Samsung Galaxy Note II Coming To Five Major U.S Carriers Mid-November

Samsung has just announced that the U.S availability of the Galaxy Note II. As the leaks suggested, the Galaxy Note II will be available on all the five major carriers in the United States – AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and U.S Cellular. The release date of the handset-tablet hybrid is a vague ”mid-November” though with no word on pricing from the Korean company.

If the launch of the Galaxy S III in the United States is anything to go by, all the carriers will soon announce the pricing, release date and the colors the Galaxy Note II will be available in.

The Galaxy Note II will launch with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean on-board, and will pack in a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos SoC, 2GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch HD Super-AMOLED (not PenTile), an updated S-Pen, LTE radio, a bunch of S-Pen optimized apps, an 8MP camera at the back, a 1.9MP snapper in the front and a nature inspired version of TouchWIZ.

Samsung Galaxy Chat Goes On Sale In India For Rs.8500

Back in July, Samsung announced the entry-level Galaxy Chat smartphone. The specs of this device is nothing extra-ordinary, however it comes with a touchscreen display and a unique form-factor similar to the previously launched Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos and HTC ChaCha. Samsung Galaxy Chat runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS. Sadly, this device is not expected to get the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update and you might get stuck forever with the ICS.

Samsung Galaxy Chat comes with a dedicated Samsung ChatOn key which allows you to share text, animations and images with your friends. Samsung has not yet officially launched this device in India, however popular online retailers such as Saholic and Infibeam has already started selling this device in India. Mahesh Telecom, a popular retailer in Mumbai is also selling this affordable smartphone in India.

samsung galaxy chat

Samsung Galaxy Chat features a 3 inch QVGA touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, 850 MHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, full QWERTY keyboard, TouchWiz UI, 2 megapixel rear-facing camera, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G connectivity and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, Google Play Store, GPS with A-GPS, up to 520 hours of stand-by time, up to 15 hours of talk-time and a 1200 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Chat is pre-loaded with the Samsung’s AllShare Play and S Planner app which allows you to play multimedia from other connected devices and manage your schedule respectively. This handset comes with a price-tag of Rs.8500 in India. To get this handset, head over to Saholic or Infibeam.

Verizon Galaxy Tab 10.1 Gets The Android 4.0 ICS Update

Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab 10.1 exclusively for the Verizon subscribers in the US. This device was originally shipped with the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Earlier this year, Verizon has announced the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update plans for 14 Android powered devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. After waiting for nearly 6 months, Verizon is finally rolling out the much awaited Android 4.0 update for Samsung’s first 10.1 inch tablet.

The latest update is numbered i905.LP11 and it brings the usual Ice Cream Sandwich goodies including the new data usage monitor, updated quick panel, pinch to zoom functionality in homescreen, direct access lock screen, redesigned gallery app with photo editor, new system font for improved readability, resizable widgets, Wi-Fi direct support and so on. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

* Applied Android Ice Cream (ICS) OS upgrade to 4.0.4.

  • Pinch to Zoom functionality has been added in homescreen and main menu screen.
  • Google Plus has been integrated.
  • Google Text-To-Speech Engine has been integrated in the upgrade.

* In Email search menu, search criteria by date, sender & title.
* In Email Composer, ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ options have been added.
* A quick response message may be quickly inserted into the body while composing a message.
* Initiate a ‘New Meeting Invitation’ for Exchange accounts.
* Wi-Fi Direct support by Android platform.
* Redesigned Gallery app with photo editor includes:

  • More ways to sort albums by time, location, people and tags.
  • Photo studio that allows users to crop and rotate pictures, set levels and remove red eyes.
  • Improved Picture Gallery widget lets users look at pictures directly on their home screen.

* Rich and versatile camera capabilities including:

  • Continuous focus.
  • Android 4.0 Zero shutter lag exposure.
  • Stabilized image zoom.
  • Single-motion panorama.
  • Apps can now set custom metering regions in a camera preview.

The latest update can be easily downloaded via OTA (Over-The-Air). You should make sure that your device is not rooted and has at least 50% or more battery before updating the device. If you still haven’t received the update, then just go to Home > Applications > Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update. To learn more, head over to this page or check out this PDF file.

Apple A6 SoC – Not A15, But Much More Efficient Than Competing SoCs

When Apple announced the iPhone 5, the company mentioned that the device had a 2x faster processor without providing anymore information on the SoC. Apple’s claims led many to believe that the iPhone 5 is going to be the first handset in the market to sport a Cortex-A15 based SoC.

Sadly, as the folks at AnandTech found out, the iPhone 5 does not sport an A15 based SoC. Instead, it sports a custom dual-core hybrid Cortex-A9 and A15 CPU from Apple.

Apple going the custom core way for the A6 SoC shows how much the Cupertino giant is dedicated towards the iOS ecosystem. By making its own custom core, Apple can further tighten the iOS experience, which will ultimately benefit the end users.

So, how does the A6 SoC stack against the quad-core Exynos SoC inside the Galaxy S3 and other competing SoCs?

A Geek Bench 2 result of the A6 SoC shows that Apple has only clocked the CPU at 1GHz, which is fairly conservative for a 32nm based SoC. The new iPhone 5 scores 1601 in GeekBench 2, while the International Galaxy S3 scores 1781. Even though the Exynos SoC inside the SGS3 managed to beat the iPhone 5, the A6 SoC inside the iPhone 5 is clearly much more powerful. The A6 SoC has two less cores, and is clocked at a fairly conservative 1.02GHz and yet manages to come very near to the Galaxy S3 in GeekBench 2.

Apart from the Exynos SoC, the A6 inside the iPhone 5 is easily able to beat all other SoCs found in other Android devices including the Nexus 7 (Tegra 3), and the HTC One X (Qualcomm S4 Krait).

The A6 SoC also has phenomenal memory performance, which has generally been a weak point of ARM based CPUs. The SoC is also rumored to sport a PowerVR SGX543MP3 GPU clocked at higher speeds than found on the iPhone 4S. Head over to AnandTech for an excellent analysis of the Geek Bench 2 results.

Verizon Galaxy Note 2 Pictures Leaks; Carrier Branding Goes To Another Level Altogether

When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 2 at IFA in late August, it did not provide much information about the U.S variants of the device. However, over the last couple of weeks, enough evidence have leaked to confirm that the Galaxy Note 2 will be launching on all the major U.S carriers like the Galaxy S3.

Now, a tipster has sent some leaked pictures of the Verizon variant of the Galaxy Note 2, showing off the phablet in its entirety. While the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 will look similar to the international Galaxy Note 2, it will sport a Verizon branding at its back and on the physical home button on the front. I really hope that the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 does not sport the VZW logo on the physical home button at the front. If it does, Verizon, you just won the award for placing your logo at the most weird place possible in a device.

The leaks suggest that all the U.S variants of the Galaxy Note 2 will sport the quad-core Exynos SoC along with 2GB of RAM. This will be the first time that Samsung will be coupling its Exynos SoC with an LTE baseband in the United States.

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE Coming To Sprint For $99.99

Another day and another smartphone announcement! One one hand, Samsung launches the powerful and stunning Galaxy S III, while on the other hand, the South Korean giant is flooding the US market with its entry-level smartphones. The latest device to join the bandwagon is the Galaxy Victory 4G LTE. The design of the device is as dull as its name.

The Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE will be exclusively available for the Sprint subscribers in the US. As expected, the device is powered by the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System with the Samsung’s very own TouchWiz UI on top of it. Sprint 4G LTE is now currently available only in 19 cities across the United States. This handset is great for those who are looking to experience the lightning fast 4G LTE on the smartphone, without burning a hole in their pocket.

David Owens, vice president – Product Development, Sprint, said:
“Price is often a barrier for customers who are ready to transition from a feature phone to a smartphone. Samsung Galaxy Victory brings Sprint 4G LTE to the mass market with the high-end features and capabilities of a premium Android smartphone. Priced under $100 and paired with Truly Unlimited data from Sprint, our customers will appreciate the functionality of this device without worrying about costly monthly rate plans or surprises on their wireless bill.”

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE features a 4 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, TouchWiz UI, 5 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), 1 GB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, Samsung Hub, Google Play Store, NFC (Near Field Communication), Samsung Media Hub, Android Beam, 3G/4G LTE mobile hotspot capability, up to 9 hours of talk-time and a 2100 mAh battery. This handset measures 121.9 mm x 63.5 mm x 12.7 mm and weighs 138.9 grams.

Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE will be available for Sprint customers from September 16 for just $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a 2 year service agreement. While Samsung Galaxy S III is available at the same price, we wonder who will purchase this entry-level smartphone in the first place. If Galaxy S III doesn’t excite you, then head over to this page and order this handset right away.

Apple iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Galaxy Note II vs. HTC One X

Apple has just unveiled its next-generation iPhone, and as expected it packs in a larger 4-inch screen with higher resolution. It will also be the first handset to make use of the recently approved nano-SIM cards. While the iPhone 5 sports similar design as the last two generations of the iPhone, it does look much more beautiful, at least in the press shots from Apple.

If you are looking to buy a handset, and are confused about how the iPhone 5 stacks up against its competition, here is a specs based, on-paper, comparison of the handset with some of its major competitors -:

While the iPhone 5 does not sport a new design or any new innovative features, it does feature an excellent camera, a powerful SoC and an excellent battery life. On paper the iPhone 5 may look similar to the iPhone 4S and its Android competitors, but the device packs in some marvellous piece of technology. It will be interesting to see how the 8MP camera on the iPhone 5 stacks up against the 8.7MP PureView camera on the Lumia 920.

If you are interested in knowing which is the best smartphone in the market right now, then you won’t find your answer here. This question is extremely subjective and the answer depends more on the user’s needs than anything else. If you want the largest screen possible on a phone, then buy the Galaxy Note 2. If you want something that ‘just works’, then the iPhone 5 will be perfect for you. If you don’t like the restrictions of iOS6 and a closed ecosystem, the Galaxy S III is the handset you should buy.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 And Galaxy S Advance To Taste Jelly Bean Instead Of ICS

Samsung Bulgaria has announced that it won’t be updating two of its mid-range devices, the Galaxy Ace 2 and the Galaxy S Advance, to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Instead, the company will be directly updating these devices to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Both the handsets are powered by the NovaThor U8500 SoC, which was recently demonstrated running Jelly Bean by the ST-Ericsson folks.

This move from Samsung is definitely going to please a lot of Ace 2 and Galaxy S Advance owners. It is  good to see Samsung making an effort to update even its mid-range devices to Jelly Bean.

However, the bad side to this news is that the Jelly Bean update will take sometime to be available for both the handsets. It is also possible that the Samsung Bulgaria spokesperson might be wrong about the Jelly Bean update for the handsets. Until and unless, Samsung Global confirms this piece of news, I’d recommend Ace 2 and Galaxy S Advance users to not get their hopes up too high.

Via – GSMArena

Samsung Galaxy S III Jelly Bean Update Coming This October

Ever since Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean hit AOSP, owners of Galaxy S3 have been impatiently waiting for the update. The rumor mill indicated that Samsung might announce the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III at the Galaxy Note II unveiling event at IFA on August 29th.

However, August 29th came and went by, with no word from Samsung on the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III. Now, according to a report from CNET UK, Samsung has confirmed that “the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system will be available on the Galaxy S3 from October.” Samsung will also be releasing the GT-I9305 variant of the Galaxy S III on the EE network in the U.K with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean on-board.

There have been quite a lot of Jelly Bean firmware leaks for the Galaxy S3, with the recent leaks being pretty much bug-free and stable. If the leaks are an indication of anything, the final Jelly Bean firmware for the handset is not far away.

The international Galaxy S III might just get the official Jelly Bean update before Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus. So much for being a ‘Nexus’ device.

Samsung Galaxy Note II To Launch On All Major U.S Carriers With Exynos SoC

When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note last year, the company was mocked for releasing such a big phone or a tablet with such a small screen. The hybrid handset fell in no man’s land and was criticized by every reviewer out there for its size. Even then, the sales figure of the Galaxy Note proved everyone wrong and the phablet managed to sell in excess of 10 million units, even though it was not widely available in a major market like the United States.

While the Galaxy Note was more of an experiment for Samsung, the Galaxy Note II is all set for sure shot jackpot. People have been itching to get their hands on the Note II ever since Samsung announced it in August, and this time the company has decided to go big with this big handset. Thee Korean company aims to go big with the Note II by launching it on all major U.S carriers like it did with the Galaxy S III.

The folks over at BriefMobile have managed to get their hands on some leaked screenshots, which show off the About Phone screen of the Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy Note II. Unlike the U.S variants of the Galaxy S III though, the Galaxy Note II in the United States will not be sporting a Qualcomm S4 Krait SoC. Instead, it will be powered by the same quad-core Exynos SoC that will be found inside the International Galaxy Note II. This will be the first time that Samsung will be bringing its Exynos SoC to the United States with LTE support. It will be interesting to see which 4G LTE modem Samsung has coupled with its Exynos SoC inside the Galaxy Note II, and whether it is as power efficient as the Qualcomm’s S4 Krait SoC+modem combination.

After the Galaxy S III and the iPhone, the Note II will be the only device to launch with presumably the same specs and design on all the four major U.S carriers.