Fido now offering Samsung Galaxy S II LTE and Galaxy Ace II x

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Mar 032013
 
Samsung Galaxy S II LTE and Galaxy Ace II x

Samsung Galaxy S II LTE and Galaxy Ace II x

Fido this week launched two more Android smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE and the Samsung Galaxy Ace II x. Neither will be confused for a current flagship device but they come with a much easier price on the wallet.

The Galaxy S II LTE is the more powerful of the two. Sporting LTE connectivity, it comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 4.5-inch AMOLED Plus display, 16GB of onboard memory, and an 8MP camera capable of 1080p video capture.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace II x comes with a 1GHz single-core, Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 4-inch WVGA (800×480) display, 4GB of internal memory and a 5MP camera. Unlike the Galaxy S II LTE which is only available in black, the Ace II x is available in either black or white.

Fido is offering the Galaxy S II LTE for CA$50 with a two-year contract or CA$450 outright. As for the Galaxy Ace II x, it is free with a two-year contract or CA$225 outright.

Any takers out there for either of these?

Android Jelly Bean rolling out to Mobilicity and WIND Mobile Galaxy Note II

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Feb 262013
 
Samsung Galaxy Note II

Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note II Jelly Bean upgrade rollout began earlier this month. As expected, the rollout has been phased with some carriers getting it before others. There is good news today for Galaxy Note II owners on the Mobilicity and WIND Mobile networks as notifications have begun to pop up on their devices.

The Google Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update also includes Samsung’s Multi Window function as well as Chinese language support.

As usual, you will be able to check manually to see if the upgrade is available yet: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: MobileSyrup

Samsung announces Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet

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Feb 242013
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

With MWC 2013 kicking off tomorrow, Samsung took the opportunity to sneak in an announcement before all eyes shift to Barcelona, Spain. This one should not come as much of a surprise given the number of rumours that precede it. As expected, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet, billed as “a new era of intelligent Note technology set to re-ignite the mid-size tablet category that Samsung established in 2010.” It essentially builds on the very successful Galaxy Note II by offering a larger display and optional phone capabilities (in certain markets).

“Back in 2010 the launch of the first Samsung GALAXY Tab with 7 inch screen opened a new chapter in the mobile industry. Now almost three years later, Samsung continues to evolve the sector that meets the demands of modern life.” said JK Shin, President of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics.

“The GALAXY Note 8.0 breaths fresh life into the category as it delivers the perfect fusion of portability and everyday productivity – the result is a pioneering, pocket-sized solution that enhances and enriches our everyday lives, whether at work or play,” added Shin.

The specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 are as follows:

  • Processor: 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos 4
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1.2
  • Cellular connectivity (Wi-Fi model): None
  • Cellular connectivity (3G model): HSPA+
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/GLONASS (3G model), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 8-inch WXGA (1280×800 / 189 ppi) LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen, S Pen Experience
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Connectors:
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 210.8 X 135.9 millimeters / 338 grams
  • Colours: White

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 will be available from Q2 worldwide, including both Canada and the U.S. Pricing was not announced.

Read more: Samsung

Samsung to announce Galaxy S IV on March 15th?

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Feb 102013
 
Samsung

If most rumours agree that Samsung will use a dedicated event to unveil its next flagship smartphone, they cannot agree on when this event will take place. According to SamMobile, which has proven reliable in the past, the event will in fact take place on March 15th. Its “trusted insider” adds that the Unpacked event will take place at a “still top-secret” location.

The report adds that event invitations will be sent out when the Mobile World Congress wraps up. At the event, Samsung will unveil the Samsung Galaxy S IV (model GT-I9500) in black and white variants. The Galaxy S IV will then go on sale in early April but not globally. It appears that North America will have to wait until May or June.

Reinforcing the April launch, a number of accessories, including a number of cases and a wireless charging kit, are expected to launch in calendar week 15 which just happens to fall in early April.

The Samsung Galaxy S IV is expected to come with Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa processor with Mali-T658 GPU, Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, a 4.99-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Super AMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera and a 2,600mAh battery.

Read more: SamMobile

Samsung ATIV S now available at SaskTel

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Feb 072013
 

Samsung ATIV SSaskTel today launched its first Windows Phone 8 device, the Samsung ATIV S. With LTE connectivity, it is one more option for customers getting ready to jump on the carrier’s just launched LTE network.

The Samsung ATIV S is a new smartphone for both work and entertainment, offering a premium Windows Phone 8 experience.

The thinnest Windows Phone 8 device to date, this powerful smartphone comes loaded with Microsoft Office applications, powerful communication tools, and SkyDrive (with free cloud storage). The Samsung ATIV S has everything you want in a smartphone, making it perfect for both work and entertainment.

SaskTel is offering the Samsung ATIV S for CA$129.99 with a three-year contract, CA$499.99 with a two-year contract, CA$549.99 with a one-year contract or CA$599.99 outright.

Read more: SaskTel

Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note II Jelly Bean upgrade rollout begins Wednesday

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Feb 042013
 

There was good news from Samsung Canada yesterday among all the tweets about the Super Bowl and The Next Big Thing. The Canadian arm of the manufacturer announced that the Jelly Bean upgrade for the Galaxy Note II would begin rolling out on Wednesday, February 6th:

As you can see from the tweet, it will include Samsung’s Multi Window function as well as Chinese language support.

While Samsung did not provide additional details, the rollout will likely be staggered by carrier (as we have seen in the past). With the Note II carried by Bell, Mobilicity, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS, Videotron, and WIND Mobile, it may be a few more days at least before everyone sees it on their device. As usual, you will be able to check manually to see if the upgrade is available yet: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: Samsung Canada [via Twitter]

Video: Samsung Super Bowl ad

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Feb 032013
 

BlackBerry is not the only hardware manufacturer with an ad set for today’s Super Bowl. Samsung has Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen making a pitch to Bob Odenkirk for “The Next Big Thing.” As you would expect from such a cast, hilarity ensues.

Unlike many of Samsung’s past Next Big Thing ads, this one focuses on the company’s entire Galaxy lineup of smartphones and tablets (when not playing second fiddle to Rudd and Rogen) and does not poke fun at Apple.

As if there was not enough star power behind ad, it is reportedly directed by Jon Favreau who wrote and starred in Swingers and directed the first two Iron Man movies (among others).

I found the trailer, called El Plato Supreme, for the ad funnier so I include it here for your entertainment:

What do you think of the ad?

Read more: Samsung [via YouTube]

Samsung to unveil Galaxy S IV at dedicated event after MWC 2013?

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Feb 032013
 
Samsung

This one should not come as a surprise. Despite some rumours that Samsung will unveil the Samsung Galaxy S IV at MWC 2013, most have suggested instead that Samsung would use a dedicated Unpacked event much as it did last year with the Galaxy S III. You can now add CNET to the list for the latter hypothesis. According to “a person familiar with its launch plans,” Samsung will not make any major announcements at MWC 2013 and will instead hold a separate event for its latest flagship smartphone. This would certainly explain some of its recent announcements such as the Galaxy Express and Galaxy Xcover 2.

Most recently, Samsung used dedicated events to unveil the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II (among others). It’s a growing trend among manufacturers who use such events to give their products as much attention as possible both from the media as well as consumers. BlackBerry did so this week for the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 and HTC is holding an event on February 19th just days ahead of Mobile World Congress.

Most rumours expect that Samsung’s Galaxy S IV event will take place sometime between March and April.

Read more: CNET

Record tablet shipments in Q4 2012

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Feb 022013
 

Worldwide tablet shipments set another record in the last quarter of 2012. According to IDC, 52.5 million tablets were shipped over the quarter, an impressive 75.3% increase over the same quarter a year ago and a 74.3% increase over the previous quarter. Apple continued to dominate but its overall market share fell again as Android tablets continued to make gains.

“We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn’t disappoint,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets, at IDC. “New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years.”

Vendor 4Q12 Unit Shipments 4Q12 Market Share 4Q11 Unit Shipments 4Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Apple 22.9 43.6% 15.5 51.7% 48.1%
Samsung 7.9 15.1% 2.2 7.3% 263.0%
Amazon.com Inc. 6.0 11.5% 4.7 15.9% 26.8%
ASUS 3.1 5.8% 0.6 2.0% 402.3%
Barnes & Noble 1.0 1.9% 1.4 4.6% -27.7%
Others 11.6 22.1% 5.5 18.5% 108.9%
Total 52.5 100% 29.9 100% 75.3%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, January 31, 2013 (preliminary data)

Microsoft’s entry into the tablet space with the Surface RT did not crack the top five. IDC estimated that just under 900,000 units were shipped and that Microsoft could expect the market to remain challenging.

“There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company’s Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. “We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes.”

Overall, the tablet landscape appears much as the smartphone one does: Apple and Samsung dominating with everyone else scrambling to make a dent.

Read more: IDC

Samsung announces mid-range LTE Samsung Galaxy Express

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Jan 312013
 

Samsung Galaxy ExpressSamsung this week announced a new mid-range addition to its Galaxy line of smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Express is billed as a “value-driven 4G LTE smartphone.” Essentially, Samsung is pushing former flagship smartphone characteristics like larger displays and LTE connectivity down to cheaper models.

Samsung GALAXY Express specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Samsung TouchWiz
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE/HSPA+/EDGE
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Display: 4.5-inch WVGA (800×480) AMOLED Plus
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with LED flash
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 2,000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 132.2 × 69.1 × 9.3 millimeters / 139.1 grams
  • Colours: White

Specific availability and pricing details were not announced.

Read more: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablets to follow Galaxy Note 8.0?

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Jan 272013
 
Samsung

Recent rumours have hinted that Samsung is readying a refresh of its tablet lineup with new models ranging in size from 7-inches to 10.1-inches. According to information obtained by SamMobile, it is working on three models in a new Galaxy Tab 3 family of tablets but not all may see the light of day.

Most likely to launch is the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. It will be available in both Wi-Fi-only and LTE options. Samsung could also launch a Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 model but only if sales of the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.0 meet its goals. Like its larger cousin, it would come in both both Wi-Fi-only and LTE options. A Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 model has apparently been dropped.

Samsung also has a Galaxy Tab 3 Plus and a tablet known only by its Vienna codename in development. The latter could be a followup to the original Galaxy Note 10.1.

The report also provides codenames and model numbers for these tablets:

  • Galaxy Note 8.0
  • Codename: Kona
  • Model numbers: GT-N5100 / GT-N5110 (Wi-Fi) / GT-N5120 (LTE)
  • Galaxy Tab 3 7.0
  • Codename: Santos
  • Model numbers: GT-P3200 / GT-P3210 (Wi-Fi) / GT-P3220 (LTE)
  • Galaxy Tab 3 8.0
  • Codename: Santos
  • Model numbers: Unknown
  • Galaxy Tab 3 10.1
  • Codename: Santos
  • Model numbers: GT-P5200 / GT-P5210 (Wi-Fi) / GT-P5220 (LTE)
  • Galaxy Tab 3 Plus
  • Codename: Roma
  • Model numbers: GT-P8200 / GT-P8210 (Wi-Fi) / GT-P8220 (LTE)

Samsung has already confirmed that it will unveil the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 at MWC 2013. It remains to be seen if the manufacturer will also announce the Galaxy Tab 3 tablets.

Read more: SamMobile

Samsung announces rugged Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2

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Jan 262013
 

Samsung GALAXY Xcover 2Samsung yesterday unveiled the rugged Samsung GALAXY Xcover 2, a rugged smartphone for “active explorers who are enjoying outdoor lifestyles and seeking a durable mobile device with essential smartphone capabilities.” Aside from explorers, it will also appeal to those into fitness with its built-in Cardio Trainer Pro app which can help put together training programs as well as check progress and track performance data.

Samsung GALAXY Xcover 2 specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Samsung TouchWiz UI
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA 14.4/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 4.0-inch WVGA (800×480) LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 4GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with LED flash and 720 video capture
  • Front-facing camera: VGA
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, USB 2.0
  • Battery: 1,700mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 130.5 × 67.7 × 12 millimeters / 148.5 grams
  • Colours: Black
  • Other: Dust and waterproof(IP67 certified)

Samsung did not announce availability and pricing details. Now that it’s official, it is likely to be on display at next month’s MWC, perhaps with more launch information in tow.

Read more:

Samsung and Apple account for half of smartphone market in Q4 2012

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Jan 252013
 

The smartphone market continued to show impressive growth in Q4 2012 with 219.4 million units shipped in the quarter, a growth of 36.4% over the same quarter a year ago. They also accounted for 45.5% of all mobile phone shipments, which themselves topped 1.7 billion units.

Samsung and Apple together now account for 50.8% of the smartphone market (up from a mere 45.5% only a quarter ago). Samsung set new records for number of smartphones shipped in a quarter and in a single year while Apple benefited from strong sales especially in China and the U.S. Up in third for the first time in its history is Huawei. Sony and ZTE held down fourth and fifth respectively with strong growth numbers. Out of the top five are RIM and HTC.

“The high-growth smartphone market, though dominated by Samsung and Apple, still presents ample opportunities for challengers,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Vendors with unique market advantages, such as lower-cost devices, can rapidly gain market share, especially in emerging markets. A good example is Huawei, which overtook LG as a Top 5 vendor in the overall mobile phone market and passed HTC to become a Top 5 smartphone vendor.”

Vendor 4Q12 Unit Shipments 4Q12 Market Share 4Q11 Unit Shipments 4Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Samsung 63.7 29.0% 36.2 22.5% 76.0%
Apple 47.8 21.8% 37.0 23.0% 29.2%
Huawei 10.8 4.9% 5.7 3.5% 89.5%
Sony 9.8 4.5% 6.3 3.9% 55.6%
ZTE 9.5 4.3% 6.4 4.0% 48.4%
Total 209.4 100% 160.8 100% 36.4%

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 24, 2013

In the overall mobile phone space for Q4 2012, Samsung continued to hold first place with a 23.0% market share. Nokia held on to second with a 17.9% share, followed by Apple, ZTE and Huawei respectively. LG dropped out of the top five.

It will be interesting to see what 2013 changes will bring. Will we see RIM return to the top five and is there anyone that can take the crown away from Samsung? It certainly looks unlikely at thsi point.

Read more: IDC

Samsung aiming to sell 10 million Galaxy S IV smartphones per month?

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Jan 252013
 
Samsung

The success of its Galaxy S II and Galaxy III smartphones has set the bar high for the next-generation flagship smartphone. According to Korean website Money Today, the manufacturer has set itself the goal of selling 10 million Galaxy S IV handsets per month, right from its launch.

As a comparison, it took the Samsung 50 days to ship its first ten million Galaxy S III smartphones while the Galaxy S II required five months to do so. Since then, the Galaxy S line has topped sales of 100 million units.

The Samsung Galaxy S IV (or Altius) is expected to come with a 4.99-inch FHD display, a 1.8GHz eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and optional wireless charging. It is expected to be unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event in either March or April (although some rumours suggest a MWC announcement).

The report also adds that Samsung has a wide range of tablets in development. Aside from the already rumoured new 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inch models, we can expect to see 12-inch and 14-inch tablet models. There is no mention of an ASUS Transformer-like 13.3-inch tablet with optional QWERTY keyboard dock.

Read more: (in Korean) [Google translation] (Source: BGR)

Samsung to refresh tablet lineup with new 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inch models?

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Jan 232013
 
Samsung

Without even mentioning its usual “industry sources,” a new report by Digitimes today indicates that Samsung will refresh its tablet lineup this year. It expects new models ranging in size from 7-inches to 10-inches but provides little more. The one detail it reveals is potential pricing.

The 7-inch model could sell for as low as between US$149 and US$199. Next up will be an 8-inch model but it’s unclear if this none other than the Galaxy Note 8.0 or a different device without Samsung’s S Pen technology. Priced between US$249 and US$299, it looks to be aimed at the Apple iPad mini. At the top end would be a new 10.1-inch model for which no pricing is given. All would presumably be Android tablets but the report makes no mention of any operating systems.

The smallest and largest model are set to launch in the first half of the year in a bid to have them in the market before Apple is expected to refresh its own tablet lineup.

No mention was made of the rumoured 13.3-inch tablet with an optional QWERTY keyboard dock (think of a tablet along the lines of the ASUS Transformer).

Samsung is apparently looking to ship 40 million tablets in 2013, up significantly from the estimated 15 million it shipped in 2012.

Read more: Digitimes