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Samsung unveils Notebook 5 and 3 series: trio of light, practical laptops

Samsung unveiled three new Windows laptops with solid performance and a practical build. The Samsung Notebook 5 comes with a 15.6" 1080p screen and a metal body. The other two are Notebook 3 models - one with a 14" screen and one with 15.6". The specs are mostly identical from here on out. The laptops come with a choice between an 8th or 7th generation Intel processors, the higher-end models also come with discrete Nvidia graphics. Full specs are available at the bottom. Samsung Notebook 5 These are practical laptops. They have full keyboards with numpads,...

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Alleged Samsung Galaxy J7 (2018) stops by at FCC and GeekBench

Earlier today, we dug up some info on an alleged Galaxy A6 and A6+ pair, currently in the works. Some extra snooping around also led us to interesting finds on a few other Samsung devices, all bearing the SM-J720 model number, in a few typical variants - M, D/DS, F and F/DS. Examining current and old J-series model numbers leads us to believe this is likely the Galaxy J7 (2018). On to particulars, then. FCC documentation is rarely very descriptive in terms of internals, but it does cite exact dimensions for the device - 153mm x 76mm. With diagonal measurement set at 162mm for the...

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Vivo Y71 mid-ranger pops up on TENAA

A new member of Vivo's mid-range family is apparently on its way. A pair of listing for an Y71 and Y71A on TENAA offer up quite a few details, with other industry sources filling in pretty much all the rest of the gaps, with more specs, product images, launch date and a price. Unlike the recently spotted Y85, the Y71 sports a classic notch-less design on its 5.99-inch, 1440 x 720pixel panel. It is housed within what, based on the antenna lines, is probably a metal unibody, measuring 155.87 x 75.74 x 7.8 mm and weighing in at 150 grams. Interestingly enough, there appears to be no...

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Google Home and Home Mini are coming to India in April

Google is gearing up to officially launch its Home and Home Mini devices in India next month. The news was originally picked up as part of a communication by Redington India with its retail partners. This move has been widely anticipated, since the Google Assistant rolled out support for Hindi last month. Plus, Amazon's competing Alexa and its Echo Plus, Echo and Echo Dot devices have recently begun selling in the subcontinent as well. Officially expanding the ongoing, cut-throat voice assistant battle to a vast new battleground. Alexa has the benefit of a substantial library of local skills...

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Google is testing some UI tweaks for a 2018 Pixel Launcher redesign

Google has never been one to shy away from shipping hidden, in-development code inside production software. It's one of those little things about the web titan than can put a smile on any enthusiastic developer or modder's face and is typically how we get early clues about upcoming features and design changes. Old Pixel Launcher home • New Pixel Launcher home This time around, one of the guys over at XDA managed to unearth some UI tweaks in the latest official Pixel Launcher APK. These are subtle, but still quite noticeable and, for now, affect the Google search bar. The...

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Samsung Galaxy A6 and A6+ receive FCC certification

The Galaxy A6 moniker has been floating around in the rumor mill for a good three years now. But only recently has there been actual development on the matter, with Galaxy A6 and A6+ handsets, already Wi-Fi certified and spotted on GeekBench. As per an earlier industry insider tip, the SM-A600FN and SM-A605G were apparently only intended for a trio of markets - Europe, Russia, and Middle East. Samsung Galaxy A6+ FCC documents However, both devices have been recently spotted in FCC filings, meaning Samsung is already going through the process of certifying the pair for the US...

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Samsung has already started rolling out April security update

Neither April has arrived yet, nor Google has announced details for the April security update. However, that isn't stopping Samsung from rolling out the patch, which has already started hitting Galaxy J3 (2017) units in some markets. Specifically, Netherlands and Luxembourg are the regions where the update is currently live. Needless to say, there's currently no information on what all issues are fixed in the patch. Given the roll out has just begun, it may take time for the notification to pop up on your handset's screen, so be patient. Via

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Samsung Always-On Display updated to support GIFs

You could always add an image to your Always on Display to customize the look of the phone while it permanently displays the time, date, and any incoming notifications. Samsung's Always on Display is being updated to support GIFs to further customize the look of your AOD. Version of the app allows you to set any GIF to adorn your AOD by opening the GIF in the Gallery app and tapping the overflow menu (.), then selecting "Set as Always on Display image". There are a couple of limitations that you should know about. The app only supports GIF files and didn't...

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Chinese Customs busted 26 suspects who used drones to smuggle iPhones into China

A group of 26 suspects were arrested in China for smuggling almost USD $80 million worth of smartphones into Southern China from Hong Kong. Suspects were able to transport upwards of 15,000 devices in a single night, which were mostly refurbished iPhones, (according to the Chinese Customs' report) across the border that divides Hong Kong from mainland China. Drones confiscated by authorities in Shenzhen on March 29 - Via Reuters Drones were used to run 200-meter (660-foot) lines across the border and small bags, which held up to 10 smartphones each, were quickly carried through...

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T-Mobile is bringing back the Sidekick

The T-Mobile Sidekick is getting reincarnated in the carrier's latest announcement. It was an iconic smartphone that had several celebrity endorsements, a screen that flipped out in a really cool 180-degree motion, and its operating system would eventually evolve into what we know today as Android. Today, T-Mobile introduces the world's first Smartshoephone™: T-Mobile Sidekicks. As fun as they are functional, T-Mobile Sidekicks are fully tricked out for speed on the fastest LTE network ever and optimized for unlimited data with T-Mobile ONE, of course. Seeing really is believing with the...

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Samsung targets LG’s OLED TVs for their burn-in problem

Samsung has a near-monopoly over mobile OLED panels in the market, and it is demonstrated well by the fact that Samsung is the sole supplier of OLED displays even for its arch rival’s iPhone X. The situation in the TV market is, however, different. Samsung has stopped making OLED TVs and started selling QLED TVs, while also investing in a more futuristic MicroLED technology.

On the other hand, LG’s long-term bets on OLED technology for TVs started yielding results with the company turning into a dominant force in the premium TV market, putting its critically acclaimed OLED TVs in direct competition with Samsung’s QLED TVs. Samsung seems to be feeling the heat from LG’s success with OLED TVs and is now reportedly resorting to marketing the downsides of OLED TVs to sell its QLED offerings.

LG is not happy with Samsung’s claims

A report in Business Korea says that LG Electronics in Thailand and Malaysia has recently sent official communication to the Samsung counterparts in these countries to stop the ad campaigns targeting the supposed burn-in problem in LG OLED TVs. LG Electronics is reportedly angry about a certain 10-year burn-in warranty ad by Samsung that lists the advantages of QLED TVs, claiming they are free from burn-in, unlike OLED TVs. The ad also apparently shows some pictures of OLED TVs with burned-in screens, along with citing burn-in test results from Rtings – a website which does extensive burn-in tests.

LG is not happy with Samsung claiming that all OLED TVs suffer from burn-in and alleges Samsung is misleading the customers with its advertisement. Samsung has reportedly refused to withdraw the ad by saying that it is not targeting LG TVs specifically but just trying to inform the customers about OLED TV problems in general. The report also states that LG Electronics is even considering legal recourse if Samsung refuses to withdraw the advertisement.

This is not the first time Samsung is targeting LG’s OLED TVs for burn-in issues. In August last year, Samsung had published an ad titled ‘QLED vs OLED: The 12-Hour Image Retention Test’ on its YouTube channel. The video compares image retention on a Samsung QLED TV and an LG OLED TV, where the former emerges victorious unscathed by burn-in. Samsung also published a blog post last year explaining the burn-in problem in OLED TVs and marketing its QLED TVs.

It’s a bit ironic for Samsung to target the problems of OLED panels as it is the largest supplier of mobile OLED panels in the market. Granted that the lifespan of most smartphones is less than a couple of years and so burn-in, which is related to long periods of usage, is a bigger problem on TVs that are expected to last much longer. Still, it comes across as a sign of Samsung’s insecurity when it focuses too much on the flaws of OLED TVs instead of highlighting the strengths of its QLED technology.

The post Samsung targets LG’s OLED TVs for their burn-in problem appeared first on SamMobile.

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Huawei CEO says the company is still committed to the US market despite "groundless suspicions"

Huawei has recently come under fire in the US, where government agencies left and right are advising people and companies not to purchase its products. The CIA, FBI, and NSA are concerned that Huawei devices are used to spy on Americans. As you'd expect, Huawei's consumer products CEO doesn't think too highly of such assessments. Richard Yu told CNET that "the security risk concerns are based on groundless suspicions and are quite frankly unfair". "We welcome an open and transparent discussion if it is based on facts", he continued. Huawei P20 Despite the fact that the government...

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MIUI 9.5 Global ROM now rolling out to the Redmi Note 5 in India

Xiaomi has started rolling out the MIUI 9.5 update for the Redmi Note 5 in India. The update changes the version number to v9.5.3.0.NEGMIFA. The update brings a whole host of changes and improvements. You can read all the changes in the images below. Changelog The update is now rolling out via OTA download but if you like you can also download and flash the ROM manually from the link below. The Redmi Note 5 is one of the newest Xiaomi phones to be launched in India. Known as the Redmi 5 Plus in China, it serves as the replacement for the popular Redmi Note 4 from last year...

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Oppo R15 and R15 Pro hands-on review

Oppo just announced its R15 flagship duo, which not only represents the latest and greatest from the world's fifth largest manufacturer, but also comes to show what to expect from OnePlus and Vivo - the other two in BBK Electronics' smartphone trifecta.

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[Poll] Would you buy a non-Samsung phone with a notch?

Apple wasn’t the first manufacturer to employ a notch on an otherwise “all-screen” smartphone display. That was Essential, the company created by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, which launched the Essential Phone to much fanfare, both because one of Android’s masterminds was behind it and because of the notch at the top of the display. Apple did, however, make the notch mainstream thanks to the power it holds when it comes to setting the trends, and it also managed to make the notch worthwhile with the Face ID technology. Android OEMs have nothing of the sort, but many Chinese manufacturers, in their ever-present need to do what Apple does, have been releasing phones with a notch in recent months.

The notch has been embraced even by Google

Google hasn’t been sitting idle, either. The company has added official support for notch-equipped devices in Android P, even though none of the major manufacturers have talked about embracing the notch just yet. But the major players are no longer the only ones who matter. Indeed, other than Samsung, big OEMs like HTC, Sony, and LG have been losing ground to Chinese manufacturers, who continue to put out smartphones with impressive specs for a fraction of the price commanded by devices from mainstream OEMs. Even OnePlus has confirmed that its next flagship will have a notch, so it’s only a matter of time before the market is flooded with iPhone X-like designs that the consumer can’t ignore.

That’s where our poll comes in: We want to know if you would be willing to purchase a non-Samsung device if it attracts your attention despite the presence of a notch in the display. We already know most Samsung fans aren’t willing to accept the notch and are perfectly fine with the Infinity display found on its devices, but what if the Korean giant also joins the notch bandwagon somewhere down the line? Will that make it easier for you to buy a phone with a notch from another company?

Well, go ahead and tell us by voting in the poll, and also let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Would you buy a non-Samsung phone with a notch?

The post [Poll] Would you buy a non-Samsung phone with a notch? appeared first on SamMobile.

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Samsung Galaxy Note8 phones on Verizon and Sprint are receiving Oreo

Following AT&T, two more US carriers are now sending Oreo updates to Samsung Galaxy Note8 phones on their networks - Verizon and Sprint. It's a hefty update, over a gigabyte, but it's worth it. It adds features like picture-in-picture, autofill, device maintenance, improved biometrics, better background app management and so on. Besides Android 8.0 Oreo, the update also brings the Samsung Experience version to 9.0. Galaxy Note8 phones on Verizon and Sprint are receiving Oreo We took at peek at posts discussing the T-Mobile version, but there's nothing yet. Well, besides people...

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Samsung’s already pushing out the April 2018 security patch to one device

It has happened at least once before, and it seems to be happening again. Samsung has gone ahead and released the security patch for the upcoming month for one of its devices, before Google has released official details of what that patch entails or rolled it out for its Pixel phones. The device in question is the Galaxy J3 (2017), which is receiving an update in the Netherlands and Luxembourg with the April 2018 security patch. We don’t have the J3 (2017) in our possession at the moment so we can’t confirm anything, but the details for the latest firmware for the phone do include a mention of the April patch.

No one knows what the April 2018 security patch will fix

Naturally, there’s no telling what or how many vulnerabilities the April patch will fix, though it won’t be long before Google makes the customary announcement on its website. If the new J3 (2017) update indeed packs next month’s security patch, it would mark yet another instance of a budget Samsung phone getting the latest security update before devices in the flagship lineup. If recent history is any guide, the next device to get the April 2018 patch would probably be from the Galaxy A lineup, while Samsung’s flagships might be waiting around till the end of April (or maybe even longer) for the same.

We’re working on getting confirmation that the update does indeed come with the April patch, but if you have the Galaxy J3 (2017) and live in the Netherlands or Luxembourg, try downloading the update from the Settings » Software update menu and letting us know the security patch date you see in the About phone section of the phone’s settings. You can also update using the full firmware files from our database.

Firmware Details:

Model SM-J330F
Model name Galaxy J3
Version Android 7.0
Changelist 13297845
Build date Mon, 26 Mar 2018 23:59:57 +0000
Security Patch Level 2018-04-01
Product code PHN

The post Samsung’s already pushing out the April 2018 security patch to one device appeared first on SamMobile.

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Did you enable the floating camera button on your Galaxy S9?

If there’s one thing Samsung’s camera app doesn’t lack, it’s the number of ways one can take a picture. You can use the standard shutter button inside the camera, press the volume buttons, use voice control, or hold out your palm towards the camera to make it click a picture on a timer. The palm gesture is especially handy when you want to take a selfie and can’t reach the shutter button or volume keys without awkwardly twisting your fingers, which can also lead to accidental touches on the display.

To get around that problem, Samsung introduced a new feature called the Floating camera button with the Galaxy A (2017) series, and it’s something you should enable on your Galaxy S9 and S9+ if you haven’t already. What’s the floating camera button for? Well, precisely what the name suggests: You get a camera button that can be freely moved around on the screen and placed wherever it’s easiest to access. This is in addition to the standard shutter button, which stays right there at the bottom center of the camera viewfinder.

Again, selfies are where the floating camera button is most useful, and it complements the palm gesture extremely well, giving you the ability to take pictures without the inconvenience of reaching for the volume keys or the regular shutter button. Of course, you can also place the floating button next to the default shutter button if you want, so you have a larger area to tap for taking a picture.

But, like many useful features found on Samsung devices, the floating camera button is disabled by default, so you need to make a trip into the camera settings to activate it. It’s a simple process, but to make it even simpler, we’ve listed it out step-by-step below.

How to enable the floating camera button on the Galaxy S9

Step 1: Open the Camera app on your Galaxy S9 or S9+, then tap the settings icon (the one designed like a gear).

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom of the settings menu to find the Floating camera button option.

Step 3: Enable the floating button by using the toggle next to it, then exit the camera settings.

You should now have two shutter buttons in the camera app, and the floating button can be moved around anywhere in the camera interface. The floating camera button will also be available when you’re using the rear camera, so it’s not exclusive to just taking selfies. Well, go ahead and take some pictures using that button, and if you have issues following the steps above, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to help you out. We also have more Galaxy S9 tips that can enhance your experience of using the phone, so check those out as well.

The post Did you enable the floating camera button on your Galaxy S9? appeared first on SamMobile.

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Our 960fps slow-mo shootout video is up: Xperia XZ2 goes against the Galaxy S9

We had a bit of fun in the office shooting 960fps videos. We used the Sony Xperia XZ2 and the Samsung Galaxy S9 to try and find out which one does a better job at 960 frames per second. Of course, Huawei launched its own 960fps competitor earlier this week, but that's for another time. So, how did the two competitors do? Sony came out with a 960fps-capable phone last year (the XZ1) and this year it upgraded the camera to support 1080p resolution while the Samsung is capped at 720p. However, Samsung has its own highlights - it can automatically trigger the slow-mo recording with motion...

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Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong will be back in office next month 

Samsung was hit by a major corruption scandal last year that had far-reaching repercussions both inside and outside the company. The scandal brought down South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye and landed Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong in jail on charges of bribery and corruption.

A Seoul court found Lee guilty and sentenced him to five years in prison. He filed an appeal with the Seoul High Court and walked out as a free man in February this year after the presiding judge observed Lee’s role in the scandal as “passive compliance to political power” and suspended his jail sentence.

Currently on a business trip overseas

Post his release from the jail, Lee has been keeping a low profile and even skipped the annual shareholders’ meeting in Seoul last week. According to a report in the Yonhap News, Lee is expected to resume his duties at Samsung next month. He left the country on March 22 for a business trip and is expected to return home in April.

The report quotes an industry insider saying, “Lee is currently in Europe and may visit North America before returning home. He may also visit some Asian countries, but all schedules are flexible.” He is reportedly meeting key officials from global IT firms to discuss and share ideas on new growth opportunities.

After returning home, Lee will work from both Seoul and Suwon offices according to the sources. He will also reportedly refrain from making public appearances for some time and focus on his work by keeping a low profile.

The post Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong will be back in office next month  appeared first on SamMobile.

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Always On Display update brings GIF support for the Galaxy S8 and Note 8

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are Samsung’s latest top-end phones, and it’s no surprise that these devices come with new functionality that isn’t present on the company’s 2017 flagships. It’s also not surprising that Samsung is working on slowly bringing some of that functionality to older devices through updates, and one such Galaxy S9 feature is making its way to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 today. Samsung has released an update for Always On Display (AOD) that adds support for using GIF files on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.

GIF support arrives on Always On Display for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8

Now, AOD has always supported GIF files on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 for the one clock style that lets you see images when AOD is active, but the GIFs would simply act as static images. That’s changing with the latest update to AOD, so Galaxy S8 and Note 8 owners can now see their favorite GIFs when the phone is sitting idle. There are even a few preloaded GIF animations that you can choose from. Don’t get too excited, though, since the GIF animation runs only once after you lock the phone and then turns into a still image. That’s no doubt a limitation put forth to reduce battery consumption, but you can double tap the image to make it play again, and you also get to see the animation play every time you lock the phone and set it aside.

To get the Always On Display update, open the Galaxy Apps store on your phone, tap the three-dot button on the top right, select My Apps, then select Update. Find and tap Always On Display in the list and hit the update button. Once you’ve updated, you will need to select the particular clock style that shows images on the display. See the steps below to see how you can do that.

How to use a GIF on Always On Display?

Step 1: First, go into the Settings » Lock screen and security » Always On Display menu and select either the Clock or Home button and clock option under the Content to show section.

Step 2: Then, go back to the Lock screen and security menu and select Clock and FaceWidgets.

Step 3: Tap Clock style to see the list of clock styles available.

Step 4: Scroll to the left and tap the clock style shown in the screenshot below.

Step 5: Now, you can either select a GIF from the gallery or choose one from the preloaded options. To select from the gallery, tap the + sign and choose from one of your saved GIF files. To use a prelaoded GIF, tap the Add GIF button at the bottom instead and choose from the options you see.

Step 6: Once you’ve selected the GIF file, tap the Apply button on the top right.

You should now be able to see the GIF animation play every time you turn off the screen and Always On Display pops up. As mentioned earlier, the GIF will play only once each time you lock the phone, but you can double tap the image to run the animation again.

For more on setting up Always On Display on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, check out this post.

The post Always On Display update brings GIF support for the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 appeared first on SamMobile.

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LG trademarks the LG Q7 name

The LG Q6 is a mini G6, the LG Q8 is a mini V20. So, what would the LG Q7 be like? We will find out soon as the company has filed a trademark with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). The rumor mill is coming up empty on the matter - there's nothing on the Q7. It doesn't make a great amount of sense, but if the Q-series continues to imitate LG flagships, the LG V30 could be its next target. We could at least try to frame the price. The Q6 launched in Korea for the equivalent of $475, the Q8 launched at $545. So, call it about $500 for the Q7. Via

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Galaxy S9 can hit speeds of over 500Mbps on AT&T’s LTE network

The Galaxy S8 was one of the first smartphones on the market last year capable of hitting gigabit LTE speeds. A test conducted by T-Moile revealed that the handset could achieve download speeds of over 900Mbps. However, the test was conducted in a lab and it was impossible for the average user to achieve speeds anywhere near that in real-world conditions.

As one can imagine, the Galaxy S9 has a gigabit LTE modem as well which means it can hit some enviable speeds. Some carriers are now using 5GHz unlicensed spectrum which is commonly known as the Wi-Fi spectrum as part of their LTE networks. This lets them significantly improve speeds for public LTE networks ahead of the commercial roll-out of 5G. This is what’s called Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) and AT&T’s new LAA network enables the Galaxy S9 to hit peak speeds of over 500Mbps on LTE.

Some Samsung devices can access AT&T’s LAA network

The folks over at PCMag tested several AT&T LAA sites in downtown Chicago using a regular retail Galaxy S9. They were able to achieve these speeds out on the street on a public network and not at a test site. AT&T is far from the only carrier that’s doing this. T-Mobile and Verizon are also installing Licensed Assisted Access sites in major cities across the country.

That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that LAA is an urban solution because the spectrum can’t travel far. You won’t likely be able to hit such speeds in the comfort of your own home. The four sites tested by the scribe had radiuses between 150 feet to 400 feet so you’ll likely have to stay outdoors for extended periods of time if you want to take advantage of super-high LTE speeds. AT&T is rolling out its LAA sites in several cities across the United States including San Francisco and Los Angeles. It plans to launch LAA in at least 24 cities this year.

The four different sites returned different speed results depending on the level of congestion of the site itself and also of the surrounding sites. The speeds were always above 250Mbps at all four sites and managed to hit 537Mbps at the third site. Despite considerably improving downloads, LAA doesn’t do the same for uploads which continue to run on the dedicated LTE spectrum with speeds of up to 43Mbps.

AT&T subscribers can access the LAA fast lanes provided that they have a compatible device. The Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy Note 8 are the only Samsung devices that support LAA right now.

The post Galaxy S9 can hit speeds of over 500Mbps on AT&T’s LTE network appeared first on SamMobile.

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Strategy Analytics crowns Sony Xperia XZ2, XZ2 Compact as battery life kings

Strategy Analytics normally studies the performance of various manufacturers, but at Sony's request, the analysts took on a new role - testing the battery life of "leading premium smartphones". Here's the competition: Sony Xperia XZ2 • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact • LG G6 Apple iPhone X • Huawei P10 • Samsung Galaxy S9 • Oppo R11 And here are the results. The Xperia XZ2 came out on top followed by the XZ2 Compact. The LG G6 narrowly beat the iPhone X for third. Here's how the tests were performed: phones were used for 16 hours a day, including calls, texts,...

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Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy C7 Pro and Galaxy A8+ (2018) get March security patch

Samsung has released the March 2018 security patch for a handful of devices over the past few days including but not limited to the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy A7. It has now released the security patch for the month of March 2018 for the Galaxy S7 edge, the Galaxy C7 Pro and the Galaxy A8+ (2018).

March 2018 security patch rolling out to more devices

Samsung started rolling out the latest security maintenance release for the Galaxy S7 earlier this week. It was only a matter of time before the Galaxy S7 edge got it as well. The company is now rolling out firmware version G935FXXS2DRC3 for the Galaxy S7 edge in several markets across Europe. The firmware file is now available for download from our database.

The Galaxy C7 Pro is finally getting a more recent security patch. Samsung has released firmware version C701FDDU1BRC2 for the Galaxy C7 Pro in India today, bringing it up from the August 2017 security patch. The update is now being rolled out for users over-the-air in India and it can also be downloaded from our firmware section.

The Galaxy A8 (2018) was the first device to receive the March security update after Samsung detailed it earlier this month. The company has promised to release monthly security updates for this device but for some odd reason has decided to put the Galaxy A8+ (2018) on a quarterly update schedule.

The Galaxy A8+ (2018) is now receiving firmware version A730FXXU2ARC9 in markets like Russia and Uzbekistan. Given Samsung’s decision to put the device on a quarterly update schedule, it looks like users will have to stick with this patch for a few months. The firmware file can also be downloaded from our database.

The security patch for the month of March 2018 brings fixes for nine critical vulnerabilities in the Android operating system. It also patches dozens of moderate-risk and high-risk vulnerabilities. Fixes for five Samsung Vulnerabilities and Exposures (SVE) items in the company’s own software are included as well.

The post Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy C7 Pro and Galaxy A8+ (2018) get March security patch appeared first on SamMobile.

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Vodafone UK now offers the 2018 iPad

Apple announced its latest iPad 9.7 earlier this week. The tablet will be offered in the States by T-Mobile, Verizon and BestBuy starting April 2. Europe, or at least the United Kingdom, is getting the device a bit earlier after Vodafone sent out a press release, announcing the availability of the tablet in stores. Online purchases will be available after Easter. The new iPad 9.7 with 32 GB storage can be purchased with one of four plans. For £26/month and £20 upfront you get the slate + 500 MB Tablet Plan, while for £5 more per month and £10 less upfront cost the data is 5 GB....

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Verizon and Sprint release Galaxy Note 8 Android Oreo update

The Galaxy Note 8 Android Oreo update is now being rolled out by Verizon and Sprint in the United States some three days after AT&T became the first carrier in the country to release the update for this device. Interestingly, AT&T was the last carrier to release the Galaxy S8 Android Oreo update in the United States. Countless Galaxy Note 8 owners on both carriers have now confirmed that they’re now receiving the latest firmware update for their device.

Galaxy Note 8 Android Oreo update rolling out now

It was expected that both of these carriers would release the update soon because Samsung had promised on its official US support forums last week that it’s going to release the Galaxy Note 8 Android Oreo update for all variants of the device within 2-3 weeks. It promised that the update is going to be released within this timeframe for both carrier-locked and unlocked variants.

The unlocked Galaxy Note 8 might get its Oreo update in the US a bit later than the carrier-locked counterparts. That’s because Samsung needs to run additional tests on unlocked models to ensure that they function properly on all networks that they’re compatible with. Even though all four major carriers have released Oreo for the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+, the unlocked models have yet to receive the update for this very reason.

Firmware version N950USQU3CRC2 is now being rolled out for the Galaxy Note 8 over-the-air. It bumps up the core Android OS version to 8.0 and brings all of the features that are part and parcel of Android Oreo. These include picture-in-picture mode, Autofill, notification dots and more. You can find out more about the new features in Oreo by checking out our extensive What’s New With Android 8.0 Oreo series.

Verizon has finally cleared the way for the Device Maintenance app on the Galaxy Note 8. The app lets users perform minor optimizations on the device such as freeing up storage and memory. It also lets them tweak device security settings. The app was initially disabled but it’s now available on Verizon’s Galaxy Note 8 with the Oreo update.

Verizon and Sprint users should expect to receive a notification for the Galaxy Note 8 Android Oreo update soon if they haven’t already. The update can also be manually pulled by launching the Settings app and navigating to the Software update menu. T-Mobile is now the only major U.S. carrier left that’s yet to release the Galaxy Note 8 Android Oreo update.

The post Verizon and Sprint release Galaxy Note 8 Android Oreo update appeared first on SamMobile.

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Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play leak in all their glory

Most companies are done with their H1 2018 announcements, but Motorola is still holding back with the Moto G6 series. Those should be coming shortly though as a massive leak just came showing us what two of the phones will look like and revealing most of their specs and even prices. Moto G6 Play Moto G6 Play will be the most affordable device in the series with 5.7" display and HD+ resolution, confirming that Motorola will also move to tall screens. The chipset is rumored to be Snapdragon 430 with an octa-core CPU and up to 1.4 GHz clock speed. The circular camera...

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Google announces new features for Play Books

In January Google launchedPlay Books - a store for audio books and a direct competitor to Audible. Today the company announced a handful of updates on its blog that should bring better user experience. According to the article, you'll now be able to place bookmarks wherever you want in the audiobook, so you can later get back to it. There are also plenty of new and updated features like Smart Resume, speed control and Family Library. Smart Resume is continuing the book from the sentence you paused it at, instead of the exact word, so that way you won't feel confused what is going on...

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LG asks Reddit for feedback on "the Notch"

There has been a lot of contriversy over "the notch" in the past several days, particularly with Huawei's announcement of the P20 and P20 Pro (though you do have the option of turning it off in the software), which both have notches. More recently, there was outcry on Twitter when Carl Pei, founder of OnePlus, was quoted saying that we should "learn to love the notch". Having this notch in the display was the only way that Apple could get away making a phone (mostly) all display without technically having a bezel. This design choice is now trickling into other smartphone manufacturers and...

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Galaxy J8 and J8+ battery capacity possibly revealed

Recently, we reported about the devices that could launch as the Galaxy J8 and Galaxy J8+. The SM-J800FN model that could be the Galaxy J8 has been spotted on a benchmarking website and at the Wi-Fi Alliance recently. The SM-J805G model which points to a Galaxy J8+, based on Samsung’s naming pattern, also surfaced on a benchmarking website earlier this month.

Following in the footsteps of Galaxy A8 and A8+

According to the information revealed in the benchmarks, the Galaxy J8 is expected to come with an Exynos 7870 processor, 3GB of RAM, and Android 8.0 Oreo on board. The Galaxy J8+ benchmark reveals an Android 8.0 device that’s powered by a Snapdragon 625 SoC and 4GB of RAM.

Thanks to Brazilian telecommunications regulator Anatel we now know the expected battery capacity of the two devices as well. According to the battery photos on the agency’s website, the Galaxy J8 and J8+ are expected to pack 3,000 mAh and 3,500 mAh batteries respectively. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ batteries were also revealed before their launch by the same Brazilian agency, and they turned out to be true.

Reports online suggest that Samsung will be launching the Galaxy J8 and J8+ with flat screen Infinity Displays, mimicking the Galaxy A8 (2018) and A8+ (2018) launched earlier this year. It is seen as a strategy by Samsung to offer phones with Infinity Displays at different price segments to cover all the bases. Although the J8 and J8+ are closely related, they haven’t been spotted together so far. This is the first time information about the two devices has appeared together, and they indeed seem to be following in the footsteps of the Galaxy A8 and A8+.

The post Galaxy J8 and J8+ battery capacity possibly revealed appeared first on SamMobile.

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Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact are up for pre-order in the US

Sony's latest flagship smartphones are now up for pre-order in the US, at B&H specifically. The retailer wants $799.99 of your hard earned cash for the XZ2, and $649.99 for the XZ2 Compact. In both cases, $0 tax is collected outside of NY and NJ. Unfortunately B&H doesn't list a shipping date for either model. The XZ2 and XZ2 Compact will become available in Europe on April 5, but it's unclear if they will be in stock in the US around the same date or not. Anyway, what you're getting if you pre-order is an unlocked phone that will work on GSM-based carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and...

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Razer Phone jumps straight to Android 8.1 Oreo by the end of April

The Razer Phone launched in late 2017 on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and the company's fans have been patiently waiting for an update to Oreo ever since. Today we found out that this is closer than you may have expected. In fact, a Developer Preview of the new software is available to download right now. Needless to say, you probably shouldn't approach that unless you're okay with living with bugs. Oh, and note that installing it will erase all data from the handset. What's more, there will be no over-the-air update path to the official Oreo release. Alongside the preview, Razer has...

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Apple outs iOS 11.3 with Battery Health tool, watchOS 4.3, tvOS 11.3

Today Apple is releasing iOS 11.3, watchOS 4.3, and tvOS 11.3 to everyone with a compatible device. iOS 11.3 iOS has gone through a few beta builds recently, and now version 11.3 is finally ready for primetime. It includes the self-explanatory Battery Health tool that the company promised following the iPhone throttling scandal. This tells you whether your device has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. When that happens it will apply "performance management" (don't call it throttling) to prevent such things...

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Huawei has patented a phone with a foldable display

Huawei has worked hard to stay at the forefront of camera innovation, but it hasn't forgotten about displays. The company has patented a foldable smartphone that opens and closes like a book. The patent was filed with WIPO on September 19 last year and published today. The mechanism looks similar to the Microsoft Surface Book, but seems to leave a much smaller gap. The display - a single panel, rather than two like the Axon M - and should be tablet-sized when fully open. The patent doesn't address how the device will be used when it's closed. There needs to be some way to check...

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Brazilian agency reveals the battery capacity for the Galaxy J8 and J8+

The Brazilian agency was right about the Galaxy S9 battery capacities, now it has published photos of batteries for the Galaxy J8 and J8+, aka J800 and J805. We've seen these in benchmarks with Snapdragon 625 and Exynos 7885, chipsets known for their efficiency rather than speed. The batteries in question are 3,000 mAh for the J8 and 3,500 mAh for the J8+, mirroring the capacities of the S9 duo. That's 11.55 Wh and 13.48 Wh respectively. Batteries for the Galaxy J8 (left) and Galaxy J8+ (right), photo by Anatel These will be the first Galaxy J8 models, the series previously...

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Benchmark performance comparison: Galaxy S8+ vs Galaxy S9+

Benchmark comparisons aren’t something we usually do. In fact, we never bother with benchmarks, because most benchmarks simulate extreme use cases that don’t reflect how the everyday experience of using a device would be. And, well, if a phone’s software isn’t properly optimized, lag and stutter in regular operation make even the highest benchmark scores seem useless. Samsung’s phones are certainly guilty of dipping in performance even a month down the line, and the company’s flagship Galaxy S devices are affected as well. It’s not like the company can’t optimize things well enough, though. The post-Galaxy S6 Note series phones usually perform admirably months after you start using them, but the same level of optimization is yet to permeate the rest of Samsung’s smartphone lineup.

Where benchmarks matter is showing us just what kind of performance a new device is technically capable of compared to the one that came before, and it holds especially true for flagship phones, which come with a newer, more powerful/efficient processor every year. The Galaxy S9, for example, is powered by the Exynos 9810, while the Galaxy S8 (and Note 8) was powered by the Exynos 8895. The Exynos 9810 might be built on a 10 nm process like the Exynos 8895, but it does get new microprocessor cores and a more powerful GPU. Even the 10 nm process used for the 9810 is more refined and makes for better theoretical power efficiency and performance over chips built on the first-generation 10 nm process.

On the Galaxy S9+, you also get 6GB of RAM, while the Galaxy S8 and S8+ had to make do with 4GB of RAM, so the real-world user experience on the S9+ is noticeably better than the S8+. But where do these devices stand when it comes to benchmark performance? We decided to run a few popular benchmarks on the Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S9+ to find out, and, unsurprisingly, the Galaxy S9+ came out on top in nearly all tests. We have even thrown in an internet speed test comparison over Wi-Fi for good measure (although these can vary wildly depending on the router the devices connect to and shouldn’t be taken too seriously).

We’ll just let the scores do the talking, however, so check those out by looking at the images below and let us know your thoughts in the comments. The Galaxy S8+ scores are on the left, and the S9+ scores are on the right in each picture. Unfortunately, we were unable to test the regular Galaxy S9 against a Galaxy S8, but since the S9 only gets less RAM, its benchmark scores should be similar to the S9+ on most accounts.



GFXBench (GPU benchmark)

3D Mark (GPU benchmark)

Basemark OS II

Speed Test (Internet test over Wi-Fi)

The post Benchmark performance comparison: Galaxy S8+ vs Galaxy S9+ appeared first on SamMobile.

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Unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+ in the US will get FM radio support in the next update

All these years, many smartphones sold in the US had their FM chip disabled intentionally by the carriers and OEMs for commercial reasons. It was seen as a move by the carriers to push users to consume more data and thereby pay more every month.

Thankfully, things started changing in the last year or so when LG, Motorola, Alcatel, and other companies decided to activate the FM chips on their smartphones going forward. Earlier this year, Samsung also joined the party by deciding to activate the FM chips on its upcoming smartphones in the US and Canada.

Samsung forgot to add the NAB FM API

While Samsung kept its promise for the carrier variants of the recently launched Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ sold in the US, it appears the unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+ models don’t have their FM chips activated yet. NextRadio, the company that Samsung partnered with to enable the FM chips on its smartphones, lists only the carrier variants of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ as supported models.

When Android Police reached out to NextRadio to figure out what’s happening, they received the following response from the company:

“Samsung mistakenly did not add the NAB FM API to the unlocked devices. Our team confirmed this with them a couple of days after release upon receiving reports the app did not work. Samsung has said it will be in the first update they do, but have not yet settled on a date.

The model numbers are SM-G960UI and SM-G965UI that do not currently work for FM. SM-G960U and SM-G965U are sold through carriers and do work for FM.”

Many people buy unlocked Galaxy smartphones in the US to avoid all the anti-customer decisions associated with the carrier variants. So, it must be disappointing for the unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+ users in the US to miss out on a nifty little feature. Hopefully, Samsung pushes the promised update soon and fix this.

The post Unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+ in the US will get FM radio support in the next update appeared first on SamMobile.

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Huawei P20 Lite now available at Vodafone UK

Huawei might have announced the P20 and P20 Pro at a glamorous event in Paris, but in the meantime, Huawei P20 Lite was already appearing on retailer shelves around the world. The latest to stock them is Vodafone UK, which just announced the lite flagship is available for purchase. Huawei P20 Lite Customers can get the Huawei P20 Lite only in Black color. There is an offer called 250 MB Essentials that gives you the cheapest monthly payment for a two-year contract - just £18 (with £99 upfront payment). A more lucrative deal would be the 4GB Red Extra plan that comes with...

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Samsung Galaxy Note9 may launch early and it's Galaxy S9's fault

Is it odd that the Galaxy Note9 was spotted at Geekbench this early? It isn't if the report of an accelerated time frame is true. And apparently, it's Galaxy S9's fault. The launch of the second 2018 flagship may come as early as July or August, based on info that Samsung Display is pulling up the AMOLED production for the Note9 from June to April, says Korean publication The Investor. This is partially because the Galaxy S9 isn't selling as well as Samsung expected and also because the company wants to preempt the new iPhones. Anyway, the new screen will be slightly larger -...

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Huawei announces familiar-looking Enjoy 8 phones

Two days after the P20 event, Huawei had another party, this time in China. The company launched three midrangers, part of the new Enjoy 8 series. The phones might look like new, but we already saw two of them arrive with different monikers. The biggest one - Enjoy 8 Plus, was recently launched as Huawei Y9 (2018) in Thailand. The regular Enjoy 8 is called Y7 Prime (2018) elsewhere, with the most affordable one - Huawei Enjoy 8e being the only new face. All three phones arrive with dual camera setups and 18:9 displays. We already covered the Enjoy 8 Plus arrival and the Enjoy 8...

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HMD's April 4 event in India may bring an Amazon-exclusive Nokia 7 Plus

HMD has scheduled an event in India for April 4 with hints that it will be about Android One phones. That doesn't narrow it down much, but Twitter user @IshanAgarwal24 has dug up this image, which suggests the Nokia 7 plus will be exclusive to Amazon India. Apparently, the 7 Plus will be sold through flash sales, similar to the sales approach of Chinese companies. The Nokia 7 Plus may be exclusive to Amazon India There's a chance that more phones will be shown at the event - Nokia 8 Sirocco and Nokia 6 (2018) - but they may not be exclusive to Amazon. The Nokia 6 (the original)...

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Carl Pei deletes "learn to love the notch" tweet after outcry from fans

Yesterday, Carl Pei talked up the decision to add a notch to the OnePlus 6. He even tweeted "Learn to love the notch" with a link to his interview with The Verge. Now that tweet is gone, deleted. Pei's timeline doesn't mention even a peep about a notch. Here's a copy of the deleted tweet: Learn to love the notch 😉 https://t.co/Rd9lkcksJV — Carl Pei (@getpeid) March 28, 2018 Understandably, there was an outcry from fans - they didn't like the new design direction. Admittedly, that's not uncommon, every new design has its detractors. Still, there must have been quite the...

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New Galaxy S9 update rolling out in more markets

Being the latest flagship in Samsung’s galaxy of smartphones, the Galaxy S9 is unsurprisingly getting all the attention when it comes to software updates. The first update to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ came just a few days before these handsets went up for sale in numerous markets around the world, and earlier this week, Samsung released another update for the S9 and S9+. This update was only available in Germany initially, but the Korean giant isn’t wasting any time and has now made the update available in other markets as well.

New Galaxy S9 update rolling out in more markets

The latest Galaxy S9 update, with build number XXU1ARCC, brings improvements to call stability and wallpaper quality. The changelog isn’t just for show, as we did run into call stability issues on one of our Galaxy S9+ units recently. Considering everything was fine when we used the Galaxy S9 on pre-final software for our review, it seems the problem may have been introduced by the first update. Or, well, it was just our network operator to blame, but it’s good to see Samsung actively fixing issues on the Galaxy S9 and S9+. As for wallpaper quality, we tried comparing two Galaxy S9s, one running the newest firmware and another that we haven’t still updated, and there seems to be no difference in quality with either stock of third-party wallpapers.

To grab the new update on your Galaxy S9 or S9+, go into the phone’s settings, tap Software update, followed by the Download updates manually option. The size of the update seems to vary from country to country, but you can expect it to be somewhere between 250 MB and 350 MB if you download it over the air, so make sure you’re on a Wi-Fi connection or have enough bandwidth if you decide to update using mobile data. We also have the full firmware files in our firmware database, although it may take some time for your country’s firmware to show up.

The post New Galaxy S9 update rolling out in more markets appeared first on SamMobile.

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Early Galaxy Note 9 release report blames the Galaxy S9

It’s here, the first early Galaxy Note 9 release report. Whenever a new Samsung flagship in the pipeline we tend to hear reports that Samsung is going to release the handset earlier than its predecessor. There were similar reports for the Galaxy S9 which turned out to be true as the Galaxy S9 was announced on February 25, 2018 and released on March 16. The Galaxy S8 was announced on March 29, 2017 and released on April 21.

So it’s not surprising to see a report out of South Korea claim that the Galaxy Note 9 release is likely going to take place earlier than expected. It blames less-than-steller performance of the Galaxy S9 for that.

Early Galaxy Note 9 release

According to the report, the Galaxy Note 9 is going to be released earlier than the Galaxy Note 8 to make up for the less-than-stellar sales of the Galaxy S9. Samsung apparently wants to outshine Apple’s new iPhones as well which is why it may consider an early release. Apple’s new iPhones aren’t expected until September this year.

Samsung hasn’t revealed the sales figures for its new flagship just yet but it expects Galaxy S9 sales to outperform the Galaxy S8. However, a recent report claimed that the Galaxy S9 is proving to be a tough sell in South Korea as customers aren’t too enthusiastic about the handset. We also reported recently that 36 percent of Galaxy S8 owners don’t feel the need to upgrade to the Galaxy S9. There could be some truth to reports that the Galaxy S9 sales are not up to the company’s expectations.

Just in case you forgot, the Galaxy Note 8 was announced on August 23, 2017 and Samsung started taking pre-orders in key markets the very next day. It released the Galaxy Note 8 on September 15.

This report about an early Galaxy Note 9 release is based on predictions that Samsung Display is going to start producing the 6.38-inch OLED panel for the Galaxy Note 9 next month, two months before it normally does that for an upcoming flagship phablet. It is thus claimed that the next Note flagship could be released “as early as July or August.” Samsung Display declined to comment on the production schedule.

We did report last week that Samsung has started firmware development for the Galaxy Note 9 two weeks earlier than it did for the Galaxy Note 8 last year. It also started firmware development for the Galaxy S9 a fortnight before it did for the Galaxy S8.

While that’s enough to form an assumption that the Galaxy Note 9 release could take place earlier than expected, it’s far from confirmed at this point in time. Take this information with a grain of salt for now as we’ll likely see conflicting reports about the Galaxy Note 9 release in the months to come.

The post Early Galaxy Note 9 release report blames the Galaxy S9 appeared first on SamMobile.

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Hello, my name is Kiran Neupane