Tuesday, September 26, 2023

ICYMI: We’re trying Samsung’s S Pen / Case combo for the Galaxy S21 Ultra

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Samsung brought its S Pen to the Galaxy smartphone series for the first time this year. This week we got to experience the new S Pen / case combo for the S21 Ultra and we found it capable but not as polished as we would have expected. We’ve also played around with Fujifilm’s mirrorless X-T4 and have some good things to report about the retro camera. And speaking of retro, gamers who still have their original Game Boy should check out Dead; an indie horror game which takes preorders for physical release.

Chris Velazco / Engadget

Samsung fans who also want a stylus have had a good option in the Galaxy Note line, and the company’s S Pen is apparently popular enough that Samsung is bringing it to the new Galaxy S21 Ultra. New S Pen / Case combo aims to extend the life of the stylus by bundling it in a case for the Ultra handset.

But Chris Velazco found this solution to leave a little to be desired. This is not due to the pen itself, which is more the size of a ballpoint pen than the traditional stylus. Chris really liked the pen: he found it comfortable to hold and use for writing notes and shortcut options. However, this version of the stylus lacks aerial gestures and camera controls (a Pro model coming later this year will have these features). The main downside was the case, which easily picked up various pieces of lint and dust and made the large-sized handset more unwieldy to handle. The pen’s left location made it a bit of a nuisance for right-handed users, and Chris was concerned about the durability of some of the trim around the charging ports. Since it’s the only case that houses an S Pen, it’s still a good option for anyone looking to use the stylus with the S21 Ultra.

Fujifilm X-T4

Steve Dent / Engadget

When James Trew was looking for something to update his beloved but aging Canon 550D, he naturally asked his colleagues at Engadget. They led him to the Fujifilm X-T4, that Steve Dent revised last year. A 26.1-megapixel mirrorless camera with a flip-up screen and in-body stabilization, the X-T4 also has a retro flair that James particularly likes. In his review, Steve referred to the camera’s processing quality, excellent video quality, and fast shooting speeds.

Since using it, James has also found a lot of praise in the X-T4. He was specifically looking for a reliable camera with a solid collection of lenses that would work well for video and could absorb a ton of light. He reports that IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) has helped produce images with impressive clarity and balance. The X-T4 gives him a lot to experiment and work with – a process, he says, that is as rewarding as the good photos it produces.


Adam birch

Dead has been around for quite some time now, attracting fans of those who enjoy retro games, dark indie titles, or both. Now it’s taking pre-orders for physical release on the original Game Boy. Players like James Trew enjoyed the contrast in Pokémon-like graphics and playstyle with the dark themes of cult, ritual, and murder. Your character has three days and 11 potential endings to work out how to appease an angry, flesh-hungry god.

While James has stated that it is possible to reach a full ending in under two hours, he also mentions that the in-game time mechanic brings new things to be found and discovered with each new day. It will also change your strategy as you uncover more details about the narrative you have chosen to follow. Game creator Adam Birch is an artist by trade and told James that the idea of Dead comes from a comic he’s working on. James said that the macabre and eerie design of the game takes the player out of the warm RPG vibe and weirdness of the storyline – and that players who love the material or the genre should definitely play it.


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