Following in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy S III on Verizon, Samsung appears to be ready to release a Developer Edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. A special version is needed due to Verizon locking the bootloader, effectively blocking developers who need an unlocked device for testing and development purposes. The new version has been revealed just over a week after the Galaxy Note II’s bootloader was cracked. Samsung is listing the 16GB Developer Edition on their web site, although there is no information regarding an expected date of availability.
Samsung has certainly stepped up its advertising budget in the past few years and is ramping things up for the holidays as we’ve already seen. To add to their holiday repertoire, Samsung has redone their humorous, yet slightly suggestive, S-Beam commercial with a cheery Christmas theme. Instead of being sent off by wife and children, Santa Claus S-Beams some videos from his hard-working elves and Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus has the traditional Galaxy S III, but Santa is rocking the brand new Galaxy Note II. Of course, the video he gets from Mrs. Claus comes with a dirty look and the warning “Don’t watch it on the sleigh.” Thanks for tainting my childhood memories of Christmas, Samsung. Hit the break below for the video.
Some bad news is surfacing this weekend for owners of several popular Samsung devices. Members of XDA Developers identified a kernel exploit for devices with certain Exynos processors that could provide root access without flashing the device. According to XDA member alephzain, the vulnerability was discovered on his Samsung Galaxy S III in /dev/exynos-mem. The weakness provides full read/write rights to all physical memory.
Yet another Samsung toy has just gotten some sweet, sweet Jelly Bean lovin’. Reports are coming in that Samsung has slowly begun rolling out in phases the Jelly Bean update for the international variant of the Galaxy Note II LTE (GT-N7105). The update will bring the Galaxy Note II’s Android software version to 4.1.2 and the build to JZO54K, while offering some noteworthy enhancements like new additions in the Notification Toggles, customizations to the Notification Panel and a new Group Cast application.
If you happen to own the GT-N7105 variant of the smartphone, head on over to Kies Desktop software or go to your device’s settings and snag that update ASAP because after all— Google Now is looking forward to getting to know you a little better and all.
Time to pop the champagne bottles and have a celebration if you’re an owner of the Verizon Galaxy Note II— the bootloader looks to have been officially unlocked. Thanks to the tireless work of a few hard-working individuals, they have cracked what is the hardest part of the Galaxy Note II’s shell– despite Big Red’s strong insistence on keeping its devices “safe and secure”. The way the Galaxy Note II’s bootloader was cracked is quite ingenious too actually– all that was needed to do was to trick the Galaxy Note II into thinking it’s a device that’s 0.7-inches smaller and eventually flashing a PIT file in order to revert back to the Galaxy Note II’s original identity after the phone has been unlocked. The method has only been tested on one device as of this time, but with more time and usage of this method— we should see this unlock exploit work on most, if not all Verizon Galaxy Note II variants.
So we have root and now we have an unlocked bootloader. All we need now is those ROMs to eventually start a’flowin’! Hopefully you Galaxy Note II owners don’t have to wait too much longer for some of that custom ROM goodness.
source: Adam Outen+
It’s surprising that more Android manufacturers and carriers haven’t jumped on the Google Wallet bandwagon, considering the rate at which the service continues to gain traction in the mobile payment space. While carriers like AT&T may rather opt for an in-house alternative, many anxious subscribers would rather utilize Google’s service. Thankfully, the Galaxy Note II has received an unofficial workaround for installing the mobile wallet software, thanks to recognized XDA developer ogdobber.
Those of you who are on T-Mobile’s network and have been itching to get your hands on the sexy Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone are in luck as it has announced on heck of a promotion. The nation’s 4th-largest wireless carrier is offering an “Unlimited Cheer” promotion— in the form of a contest where the winner gets a free Galaxy Note II. All users will need to do is follow T-Mobile on Twitter or Foursquare, pay attention to where T-Mobile checks in and then be the first to check in at the store. Sounds simple enough, right?
The contest will be going on from right now until Thursday, December 20th at 11:59pm so if you’re interested in getting more details, just head on down to T-Mo’s Facebook to find them. Good luck and may the force be with you.
source: T-Mobile Facebook
A new leaked document suggests T-Mobile is gearing up to increase smartphone insurance rates next year. Additionally, it seems as though ole’ Magenta is prepping an entirely new tier for its incredibly overpriced $370 Galaxy Note II.
Beginning March 17th, T-Mobile will be raising the monthly insurance payments through its partner, Asurion. Replacing phones will become much more expensive, with the Galaxy Note II costing a full $175 to replace, including the usual monthly payments that run between $6 and $12. Regular smartphone deductibles will also be increased, with all other devices on the carrier costing an extra $20 to replace, effectively raising the price from $130 to $150. If there’s a bright side to this whole fiasco, monthly payments are slated to remain the same.
And while we’re on the topic of Samsung currently developing a faster processor, it’s only natural that we share some additional tidbits of news regarding some upcoming devices for the new year. According to SamMobile, Samsung currently has no fewer than three devices that are in the works and primed for an upcoming release. The biggest item in development is Samsung’s “Project J”— which is Samsung’s codename for its new Galaxy S line (presumably the Galaxy S IV). Although SamMobile’s insider could not provide specific details of the upcoming device, there are existing rumors indicating the new smartphone will have a new quad-core processor, a whopping 13MP camera and a 5-inch screen size, giving us a nice reference point to start out with.
The next few devices are certainly intriguing ones as well. First off, Samsung has plans on developing a new tablet which is primed to compete directly with the ASUS Transformer line of tablets. The device will come in at 13.3-inches and have a full QWERTY dock as an option, for those of you who prefer that sort of thing. The next device up is a watered-down Galaxy Note II-type device, which will have a larger-than-life screen, but will feature modest specs like a slower processor and likely a reduced screen resolution, etc.
Of course we can’t take this to be factual for now, so we’ll just wait and see for this latest news to unfold.
Earlier this month we reported on a move by Sharp to capitalize on the 5-inch display they are producing for the HTC DROID DNA. Sharp plans to produce their own Aquos device with the same large 1080p screen. Initial plans were to target the device at the Russian market. This meant some tradeoffs were made in the hardware and early reviews indicated this caused the device to struggle with some activities like games and video playback. Sharp now appears to be expanding on their plans by offering the new Aquos in China. They have started that effort with the production of some promo materials comparing the device to several other top end smartphones.