Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Coming to the Samsung Galaxy S 2

In a way, it was inevitable, and now it’s official as well: Samsung will be bringing the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S 2.

Samsung UK has confirmed on Twitter, that the Galaxy S II will be receiving an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. No dates have been revealed yet, but it should be soon.

@SamsungUK: “@moczilla Hi, yes it [Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the Samsung Galaxy S 2] will be released but no confirmed date yet. We will keep you updated.”

It isn’t much of a surprise, as everyone expected the Galaxy S 2 to get the upgrade; we just didn’t know when. We still don’t know when it will be getting it, but at least now its official.

We expect a global rollout of the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for the Galaxy S 2 soon.

In other news, even Sony Ericsson confirmed that its 2011 range of Xperia handsets will be getting the ICS upgrade. We should also see a lot of unofficial builds popping up soon, as Google recently published the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich to AOSP.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Samsung Beats Apple to Become World’s Leading Smartphone Vendor

Recap: Apple Won Round Q2

Apple beat Nokia in the second quarter of 2011 to become the leading smartphone vendor in the world, by shipping 20.3 million iPhone units. Samsung came second that quarter with 19.6 million smartphone shipments while Nokia came in third with 16.7 million smartphone shipments.

However, the third quarter of 2011 wasn’t as good for Apple in terms of iPhone sales, which slowed down following news that Apple was going to launch the next version of the iPhone in October.

In its recent earnings release, Apple revealed that it shipped only 17.1 million smartphones in Q3 2011. Nokia announced that it sold 16.8 million smartphones.

Samsung Beats Apple to Win Round Q3!

According to a report by WSJ, Samsung shipped more than 20 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2011, which makes it the leading smartphone vendor worldwide.

Samsung is the top Android smartphone manufacturer, and also ships Bada and Windows Phone devices. It recently announced that its Galaxy lineup of Android smartphones (Galaxy S and Galaxy S 2) sold 30 million units worldwide since launch, with the Samsung Galaxy S 2 selling more than 10 million units in just 5 months.

What Next?

It’s highly likely that Apple will be back on top next quarter, with the iPhone 4S selling like hot cakes already and the holiday season coming up. Apple posted guidance for the next quarter, projecting $37 billion in revenue, which could make the next quarter its best ever.

A large part of that revenue is going to be generated by sales of the iPhone 4S.

However, Samsung’s sales are booming too, so it may be a tough fight. It recently launched the Galaxy Nexus which is undoubtedly going to boost sales. Even so, my money is on Apple coming back on top of the smartphone sales chart in the next quarter.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Apple iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs. Samsung Galaxy S2 – Which Is The BEST Smartphone of 2011?

The Google Galaxy Nexus was announced today morning by Google and Samsung in Hong Kong, along with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Considering the Galaxy Nexus represents the best phone in the Android ecosystem, it is more than obvious that it will be pitted against the iPhone 4S and the best Android smartphone on the planet right now, the Samsung Galaxy S2.



Below is a small comparison of three of the hottest smartphones in the planet, the Samsung Galaxy S2, the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus.


Of all the three phones, the Galaxy Nexus is the biggest of all thanks mainly to its 4.65-inch HD Super-AMOLED screen. However, unlike all other Android phones, the Galaxy Nexus lacks the usual three capacitive buttons found on every Android phone, which helps keep the dimensions of the phone down. The Galaxy S2 comes in a close second with its 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Plus screen. The iPhone 4S is the smallest and the most compact phone of all the three, with a mere’ 3.5-inch display.


The Galaxy Nexus has the biggest and the highest resolution screen among all the three screens. The 4.65-inch on the Galaxy Nexus marks the beginning of 720p HD (1280×720) resolution in phones screen. Being a Super-AMOLED screen, the display has extremely high contrast ratios and brilliant viewing angles. Even though the screen on the Galaxy Nexus has PenTile display, it still looks sharper than the iPhone 4S Retina Display.

Compared to the Galaxy Nexus, the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S2 screens look seemingly previous generation. The Galaxy S2 has a 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED Plus display with WVGA (480×800) resolution, while the iPhone 4S has a very small 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 960×640, giving the screen an eye-busting 326ppi pixel density.


SoC wise, the iPhone 4S A5 powered chip is the most powerful of all the three phones. The iPhone 4S has a 800MHz dual-core Cortex-A9 based processor, while the Galaxy S2 has a 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 processor. The Galaxy Nexus has a 1.2GHz OMAP4460 SoC. The A5 inside the iPhone 4S packs a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU, which is the fastest powerful mobile GPU on the planet right now. While the ARM Mali-400MP GPU is not as fast as the PowerVR GPU inside the A5, it still is the fastest mobile GPU to be found inside an Android phone.

The Galaxy Nexus has a PowerVR SGX540 GPU clocked at 384MHz. The previous generation Nexus S also packs the same PowerVR SGX540 GPU, albeit clocked at 200MHz. Early reports suggest, the new PowerVR SGX540 clocked at 384MHz, along with driver updates provide nearly a 50% performance improvement compared to its predecessor.


The Galaxy Nexus runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which brings with it a host of new changes including a revamped magazine style UI, swipe gestures, GPU rendered UI, new web browser and much more. Readers can find out more about Ice Cream Sandwich changes here.

The Samsung Galaxy S2 runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is without a doubt outdated now. The iPhone 4S runs on iOS5, along with advanced voice recognition feature AI Siri. This is a matter of personal experience, so I will leave it up to the readers to decide.


The Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S come with an 8MP camera, while the Galaxy Nexus has a 5MP camera. Both the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2 have a stellar 8MP camera, while not much is known about the picture quality of the Galaxy Nexus 5MP camera.

On the camera goodies front, the Galaxy Nexus comes with face recognition, zero-shutter lag, new updated Camera UI and much more. The iPhone 4S also has some decent camera goodie like Hybrid IR filter, auto-white balance, and image stabilization. All the three phones are also capable of recording videos in 1080p HD resolution.

The Verdict

The Galaxy Nexus trumps the iPhone 4S in Display, while the latter trumps the former in camera and Hardware department. Truth be told, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is still the best Android phone money can buy you right now. The Galaxy Nexus has a better screen and software, but it’s only a matter of time before the latter comes to the S2.

The iPhone 4S is a probably the best among all the three phones, but the 3.5-inch screen on the handset is just way too small. Also, personally I would never buy the iPhone 4S since it looks similar to the iPhone 4. Sorry, but if one cannot distinguish a previous gen phone with the current gen once, then I don’t see the point in buying it.

Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch Handset Announced

After nearly 3 months of its European availability, Samsung has gone ahead and announced in an event at N.Y, the U.S carrier versions of its most popular smartphone until date, the Samsung Galaxy S II.  Three major carriers in the United States will be selling the Galaxy S II, with each operator having its own slightly modified version of the European SGS II.

First and foremost is the Sprint’s version of the Galaxy S II. Unlike last time, Sprint’s Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch does not come with a slide-out hardware keyboard. The main difference between the Sprint’s Epic 4G Touch and the European SGS2 is the screen size. The Epic 4G Touch has a mammoth 4.52-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen, with a disappointingly low WVGA (800×480) resolution.

Other than the huge screen, the Epic 4G touch also comes the usual four capacitive Android keys, unlike the one physical and 2 capacitive keys on the European model of the handset. Also, the Epic 4G Touch is not as slim as its European counterpart, and has a waistline of 9.59mm.

The Samsung Epic 4G Touch packs the same Exynos 4210 SoC, which includes a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and an ARM-Mali 400MP GPU. The handset also packs in 1GB of RAM, along with 16GB of internal memory.

The back of the handset sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, which is also capable of recording videos in 1080p Full HD resolution. A 2MP camera in the front takes care of all the video chatting needs of a user.

The usual run-of-the-mill features like Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, microSD card slot, FM radio, GPS with A-GPS, MHL port and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present, along with a bunch of sensors. The Epic 4G Touch will also come with AES-256 internal/external hardware encryption and Wi-Fi calling. The handset also supports Sprint’s WiMAX network.

Like the European SGS II, the Epic 4G Touch will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it.  A beefy 1800mAh battery will power the handset.

The Samsung Epic 4G Touch will be available starting from September 16th for $199.99, on a 2-year contract.


Dutch court awards Apple an injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy phones

A Dutch court has issued Apple a preliminary injunction that prevents the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones in the Netherlands. This injunction has the potential to spread across the European Union.  FOSS Patents has a copy of the official court order, and it states that the injunction will go into effect in mid-October.

The order, which was issued by the Rechtbank’s-Gravenhage (a Dutch court located in The Hauge), only applies to Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, including the widely successful Galaxy S II. That means that it won’t have any effect on the sales of Samsung’s tablets.


This is an important injunction because Samsung’s primary European logistics hub is located in the Netherlands. That means that in order to ship these devices throughout Europe, Samsung would have to reroute its operations. That’s unlikely, however, due to Samsung Korea’s lack of infrastructure. It would be logistically impossible for Samsung to respond in a timely manner.

The injunction is specifically based on the infringement of one patent in Apple’s portfolio. That patent is regarding the way you navigate photos in a gallery app, not the touted square based app organization design. This means that this injunction could be upheld in the countries where that patent is valid across the E.U. Unfortunately for Apple, documentation shows that they have allowed this patent to lapse in many countries, meaning it may not have much hold.

This comes on the backs of a previous injunction from a German court temporarily banning the sale of the Galaxy Tab in Europe. That injunction was lifted shortly after it was issued, however. It is possible that this new court order could suffer the same fate.

Samsung Hires CyanogenMod Founder–Steve Kondik

CyanogenMod (CM) is the most popular AOSP based custom ROM available for Android handsets and tablets out there. The CM team consists of more than 40 talented developers, who work hard in their free time, to add more features to CM, and to support more devices.


CyanogenMod was originally founded by Steve ‘Cyanogen’ Kondik. He had uploaded a test build of an AOSP ROM for the HTC G1, with a few tweaks, over at XDA forums.   The reaction he got was overwhelming, and a few years later, CM now runs on more than 550k Android devices.

Well, now the good news is that Samsung has hired Steve Cyanogen’ Kondik. However, don’t get your hopes high on a CM running device from Samsung. Steve was probably hired because of his vast knowledge of the Android OS, its ecosystem and his programming skills.

Steve Kondik has also confirmed that he won’t be blogging about Samsung, especially in relation to CM.He does state that he will be working in Samsung to make Android more awesome.   I guess we will see some of Steve’s work in the Galaxy S II successor, the Galaxy S III.

It’s ironic that at the beginning of this year, most of the manufacturers were against the work of the developers and custom ROMs. They were shipping their phones with an encrypted bootloader to prevent modding. But, this move from the manufacturers got a lot of negative response from the developers and the general consumers, alike. In the end, not only did they ease their stance on the bootloader policy, they have also started hiring these talented developers.


Why a Windows Phone 7 Based Samsung Galaxy S 2 is the Right Move for Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S was the most popular Android smartphone of 2010. Its successor, the Samsung Galaxy S 2, which was launched about 2 months back has been a huge hit too, selling over 3 million units in just 55 days. It has been declared the best Android smartphone of 2011 by almost every gadget review blog, and is the one of the few phones which can rival the popularity of the iPhone.

Naturally, when there were rumors that Samsung was working on a Windows Phone 7 based version of the Galaxy S 2 (codenamed the Samsung SGH-i937), everyone, including me, was very excited about the possibilities. Windows Phone 7 is a very promising OS, and with the Mango update, it is probably the best alternative to iOS.

Many people I know prefer Windows Phone 7.5 to Android 2.3.4, but since Android has a much better choice and selection of hardware, they have stuck with Android. You may argue that Android has far more apps than Windows Phone 7, but Windows Marketplace’s app count is growing rapidly; it recently passed the 25,000 mark and is still growing.

If Samsung does launch a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 powered by Windows Phone 7, it would probably be the best option for anyone wanting to buy Windows Phone 7 devices. It could capture a majority of the Windows Phone 7 market share in one move, before Nokia even manages to launch its first Windows Phone 7 device. It would have a much better chance at becoming the world’s largest smartphone vendor then, with devices on three smartphone platforms – Android, Windows Phone 7 and BADA OS. This is why launching a Windows Phone 7 based variant of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 would be an excellent move for Samsung. If I wanted to, I would probably go short some Nokia stock. Its prospects aren’t looking very good.

Disclosure: I have no open stock positions in any of the companies mentioned in this post.

Samsung to Launch the Galaxy S 3 in 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S 2, the best Android smartphone of the year, has been selling like hot cakes. It just broke records by selling over 1 million units in South Korea in the first month.

It will launch soon in many other countries, including India, and is expected to be the best selling smartphone of the year, at least until the iPhone 5 launches. Carrier specific versions of the Galaxy S 2 will be launched in the US this summer.

Today, J. K. Shin, President, Samsung Mobile, stated in an interview with WSJ, that Samsung was planning to launch a 4G version of the Galaxy Tab, after the launch of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1.

He also said that Samsung will be launching the successor to the Galaxy S 2, the Galaxy S 3 in the first half of 2012. I suppose they will preview it either at CES or MWC 2012.

“Understanding that the market is changing very quickly and being able to embrace market trends quickly is one of Samsung’s biggest challenges in the mobile communications business. We believe that as time progresses, the tablet market will stabilize. There are a lot of players jumping into the market but it’s important to offer a device that customers can relate to and feel it’s a necessity in their daily lives” Mr. Shin said.

He also commented on Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung. “We didn’t copy Apple’s design” he stated.

Samsung has a very good chance at dominating the Android tablet space, though it’s still way behind the Apple iPad in terms of sales.

Samsung Galaxy S 2 vs HTC Sensation: Battle of the Droids

In my post about the Best Android Phones of 2011, the first two phones were the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and the HTC Sensation. While the Samsung Galaxy S 2 has been reviewed by many, the HTC Sensation is still relatively new. In the last few days though, some reviews of the HTC Sensation have been cropping up as well. The Galaxy S 2 has received awesome reviews so far, but the HTC Sensation also doesn’t seem to be far behind. It has also been recognized as an excellent device.

In this post, I will compare the HTC Sensation with the Samsung Galaxy S 2. Both the phones have similar hardware specifications and run Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread. Both of them have 8 MP cameras and come with a 4.3 inch display.

Samsung Galaxy S 2 vs HTC Sensation

Samsung Galaxy S 2 vs HTC Sensation: Comparison


The Samsung Galaxy S 2 is the slimmest Android smartphone yet – with dimensions of 125.3 mm x 66.1 mm x 8.5 mm. The HTC Sensation is a bit thicker with dimensions of 126.1 mm x 65.4 mm x 11.3 mm. The Galaxy S 2 (116 gms) is also much lighter than the Sensation (148 gms).

Both the phones have a great design and excellent build quality.


The Samsung Galaxy S 2 comes with a 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display which is probably the best mobile display ever, in terms of display quality, brightness, contrast etc. It has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels.

The HTC Sensation has a 4.3 inch S-LCD display with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. It’s an excellent display, but relatively not as good as the SuperAMOLED Plus display of the Galaxy S 2. It does have a higher display resolution though, so it’s a tradeoff between resolution and the display quality.

User Interface

The Samsung Galaxy S 2 comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and the TouchWiz 4.0 interface, while the HTC Sensation comes with the same OS and the Sense 3.0 UI. While I personally prefer TouchWiz, I know many people who love the Sense UI, so this is very subjective.


The Samsung Galaxy S 2 comes with a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor and the very powerful Mali 400MP GPU. It has 1 GB RAM and comes with 16 GB internal storage.

The HTC Sensation comes with a 1.2 GHz dual core processor as well – the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8260 – and the Adreno 220 GPU. It has 768 MB RAM and comes with 1 GB internal storage.

While both phones are almost equal in terms of processing and graphics, the Galaxy S 2 has more RAM and more internal storage. Most reviews also point that the Galaxy S 2 is marginally better in performance, and more responsive.


The Samsung Galaxy S 2 has an 8 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash, and a secondary 2 MP camera too. It offers brilliant image capture quality, and can also record 1080p videos at 30 FPS.

The HTC Sensation comes with an 8 MP camera too and it captures excellent images as well. It also has autofocus, dual LED flash with stereo sound recording, and can record 1080p videos at 30 FPS too.

You will have to wait for some time for a comprehensive camera comparison, but they are most likely equals in this case.


While both the devices offer all the basic connectivity options – EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and GPS with A-GPS, the Samsung Galaxy S 2 has one feature that the HTC Sensation doesn’t – NFC. With so many NFC based apps and services coming along, HTC shouldn’t have missed that one.

The Verdict

Both the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and the HTC Sensation are excellent smartphones. They are undoubtedly the best Android smartphones money can buy. The Samsung Galaxy S 2 will be launched in a couple of days (it has already been launched in some countries), while the HTC Sensation still has a couple of weeks to go.

I personally prefer the Samsung Galaxy S 2 – it is the best smartphone of all time – but even the HTC Sensation is a great device. Both the phones have received superb reviews, so it really boils down to two things:

1. Whether you can wait for the HTC Sensation, resisting the urge to buy the Galaxy S 2 when it launches.

2. Whether you prefer TouchWiz or Sense.

I’m going with the Samsung Galaxy S 2, BTW.

Samsung Hercules Specifications Leaked

The Samsung Infuse 4G was unveiled at CES 2011. It was an upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S with a faster processor, larger display and a a better camera. But just when we had started checking it out, preparing to drool all over it, Samsung announced yet another device – the Samsung Galaxy S 2. It is probably the best Android smartphone on the planet right now.

But even though the Samsung Galaxy S 2 is yet to be launched in many countries, rumors suggest that Samsung is working on a successor to the Samsung Infuse 4G, with a dual core processor, double the RAM, and NFC support.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S 2, it will have a better display, and possibly marginally better hardware.

Samsung Hercules Specifications

It will sport a 4.5 inch 480 x 800 Super AMOLED Plus display, just like the Infuse 4G. It will be powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

It will also support NFC, and will come with HSPA+ connectivity. It is rumored to have dimensions of 5.16 x 2.76 x 0.37 inches, very similar to the Infuse 4G.

It has a 16 GB internal ROM, 1 GB internal RAM. It also has a Qualcomm 1.2 GHz dual core APQ 8060 application processor, not an Exynos processor like the Galaxy S 2.

It will also sport an 8 MP camera which can capture 1080p videos. Stay tuned for more updates about the Samsung Hercules. It’s surely going to be one amazing phone, but it’s still months away from launch.

Samsung Infuse 4G

via ThisIsMyNext