchase the optional 25 watt USB-C super fast charger. It will cut your charging time by 23 minutes, and give you an hour of battery life for every 8.5 minutes you recharge:

Next Page > Work + Gaming Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Work Performance

We first tested the Galaxy S23 FE using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra Z Flip 5 Z Flip 4 S23 FE S22 Ultra
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8+
Gen 1
Exynos
2200
SD 8
Gen 1
Performance Score 16408 14655 14429 13971 12860
Web Browsing 15680 11404 12097 11664 10442
Video Editing 7879 7943 7387 7369 7444
Writing 22257 19525 17593 18138 15471
Photo Editing 35533 324420 31762 27060 30177
Data Manipulation 12171 11788 12523 12616 9691

Not bad! The Exynos 2200 is certainly no match for the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but it actually beat the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 by 9%, and came within 3.3% of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1!

I should point out that these are peak performance results. The truth is – you won’t be able to actually tell the difference between the three mobile processors in normal usage.

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE : Storage Performance

PCMark also has an Android Storage 2.0 benchmark that measures the smartphone’s storage I/O performance.

Storage 2.0 Z Flip 5 S23 Ultra S23 FE S22 Ultra Z Flip 4
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
Exynos
2200
SD 8
Gen 1
SD 8+
Gen 1
Storage Score 48435 41647 31839 27808 27271
Sequential Read (MB/s) 2676.53 2592.42 1584.66 1457.68 1350.51
Random Read (MB/s) 49.95 38.25 31.25 37.73 33.94
Sequential Write (MB/s) 2631.38 603.29 510.16 856.21 256.81
Random Write (MB/s) 76.66 81.44 81.13 47.20 50.29

Samsung appeared to have used slower flash storage to reduce the cost of the Galaxy S23 FE. Its storage performance is much closer to last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, than the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Interestingly, its random write performance was exceptional, matching the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and almost double that of the Galaxy S22 Ultra,

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE : Gaming Performance

For gaming, we tested the Galaxy S23 FE using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark Z Flip 5 S23 Ultra Z Flip 4 S22 Ultra S23 FE
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8+
Gen 1
SD 8
Gen 1
Exynos
2200
Solar Bay Unlimited 5481 NA NA NA 4570
Wild Life Extreme
Unlimited
3705 3814 2636 2220 2233
Wild Life Unlimited 14823 14554 11144 9106 8671
Sling Shot Unlimited 16661 16344 10690 11094 11348

The Samsung Exynos 2200 powering the Galaxy S23 FE is almost identical in performance to the Galaxy S22 Ultra‘s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 – the difference between their performance is less than 0.7%!

Like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Galaxy S23 FE will have no problem handling most games. Only when it comes to more strenuous games (as tested by the Wild Life benchmark) does it lag significantly behind the Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.

But the good news is that the new Solar Bay ray-tracing benchmark shows that the Exynos 2200 is able to hold its own – it is just 17% slower than the Galaxy Z Flip5, which is powered by the Snapdragon Gen 2 for Galaxy processor.

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE : Overall Performance

We then tested the Galaxy S23 FE using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu S23 Ultra Z Flip 5 S23 FE S22 Ultra Z Flip 4
Device SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
Exynos
2200
SD 8
Gen 1
SD 8+
Gen 1
AnTuTu Score 1212174 1187296 1166868 889167 856357
CPU 261886 393404 329078 203090 205939
GPU 538823 282780 425455 402617 362669
Memory 236163 291048 193981 146002 135707
UX 175302 220064 218354 137458 152042

The AnTuTu benchmark tells a slightly different story. According to its tests, the Galaxy S23 FE is about 31% faster than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and 36% faster than the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Not bad!

The Galaxy S23 actually came within 2% of the Galaxy Z Flip 5‘s performance, at least in the AnTuTu Benchmark. In fact, it was only 3.7% slower than the Galaxy S23 Ultra!

But note that its temperature jumped by almost 12°C! At peak performance, the Galaxy S23 FE can get quite toasty!

Next Page > A Quick Wrap, Verdict + Award!

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE : A Quick Wrap

Let’s do a quick wrap of what I really like, and don’t like, about the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE.

Hits Most Of The Sweet Spots

Think of the Fan Edition of any Samsung smartphone as its “Value For Money” variant. That is what the Galaxy S23 FE really is – a Galaxy S23 variant that offers much better value for your money.

It isn’t powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but its Exynos 2200 is no slouch either. It’s fast in work applications, and handles itself well in games. And of course – it also has a fast 5G modem built-in.

Like the Galaxy S23, the Fan Edition also comes with 8 GB of LPDDR5 memory and up to 256 GB of flash storage. But it actually ups the ante with a larger 4,500 mAh battery.

Even in the camera department, it comes with a 50 MP Dual Pixel main camera, and likely the same 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera. Only its telephoto camera uses an older and lower-resolution sensor.

It may not be protected by Armor Aluminium and Gorilla Glass Victus 2, but its thick aluminium frame and Gorilla Glass 5 protection is, frankly, “good enough” for most users.

Samsung gave it only 25 watt fast charging, instead of 45 watt fast charging, but unless you are forking out extra money for the super fast charger (sold separately), this is a moot point.

Recommended : How To Setup Galaxy S23 FE For The First Time!

Larger + Heavier

If there is something I don’t quite like, it’s that the Galaxy S23 FE is quite chunky. It has a slightly larger display, but its thicker bezel makes it quite a bit much larger.

On top of that, it is noticeably thicker and heavier. You may like the “solid” feel, or you may dislike the weight. Older smartphone gimbals, for example, may not support its weight.

Lower Power Efficiency

This is, frankly, only of interest to techies like me, and probably pointless to most users – compared to the more premium Galaxy S23 models, the Galaxy S23 FE has lower power efficiency.

That’s probably why Samsung gave it a larger (and heavier) 4,500 mAh battery, which allows the Galaxy S23 FE to almost get 11 hours of battery life. So it’s ultimately a trade-off – you pay less for cheaper electronics and a larger battery.

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE : My Verdict + Award

At first glance, the Galaxy S23 FE may not look as polished as the Galaxy S23. The Fan Edition model has a shiny glass back which attracts fingerprint smears, instead of the stylish matte finish of the regular Galaxy S23. It also looks and feels chunkier and heavier when you compare them both.

However, if you can get past those superficialities and really look at what they both offer, you will realise what I realised – the Galaxy S23 FE offers much better value for money.

As my review has already shown, the Galaxy S23 FE hits most of the sweet spots for most users. In fact, it’s practically a no-brainer for most people considering the Galaxy S23 – the Galaxy S23 FE is a better deal.

This is why we believe it deserves nothing less than our Editor’s Choice Award! Great job, Samsung!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE : Where To Buy

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with colour options of Mint, Lavender, Gray and Silver, with two exclusive colours on their website – Tangerine and Indigo. They are all offered with two RAM and storage options:

  • 6 GB + 128 GB
  • 8 GB + 256 GB

These are the available models and launch prices for the Galaxy S23 FE :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM2,999 (approx. US$633 / £519 / A$998)
  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM3,299 (approx. US$699 / £571 / A$1,098)

Here are some online purchase options for the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE:

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

In this review, we are going to take a close look at the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive, and find out how well it performs!

Updated @ 2023-11-09 : Updated with operating temperature results, and minor changes.
Originally posted @ 2023-10-05

 

Synology Plus Series (HAT3300) NAS Drives

The Synology Plus Series (HAT3300) hard disk drives are designed to populate their Network-Attach Storage (NAS)  systems for homes and small businesses.

These Synology Plus Series drives are designed for light-to-intermediate use. Based on the Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) technology, they are similar to the WD Red and Seagate Iron Wolf range of NAS drives, with a 1 million hour MTBF and 180 TB per year workload rating.

The main advantage of these drives is that their firmware can be automatically updated using the DiskStation Manager (DSM) in Synology NAS systems.

 

4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Price

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive commands a slight premium over comparable drives like the 4TB WD Red (Price Check) and the 4TB Seagate IronWolf (Price Check).

Retailing at about $90 as of 3 October 2023, it works out to a cost of $22.50 per TB. Here are some online purchase options:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) drive also comes bundled with certain Synology NAS systems.

Recommended : MSI Hit By $4 Million Ransomware Attack + Data Theft!

 

4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Specifications

The Synology Plus series offers storage capacities of 4TB, 6TB, 8TB and 12TB. With the exception of the 12TB model, all drives in this family are air-filled, and have a 5,400 RPM spindle speed.

The baby of this family, which we are reviewing today, is the 4TB Synology Plus drive, which has a model number of HAT3300-4T. Here are its key specifications:

Specifications 4 TB Synology Plus
Model HAT3300-4T
Capacity 4 Terabytes
Form Factor 3.5-inch
Drive Design Air
Recording Technology Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR)
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s
Cache 256 MB
Rotational Speed 5,400 RPM
Max. Data Transfer Speed 202 MB/s
Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) 1,000,000 hours
Workload Rating 180 TB / year
Power Consumption Idle : 3.96 W
Random Read : 4.85 W
Random Write : 4.85 W
Operating Temperature 0°C to 65°C
32°F to 149°F
Non-Operating Temperature -40°C to 70°C
-40°F to 158°F
Operating Shock 80 Gs (2 ms duration)
Non-Operating Shock 300 Gs (2 ms duration)
Operating Vibration 10 Hz to 22 Hz: 0.25 Gs, Limited displacement
22 Hz to 350 Hz: 0.50 Gs
350 Hz to 500 Hz: 0.25 Gs
Non-Operating Vibration 5 Hz to 22 Hz: 3.0 Gs
22 Hz to 350 Hz: 3.0 Gs
350 Hz to 500 Hz: 3.0 Gs
Acoustics Idle : 23 dBA
Seek : 27 dBA
Size 20.20 mm high
101.85 mm wide
147 mm long
Weight 490 g
Warranty 3 Years

 

4TB Synology Plus HDD Unboxing + Hands-On

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive comes in a large cardboard box, with a window to let you peek inside.

On opening the box, you will see that the drive is well-protected. It’s sealed in an anti-static bag, placed within a plastic enclosure, and further protected from shock and vibration by two large foam inserts.

Recommended : MSI Users At Risk Of Rogue BIOS / Firmware Updates!

Next Page > 4TB Synology Plus Features + Temperature

 

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4TB Synology Plus HDD Key Features!

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive is designed for the light-to-intermediate usage requirements of personal and SMB (small and medium business) NAS systems. Here are its key features:

Manufactured By Seagate

Synology does not make this hard disk drive, which was manufactured by Seagate. Think of this as a Seagate IronWolf hard disk drive that was customised to Synology’s requirements, and with custom firmware for Synology.

Under The PCB

In the following video, we took a look under its PCB, and here was what we found:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) comes with a large 256 MB SDRAM cache, courtesy of a Samsung K4B2G1646F memory chip. This is a DDR3-1866 SDRAM chip with 16 memory banks, and a peak transfer rate of about 466 MB/s.

It also uses a Seagate Dillon motor drive controller, which features ST Microelectronics’ proprietary Smooth Drive pseudo-sinusoidal digital drive technology. The drive controller itself has a thermal pad to help keep cool, by transferring heat to the drive chassis.

Finally, this NAS drive has two sensors on its PCB, which allow it to better detect shock and vibration events, and dynamically adjust the flying height of the read/write heads to avoid head crashes.

Recommended : Samsung Unveils 2023 QLED, OLED TVs + Monitors!

Always-On Operation

The 4TB Synology Plus is backed by a million hour MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) rating, and is rated for a workload of 180 TB per year.

That works out to 15 terabytes per month, and is about par for the course for consumer-grade NAS drives.

Easy Firmware Updates

Unlike third-party NAS drives from Western Digital or Seagate, you can easily update the firmware of the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive using DiskStation Manager (DSM) in Synology NAS systems.

This is a convenient feature for those who use Synology NAS systems – you won’t need to remove the drive, or use a separate computer, to update its firmware.

Low Power Consumption

Power consumption is pretty low, at just under 5 watts. Even if you run this drive 24/7, it will only consume 42.5 kW per year.

Real world usage will be significantly lower, since NAS systems are designed to power down drives during periods of inactivity.

 

4TB Synology Plus Operating Temperature

We monitored the surface temperature of the three hard disk drives while idle, and during their benchmarks. The following chart shows their operating temperature range, from idle to maximum load.

Please note that instead of giving you the absolute numbers, we are showing the temperature delta, which is the difference between the actual temperature and the ambient room temperature.

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) appears to run slightly hotter than the 4TB WD Red, but significantly cooler than the 6TB WD Red. This is good news, because it can get really hot inside the NAS enclosure!

Next Page > CrystalDiskMark Performance Results

 

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4TB Synology Plus CrystalDiskMark Performance Results

Let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s sequential read and write performance, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Sequential Read Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential read speed of 215 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 20% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 39% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 8, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential read speed of just under 217 MB/s.

This is about 7% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 20% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 38% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Sequential Write Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential write speed of 214 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 29% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 42% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 8, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum sequential write speed of just over 214 MB/s.

This is about 6% over its rated transfer rate of 202 MB/s, and puts it 24% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 42% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Now, let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s random read and write performance, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Random Read Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random read speed of 670 KB/s.

That puts it 6% ahead of the 6TB WD Red drive, and 15.5% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 32, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random read speed of 2.08 MB/s.

That puts it on par with the 6TB WD Red drive, and just 4% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Random Write Performance

With a queue depth of 1, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random write speed of 1.85 MB/s.

That puts it 23% behind the 6TB WD Red drive, but 44.5% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

When queue depth increased to 32, the 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) delivered a maximum random write speed of just over 1.8 MB/s.

That puts it 24% behind the 6TB WD Red drive, but 43% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Next Page > ATTO Results, Conclusion, Where To Buy

 

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4TB Synology Plus ATTO Benchmark Performance Results

Let’s take a look at the 4TB Synology Plus hard disk drive’s peak read and write speeds, compared to the 4TB WD Red, and the 6TB WD Red drives.

Peak Read Performance

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak read speed of just under 205 MB/s, putting it 12% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 36% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Write Performance

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak write speed of just over 205 MB/s, putting it 25% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 48% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Read IOPS

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak read IOPS of just under 64.75K, putting it 50% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and 65% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

Peak Write IOPS

The ATTO Benchmark shows that the 4TB Synology Plus drive delivered a peak write IOPS of just over 61.25K, putting it 46% ahead of the 6TB WD Red, and an incredible 81% ahead of the 4TB WD Red.

 

4 TB Synology Plus Review Conclusion

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) is, without doubt, a fast NAS hard disk drive. Our benchmark results show that it consistently outperforms the 4TB and 6TB Western Digital Red drives.

It may be sold at a slight price premium, but its better performance and the ability to conveniently upgrade its firmware (rare as that may be) directly using the DiskStation Manager (DSM) makes it a no-brainer choice for Synology NAS users.

If you are planning to use a Synology NAS system for your home or SMB use, you would be well-served to purchase the Synology Plus drive to populate it. We definitely think it deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

 

4 TB Synology Plus : Where To Buy?

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) hard disk drive retails at about $89.90 as of 3 October 2023, it works out to a cost of $22.50 per TB. Here are some online purchase options:

The 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) drive also comes bundled with certain Synology NAS systems.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > First Page | Computer | Tech ARP

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review : Just A Better Flip 4!

Here is my comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 foldable smartphone!

Find out why this foldable smartphone is just a better version of the Galaxy Z Flip 4!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Colour Options + Price

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes in four main colour options – Graphite, Lavender, Mint, and Cream.

In addition, Samsung will offer these four colours exclusively on their online store – Gray, Blue, Green and Yellow.

Samsung will not offer the Galaxy Z Flip 5 in the Bespoke Edition, which will be replaced by the new NFC-enabled Flipsuit Case.

Recommended : The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Colour Comparison!

Samsung is making all four main colours options, as well as the four exclusive online colours, available for purchase at launch, at these price points :

  • 8 GB + 256 GB : US$999.99 / £1,049 / A$1,649 / RM4,499
  • 8 GB + 512 GB : US$1,199.99 / £1,149 / A$1,849 / RM4,999

Here are some online per-order and purchase options for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 :

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Specifications

Here are the key specifications for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 smartphone :

Specifications Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 5G
Main Display 6.7-inch Infinity Flex Display
Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel
1080 x 2640 pixels, 425ppi
120 Hz adaptive refresh rate
Cover Display 3.4-inch Super AMOLED display
720 x 748 pixels, 306 ppi
Protection IPX8 Water Resistance
No Dust Resistance
OS Android 13 with One UI 5.1.1
Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 5G (SM8550)
CPU 1 x Cortex-X3 core (3.36 GHz )
2 x Cortex-A715 (2.8 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A710 cores (2.8 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A510 cores (2.0 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 740
Memory 8 GB
Storage 256 GB / 512 GB UFS 3.1
Front Camera 10 MP camera (f/2.2)
Main Cameras 12 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
Audio Stereo speakers tuned by AKG
Surround sound with Dolby Atmos
UHQ 32-bit and DSD64/128 support
Connectivity Network : 5G / 4G
Wi-Fi : 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6E
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB-C 3.2
Fingerprint Sensor Capacitive, Side-Mounted
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Hall, Proximity, Light
GPS GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS
NFC Yes
Battery 3,700 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging Wired : 25 watt
Wireless : 10 watt
Reverse wireless : 4.5 watt
Folded
Dimensions
71.9 mm wide
85.1 mm tall
15.1 mm thick
Unfolded
Dimensions
71.9 mm wide
165.1 mm tall
6.9 mm thick
Weight 187 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Unboxing + Contents!

As a Samsung ultra-premium smartphone, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes in a premium black box, with these items inside :

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 smartphone
  • Set of documents – quick start guide in two languages, and a warranty card
  • USB Type C to Type C cable
  • SIM card extractor pin

As the unboxing video shows, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 does not come with any charger, or earphones. Not even a TPU case to hold you over until you get a better case.

Next Page > Galaxy Z Flip 5 Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Key Features!

6.7-inch Foldable Display

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 boasts the same large 6.7-inch Infinity Flex display as the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4. This foldable display has a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel that has a 120 Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1080 x 2640 pixels.

The difference this year lies in its No-Gap Flex Hinge and improved Ultra Thin Glass with a droplet fold, allowing the Galaxy Z Flip 5 to fold completely flat.

In case you are wondering – the crease is still visible if you view it from an angle, and you can feel it if you run your finger over it. But after using it some time – you will forget it’s even there.

The display is large and really beautiful – with excellent resolution, colour gamut and brightness. And it folds into a really compact device about the size of a pager – if you are old enough to remember what that is!

Like previous Flip models, its foldable display comes with a protective film made from stretchable PET, so you should never stick any screen protector on it!

If you are new to foldable phones, you will be really tentative about folding it. But over time, it will become really natural – you won’t even think twice about folding it before shoving it down your pocket.

The Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) is rated for at least 200,000 folds, so even if you fold it 100 times a day, it should last at least 5.5 years!

But while the display can withstand a lot of folding, you must still take care not to SCRATCH it. Avoid putting it together in your pocket or handbag with hard objects like coins, another phone, etc.

3.4-inch Cover Display

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5’s biggest upgrade is, arguably, the much larger 3.4-inch front display, which is now called the Flex Window, instead of the cover screen.

Thanks to its 3.4-inch Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 720 x 748 pixels, the new Flex Window is much more useful. Not only can you check notifications, and send quick replies to text messages, it comes with 14 essential widgets out of the box!

You can customise the Flex Window with widgets, video wallpapers, clock faces and styles. And the larger display makes it so much easier to take selfies with its awesome rear cameras!

Performance + Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 runs on the most powerful mobile SoC available for Android devices – the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is a specially-binned and slightly-overclocked version that Qualcomm created for Samsung Galaxy flagship smartphones.

Fabricated on the latest 4nm TSMC process technology, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy boasts a powerful Adreno 740 GPU, as well as eight processor cores in a quad-cluster architecture :

  • a Cortex-X3 prime core running at up to 3.36 GHz (instead of 3.2 GHz),
  • two Cortex-A715 cores running at up to 2.8 GHz,
  • two Cortex-A710 cores running at up to 2.8 GHz, and
  • three Cortex-A510 cores running at up to 2.0 GHz.

Our review sample came with 8 GB of memory, and 256 GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage. It is also available with 512 GB of storage. There is no option to increase storage, but generally 256 GB of storage is more than enough for most people.

Dual SIM Support

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a SIM card tray that supports a single nano SIM card. It also supports an eSIM, so technically, you can use up to two SIMs at the same time.

Buttons

The only buttons you will find are on the upper right side of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 – the Volume control buttons and the Power button, which doubles as the fingerprint sensor.

Pressing the Power button twice activates the Quick Shot mode, which lets you take selfies using the rear cameras with the Flex Window for preview and control.

Only One Port

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes with a USB Type C port, which supports USB 3.2 connectivity. It does not come with a 3.5 mm audio jack, or a USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter in the box.

Protection

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is water-resistant in up to 1.5 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes, but is not dust-resistant due to its foldable display and folding mechanism. Hence, it is IPX8-rated.

In addition, its chassis is made with Armor Aluminium, and the Flex Window is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2. Its Dual Pixel main camera is also protected by Gorilla Glass with DX.

Recommended : Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Preview In All 3 Colours!

Battery + Charging

Powering all that is a 3,700 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which supports 25 watt fast charging, and 10 watt wireless charging. It can even wireless recharge other devices, albeit at just 4.5 watts.

However, it does not come with an in-box charger. So you will have to use your old charger, or buy a new one.

Next Page > Z Flip 5 Cameras + Photo Samples

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Cameras

Front Camera

Samsung flagship smartphones are notable for featuring cutting-edge cameras, but the Galaxy Z Flip 5 stayed with older cameras, albeit slightly enhanced.

In the front, it uses a 10 MP punch hole camera, built around the Samsung ISOCELL 3J1 (S5K3J1) sensor, which has a 1.22 µm pixel size. This isn’t a new sensor though, being first used in the Galaxy S20 series.

This camera now has a slightly wider f/2.2 aperture, so you can expect it to perform slightly better in low-light conditions. This camera can also record video at up to 4K resolution at 60 fps.

In most cases though, you will end up using this selfie camera only for video calls, and use the better cameras at the back for your “selfies”!

Dual Cameras At The Back

In the back, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a dual-camera system, which consists of :

  • a 12 MP main camera, with f/1.8 aperture
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide camera, with 123° field of view, and f/2.2 aperture

The main camera is built around the Samsung ISOCELL 2LD (S5K2LD) sensor, which dates back to the Galaxy S20 series as well. This sensor, however, boasts a large pixel size of 1.8 µm, and it has a 24 mm lens with a wide f/1.8 aperture.

The ultra-wide angle camera is built around the Sony IMX258 sensor, which dates back to 2017. It also has rather small 1.12 µm pixels.

Most Galaxy Z Flip 5 users will eventually realise that it’s better to use these two 12 MP cameras for better selfies. Just double-press the Power button with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 folded to activate these cameras.

These cameras are still good, but I really wish Samsung would have at least upgraded their sensors.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Photo Samples

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5’s rear cameras may be dated, but they are still excellent cameras with good low-light performance, thanks to the wide f/1.8 and f/2.2 apertures. But the wide aperture also creates creates a narrow depth-of-field, so there is the risk of ending up with an out-of-focus photo.

When used in the selfie mode, the rear cameras deliver Instagram-friendly square 9 MP photos with a resolution of 2992 x 2992 pixels, and a file size of about 1.3 MB (HEIC format).

When used unfolded, the rear cameras deliver can be used to take 12 MP photos with a resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels, and a file size of about 3 MB (HEIC format).

Here are eight unedited photo samples for you to check out.

Next Page > Battery Life + Recharging

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 comes with a relatively small 3,700 mAh battery, which is the same size as last year’s Galaxy Z Flip 4.

To test its battery life, we turned off Automatic Brightness, fix the brightness level, and make sure the screen brightness does not change as the ambient brightness changes.

We also set its display brightness to 50%, which is slightly higher than the average indoor brightness level of 40% during the day.

We then ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, and this was the best result we obtained with the Standard and Adaptive refresh rates :

With the same battery capacity, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 had the same battery life of just over 9 hours using its default Adaptive refresh mode, like the Galaxy Z Flip 4.

But when we switched to the Standard refresh mode, it surprisingly delivered over 11 hours of battery life – 49 minutes longer than the Galaxy Z Flip 4!

Let’s compare its battery life at 60 Hz and 120 Hz, against the Z Flip 4, S23 Ultra, and S22 Ultra smartphones.

Standard Refresh Rate (60 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 naturally has the best battery life with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz (Standard) – lasting just over 11 hours.

But what’s really important to note here is that it is about 5% more power-efficient than the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and about 7.5% more power-efficient than the Z Flip 4.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra S22 Ultra
Z Flip 5 Z Flip 4
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh 3,700 mAh
Battery Life 15 hrs 18 mins 14 hrs 15 mins 11 hrs 4 mins 10 hrs 14 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.36 mAh 4.68 mAh 4.46 mAh 4.82 mAh

Adaptive Refresh Rate (120 Hz)

Even with the same battery size, and fundamentally the same foldable display, we expected the Galaxy Z Flip 5 to deliver a slight improvement in battery life due to its more efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. Unfortunately, this was not the case, and it pretty much delivered the same battery life of just over 9 hours.

What this means is that if you don’t need smoother graphics, it is worth turning off the Adaptive refresh rate to reduce power consumption by a very significant 21% / 2 hours!

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra S22 Ultra Z Flip 4 Z Flip 5
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh 3,700 mAh
Battery Life 13 hrs
0 mins
10 hrs
38 mins
9 hrs
12 mins
9 hrs 9 mins
Utilisation
per min.
5.13 mAh 6.27 mAh 5.36 mAh 5.39 mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Battery Recharging Speed!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 supports up to 25 watts of wired fast charging, but unfortunately, does not come with the charger in-the-box.

So we tested it using the standard 15 watt Samsung fast charger that shipped with their previous smartphones, which is what we believe most users will end up doing.

Work 3.0 S22 Ultra S23 Ultra Z Flip 4 Z Flip 5
Battery Capacity 3,300 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,700 mAh 3,700 mAh
Charger Output 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts
Battery Life 64.5 minutes 88.8 minutes 98.75 minutes 129.5 minutes
Recharging Speed
(per minute)
62.0 mAh 45.0 mAh 30.0 mAh 22.9 mAh

As we reported earlier, Samsung appears to intentionally reduce the charging speed for their foldable Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 4 smartphones, probably to avoid producing excessive heat. That’s why they both recharge twice as slowly as the S22 Ultra, even using the same 15 watt charger!

But this is a bit of a shocker – the Galaxy Z Flip 5 recharged even slower – it took more than 2 hours to fully recharge it from 20%! That’s a whopping 31% slower than the Z Flip 4, with the same battery!

That gives us a battery life to recharging time ratio of about 4.24:1, which is rather dismal. You get about an hour’s worth of battery life for every 14 minutes you recharge.

Perhaps Samsung is now trying to encourage users to purchase its optional 25 watt USB-C super fast charger…

Next Page > Work + Gaming Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 : Work Performance

We first tested the Galaxy Z Flip 5 using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra Z Flip 5 Z Flip 4 Z Flip 3 S22 Ultra
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8+
Gen 1
SD
888
SD 8
Gen 1
Performance Score 16408 14655 14429 13317 12860
Web Browsing 15680 11404 12097 11637 10442
Video Editing 7879 7943 7387 7762 7444
Writing 22257 19525 17593 15316 15471
Photo Editing 35533 324420 31762 25357 30177
Data Manipulation 12171 11788 12523 11938 9691

Interesting, isn’t it? The Galaxy Z Flip 5 uses the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it is 12% slower.

I should point out that these are peak performance results. You are unlikely to be able to actually feel the difference between the two in normal usage. In fact, these benchmark results really surprised me!

What likely happened is that the Galaxy S23 Ultra has better cooling, and is thus, better able to maintain the processor’s peak performance for longer. But if you are upgrading from a Galaxy Z Flip 4, and hoping for a performance boost, you are out of luck.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 : Storage Performance

PCMark also has an Android Storage 2.0 benchmark that measures the smartphone’s storage I/O performance.

Storage 2.0 Z Flip 5 S23 Ultra S22 Ultra Z Flip 4
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 1
SD 8+
Gen 1
Storage Score 48435 41647 27808 27271
Sequential Read (MB/s) 2676.53 2592.42 1457.68 1350.51
Random Read (MB/s) 49.95 38.25 37.73 33.94
Sequential Write (MB/s) 2631.38 603.29 856.21 256.81
Random Write (MB/s) 76.66 81.44 47.20 50.29

Will you look at that! The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 received a very big boost in sequential write performance for its internal flash storage!

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 was about 6% slower than the Galaxy S23 Ultra in random write performance, but was an astounding 4.4X faster in sequential write!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 : Gaming Performance

For gaming, we tested the Galaxy Z Flip 5 using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark Z Flip 5 S23 Ultra Z Flip 4 S22
Ultra
Z Flip 3
Device SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8+
Gen 1
SD 8
Gen 1
SD 888
Sling Shot Unlimited 16661 16344 10690 11094 9248
Wild Life Unlimited 14823 14554 11144 9106 3952
Wild Life
Extreme
Unlimited
3705 3814 2636 2220 1174

When it comes to less strenuous games (Sling Shot), the Galaxy Z Flip 5 was surprisingly faster than the Galaxy S23 Ultra, even though they both use the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, and the S23 Ultra has better cooling.

Even in the more strenuous game (Wild Life), the Galaxy Z Flip 5 continues to surpass the Galaxy S23 Ultra at lower resolutions.

It was only with the Wild Life Extreme 4K benchmark where the Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s better cooling performance allowed it to beat the Z Flip 5 by 3%.

Simply put – you don’t really need expensive “gaming smartphones”. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 will easily handle any game you want to play.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : Overall Performance

We then tested the Galaxy Z Flip 5 using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu S23 Ultra Z Flip 5 S22 Ultra Z Flip 4 Z Flip 3
Device SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 1
SD 8+
Gen 1
SD
888
AnTuTu Score 1212174 1187296 889167 856357 696767
CPU 261886 393404 203090 205939 206228
GPU 538823 282780 402617 362669 242573
Memory 236163 291048 146002 135707 133586
UX 175302 220064 137458 152042 114380

The AnTuTu benchmark tells a slightly different story. According to its tests, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is about 38% faster than the Galaxy Z Flip 4. A very nice boost in performance.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is slightly slower – just 2%, than the Galaxy S23 Ultra. But note that its temperature jumped by over 12°C! At peak performance, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 can get quite toasty!

Next Page > A Quick Wrap, Verdict + Award!

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 : A Quick Wrap

Let’s do a quick wrap of what I really like, and don’t like, about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5.

It Now Folds Completely

The 6.7-inch foldable display finally closes completely. This may seem like a minor point, but a complete closure helps prevent things slipping in between the display to damage it while it’s in your pocket or handbag.

Large Flex Window

The 3.4-inch Flex Window is so much better for taking selfies, and much more functional! You can realistically do a lot more with this display, including shooting off quick replies to messages.

Great Performance

Even though it looks real sleek, it is powered by the incredibly powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile SoC.

It will easily handle EVERYTHING you throw at it – even graphics-intensive games. It gets toasty when you game, but hey, at least it doesn’t feel like a brick!

Decent Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 cameras are good but unremarkable frankly. Samsung obviously wants mobile photographers to focus on the Galaxy S23 Ultra instead.

That is most unfortunate, especially for selfie-lovers. I like how the large Flex Window  lets you easily use the rear cameras for really good selfies.

Slower Charging

Unfortunately, Samsung did not manage to improve the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s battery life at 120 Hz. It has longer battery life at 60 Hz, but I don’t think anyone who paid a premium for 120 Hz would want to stick to 60 Hz…

It doesn’t help that it recharges slower than the Galaxy Z Flip 4 with a standard 15 watt charger… and don’t get me started on the lack of an in-box charger!

Zilch In-Box Freebies

For a premium product, it comes with zilch freebies in-the-box. As mentioned before, there is no fast charger.

There is also no USB-C to 3.5 mm audio jack, not even a pair of USB-C earphones. Neither did Samsung provide even a cheap TPU case.

Incredible New Price Point

On the other hand, Samsung kept the price at highly-attractive price points:

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is an incredibly great deal for a foldable smartphone. I fully expect to see it flying off the shelves.

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 : My Verdict + Award

It must be said that the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is more than just a smartphone. It is a fashion statement – a sleek, light smartphone that catches eyes, and folds away to fit even small pockets!

Granted, it still has a short battery life with the 120 Hz refresh rate, and a slow recharging speed. And Samsung did not equip it with new cameras.

However, it is much more usable now, thanks to the large 3.4-inch Flex Window; and it now folds completely flat. Think of it as an improved Galaxy Z Flip 4.

Overall, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 it is an incredibly good deal for a flagship smartphone, with a large foldable 120 Hz display and a top-of-the-line processor!

This is why we believe it deserves nothing less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Great job, Samsung!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 : Where To Buy

Here are some online per-order and purchase options for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 :

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Avanade + Accenture: 2023 Microsoft Global SI Partner of the Year!

Avanade and Accenture have just been named 2023 Microsoft Global SI Partner of the Year, for the 18th time!

 

Avanade + Accenture: 2023 Microsoft Global SI Partner of the Year!

Avanade and Accenture have been named 2023 Microsoft Global SI Partner of the Year. This is the 18th time that Avanade and Accenture received the Global SI Partner of the Year recognition from Microsoft.

In total, Avanade and Accenture received close to 120 Partner of the Year awards across various technology and country categories throughout their history, for helping clients transform their employee and customer experiences by creating and delivering leading-edge solutions using Microsoft solutions.

Both companies were also recognised with 17 other awards including Malaysia Partner of the Year and Singapore Partner of the Year.

  • Dynamics 365 Sales & Marketing Partner of the Year
  • Low Code Application Development Partner of the Year
  • Automotive, Mobility and Transportation Partner of the Year
  • Customer Experience Partner of the Year
  • Malaysia Country Partner of the Year
  • Singapore Country Partner of the Year
  • Germany Country Partner of the Year
  • Greece Country Partner of the Year
  • France Country Partner of the Year
  • Portugal Country Partner of the Year
  • UK Country Partner of the Year
  • Denmark: Azure Core: Cloud Infrastructure Partner of The Year
  • Finland: GSI Growth Champion Partner of The Year
  • Asia Pacific: Azure Data & AI Partner of the Year
  • Asia Pacific: Azure Infrastructure Partner of the Year
  • Singapore: Financial Services Industry Partner of The Year
  • Japan: Energy and Resources Partner of the Year

The companies were also named finalists in the following five categories: Retail & Consumer Goods Partner of the Year; Dynamics 365 Finance Partner of the Year; Dynamics 365 Services Partner of the Year; Security Compliance Partner of the Year; Business Intelligence Partner of the Year

The unique partnership between Avanade, Accenture and Microsoft truly enables us to do what matters for our clients – building more resilience in a world of continuous change, empowering employees to embrace new ways of working, strengthening customer experience and now, guiding them on their journey to an ‘AI-first’ world.

Being recognized as Microsoft’s Global SI Partner of The Year for the 18th time is a remarkable achievement that is only possible because of our people all over the world who, every day, bring unrivalled expertise, experience and insights to help our clients solve their toughest business challenges.

– Avanade CEO Pam Maynard

Recommended : Microsoft : No More Windows 10 Updates, EOL In 2025!

 

Avanade + Accenture Collaborates With Microsoft On AI

Avanade, Accenture and Microsoft recently announced an expansion of their close collaboration to help organizations adopt the disruptive power of generative AI, accelerated by the cloud, to fundamentally transform their businesses.

By tapping into the new Accenture Center for Advanced AI, with its deep focus on generative AI and large language models, and the new Avanade AI Organizational Readiness Framework, the companies can help their clients take advantage of generative AI for safe and responsible innovation at scale.

Over the past year, we’ve expanded our partnership with Microsoft by helping more clients transform their organizations through the adoption of data and AI, cloud, metaverse, sustainability and other technologies.

Together with Avanade, we take great pride in helping clients accelerate change to achieve new growth and value, and we look forward to an exciting journey forward with Microsoft.

– Chris Howarth, Senior Managing Director and Accenture Microsoft Business Group Lead

Combined, Avanade and Accenture now have more than 65,000 professionals dedicated to delivering Microsoft technologies.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Samsung Galaxy A54 Review : Tech ARP Editor’s Choice!

Read our comprehensive review of the Samsung Galaxy A54 smartphone, and find out why it won our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Colour Options

The new Samsung Galaxy A54 smartphone is available in three main colours with a glossy finish :

  • Awesome Graphite
  • Awesome Violet
  • Awesome Lime

Samsung also offers an Awesome White colour option in certain countries.

In the following video, I will show you the three main colour options, and give you a closer look at the Galaxy A54 in the Awesome Graphite, Awesome Violet and Awesome Lime colours. Do let us know which you prefer!

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage, with the option to add a microSD card in the hybrid SIM tray. It is covered by a 2-year warranty, with the following launch prices:

  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM1,899 / US$449.99 / £499 / A$697 / S$648

Here are online purchase options (we may get commission from your purchase) :

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Key Specifications

Here are the key specifications for the Samsung Galaxy A54 smartphone:

Specifications Samsung Galaxy A54
Display 6.4-inch Super AMOLED
– 1080 x 2340 pixels (390 ppi)
– 60 Hz / 120 Hz refresh rate
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 (front + back)
Water Resistance IP67
OS One UI 5.1 (Android 13)
Platform Samsung Exynos 1380
CPU 4 x Arm Cortex-A78 cores (2.4 GHz)
4 x Arm Cortex-A55 cores (2.0 GHz)
GPU Arm Mali-G68 MP5
Memory 8 GB GB
Storage Options 256 GB
External Storage Hybrid microSD slot (up to 1 TB)
Front Camera 32 MP camera, f/2.2, 80˚ FOV
Main Cameras 50 MP wide angle camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
5 MP macro camera, f/2.4
Connectivity Up to 5G Sub6 FDD/TDD
Dual SIM (hybrid) capability
Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6 (dual-band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.3SB : USB 2.0 Type C
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic,  Hall, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass, QZSS
NFC Yes
Battery 5,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging 25 watt wired charging
Dimensions 76.7 mm wide
158.2 mm tall
8.2 mm thick
Weight 202 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : What’s Inside The Box?

The Samsung Galaxy A54 smartphone comes in a thin white cardboard box. Once you remove everything, you should find these items inside the box:

  • Samsung Galaxy A54 smartphone
  • One set of documents : Quick Start Guide, warranty card, Samsung Pay leaflet, Regional Lock Guide
  • Type C to Type C USB cable
  • SIM tray pin

That’s it! The package is pretty sparse. There is no USB charger, and no, it doesn’t come with a basic TPU bumper case either.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A54 Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy A54 : Key Features

Now, let us go through its key features, and show you why the Samsung Galaxy A54 is worthy of our Editor’s Choice Award!

Samsung Exynos 1380 5G Mobile Platform

The Samsung Galaxy A54 is built around the Samsung Exynos 1380 mobile SoC, which is fabricated with Samsung’s own 5 nm EUV process technology.

It comes with an Arm Mali-G68 MP5 GPU, and an NPU, as well as eight CPU cores arranged in two performance clusters:

  • 4 x Arm Cortex-A78 cores (2.4 GHz)
  • 4 x Arm Cortex-A55 cores (2.0 GHz)

The Samsung Exynos 1380 has an integrated 5G modem that supports Sub-6GHz and mmWave standards, as well as LTE Cat.18 uploads and downloads for current 4G networks.

It also supports Wi-Fi 802.11ax (2×2 MIMO) with triple-band capability, as well as Bluetooth 5.3. It supports the four main GPS networks – GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galile.

6.4-inch Super AMOLED Display

The Samsung Galaxy A54 boasts a large 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

This display defaults to a 60 Hz refresh rate, but supports a 120 Hz refresh rate that offers smoother graphics at the expense of higher power consumption.

Unlike higher-end smartphones like the new Galaxy S23 Ultra, the display does not dynamically changes its refresh rate. It either runs at 60 Hz or 120 Hz.

32 MP Front Camera

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with a high-resolution 32 MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture. Instead of hiding it in a discreet punch hole, it has a stainless steel ring.

This camera defaults to 8 MP by default, combining four pixels into one much larger pixel for better image quality and low-light performance.

This 32 MP camera is capable of recording 1080p video at 30 fps or 60 fps, as well as 4K video at 30 fps.

50 MP Main Camera

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with a triple camera system at the back that consists of:

  • a 50 MP main camera, with f/1.8 aperture,
  • a 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera, with f/2.2 aperture, and
  • a 5 MP macro camera, with f/2.4 aperture

The 50 MP camera is a “downgrade” in megapixels from the Galaxy A53’s 64 MP camera, but its image quality is better because it is built around the Sony IMX766 image sensor used in phones like the realme 9 Pro+ and Xiaomi 12.

The Sony IMX766 is a larger 1/1.56″ sensor, which offers a 25% larger pixel size of 1.0 µm (compared to 0.8 µm). The larger pixel size is important as it means each pixel can receive 25% more light, delivering better images, especially in low-light conditions.

In fact, that is why the Galaxy A54 defaults to the 12.5 MP resolution, combining four pixels into a much larger 2 µm “bucket” to collect more light. The 64 MP camera in last year’s Galaxy A53 also does the same thing, combining four pixels in one to deliver 16 MP photos.

This 50 MP camera supports PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus), and its lens has a wide f/1.8 aperture for better light intake. If you like to record videos, you will be glad to know that it features VDIS (Video Digital Image Stabilisation) and improved OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) offering a wider OIS angle.

Corning Gorilla Glass 5

The Samsung Galaxy A54 is protected in the front and in the back by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. While this was introduced back in July 2016, it still offers considerable protection.

In lab tests, it can survive drops on hard, rough surface from a height of up to 1.2 metres. It also offers 2X better scratch protection compared to its competitors.

IP67 Dust + Water Resistance

The Samsung Galaxy A54 is IP67 rated against the ingress of dust and water. This means it can withstand being immersed in up to 1 metre of water for at least 30 minutes.

Hybrid SIM + micro SD Tray

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with a hybrid tray that supports up to two physical SIM cards, or a physical SIM card as well as a single micro SD card of up to 1 TB in capacity

Read more : EU Orders All Brands To Use USB-C, Including Apple!

USB Type C Port

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with the bidirectional Type C port, which is now the EU standard.

5,000 mAh Fast-Charging Battery

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with a large 5,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which supports 25 watt fast wired charging. It does not support wireless charging, or reverse charging.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A54 Battery + Charging

 

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Samsung Galaxy A54 : Battery Life Comparison!

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, which is the same size as the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S22 Ultra.

To test its battery life, we turned off Automatic Brightness, and set its display brightness to 50%.

Why 50%? That is actually slightly higher than the average indoor brightness level of 40% during the day, and is what we usually use in all our mobile battery life tests.

It is important to fix the brightness level, to make sure the screen brightness does not change as the ambient brightness changes.

We then ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, and this was the best result we obtained with 60 Hz and 120 Hz refresh rates :

Not bad at all! The Samsung Galaxy A54 has a battery life of 12.5 hours with Adaptive refresh rate enabled, and almost 14 hours with the Standard refresh rate. That’s equal to the Galaxy S22 Ultra at the Standard refresh rate, and 16.7% better at the Adaptive refresh rate.

But let’s also compare its battery life at 60 Hz and 120 Hz, against the S23 Ultra, S22 Ultra and Z Flip 3 smartphones.

Standard Refresh Rate (60 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy A54 lasted almost 14 hours with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz. But it isn’t quite as efficient as the new S23 Ultra, or even last year’s  S22 Ultra.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra
(60 Hz)
S22 Ultra
(60 Hz)
Galaxy A54
(60 Hz)
Z Flip 3
(60 Hz)
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Battery Life 15 hrs 18 mins 14 hrs 15 mins 13 hrs 57 mins 8 hrs 11 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.36 mAh 4.68 mAh 4.78 mAh 5.38 mAh

Adaptive Refresh Rate (120 Hz)

Will you look at that! The Samsung Galaxy A54 was about 13.6% more efficient than the S22 Ultra with the Adaptive refresh rate enabled, coming within 8% of the power efficiency of the S23 Ultra.

Based on what we see here, I definitely recommend turning on the Adaptive Refresh Rate on the Galaxy A54, unless you absolutely need the extra 1.5 hours of battery life.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra
(120 Hz)
Galaxy A54
(120 Hz)
S22 Ultra
(120 Hz)
Z Flip 3
(120 Hz)
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Battery Life 13 hrs
0 mins
12 hrs 25 mins 10 hrs
38 mins
6 hrs
44 mins
Utilisation
per min.
5.13 mAh 5.52 mAh 6.27 mAh 6.53 mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Battery Recharging Speed!

The Samsung Galaxy A54 supports up to 25 watts of wired fast charging, but unfortunately, does not come with the charger in-the-box.

So we relied on the standard 15 watt Samsung fast charger than shipped with their previous smartphones – something we believe most users will end up doing.

Work 3.0 S22 Ultra S23 Ultra Galaxy A54 Z Flip 3
Battery Capacity 3,300 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Charger Output 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts
Battery Life 64.5 minutes 88.8 minutes 120.7 minutes 88.5 minutes
Recharging Speed
(per minute)
62.0 mAh 45.0 mAh 33.1 mAh 29.8 mAh

The Samsung Galaxy A54 fully recharges from 20% to 100% in just over 2 hours with the standard 15 watt Samsung charger. Oddly enough, this is significantly (36%) slower than the S23 Ultra.

I have no idea whether this was an intentional design decision to reduce the Galaxy A54’s thermal output while charging, or to further differentiate it from the much pricier Galaxy S23 Ultra.

In any case, the Galaxy A54 has a good battery life : recharging ratio of 7:1. As a rule of thumb, for every hour of battery life, you only need to recharge it for 8.5 minutes.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A54 Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy A54 : Performance Summary

Built around the Samsung Exynos 1380, the Galaxy A54 smartphone has a very fast CPU, but a relatively weak GPU.

What that means is that it offers snappy performance for most part – web browsing, work applications, casual gaming, etc.

It only has trouble delivering high frame rates for graphics-intensive 3D games, and AI or 3D apps may take longer to process in comparison to flagship devices.

But that’s what you need to keep in mind – the Exynos 1380 is a mid-range mobile platform, not a flagship-class. And it is a fast one.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Work Performance

We first tested the Galaxy A54 Ultra using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 3.0 S23
Ultra
Galaxy
A54
S22
Ultra
S21
Ultra
Galaxy
A52
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
Exynos
1380
SD 8
Gen 1
Exynos
2100
SD
750G
Performance Score 16408 13523 12860 12535 7874
Web Browsing 15680 10659 10442 10185 7021
Video Editing 7879 7363 7444 6336 5693
Writing 22257 17485 15471 15247 7454
Photo Editing 35533 28805 30177 37847 15812
Data Manipulation 12171 11443 9691 8310 6424

Will you look at that?! The Samsung Exynos 1380 that powers the Galaxy A54 actually beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which powered the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

It was also just 17.5% slower than the latest flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile SoC that powers the new Galaxy S23 Ultra flagship smartphone!

Very impressive for a mid-range mobile SoC, especially handily beating the Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Ultra, and coming in 72% faster than the Galaxy A52.

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Gaming Performance

For gaming, we tested the Galaxy A54 using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark S23
Ultra
S22
Ultra
Z Flip
3
Note20
Ultra
Galaxy
A54
Device SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 1
SD
888
Exynos
990
Exynos
1380
Sling Shot Unlimited 16344 11094 9248 8026 6195
Wild Life Unlimited 14554 9106 3952 4504 2860
Wild Life
Extreme
Unlimited
3814 2220 1174 1387 799

This is where the Samsung Galaxy A54’s Exynos 1380 falls short – it is just not very good at gaming!

It was 23% to 42% slower than the Exynos 990, and 28% to 32% slower than the Snapdragon 888!

That does not mean it’s bad for gaming. It can certainly handle most games. It just won’t be able to deliver high frame rates in graphically-demanding 3D games like Genshin Impact, Black Desert Mobile, etc.

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Overall Performance

We then tested the Galaxy A54 using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu S23
Ultra
S22
Ultra
S21
Ultra
Galaxy
A54
Galaxy
A52
Device SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 1
Exynos
2100
Exynos
1380
SD
750G
AnTuTu Score 1212174 889167 624411 522411 341908
CPU 261886 203090 166290 153230 105098
GPU 538823 402617 258995 149596 88068
Memory 236163 146002 120805 86578 60642
UX 175302 137458 78321 133007 88100

According to the AnTuTu benchmark, the Samsung Galaxy A54 is about 53% faster than the Galaxy A52, and only 16% slower than the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

What’s important to note is that the Exynos 1380’s CPU is fast, coming within 8% of the Exynos 2100. However, it has a relatively weak GPU, and slower memory than the flagship-class mobile platforms in this comparison.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A54 Camera Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy A54 : Camera Performance

The Samsung Galaxy A54’s 50 MP camera takes 12.5 MP photos by default, with a resolution of 4080 x 3060 pixels. Each JPEG photo using the High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format, each photo is about 2.5 MB to 5 MB in size.

Without HEIF, the file sizes are much larger, so please remember to turn on the HEIF file format to save space.

  1. Open the Camera app
  2. Go to Settings > Advanced picture options
  3. Turn on High efficiency pictures.

As this photo sample shows, the 50 MP main camera of the Samsung Galaxy A54 offers a nice bokeh, thanks to its wide f/1.8 aperture.

However, that wide aperture presents a problem too – a narrow depth of field, as this sample photo of star anise shows.

If multiple objects are present at different distances from the camera, only some of them will remain in focus, while the others will be out-of-focus.

That makes for nice portraits, but if you do not tap on the area or subject you want to be in focus, the camera may auto-focus on the wrong area or subject, and you will end up with an out-of-focus shot.

As this shot of pineapples show, only a small area of the right edge of the pineapple on the left is in focus. That’s because I intentionally tapped on that part.

Otherwise, the camera would naturally focus on the nearest part of the pineapple (its centre, which is located to the far left of the photo) and this photo would look really out-of-focus.

In most cases, the colour reproduction is pretty accurate, even if it’s indoors.

But in some cases, you can end up with pretty dull-looking photos under artificial light.

You need to be careful with close-up shots though. This isn’t a macro camera, and so it has trouble focusing if the subject is too close.

The problem is – the Samsung camera app does not warn you if the 50 MP camera cannot focus properly on the subject. It may look like it is focused properly in the camera app, but when you open it up later, you will see that it’s completely out-of-focus.

I definitely recommend you tapping on the subject to “force” the camera app to visibly try to focus. If it fails, you know that you are much too close. It’s also a good habit to tap to focus anyway, as this 50 MP camera has a narrow depth-of-field.

There is no need to worry about the “loss” in resolution from 64 MP to 50 MP. In most cases, you probably won’t even realise that the camera defaults to just 12.5 MP!

Even at 12.5 MP, there is more than enough detail in the photos that the Galaxy A54’s 50MP camera delivers, even if you want to zoom in.

But that does not mean that its 50 MP sensor is pure marketing. You can use it to take 50 MP shots, but you will have to live with significantly larger file sizes.

The full 50 MP resolution isn’t needed for 90% of the photos that most people take, but it is useful for long-distance shots. The Samsung Galaxy A54 does not have a telephoto camera, so taking photos in 50 MP effectively gives you a 4X zoom capability.

For example, if you need to take a faraway shot of a bell tower, you can switch to 50 MP before taking the photo. Then you can zoom into the 50 MP photo you took and crop out a much closer looking shot of that bell tower without using software or digital zoom.

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Camera Performance Summary

I’m glad Samsung switched from the 64 MP camera to a 50 MP camera in the Galaxy A54. The “loss” in megapixels is more than made up by the larger and better Sony IMX766 image sensor, with 25% larger pixels.

This improved 50 MP main camera performed well in our tests, generally delivering good photos with accurate colours in most cases. It has a good level of detail, even at 12.5 MP.

The biggest problem I have with it is its minimum focus distance. The camera seems to work best with subjects that are at least 50 cm away, or so. If I get too close to the subject, the shot ends up out-of-focus, especially if I tried to let the camera auto-focus by itself.

This is not readily apparent in the camera app, so you need to tap to focus. That triggers the camera to seek a better focus. That’s when you can see whether it can really focus properly. Even then, I sometimes end up with out-of-focus shots, because I was simply too close to the subject.

For most people, this won’t a problem if you are taking the usual photos – people standing at a distance, landscapes and buildings at a distance, etc. Just keep this in mind if you are taking close shots of products or food, etc.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy A54 Summary + Award

 

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Samsung Galaxy A54 : Summary + Award

The Samsung Galaxy A54 is proof that you don’t need to pay top dollar to get a great smartphone. For less than half the cost of a flagship smartphone, it offers most of the features that you need, in a well-protected device.

It comes with a large, excellent Super AMOLED display which supports 120 Hz refresh rate, and is protected on both front and rear by Gorilla Glass 5. It is also IP67-rated against the ingress of dust and water.

Built around the 5 nm Samsung Exynos 1380 mobile platform, the Galaxy A54 offers excellent performance in work apps, offering the equivalent performance as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

However, it falters when it comes to gaming. Its weaker Arm Mali-G68 MP5 GPU just cannot keep up with the better GPUs used in flagship-class smartphones. That doesn’t mean you can’t game on it. You can – it can certainly handle most games. It just won’t do as well as flagship-class smartphones in graphics-intensive games.

When it comes to photography, it comes with high-resolution 32 MP front camera, as well as a new 50 MP Sony IMX766 camera at the back, and an ultra-wide-angle camera, and a macro camera.

The 50 MP main camera is generally excellent, except under certain indoor lighting where the photos appear washed out. It also has trouble focusing at closer distances, which is probably why Samsung added the macro camera, which would normally be a waste of time for most users.

While I miss the telephoto camera which is a fixture in flagship smartphones, the 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera is arguably a better trade-off – most people would prefer to use it for landscape and group shots, rather than take long-distance shots with the telephoto camera.

The Galaxy A54 takes pretty good videos too, but there are some limitations :

  • it can support 30/60 fps @ 1080p, but only 30 fps for 4K video recording,
  • it is limited to 30 fps, regardless of resolution, when using its ultra-wide angle camera.
  • it can only support video image stabilisation at 30 fps, but not 60 fps

If you really love taking videos at 4K especially at 60 fps or higher, then these limitations will be a deal breaker. Video recording is where flagship devices like the Galaxy S23 Ultra shines.

But for many people, the Samsung Galaxy A54 offers an excellent combination of features and capabilities at a far lower cost. On top of that, you get two years of warranty, three years of Android updates, and four years of security updates.

For these reasons, we gladly award the Samsung Galaxy A54 our Editor’s Choice Award! Great work, Samsung!

 

Samsung Galaxy A54 : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A54 smartphone is available in three main colours with a glossy finish :

  • Awesome Graphite
  • Awesome Violet
  • Awesome Lime

The Samsung Galaxy A54 comes with 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage, with the option to add a microSD card in the hybrid SIM tray. It is covered by a 2-year warranty, with the following launch prices:

  • 8 GB + 256 GB : RM1,899 / US$449.99 / £499 / A$697 / S$648

Here are online purchase options (we may get commission from your purchase) :

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > First PageMobile | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Review : Tech ARP Editor’s Choice!

Read our comprehensive review of the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and find out why it won our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Model + Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes in four main colours – Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, and Cream.

Ahead of the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s official launch, we were given special access to all four main colours it will be offered through retail stores, including Samsung Experience Stores.

So I was able to record this video comparing the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone in all four colours. Take a look at all four colours, and let us know which you prefer!

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Colour Options Compared!

Here are the official launch prices for the three available storage capacities:

  • 256 GB : RM5,699 (about US$1,336 / £1,083 / A$1,888 / S$1,755)
  • 512 GB : RM6,199 (about US$1,453 / £1,179 / A$2,052 / S$1,910)
  • 1 TB : RM7,199 (about US$1,688 / £1,369 / A$2,388 / S$2,218)

Here are online purchase options for your convenience:

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Specifications Compared!

I created this table to compare the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s specifications to last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra!

Specifications Galaxy S23 Ultra Galaxy S22 Ultra
Display 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display
– 1440 x 3088 pixels (500 ppi)
– 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate (1~120 Hz)
– 1750 nits peak brightness
Protection Gorilla Glass Victus 2 Gorilla Glass Victus+
Water Resistance IP68
Platform Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
CPU 1 x Cortex-X3 (3.36 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A715 (2.8 GHz)
2 x Cortex-A710 (2.8 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A510 (2.0 GHz)
1 x Cortex-X2 (3.0 GHz)
3 x Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4 x Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)
GPU Adreno 740 Adreno 730
Memory +
Storage
12 GB + 256 GB
12 GB + 512 GB
12 GB + 1 TB
8 GB + 128 GB
12 GB + 256 GB
12 GB + 512 GB
12 GB + 1 TB
External Storage NA
Front Camera 12 MP camera, f/2.2 40 MP camera, f/2.2
Main Cameras 200 MP Adaptive Pixel camera, f/1.7
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
108 MP Dual Pixel camera, f/1.8
12 MP ultra-wide camera, f/2.2
10 MP 3x zoom camera, f/2.4
10 MP 10x zoom camera, f/4.9
Connectivity Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Ultra-Wideband (UWB)
Bluetooth : BT 5.3
USB : USB Type C
Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth : BT 5.2
USB : USB Type C
S Pen Yes, 2.8 ms latency
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, Under Display
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyroscope,
Geomagnetic, Light, Proximity
GPS GPS, Beidou, Galileo, Glonass
NFC Yes
Battery 5,000 mAh Li-Po battery
Charging 45 watt wired charging
15 watt wireless charging
Wireless PowerShare
Dimensions 78.1 mm wide
163.4 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
77.9 mm wide
163.3 mm tall
8.9 mm thick
Weight 234 grams 229 grams

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : What’s Inside The Box?

We got our hands on a golden sample of the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone at the official launch in Singapore. Let’s take a quick look at the box before we check out what’s inside!

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : What’s Inside The Box!

Once you fully unbox the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, this is what you will find inside:

  • the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone
  • a Quick Start Guide
  • a USB Type C to USB Type C data and charging cable
  • a SIM tray extraction pin

That’s it! While the Galaxy S23 Ultra supports 45 watt fast charging, it does not come with the charger. You will need to purchase it separately. Neither does it come with a TPU bumper case to tide you over until you get a better one.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Key Features

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Key Features

Now, let us go through its key features, and show you why the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is worthy of our Editor’s Choice Award!

Boosted Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Performance!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is powered by a specially-boosted variant of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile SoC, which features a quad-cluster architecture:

  • 1 x Arm Cortex-X3 core (3.36 GHz, instead of 3.2 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A715 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 2 x Arm Cortex-A710 cores (2.8 GHz)
  • 3 x Arm Cortex-A510 cores (2.0 GHz)

The new processor feels very snappy, and appears to be more power efficient – the Galaxy S23 Ultra last longer than our Galaxy S22 Ultra on typical use.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Colour Options Compared!

200 MP Main Camera

The biggest upgrade in the Galaxy S23 Ultra is its new Adaptive Pixel main camera, which is built around the 200 MP Samsung ISOCELL HP2 (S5KHP2) sensor, and features a slightly wider f/1.7 aperture.

This is a large 1/1.3-inch sensor with 200 million pixels, each of which is 0.6 μm in size. The Galaxy S23 Ultra camera can combine up to 16 pixels to form a single large pixel for much better low-light performance.

Video capabilities also got an upgrade, thanks to this new sensor. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can now record 8K videos at 30 frames per second, instead of just 24 fps previously.

It also boasts better Adaptive VDIS capability, and improved optical image stabilisation (OIS), delivering silky smooth videos by doubling the angle to ±3°, from the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera‘s ±1.5°.

Similar Telephoto + Wide-Angle Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra reuses the same 3X and 10X zoom cameras from the Galaxy S22 Ultra, right down to their Sony IMX754 sensors.

The ultra-wide angle camera gets a newer sensor – the Sony IMX564, which appears to be an incremental upgrade of the S22 Ultra’s IMX563.

12 MP Selfie Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also features another camera upgrade in the front. Instead of a 40 MP sensor in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it now features a new 12 MP camera, with the same f/2.2 aperture.

While this may seem to be a downgrade, it is actually an upgrade as the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 40 MP sensor defaults to 10 MP. On top of that, it features a Dual Pixel sensor for faster and more accurate auto-focus!

We tried using the front camera, and found that it was superior to the front camera of the Galaxy S22 Ultra. More of this later in our review.

Buttons

The only buttons on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra are all located on the right side – volume control buttons and a Power switch.

S Pen

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with the same S Pen as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It too boasts a very quick 2.8 ms latency.

We tried swapping them and both S Pens appear to fit both devices. From what we can tell – they are physically and functionally similar, if not exactly the same.

USB Type C Port

At the bottom of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, you will find a SIM card tray, next to the USB port, as well as the S Pen in its slot.

The USB port is, of course, the new bidirectional Type C port, which is now the EU standard.

Read more : EU Orders All Brands To Use USB-C, Including Apple!

SIM Tray Without SD Card Slot

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra supports two physical SIM cards, as well as a single eSIM. The SIM tray is located at the bottom, next to the USB port.

Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is protected in the front and in the back by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

Gorilla Glass Victus 2 is not just tougher, it is also made from 22% pre-consumer recycled content!

Armoured Aluminium

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is also protected on all four sides by an Armoured Aluminium frame.

5,000 mAh Fast-Charging Battery

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a large 5,000 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which supports 45 watt fast wired charging, and 15 watt fast wireless charging.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Battery + Charging

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Battery Life Comparison!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, which is the same size as Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

To test its battery life, we turned off Automatic Brightness, and set its display brightness to 50%.

Why 50%? That is actually slightly higher than the average indoor brightness level of 40% during the day, and is what we usually use in all our mobile battery life tests.

It is important to fix the brightness level, to make sure the screen brightness does not change as the ambient brightness changes.

We then ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test until its battery capacity dropped to 20% several times, and this was the best result we obtained with 60 Hz and 120 Hz refresh rates :

Will you look at that!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a battery life of 13 hours with Adaptive refresh rate enabled, and a whopping 15.3 hours with the Standard refresh rate – 24% and 7.5% better respectively than the S22 Ultra!

But let’s also compare its battery life at 60 Hz and 120 Hz, against the S21 Ultra and Z Flip 3 smartphones.

Standard Refresh Rate (60 Hz)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra really shines with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz. It used 7% less power per minute, which delivered 7% longer battery life than the S22 Ultra.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra
(60 Hz)
S22 Ultra
(60 Hz)
Z Flip 3
(60 Hz)
S21 Ultra
(60 Hz)
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh 5,000 mAh
Battery Life 15 hrs 18 mins 14 hrs 15 mins 8 hrs 11 mins 11 hrs 22 mins
Utilisation
per min.
4.36 mAh 4.68 mAh 5.38 mAh 5.87 mAh

Adaptive Refresh Rate (120 Hz)

While the Galaxy S23 Ultra certainly used less power than the S22 Ultra, that advantage was greatly diminished with the Adaptive refresh rate enabled.

This is where we see the greatest improvement in the power efficiency of the S23 Ultra. Its display used 18% less power per minute, and delivered 22% (almost 1.5 hours) longer battery life than the S22 Ultra.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra
(120 Hz)
S22 Ultra
(120 Hz)
S21 Ultra
(120 Hz)
Z Flip 3
(120 Hz)
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Battery Life 13 hrs 0 mins 10 hrs
38 mins
10 hrs
26 mins
6 hrs
44 mins
Utilisation
per min.
5.13 mAh 6.27 mAh 6.39 mAh 6.53 mAh

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Battery Recharging Speed!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra supports up to 45 watts of wired fast charging, but unfortunately, does not come with the charger in-the-box.

So we relied on the standard 15 watt Samsung fast charger than shipped with their previous smartphones – something we believe most users will end up doing. But we used the 25 watt charger for the S21 Ultra, because it came with that charger.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Battery Life + Charging Speed!

Work 3.0 S21 Ultra S22 Ultra S23 Ultra Z Flip 3
Battery Capacity 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh 5,000 mAh 3,300 mAh
Charger Output 25 watts 15 watts 15 watts 15 watts
Battery Life 64 minutes 64.5 minutes 88.8 minutes 88.5 minutes
Recharging Speed
(per minute)
62.5 mAh 62.0 mAh 45.0 mAh 29.8 mAh

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra fully recharges from 20% to 100% in just under 1.5 hours hour with the standard 15 watt Samsung charger. Oddly enough, this is significantly (38%) slower than the S22 Ultra.

It’s hard to know whether this was an intentional design decision to reduce the thermal output while charging, or to drive the adoption of the 45 watt chargers (sold separately).

Fortunately, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a significantly better battery life, which should offset the slower recharging speed. Frankly, I don’t see a real need to splurge on a new 45 watt fast charger.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Performance Summary

Samsung has done it again – raised the performance bar yet again with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy – a boosted variant of the fastest mobile SoC that exists for Android devices – it offers a tremendous boost in GPU performance, which should make gamers and mobile content creators happy.

The benchmark results amply demonstrates that you can count on the Galaxy S23 Ultra to easily handle anything and everything you throw at it.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Performance Examined!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Work Performance

We first tested the Galaxy S23 Ultra using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Work 3.0 S23 Ultra S22 Ultra S21 Ultra Note20
Ultra
Galaxy
A52
Mobile Platform SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 1
Exynos
2100
Exynos
990
SD
750G
Performance Score 16408 12860 12535 10523 7874
Web Browsing 15680 10442 10185 8865 7021
Video Editing 7879 7444 6336 6232 5693
Writing 22257 15471 15247 11112 7454
Photo Editing 35533 30177 37847 30789 15812
Data Manipulation 12171 9691 8310 6825 6424

Will you look at that! The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is 27.5% faster than Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 from last year.

That’s a surprisingly significant boost in performance that people upgrading from the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the S21 Ultra will notice.

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Gaming Performance

For gaming, we tested the Galaxy S23 Ultra using 3DMark, with these results :

3DMark S23 Ultra S22 Ultra Z Flip 3 Note20
Ultra
Galaxy
Note10+
Device SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 1
SD 888 Exynos
990
Exynos
9825
Sling Shot Unlimited 16344 11094 9248 8026 3327
Wild Life Unlimited 14554 9106 3952 4504 3288
Wild Life
Extreme
Unlimited
3814 2220 1174 1387 528

Look at that! The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was a head above the competition when it comes to gaming!

It was 47% to 72% faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and 77% to 468% faster than the Snapdragon 888!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is undoubtedly the gaming smartphone to beat!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Overall Performance

We then tested the Galaxy S23 Ultra using AnTuTu, yielding these results :

AnTuTu S22
Ultra
S22
Ultra
S21
Ultra
Note20
Ultra
Galaxy
A52
Device SD 8
Gen 2
SD 8
Gen 1
Exynos
2100
Exynos
990
SD 750G
AnTuTu Score 1212174 889167 624411 522735 341908
CPU 261886 203090 166290 146783 105098
GPU 538823 402617 258995 215205 88068
Memory 236163 146002 120805 89376 60642
UX 175302 137458 78321 71371 88100

The AnTuTu benchmark confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is truly a performance beast in every way!

The new Galaxy S23 Ultra is 36% faster than the S22 Ultra, and a whopping 94% faster than the S21 Ultra!

Its CPU was 29% faster, and its GPU was 33% faster than the S22 Ultra. When compared against the S21 Ultra, the Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 57% faster CPU and 2X faster GPU.

Thanks to its improved cooling system, its temperature jumped by about 7°C. That is noticeable, but significantly lower than the 10°C we saw with the S22 Ultra.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Camera Performance

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Camera Performance

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts a super-high resolution 200 MP main camera, built around a new ISOCELL HP2 sensor.

This is a large 1/1.3-inch sensor with 200 million pixels, each of which is 0.6 μm in size. The Galaxy S23 Ultra camera can combine up to 16 pixels to form a single large pixel for much better low-light performance.

Video capabilities also got an upgrade, thanks to this new sensor. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can now record 8K videos at 30 frames per second, instead of just 24 fps previously.

It also boasts better Adaptive VDIS capability, and improved optical image stabilisation (OIS), delivering silky smooth videos by doubling the angle to ±3°, from the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera‘s ±1.5°.

Here are six shots I took in Singapore, using the 200 MP main camera, and the 12 MP ultra-wide angle camera.

They are 4000 x 3000 pixels in size, with a JPEG file size of between 4 MB and 8 MB – it all depends on the amount of detail in the picture. To save space, I definitely recommend that you enable HEIF – the High Efficiency Image Format.

By default, the 200 MP camera takes 12 MP photos, combining sixteen pixels into one super-large pixel. Coupled with the improved lens and wider aperture, the final photos are not only much brighter, but have significantly lower noise.

Here are six night shots to show you just how bright the Galaxy S23 Ultra photos are, taken at night handheld without flash.

Here are six shots to show you the incredible amount of detail you can capture at just 12 MP. If you need greater detail, you can always increase the resolution to the full 200 MP, but frankly – these pictures should show you that you don’t really need to.

Of course, the 200 MP capability is not there for marketing purposes. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra can truly take 200 MP photos, with a resolution of 16,320 pixels x 12,240 pixels, with each file at about 13-15 MB!

To demonstrate both the 200 MP capability and its ability to take bright photos at night, I took this 200 MP photo at Marina Bay Sands.

From that single photo, I could zoom in to make out individuals within the dome-shaped Apple Store hundreds of metres away – all unbeknownst that they were being captured on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra at night!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Camera Performance Summary

If you want the best cameras on a smartphone money can buy, you should definitely consider the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Don’t put too much stock into the 200 MP marketing spiel. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is breaking new resolution groups with its 200 MP photography capability. But most of us will probably never use it, except in special circumstances.

What you are really getting is an awesome 12 MP camera with super-large pixels for really great noise-free images, and better low-light photos.

I am especially impressed with its low-light night photography capabilities. The photos I took in Singapore look like they were well-lit by moonlight. That was not the case at all, and it was all the more impressive because I took it handheld.

The photos turned out great – bright, sharp and with much less noise than I dared to hope! There is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has some of the best smartphone cameras I’ve tried this year.

Next Page > Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra Summary + Award

 

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Summary + Award

It is tough for Samsung to keep touting radical improvements in smartphone technology every year, so I was not surprised that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is an evolutionary upgrade of the excellent Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Samsung didn’t even bother to hide that, reusing the same design almost to the millimetre! It even reuses the same S Pen from last year. Its improvements are almost entirely internal or at least not readily visible to the user.

Its display, for example, is the “same” as the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s display on paper. But improvements in its design makes it a more efficient display, improving battery life.

Its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU and GPU are not only significantly faster than last year’s Gen 1 CPU and GPU, they are also more efficient, again improving battery life.

Even though it comes with the same battery capacity as the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the new Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts 22% longer battery life with its Adaptive Refresh mode enabled!

Samsung added a new 12 MP front camera, which offers better image quality at a higher resolution than the Galaxy S22 Ultra‘s 40 MP shooter that defaults to 10 MP).

But the killer feature this year is arguably the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s Adaptive Pixel main camera, which not only boasts a new 200 MP sensor but also improved lens, a slightly wider f/1.7 aperture, and better optical image stabilisation.

While its ability to take great photos in good light carries on from the Galaxy S22 Ultra‘s 108 MP Dual Pixel camera, where it really shines is in low-light, night photography. As my photo samples show, they are truly amazing.

If you really love photography, and especially like taking photos at night, or in low-light conditions, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will surely impress you.

Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is tougher this year. It has the same Armor Aluminium frame, but is protected in the front and back by best-in-class Gorilla Victus 2 glass.

For these reasons, we gladly award the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra our Editor’s Choice Award! Great work, Samsung!

 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra : Price + Pre-Order Offer!

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes in four main colours – Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, and Cream.

Sadly, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra will be significantly more expensive than last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra!

Here are the official launch prices for the three available storage capacities:

  • 256 GB : RM5,699 (about US$1,336 / £1,083 / A$1,888 / S$1,755)
  • 512 GB : RM6,199 (about US$1,453 / £1,179 / A$2,052 / S$1,910)
  • 1 TB : RM7,199 (about US$1,688 / £1,369 / A$2,388 / S$2,218)

While the increased price may be disappointing, Samsung is offering some great pre-order offers:

  • you get a free upgrade to the next storage option!
  • if you buy from the Samsung Online Store, you get an RM400 e-Voucher
  • you get 30% off Samsung accessories, Samsung Care+, Galaxy tablets, Watch, and Buds earphones!
  • you get to save up to RM600 more when you trade in!

Here are online purchase options for your convenience:

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro Review: 24-bit Audio FTW!

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro is the latest AKG-tuned TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation from Samsung!

Find out just how good it really is, and why its 24-bit audio support is something audiophiles will love!

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : What’s In The Box?

First, let’s take a quick look at what’s inside the box.

Samsung kindly provided us with a better unboxing video than we could have done ourselves.

Inside, you will find the following items :

  • A pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro storage + charging case
  • Guide Start Guide
  • USB-C to USB-C charging cable
  • Two sets of extra ear tips (small and large)

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : Key Features

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro is the latest AKG-tuned TWS earbuds from Samsung, with a slew of improvements.

Despite its name, it is the second generation version of the ultra-premium Galaxy Buds Pro, and not an improved version of the Galaxy Buds2 we reviewed last year.

Comfort

These are amongst the lightest and smallest earbuds I ever tried. Each earbud weighs just 5.5 grams and are 15% smaller.

They feel less intrusive, and are also more discreet than the last generation Buds Pro – fitting snugly into your ear.

The earbuds come with medium ear tips fitted, but the package includes small and large ear tips, allowing you to swap them out for a snug fit.

IPX7 Water Resistant

Unlike the Galaxy Buds2, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro are IPX7 water-resistant, so you can carry on using them even in the rain!

While they are officially rated to withstand submersion in up to 1 metre of fresh water for up to 30 minutes, Samsung do not advise you use them at the beach or in the pool.

I should also point out that the charging case itself is NOT water-resistant, so please make sure you keep it dry. In addition, you must dry the Galaxy Buds2 Pro before you put them back into the charging case.

Even so, water-resistance is one of the things I love about Samsung wearables and smartphones. As a rather clumsy person, I’ve dropped my fair share of gadgets, and more often than not – into pools of rainwater, or even swimming pools!

Active Noise Cancellation

Budget ANC earbuds use one microphone, with mid-range ANC earbuds like the Galaxy Buds2 use up to two microphones to receive ambient noise for cancellation.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro uses three microphones with high signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio to expand the amount of ambient noise it can cancel, and you can tell the difference. Its ANC performance is markedly improved from the last generation.

I managed to test them out on two turboprop flights which are noticeably louder than your typical airliner, and they worked great! The noise outside the planes was greatly muted, and once onboard, it’s like you are in your own oasis of peace and quiet.

If you need to listen to someone speak, there is an Ambient mode that temporarily disables ANC and lets you listen to the outside world. When you take out one earbud, the other earbud cleverly switches to Ambient mode so you don’t get disorientated, and switches back to ANC when you put the earbud back on.

You don’t even have to turn Ambient mode manually like with the Galaxy Buds2. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro comes with the Voice Detect feature, which automatically activates Ambient mode when you start talking! Just make sure you enable it in your Galaxy Wearable app first!

24-bit Audio

If you are an audiophile, you will love the 24-bit audio support in the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro.

24-bit audio has been around for a while, offering higher audio resolution and fidelity. However, adoption has been limited so far to expensive music players and audio devices.

After all, the entire chain – from the music file to the music player (software or hardware) and the earphones / headphones, plus the connectivity between them – must support 24-bit audio.

So it’s great to see Samsung driving the 24-bit audio effort forward by making sure that its mobile devices support 24-bit audio. Just make sure you upgrade to the One UI 4.0 or higher, to enable its proprietary Samsung Seamless Hi-Fi codec.

Built on the Scalable Codec it introduced several years ago, the Samsung Seamless codec is able to encode full 24-bit audio to transmit to the Galaxy Buds2 Pro wirelessly.

The only downside is that it’s proprietary, and will only work with Samsung Galaxy devices running One UI 4.0 or higher.

360 Audio

The Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro also supports 360 Audio, which is basically their version of the spatial audio feature in Apple AirPods. It’s not enabled by default, because you may not want to turn it on all the time.

The 360 Audio feature only works with apps and content that support Dolby Atmos surround sound. When enabled, it delivers a 360-degree surround sound effect for a more immersive experience.

On top of that, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro supports head tracking, so the 360 audio you hear will actually change with your head movement!

While it doesn’t do much for music (very few are encoded for Dolby Atmos), you should enable it for movies and games.

Connectivity

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro connects wirelessly to your devices using Bluetooth 5.3, with support for AAC, SBC and Samsung’s new Seamless codec, but not aptX, LDAC or LHDC. Again, please note that the Samsung Seamless codec is proprietary, and will only work with their devices running on One UI 4.0 and above.

These earbuds do not offer Bluetooth multipoint connectivity, which means they can only be connected to one device at any one time.

They support automatic switching between Samsung Galaxy devices using the same Samsung account, but if you want to switch from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone to your laptops you need to manually switch using the Bluetooth menu.

Battery Life

The biggest problem I have with the Buds2 Pro though is its short battery life of about 5 hours with ANC enabled. I can get about 8 hours with ANC disabled, but that’s still on the low side for premium earbuds.

This is really a trade off – a larger battery (and consequently, longer battery life) would mean a heavier and more obtrusive earbuds. There is only so much Samsung can squeeze out of the tiny 61 mAh battery in each earbud.

The charging case with an internal 515 mAh battery provides another 13 hours of extra battery life (ANC enabled), or 21 hours (ANC disabled) – roughly 2.5 full charges.

They support quick charging though – a 5 minute charge will get you about an hour of battery life.

Pro Tip : Get into the habit of popping these earbuds into their case whenever you are not using, and you will never run out of battery life.

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : Our Verdict

If you want the very best TWS earbuds with active noise cancellation technology from Samsung, there can be no doubt – the Galaxy Buds2 Pro is it.

It is amazing that such a small package comes with so many great features – 24-bit audio with 360 Audio, active noise cancellation with three SNR microphones, and IPX7 water resistance.

While the Galaxy Buds2 Pro is not cheap, those features do really make a real difference in the enjoyment of your music, videos and games.

For those reasons, I think it deserves no less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

Just be aware of its relatively short battery life, lack of Bluetooth multipoint connectivity, and reliance on a proprietary codec which limits 24-bit audio to Samsung devices.

If you are in the Samsung ecosystem and would like to enjoy 24-bit audio and/or surround sound, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy Buds2 Pro.

But if you are not using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, or do not need 24-bit audio support, then these are not the earbuds you are looking for. You are better off buying the cheaper Galaxy Buds2!

 

Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro : Where To Buy?

The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 is priced at RM899 / S$328 / US$229 / £189 / A$349.

Here are some online purchase options (prices accurate as of 11 November 2022) :

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Review : Great For Students!

Parents are looking for great but affordable laptops for their kids, and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 may just hit the sweet spot!

Take a look at my review of this MIL-STD-rated convertible laptop, and find out why it’s great for students!

 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Fast + Tough

The 2021 Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W) is the world’s first Intel Evo platform-verified Chromebook, guaranteeing snappy performance out-of-the-box.

As an Intel Evo-verified laptop, it comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core processor with Intel Iris Xe Graphics, built-in Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, and is designed to wake up in less than a second!

Even though it is a convertible laptop, it is MIL-STD-810H rated for drops of up to 122 cm, and MIL-STD-810F rated against ingress of sand and dust!

So you now have a basic idea of why we think it’s great for students!

 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Price + Availability

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is available in Malaysia with a retail price of RM3,799.

Here are some online purchase options in Malaysia :

 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Specifications

Let’s start with the specifications of this review unit :

Specifications Acer Chromebook Spin 713
Model CP713-3W-503Z
Display 13.5-inch VertiView IPS touchscreen display
2256 x 1504 pixels, 220 ppi
Durability Corning Gorilla Glass
MIL-STD 810H
Operating System Google Chrome OS 94.0
Processor Intel Core i5-1135G7
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory 8 GB LPDDR4X
Storage 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Camera 720p HD webcam
Connectivity Intel® Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201
Bluetooth® 5.1
microSD Reader Yes
Ports 2 x USB Type C ports
1 x USB Type A port
1 x HDMI port
1 x 3.5 mm audio port
Sensors Accelerometer (G-sensor), Gyroscope
Audio Smart Amplifier with DTS
Stereo speakers
Battery 56 Whr Li-Ion battery
Up to 10 hours of battery life
Supports quick-charging
Dimensions 300.6 mm wide
235 mm deep
16.9 mm thick
Weight 1.37 kg

 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Unboxing

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comes in a brown cardboard box, with two labels on the side to confirm the model and specifications of the unit inside.

Please make sure the security seal is unbroken when you receive the box. Once you remove everything, this is what you will find inside :

  • one Acer Chromebook Spin 713 laptop
  • one 45 watt power adaptor with USB Type C cable
  • one localised power cord
  • one set of Setup Guide + Warranty booklet

Next Page > Chromebook Spin 713 Key Features

 

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Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Hands-On Experience!

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a convertible laptop, with a 13.5-inch display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels.

The display can flip completely around, letting you use it in the laptop mode, tent mode or the tablet mode – very useful for presentations and collaboration in school.

As this is a Chromebook, it runs on Google Chrome OS, but otherwise, appears and works like any other laptop.

It is quite thin at just under 17 mm at its thickest point, and weighs only 1.37 kg. It will have no problem fitting into schoolbags.

13.5-inch Touchscreen Display

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comes with a 13.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels – much higher than most Chromebook laptops.

This is a touchscreen display, which is the main input method in tent and tablet modes. Even so, you will find it very useful in the laptop mode as well.

You will be glad to know that the display is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass, so it is resistant to scratches.

720p Webcam

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comes with a 720p webcam at the top of its display, with two microphones to pick up your voice.

It would be be nice if Acer included a 1080p webcam, but hey, even the Dell XPS 13 (9300) came with a 720p webcam!

Available Ports

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comes with a range of useful ports. On the left side, you will find :

  • two of the latest USB Type C / Thunderbolt 4 ports!
  • a full-size HDMI port
  • a 3.5 mm audio port

On the right side, you will find a physical Volume control button, with a microSD card reader, a USB 3.0 Type A port and the Power button.

Speakers

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has two downward-firing speakers on the underside (in laptop mode).

They are pretty loud and bright, and seem optimised for voice – which may appear to be what they are targeting.

But they will sound hollow and lack dynamism and bass, so music and movies are less enjoyable.

Keyboard + Touchpad

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comes with a full-size keyboard, with a large touchpad.

The keys are backlit, which is fantastic in low-light conditions, and have decent key travel.

Next Page > Performance, Verdict + Award!

 

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Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Performance

Our Acer Chromebook Spin 713 laptop was powered by the Intel Core i5-1135G7, which is a 4-core, 8-thread processor that runs at up to 4.2 GHz.

It comes with integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and is paired with 8 GB of RAM and 256 of PCIe NVMe SSD storage.

Battery Life

The Chromebook Spin 713 comes with a 3-cell 56 Whr lithium-ion battery, that Acer says all last up to 10 hours.

To test its battery life, we set its display to 50% and ran the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test, until its battery capacity dropped to 20%, repeating several times.

Unfortunately, we could not get 10 hours – the best we could do was just under 7.5 hours. But please note that this is a stress test that involves non-stop running work applications.

In real life, you will likely see longer usage times. And it is certainly more than long enough for a full day at school!

Battery Recharging Speed

The Chromebook Spin 713 comes with a 45 watt fast charger, that Acer says will give you 4 hours of battery life in just under 30 minutes.

Look at that! It only took 1 hour 31.5 minutes to fully recharge the Chromebook Spin 713 from 20% to 100%!

That gives it a battery life : recharging ratio of almost 5:1. A general rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, you will need to charge it for 12 minutes.

Work Performance : PCMark Work 3.0

As this laptop runs on Chrome OS, we can only compare it to mobile SoCs.

Its PCMark Work 3.0 score puts it firmly in between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ and the Samsung Exynos 990.

In other words – this laptop is as fast as flagship mobile devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ and Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra.

Gaming Performance : 3DMark

As the Chromebook Spin 713 runs on Chrome OS, you can Android apps on it. Yes, that includes games that your kids are already playing on your Android phone. 😉

Its graphics performance is really good, coming in more than TWICE AS FAST as Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ and the Samsung Exynos 990.

In other words, you won’t have to worry about running any mobile games on this laptop. It will have no problem handling them.

 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Verdict + Award

People often think of Chromebook laptops as cheap throwaway devices that you only resort to when you have “no other choice”.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 puts paid to that perception, offering a sleek convertible design with high-end features like :

  • Intel Evo and MIL-STD-810 certifications
  • 2K touch display with Gorilla Glass protection
  • Powerful Intel Core i5 processor with Intel Xe Graphics
  • Two USB Type C / Thunderbolt 4 ports

What you get is a truly versatile laptop with snappy work and gaming performance, with an excellent high-resolution display.

If you are a parent looking for a good and sturdy laptop that your child will have a hard time breaking, you really can’t go wrong with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713.

That’s why we have no qualms giving it our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Great job, Acer!

 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 : Where To Buy?

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is available in Malaysia with a retail price of RM3,799.

Here are some online purchase options in Malaysia :

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Maxis Awards To Drive Malaysian Social Initiatives!

Maxis just launched the Maxis Awards, to support outstanding Malaysian social initiatives for the rakyat!

Here is what you need to know!

 

Maxis Awards To Drive Outstanding Malaysian Social Initiatives!

On 2 September 2021, Maxis launched their inaugural Maxis Awards, to recognise and support outstanding Malaysian social initiatives that drive positive impact to the rakyat.

Maxis Awards is a social enterprise programme that seeks out visionary ideas from these Malaysian heroes, and collaborates to bring them to life.

Maxis is committing RM 5 million worth of support to help develop, and promote these winning projects over the course of the next year.

 

Maxis Awards : How Does It Work?

Maxis Awards kicked off last month, with an invitation for enterprises to submit proposals on projects that will drive positive change with a significant impact on the community.

The proposals will be evaluated by a panel of Maxis judges, and shortlisted enterprises will then present their projects to these judges who will select the winners based on these three criteria :

  • innovation
  • role of technology
  • clearly demonstrates added value to the community, either economically, socially and/or environmentally.

Several Malaysian-based projects will be selected in the coming year, with the first two winning projects to be announced later this month.

Maxis will help these winners develop their projects over the next year, from the ideation stage up to the execution and marketing of their projects, including :

  • Maxis Business solutions and technical experts for collaboration, IoT, cloud, voice, network and/or security
  • Cash funding to help cover operational needs
  • Marketing and publicity through the media and Maxis-owned channels.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Epson EcoTank L3150 / ET-2710 Review : Editor’s Choice!

If you want a cheap colour printer that can print great photos for mere pennies, we give you – the Epson EcoTank L3150, also known as the EcoTank ET-2710 in some markets.

Find out why we gave this affordable multifunction colour printer our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Epson EcoTank Family : A Quick Primer!

Pearly Lee, Product Manage of Epson Malaysia explains the key features and benefits of the Epson EcoTank printer family. Note their vast advantages over their laser and ink cartridge printer rivals.

The EcoTank M-series has 24 times lower power consumption, and deliver 28 times lower overall cost per print compared to laser printers, with a single Epson EcoTank Monochrome bottle yielding 6,000 black and white pages!

The EcoTank L-series colour printers, on the other hand, delivers incredibly low cost per print of 0.52 sen (0.13 cent) per page for black, and 0.94 sen (0.24 cent) per page for colour.

How did they do that? A set of 4 Epson ink bottles yields 4,500 black and white pages and 7,500 colour pages!

In this review, we are going to take a look at the mainstay of the L series – the EcoTank L3150 (also known as EcoTank ET-2710 in some markets).

 

Epson EcoTank L3150 : Price + Availability

The Epson EcoTank L3150 is available for purchase with a recommended retail price of RM 599, which is about US$140 / £110 / A$199 / S$195. Here are some online purchase options :

And here’s where to check how much the Epson 003 / 103 / 104 ink bottles cost :

And here’s where to buy Epson Photo Papers :

 

Epson EcoTank L3150 : What’s Inside The Box?

The Epson EcoTank L3150 comes with everything you need to print right out of the box. All you need is paper :

  • One Epson EcoTank L3150 printer
  • One set of Epson 003 ink bottles (CMYK)
  • One set of Epson L3150 user guides and software CD
  • One set of power cable and USB data cable

Next Page > Key Features + Specifications

 

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Epson EcoTank L3150 : Key Features

The Epson EcoTank L3150 is the mainstay of the EcoTank L-series of multifunction colour printers, offering the ability to scan, copy and print in colour wirelessly.

Colour Scanning + Copying

Flip open the top cover, and you will find a high-resolution colour scanner, with a resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi, and a 24-bit colour depth.

This built-in scanner lets you make black and white or colour photocopies, albeit only at a lower resolution of 600 x 600 dpi.

Colour Printing

The Epson EcoTank L3150 uses Variable-Sized Droplet technology to deliver a maximum print resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi, at up to 33 pages per minute (black) and 15 pages per minute (colour).

But its call to fame is its EcoTank system, with CYMK colours – cyan, yellow, magenta and black – that delivers incredibly low cost per print.

A single set of four Epson 003 ink bottles (Epson 103 / 104 in some countries) will let you print up to 4,500 pages (black) and 7,500 pages (colour).

That works out to just 0.52 sen (0.13 cent) per page for black, and 0.94 sen (0.24 cent) per page for colour!

USB + Wireless Connectivity

Like other printers, it can be connected to your computer through a USB cable. However, it is not even necessary to use the cable.

The EcoTank L3150 has WiFi-N connectivity built-in, so you can just plug in the power cable and start printing wirelessly from your computer, or even your smartphone or tablet.

In fact, you can even print remotely from your devices through Google Cloud Print!

Paper Support

The Epson EcoTank L3150 supports printing on paper up to A4 or Letter, with a maximum weight of 80 g/m2 for plain paper.

But it supports photo paper, which are much thicker and heavier. Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper, for example, has a paper weight of 225 g/m2.

It also supports 4R borderless printing – that’s 4 inch x 6 inch, preferably using the Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper.

The print quality on plain paper is acceptable for presentations, but not for photos – they appear dull as you can see in the video above.

For photo printing, you must use photo paper. The print quality on photo paper is worlds apart from what you can get on plain paper. The colours are deeper and a lot more vibrant, and your photos will actually look like photos!

The video may not show it, but the detail in the photo is amazing. As long as you print with high-resolution photos, the printer will deliver colour print resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dots per inch!

The print-outs do come out a little darker than our display. But that’s easily corrected by adjusting the exposure in the photos before printing.

But without a doubt, the Epson L3150 offers a very cheap photo printing solution. The cost of printing a large A4 photo is only 75 sen (about 18 cents), including both photo paper and ink!

 

Epson EcoTank L3150 : Specifications

Specifications Epson EcoTank L3150
Printer Type Multi-Function (Print, Scan, Copy)
Printing Technology Piezoelectric Inkjet
Nozzle Configuration Black : 180 nozzles
Yellow : 59 nozzles
Magenta : 59 nozzles
Cyan : 59 nozzles
Print Direction Bi-Directional
Maximum Print Resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi
(Variable-Sized Droplet Technology)
Minimum Ink Droplet size 3 picolitre
Automatic 2-Sided Printing No
Print Speed 4×6″ Photo (Border) : 69 seconds
4×6″ Photo (Borderless) : 90 seconds
A4 Black (Draft) : 33 ppm
A4 Black (Simplex) : 10 ipm
A4 Colour (Draft) : 15 ppm
A4 Colour (Simplex) : 5 ipm
Paper Support Premium Glossy Photo Paper : 20 sheets
Envelope : 10 sheets
Postcard : 30 sheets
A4 / Letter Paper (80 g/m2) : 100 sheets
Print Noise Plain Paper : 52 dB(A)
Premium Photo Paper : 38 dB(A)
Ink Bottle Yield Black : 4,500 pages
Cyan + Magenta + Yellow : 7,500 pages
Maximum Paper Size 215.9 mm x 1200 mm
Scanner Type Flatbed Colour Scanner
Scanner Sensor Contact Image Sensor (CIS)
Optical Resolution 1200 x 2400 dpi
Scanner Bit Depth 48-bit input, 24-bit output
Scan Speed Black, 200 dpi : 11 seconds
Colour, 200 dpi : 28 seconds
Maximum Scan Area 216 mm x 297 mm
Copy Size A4 / Letter
Copy Resolution 600 x 600 dpi
Copy Speed Black : 7.7 ipm
Colour : 3.8 ipm
Connectivity Wired : USB 2.0
LAN : No
Wireless : WiFi-N (with Wi-Fi Direct)
Power Consumption Operating : 12 W
Standby : 4.3 W
Sleep : 0.7 W
Power Off : 0.3 W

Next Page > Verdict + Award | Where To Buy!

 

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Epson EcoTank L3150 : Our Verdict + Award

When Epson first revealed their EcoTank system, we were very impressed. Finally, we could now print to our heart’s content without breaking the bank.

The Epson EcoTank L3150 is not only highly affordable at just RM 599 (about US$140 / £110 / A$199 / S$195), it offers really low printing costs.

A single set of ink bottles, which costs less than RM 90 (US$21 / £16 / A$29 / S$29) will let you print up to 24 reams of paper – 12,000 pages. That’s A LOT of printing!

Of course, the ink usage and cost is higher if you print in high quality. But even if you get half the rated capacity, it’s so cheap you wouldn’t even bother with “compatible ink” options.

The Epson EcoTank L3150 is a great photo printer, just not on plain paper. You must print photos on photo paper. We cannot stress this enough.

The print quality on plain paper lacks the vividness and deep colours you can get from photo printers with 6-ink or 8-ink print systems, or if you use photo paper.

Photo paper not only delivers the vibrant colours and incredible print resolution, it is also thicker. The recommended Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper, for example, has a paper weight of 225 gm.

While the L3150 is officially limited to 80 gm plain paper, it supports much heavier photo paper. So unofficially, it will support art card and heavier plain paper stocks.

The Epson EcoTank L3150 is, ultimately, an affordable multifunction printer for the family or SOHO.

It lets you freely print and make colour copies without worrying about the cost; with the ability to scan full A4 / Letter documents.

We cannot stress the very low cost of ownership enough, because many competing printers are cheaper, but kill you with their high printing costs.

On top of that, it offers fast and convenient wireless printing capability, not just on the same wireless network, but literally from anywhere in the world!

Because it offers a great combination of features, excellent print quality, and low cost of ownership, we believe the Epson EcoTank L3150 deserves no less than our Editor’s Choice Award! Great job, Epson!

 

Epson EcoTank L3150 : Where To Buy

The Epson EcoTank L3150 is available for purchase with a recommended retail price of RM 599, which is about US$140 / £110 / A$199 / S$195. Here are some online purchase options :

And here’s where to check how much the Epson 003 / 103 / 104 ink bottles cost :

And here’s where to buy Epson Photo Papers :

 

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Samsung Galaxy A52 Review : An Awesome Deal Indeed!

We take a close look at the Samsung Galaxy A52, which promises to offer an incredible package of features and performance!

Find out what the Galaxy A52 offers, and why we gave it our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Samsung Galaxy A52 : Awesome Is For Everyone!

Designed for the new normal, the Samsung Galaxy A52 promises to offer an incredible package of features and performance!

As Samsung’s official advertisement for the 2021 Galaxy A series says, Awesome Is For Everyone!

 

Samsung Galaxy A52 : Specifications

In this table, we compare the specifications of the Galaxy A52 against the Galaxy A72 :

Specifications Galaxy A72 Galaxy A52
Display Type Super AMOLED
Display Size 6.7-inch 6.5-inch
Display Resolution 1080 x 2400 pixels
Display Refresh Up to 90 Hz
Display Brightness 800 nits maximum
Protection NA
IP Rating IP67
Operating System Android 11
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G
CPU 2 x Kryo 570 Gold cores (2.3 GHz)
6 x Kryo 570 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 619
Memory + Storage 8 GB + 256 GB
Storage Expansion microSD card : up to 1 TB
Front Camera 32 MP camera (f/2.2)
Main Camera 64 MP (f/1.8)
Ultra Wide Camera 12 MP (f/2.2)
Telephoto Camera 8 MP (f/2.4)
Macro Camera 5 MP (f/2.4)
Depth Sensor 5 MP (f/2.4)
Connectivity Network : 4G LTE, 3G
Wi-Fi : Wi-Fi 5 (2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT5.0
USB : USB Type C 2.0
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In Display
NFC Yes
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Gyro, Geomagnetic,
Hall sensor, Light sensor, Proximity
Audio AKG stereo speakers
Battery 5,000 mAh 4,500 mAh
Charging 25 W fast charging
Dimensions 77.4 mm wide
165.0 mm tall
8
.4 mm thick
75.1 mm wide
159.9 mm tall
8.4 mm thick
Weight 203 g 189 g

 

Samsung Galaxy A52 : Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy A52 will come in four colour options – Awesome Violet, Awesome White, Awesome Black and Awesome Blue.

 

Samsung Galaxy A52 : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A52 has a launch price of RM1,499 (approx. US$362 / £262 / A$474 / S$487) with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage.

Here in Malaysia, it will come with a FREE clear standing cover worth RM109.

Here are some online purchase options :

 

Samsung Galaxy A52 : What’s Inside The Box?

We got our hands on the Samsung Galaxy A52, and unboxed it in this video :

Once you fully unbox it, this is what you will find inside :

  • Samsung Galaxy A52 smartphone
  • Set of Samsung Galaxy A52 documents
  • Samsung EP-TA200 15-watt USB fast charger
  • USB Type A to USB Type C data and power cable
  • SIM tray pin

Even though Samsung bundled it with a charger, they did not include a free bumper case.

 

Samsung Galaxy A52 : Setting It Up!

Let’s show you just how easy it is to setup the Galaxy A52 for the first time!

 

Samsung Galaxy A52 : Hands-On Experience!

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy A52 smartphone…

Next Page > Key Features, Where To Buy?

 

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Samsung Galaxy A52 : Key Features

6.5-inch Super AMOLED Display

The Samsung Galaxy A52 comes with a large 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

You may be delighted to learn that it not only supports a higher 90 Hz refresh rate, it also has 800 nits of maximum brightness!

The display is also Eye Care-certified, and automatically adjusts its colour temperature to reduce eye fatigue – what Samsung calls Eye Comfort Shield.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G

The Samsung Galaxy A52 is built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G (SM7225) mobile platform, which consists of :

  • 2 x high-performance Kryo 570 Gold cores, running at up to 2.3 GHz
  • 6 x low-power Kryo 570 Silver cores, running at up to 1.8 GHz
  • Qualcomm Adreno 619 GPU
  • Qualcomm Hexagon 694 NPU
  • Qualcomm Spectra 355L ISP

Fabricated on the 8 nm process technology, this mid-range mobile SoC promises to deliver 20% faster CPU, 20% faster AI and 10% faster graphics performance over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 730G.

RAM + Storage

The Samsung Galaxy A52 comes with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. This is way more than what most users can ever expect to use.

But if you actually need more storage, it comes with a hybrid SIM tray, which allows you to add a microSD card for more storage!

1 + 4 Cameras!

The Samsung Galaxy A52 boasts a 32 MP front camera, with a wide f/2.2 aperture. The ultra-high resolution is, frankly, overkill for a selfie camera.

So if you don’t need the high resolution, switch to the 8 MP resolution for better low-light photos and videos.

In the back, it has a quad camera system that consists of :

  • 64 MP main camera, with f/1.8 aperture
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera, with f/2.2 aperture
  • 5 MP macro camera, with f/2.4 aperture
  • 5 MP depth camera, with f/2.4 aperture

We should point out that the depth camera doesn’t take any photos.. It just obtains depth data to allow for more accurate software bokeh effects.

We really like how the matte colour scheme makes the slight camera bump appear even less conspicuous.

Connectivity

While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G is a 5G platform, 5G connectivity was turned off in our Galaxy A52. It may be offered as a 5G model in some countries, but not in Malaysia.

That’s just fine by us as we don’t see 5G connectivity becoming widespread for at least 3-4 more years! Turning off 5G will also help save power and extend battery life.

It also supports Wi-Fi 5 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), as well as Bluetooth 5.0 and USB Type C connectivity.

Samsung Galaxy Ecosystem

The Samsung Galaxy A52 will allow you to be part of the Samsung ecosystem through these features :

  • SmartThings lets you connect to, and control, smart devices including wearables, tablets, PCs and TVs.
  • SmartThings Find lets you easily locate paired Galaxy devices, or using the Galaxy SmartTag.
  • Music Share lets you sync your phone with a friend’s device to share music, without speaker pairing.
  • Buds Together lets you pair your phone with two sets of Galaxy Buds, to listen together!
  • Quick Share lets you easily and quickly send pictures and videos of any size to nearby Galaxy devices.
  • Private Share lets you revoke photos and videos you shared with just a tap!

Security + Protection

The Samsung Galaxy A52 has Samsung Knox built-in, providing you with a defence-grade enclave to store your sensitive information and data.

is IP67-rated against dust- and water-resistance. This protects it against accidental water splashes, and immersion in up to 1 metre of fresh water, for up to 30 minutes.

We should point out that Samsung warns against immersing it in seawater, the swimming pool or in soapy water.

Next Page > Camera Performance + Photo Samples

 

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Samsung Galaxy A52 : Camera Performance + Photo Samples

The Samsung Galaxy A52’s 64 MP main camera takes 16 MP photos by default, with a resolution of 4624 x 3468 pixels.

The 46 MP sensor basically combines four pixels into one large “virtual pixel”, for better image quality and low-light performance.

The Galaxy A52 produces very good photos with really incredible detail at 16 MP, so stick with that unless you are planning to print really large format photos.

While the wide f/1.8 aperture creates a narrow depth-of-field, so there is the risk of ending up with an out-of-focus photo.

It is easy to “fix” that problem by tapping on the screen to make sure the camera focuses exactly where you want it to.

While this works with all smartphones, the Galaxy A52 does a much better job focusing than say, the Redmi 9T.

Here are ten unedited photo samples for you to check out.