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Some International Samsung Galaxy S4 Models Now Receiving Android 4.3 update


Builds of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 first began to leak out way back in June, well before Google had even had the chance to properly announce the new version of its mobile operating system. Fast-forward to this week and there’s some good news for Galaxy S 4 owners that prefer to stick to the official side of the update tracks, as it appears that Samsung has started pushing Android 4.3 to some international versions of its flagship smartphone.

As noted by SamMobile, both the LTE Galaxy S 4 (GT-I9505) and the HSPA+ Galaxy S 4 (GT-9500) are now receiving their updates to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The LTE Galaxy S 4 update process is currently underway in Germany, while the HSPA+ model’s update is said to be going out in Russia. As with most software updates, Samsung is pushing Android 4.3 out in phases, so Galaxy S 4 owners not located in one of the two aforementioned countries will need to continue to wait for their own taste of 4.3.

Samsung hasn’t published an official changelog for its Android 4.3 bump, but those folks that’ve already received the new software have spent some time digging through it and discovered several notable enhancements. The update is said to contain improvements to the TouchWiz launcher, Samsung keyboard and browser and the Galaxy S 4’s RAM management, as well as Samsung’s Knox security feature and the company’s Wallet app. Other goodies include support for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch and a handful of small UI tweaks.

Even though it’s only rolling out to a couple of countries right now, it’s still good to see that the latest version of Jelly Bean has started to make its way to the TouchWiz-ified Galaxy S 4. It’s not yet clear when S 4 owners in other parts of the globe will receive their own updates to Android 4.3, especially when you remember that carrier testing can have a major effect on an update’s rollout in some countries, but at least now we’ve got an idea of the the types of goodies that Samsung has packed into the Galaxy S 4’s Android 4.3 upgrade.

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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung

 

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Samsung launches Galaxy Trend and Galaxy Star Pro in India


Almost a month after Galaxy Trend duos went on sale in India, Samsung has decided to make it official today. The company has also launched Galaxy Star Pro smartphone, which has been available for over a fortnight in the country.

According to a press release issued by the company, Samsung Galaxy Trend can be purchased in black, red, and white colours for INR 8,290, while Galaxy Star Pro has got a price-tag of INR 6,750.

“At Samsung, we are committed to listening to our consumers and providing innovative, yet affordable technology to them. GALAXY Trend and GALAXY Star Pro will provide our consumers an exceptionally rich mobile experience in regional languages with the ability to access an array of apps in their preferred language.  We believe these new devices coupled with the innovative language capability will help us address a larger set of consumers,” said Vineet Taneja, Country Head, Samsung Mobiles & IT.

The company has also noted that both phones come with support for 9 Indian regional languages including Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil. Not only can consumers browse the web, send SMS, and enjoy the phone interface in any of the 9 languages, but also use several applications in any of these languages.

Samsung Galaxy Star Pro GT-S7262 key specifications

* 4-inch WVGA display (800x480p)
* Dual-SIM support
* 1GHz single-core Cortex A5 processor
* 512B of RAM, 4GB of storage, microSD card slot
* Android 4.1
* Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MicroUSB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack
* 1500 mAh battery
* 2MP rear camera

Samsung Galaxy Trend GT-S7392 key specifications

* 4.0-inch WVGA display (800×480p)
* Dual-SIM support
* 1GHz processor
* 512MB RAM, 4GB internal memory, microSD card slot
* 3MP rear camera
* 1500mAh battery
* 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS/AGPS
* Android 4.0

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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung

 

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Samsung Galaxy S5: Release Date Delayed to March or April Due to Magnetic Resonance Wireless Charging


Samsung may be featuring another big thing in place of fingerprint scanner on the upcoming Galaxy S5 for 2014. New reports hinted an upgraded wireless charging technology called Magnetic Resonance for the smartphone to allow owners charge S5 wirelessly without requiring any docking ports but its release date may be moved to March or April.

Samsung Galaxy S5 with Magnetic Resonance

According to ETNews, Samsung is currently working on a new form of wireless charging and it will allow Galaxy S5 owners to charge the device at longer distances without requiring any charging pod.

Wireless charging known today requires a charging pod which receives the energy from the charger plugged on AC source and delivered to the device. For quite some time, rumours have spread about an upcoming new wireless charging and it seems like Samsung will make it come true in 2014.

However, reports also indicate that the technology may not be ready in early 2014 and probably during the middle of the year. Samsung aims to get the technology done by the middle of 2014 which makes Galaxy S5 launching date in March or April, similar with Galaxy S4 timeline.

If successful, upcoming Galaxy smartphones and tablets may feature Magnetic Resonance wireless charging technology.

Fingerprint Sensor

Primarily, Galaxy S5 has been rumoured to feature its own fingerprint sensor to match Apple’s iPhone 5S. Unfortunately, the technology planned to be used appears too young for quality.

Korea Herald reported Samsung’s skipping over its fingerprint technology feature on Galaxy S5 since it is not yet ready at this time. The company needs more time to improve their fingerprint sensor to match quality test for commercial use.

One possible device which may feature is the Galaxy Note 4. Note devices are usually announced at the middle of the year during September and October and it is logical for Samsung to decide on adding a fingerprint scanner on Note 4 to match quality, function and intelligence of the phablet.

“We never officially admitted that Samsung was weighing the fingerprint system and Knox for Galaxy Note 3 for security functions. We are not yet developing the technology,” an unnamed Samsung executive told Korea Herald.

Crucialtec, a Korean company, is the best bet to help out fingerprint sensor on Samsung mobile devices but Crucialtec remains behind Authentec in terms of patents and solutions which make their technology one year far from being stable.

Rumoured Technical Specifications

Nothing is clear yet regarding Galaxy S5 technical specifications as everything remains to be rumoured floating around. But some of them may probably happen in 2014.

* All-new design which probably made of metal

* Ultra-slim RAM chipset

* Slimmer battery pack

* Android 4.4 KitKat

* Exynos 6 processor with 64-bit support

* 13MP camera

* Wireless charging using Magnetic Resonance

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http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/514140/20131016/samsung-galaxy-s5-release-date-delayed-march.htm#.UmSwEXCw11g

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung

 

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Microsoft also Reportedly Poking Samsung and Huawei for Dual Boot Windows/Android Phones


According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Microsoft have been in talks with HTC to offer consumers a smartphone that dual-boots both Windows Phone and Android in order to give the customer a choice between OS. It’s now come to light that Microsoft have been poking Samsung and Huawei, both previous primary suppliers of Windows Phone handsets.

Huawei have kept schtum about the talks but it seems that Samsung might be more than willing to entertain Microsoft’s idea. According to Mobile Review the technology isn’t the problem, but more the question of how much Samsung are willing to pay Microsoft for something which I personally believe would be a waste of money. The report from Bloomberg mentioned that Microsoft would be willing to kick the licencing fee for this feature but no word on whether the same option was given to Samsung.

The Mobile Review also mentioned something about Samsung preparing a dual-boot Windows RT and Android tablet stating that the memory is not shared between the two OS’ so either one can run freely but not at the same time. Again, details were thin at this point.

As it stands right now, this is nothing but speculation with neither companies coming forward to confirm or deny said rumours so take them with a pinch of salt.

My Opinion

Personally I think it would be a waste of money for Samsung, HTC, or Huawei to go ahead and take on this deal. If I’m given the option to choose Windows or Android, I’d choose Android. For me Windows Phone has nothing to offer and the app ecosystem is practically non-existent. If the option to switch between Windows or Android on one handset became available, I’d probably seldom switch between, if at all.

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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Samsung

 

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HOW TO UNLOCK A SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2 / S3 IN SECONDS


If you’ve got a locked Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or Galaxy S3, you can easily unlock it, and for no extra charge, so that you can take your device onto any carrier you like, anywhere in the world.

Say you have a locked Galaxy S3 on Verizon – you’re tied to that carrier, but if you unlock it you can migrate it to anywhere or to anyone you like. You could emigrate with your phone, or send it overseas to a friend of relative. If this is your sort of thing, read on.

To get started, remove your Verizon SIM and replace it with a “foreign” (not Verizon) SIM. Then turn your phone off and on again.

Then you should go into the dialpad and enter this sequence: *#197328640#. Head to your main menu > [1] UMTS > [1] Debug Screen > [8] Phone Control > [6] Network Lock > Options [3] Perso SHA256 OFF. You then need to wait for around 30 seconds before going back into your main menu and selecting back. You should see “Network Lock” now. Choose [4] NW Lock NV Data INITIALLIZ.

The sequence that you should have typed in is “Asterisk Pound One Nine Seven Three Two Eight Six Four Zero Pound”. Don’t forget that some people call the asterisk the star button, and call the pound button hash.

If all’s gone right you should have an unlocked Galaxy device that can be used on any network anywhere. This code’s been around for a while and might work on other Samsung devices.

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Posted by on October 17, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung

 

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How Samsung Fooled Benchmarking And Inflated Its Performance Scores


Samsung’s in trouble over benchmarks. Early in September, the team at the technology website Ars Technica ran some benchmark apps on the Galaxy Note 3 – a “phablet” (giant screened) phone – and discovered that they ran 20% faster than those run on an LG phone with exactly the same processor.

Benchmarks are programs, or apps, that repeat a single task or set of tasks to stress-test a system, and might be just a single complex calculation that repeats again and again; in general, you’d hardly ever do what they do. They’re meant to highlight key performance differences between similar devices. But, in fact, they’re not useful.

How could that be? Commendably, Ars Technica dug into the Note 3’s system files and discovered one called “DVFSHelper.java”, which contains a list of benchmarking apps.

If the system detects that one of a hard-coded list of apps is running, it turbo-charges the graphics processing unit (GPU), yielding that 20% boost. Then when the test is over, it scales it right back, because turbo-charging uses up the battery.

To prove this, the Ars team took the code from a benchmark called Geekbench and tweaked how it would present itself to the system. “Stealthbench”, as they christened it, was the same benchmarking code, yet the Note 3’s GPU didn’t turbo-charge. No 20% boost – just the same performance as the LG.

Samsung has pulled this trick before with built-in lists of benchmark apps for its Galaxy S4, which yielded similar 20% speedups.

When queried, the company insisted: “It is not true that Samsung did benchmark boost. The Galaxy Note 3 maximises its CPU/GPU frequencies when running features that demand substantial performance and it was not an attempt to exaggerate particular benchmarking results.”

So how, I asked, did it explain the difference in performance between Geekbench and Stealthbench? This provoked a very long silence (so long it’s still unbroken, days later, as I write).

Unsurprising, really. The obvious interpretation is that Samsung is gaming benchmarks to rank highly on sites that use them.

Not that it’s the only company doing this; Anandtech, a site where you could get the (wrong) impression that benchmarks are the only reason to own a gadget, showed that lots of Android companies do this; Samsung just happens to have a bigger list of benchmarks for which it ramps up the GPU or central processor to give a “better” result.

What a lot of pointless effort. For the average user – most all of us – benchmarks are essentially useless, because they don’t tell you about the actual experience of using the device. Android handset CPUs used to benchmark ahead of Apple’s iPhones. Yet reviewers kept reporting that scrolling and screen operations on Android was “laggy” or “jerky” — and smooth on the iPhone.

Why? Because Apple’s software prioritised reacting to user input (the finger “pushing” a list). The processor might run slower, but the software prioritised the user – not other processes. And aren’t we usually the most important process around a gadget?

Eventually, Google began Project Butter to deal with the problem of jerky list scrolling – though it took until June 2012 to release it (and more than half of Android devices in use still don’t run the Android version that introduced Butter).

Benchmarks are easily fooled – and unreliable. Don’t trust them. Ask what the device is like to use instead.

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Samsung

 

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Date: Rumored 13 MP Camera Specs Of New Flagship Reported


Samsung Galaxy S5 release date is expected to be at the Mobile World Congress next year and according to report last Sunday, the next flagship of the South Korean tech giant will feature a 13MP camer, whose sensor will be eight times brighter than the ones in current models. Phone Arena says that the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera specs will take outstanding features even in low-light conditions.

According to Phone Arena, aside from the ability to take great snapshots in low light, the new camera will contain an “anti-shake” feature that will keep photos and videos looking as though they were taken using a tripod.

The “anti-shake” feature can correct an angular error of up to 1.5 degrees, almost double the capacity of what cameras can correct these days. The report suggests that the new camera sensor will begin production early next year to be included in the rumored upcoming flagship.

In an earlier report by the International Business Times, it said that Samsung will offer the Samsung Galaxy S5 in both Android and Tizen platforms and that it will have an enhanced camera, fused with optical image stabilization feature and will have an exterior made of aluminum and magnesium.

Though Tizen is an OS in-development under the supervision of Samsung, the tech giant and Apple supplier is not ready to let go of Android OS for its devices. The Business Times reported that the South Korean tech giant has delayed the release of a flagship smartphone running on the homemade OS this year.

Samsung CEO Boo-Keun Yoo said that the company plans to use Tizen on connecting all of their devices including mobile phones and tablets. The closest thing that the company can do, speculates the Business Times, is release the Samsung Galaxy S5 with both an Android and Tizen version.

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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung

 

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