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Samsung possibly bringing mobile image sensors with 1.0μm pixels to the Galaxy Note 5?

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

samsung_logo_with_peopleSamsung has just announced they have a new image sensor with 1.0μm-pixel-based 16 megapixel CMOS image sensor for mobile devices. Basically it’s a smaller chip. The real question is will it be in the Galaxy Note 5?

The soon to be released Galaxy Note 5 is a larger device, but a smaller image sensor would help to reduce the camera bulge. This new chip, known as S5K3P3, is 20% smaller in height than previous generations. It allows manufactures to develop mobile devices with minimal camera protrusion while still keeping a higher resolution camera.

Kyushik Hong, Vice President and Head of S.LSI Marketing at Samsung Electronics said.

“As a trendsetter in the mobile image sensor business, we are pleased to be the first to deliver the most advanced 1.0μm-pixel imager, which meets both high-resolution and slim design requirements for smartphone cameras.” “Starting with 16Mp sensor, Samsung plans to further expand 1.0μm-pixel product category and lead the image sensor market for high performing slim mobile devices.”

Combining S5K3P3 with Samsung’s ISOCELL technology will work by dramatically reducing color crosstalk of neighboring pixels by adding physical barriers between each pixel. This increases light sensitivity and effectively controls the collection of photons. This makes a much higher color fidelity everywhere, but especially in low light situations.

The new S5K3P3 image sensors are available today.

Source: Businesswire

Come comment on this article: Samsung possibly bringing mobile image sensors with 1.0μm pixels to the Galaxy Note 5?

samsung_gear_s_white_demo_3

The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus may not be the only new devices debuting on August 13. According to a new report, Samsung is preparing to launch ‘Orbis’, the device that will be marketed as the Gear A smartwatch. The report states the new smartwatch will make a great addition to the official launch of Samsung Pay, which is also likely to make its debut at the upcoming event.

Samsung’s Gear A will reportedly come with Samsung Pay functions built directly into its sensors. The smartwatch will be operated by Tizen and likely feature a round display and cellular connectivity.

The new payment system has been undergoing testing in South Korea on a trial program for some time now, and looks like it’s ready to go full-time. Although the payment system launched with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, we are expecting the new flagship’s to come with this compatibility as well.

Samsung lost smartwatch market share in recent quarters to Apple when the Apple Watch launched, and the company is looking to get back on top.

Source: The Wall Street Journal
Via: Ubergizmo

Come comment on this article: Gear A with Samsung Pay capabilities to come alongside Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus

Samsung Galaxy J5 now available in Germany via Orange

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

We first sighted the Samsung Galaxy J5 on GFXBench and the device soon found its way to TENAA–China’s FCC equivalent. When the first close up images of the mid-ranger phone were leaked, we knew that it would be unveiled very soon. True enough, the smartphone became official last June. This time, we’ve got news that the device is now ready in Europe under Orange.

Samsung Germany has just listed the Galaxy J5(model number SM-J500FN) on the website with a €234.99($261) price tag. The South Korean tech giant didn’t make any changes on this German version as the specs are still the same: 5-inch Super AMOLED screen, 720 x 1280 resolution, 294ppi pixel density, 1.2GHz quad-cored 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB built-in storage, microSD card slot, 13MP rear camera, f/1.9 aperture, 5MP front-facing cam with LED flash for clearer selfies, and a 2600mAh battery.

You can’t compare this with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge and even the upcoming Galaxy Note 5 because unlike those premium phones that use metal or glass back material, the Galaxy J5 (SM-J500F) only uses plastic. This may be a mid-ranger but smartphone already supports 4G LTE connectivity and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.

You can now purchase the Samsung Galaxy J5 from Orange.

Samsung Galaxy J5 e
Samsung Galaxy J5 d
Samsung Galaxy J5 c
Samsung Galaxy J5 a
Samsung Galaxy J5 6

VIA: PhoneArena

SOURCE: Samsung

Samsung unveils the new Android-powered Galaxy Folder flip phone for Korea

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Samsung Galaxy Folder

Samsung first unveiled the Galaxy Folder clamshell smartphone back in 2013, which aimed to give users all of the benefits of an Android-powered device with the nostalgic feeling of a flip phone. Now that it’s been awhile since we’ve seen the first iteration of this device, the South Korea-based company has decided to launch an updated model for its home region.

The new Galaxy Folder offers up a 3.8-inch touchscreen display, 8GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB, LTE connectivity, an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front-facing camera. It also packs an 1800mAh removable battery.

Samsung Galaxy Folder

This new flip phone will be available in South Korea beginning next month in both Black and White color options for around $250. While this isn’t being marketed as a South Korea-exclusive device, we’re not sure if we’ll ever see it become available outside of the country.

This news comes just one day after LG released its Android Lollipop-powered Gentle flip phone in Korea. This device comes with slightly lower end specifications, but also offers a more affordable price point.

T-Mobile releases Android 5.1 updates for HTC One M9, Galaxy S6/S6 edge

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

T-Mobile has recently rolled out several software versions and updates for three premium flagships: the HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6, and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge. These three smartphones are just three of the latest Android devices that have been taking the mobile market by storm. Well, at least, it’s mostly true for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

The Android 5.1 Lollipop version for the HTC One M9 was released yesterday, July 27. It’s specifically the 2.7.531.6 update that brings a number of enhancements and features to the new HTC flagship including battery improvements, Google Wallet, and Anti-theft function. If you own a One M9 from T-Mobile, you should be able to update the firmware automatically Over-The-Air (OTA). Once you receive a notification, follow the steps you’ll see on the screen to finish the update. You can always check the update manually by going to Home> Apps> Settings> About> Software updates> Check now, and then follow the instructions as prompted.

As for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S6 (G920T), the latest Android version 5.1.1 is now ready to be pushed to include battery improvements and the usual device enhancements and bug fixes. Its bigger sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S 6 edge (G925T), is also getting the Android version 5.1.1 update. With it will come some Cocktailbar error fix, battery improvements, and further enhancements on phone performance.

Note that OTA updates will be pushed to these to Galaxy S6/S6 edge devices in the coming dats. If you can’t wait for the notification, just check software updates manually and then install. Make sure you have at least 50% of battery and have fast and reliable Internet connection to download the software update and complete installation.

SOURCE: T-Mobile(1),(2),(3)

Mid-range smackdown: Oppo R7, Samsung A7, Asus ZenFone 2, and Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off
oppo-r7-review-aa-1-of-21

OPPO R7, the company’s mid-range champion.

Not too long ago, it was surprisingly difficult to find an unlocked, capable smartphone for an affordable price point. To get a mobile device that worked properly, it wasn’t uncommon that users would need to spend anywhere around $500-$800. Luckily for everyone, a number of device manufacturers have been releasing smartphones that are capable of handling everyday tasks, but still won’t break the bank.

Specifically, lesser known but rapidly growing smartphone companies such as OPPO and Asus have been releasing some great devices, and so have well-known manufacturers like Samsung and Sony. But how do the most prominent mid-tier smartphones from these companies compare? While this is not a complete list by any means, we decided to pit just a few mid-range handsets against one another to see how they fare.

Specifications

Today we’ll be comparing the OPPO R7, Samsung Galaxy A7, ASUS ZenFone 2, and the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua. It should be noted early on that we haven’t reviewed the Galaxy A7, though given its comparable specifications to the competition, we thought it to be a good device to add to the comparison. Although these smartphones bring somewhat similar specifications and price points to the table, many of them still differ from one another when it comes to overall user experience. Before we get too far into the details, let’s take a look at the specification list below:

  OPPO R7 Samsung Galaxy A7 (A700FD) Sony Xperia M4 Aqua ASUS ZenFone 2
Display 5.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution 5.0-inch IPS LCD display with 720 x 1280 resolution 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
Processor 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53 Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 (4GB RAM),
1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3560 (2GB RAM)
RAM 3GB 2GB 2GB 2/4GB
Storage 16GB, expandable up to 128GB 16GB, expandable up to 64GB 8/16GB, expandable up to 128GB 16/32/64GB, expandable up to 64GB
GPU Adreno 305 Adreno 405 Adreno 405 PowerVR G6430
Camera 13MP rear f/2.2
8MP front-facing f/2.4
13MP rear camera
5MP front camera
13 MP rear camera
5MP front camera
13MP rear camera
5MP front camera
Software Color OS 2.1, Android 4.4.2 KitKat Samsung TouchWiz, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Android 5.0 Lollipop Zen UI, Android 5.0 Lollipop
Battery 2,320mAh, non-removable 2,600mAh, non-removable 2,400mAh, non-removable 3,000mAh, non-removable
Dimensions 143 x 71 x 6.3mm, 147g 151 x 76.2 x 6.3mm, 141g 145.5 x 72.6 x 7.3mm, 136g 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9mm, 170g
Fast charging Yes No No Yes

Display

ASUS-Zenfone-2-12

Bringing a great price tag and solid specs, the Asus ZenFone 2 is one of the best mid-range options on the market.

To begin, let’s talk about the display. Mid-tier smartphones have come a long way on the display front, with many options now hitting the market with Full HD panels – and that’s true for the ZenFone 2, the Oppo R7 and the Samsung Galaxy A7. The big difference between these displays, however, is that the R7 and A7 both feature Super AMOLED displays instead of an LCD. AMOLED vs. LCD is still an ongoing debate, but much of the time you’ll find more vivid colors with AMOLED technology and there are certainly a number of folks that prefer AMOLED over LCD.

Unfortunately, Sony chose to go with a 5.0-inch 720p panel on their device, which might upset a few users hoping to get the clear 1080p resolution out of their mid-tier smartphone. Even though having a device with a lower resolution display might result in a tad better battery life, we’re sure most users would choose Full HD over this option if given the chance.

Performance

oppo r7 review aa (3 of 21)

With a Snapdragon 615, the OPPO R7 stands towards the top when it comes to performance.

When it comes to performance, none of these smartphones are particularly poor at handling everyday tasks, though a few still manage to stand out from the rest. The OPPO R7 and ZenFone 2 both performed really well in our full reviews, largely due to their impressive internals.

Featuring 3GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 615 CPU, the R7 is quite the competitor to the ZenFone 2 with 4GB of RAM and Atom Z3580 CPU. Both devices handle gaming quite well, and they do a great job at performing everyday tasks. The Snapdragon 615 found in both the R7 and A7 has proven itself to be quite a capable processor overtime, making both OPPO’s and Samsung’s offerings a great option for those looking for a device with a reliable processor. It should be noted, however, that we have not posted a full review of the A7, so we aren’t as informed on this device as we are with the others. As for the Atom Z3580, while it might perform similarly, Qualcomm processors tend to have better app compatibility and simply have a better rep (810 overheating drama aside).

Last on the list is the Xperia M4 Aqua. While this device features the same 615 processor found in the R7 and A7, our reviews have found that Sony’s offering tends to overheat relatively easily when playing games, which is one of our biggest points of contention with the device.

Camera

The M4 Aqua stands out when it comes to camera performance.

The M4 Aqua stands out when it comes to camera performance.

Oddly enough, all four of the devices we’re comparing today feature 13MP rear-facing cameras, though there’s still a big difference when it comes to image quality.

No matter which device you pick out of the lot, you won’t be disappointed in the camera department. But if you want a mid-range smartphone with a camera that stands above the rest, we’d suggest going with the Xperia M4 Aqua. In our full review, Sony’s offering consistently produced shots with great detail and with vivid colors. Sony’s camera app is quite simplistic and doesn’t come with too many features, though more can be downloaded separately.

Next up we have the OPPO R7 and ASUS ZenFone 2, which both produced average shots in our full reviews. Although we haven’t tested the A7’s camera for ourself, Samsung devices in the past have consistently produced well-balanced, accurate photos. Like most other smartphone cameras, these devices perform best in well-lit areas, with a noticeable decline in quality when moved into low-light situations. Ultimately, the R7 struggles in the post-processing department, while the ZenFone 2 fails to provide an acceptable amount of dynamic range.

All of the extras

Sony-Xperia-M4-Aqua-Review-2

One of Sony’s signature features is waterproofing, and so it is great to see this present in the Xperia M4 Aqua.

Design and build quality are two big areas where manufacturers are shifting focus in the mid-range market, and all four of these smartphones surely don’t disappoint on that front. Whether you choose to go with the familiar design language of Sony’s Xperia M4 Aqua or the premium-feeling OPPO R7, we’re sure most of you won’t have to sacrifice too much when it comes to overall design.

OEMs are also noticeably focusing on their software experiences, too. All of these devices feature software that’s been toned down significantly throughout the past few months, which has been a big pain point for mid-rangers in the past. OPPO’s simplified ColorOS provides a much smoother overall experience, while the ZenFone 2, Xperia M4 Aqua and Galaxy A7 are much more feature-rich than the others. When it comes to software, it ultimately comes down to which OEM skin you prefer, but you really can’t go wrong with any of these options.

OPPO-R7-Hands-on-32

Quick charging? Yes please!

All four of these devices come with non-removable batteries, but that actually may not be a deal breaker. These mid-range offerings can all last around a full day on a single charge, though not much more than that. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about running out of space on your device, because all of them also come with microSD card slots.

The differences begin to really stand out when we take into account other attractive features such as IP68 water and dust resistance or quick charging technology. For instance, I’d much rather recommend the Sony option to anyone who spends the majority of their summer days sitting next to the pool, but I’d rather recommend the OPPO R7 or ZenFone 2 to someone who needs to charge their battery in half the time thanks to integrated quick charging.

Pricing and final thoughts

oppo r7 review aa (7 of 21)

OPPO R7’s design and performance put it towards the top of the list, though ZenFone 2 and the others follow close behind.

Choosing the right smartphone isn’t always an easy decision, and it can take some time to figure out what best suits your needs. Out of the pack, the OPPO R7 seemingly stands out above the rest if you’re looking for a powerful handset with an ultra-premium build and high-end features like quick charging. The ZenFone 2 certainly follows close behind, though many may be turned off by its choice of an Intel processor and its somewhat less attractive design (though that last point is completely subjective).

The Samsung Galaxy A7 also seems like a capable enough device, though we think it’s price tag may be too high for most users looking for a solid mid-range offering. As for the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua? Special features like waterproofing are great, though we certainly are a bit alarmed by the device’s apparent overheating issues.

Related: Best Android phones (June 2015)

All in all, this post is meant to condense our full reviews down to make it easier for you to decide on which phone is right for you. However, that’s not always the easiest way to get information across, so we’ve also linked our full reviews down below. Feel free to let us know which device you think is worth your hard-earned cash, and why the other smartphones won’t find their way into your pocket anytime soon.

More on these great devices

Check out our full reviews:

samsung galaxy syncA new app called Galaxy-Sync that handles syncing Outlook data onto your mobile devices has been announced as one of the most secure ways to keep your Outlook info synced up. It’s unique in that it works by syncing everything locally as a security measure, so your data is never transmitted wirelessly or into any cloud servers where it’s more vulnerable to being breached or attacked. It’s pretty odd to see lack of wireless as a feature in 2015, but in this situation, it makes sense.

The app is optimized for the Galaxy S6 Edge, but it’ll work with many other Android devices. It offers a free trial with limited features with a one-time license fee for the full version.

If you’re looking for a secure way to get your Outlook data onto your phone, this might be worth checking out.

source: Galaxy-Sync

Come comment on this article: Galaxy-Sync is a program for keeping your Microsoft Outlook data synced across mobile devices

Moto X Style’s camera is right behind the Galaxy S6 Edge, according to DxOMark

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off
Moto_X_Style_Wood_Leather_Backs

Camera quality has plagued the Moto X line ever since the first device launched back in 2013, and Motorola has since been trying to fix that problem. While the 2014 Moto X’s camera wasn’t anything to write home about, Motorola fans have been patiently waiting for the company to up its camera quality.

Thankfully, the newly-announced Motorola Moto X Style might finally be the camera Moto fans have been waiting for. The new flagship device has already been put to the test by the folks at DxOMark, and the results are actually quite good. The Moto X Style’s 21MP rear-facing camera, complete with dual-LED flash, has earned itself a second place spot on DxOMark’s rankings.

outdoor_sharpness

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is sitting in the top spot with an overall score of 86, while the Moto X Style and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are tied for second place with a score of 83. When it comes to photo-taking abilities, the Moto X Style supposedly does a great job with preserving detail and keeping noise to a minimum, while also offering accurate autofocus, white balance and exposure in all lighting conditions. According to the camera testers, areas that need improvement include: slightly unstable autofocus when using the flash, slightly over-exposed photos when using the flash, and some photos show saturation in areas of blue sky.

Don’t miss: Moto X Style vs Play: what’s the difference? 

The Moto X Style won’t be available to the public until September, which means DxOMark has been performing these tests on pre-release software and hardware. These results might be subject to change by the time retail units become available. Even so, it’s still nice to see Motorola’s flagship smartphone take on the best of the best on the camera front. If these rankings change in any way, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Now that you’ve seen what the Moto X Style can offer, do you think you’ll pick one up in September? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Samsung intros new Galaxy Folder clamshell phone

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Perhaps as response to LG‘s announcement of the Gentle flip Android phone, here’s Samsung with the latest Galaxy Folder clamshell phone. This is one practical smartphone because of the compact size and the cool features you usually find in a Samsung mobile device. It’s not a premium model but the clamshell design makes it a trendy gadget we’re all familiar with in the past.

You see, more companies are now releasing their own flip smartphones. The form and style are rather old but the phones now have more functions compared to decades ago. This Samsung Galaxy Folder is one affordable phone that can be quick and easy to use. Features include a large keypad and a 3.8-inch WVGA TFT touchscreen display, WiFi, GPS, LTE connectivity, 8GB built-in storage, and a 1800mAh battery among others.

We’re not sure what version of mobile OS is on the clamshell phone but it seems to be Android 5.0 Lollipop. Flip phone will available in either dark blue or white for about $250 in South Korea starting next month.

The last Samsung Galaxy Phone model was launched a couple of years ago. The form and design may be similar to this year’s model but specs are definitely better. As with any smartphone today, you are free to access the Internet, do instant messaging, send SMS, and enjoy several apps.

Samsung Galaxy Folder clamshell phone c
Samsung Galaxy Folder clamshell phone a
Samsung Galaxy Folder clamshell phone b

SOURCE: Samsung

Galaxy Unpacked: What is Samsung Going to Unveil?

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

samsung-logo-black-background

Amidst all the hype of the OnePlus 2 and the rain of Moto 2015 news, Samsung tried stealing the limelight back to itself by announcing their next “Galaxy Unpacked” event, which will be held on August 13th 2015.

Samsung took to Twitter to reveal a very cryptic gif associated with the event, which probably has some clue on the device(s) to be launched. The hashtag “#TheNextGalaxy” does indeed point that the event will be the launchpad for a Galaxy device, one at the very least. And thanks to the leaks that have been doing the rounds the past couple of days, it wouldn’t be too bad of a guess to say that this is where we will get to see the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and maybe even the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Traditionally, the Galaxy Unpacked events have been the place where Samsung shows off the rather significant products in its lineup. At the Samsung Unpacked event held in Barcelona, Spain in March 2015 , Samsung took the wraps off its 2015 flagship duo, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. The accompanying teaser image (pictured) for the March event clearly laid hints towards the “Edge”.

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Teaser images apart, we do have a very decent idea of what the phones will look like. As far as the S6 Edge Plus is concerned, it would be a blown up version of the S6 Edge, with a bigger form factor. No points for guessing that this would put the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus in direct competition with the iPhone 6 Plus, making it a very compelling choice against the iPhone for the general, uninformed consumer.

And if you still had doubts regarding what the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 would look like, newest leaks courtesy of nowhereelse.fr reiterate what we have seen so far.

Galaxy-Note5-Nillkin-03Galaxy-Note5-Nillkin-08

Galaxy-Note5-Nillkin-04

The images also offer a glimpse of the S Pen, and it does look like the S Pen would be ejectable as there appears to be no clear indentation to pull out the pen. The images also confirm that the Note 5 will not feature a USB Type C, opting for the more ubiquitous micro USB port. We can still expect quick charging capabilities out of the Note 5, so all is not lost on this end.

Galaxy-Note5-Nillkin-06

Galaxy-Note5-Nillkin-05

There is a chance that we may also get to see the next iteration of the Samsung Gear smartwatch. We will get more leaks and info regarding this as the event approaches.

To recap, the Samsung “Galaxy Unpacked” event will be held on August 13th 2015 at 11 am PDT. You can also catch the event live stream here.

What do you think the event teaser image signifies? Will we see some more surprises from Samsung at the event? What are your expectations of the event? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read on for related coverage:

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