As the year winds down it’s a great time to reflect on the top stories of the past 12 months. This is the fourth and final installment where we look at the stories that shaped this year.
It’s time to close out the 2020 issue of our top stories. We’re looking at the months of October through to December and for the first time ever, this is the time Apple unveiled its phones.
After many reports and leaks, the iPhone 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 mini and iPhone 12 were all unveiled on October 13. It was only the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 12 that went on sale the week following the event, however. The iPhone 12 Pro Max and 12 mini were released a month later, capping off a release schedule that was hindered by the ongoing pandemic that defined 2020.
Qualcomm announced its next flagship chipset – the Snapdragon 888 and a few days before the year ended Xiaomi became the first to formally announce a Snapdragon 888-powered smartphone in the Mi 11. The Mi 11 has a big 6.81-inch AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate and the highest yet 480Hz touch sampling rate, up to 12GB of RAM, a 108MP main camera and a 4,600mAh battery with 55W wired and 50W wireless charging. It will go on sale on January 1.
Samsung’s next big event will see the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra become official on January 14 and Q4 was filled with S21-related stories. Thanks to the abundance of information about Samsung’s upcoming flagships we know just about everything there is to know.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra will stand head and shoulders above its peers with a bigger 6.8-inch display with an adaptive 120Hz QHD+ screen, a larger 5,000mAh battery and a 2nd-gen 108MP sensor to go with the two telephoto cameras – 10MP 3x and 10MP 10x periscope. It will also support the Note line’s famous S Pen.
The Galaxy S21 and S21+ will still have HRR displays but no variable adjustment so they will run at a constant 120Hz (or 60Hz). The camera system will be mostly identical to the S20 (12MP main, 64MP 3x tele and 12MP ultrawide), but the ultrawide unit will get autofocus. Slightly bigger batteries and a Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 are also among the known updates.
Also coming in early 2021 are the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro. The Snapdragon 888-powered pair will feature a new design with larger rear camera island. Early renders suggest the OnePus 9 Pro will have two prominent camera lenses and two smaller ones, but sadly no periscope zoom.
Finally, Apple unveiled its ARM-based M1 chip in Q4 and released the M1-equipped MacBook Pro 13, MacBook Air and Mac mini. The M1 chip proved very promising from the start, striking a great balance between performance and battery life. Thanks to the M1 chip the three machines Apple released were able to seriously outpace their Intel-powered predecessors, which makes us very interested in Apple’s computer lineup for 2021.
Well, that’s it for 2020. It was a rocky year, filled with hurdles for the mobile industry. But the mobile world showed that even in the toughest of times, it can innovate and it can deliver. We enjoyed an abundance of phones and an increase in quality that was hard to imagine at the beginning of 2020. Let’s see what 2021 holds. Stay tuned!