Fresh off the IT Block, 7th September 2020
We're back with Fresh off the block!
Today's stories will be about Samsung announcing their cheapest 5G phone so far, how FIFA has fallen to 2nd best compared to PES in the gaming world, and the plans for remote working in the world of the big companies...
Samsung announces their cheapest 5G phone so far
Well - It's about time!
Samsung have just announced a new 5G phone of theirs will be released in the coming months. There isn't much to go by in terms of its price, and an actual release date, but we can give you a good idea of what to expect.
The model set to release will be called the Samsung Galaxy A42 - Now, the A41 (The last model in this series of Galaxy A phones) was somewhat affordable. The Samsung Galaxy A41 hit stores back in March of this year, and it was only around $360 USD ($490 SGD) - Now if we do a mixture of guessing and adding up specs, we could expect the A42 to have a 5G model at a very similar price.
It is common, if not, standard that 5G phones are a tad more expensive, but compare this to the big boys i.e. the iPhone 11 and the Samsung S20, both of which are at least double the price, you can understand why the A41 packs a lot of value.
In terms of specs, users look set to receive a great deal for what the phone is capable of. A 6.4 inch display is generous but not overwhelming, while users can have up to 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage.
The camera quality is set to be surprisingly good, with reports stating that the low-light camera settings will be tuned up a notch. The aperture is set to go from f/2.4 to f/2.2 on the third camera, meaning low lighting shots could look noticeably more professional. As for the other cameras, it is the same specs as the A41, a 48 MP f/2.0 first camera, and a 8 MP f/2.2 second camera.
Overall, the A42 looks set to be a great move from Samsung. More and more people now will be wanting to upgrade to 5G speeds, without the hefty upfront cost of a phone that comes with too many advanced features. Not everyone needs a $1000 phone - But a $300 - $400 dollar phone is well within many people's budgets.
This isn't the only model to be announced recently - Samsung have also unveiled their third attempt at a folding phone.
The Samsung Galaxy Z fold 2 is definitely for those looking for a premium gadget - Expect to fork out more than $2000 USD ($2,700 SGD) for this beauty. As the first 5G foldable device in Samsung's locker, it isn't shorting by any means on the specifications.
256 GB of storage, 12 GB of RAM and a 4,500 mAh battery make the phone sound more like a mid-range laptop you would buy. The cover screen sits at 6.2 inches in length, while the main screen is 7.6 inches across - The screen itself, along with the fast 5G speeds coming, make it fairly obvious that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will be a great device for both streaming and gaming.
In fact, Samsung has recently partnered with Microsoft to bring popular Xbox titles to their phones via the game pass ultimate service. It means that avid gamers will get an even better experience when they want to play their favourite titles while they are separated from their Xbox or Playstation consoles. It is expected that latency will no longer be an issue - The Fold 2 comes with WIFI 6 standard, so when you do your favourite things on this phone, it won't ask your router for bandwidth, meaning that other members of your household can't slow you down.
How FIFA has fallen second best, to PES...
All of you football (soccer) fans out there will know what FIFA and PES are. The most popular gaming titles for the sport have battled together for the last 10-20 years, competing on graphics, game modes, and user experience.
FIFA always had the edge, especially until at least 2015 - 2016. If you haven't heard the term already - Ultimate Team, is what made EA (The game's developer) most of its income from the game. Ultimate Team brought a currency (coins) into the game, and allowed players to buy and sell players, as well as purchase packs to obtain top players.
This feature has since gone a little saturated, as coin buying was banned by EA, and the game mode is really just a pay to win scenario.
PES has really taken centre stage for graphics more than anything though. The players are much more lifelike than on FIFA, and it had always been a standout point that PES was able to master year on year.
FIFA Ultimate Team is referred to as myclub on the PES game. It takes on similar aspects, where you build up your team through matches, making your way through different leagues and tournaments. The game mode is a lot less draining - Compare this to weekend league in FIFA, you have to fit in 40 games (10 hours of gaming), to maximise your chance of getting better rewards.
Compared to FIFA, the myclub game mode relies a lot more on a player's managerial preparations, as opposed to whether they have a great team or if they use "overpowered tactics". These kinds of things have happened most years in FIFA since it became an online based game - Examples include crossing glitches & certain player traits that would give players a clear advantage.
The managerial aspect of the PES title definitely bodes well in their career mode too. Critics rate Konami's version of career mode to be better than FIFA's career mode, with more focus on other leagues, as well as more detailed player developments from season to season.
Based on the quality of graphics, and the actual game play, it is fair to say that PES has the edge. Despite this, FIFA has much better sales figures, and this has allowed them to expand their licensing capabilities. More players are available to use in ultimate team, and the online modes of FIFA, such as career mode are favoured by the millions.
If we want to say PES is better overall, it is only right to assume it off the face value of the game itself. FIFA is a great game too, but it gets better for those players who pay to win. PES is unique in the sense that the graphics and offline features make for a surprisingly good experience, and it's only a matter of time before people get bored of FIFA's saturated ultimate team and start to look elsewhere.
The remote working plans across big tech - Is home working here to stay forever?
Home working... It can be great some days - Other days it is a combined struggle to maximise productivity, as well as stopping yourself from being distracted by the comforts of your own home. You probably shouldn't be snacking all day while you are actually supposed to be compiling those reports!
Let's run through what the plans look like for some of the biggest tech companies, and why you might want to tell your boss about continuing to work from home (If you enjoy it, of course!).
Facebook is probably the most notable of all the tech giants for their plans - Remote working has been extended for all of their staff until July 2021. This seems to suggest that Facebook can do just fine without an office setting. Staff are most likely working from laptops, and all have their own virtual desktops that they use to moderate the Facebook services, as well as chat to their co-workers.
As for Microsoft, their employees won't be due back until at least January 2021 - You can imagine that Microsoft probably run on a hybrid setup pretty well anyway. Teams and 365 are probably the most popular remote working tools available to companies globally, and it wouldn't be surprising if all of Microsoft's staff are working from home via several Teams networks.
Elsewhere, the likes of Google, Twitter, Square and AirBnB have all announced either indefinite guidelines, or set a date far into next year. AirBnB has given a date of August 2021 for their staff - It does seem likely though that a reasonable level of normality should be reached by that point.
If you're currently working from home, do you enjoy it? Or is it holding back your productivity? Perhaps you are only working from one screen - A second monitor might boost your work rate. Weigh up your options, and if working from home isn't ideal, you can always open up to your boss about hybrid working (some days from home, some days from the office). After all, working from home can very well mean lower costs on IT equipment for the company you work for, especially if new staff have their own equipment at home already.