Right on the heels of the HTC One receiving Android 4.3, Samsung is preparing to push the latest version of Android to their own devices. This morning SamMobile tweeted (below) that testing has begun on last year’s Galaxy Note II. According to the Samsung-only site, the Korean company is concluding testing on other devices. They speculate that Android 4.3 will head to the Galaxy S 4 in October and the Galaxy S III near the end of October or early November. And since Samsung has just started testing on the Galaxy Note II, it isn’t expected to be lifted to Android 4.3 until the end of November or December.
Samsung unveiled the first phablet, the Galaxy Note, 2 years ago, and it became more successful then anyone imagined. With the third iteration to be released very soon, has the popularity peaked? It’s hard to tell, but pre-orders in South Korea are nothing to brag about according to ETNews.
With most phones hitting 5-inches this year, I suspect the phablet market isn’t quite so popular now. When the original Note came out, it had a 5.3-inch display, but most other flagship phones were around 4.5-inches. Now two years later, the Note 3 is 5.7-inches, but flagship phones are 5-inches and even 5.2-inches (LG G2). It just doesn’t seem like there is enough of a difference to pay the additional $100. The only compelling reason to buy a Note 3, other than a little larger display, is the S Pen, and I just don’t see the average consumer using it a lot.
Samsung will still sell a lot of Notes, but I suspect the growth isn’t there anymore.
When Apple unveiled a new gold color for the iPhone 5S, you didn’t think Samsung would sit back and not offer something similar did you? A Tweet earlier today from Samsung Mobile Arabia said, “Introducing the new #GalaxyS4 Gold Edition – for a style that’s uniquely yours!” Now one could assume that this is a joke, but Samsung Gulf’s Facebook page also chimed in telling us there will be two versions, “Have you seen the new elegant #GalaxyS4 new #GoldEdition colors? Gold Brown or Gold Pink?”
We have no idea when these models will be available or where they will be sold, but stay tuned.
sources: @SamsungMobileArabia / Samsung Gulf Facebook
It is widely believed that Samsung will adopt a metal chassis with the Galaxy S 5, and presumably the Note 3. ETNews is reporting that they are being designed under a Project Team called F. The first such device is scheduled for March, which would indicate the Galaxy S 5, followed by the Note 4 later in the year. Of course there will be likely variants of the Galaxy S 5 just like there was with the Galaxy S 4.
A metal housing will be adopted and they will push the camera to 16MP. As to flexible displays, they are saying some of the devices will adopt it, which would make the Galaxy S 5 and Galaxy Note 4 safe bets.
Next year is going to be very interesting for Samsung as it appears they are adopting the Apple way in that they are redesigning every two years.
Samsung Electronics just announced ISOCELL, which is a new advanced pixel technology that will improve image quality on smartphones and tablets. When it comes to image quality, it’s all about the light. This new technology increases light sensitivity and controls the absorption of electrons, which yields higher color fidelity even in poor lighting conditions.
As manufacturers continue to increase camera resolution and image quality without growing the camera size, the pixels continue to shrink. The emphasis has been on improving light absorption of each pixel by shifting pixel technology from Front Side Illumination (FSI) to Back Side Illumination (BSI). Unfortunately, as pixels continue to shrink, BSI technology faces limitations.
Yesterday’s rumor that Samsung might come out with a limited edition Galaxy Note 3 with a flexible display appears to be spot on. According to Asian Daily, they have a spokesman from Samsung on the record confirming that the launch of the said device would be next month. It has already been reported that both LG and Samsung are readying production of flexible displays so this is no surprise. Obviously, flexible displays are not ready for “mass” production just yet, so a limited edition also makes the most sense.
My best guess is that this limited edition Note 3 probably will be limited to Korea and will be very expensive.
I’ve never been much of an accessories guy, but some are all in for getting the latest and greatest gear to supplement their devices. Samsung recently released a list of the official accessories they’ll be offering for the Galaxy Note 3 including the S View Cover and Mini Purse, which were already announced. Now we’re getting to see some new additions such as the S Charger Cover, S Charger Kit, and the Desktop dock.
Prices are sure to be a bit high, but that’s expected from OEM-branded accessories. If you’re looking to spend less, look for some unofficial accessories from third-party brands. Availability and other information is not yet available. Check the source for pictures.
The war to make the first phone with a flexible display wages on— LG was expected to end it all today with the Vu 3, but the flexible display rumors did not hold any truth as the announcement came and went without a mention of the new screen technology.
The title is still up for grabs, and rumors that surfaced today point to a Limited Edition Galaxy Note 3 coming out soon featuring a flexible display. It is also rumored that only a limited quantity will be produced, but getting it out and on the market would technically still qualify for first.
And remember, these days, if you’re not first, you’re last!
After seeing a version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active with a Snapdragon 800 processor pop up in some benchmark testing, we are finally treated to some news about when the device may hit the market. Reports indicate the faster version of the ruggedized smartphone is set for an October launch on Korean carrier SK Telecom with an estimated price of 900,000 won ($840 USD). In addition to the upgraded processor, the new version will support SK Telecom’s LTE-A network, much like the Galaxy S 4 sibling already announced that supports LTE-A.
Perhaps the biggest mystery surrounding the device is what version of Android it may ship with out of the box. There is no indication of any other markets that may see this variation of the device.
Samsung’s wildly popular Galaxy line of phones has typically been made with a glossy plastic exterior, but is that about to change with the S5? We told you about the possibility last month, and now a report in Taipei Times further suggests this. Sources say that Samsung is in discussions with Catcher Technology, a Taiwanese company that makes the metal bodies of the HTC One and Apple’s iPad, for metal cases for “at least one of its high-end smartphone models from the second quarter next year.”
The second quarter of next year is of course when Samsung is expected to launch the S5. Of course, we are still months and months away from the S5, and rumors are still just rumors. Stay tuned.
Source: Taipei Times