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Samsung begins rolling out the Lollipop update to the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 LTE

Posted by wicked May - 5 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Samsung_Galaxy_Tab_S_8.4_Main_TA

It was only a couple of weeks ago that Samsung began rolling out the Android 5.0 update to the WiFi variant of the Galaxy Tab S 8.4, and now we have news that the LTE version is also receiving some Lollipop goodness, in Hong Kong of all places. 

At present the update is only available via the Samsung Kies software, although an OTA (Over-The-Air) version should be on the way as well. The update is based on Android version 5.0.2 and has build number T705ZHU1BOD3 and a changelog number of 4716872 for what it’s worth. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be too long before SM-T705 owners begin seeing the update in other regions.

If you are the adventurous-slash-impatient type you can always install the update manually by downloading the firmware from SamMobile and then following the accompanying instructions. It should be noted that the firmware is only compatible with the SM-T705 model that has the Exynos processor. If you are in any doubt about which model you own just go to Settings/ About Phone and check the model number.  Flashing firmware manually can be risky, sometimes ending in a bricked device, which is why we would advise you to wait until the update becomes available to your region.

 Instructions: 

  • Download the firmware (From the source link below)
  • Extract (unzip/unrar) the firmware file
  • Download Odin v3.10.6 (Here)
  • Extract the Odin zip file
  • Open Odin v3.10.6
  • Reboot tablet in download mode (press Home + Power + Volume Down buttons simultaneously)
  • Connect tablet to computer via USB and make sure you see the blue sign in Odin before proceeding
  • Add the firmware to AP/PDA section
  • Important: Make sure re-partition is NOT ticked
  • Click the start button, wait a few minutes until the tablet reboots

Source: SamMobile

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[Deal] Motorola cutting $225 off the price of the 2014 Moto X tomorrow

Posted by wicked May - 5 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Moto_X_2014_2nd_Gen_Back_01_TAThis deal on the 2014 Moto X is going to be tough to pass up if you’re in the market for a new phone. Motorola is offering the 32 GB Moto X for just $350, with the 64 GB model running an extra $25. Less than $400 nets you an extremely capable device that’s barely under a year old and can still compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S 5 and HTC’s One M8.

The deal starts tomorrow and only lasts for one day, so be ready to jump on it if you want one. You’ll still get all of the customization options through MotoMaker that Motorola normally offers, so if you’ve ever needed an excuse to test out customizing your device, this is as good a time as any.

source: Motorola

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HTC Launches UH OH Protection, Mocks Stingy Competitors

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

HTC One M9

HTC is basically the mobile phone manufacturing equivalent of a cult television show. She is the Parks and Recreation of this space, with avid users merrily touting the quality and reliability of the product, even if not many others are taking part.

But this isn’t NBC, where low-rated critical darlings survived despite all ostensible logic. The mobile industry is hyper-competitive, and HTC does not have the luxury of awards and fan campaigns to keep it afloat. It needs actual users.

It’s latest effort to court consumers away from defending champ Samsung and reborn hotshot LG is the all-new, cheekily named “UH OH” protection service that comes free with the purchase of a One M9 or a new One M8. A letter from HTC president Jason Mackenzie elaborates on UH OHs offerings, including a complete phone replacement within the first 12 months of ownership if a M9 or M8 suffers water damage, gets a cracked screen, or if the owner decides to switch carriers. No questions asked.

Also, if one goes 12 months without exploiting these services, HTC will give you $100 toward the purchase of one’s next HTC One. No word on if that means unlocked, full-price phones or carrier-subsidized ones. Also, I’m inferring that HTC intends to keep the One brand around for some time, based on the money offered to buy the “next” One. So if you had your money on a One M10, place said money down.

Mackenzie takes a few potshots at competitors, saying:

“Other OEMs view “protection” as another thing to sell consumers. In our opinion, that isn’t taking care of your customers. It is profiting from their misfortune. In addition to actually paying for their “Elite” protection plans, they also expect you to pay additional service fees to use the service – and, you don’t get anything back if you don’t use it. Some competitors are just offering coverage for some types of damage covered by HTC UH OH Protection but not others. HTC is making sure our customers are taken care of without additional costs because we believe that if you purchase a premium phone it should stay that way.”

Now what’s not clear is if this is an either/or scenario when it comes to phone protection, as in if you happen to have the apocalyptic misfortune of cracking a screen, suffering water damage, and opting to switch carriers, it is unclear whether HTC would cover all of that or just one of these instances.

Also, UH OH users are only given one free phone replacement and one year of service. It’s free, so who really cares, but if you damage your phone on month 13, you’re out of luck. By comparison, Samsung’s Plus Mobile Elite protection package costs $99 for a Galaxy S4, S5, or S6, and while it does not cover a carrier switch, its length of protection is two years and allows for up to three claims, though each claim costs $79. LG’s free support is mostly limited to screen replacements.

Still, UH OH is free, requires no registration, and is offered in the US and Mexico (curiously, no Canada – take that, NAFTA). It also offers next-day air service. Check out the full breakdown in the table below.

HTC Uh Oh Protection Is Amazing Amazingness

Does this sort of peace of mind swing you into the HTC camp? It will be interesting to see if warranty wars help garner HTC more market share. It certainly needs it.

Source: HTC

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 and Tab S2 9.7 announcement in June

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-S-tablets-launched-in-India1

Samsung’s successor to their Tab S line is expected to be announced in June and will be dubbed as the Galaxy Tab S2 (Tab S2 8.0 and Tab S2 9.7 respectively). There will be a total of 4 variants of their new Tab S2, with the 8.0 and 9.7 each receiving both a W-Fi only version and an LTE version. Samsung is expected to ship these new tablets to various countries including the US, Canada, several European markets, China, Latin America, Hong Kong, Korea, and India. As for specs, here’s what you can expect:

  • 64-bit Exynos processor
  • 3GB RAM; 32GB ROM with microSD card slot
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
  • Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Samsung’s in-house modem with Cat. 6 LTE (300Mbps)
  • 8-megapixel primary camera, and 2.1-megapixel front facing camera

What are your guys’ thoughts on Samsung’s tablets?

source: Samobile

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Smartphone Camera Shootout: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs LG G4

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Samsung_Galaxy_S6_LG_G4_Cameras_01_TA

Reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have been pretty positive with the camera being a standout feature. However, last week LG announced their newest flagship, the G4, and they feel they might have one-upped Samsung. The Galaxy S6 and Edge sport an industry first f/1.9 aperture, giving them tremendous results in low light. It hasn’t even been a month and now LG has trumped Samsung by giving the G4’s camera an aperture of f/1.8. It might not sound like much of a difference to you, but LG believes it is. On top of that, they threw in auto laser focus, and OIS 2.0, which gives you a 3rd axis for even better image stabilization.

Android users have been craving for smartphones that sport cameras that can get the job done, so it’s nice to see both LG and Samsung pushing the envelope here. Is there a clear winner? Did LG trump Samsung?

I have spent a decent amount of time with both the G4 and the Galaxy S6 Edge this past weekend capturing photos to see how each one fairs. I am not only looking for great photos, but I wanted to see how each device did with detail, so you will find cropped examples as well.

Before we begin, I should note that all photos were taken in Auto mode, so I did not tweak any controls whatsoever. This is how most people will capture photos. All photos came in at 5312 x 2988 or 16 MP

Let’s start with this baseball on my garage floor. I took both of these photos from about waist high. Below are the originals, followed by cropped versions of both photos (1350 x 759)

Original (5312 x 2988) Click on images for full resolution version

                              Galaxy S6 Edge                                                            LG G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_G4

Cropped (1350 x 759) Click on images for full resolution version

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_GS6_CropGalaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_G4_crop

As you can see, the LG images are brighter, but the Galaxy S6 Edge’s images are more color accurate. I also think the Galaxy S6 Edge captured more detail on the garage floor in the cropped image. On the other hand, the writing on the ball is clearer on the cropped picture from the G4.

Next up is an image of a creek at dusk, and again, followed by cropped mages

Original (5312 x 2988) Click on images for full resolution version

                              Galaxy S6 Edge                                                            LG G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_02_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_02_G4

Cropped (1350 x 759) Click on images for full resolution version

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_02_GS6_CropGalaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_02_G4_crop

Again, the G4’s image is a little brighter, but if you take a look at the cropped images, the Galaxy S6 Edge has more detail on the rocks.

Now we have a picture of a “No Outlet” sign after sunset when it’s just about dark.

Original (5312 x 2988) Click on images for full resolution version

                              Galaxy S6 Edge                                                            LG G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_03_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_03_G4

Cropped (1350 x 759) Click on images for full resolution version

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_03_GS6_cropGalaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_03_G4_crop

Once again, the G4’s image is brighter. The sign, which is the focal point, isn’t all that much better though. Cropping an image like this seems futile at best, but it does give us some information. The G4 has a lot more noise, and the lights on the light posts are a little cleaner on the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Here are some more photos in which I didn’t do any crop tests. The ones with the clouds, especially the sunset, are hard to compare since they moved slightly from image to image. Note: The G4 used HDR to capture the first picture with the clouds. The last two images are closeups, not crops.

Original (5312 x 2988) Click on images for full resolution version

                              Galaxy S6 Edge                                                            LG G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_04_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_04_G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_05_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_05_HDR_G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_06_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_06_G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_07_Closeup_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_07_Closeup_G4

Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_08_Closeup_GS6Galaxy_S6_Edge_vs_LG_G4_Photos_Shootout_08_Closeup_G4

Conclusion

You can clearly see the f/1.8 aperture of the G4 captures more light than the f/1.9 aperture, but the Galaxy S6 seems to capture more detail. I’m not sure you can pick a clear winner because all photos are remarkable, but if you’re a photography enthusiast, the G4 might be the better pick since it offers the ability to capture Raw (DNG) images and there are more controls in Manual mode vs Samsung’s Pro mode, For example, you can adjust the shutter speed on the G4, but you can’t on the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge. Even the ISO setting is limited to 800 on the Galaxy S6 and Edge, whereas the G4 allows you to dial it up to 2700. So if you know what you’re doing, you can definitely capture better photos on the G4, but t the average person will more than likely be ecstatic with the performance of either phone.

What do you think of the photos? Let me know in the comments.

Come comment on this article: Smartphone Camera Shootout: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs LG G4

Plastic variant of HTC One M9+ spotted

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

htc_one_m9e_tenaa

Recently spotted in the TENAA certification database, China’s equivalent of the FCC, a new device from HTC appears to be a plastic version of the HTC One M9+. The HTC One M9+ is a slightly larger and more powerful version of the HTC One M9. Inexplicably, HTC only makes the bigger device available in Asian market despite interest from Western market buyers. The device that was spotted in TENAA carried the model name “M9e” and it is unclear where it may land.

According to the documents that are available, the HTC One M9e mirrors the HTC One M9+ hardware and specs with only a couple exceptions. The new device does not have HTC’s duo camera setup and it is unclear as to whether it has a built-in IR blaster.

Being constructed with plastic rather than metal means HTC will likely price the phone at a more affordable price than their top-tier devices even though it should mostly match flagship class devices in terms of performance. There is still the ever present question of whether it can escape Asian markets and offer an alternative for buyers in Western markets who want a bigger device from HTC than what is currently offered without sacrificing performance.

source: TENAA
via: Engadget

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Samsung wants to emulate Stark Industries with movie tie-ins

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Samsung Shin Avengers tech

In Korea, the new Hollywood blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron from Marvel has some unexpected fans in executives from Samsung Electronics. The company is so excited about the film that they collaborated with Marvel on future tech for the Avenger’s team and have plans to release an Iron Man themed version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge.

According to Samsung chief executive, Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung hopes to follow in the steps of fictional Stark Industries by becoming a leader in cutting edge tech. As an example of this, Shin poses the question, “did you see the device with the transparent display?” in reference to Tony Stark’s smartphone in the movie. Shin did not elaborate on whether the prop could become an actual product, but he sure sounded like he wants to see the company pursue the idea.

In addition to the transparent smartphone, Samsung also supplied smart watches and wireless earpieces that the Avengers used in the movie.

Joining Shin for a screening of Avengers: Age of Ultron was Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile division. Lee confirmed, “Samsung is prepping up to rollout the Iron Man edition of the S6 Edge, which will be in red” late this month or early next month. No word on whether other characters will get their own tie-ins, like a Hulk inspired Galaxy Note Edge.

On a more serious note, Shin noted that sales of the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are “basking in a more positive market” in response to concerns about sales not meeting expectations. Shin also noted that the company has improved their capacity to produce the Galaxy S6 edge display to meet demand.

source: The Korea Herald

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HTC drops four new One M9 promotional videos

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

OneM9PromoHTC just released a few new videos this morning highlighting some of the aspects of HTC’s third generation flagship, the M9. The device, while receiving mixed reviews, has been seen has a refinement of the first two generations.

From Sense Home, HTC’s Sense 7 Blinkfeed launcher with theme/icon support, to low-light selfies, HTC is showing off everything to love about the M9. We have all four of the videos for you after the break. Enjoy.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

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Lost luggage might be a thing of the past thanks to Samsung and Samsonite

Posted by wicked May - 4 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Samsung_Samsonite_Smart_Luggage

Unless you have never traveled in your life, you have experienced what it feels like getting off a long flight only to find out that your luggage decided to travel to a different spot. We have smartphones, smartwatches, smart TVs, and now it’s time for smart luggage.

Samsung and Samsonite are partnering to do just that. They are fitting suitcases with microchips that can not only be located via the airlines, but also with your smartphone. Usually when you realize your bag is lost, you immediate report it, but the agent rarely knows where it is at the time. They end up putting a trace on it, and eventually it makes it way to your destination.

With this new technology, the rep will know exactly where it is. Moving beyond that, smart luggage has other perks. Since it communicates with your smartphone, you will be alerted if you ever stray too far away from any of your carry on bags. Then there is the dreaded wait at the luggage carousel. Everyone waits and stares at the same bags as they wonder when theirs will come out. You will now know exactly when yours will hit the belt. You will even know when it has exited the aircraft. So if it is lost, you will know right away.

There is one hitch to all of this and that is that if you are connecting with a different airline that does not use the service, you might not be able to benefit from all the features. Right now Samsonite is working with Emirates, Lufthansa and KLM Air France. One of the benefits of airline participation is a streamlined check-in process. Your bag will already be programmed on where it needs to go by the time you drive up to the curb.

Now if location tracking isn’t enough, how about if you never have to carry or pull your bags? They are testing a motor that would move with you around the airport. However size is an issue since the current prototypes have motors that take up one third of the space of the bag. You don’t want to have to leave your underwear at home so it might be worth waiting a couple of years until the technology is tweaked a little.

source: Daily Mail
via: Engadget

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samsung_galaxy_tab_a_trade_in_deal_050215

Now through May 16, Best Buy will be running a promotion to lower the price of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab A. Simply trade in any working tablet and the electronics retailer will hand over a $50 coupon for the device and a $50 gift card.

This deal means that you can purchase the Galaxy Tab A for $100 less than normal. Pricing without any discount starts at $229 for the 8-inch model and reaches $299 for the 9.7-inch model.

[Samsung Galaxy Tab A – Best Buy]

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Best Buy takes $100 off of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A when trading in a working tablet

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