Samsung S20 Ultra Review

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series was released back in Mar 2020, with three variants, the S20, the S20 Plus and the S20 Ultra. The S20 Ultra is the best of the best, sporting a 6.9″ massive display, an improved camera system with higher quality main camera shots and enhanced zoom. The hardware internals in the S20 Ultra is basically the best available now. As a trade-off, it’s relatively heavier and thicker, and also more expensive.

Key Features

The S20 Ultra display is great, the colors are vibrant and offers good brightness and readability. You can turn on 120Hz frame rate, which makes animations on the phone very smooth. This mode is best for gaming, and there are increasingly more games supporting the higher refresh rate. You can’t run 120Hz at full resolution though, Samsung applies a resolution cap at 2400 x 1080 for the 120Hz mode, which could be an attempt to save battery life, and reduce heat. I personally didn’t find the resolution to be a big issue. It’s probably not a technical limitation, since OnePlus and OPPO were able to do it on their 120Hz phones at the higher resolution, so maybe Samsung could turn it on in future, but I wouldn’t bet on it. To support the higher refresh rate, the touch sampling rate of this phone is 240Hz. It’s not immediately apparent, but it helps to make the phone feel more responsive.

The S20 Ultra has a 5000 mAH battery, that’s more than 10% larger than the S20 Plus. In addition, the S20 Ultra features 45W wired fast charging but the default charger in the box is only good up to 25W. So you would need to buy the charger separately. As I was reading, it appears the 45W is only triggered at specific conditions and other comparisons between the 25W and 45W charger indicates that the latter is probably only around 10-20% faster.

Let’s talk about the S20 Ultra camera. A 108MP rear camera, 40MP front camera, 100X zoom. The camera hardware and software has improved in this iteration, and what I like is that it generally works well enough in auto mode to allow you take great photos easily. I did experience that at times, especially in low light conditions, the autofocus can be more miss than hit, taking a while to achieve a proper focus.

Overall, landscape photos, portraits are all great. Photos are generally well saturated and vibrant. Night mode is a little too aggressive in requiring a long exposure time, and while it generally adapts well to minor shakes, getting your subjects (esp. kids) to stay still for almost 10 second is impossible.

The ultra-wide is one of the widest, and distortion is limited. The last camera feature is the 100X Space Zoom. It’s interesting but really more of a gimmick. While you can make out some details, it’s really just a mash of colour at that level of detail.

Is the S20 Ultra worth it? That really depends on how much you are willing to fork out for a phone.

Should we, as the tech community, be at Samsung’s throat about this price? Maybe. It’s insanely high for a normal, conventional glass slab phone. Hell, the Galaxy Z Flip cost $20 less than the Galaxy S20 Ultra and it’s a more charming and fun device. Some people will argue there is no reason to spend over $500 on a phone, and maybe for some, that’s true. The cameras, performance, display, and battery life will all be good enough on those devices. The Galaxy S20 Ultra isn’t about good enough. It’s about the best phone a power user can get and it’s going to cost you a lot to get that.

If the price still seems too high, you should get the regular Galaxy S20 or Galaxy S20+, or even a OnePlus 8 Pro. Those are considerably cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. At the time of writing this review, the Galaxy S20 is available on Amazon for $1,000, the S20+ is available for $1,200, and OnePlus 8 Pro is at $899. If you were to get a Galaxy S20 instead of the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the $400 you save could be spent on a 1TB Micro SD card, 2 wireless chargers, some cases, a second 25W wired charger, and still have some money left over. If I were a reasonable man, I would have done that instead. The differences between the devices aren’t worth $400

Sudio Ett – ANC Earbuds Review

Sudio’s Ett is their latest wireless earphones and first to feature Active Noise Cancelling.

Specifications

Box contents laid out below. There’s a free tote bag, usage guide, a warranty card, one charging cable, and many ear tips included! Which is good, as it let me find the perfect fit.

  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • 6 hours play time, 4 hours with ANC
  • Total battery life: 30 hours, 4 extra charges with the carrying case
  • Wireless charging & quick-charge with USB-C (15 mins for 1 hour play time)
  • IPX5 water protection
  • Dual-microphone, with transparency mode activated during phone calls for enhanced sound quality
  • Multi-function button for controls
  • Automatic pairing
  • Siri & Google assistant compatible
  • Available in 4 colours: Black, White, Green & Pink
  • Free home delivery to your doorstep (worldwide)
  • Weighs 5 g per earbud
  • Bluetooth 5.0

The Sudio Ett is ready to pair the moment it is removed from the charging case. And after initial pairing, you wouldn’t need to do it again. Everything pairs by itself automatically from then on. The Ett also switches back to pairing mode by itself once the connection is terminated; an audio prompt will tell you the earbuds have reverted to scanning mode. Generally easy to use, but might be troublesome if you want it to pair with another device without having to turn bluetooth off on your current one.

The Ett switches on the moment you remove the earbuds from the charging case. To switch it off, press and hold any button for 6 seconds. To switch it back on, you have to return them to the charging case first. I accidentally turned it off and I found it rather troublesome that I had to return them to the case first, but otherwise it’s rather simple to use. But at least there’s still a physical button to control.

The Sudio Ett now features a new colour Matte Green, which might appeal to some, especially for a more rugged look.

The battery life is relatively good, even with noise cancelling on. With the casing, you can extend it for a few more times. Also, the Ett’s casing can be charged wirelessly. Definitely a plus since wireless charging has become more common today.

Sound Quality

No major issues over the sound. It’s generally well balanced and suited for a range of music. One thing to highlight though, not sure if it’s due to the ANC, I tend to get listening fatigue after about an hour or so.

I was quite happy with the ANC on the Sudio ETT. Sitting next to a rather noisy fan, it was able to filter away the buzz and hum from the fan even though I was less than a meter away from it. One challenge was that it requires you to manually turn it on each and every time. For a seamless transition from music to phone calls, transparency mode automatically lets ambient noise through so you can better hear yourself speaking.

Conclusion

Sudio has continued to improve on it’s previous generations of earbuds. Unfortunately, the prices have also increased. Considering that the market is also becoming more competitive, buyers are spoilt for choice and would need to be discerning as to what they feature they really require. But for those needing an IPX5 earbuds and ANC, the Ett fits the bill. Here’s a code for those interested to get 15% off: gadgetreactorEtt at https://www.sudio.com/sg/. There’s free delivery worldwide and comes with 18 months warranty.

Hackthebox: Admirer Writeup

Here’s my writeup for the Admirer Hackthebox Linux machine – 10.10.10.187. It’s an interesting challenge and learnt a couple of new things along the way. Password is the root hash in /etc/shadow and in the following format: M5g******************************f10

Protected Area

This content is password-protected. Please verify with a password to unlock the content.

Make announces Virtually Maker Faire And FREE Family Maker Camp

If you need ideas for projects while at home, check out Make’s Virtually Maker Faire And FREE Family Maker Camp!

Making means different things to people, but is a common thread and community uniting the Make Community.

Family Maker Camp encourages making and hands-on learning at home. Making is fun and engaging for kids as well as adults.

What is making? It can be many things and use all kinds of materials and tools. Making is usually defined as a project shaped by your ideas and interests. Making is as much about the process of taking an idea and bringing it to life. Making integrates science and technology as well as arts and crafts.

Family Maker Camp provides inspiration, guidance and an opportunity to share what you do with others online. We have many projects that will help you get started and continue to develop new skills and a maker mindset.

Most importantly, Family Maker Camp will connect you with a community of makers of all ages who have a broad range of interests and skills. We will introduce you to makers online and have them talk about their projects and their process.

D-Link’s New COVR EasyMesh Solution

D-Link launches its new COVR-1100 Mesh solution to the market. COVR-1100 is first EasyMesh certified mesh product to introduce to the market. COVR-1100 have a clean and simple design that will blend in well with most households.

World First EasyMeshTM Certified
As one of the world’s first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh™ systems, COVR-1100 boasts industry-standard Mesh Networking technology. You can enjoy the flexibility and reliability of the networking industry’s leading Mesh Wi-Fi standard now, while safe in the knowledge that updates to the standard will be compatible with your system in the future.

Maximum Secure coverage
With COVR-1100, user can enjoy their Internet regardless at which part of their home. To ensure user always enjoy the best wireless Internet experience, it is built in with smart connect where router will choose the best performing wireless band to user devices when user is moving around the house.

In the recent awareness and rise of security concern, COVR-1100 is equipped with WPA3 to ensure greater privacy throughout user’s devices and networks. Its also allow remote secure connect back to your family network with QuickVPN server in built in the router.

Integrate with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Turn on/off your guest Wi-Fi, ask for your guest Wi-Fi credentials, reboot your router or update your firmware. Do it ALL hands-free using voice commands.

Just speak the words of command to your Google Assistant or Alexa, and the router bends your smart home Wi-Fi to your will (without you having to lift a finger).

Easy to Set Up and Protect
Setting up your Internet connection doesn’t have to be a complicated process; just download D-Link Wi-fi app and follow the easy step-by-step instructions to get started – Configure and apply setting to your COVR-1100 has never been easier. It also features FOTA – automatic upgrade of the firmware to ensure all your devices has the latest firmware for any possible further enhancement.

Price and Availability
The new COVR series and its extender are available in all major retail store from 15 May 2020.

Google Meet – Now Free

Google Cloud today has just announced that it is making Google Meet, Google’s premium video-conferencing platform, free for everyone, with availability rolling out in the next few weeks. 

Starting in May, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to G Suite’s business and education users, such as simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including the expanded tiled view.


There are a few ways that individuals, teams and organisations can use Meet for free.

  • Individual users: Once the roll out is complete, anyone with an email address will be able to use Meet for free via meet.google.com and the Meet mobile apps for iOS or Android to schedule, join or start secure video meetings with anyone—whether it’s a virtual yoga class, weekly book club, neighborhood meeting, or any other reason to connect with others. Using the new Meet experience will require a free Google Account, which only takes a minute to create using your work or personal email address of choice. This step is required as a security measure, and you only need to sign up once. Meetings are limited to 60 minutes for the free product, though we will not enforce this time limit until after September 30.
  • Teams that are not G Suite customers: For organizations that aren’t already G Suite customers, today we’re announcing a new edition called G Suite Essentials, which also includes Google Drive for easy and secure access to all of a team’s content, and Docs, Sheets and Slides for content creation and real-time collaboration. It’s perfect for teams that need access to Meet’s more advanced features, such as dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings and meeting recording. Through Sept. 30, we’re providing G Suite Essentials and all of these advanced features free of charge.
  • Existing G Suite customers: G Suite’s 6 million existing customers already have access to Meet. Admins simply need to enable Meet by following instructions outlined on our Help Center. G Suite is also providing three ways for new and current enterprise customers to access Meet through September 30 including: free access to Meet’s advanced features for all G Suite customers, free additional Meet licenses for existing G Suite customers without any amendments to their current contract, and free G Suite Essentials for new enterprise customers.
  • Schools and higher education institutions: Meet is included in G Suite for Education, a suite of free Google apps tailored specifically for schools, which serves over 120 million students and teachers globally for high-quality virtual classes, PTA meetings, etc.

New Colours for Huawei FreeBuds 3 and nova 5T

Huawei Singapore is launching new vibrant colours for the HUAWEI nova 5T and FreeBuds 3, in Crush Green and Red respectively. From 10 – 16 February, customers can receive a free gift with every purchase of the HUAWEI nova 5T in Crush Green and/or FreeBuds 3 in Red exclusively at the VivoCity launch roadshow at Level 1, East Boulevard. 

The Nova 5T is equipped with a 32MP selfie camera and four ultra-clarity cameras on the back. In addition, it comes with AI capabilities to tailor beautification effects to individual facial features. Customers are entitled to a Huawei Mini Speaker worth $48 with every purchase of the HUAWEI nova 5T in Crush Green, while stocks last.

The HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 features Active Noice Cancellation and is equipped with the Kirin A1 Chipset, an aerodynamic mic duct and built-in bone voice sensor technology. Customers are entitled to a creative silicone case with every purchase of HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 in Red, while stocks last.