Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini possibly pictured for the first time, full specs leaked
May30

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini possibly pictured for the first time, full specs leaked

We’ve known for a while that a Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini is coming soon, but today we may actually get to see it for the first time. The images below are said to be of the upcoming Galaxy S5 Mini, and unless this is a hoax, then you can feast your eyes upon what will be Samsung’s next ‘Mini’, to follow in the footsteps of the S4 Mini from last year and the S III Mini (which actually started this whole ‘Mini’ craze). As you can gather, if this is the Galaxy S5 Mini, then it will look a whole lot like its bigger sibling, the ‘normal’ Galaxy S5. The same dimple pattern is present on the back, and overall the design is incredibly similar. The S5 Mini’s back cover seems to also cover the edges of the device in a way that it doesn’t for the full size model, but otherwise you’d be hard pressed to tell the two apart, especially in such pictures with nothing to give you an idea about size. The Galaxy S5 Mini will get to keep the Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor, and it’s also got a rubber gasket attached to the inside of the back cover, which may mean the Mini will be water and dust resistant too. The handset is said to come with a 4.5-inch 720p HD Super AMOLED touchscreen, an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash and 1080p Full HD video recording, a 2.1 MP front camera, a 1.4 GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos 3 Quad 3470 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and microSD card support. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat and all of the software features from the Galaxy S5 should be present here too, including Ultra Power Saving Mode, Private Mode, and Kids Mode. That chipset hasn’t been announced yet, by the way – and it’s interesting to see Samsung working on a new quad-core CPU after a long while in which it seemed focused only on octa-core (and more recently hexa-core) solutions. Via...

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Now getting KitKat: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Sprint), Galaxy S III (US Cellular), Galaxy Mega 6.3
May29

Now getting KitKat: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Sprint), Galaxy S III (US Cellular), Galaxy Mega 6.3

Another day, another batch of updates to Android 4.4 KitKat going out. This time we’re talking about no less than three Samsung devices, two sold in the US and one internationally. Let’s take them one by one. First up we have Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy Note II. The international variation of this handset started receiving the tasty new bits about a month ago, and now it looks like it’s time for US carrier versions to get it too. This update will come over-the-air, though it may take a few days for that to happen as the rollout is staggered. After updating, you’ll be on software version L900VPUCNE2. Next up, the Samsung Galaxy S III for US Cellular. Despite the fact that the internationally sold Galaxy S III will never be updated to what is now the latest version of Android, US carrier versions of it are in a different situation – they’ll all get it. US Cellular has posted the update’s details on its website, which means an over-the-air rollout is imminent (if it hasn’t started already). If your phone hasn’t notified you about the update yet and you’re impatient, you can get it via a computer – just follow these instructions. After updating, you’ll be on software version R530UVXCND4. Finally, the international Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is also receiving the goodness of KitKat. For now, the update (I9200XXUDNE4) is only available in Russia, and only via Kies, Samsung’s desktop PC software. But it’s sure to make its way to other countries as well after a short while. Via Sprint, US Cellular,...

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active now getting Android 4.4 KitKat outside of the US
May27

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active now getting Android 4.4 KitKat outside of the US

Following in the footsteps of AT&T’s version, the internationally sold Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (with the model number GT-I9295) is now in the process of receiving the update to Android 4.4 KitKat. Interestingly, and in a twist compared to how things usually go with such rollouts, AT&T’s Galaxy S4 Active was the first variation of the device to get the new software – in the world. Now though, those outside of the US who have purchased a Galaxy S4 Active can look forward to getting the new bits too. The international rollout has started in the Netherlands, where software version I9295XXUCNE5 (with Android 4.4.2) is now heading to devices over-the-air or via Kies, Samsung’s desktop PC app. This update will bring with it faster performance, the white status bar icons, better battery life, full screen album art on the lock screen while playing music, a camera shortcut on the lock screen, support for wireless printing, and the ability to easily set default launcher and messaging apps. KitKat should soon be making its way to Galaxy S4 Active handsets purchased from other countries too, so if you can be patient just a little while longer you’ll receive the gift of having the latest version of Android on your device. Via...

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Sony Xperia Z, ZL, ZR, and Tablet Z now getting Android 4.4 KitKat update
May21

Sony Xperia Z, ZL, ZR, and Tablet Z now getting Android 4.4 KitKat update

Four additional Sony devices are joining the KitKat camp starting today. We’re talking about the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, and the Tablet Z – all of these now have updates to Android 4.4 headed their way. And they are pretty much on time, given that last month Sony said they would arrive in May. So here we are. The usual stuff about updates applies here too – keep in mind that this is a staggered rollout, and it will not hit all devices at the same time. Furthermore, things can be complicated by your particular carrier’s testing procedures, so it may take a while until your device gets the new software. As you may have gathered, this is an over-the-air rollout, so your phone or tablet will notify you once it’s ready to download and install. The update brings with it all that’s new in Android 4.4 from Google (things such as improved performance all-round and small UI changes here and there), as well as some Sony-specific stuff. The status bar and quick settings pane have been redesigned, you get a new launch animation and live wallpaper, support for Xperia Themes and Sony wearables, and updates for Sony’s included apps: Messaging, Email, Smart Social Camera, Stamina mode, Walkman, and Album and Movies. The full details are available from Sony over here. The next devices in line to get KitKat are the Xperia T2 Ultra, the Xperia E1, and the Xperia M2, though that will only happen in...

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Android 4.4 KitKat update now rolling out
May12

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Android 4.4 KitKat update now rolling out

Samsung is continuing to bring updates to Android 4.4 KitKat to its devices, though we’re probably already pretty close to the unveiling of the next version of Google’s mobile operating system. Anyway, the latest Samsung product to get its first taste of KitKat is the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet that was announced in February 2013. It comes with the S Pen and all the software features that are specific to the Note line, and is meant to complement the Note phablets and the bigger Note tablets (specifically, the 10.1 2014 Edition and the Note Pro 12.2) in Samsung’s portfolio. The KitKat update for the Galaxy Note 8.0 is now out in South Korea and Poland, with more countries undoubtedly following soon. The tablet is taken to Android version 4.4.2, and with that comes improved performance, a redesigned status bar with white icons, better battery life, full screen album art on the lock screen (while playing music), and support for wireless printing. The Galaxy Note 8.0 launched running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, so this update is clearly more than welcome. A lot of things have changed in Android (especially for the better) since the days of the first iteration called Jelly Bean. Via...

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iPhone 6 coming in August, earlier than previously thought
May09

iPhone 6 coming in August, earlier than previously thought

With all this talk about the LG G3, HTC One Mini 2, and a possible premium version of the Samsung Galaxy S5, it’s easy to forget that Apple will also announce new smartphones later this year. So far the rumors on the matter have focused on telling us that Apple will release two new iPhones, either both this year, or one being pushed to 2015. One of those, many previous leaks claimed, would have a 4.7-inch screen, and the other would fit into phablet territory with a 5.5-inch display. These two upcoming models have been ‘confirmed’ by another report from the Far East, once again supposedly quoting sources from the supply chain. Many rumors originate at these sources, but not all pan out – keep that in mind. What’s new today is that the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is said to become available in August, around a month earlier than previously anticipated. Perhaps Apple, finally realising a 4-inch flagship is simply too small in this day and age, is now rushing to feed people’s thirst for bigger devices. The 5.5″ or 5.6″ other iPhone (it’s unclear what this will be called) will then follow along and arrive in stores in September, around one year after the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. Apparently, Apple has ordered 80 million units of the two new iPhone models. Via...

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 with AMOLED display smiles for the camera in first leaked pictures
May09

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 with AMOLED display smiles for the camera in first leaked pictures

Only a few days ago we got the full details on Samsung’s upcoming AMOLED tablets – both named Galaxy Tab S. The Korean company has long been rumored to get back into the AMOLED tablet making business, following the sole such product it ever released, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from 2011. The Galaxy Tab S leak from the beginning of this week brought us both tablets’ full specs, but unfortunately the information wasn’t accompanied by any pictures. Though if you’ve been anxious to see what these tablets will look like, you’ll be happy to know that the first couple of images showing one of them have leaked today. What you see above is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. As is obvious from its name, it will feature a 10.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen, with the resolution of 2,560×1,600. Other leaked specs include an octa-core Samsung Exynos 5420 processor with four ARM Cortex-A15 cores clocked at up to 1.9 GHz and four ARM Cortex-A7 cores clocked at up to 1.3 GHz, a 6-core Mali T628 GPU with 533 MHz clock speed, 3 GB of RAM, an 8 MP rear camera with 1080p Full HD video recording, a 2.1 MP front camera, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS, an IR blaster, and the same fingerprint scanner as seen in the Galaxy S5 smartphone. That sensor is embedded in the Home button, though this fact isn’t obvious in the images above. Both the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 as well as the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 that will accompany it on the market shall run Android 4.4 KitKat from the moment they launch. And it looks like Samsung’s Magazine UX that debuted on the Galaxy Tab Pro tablets that were announced in January is present too. This fact was only confirmed today through these leaked photos. The fingerprint sensor will have the same functionality as the one that debuted in the Galaxy S5, meaning you’ll be able to use it to pay for stuff via PayPal in addition to unlocking your tablet. Furthermore, it will be paired with Android’s multi-user support for tablets to allow multiple people to register their fingerprints and use them to unlock the device straight into their own ‘zone’ with their apps and settings and whatnot. The design of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is highly reminiscent of that of the Tab Pro 10.1, with one significant difference – the faux leather back cover that was introduced by the Galaxy Note 3 phablet last year is gone, and in its place we see a dotted design that’s very similar to what we have on the Galaxy S5. It’s still unclear...

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It’s official: Android 4.4 KitKat not coming to Samsung Galaxy S III because bloatware won’t let it
May08

It’s official: Android 4.4 KitKat not coming to Samsung Galaxy S III because bloatware won’t let it

Ladies and gentlemen, especially owners of the internationally-sold Samsung Galaxy S III (model number GT-I9300), here’s some bad news for you. After months of speculation, rumors, and leaks on the matter it’s finally been officially confirmed that your device will not get an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. Nor will the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini that got released in international markets. The information comes straight from Samsung itself via SamMobile. In light of all the contradictory information that’s been making the rounds across the blogosphere over the past few weeks, the guys over there asked the Korean company about the situation directly and they got an answer you won’t like. But it’s nothing if not predictable. Samsung basically says that these two handsets won’t get the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system because each has only 1 GB of RAM. We’re talking about the international models only here, since the ones that were sold in the US come with 2 GB of RAM and will in fact get the update. You may know that Google specifically designed KitKat to be able to run without hiccups on devices with as low as 512 MB of RAM, and you’d be right. But that’s Android itself. The software of a Samsung smartphone features that as a base layer, let’s call it, and on top of it is the ever-bloated TouchWiz UI developed by the Korean company as a way to differentiate itself from its competitors. And it’s obviously TouchWiz, Samsung’s system apps, or a combination of these things that are responsible for this update needing more than 1 GB of RAM to run effectively. Not Android itself, but Samsung’s Android – so to speak. The company is unwilling to trim down its UI overlay to accommodate for the amount of RAM in the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S III Mini, so that’s that. The former will be forever stuck on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, while the latter is never going past Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It does seem like instead of getting better at updates with time, Samsung is in fact becoming worse. It’s been taking the Korean company longer and longer to come out with updates after Google releases a new version of Android, and now this – the Galaxy S III wasn’t even 18 months old when KitKat came...

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International Samsung Galaxy S III again said not to receive Android 4.4 KitKat, other devices will
May07

International Samsung Galaxy S III again said not to receive Android 4.4 KitKat, other devices will

The saga of the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the international Samsung Galaxy S III (model number GT-I9300) continues. And this time around, the news isn’t good for owners of this particular handset. Not good at all, in fact. Let’s first do a short recap of events. Back in February, Samsung’s US arm officially announced which of its smartphones (sold in the US) would get the KitKat update. Among them, the Galaxy S III. Then just a couple of days later, out of Samsung Poland came (though unofficially) a list of 17 devices that were set to receive the new software. And the internationally-sold Galaxy S III was not among them. In March courtesy of a leaked document we regained hope, since the Galaxy S III was on the list. And finally (until now, that is), last month we got a new time frame for the release of the update for this handset: late April or early May. Which brings us to today, when SamMobile published what it claims is an authentic (and confirmed) list of Samsung devices that will be updated to the latest version of Android. As you may have gathered, the Galaxy S III isn’t one of them. The leaked document can be seen below. We even get a reason for why the flagship from two years ago won’t be graced with KitKat – “unsolved problems”. In another leaked piece of info, this time an internal report from Samsung, we find out what those are exactly. And yes, it turns out this fiasco has something to do with Samsung’s TouchWiz and its own system apps, as many people have thought. As you can see above, everything was going fine with the creation of the update for the Galaxy S III (GT-I9300), but then the implementation of apps failed and the system status changed to “failed to load system apps”. Hence, the update status is “canceled for now”. Whether that will ever change is unknown. And yes, you can now make a statement about Samsung’s bloatware and how it hinders progress (at least in this regard). For owners of other Samsung devices, though, it’s all good news. The KitKat update is set to arrive on the LTE-capable Galaxy Note II this month, which is also when the LTE Galaxy S III will get it. This model has 2 GB of RAM compared to the GT-I9300 we were talking about earlier, so the RAM amount is probably the reason for Samsung not being able to get its system apps into the new software for that smartphone. Moving on, the Galaxy S4 Mini (and the S4 Mini LTE) is...

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Vivo Xshot unveiled too with top specs, unique cameras
May07

Vivo Xshot unveiled too with top specs, unique cameras

Today is quite a busy day in the mobile world, it turns out. The Huawei Ascend P7 which we wrote about earlier is not the only smartphone to get announced today. It’s been joined by the Vivo Xshot, an ultra high-end handset with a pretty unique camera (as its name would suggest). The Vivo Xshot started leaking here and there last month, and it was clearly going to be a camera-centric offering. It definitely is that, but it’s also a very capable device in general. The Xshot features a 5.2-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, a 13 MP rear camera with dual-LED, dual-tone flash (more on this in a bit), an 8 MP front camera with a LED flash of its own, a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of built-in storage, microSD card support, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 2,600 mAh non-removable battery. The retail version should run Android 4.4 KitKat, although prototypes have been on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with Vivo’s Funtouch OS 1.2 sitting atop. The Xshot’s rear camera doesn’t go bananas in terms of resolution, but it does come with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization – a unique combo in the mobile world so far. There’s also a two-stage shutter button on the side, and a dual-tone LED flash that’s all the rage these days (as seen in the iPhone 5S and the HTC One M8). The main camera is capable of 4K video recording too. The front camera is something to talk about as well, especially given that it has its very own LED flash. This is something Vivo’s done in the past, for example for the female-focused Y19t, but it’s not so far been a trend picked up by other smartphone makers. With the growing selfie madness, though, perhaps things will change in the future. The selfie shooter has 8 MP resolution and is capable of 720p HD video recording. None of those values are record-breaking (there’s nothing like a front-facing 13 MP cam), but they do show, once again, how interested Chinese mobile device makers are in selfies. We assume these types of shots are even more popular in China than in the rest of the world (if that’s even possible). Something that’s becoming a tradition for Vivo’s wares is them having great audio hardware, and the Xshot is no exception, with a Maxim MAX97220 headphone amplifier, a Cirrus CS4398 DAC, and a TI TLV320 ADC chip for wider audio input bandwidth. The Vivo Xshot will only be offered in China at first, though pricing remains a mystery for now. Hopefully the company...

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