Samsung Galaxy S5

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Physically, the device isn’t all that different from its older sibling, the Galaxy S4. Both phones sport a 1080p, Super AMOLED display, and at 5.1 inches, the S5 is just a hair larger than the S4. Likewise, the phone’s face is practically identical, though the backside of the phone is where the most notable difference lies. Gone is the glossy plastic backing that made the S4 a little more slippery than one wants a smartphone to be. In its place is a textured soft-touch finish, available is four different colors (black, white, gold, and blue). The new and improved casing makes the S5 more comfortable in hand than its predecessor and less likely to go slipping and sliding all over the place. It’s also worth noting that the S5’s finish sports a significantly more premium feel than the weird faux leather of the Note line, though despite Samsung’s relentless use of the term, I would hardly call it “glam.”
Samsung isn’t a company known for its innovative leaps with its annual updates to its existing line of smartphones, and that doesn’t really change here. The S5 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, with Samsung’s signature tweaks to the user interface. The preinstalled apps are largely familiar; S Voice, S Health, and a slew of other S-branded applications are present, including the tiled My Magazine news reader, which is now more easily accessed from the home screen. The menu screen is a bit more streamlined than the S4, with a continuously scrolling design. The added stamina from the 2,800mAh battery, and the 2.5GHz quad-core processor provide for a fast, responsive experience that’ll last roughly twenty percent longer than the S4.

If you watched the live stream of Samsung’s event from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, you probably heard various speakers mention the device’s heart rate monitor (several times, just in case we were in danger of forgetting), visible on the back of the phone. The company is betting on its fitness-related apps and features to be a selling point for a health-conscious consumer base, and the S5 boasts the first heart rate sensor in a smartphone, according to Samsung. On a few test runs with the heart rate monitor, I got a wider range of numbers than I expected, so the sensor is either very sensitive to slight changes or a touch finicky, though it did provide a speedy reading. Another feature of note is the Coach app, which provides real time health and fitness tracking and advice. So, if you’re on the market for a phone that’ll offer helpful critiques about your weight and stress level, the S5 might be worth checking out.

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Like Apple and HTC did with the iPhone 5S and One Max respectively, Samsung has added a fingerprint scanner to the S5, integrated into the device’s home button. You can use it to unlock your phone — Samsung promises the utmost security with the new feature — and to access Private Mode, where you can store information you don’t want anyone else to be able to see, like compromising selfies or scans of your passport. The fingerprint scanner is also designed to work with mobile payments, though its practical use is a bit hampered by the design. Unlike the iPhone’s scanner, which works with a simple touch and hold, the S5’s requires a swipe down over the home button, which must be absolutely, positively, perfectly vertical and at the speed at which the scan was originally recorded. Though you can store a number of fingerprints on the device, it was exceptionally difficult to use, especially when holding the phone with a single hand.
The Galaxy S5 comes with a 16 megapixel sensor and 4K video capabilities. The revamped interface is simpler and easier to use this time around, and the phone’s auto-focus was incredibly fast – just a quick tap on the screen and boom, you’re focused. The company claims that the 0.3 seconds it takes for the S5’s camera to focus is the speediest AF on the market, and I would be hard-pressed to argue with that as it was certainly the fastest I’ve ever used. Additionally, the improved HDR processing will be a boon to smartphone photographers working in less than ideal lighting situations.

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SmartClock Samsung Galaxy Gear

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The Galaxy Gear will only support Android 4.3 and up, leaving you with only the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 at launch. Samsung did announce that the Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 would be arriving in October, so soon there will be three supported devices for the Gear. The reason behind this requirement is likely because Android 4.3 adds native support for Bluetooth LE (low-energy), and if you’re still rocking a Galaxy S II, it’s time for an upgrade.

Samsung has a pretty decent track record when it comes to updating its devices in a (somewhat) timely manner, so when its four most popular devices (GS3, GS4, Note 2, and Note 3) are up and running with Android 4.3, the majority of the qualms customers have may be taken care of.

Camera Samsung Galaxy NX

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The Galaxy NX is Samsung’s first interchangeable lens camera that runs Android, and includes powerful hardware like 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 4.8-inch HD screen, 2GB of RAM, LTE connectivity support (Korea only), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, microSD card slot and a 4,360mAh battery. Moreover, it has a 20.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor support, ISO sensitivity up to 25,600, 8.6fps continuous shooting, full HD 1080p video capture, 2D/3D lens support, i-Function lensSMART modes, RAW image support, HDMI 1.4a and full HD video recording.

Galaxy Nexus update Android 4.2.2

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The Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. OTA is finally officially available for Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners. If you didn’t have root, or just preferred to wait for something official, then you will wait no more.

The 4.2.2 update brings plenty of goodies such as Photosphere, Lock Screen Widgets and Quick Settings Toggles. Many thought that the Verizon GNex would never see an official 4.2.2 update, so this really will make its users happy. Enjoy flashing the OTA!!

Samsung Galaxy Victory

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Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE includes a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5-megapixel rear camera (HD video capture) and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. As is the case with many of today’s Android smartphones, the Galaxy Victory 4G LTE also features NFC, Wi-Fi, microSD expansion card slot (up to 32GB), and Bluetooth 4.0. On top of that, Samsung’s own S Beam is present, which lets users share pics, videos, contacts and more using NFC.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

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Who’s ready for the first official announcement of Mobile World Congress 2013? Well, Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. As we saw earlier today, it’s basically the Galaxy Note 2 stretched out to the 8-inch form factor you see above. The Galaxy Note 8.0 will be following the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1, and bringing along with it the S Pen and a bunch of other goodies. As far as specs go, here’s what the Galaxy Note 8.0 is featuring:

Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos
Display: 8-inch WXGA display (1280×800 at 189 ppi)
Operating system: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
Network: HSPA+ 21Mbps (850/900/1900/2100)
Camera: 5 megapixel (rear), 1.3-megapixels (front)
Video: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, DivX (1080p full HD video @ 30 fps)
Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, AC3, FLAC; 3.5mm headphone jack
GPS: aGPS + GLONASS (3G version)
Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 and 5 GHz; WiFi Direct; AllShareCast; Bluetooth 4.0; USB 2.0
Sensors: Accelerometer; Digital compass; Proximity sensor
Memory/Storage: 2GB RAM, 32/64GB storage; microSD card (up to 64 GB)
Dimensions: 210.8 x 135.9 x 7.95
Weight: 338 grams
Battery: 4,600 mAh
S Pen optimized features: S Note, S Planner, e-mail with handwriting integration; Quick Command; Easy Clip; Photo Note; Paper Artist; Air View; Popup Note; Popup Video; Shape Match; Formula Match; Idea Sketch
Sharing Features: AllShare Play; AllShare Cast (Wifi Display mirroring and extension); AllShare Framework
So who’s ready to see what the Galaxy Note 8.0 is bringing with it for bloat ware? Quite a bit including:

Samsung Apps
Samsung Kies/Kies Air
TouchWiz/Samsung Live Panel
Samsung Hub; Game Hub; Learning Hub; Readers Hub; Music Hub; Video Hub; Media Hub (U.S. Only)
Samsung ChatOn mobile communication service (version 2.0)
Smart Stay, Direct Call
Page Buddy/Tag Buddy/Word Buddy
Along with all the Google services.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 is going to be available worldwide in the second quarter of this year, which starts April 1st. That includes Europe, Korea, North America, South East Asia, South West Africa, the Middle Eat, China, Taiwan and Latin America. I’d expect this to be available on T-Mobile or AT&T since it is HSPA+ connectivity only, and not LTE. But we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on that. The S Pen is included which means you’ll be able to use apps like paper artist, Awesome Note, Samsung’s Chat messaging service and more. The Galaxy Note 8.0 also has multi-window, just like on the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Note 2. It’s a good looking tablet, despite the physical buttons. Now we’ll just have to wait and see how much Sammy is going to charge for it.
As you can see in the image above, you can actually use the Galaxy Note 8.0 to make calls as well. So is it a tablet or phone? Well it looks to be both. Many people thought the Galaxy Note 2 was to big to be used as a phone, what about the Galaxy Note 8.0? Imagine holding that up to your ear for calls?

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Samsung Galaxy S3 CDMA + GSM

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It was back in November of last year when we’ve first told you that Chinese will get a dual-mode version of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Well now it’s here, allowing folks who get one to use it both locally (on China Telecom’s network) and while roaming around the world (using a GSM-based network).

Aside from the dual-mode capability, the Galaxy S III Duos is identical to its single-SIM counterpart, rocking a 4.8-inch 720p HD screen, 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual cameras (8MP on the back, 2MP front-facing one), Wi-Fi, GPS, 16GB of built-in storage and a microSD memory card slot. It does, however, have a slightly (30mAh) bigger battery, which was (I guess) needed to make switching between networks a pain-free experience — so that your phone doesn’t die out too quickly.

Again, we doubt this phone will ever be released outside of the world’s most populous country as there are not that many places that would appreciate such capability… though you never know.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean 4.2.1 – lockscreen widget

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Our first look at Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean running on a Samsung Galaxy S III has surfaced today over on SamMobile, and we’re getting a look at what Sammy has planned regarding all the tweaks and changes to Jelly Bean. From lockscreen widgets, expandable notifications, and of course the new quick settings menu are all on board. Obviously with a little TouchWiz included.
Now we already have expandable notifications and Google Now with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but all the new features from 4.2 seen to be included for the most part – with the exception of Photo Sphere which appears to be a Nexus feature for now. With Samsung’s fast updates lately we knew this was coming, and now can confirm the international Galaxy S III (i9300) can give it a try today.

For the most part the look and feel is the same as TouchWiz on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean currently, but we quickly noticed the lockscreen widgets were included. Then as shown above the quick settings panel has been overhauled with TouchWiz, but actually looks even more useful than stock Android. All those toggles should really come in handy – and keep the regular notification pulldown bar clear for those expanding notifications.

You can see multi-window, S-Beam, NFC, driving mode and more all accessible with ease through quick settings. Which was a welcomed addition on top of what Google currently offers. The premium suite, and multi-window modes are all here and on board so this looks pretty complete for now. SamMobile also reported the voice actions have been improved with more options, and the lockscreen ripple effect was improved, whatever that means. Head to the via below if you’d like to give it a try yourself.

Samsung Galaxy Camera cu WiFi

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Samsung has added another device to its ever growing portfolio, and this time it’s a minor — very minor — change to the Galaxy Camera. Until now, the Galaxy Camera has only been available to purchase with a cellular radio inside, and cellular radios always add something to the price of a device. Today Samsung announces the launch of a WiFi only variant of their connected camera.

Other than the lack of a radio, everything else about the Galaxy Camera remains intact. You still get a pretty impressive 4.8 inch HD display on the back, with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Touchwiz Nature UX on there, and a quad-core processor inside making everything hum along just nicely. Samsung promises that the WiFi only Galaxy Camera will be more affordable than its LTE capable counterpart, but fails to provide an actual price at this time. Or any availability information. But, we’re sure we’ll see this appear in the coming days and weeks.

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