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LG’s F490 shows up in Vietnam, up close images available

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

LG is creating quite a buzz with its supposed upcoming device, the LG F490 “Liger” (which is a lion and a tiger, geddit?). It might just be the first competitive device that will sport an LG-made processor – an octa-core processor at that – similar to what Samsung is doing with its Exynos cores. The F490 is not yet officially available, but it has shown up in Vietnam for a nice photo session.

As you can see from the pics, the device’s screen is huge at 5.9 inches. It is said that the F490 is slated to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus in the category of “smartphones with ginormous screens”. And as with LG’s usual way of doing things, the F490 will probably launch in the Korean market first – but most of us should expect an international version of this by mid to end of November.


What is interesting about it is that LG is trying its best to do a Samsung and produce its own processors. For the F490, it is rumored to be the Odin/NUCLUN octa-core processor, complete with big.LITTLE architecture at quad Cortex A15 1.5Ghz and quad Cortex A7 1.2Ghz cores. Nothing bad with that, but nothing bad with Qualcomm cores either, which has octa-core solutions if needed. Does LG need to prove itself that it can put out its own procs? In my book, they don’t need to – but this looks like it.


The F490 will reportedly have 2GB of RAM, and on a screen this big – 5.9-inch Full HD 1776×1080 – your performance might take a hit, even with 8 cores. That kinda shows with a middling AnTuTu benchmark result – which probably points to a lack of RAM (3GB would be better) or a GPU that is not up to spec. The benchmark result at 25460 is great, but to compete with the Galaxy Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the F490 has got to do better.



Famigo coming pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 through AT&T

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off


This year, Samsung and Famigo have built a strong partnership. The hardware manufacturer has pre-loaded Famigo software on its tablets already. And Famigo has pretty useful software for educational purposes. Now, the two companies are back at it again with the Galaxy Note 4. Only through the AT&T version of the Galaxy Note 4 will you find Famio pre-loaded.

The CEO of Famigo, Q Beck, was ecstatic regarding the app’s presence on the Galaxy Note 4:

The Note 4 promises to be one of the most popular and exciting Android devices of the year. With Famigo preloaded on the Note 4, parents won’t be the only ones to enjoy the phablet’s bigger screen. Kids can access curated apps, games and videos to learn and play anywhere, anytime. As more devices make  their way into the classroom, the Note 4 will also be an excellent option for districts seeking to incorporate one-to-one learning experiences or bring your own device initiatives.

Hit the break for the full press release.

Famigo Continues Momentum on Android, Announces its Pre-Loaded on Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Partnership with Device Manufacturers Emphasize Ongoing Commitment to Providing the Best Available Education and Child-Approved Entertainment on Mobile

AUSTIN, Tex.—October 24, 2014—Famigo, an educational mobile app company, is now preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, one of the most anticipated Android devices of 2014.

The Note 4 ‘phablet’ is the latest device to feature Famigo pre-loaded. Other devices include Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4, Galaxy Note Pro, HTC One M8 and LG G Flex. Famigo’s partnership with device manufacturers underlines the company’s commitment to provide the best available education and child approved entertainment to as many families and schools as possible.

“The Note 4 promises to be one of the most popular and exciting Android devices of the year,” said Famigo CEO Q Beck. “With Famigo preloaded on the Note 4, parents won’t be the only ones to enjoy the phablet’s bigger screen. Kids can access curated apps, games and videos to learn and play anywhere, anytime. As more devices make their way into the classroom, the Note 4 will also be an excellent option for districts seeking to incorporate one-to-one learning experiences or bring your own device initiatives.”  

Famigo solves the problem of limited mobile options for children. It provides families easy access to the best available educational entertainment, with unique security features that make the mobile experience safer. Kids can choose from thousands of videos in Famigo TV that are sorted by age range, as well as access educational apps and games. Parents can use an optional child-lock to make the Note 4 a safer space for kids to learn and explore.

Children can use Famigo both inside and outside of the classroom, maximizing the benefit of the platform’s specialized educational content.

The preloaded version of Famigo is now available exclusively to AT&T customers in-store and online through AT&T’s website.

About Famigo

Famigo is the company providing a safer experience for children and families on mobile devices. The Famigo App ensures families and children receive only safe, Famigo Approved™ content on mobile devices and tablets. For more information, please visit

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Why did Samsung “ditch the stitch” and other design questions answered

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off


Samsung has posted a new video and a FAQ-type write-up describing the thinking behind several of the design decisions made when developing the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge devices. Samsung explains the devices meld both digital and analog qualities, so designing the devices so they maintain their identity with the rest of the Galaxy Note line is a challenge. Rather than focusing on decorative factors, Samsung focused on the overall feel of the devices to give them what is called a “Modern Sleek” design.

One design feature users may notice about the new Note devices is the lack of “stitching” on the faux leather back covers. Samsung says they had to ditch that in order to achieve more of an “urban vibe” that matched up better with the metal frame and the Modern Sleek concept. The stitching was one of those decorative factors that went by the wayside as Samsung moves the devices away from the “classic” concept of the Galaxy Note 3.

Speaking of the melding of leather and metal, Samsung says this combination was intentional. The use of metal material was one of the requests the company hears most frequently and while they did not want to use metal just for the sake of using it, the use of metal did fit in with the idea of projecting a “modern edginess” for the device. Meanwhile, the use of the leather gives the devices a warm, emotional appeal to users.

With regard to the Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung says the decision to put the curved edge on the right hand side of the device was intended to mimic a book. Since so many people learn to read from left to right and use books that open from the right, Samsung decided that edge should be the initial point of contact for the device.

Samsung also addressed the design of one of the Note 4 and Note Edge’s unique features, the S Pen. Although the design team wanted to make the S Pen larger than it ended up being, in order to give a better sense of grip, they had to forego that effort due to the thinness of the devices. To combat that, they did get a pattern placed on the S Pen to help improve grip by reducing the slippery nature. From a usability standpoint, the S Pen has been improved to be able to recognize the tilt of the pen, which affects the width of a stroke, as well as the sensitivity of the S Pen, which was doubled for the new devices. The goal of all these efforts was to make the writing experience more natural and smoother.

You can check out more about Samsung’s design efforts in the video below. Be sure to turn on the subtitles. Samsung says a second part of the video will be released.

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: Samsung

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Galaxy Note 4 Duos unveiled in China in three flavors

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Samsung has rolled out a new device in China called the Galaxy Note 4 Duos that is offered in three versions. Two of those versions correspond with different carriers and the third is a SIM-free version of the device.

All three flavors have dual-SIM capability. The China Telecom version is SM-N9109W, the China Unicom version is SM-N9106W, and the SIM-free version is SM-N9108V. One of the card slots on all three versions of the smartphone support 4G TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE.

The second of the SIM card slots on all three versions support 2G networks. The SIM free version is compatible with most carriers 4G networks and will sell for CNY5400, or about $880 in the US.

Pricing on the other two versions of the smartphone is unavailable at this time. Specifications for the Duos versions of the Note 4 include a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 16GB of storage, and a 3000mAh battery.

SOURCE: Sammobile

Xperia Z3v now on Verizon, Note 4 Developer Edition coming soon

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

sony xperia z3v first look aa (24 of 30)

Good news for clients of America’s largest carrier. Two hot new Android smartphones are coming to Verizon – Xperia Z3v and Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition.

Xperia Z3v

The Xperia Z3v was announced on October 9 as a Verizon-exclusive variant that oddly mixed the specs of the international Xperia Z3 with the slate-like design of the Xperia Z2. That’s not a bad thing in itself, given how good the Z2 looks – it’s just an interesting choice by Sony and Verizon.

The Z3v offers a bigger battery and wireless charging, but under the hood, it’s identical to international version of the Z3: you get a beautiful 5.2-inch Full HD display, a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage with microSD for expansion, a 20.7MP camera, and Sony’s water proofing tech.

Verizon is now offering the Sony Xperia Z3v in black and white for $199.99 on a two-year contract, $24.99 with 24 monthly installments, or $599 unlocked.

Check out our Xperia Z3v hands-on for more impressions:

Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition

If you’re the tinkering type, and you have the expendable income required to buy a high-end Android unlocked, the Note 4 Developer Edition may be the device for you.

Coming soon to Big Red’s network, the Developer Edition of Samsung’s popular device will be available for just $662.53. We said “just” because $662 is actually less than the $699 price tag of the regular unlocked Note 4 on Verizon, and much less than the $799 AT&T brazenly asks for the same device.

Note 4 Developer Edition ships with an unlocked bootloader and none of the Verizon pre-loaded apps you get on the regular version. Other than that, it’s the same Note you know and love.

Check out or Note 4 review for more impressions:

Are you interested in these devices, Verizon users?

Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition, available on Verizon

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Looks like Samsung and its partner mobile carriers are all busy rolling out the new Galaxy Note 4. Just yesterday, Samsung teased the phablet with Android 5.0 Lollipop. No exact dates have been given but at least we have an idea what models from different manufacturers are expected to get a taste of Lollipop.

First buyers of Galaxy Note 4 are also being enticed more by getting free access to OnLive gaming and for some, extended warranties. A recent teardown of the unit showed us that it’s using a Sony IMX240 camera inside. This isn’t surprising but actually a good thing because Sony’s cameras are really good.

And now, we’ve got news that a Developer Edition of Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is finally hitting the US via Verizon. The Charcoal black edition is up for grabs at $662.53 with no contract. Sadly, this version won’t be available on contract or with plans.

The Android smartphone boasts the same 5.7-in Quad HD Super AMOLED display, 3.7MP front-facing wide-angle camera, 16MP rear camera with Optical Image Statbilization, 3GB RAM, and an enhanced S-Pen with more functions and precision.

Out of the box, the Galaxy Note 4 will run Android 4.4 KitKat but it can be updated to Android 5.0 when the new mobile OS is released. What’s so special about this developer edition is that it’s best for app developers who want to look into the software and hardware. The model comes with bootloaders that can be unlocked easily. Installing custom ROMs and kernels are made easier on this special version of the Galaxy Note 4.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Charcoal black edition_f
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Charcoal black edition_e
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Charcoal black edition_d
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Charcoal black edition_c
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Charcoal black edition_b
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition_a
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Charcoal black edition

SOURCE: Samsung

Samsung to Release Note 4 Developer Edition on Verizon

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Tmo_T_blk_600x600_xlargeSamsung has a special off-contract Note 4 coming to Verizon for only $662.53. The device is the Developer Edition and features an unlockable bootloader for quickly loading ROMs onto your device. Unfortunately, since the phone is only available off contract, it’s very likely that it won’t develop the large following of other unlockable devices like the Nexus line.

Interestingly enough, the Note 4 Developer Edition is about $20 cheaper than the Nexus 6, so the stylus and cheaper price may sway some users to purchase the Samsung phablet. If you’re interested in the Note 4 DE, keep on the lookout and be sure to snatch it up as soon as it’s released so it doesn’t sell out on you.

Source: Samsung

Via: Phandroid

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Barnes & Noble and Samsung release new Nook tablet

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

If you like co-branded tablets and ebook reading gadgets, then you have another great news from Samsung and Barnes & Noble. Just a few months after they released the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, they’re now selling a bigger version of it: the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1. But along with it, they also announced that the new tablet comes with a new Nook software and that this will also be pushed on the 7-inch gadgets as well.

The 10-inch Nook tablet has the same specs as the new Galaxy Tab 4 line that has been released by Samsung in the last few months. It has a 10.1-inch 1280×800 display and runs on a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. The tablet has a 1.5 GB RAM and an internal memory of 16GB, but you can expand it up to 64GB through a microSD slot. The main camera has a 3 megapixel resolution while the front-facing one has just 1.3 megapixels. You wouldn’t really use a 10-inch tablet as a camera anyways (we hope not) so those low specs are understandable.


In terms of the software, the new updated Nook software will sport a better UI and claims to give the users a better book shopping experience. The navigation has also been improved, as it will make it easier for you to jump from one content to another, as well as through the library and the e-book you’re currently reading. It also now supports both portrait and landscape orientation, as any ebook reader (and tablet) should definitely do. The new software comes built-in with the Nook tablet, while the older 7-inch ones will receive it as a firmware update by November.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 is already on sale through both online and the brick and mortar shops of Barnes & Noble. You can get it at an “introductory price” of $299.99, although there’s no indication yet up to when this special offer will last and what will be the regular price of the Nook tablet.

VIA: SlashGear

Samsung and Barnes & Noble introduce Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off


Soon after the release of their first tablet/e-reader hybrid, Samsung and Barnes & Noble are back with a bigger iteration of their first. This time dubbed the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1, it aims to offer a bigger screen size, and that’s about it.

The new tablet is priced at $300 (after a $50 mail in rebate), and comes with $200 worth of free content from the NOOK store. Users will receive an episode of “The Newsroom”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, and “The Octonauts”, as well as four best-selling e-books, and choose up to four 14-day free trial subscription from 15 select magazines. The companies’ first tablet, the Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK, will also receive the $200 worth of free content, so long as you’re a new customer.

As for what’s under the hood? The specs of the 10.1 and the 7-incher very similar. Both screens have a 1280×800 resolution, 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, 3MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, and 1.5GB of RAM. As the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK is going for $169.99, it’s very difficult to understand why anyone would want the 10.1 variant but we suppose some people are willing to pay the premium for more screen real estate.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 is up for sale in Barnes & Noble stores and online starting today. Does the bigger version of the tablet have you interested? Let us know your thoughts!

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

Posted by Tim-o-tato October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

After being announced by Samsung, the Galaxy Alpha was a device we saw unexpected excitement for. Maybe it is the new design language Samsung implemented for the hardware, or the fact it features decent specs in a smaller package, but many people across the web seemed interested in the device, so we decided to pick one up and try it for ourselves.

Having spent my time with an iPhone 6 before the Galaxy Alpha, the smaller size was no big deal, as I was already accustomed to a display smaller than 5″. However, making that jump between iOS and Android was a weird one, as the operating systems are certainly very different from each other, but it felt great to be back on Android. Plus, given that a few in this industry labeled the Galaxy Alpha as an “iPhone Killer,” I was excited to see if the phone could live up to that hype.

This is our Galaxy Alpha review. 

The Good


I have no problem in stating that the Galaxy Alpha is Samsung’s best looking hardware since ever. It is that hot. With a graceful touch of real metal surrounding its outside, coupled with the soft touch plastic along the back, the Galaxy Alpha is a real joy to hold and carry around. The size is completely manageable, which seems like such a rare thing these days in the Android world. While all of the top Android devices this year sport more than 5″ displays, the Galaxy Alpha is perfect for those who don’t need all of that extra screen space. To say that I hope Samsung continues the Alpha’s trend of design, including with the upcoming Galaxy S6, would be an total understatement.

galaxy alpha8


Alongside the overall design and materials used to create the device, the display is probably my next favorite thing featured on the Galaxy Alpha. While it is only a 720p Super AMOLED panel, it looks gorgeous. Colors displayed are bright and crisp, allowing games to look exceptional, with photos and videos also appearing to have substance.

Samsung’s displays are always top notch in my opinion, and the Galaxy Alpha is no exception. One nice touch is Samsung’s bright wallpapers included on the phone, which show off the display’s abilities quite well. For me, the Galaxy Alpha proves that we still don’t need QHD displays on our smartphones. FHD and HD displays do just fine for almost all use cases.

Galaxy Alpha Macro 1 Galaxy Alpha Macro 22

Macros for fun.

Somewhere in the Middle


The Galaxy Alpha features a handful of great specs, while the rest are sort of drab. The phone features a 4.7″ HD Super AMOLED display, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, 12MP rear-facing camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0, 32GB of storage, 4G LTE connectivity, a fingerprint scanner, 1860mAh battery, and runs Android 4.4+ with Samsung’s TouchWiz skin on top.

On paper, those specs sound legit for a smaller, cheaper device. However, after my review time, I find that hardware featured on a smartphone is only as good as the software allows it to be. In the case of Samsung, we have yet another handset hindered by endless amounts of TouchWiz, and for the umpteenth time, we come away disappointed. To read more about my hopeful disappointment, skip to the Performance section.

galaxy alpha4


The 12MP shooter on the Galaxy Alpha is pretty good, but having used the iPhone 6 right before the Galaxy Alpha, my initial reaction is sort of skewed. I mean, the Galaxy Alpha has a good camera, but for an Android phone. In the grand scheme of things, it is only so-so, and when compared to the LG G3 or Galaxy Note 4, it does not compete. However, the Galaxy Alpha is not marketed as a direct competitor to those phones, so with that in mind, I was somewhat impressed by the small shooter.

Where the camera excelled was in abundant natural lighting (go figure), but the sensor struggled with night time shots. I attempted to take multiple shots of my dogs running during the day, but they ended up looking like blurred messes, so I have not included those shots. To conclude, stay away from night shots and fast movement, but don’t be afraid to go for macros in good lighting and landscapes.

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Full resolution: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

galaxy alpha14


Battery testing seemed great at the beginning of my time with the Galaxy Alpha. However, I quickly found that after a few days, the battery was not giving me nearly what I had initially saw, so for the fact that my experience was so inconsistent, and that really is the last thing you want to see on a phone in terms of battery life, I have to score it low on this review.

If you don’t play many games or do a lot of web browsing, the phone should easily get you a solid 10-12 hours of use, but being the power user that I am, I found myself plugging in for a charge around 6pm every night. I like to take a lot of pictures, browse sites, play games, and scroll through Instagram and Twitter. Every user should be able to do that without seeing a huge damper on their battery life, but with the Galaxy Alpha’s small 1860mAh battery, it just was not cutting it for me. Again, coming from the iPhone 6 and LG G3, the Galaxy Alpha was not fitting to my smartphone usage, so I was not pleased with my experience.

Galaxy Alpha Battery - 5 Galaxy Alpha Battery - 4 Galaxy Alpha Battery - 3 Galaxy Alpha Battery - 2 Galaxy Alpha Battery - 1

The Not-so-Good


At first boot, the Galaxy Alpha was impressive in the performance department. Ultimately, that performance did not last. After playing a few games and running Chrome Beta on top of Google Maps, the stuttering and epically long pauses after pressing the home button took its toll on my patience. However, if your job is to test a device, pushing it to its limits, then you will definitely be able to do so. As for the average consumer, I think the performance will suit many people’s needs, allowing for minimal multitasking and decent game playing. Since the device is not marketed as some ultra powered beast, then we can’t knock the phone for not performing like a top tier flagship. While I had hoped for more, taking the Galaxy Alpha’s gorgeous looks into consideration, I found myself wishing I had my G3 or new Moto X back.

My main concern was how hot the device got during certain times of the day. While playing games, the phone would not reach an insane temperature, but it was when I was out and about, browsing the web or using GPS that the phone got very hot to the touch. So hot that an immediate dismissal of all apps and a reboot was necessary to calm it down. I mean, really, that is not the type of experience I expect from any smartphone, regardless of price or specs.


The Galaxy Alpha’s biggest foreseeable issue is availability. As of right now, you can only purchase the device through AT&T, and as we have seen many times before with carrier exclusives, don’t plan on seeing them in the hands of many consumers. Priced at $199 on a two year contract, the package you receive for that type of cash is simply not worth it in my eyes. This is a $99 or cheaper on-contract device, without a doubt. Clearly AT&T thinks the hardware is good enough to charge you a premium for it.


Samsung is back again with yet another smartphone filled to the brim with TouchWiz software. While it does seem that Samsung is refining its TouchWiz offering, it is by no means getting smaller. There are settings for everything, as well as additional features that you won’t find on any other Android device. Special swipe gestures, Multi Window, Toolbox, Ultra Power Saving Mode, Touch Sensitivity, Quick Connect, S Finder, Smart Stay, and the list goes on and on.

Our feelings on TouchWiz are no secret; we really can’t stand it. Instead of adding value with additional features, phones end up feeling burdened by the bloat that is TouchWiz. While we hate to toot that Motorola horn anymore, we do enjoy their take on software additions much more than Samsung’s.

In terms of which features we recommend, I could see myself actually using Multi Window and Toolbox. That’s it. Everything else? It can be removed with the quickness.

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Fingerprint Scanner

The Galaxy Alpha is listed as featuring a fingerprint scanner. Wanna bet? After countless reboots and data wipes, mine never decided to work, so that’s some jank straight out of the box.

Jank Fingerprint Scanner Galaxy Alpha


Galaxy Alpha vs. iPhone 6 vs. Xperia Z3 Compact



galaxy alpha16 galaxy alpha13 galaxy alpha12 galaxy alpha11 galaxy alpha10

galaxy alpha7 galaxy alpha3 galaxy alpha1 galaxy alpha5 galaxy alpha15

The Verdict

The Alpha could have been a real contender, however, its exclusiveness on AT&T, coupled with poor performance and average battery life should keep most buyers away from it.

If Samsung wants to make a real “iPhone Killer” device, all they need to do is remake this same exact hardware, but throw in a bigger battery and improve upon TouchWiz’s jank. Seriously, it might be perfect then. In our eyes, they could even get away with overcharging for it if the performance was not so held back by the huge amount of TouchWiz featured on the phone.

In conclusion, I absolutely love the design and feel of the Galaxy Alpha, but the software and performance struggles killed my experience after the first few days.

I am hoping that the Galaxy Alpha 2 sees a big performance boost.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review is a post from: Droid Life

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