Here’s how Samsung’s Galaxy S21 compares to the Pixel 5, OnePlus 8T, and more

Samsung got its S21 flagship phones out into the world a little sooner than usual this year, and the Galaxy S21 base model will appeal to a lot of folks with its balance of flagship specs and a price well under $1,000. In this refresh of the S-series lineup it’s the best choice for value, but how does it square up against its fellow Android competitors?
The OnePlus 8T, Google Pixel 5, and LG V60 are all highly capable challengers in their own right. Where the S21 aims to deliver a complete all-around package, some of its competitors have made tradeoffs for things like a bigger battery or a lower price tag that are worth considering. And Samsung’s 2020 models, the S20 and Note 20, are still solid options for now and will no doubt be…
Continue reading…

These are the violent threats that made Amazon drop Parler

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge In a filing on Tuesday, Amazon responded to Parler’s claims that it acted unfairly in taking down the social network — and in the process, gave outsiders a new look at the content that provoked Amazon to suspend Parler’s web services account.
Amazon Web Services suspended service to Parler on January 9th, effectively shutting down the social network. It’s failed to secure a replacement web host, and it argued in court that Amazon was exercising unfair monopoly power in taking down the site.
Amazon’s decision to suspend Parler’s service has provoked ongoing debate about AWS’s power as a hosting provider and whether such suspensions pose a threat to free speech. But while many had seen the suspension as a knee-jerk response to the mob…
Continue reading…

Weird flex: TCL shows off two more of its rollable, extendable display concepts

One of TCL’s many display concept prototypes. | Photo: TCL TCL has never been shy about showcasing its display concepts at trade shows, and this year is no different; the company is (virtually) showing off a couple of these prototypes at CES 2021. Bearing in mind that there’s absolutely no guarantee these concepts will ever reach market, they’re still a fun glimpse at a possible future of display tech. First up is a mobile device with an AMOLED “rollable” screen which can extend a 6.7-inch display up to 7.8 inches. TCL says the device is less than 10mm thick with a 3mm bend radius.
TCL calls this a rollable display, though there’s no outwardly obvious rolling action. A similar concept appears in one of the more unintentionally funny promotional videos we’ve seen at CES so…
Continue reading…

Finally, a doorbell for the pandemic era

Image: Alarm.com Alarm.com has announced a new device for anyone worried about visitors catching COVID-19 from, of all things, their doorbell. Rather than using a button, the Touchless Video Doorbell is designed to chime when its camera detects visitors standing on your doormat. Alarm.com claims this is the “first commercially available video doorbell that rings without requiring any contact,” and that its aim is to “reduce public health risks and make home visits and deliveries safer for all.”
In what seems to be an admission that this is quite a confusing way to ring a doorbell, there are instructions on how to ring the device printed on its front. Alarm.com is also selling a doormat accessory for the doorbell, which instructs visitors on where to…
Continue reading…

Ford will idle its Kentucky plant this week amid semiconductor shortage

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images Ford will idle its plant in Kentucky for a week as the automotive industry grapples with a shortage of semiconductors, ABC News reported The automaker’s assembly plant in Louisville produces the Ford Escape and Lincoln Corsair SUVs, and employs about 3,900 hourly workers, according to CNBC. Ford said will take a planned one-week plant shutdown that had been scheduled for later in the year and move it to this week instead.
Ford joins Nissan, which says it will reduce production at one of its plants in Japan, which makes the Note, a car not sold in the US. A Nissan spokesperson said the semiconductor shortage has not affected the company’s US production
Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, and Toyota also have reported problems with semiconductor…
Continue reading…

A few deals to get 2021 started off right

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge After a brief hiatus over the holiday, we’re back with another Verge Deals dispatch. Since we last sent one of these out, many of the deals that filled our daily coverage around the holidays have come to an end, and recently, whenever a good sale comes around, it usually doesn’t last too long. Simply put, the dealscape is a little barren right now. Nevertheless, I’ve put in some of the week’s best offers for your perusal.
Save on Nintendo’s fantastic Ring Fit Adventure If you’re one of those people who makes a New Year’s resolution to get fit, there are a few deals you might want to know about. If you own a Nintendo Switch, consider picking up Ring Fit Adventure. It’s a game that requires the use of a Pilates ring to help you work out….
Continue reading…

Microsoft Teams is getting a new Dynamic View feature in March

Microsoft is updating its Teams service with a new Dynamic View in March. This new view allows Teams users to share content side by side with participants. It looks ideally positioned for meetings where someone is presenting a slide deck or if participants are watching a live event together.
Dynamic content like earnings reports, slide decks, or videos can be displayed alongside other speakers. Currently in Teams, video feeds of other participants are tiny when people are screen sharing or presenting decks. Microsoft’s Gallery View for Teams will optimize itself automatically with this new view and allow participants to personalize the view.
It will also more clearly highlight active speakers, people who have virtually raised their…
Continue reading…

The 44mm Apple Watch SE is $40 off at Amazon

Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge Amazon is offering a good deal on the 44mm-sized Apple Watch SE (GPS). Normally $309, it’s $270 for the model built with space gray aluminum that comes with a black sport band. For now, this puts both the 40mm and larger 44mm Apple Watch SE at the same price. If you’re wondering where the SE sits among all of Apple’s recent smartwatches in terms of specs, it has the same processor as the Apple Watch 5, but it notably lacks its ECG capability and the ability to have an always-on display. No other retailers are currently offering this deal.
If you bought a PS5 or received one as a gift over the holidays, you can add Godfall to your lineup of games today for less than it usually costs. The third-person game normally costs a full $70, but…
Continue reading…

More than half of Americans turned to video games during lockdown

With 2020 consumed almost entirely by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of US residents turned to video games to fill the time. According to Nielsen company SuperData’s 2020 year in review, 55 percent of people picked up video games — out of boredom, to escape the real world, to socialize — during the first phase of lockdowns.
The shift points to a larger one in entertainment. Movie theaters, sports, plays, and more have been largely inaccessible, if not outright dangerous to public health. Just as streaming, both of the Twitch and Netflix variety, became a huge source of entertainment, so did games — especially for adults. According to SuperData, 66 percent of consumers from 18 to 24 played more console games, while 60 percent…
Continue reading…