Next-generation Samsung Galaxy S smartphone codenamed Altius?

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Jan 222013

We may not yet know the name of Samsung’s next Galaxy S smartphone (although most expect it to be the Galaxy S IV) but we may now have its latest codename. SamMobile reports today that Samsung has changed the codename from “Project J” to “Altius(J)” before adding a few details about the device itself.

The official name of the smartphone may not have been finalized yet. The number 4 is considered unlucky in many Asian countries including Korea. As a result, we could see the device launch under a slightly different name. Samsung apparently went as far as using model number GT-I9500 rather than GT-I9400 to avoid any potential bad luck.

As for new details about the device, the Samsung Galaxy S Altius will support wireless charging but not out of the box. Instead, Samsung will sell a separate wireless charging kit consisting of a separate dock and back cover. The report adds that it will use a slightly larger 2,600mAh battery than the Galaxy S III. The smartphone will be available in black or white (with additional colours likely to follow later if current models are any indication).

The report adds that Samsung is now planning to ship the Altius starting in calendar week 16 (the week of April 14th). It expects Unpacked events to take place either at MWC or sometime in March (although it does not mention the March 4th date again).

Read more: SamMobile

Rumour: Samsung Galaxy S IV to be announced on March 4th

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Jan 212013

A screenshot obtained by SamMobile may have just revealed that Samsung will hold its next Samsung Mobile Unpacked event on March 4th, 2013. The leaked invitation indicates that the event will take place in Pyeongchang, Korea and that the topic will be none other than the Samsung Galaxy S IV.

Rumoured Samsung Galaxy S IV event

If accurate, it’s likely that Samsung would hold additional launch events in other countries as well.

Unfortunately, a closer look at the invitation suggests that this is no more than a fake. Would Samsung really the slogan “You think it was the Galaxy” to introduce its next flagship device? The incomplete sentence with the word “unpacked” not even being capitalized is an additional sign that the screenshot is not legitimate.

While it is possible that Samsung could unveil the Samsung Galaxy S IV at MWC 2013, a specific event for the smartphone is more likely. And if past rumours are any indication, it could happen anytime between now and May 2013.

Read more: SamMobile

Rumour: Google to launch upgraded Nexus 10 tablet at MWC 2013

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Jan 212013

Google Nexus 10You can now add another device to the list of rumoured announcements expected at MWC 2103 next month. According to Bright Side of News, Google will unveil an updated version of the Google Nexus 10 tablet.

With its 10.1-inch WQXGA (2560×1600) display, the original Google Nexus 10 has a reputation for pushing its 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 Samsung Exynos 5250 with Mali-T604 GPU to the limit leading to performance lag. To address this shortcoming, Google and Samsung are reportedly going to bump it up to a multi-core processor paired to a new 8-core Mali-T678 GPU. A prototype seen at CES 2013 allegedly ran significantly faster with the performance difference between the two being described as “night and day.”

Other specifications of the revised tablet are not expected to change. Even the form factor will remain the same despite the fact that both Google and Samsung admit that it lacks some “wow factor.” That will apparently be worked on for the next version.

Despite the rumoured announcement at MWC 2013, the tablet may not be available until the fall for either the same price as the current model or slightly more.

Read more: Bright Side of News

Samsung executive confirms 8-inch Galaxy Note headed to MWC 2013

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Jan 212013

With other a month to go before MWC 2013, rumours are flying fast and furious as to what devices will be announced at the event. At least one of those is now a near certainty after being confirmed during an interview. Korean website iNews24 reports that none other than JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, confirmed that the company will unveil an 8-inch version of its Galaxy Note tablet (the Galaxy Note 8.0?) at MWC 2013 taking place in Barcelona next month. No details about the device were revealed

Earlier rumours suggest that the Galaxy Note 8.0 will come with a 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, an 8-inch WXGA (1280×800) Super Clear LCD and the Samsung S Pen technology seen on other Note devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 would slot in between the smaller 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II and the larger Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. Even with rumours that the upcoming Galaxy Note III could sport a much larger 6.3-inch display, the 8-inch model would remain a nice compromise between the smaller and larger models.

All should be revealed in just over a month at MWC.

Read more: iNews24 (in Korean) [Google translation] (Source: Engadget)

Samsung takes aim at RIM with Unicorn Apocalypse ad

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Jan 212013

Samsung poked quite a bit of fun at Apple and its fans with its “The Next Big Thing is Here” ads for the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III. A new campaign, “The Next Big Thing for Business is Here,” now takes on Research In Motion and its own faithful. For example, the ad depicts them clinging to their QWERTY keyboards and two phone strategies (one for work and one for home).

Needless to say, Samsung’s pitch is that its Android devices, including the Galaxy Note II with SAFE technology, are as good if not a better fit for the modern business as RIM’s devices.

Is Samsung worried about the upcoming BlackBerry 10 launch? Probably not too much but there’s never a bad time to remind enterprises that there are options out there. In the end, it’s not quite as clever as Samsung’s Apple ads were but still worth a look (and a chuckle or two).

Read more: Samsung Mobile USA [via YouTube]

Did the Samsung Galaxy S IV just get benchmarked?

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Jan 182013

Whether the Samsung Galaxy S IV is announced at MWC 2013 or somewhat later, it’s likely that Samsung is now wrapping up the development cycle for its next flagship smartphone. The expectation is that it will bear model number GT-I9500 as its predecessors (the number 4 is considered unlucky in many Asian countries including Korea although a GT-I9400 has also been spotted), the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy S III, bore model numbers GT-I9000, GT-I9100 and GT-I9300 respectively. If the model number is correct, the Samsung Galaxy S IV has just made an appearance on the AnTuTu benchmarking site.

Samsung Galaxy S IV AnTuTu benchmarks?

In fact, both the international version above as well as the Korean variant, the SHV-E300S, appear to have been spotted:

AnTuTu benchmarks for Korean Samsung Galaxy S IV variant

The results appear to confirm earlier rumours that the the Galaxy S IV will feature an Exynos 5 Octa processor and the latest version of Android Jelly Bean (at this time as 4.2.2 appears to be in the works). Past rumours add that it will also come with 5-inch FHD AMOLED display, 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera.

Read more: SamMobile

Rumour: Samsung to launch Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 in Europe

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Jan 182013

Samsung has definitely caught the big display bug. According to a SamMobile source, its latest phablet will be the Samsung Galaxy Fonblet 5.8. Based on the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.8 media player, and as the name implies, sporting a 5.8-inch display, it will add the necessary connectivity options to turn it into a full-fledged handset.

The report adds that the Samsung Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 (GT-I9152) will also come with dual-SIM support and will run Google Android Jelly Bean (either 4.1.2 or 4.2.1).

Samsung is planning to launch the Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 in Europe. There is no word on North American availability at this point. It remains to be seen if Samsung will unveil it at next month’s MWC 2013.

The Galaxy Fonblet 5.8 may not be the largest tablet that Samsung is working on as there are rumours of a 6.3-inch Galaxy Note III floating about. But it does have the oddest name.

Read more: SamMobile

Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S III versus a fast ball

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Jan 172013

The Nokia promotional video below looks at how the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S III rival fare when they are hit with a fastball. One of those two devices uses a polycarbonate unibody case whereas the other has a plastic casing.

What would happen if you threw a fastball at a Nokia Lumia 920 and a Samsung Galaxy SIII? We decided to find out.

The video is part of Nokia’s #switch campain. Another sees the Lumia 920 take on the Galaxy S III and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC in a concert recording showdown. In another, the Nokia Lumia 920 is subjected to a five year old.

Read more: Nokia USA [via YouTube] (Source: WMPoweruser)

Samsung GT-N5100 to be known as Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

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Jan 172013

SamsungIt appears that the Samsung Galaxy Note family is getting ready to welcome its latest member. According to two separate reports, Samsung could unveil the Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet (currently codenamed Kona) as early as next month’s Mobile World Congress (MWC).

Two variants are planned: One with HSPA+ connectivity (the GT-N5100) and a Wi-Fi-only model (GT-N5110).

Detailed albeit unconfirmed specifications have also surfaced:

  • Processor: 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity (GT-N5100): HSPA+ / EDGE
  • Cellular connectivity (GT-N5110): None
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 8-inch WXGA (1280×800) Super Clear LCD
  • Input: Touchscreen and Samsung S Pen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16/32GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 211.3 × 136.3 × 7.95 millimeters / 330 grams

It appears that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 will be aimed squarely at the Apple iPad mini. Based on specs alone, it may have the edge for now but Apple is rumoured to be readying a second-generation iPad mini for a spring launch that could once again tip the balance.

Read more: VR-Zone (in Chinese) [Google translation] and SamMobile

Samsung Galaxy Note III to use Exynos 5 Octa processor?

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Jan 162013

An article by The Korea Times about Samsung’s chip business contains an interesting hint about the rumoured Galaxy Note III phablet. With Apple looking to reduce its business with the company with which it has been engaged in numerous lawsuits, Samsung is looking to China to replace any lost business and grow it further. To do so, Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun and other top executives met with a number of Chinese companies during CES to ramp up their business. One topic was Samsung’s recently introduced 8-core Exynos 5 Octa chipset. “We have introduced the Exynos 5 Octa to appeal to Chinese clients and diversify our client base in China with better pricing and output commitment,” said a senior-level Samsung executive during the show.

The report adds that the Exynos 5 Octa could also make its way into the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note III. Supporting earlier reports, it adds that the phablet would also sport a 6.3-inch display. With development lead times for smartphones being as long as they are, it’s not unreasonable to think that Samsung is already well into the development of this device and that it would use the latest technologies in a bid to stay atop the increasingly crowded phablet market.

Samsung’s discussions with other manufacturers suggests that we could also see the Exynos 5 Octa show up in a variety of other flagship devices.

Read more: The Korea Times (Source: UnwiredView)

Bell launches Samsung Galaxy Discover

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Jan 162013

Samsung Galaxy DiscoverBell yesterday launched the Samsung Galaxy Discover, an entry-level Android smartphone.

The very affordable Samsung Galaxy Discover features a 3.5” touchscreen and lets you take advantage of the amazing Android platform, with access to over 600,000 apps in the Google Play store.

Bell is offering the Samsung Galaxy Discover for free on a three-year contract or CA$199.95 with no contract.

Read more: Bell Mobility

Samsung display roadmap confirms 5-inch FHD display for Samsung Galaxy S IV?

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Jan 142013

Rumours that Samsung would unveil either a 4.99-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display or even the Galaxy S IV at CES 2013 did not pan out. But a product roadmap on display at CES 2013 has confirmed that the display in question is coming. Spotted by AnandTech, it shows the evolution of displays over the last couple of years. It culminates with the aforementioned 4.99-inch FHD display with a 440 PPI.

Samsung Display roadmap

Samsung boasts that this new display will have a low power mode and significant power savings (up to 47% with that new mode) over current generation displays.

The roadmap also shows a launch scheduled for Q1 2013. And which device has been rumoured to sport a 5-inch Full HD display for a while now? None other than the Samsung Galaxy S IV.

Could Samsung unveil its new display at MWC 2013 with the Galaxy S IV to have its own launch event afterwards (perhaps with Samsung’s new 8-core Exynos 5 Octa SoC in tow as well)?

Read more: AnandTech

Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note II Jelly Bean upgrade coming next week

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Jan 142013

Samsung Galaxy Note IISamsung Canada delivered some good news to Canadian owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. In a statement released today, it confirmed that its Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update will include support for the anticipated Multi Window feature:

Samsung Canada announced today the upcoming availability of the latest update for the GALAXY Note II smartphone, which offers Multi Window allowing users to interact with two separate applications simultaneously.

The OS update (Android 4.1.2) gives customers the ability to personalize and customize their smartphone experience and interact with two apps at the same time. Samsung Canada now allows GALAXY Note II customers to change app positions within the Multi Window in addition to having the capability of using Pop Up Video while using Multi Window.

Also, included in this software update is the inclusion of both simplified and traditional Chinese language support. Easily accessible from the device’s settings menu, the software can change the language for most menus and applications and also support handwriting of Chinese characters to be transposed into text.

In a follow-up email, Samsung Canada indicated that the update will begin rolling out “in the next week.” Availability will depend by carrier suggesting that we could see a similar deployment as that of the Samsung Galaxy S III where some carriers got the update ahead of others.

Read more: MobileSyrup

Samsung Galaxy S sales top 100 million units

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Jan 142013

Samsung today announced that cumulative global channel sales of its Galaxy S series devices have now topped 100 million units. The series is made up of the original Samsung Galaxy S which launched in June 2010 as well as its successors, the Galaxy S II and current flagship, the Galaxy S III.

The original Samsung Galaxy S has now shipped over 24 million units to global channels. Its successor, the Samsung Galaxy S II, has now topped shipments of 40 million units. The Samsung Galaxy S III has now passed the mark of 40 million unit channel sales, or average daily sales of 190,000 units.

Samsung Galaxy S sales top 100 million units

The company named the Galaxy S II as the “driving force behind Samsung Electronics’ rise to the top on the global smartphone market.”

Impressive numbers all around!

Read more: Samsung Tomorrow

Windows RT Samsung ATIV Tab tablet to skip U.S.

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Jan 112013

Samsung ATIV TabIt appears that Samsung is having second thoughts about Windows RT. The company this week revealed that it will not launch its Samsung ATIV Tab tablet in the U.S. Its plans for other global markets are also in doubt at this point. Mike Abary, the Sasmung senior vice president who heads up the company’s US PC and tablet group, told CNET that demand for Windows RT devices is just not high enough. Not only is retailer interest low but it appears that consumers don’t quite grasp what Windows RT is and offers. According to Abary:

“There wasn’t really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was. And that heavy lifting was going to require pretty heavy investment. When we added those two things up, the investments necessary to educate the consumer on the difference between RT and Windows 8, plus the modest feedback that we got regarding how successful could this be at retail from our retail partners, we decided maybe we ought to wait.”

Abary does not rule out future devices powered by Windows RT. “We want to see how the market develops for RT,” Abary said. “It’s not something we’re shelving permanently. It’s still a viable option for us in the future, but now might not be the right time.” Samsung is not the only manufacturer to come to such a conclusion either. Both HP and Toshiba have also taken a wait-and-see attitude.

Samsung first unveiled the ATIV Tab at IFA back in August along with the Samsung Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Camera.

Alongside the already available Microsoft Surface RT, ASUS, Dell and HTC are also expected to offer Windows RT devices later this year.

Read more: CNET