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Tools of Trade: October 2021

By Michael Castelluccio
October 1, 2021

1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3

Samsung has improved the physical operations of its two foldable smartphones and also designed a new user interface, UI 3.1.1, to take advantage of the devices’ large screens and unique form factors. The goal is an intuitive user interface for foldables. Eight new functions work with many popular apps. If there’s a link you want to open, Drag & Split will let you tap and move the link to the part of the screen where you want it to open alongside your current view. Multi-Active Window lets you use up to three apps simultaneously on your screens, and Natural Window Switching lets you drag apps to rearrange the screen with a touch. You can use the Rotate All Apps feature to switch from portrait to landscape even in vertically fixed apps, and you can customize aspect ratios for all. With the Messages app, you can use App Split View to put the message list on the left and a selected conversation on the right. A button on the top of the conversation can open it to full screen. You can pin favorite apps to a taskbar and have the cover screen mirror the inside main screen. All of these functions make the foldable phones even more distinct and useful. Samsung has apparently decided the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip weren’t a one-off experiment. The Samsung website lists the other improved specs of the new Samsung Z Fold3 5G. www.samsung.com

 

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G has a significantly improved case design and user interface with a 6.7″, 1,080 x 2,640-pixel foldable dynamic AMOLED screen. When open, the phone is 6.5″ x 2.8″ x 0.3″; closed, it measures 3.4″ x 2.8″ x 0.7″. It weighs 6.5 oz. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile platform runs Android 11, with the new Android 12 expected soon. Memory is 8GB RAM, with 128GB to 256GB internal storage. The new cover screen is four times the size of the original Flip, and it can run six widgets. The cover screen and rear glass are Gorilla Glass Victus, and the Flip comes in seven colors. www.samsung.com

 

3. Galaxy Watch4 Classic

The new Samsung’s Galaxy Watch4 Classic has Samsung’s most advanced health sensors yet. When you use the watch with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, the BioActive sensor can measure your heart rate and electrocardiogram through bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). The watch offers readings for water retention, basal metabolic rate, BIA body fat percentage, and skeletal muscle. Using the phone, the watch can check blood oxygen levels and do sleep tracking. Both the Galaxy Watch4 and Watch4 Classic now use Wear OS. The Watch4 Classic has a rotating crown to scroll through notifications and menus. The watch is available in 42mm and 46mm cases with 1.2″ and 1.4″ displays and has built-in GPS, microphone, speaker, and 16GB of storage. The watch is available in black or silver. www.samsung.com

4. Dell Portable Monitor

Dell’s first portable monitor, the C1422H, is a slim, 14″ laptop companion with USB Type-C datapower connectivity. The LED-backlit IPS panel features 1,920 x 1,080 pixels with a built-in blue light filter setting, and it weighs 1.3 lbs. The hinge base adjusts from 0° to 90°, and there’s a USB Type-C port on each side as well as buttons for brightness and power. Both USB connections can receive and pass through power. A protective sleeve is included. The $349.99 price is a little steep, but it includes a three-year advanced exchange service that will ship a new monitor the next day if you encounter a defect within the three-year warranty period. www.dell.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the technology editor for Strategic Finance for 26 years. His SF TechNotes blog is in its 23rd year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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