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Samsung S20 camera issues, the coronavirus gets serious for tech and the US, and more

Samsung S20 camera issues, the coronavirus gets serious for tech and the US, and more


Plus: cities need smarter bikes, not self-driving cars

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Hello to everybody, but especially to new subscribers — one of whom pointed out that I had a typo in my introductory email. Mortifying, but also fitting for my personal brand. You’re reading Processor, a newsletter about computers, but “computers” defined very broadly and with a wink. I’m Dieter Bohn, noted typoist and reviewer of Samsung phones since 2006’s Samsung Blackjack Windows Mobile smartphone.

Today’s newsletter is fairly short because in a few hours I’ll be publishing my review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, a massive phone that is just as interesting and noteworthy as any iPhone, if not moreso. Samsung is doing so many new things with this phone that even if you’re not interested in Samsung or Android, it’s worth paying attention.

Actually, a better way to put it might be that Samsung is doing too many new things, because one of them isn’t going quite as well as it should, because Samsung has already pledged to improve Galaxy S20 camera.

You are reading Processor, a newsletter about computers, software, and tech by Dieter Bohn. Dieter writes about consumer tech, software, and the most important tech news of the day from The Verge. You can read an archive of Processor newsletters here and subscribe to all of The Verge’s great videos here!

By subscribing, you are agreeing to receive a daily newsletter from The Verge that highlights top stories of the day, as well as occasional messages from sponsors and / or partners of The Verge.

In the phone reviewing game, we hear a lot of promises that future software updates will fix current camera issues. Nine times out of ten that update does very little to change the fundamentals, but there’s always a chance. Samsung does have a history of scrambling and successfully dealing with phone problems, after all.

Thanks for reading!


┏ Mike Pence, who enabled an HIV outbreak in Indiana, will lead US coronavirus response.

┏ A Californian has contracted coronavirus from an unknown source.

┏ GDC ‘moving forward as planned’ as developers pull out over coronavirus concerns.

┏ Facebook confirms ban on misleading coronavirus ads.

┏ Microsoft says Windows and Surface businesses will miss expectations due to coronavirus.

┏ This CDC infographic lets you know if your facial hair won’t work with a mask.


┏ Everyone hates California’s self-driving car reports. If you see these self-driving car “disengagement” numbers on the local news or whatever, keep Andrew Hawkins’ reporting in mind:

“Comparing disengagement rates between companies is worse than meaningless: It creates perverse incentives,” said Bryant Walker Smith, associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Law and an expert in self-driving cars. For instance, Smith says, if he were to register in California and never test, he’d look good. “If I wanted to look even better, I’d do a ton of easy freeway miles in California and do my real testing anywhere else,” he added.

┏ System that limits e-bike speeds will be tested on Dutch roads. The headline belies the very high-tech, very intricate infrastructure being built here. This is a holistic approach to transportation policy, it goes from the city to businesses to the streetlights to the literal handlebars on the e-bikes.

Just briefly consider the vast differences in what’s happening in terms of transportation technology with the above two stories.

America is arguing about how to measure whether and when safety drivers have to take control of self-driving cars that cost [insert your best but definitely absurdly high price here]. It’s a problem that exists in large part because these vehicles have to navigate a road system that wasn’t built for them populated by human drivers who don’t really know how to react to them.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands the roads and bikes are talking to each other in a deep and collaborative way to enable a system where people can buy affordable, environmentally sustainable transportation that reduces traffic, is designed specifically to protect people in bike lanes, and increases people’s ability to feel connected to their cities and fellow citizens.

One of these approaches seems better to me.

Verge Deal of the day

Normally $250, the Apple AirPods Pro wireless earbuds are down to $220 at Amazon. Compared to the standard AirPods, these feature better sound quality and noise cancellation. We’ve seen these drop a bit lower in price before, but that’s a pretty rare occurrence.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy. Prices displayed are based on the MSRP at time of posting.

Gadget announcements

┏ LG’s new V60 ThinQ 5G shows steady evolution for a company in need of big change. Chris Welch spent some time with LG’s new phone, which has the thing where the case has a second screen inside it, but it seems a little awkward. In principle, there’s no reason this couldn’t be a heads-up competitor to the Galaxy S20. In practice, LG is going to have a tough time, at least here in the US. Samsung spends a lot of marketing dollars and LG tends to disappoint on camera quality.

The V60 ThinQ 5G has flagship specs in a somewhat uninspired design, but until Microsoft’s Surface Duo arrives this fall, there aren’t many phones that can give you this dual-screen trick. Foldables seem far more futuristic, but they’re also more fragile — and you can detach this second display whenever you want and stick to the traditional slab.

┏ Fujifilm X-T4 announced with in-body image stabilization and flip-out screen. Chris Welch gets into all the camera details, but this caught my eye given all the other news today:

When you’ll be able to get your hands on the X-T4 is, unfortunately, a little complicated at the moment. Based on what was said at a recent media briefing, Fujifilm expects to take a significant hit from production delays and constrained supply tied to the coronavirus outbreak. The goal is to have the X-T4 out sometime in April, but unless you place a very early preorder, don’t be surprised if you run into a lengthy wait. Even the already-announced X100V might be hard to come by for a while.

┏ Google is teaming up with Adidas and EA for a new Jacquard product. I’ll be curious to see whether Google offers new functions for whatever is coming.

More from The Verge

┏ Meet Bob Chapek, Disney’s new CEO and the Tim Cook to Iger’s Steve Jobs. I told you to stick around for Julia Alexander’s reporting yesterday, and here it is. Well-sourced and full of insider insight:

“If he’s sticking around, it could just be that he’s the trainer,” the former Disney executive said. “The Sith apprentice and Sith Lord. He’ll be holding Chapek’s hand. He’s going to take a position to still be deeply entwined with the company. It’s still Bob’s show.”

┏ Leaked video reveals new Surface Duo ‘peek’ feature. I genuinely can’t decide if this is genius or stupid. Technically, I suppose, it could be both.

┏ Apple won’t let bad guys use iPhones in movies, says Knives Out director. Rian Johnson: “Every single filmmaker that has a bad guy in their movie that’s supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now.”

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.

Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.

External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.

External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.