While we’re all waiting for the Galaxy S22 to break cover, Samsung’s latest Fan Edition smartphone seems a little late to the party. The Galaxy S21 FE lands a full year after the original S21, with similar looks and specs — if a reduced price of entry. The camera isn’t quite as capable as the S21, but the FE has a bright 120Hz screen and decent battery life. You win some, you lose some.
The big issue remains that Samsung is so close to revealing its next flagship. Even if you’re a huge fan of these Fan Editions, a true fan would wait to see what the S22 has to offer. Check out our full review of the S21 FE right here.
— Mat Smith
The biggest stories you might have missed
A new competitor to AppleCare offers cheaper insurance for smartphones
Snapchat is hosting a virtual concert starring Jennifer Lopez
Mark Zuckerberg’s bet on the metaverse is off to an expensive start
Meta’s Reality labs division lost $10 billion in 2021.
The company formally known as Facebook lost just over $10 billion on its Reality Labs division in 2021, according to its Q4 earnings report. “This fully realized vision is still a ways off,” Zuckerberg said of Meta’s metaverse investments. It’s the first time the company has shared the financial performance of the AR and VR division central to its metaverse ambitions (Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014).
Combined with flat user growth and continued hits to its advertising business, the company’s Q4 results sent Meta’s stock into a nosedive yesterday.
SpaceX launches premium satellite internet with speeds up to 500 Mbps
You’ll pay for the privilege, however.
SpaceX has revealed a new tier for its Starlink satellite internet service, with higher performance but costing $500 a month compared to $99 per month for the standard plan. You’ll also pay $2,500 for the antenna and other hardware, compared to $499 for base plan. Starlink Premium will offer speeds between 150 and 500 Mbps with 20 to 40 milliseconds of latency, up from 50 to 250 Mbps with the same latency.
Sony drops PlayStation 5 sales forecast again due to chip shortage
It’s well behind where the PS4 was at the same stage.
Sony is still struggling to make enough PlayStation 5 consoles to keep up with demand. During its key holiday fiscal quarter, it shipped 3.9 million units for a total of 17.3 million since launch, the company said in its earnings report. That’s considerably behind the 20.2 million units the PS4 had managed at the same point in its life cycle.
Spotify CEO admits content policy should’ve been public before now
“While Joe has a massive audience, he also has to abide by those policies.”
Spotify reported its Q4 2021 earnings today, and while the numbers showed a strong close to last year, the issue at the front of everyone’s mind is Joe Rogan. CEO Daniel Ek began his prepared remarks by broadly addressing the company’s “few notable days.” Ek explained Spotify is working to combat misinformation and that there’s still work to be done.
During the Q&A portion of the earnings call, he was directly asked about The Joe Rogan Experience. “We’re trying to balance creative expression with the safety of our users,” Ek said. He also admitted that Spotify was late in publishing its content policy and took sole responsibility for not doing so sooner: “We should’ve done it earlier and that’s on me.”
The pandemic is bringing out the worst in Yelp reviewers
The site has shared new stats on ‘review bombing.’
Yelp is sharing new stats on the backlash some businesses have faced due to pandemic safety measures, like mask requirements. The company says it took down more than 15,500 reviews for violating the company’s COVID-19 guidelines in 2021. That’s a 161 percent increase compared with the same period in 2020, when the company first implemented new policies regarding COVID-19 related content.
Yelp has had to navigate a big spike in “review bombing” due to pandemic-related restrictions. Nearly 25 percent of all “unusual activity alerts” — when a business’ page sees a sudden influx of reviews that “appear motivated by a recent news event rather than actual consumer experiences” — were related to the pandemic.