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Qantas in-flight lounge goes 3D courtesy of Samsung Gear VR

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Virtual reality may be in its early stages but just like the smartwatch and other wearables, a VR device like the Samsung Gear VR has a lot of potential. This year, Samsung wants to bring the wearable head gear to the consumers by launching a trial project with Qantas. The airline and the South Korean giant’s Australian division recently teamed up to offer a new in-flight entertainment service for the First Class passengers of Qantas Airlines.

Samsung Electronics Australia and Qantas is bringing three dimensional experience to passengers and customers in Melbourne and Sydney International First Lounges. Samsung Gear VR headsets will be provided for First Class passengers, as well as, in select Airbus A380 aircraft. Each device can take customers to a virtual world with one click of button. They can access information on tourist destinations, view the latest Qantas products, and watch blockbuster movies right on the headset.

Qantas is the first and only airline offering a virtual reality entertainment experience inflight. This is still a trial but we’re pretty sure other airlines will follow. Maybe not using a Samsung Gear VR but perhaps that Oculus Rift, another VR head gear from Oculus, the same company who manufactured the Gear VR.

Trial will last three months during which feedback from customers will be gathered and analyzed. Both Samsung and Qantas want to know the passengerss travel experience with a virtual reality headpiece. It’s a new thing but this will probably pave the way for a new world of a more fun and interesting inflight and lounge experience for airline passengers all over the world.Samsung VR Qantas

VIA: SlashGear

SOURCE: Qantas

Deal: Brand New Unlocked Galaxy S5 From Target Just $429

Posted by Kellex January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Target (via eBay) is hosting a deal that can land you a brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 (unlocked) for just $429. Since the device is unlocked, it should work just fine at either AT&T or T-Mobile. They appear to be selling through them quite quickly, so only the blue and gold versions are still available.

Talk about a solid deal to spend today’s paycheck on.

eBay Link 

Cheers Alec!

Deal: Brand New Unlocked Galaxy S5 From Target Just $429 is a post from: Droid Life

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 front, rear, and specs leak

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off


The Galaxy Xcover series will be making a return after an absence of more than two years. In January 2013, Samsung launched the Galaxy Xcover 2 and now images and specifications of its successor have leaked. The Galaxy Xcover 3 (SM-G388F) featured a durable design targeted at the most rugged users. Like the Active variants of other Samsung devices, the Galaxy Xcover 3 has three physical buttons for Recents, Home, and Back.

Hit the break for an image of the rear and specifications.


The rear of the handset (and the design as a whole) is uninspiring but remember that this is not a flagship device. This is solely for rugged users. The Galaxy Xcover 3 is setup with the flash, camera, and speaker packed close together.


Consumers looking for a durable handset with premium or decent specifications will have to look at the Active variants because the Galaxy Xcover 3 is on the low-end. The 4.8-inch display has 800×840 resolution and the quad-core processor inside comes from Marvell. The rear camera is 4.8MP and the front one is 1.8MP. The software running here is Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Source: GSMArena
Via: GFXBench

Come comment on this article: Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 front, rear, and specs leak

Galaxy Tab S Pro inadvertently revealed by Samsung

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off


Yesterday, Samsung introduced Milk Music support for Galaxy Note tablets and the trio of Galaxy Tab 4 devices. The company has now published a list which reveals all the devices that support Milk Music.

This usually won’t interest us much, but the mention of a mystery Galaxy Tab S Pro has grabbed our attention. There’s no word on whether this is an error or if Samsung is actually planning to launch a tablet under this name in the future. But considering that Samsung is expected to launch a handful of tablets this year, it’s very likely that this is a large sized Galaxy Tab S variant.

The ‘Pro’ tag usually suggests a large sized device with beefed up hardware, so it’s safe to assume that this is a 12.2 inch variant of the Galaxy Tab S. As we’re only seeing the name mentioned here, there’s no word on the hardware as of yet, but we expect that to change over the coming weeks.

What do you think of a large sized AMOLED tablet from Samsung? Would you be interested?

Via: Sam Mobile

Come comment on this article: Galaxy Tab S Pro inadvertently revealed by Samsung

Case schematics offer more Galaxy S 6 details

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Samsung-Galaxy-S6-Case-Schematics-01Earlier in the week an Amazon listing for a Galaxy S 6 case revealed that the heart rate sensor and LED flash will move to the right side (from below) of the rear camera lens. Today a leaked case schematic gives us even more clues such as dimensions and ports.

The Galaxy S 6 is expected to come in at 143.52mm x 70.70mm x 7.19mm, which makes it a little taller, but a little less wider than the Galaxy S 5. Probably more importantly is the thickness, which will be almost a full 1 mm (7.19 vs 8.1 mm).

The bottom part of the case also reveals some interesting things. There are three holes cut out, which could be for the new covers we reported on previously. One of the ports could be for a speaker.

The Galaxy S 6 could be the Galaxy S phone everyone has been dreaming of. With included metal and rumors of a toned down TouchWiz experience, Samsung’s struggles might not last all that long.


Come comment on this article: Case schematics offer more Galaxy S 6 details

Samsung rumored to make bloatware optional, downloadable

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Englightenment or desperation? Whichever your take on Samsung‘s motives, the Korean OEM is now reported to be slimming down its phone’s experience even further. In addition to making the TouchWiz aesthetic fall in line with the new Material Design, it will also be moving much of its less frequently used but pre-installed apps out of the default installation and into Google Play Store, or perhaps its own GALAXY Apps Store, paving the way for a more Nexus-like experience of Samsung devices.

To be fair, a pure Nexus experience isn’t exactly completely stellar, and in some cases might actually be downright unusable (no “clear all recent apps button”?). It isn’t without reason that OEMs and even Android ROMs add such features into their products, and to some extent, we can be thankful for those. But some go overboard and in that regard, Samsung is probably the most notorious offender. Not only is TouchWiz itself overloaded with features, its phones also come with a ton of preloaded apps that barely anyone uses.

The good news is that Samsung seems to be doing some spring cleaning, perhaps motivated by its slumping standing in the industry. It has been rumored to be revising its TouchWiz skin and now the latest word is that it will be doing the same trimming for its apps, many of which are redundant if not unused. Samsung might not completely be putting them to pasture, though. The OEM might simply make them available as optional downloads via Google Play Store, a practice that other OEMs like HTC and Motorola have already been doing even for some of their core apps. Considering Samsung has its own app store, however, it might choose to put those there instead.

So the good news is that the features you might have loved in TouchWiz, like Air View, Smart Stay, and Ultra Saving Power Mode, are likely to stay built-in, but ones that can be removed, like S Translator or maybe even the underwhelming S Voice might find themselves in a different space. But before you break out in celebration, do note that it isn’t known yet which apps and features will make the cut, and we might only find out for sure come MWC 2015 with the Galaxy S6 debut.

VIA: SamMobile, SlashGear

Don’t take those Spigen Galaxy S6 cases too seriously

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Here we go again. Spigen, the well-known case manufacturer, is trying to squeeze out some early SEO juice by putting up cases for a highly anticipated device that is still weeks away. It happened with the One (M8), Nexus 5, and a few other devices, and it’s now happening with the Galaxy S6.

The images below are from Spigen’s Amazon listing and allegedly show Samsung’s eagerly awaited new entry in the Galaxy S series.

spigen galaxy S6 case (1)

This clear case in particular appears to be giving us a good look at the Galaxy S6, which, if the render is correct, looks a lot like the Galaxy S5, save for the different placement of the flash and sensor module.

spigen galaxy S6 case (2)

Is this it? After Samsung promised us new materials and innovative designs, will it deliver a Galaxy S5 look alike? Probably not.

Last year, Spigen put up its Galaxy S5 cases before the device was announced, and while their render of the device was close to the real thing, it wasn’t accurate. In Spigen’s Galaxy S5 rendition, the device had a two-tone flash, but no heart rate scanner, and – rather amusingly – no home button.

spigen s5 case fake

Spigen and other case makers may know in advance the size of upcoming devices and the placement of design elements like the camera, buttons, and ports. It’s widely assumed that Samsung itself gives out these dimensions, so accessory makers can launch their products in time for the phone release.

But that’s it – Samsung has no reason to share more details than it needs to, especially to a partner like Spigen that is prone to leaking them out.

At this point, it looks safe to assume that Samsung has relocated the flash/HRM module to the side of the camera. That’s the same layout that can be seen in another set of cases that hit the web, this time coming from a Chinese wholesale case seller on Alibaba.

galaxy s6 case china

But everything else is up in the air – the dimpled texture on the back, the materials, the colors, other design elements, those are elements that Spigen’s designers likely just made up based on the Galaxy S5.

For the real deal, whatever it ends up looking like, we’ll have to wait, probably until MWC. There’s still no official confirmation that the Galaxy S6 is coming at the Barcelona show, but all signs point to it. For more on the Galaxy S6, check out our rumor roundup.

Samsung intros Galaxy J1

Posted by wicked January - 29 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

The world may be anticipating for the coming of the Samsung Galaxy S6 but the South Korean giant still has other phones to offer. The latest of which is the Samsung Galaxy J1, a budget smartphone that looks attractive with its slim profile and modern design, offering seamless performance at warp speed.

The Samsung Galaxy J1 features a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a new Palm Selfie function, Ultra Power Saving mode, a 5 megapixel rear camera, 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor, and HSPA+ connectivity. Making this phone more interesting is the Palm Selfie function which can detect a simple hand gesture to take a photo. That’s taking selfie snapping to the next level! You see, it should be more than just having high megapixels on the front-facing camera, the smartphone should work more magic for the benefit of the selfie addict. There’s also the Tap to Take Pics feature so you don’t have to press the shutter button on the phone. All you need to do to snap a photo is to tap anywhere on the screen.

The Samsung GALAXY J1 can be considered eco-friendly, thanks to the Ultra Power Saving mode. This feature automatically shuts down functions that are not in use to conserve battery consumption. Standard functions like receiving messages and making calls are essential so they can still be used even when battery runs low.

This isn’t a high-end, super smartphone but it’s good enough for basic phone functions, surfing the web, watching movies, and gaming. Expect speed and a smooth performance from this budget smartphone. No word on pricing and availability but phone will be ready in black, white, and blue.

Samsung Galaxy J1
Samsung Galaxy J1 D
Samsung Galaxy J1 E

SOURCE: Samsung

Spigen Says This is What the Samsung Galaxy S6 Looks Like

Posted by Kellex January - 29 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Samsung has become one of the best at keeping its phone designs a secret up until they take the wraps off of them at an official unveiling. They are without a doubt better at it than HTC and Apple. Over the last couple of years, designs for the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S series have floated about before the phones are announced, but few have been credible. So what do we make of the Galaxy S6 cases that popular casemaker, Spigen, has posted to its Amazon sales pages? Well, they have been right in the past when it comes to giving us hints and silhouettes of yet-to-be-announced phones. Are they right again? 

For some background, understand that casemakers often get molds or specs of upcoming devices long before they are announced, so that they can have their related products ready for launch. When a casemaker posts up a case for sale of an unreleased device, we would imagine that they are basing their renders off of something semi-realistic.

And again, Spigen has been doing this for years. They tend to post up cases of unreleased devices well ahead of official announcements, more than likely to get their name in headlines (hey, success again!) and their products pre-ordered.

But here’s the thing – they outed design elements in the Nexus 5, HTC One (M8), and LG G3 that turned out to be correct. In fact, they completely outed the dimensions and design of the G3 before LG made it official. They do have a decent track record at giving us glimpses of phones before they are supposed to.

So what about these new “Galxay S6″ cases? Tough to say. A couple of blurry cam photos have surfaced within the last couple of days that look like the phones Spigen is using. The camera and flash/heartrate sensor are in the spots that Spigen is showing here. To me, though, the rest of the phone just looks like a Galaxy S5, which Samsung seems to have said they will move far from using new materials and an innovative design. Nothing seems innovative or new about this, other than the camera situation.

What do you think – is this what the Galaxy S6 will look like, or is Spigen just trying to make headlines again?

spigen galaxy s6 case2

Via:  Amazon | Spigen Store
Cheers Sebastian!

Spigen Says This is What the Samsung Galaxy S6 Looks Like is a post from: Droid Life

Samsung Cutting Bloat, Trimming TouchWiz

Posted by wicked January - 29 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off


Reports keep iterating over the rumors that Samsung has been trimming down TouchWiz for its upcoming devices. After years of customer complaints, particularly from power users, Samsung seems to finally have taken initiative towards cracking down the stutters that often plague some of its devices, particularly older ones or those that see a long life without clean-ups. But even handsets like the Galaxy S5 managed to be outperformed by low range devices. Android enthusiasts as a whole took disdain in Samsung’s software over this and more, and while these make a tiny subset of Samsung’s sales, everyone hates slow phones.

The latest report from Sammobile, the reputable whistle-blower for all things Samsung, indicates that Samsung will be trimming TouchWiz out of “bloatware”, in an effort to keep the device slim and functioning as efficiently as it can. Given that Samsung flagships launch with the best hardware available in the market, users expect top notch performance, but the memory hogging of pre-installed apps hurt the stability of the system. Not only do they soak up RAM and CPU cycles, but many of them like Kids Mode (pictured to the right – yes, that’s real) can’t be disabled nor uninstalled. Users are often left pondering why Samsung insists their applications bog down the UI when their use cases are limited, their use frequency low, and there’s usually much better featured and optimized – not to mention prettier – alternatives in the Google Playstore.

While it isn’t exactly specified whether all of the “optional” applications will be absent from Samsung’s software, we can expect those that do to be available for download and installation. Integrated functions like Smart Stay or Air View will most likely remain present, as they touch on lower-level assets that communicate with the hardware. And applications like S-Health are also deeply integrated (due to sensors) but also very popular, so you can expect those to make the cut too. As for S-Translator and the rest of clone apps, we expect them to pack their bags.

Samsung’s bloat has inflicted the rage of many users ever since their overbloated (yet successful) Galaxy S3. Bloat is not exclusive to Samsung, and many Korean offerings (like LG’s) practice this trend as well. In 2014, South Korea ruled that bloatware must be made removable in smartphone devices, claiming that it caused “inconveniences” for users and it was a “unfair” for competitors. This last bit is debatable, but the former is almost a tautological certainty. This ruling hasn’t seen a paradigm leak into western nations, however, and in the rest of the world, Samsung phones still come packed with applications that will annoy you until you root your phone to eradicate them.

The most interesting bit about this news is the fact that, once again, we get a report that Samsung is doing as much as it can to offer a fast user experience. Earlier this month, we got reports that they set the bar high by aiming to match the Nexus family in terms of performance. At one point in smartphone history, the Nexus devices were unequivocally the fastest of the bunch. Nowadays, many manufacturers like Motorola have adopted stock Android and dramatically improved their user experiences in terms of smoothness and speed. And even those that choose to skin their version can attain similar or better performance, as proved by HTC with their HTC M8, an ultra-fast phone. Samsung seems to be taking some cues from these OEMs when it comes to Motorola’s bloatware trashing and HTC’s meticulous optimizing.

But performance is also based on hardware, and recent news have suggested that Samsung might be dropping the Snapdragon 810 in their phones due to performance and over-heating issues, and adopting an in-house Exynos chip instead. While this was considered a terrible move by those who love Qualcomm’s speedy chips, leaks quickly proved everyone wrong when they showed that the Geekbench 3 benchmarks for Samsung’s latest Exynos processor far surpass Qualcomm’s flagship in almost every specification. This could also mean that Samsung could be dropping Qualcomm’s chip not because of the overheating issues that were constantly reported, but because their own chip would be a better option for an enhanced user experience.

As of now, we don’t have the answers. But earlier today, Qualcomm reportedly specified that a big customer has dropped the Snapdragon 810 from their upcoming flagship device. This could be a continuation on the reality that the rumors and speculation have suggested, and if this really is the case, then we can expect an all-new Samsung offering, from internals to software.

What is certain, however, is that the latest Lollipop builds for Galaxy devices show a big improvement in performance and optimization, as detailed in our analysis of the Lollipop leak for the Galaxy Note 3. In there you see that the build tested does in fact match the Nexus 5 in performance, and has seen significant improvements in every performance aspect from real-world speed to benchmarks. Since that build, I’ve been flashing more leaked and official firmware releases, and on the final version of the ROM the performance is seamless and stellar.

All we can do now is wait, but every fact, leak, report, analysis and rumor point towards a strong emphasis in having TouchWiz deliver the user experience that today’s hardware merits having. I am more than content with my current Lollipop build’s performance, as everything is instant and smooth. But what I still have my doubts on, and anxiously hope is true, is the bloatware trimming. I have already disabled, tortured and gotten rid of Kids Mode on my phone, and I hope I never have to again.

Do you think Samsung finally took the memo? What do you expect from the Galaxy S6’s performance, given the latest buzz? Leave us your opinion in the comments!

The post Samsung Cutting Bloat, Trimming TouchWiz appeared first on xda-developers.