Tag Archive | "Galaxy"

A new Galaxy S20 report just put a damper on those 10x optical zoom rumors

Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus Renders OnLeaks 3Cash Karo

Just a couple of days ago, we got wind of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra with its mad zoom capabilities. It was rumored that the phone will feature 10x optical zoom. However, a new report now has us second guessing the previous leak.

According to The Elec (via Sammobile), Samsung is sourcing prisms for 5x optical zoom camera modules. Optrontech — a South Korean manufacturer of optical parts — has apparently confirmed that it has supplied the said prisms to Samsung for the Galaxy S20 series.

Contradictory to previous rumors, The Elec does not mention 10x optical zoom at all. One reason for this could be that Samsung has reserved 10x optical zoom only for the S20 Ultra. There’s also a chance that the 5x optical zoom module is meant for the regular Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus.

Then again, It’s entirely possible that Samsung will cap optical zoom to 5x in all three phones. If so, Huawei’s rumored P40 series could be the first to feature 10x optical zoom. However, we highly doubt Samsung will miss an opportunity to best Huawei in the camera department.

What the rumors say so far

Based on what we know so far, the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra will have varying camera configurations. Samsung’s ultra high-res 108MP camera is also said to be confined to the S20 Ultra. So it’s possible Samsung is sourcing prisms for the 10x optical zoom module from somewhere else and we just don’t know about it yet.

All we can do for now is speculate on the rumors that are out there. Even if the Galaxy S20 phones get 5x optical zoom, it’s still a significant jump over the current 2x zoom module used in the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 phones.

We’ll update you as and when we know more about the new Samsung flagships.

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Galaxy Z Flip might get a bigger battery than Moto Razr, but will it be enough?

new samsung galaxy foldable smartphone flip phone samsung developer conference 2019 2

After much confusion, it looks like Galaxy Z Flip is the name for Samsung’s upcoming clamshell phone. The name was previously tipped by leakster Ice Universe and has now been reaffirmed by XDA Developers’ Max Weinbach. Incidentally, Weinbach is also the one behind the latest series of Galaxy S20 leaks.

In a series of tweets, Weinbach reveals some more information about the alleged Galaxy Z Fold. The tipster says that the foldable phone will get a 3,300mAh battery and will run on the Snapdragon 855 chipset. The 2019 flagship chipset was also tipped in a previous report, back when we thought the phone was called the Galaxy Fold 2.

At 3,300mAh, the new Galaxy foldable trumps the battery capacity of the recently launched Moto Razr clamshell. The Razr comes with a measly 2,510mAh battery, which Moto claims works well with the phone’s Snapdragon 710 SoC.

However, the Galaxy Z Flip’s more premium processor could drain its 3,300mAh battery pretty quickly. It’s even smaller than the 3,500mAh battery on 2018’s Galaxy S9 Plus, which was not very impressive to begin with. In our testing, the S9 Plus’ battery gave us merely three hours of screen-on time during our camera testing and six hours with heavy usage.

It’s possible Samsung had to compromise on the battery capacity of the Galaxy Z Flip in order to maintain a thin form factor.

To mitigate battery drain, Samsung could look at deploying the Galaxy Fold‘s Adaptive Power Saving Mode on the new phone. The feature regulates battery consumption depending on how you use your device.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip display rumors

Apart from outing the Galaxy Z Flip’s battery details, Weinbach has also revealed some info about its display. He says that the phone will feature an ultra-thin glass layered with plastic to avoid scratching.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors of Samsung’s next foldable using ultra-thin glass. Two previous reports have stated the same. However, that extra layer of plastic on top of the ultra-thin glass is new information to us.

Ultra-thin glass protection is good news since it’s more scratch resistant than plastic. It also reportedly results in less wrinkles compared to the first wave of foldable phone displays.

Weinbach claims the plastic layer on top will serve as additional protection for the display. If it gets scratched, only the plastic will suffer the damage, not the display.

What do you think of the Galaxy Z Flip so far? Are you excited for Samsung’s clamshell phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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OnePlus 8 series to challenge the Galaxy S20 with its own 120Hz Fluid Display

OnePlus display

OnePlus has developed a new QHD+ OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate that will debut with the OnePlus 8 series. The company revealed specifications and features for the new display at its screen technology event held in Shenzhen, China earlier today.

With a 120Hz refresh rate, the content on the display is refreshed 120 times per second. This makes for smoother playback as well as an overall fluid OS navigation experience. We’ve previously seen 120Hz screens on the likes of the Asus ROG Phone 2 and Razer Phone 2.

OnePlus 120Hz Fluid Display specs

According to information trickling in on Twitter and Chinese social media website Weibo, the display will feature a 10-bit color depth. This means that it will be able to produce a palette of 1.07 billion colors as opposed to an 8-bit panel which can display 16.7 million colors. Having a 10-bit panel is also necessary for true HDR 10 implementation.

The Verge reports that OnePlus worked with Samsung to develop the new display. The publication also reports that the company has done work on top of Android to improve animations like core OS gestures.

Additionally, OnePlus aims to have a 0.8 JNCD rating for every 120Hz display it produces. JNCD stands for Just Noticeable Color Differences and is a measurement of the bare minimum color difference a human eye can spot. By comparison, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus has a 0.4 JNCD, which means it displays colors that are near perfect.

Machine translation of the company’s presentation slides suggests that the new display will use a dedicated MEMC chip. MEMC stands for Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation and is usually a technology available on televisions. It inserts new frames between existing ones in a video to decrease motion blur.

OnePlus’ MEMC tech can apparently upscale low frame rate videos to a maximum of 120 frames per second, making the picture smoother and more natural. If this really works as intended, it could mean a much better gaming experience on future OnePlus phones.

Further, OnePlus’ 120Hz display has a touch sample rate of 240Hz and can apparently hit 1,000 nits peak brightness. It is optimized by something OnePlus calls Smooth Chain technology. However, details are scarce at the moment thanks to the official information being available only in Chinese.

Will the OnePlus 8 get a 120Hz display?

Speaking to The Verge, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the company’s next phone would tout the new display tech, even going as far as to say that it will be “the best smartphone display in 2020.”

That’s quite the claim! We just hope the high refresh rate displays are well optimized for power consumption. Current OnePlus devices with a 90Hz display experience significant battery drainage when the refresh rate is set to 90Hz.

OnePlus is expected to detail its display tech even further very soon. We’ll let you know as soon as we have the latest.

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Samsung reveals Galaxy Fold sales numbers, and they’re pretty respectable

Samsung Galaxy Fold Review shimmery back

Today, Samsung Electronic’s President Young Sohn revealed on stage for the first time some Samsung Galaxy Fold sales figures. The announcement came during the TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin event (via TechCrunch).

According to Young Sohn, Samsung has sold at least 1 million Galaxy Fold devices globally.

“And I think that the point is, we’re selling [a] million of these products,” Sohn said on stage. “There’s a million people that want to use this product at $ 2,000.”

Apparently, Sohn felt comfortable dishing the Samsung Galaxy Fold sales numbers to help emphasize that there is, in fact, a market for incredibly expensive smartphones. The Galaxy Fold starts at $ 1,980 for the 4G LTE version here in the United States, and the 5G variant — which isn’t available in the US — starts at 2.398 million Korean won (~$ 2,038.60).

Related: Samsung Galaxy Fold review: Day 4 — The epic conclusion and verdict

We know for a fact that the phone’s high price isn’t scaring away Canadian buyers. An official Samsung partner revealed to Android Authority today that Canada is almost completely sold out of Galaxy Fold devices, and the phone only hit store shelves on December 6. In Canada, the Fold starts at CA$ 2,600 (~$ 1,972.67).

While these Samsung Galaxy Fold sales numbers seem to be pretty strong, they obviously are nothing when compared to Samsung’s primary flagship lines, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 family. Halfway through 2019, Samsung had already moved 16 million devices in the S10 family, which includes the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e, and S10 5G.

Still, these Samsung Galaxy Fold sales numbers do tell an interesting story: even with an incredibly high price tag and a disastrous launch, Samsung can still sell a million units of an innovative smartphone.

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold doesn’t need to beat the Huawei Mate X to market

Samsung Galaxy Fold hinge on table

The Samsung Galaxy Fold was already a controversial smartphone well before review units of the device were sent out earlier this week. Much was made about how the phone itself was highly expensive — nearly $ 2,000 — and that it had a very visible crease in the middle of its display when in unfolded tablet mode.

However, it’s safe to say none of us were prepared for the rush of Galaxy Fold screen failure reports that hit the interwebs on Wednesday. Media outlets like CNBC, The Verge, and Bloomberg, along with popular YouTube tech reviewer MKBHD, all reported that the larger inside screen stopped working after only a day or two.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold up close and with a bump under the display. The Verge

While at least a couple of these units failed because a protective film on the display was removed, it looks like the screens on the Galaxy Fold units given to CNBC and The Verge failed because the displays themselves broke down. Check out this commentary from our colleague Scott Adam Gordon for more information.

Samsung has already announced it plans to “thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.” However, it also indicated that the April 26 launch date for the Galaxy Fold will go on as scheduled. This doesn’t sound like a good idea at all. It leaves Samsung open to potentially getting a lot more of these display failures with consumer units.

Editor’s Pick

It’s impossible not to think about how Samsung responded to the battery failures on the Galaxy Note 7 when you think about this current situation. The good news is the Fold doesn’t seem to be at risk of causing fires and massive destruction to property because of its display issues. However, we are still talking about one of the most expensive phones ever made for general consumers. The fact that Samsung seems to be hell bent on moving forward with the Galaxy Fold launch seems irresponsible.

A damper on the foldable phone trend?

Folded Huawei Mate X with Dgit on display

At the moment, we only have one other confirmed launch for a foldable phone in 2019: the Huawei Mate X. It’s design is different than the Galaxy Fold, with an outward folding form factor. However, some people seem to prefer its design over that of the Galaxy Fold. At the moment, the Huawei Mate X is due for release sometime this summer in Europe, for a price that’s actually more than the Galaxy Fold at 2,299 euros (~$ 2,600). However, we have already seen that Samsung has sold out of its first shipments of the nearly $ 2,000 Galaxy Fold so the high price of the Mate X might not be a huge obstacle.

Editor’s Pick

Android Authority contacted Huawei for comment on the Galaxy Fold issues. The company declined to offer a comment.

Breaking in new technology and design features in a smartphone can sometimes be a hit-or-miss proposition. At the moment, it looks like Samsung is trying to rush out the Galaxy Fold before it’s fully ready, just to beat the Mate X to market. (To be fair, the Royole FlexPai actually came to market a few months before the Galaxy Fold as the first flexible display smartphone, but in a very limited capacity).

The Galaxy Fold needs a time out, for now

Samsung could survive a launch of the Galaxy Fold, at least financially, if it had to recall the device later, as Scott suggested in his article. But that doesn’t mean the company should release a faulty phone.

Samsung should take a step back and reevaluate its release strategy for the Galaxy Fold. There’s no harm in delaying the launch to make sure that the faulty units sent to media outlets were outliers. If the company decides to continue with the launch, and then many more screen failures are found by regular consumers, that will give Huawei a ton of free PR for the launch of the Mate X later this year. It could claim, and quite accurately, that it didn’t want to rush its foldable phone out until it was ready.

This whole situation with the Galaxy Fold is a bit of a shame. Despite the high current costs and the possible design issues, foldable phones could be one of the most promising trends in this industry. Making a device that works as a smaller phone and expands to a larger tablet for more serious work is a no-brainer.

It’s more important to be the best, not the first.

We have been promised foldable phones for literally years, but the practical and reliable technology to go along with that promise always seemed to be just out of reach. Samsung may have felt pressure to get the Galaxy Fold out earlier than planned due to the release of the Huawei Mate X. That pressure may have caused more hardware problems than Samsung could overcome at this stage.

As most people know, rushing things out before they are ready is almost never a good thing in any business endeavor. It’s sometimes a good idea to be first, but it’s always a good thing to be best.

Next: Expecting water resistance from the Galaxy Fold is ridiculous

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Buy a Galaxy on T-Mobile this Saturday and get one for free

T-Mobile logo Shutterstock

If you buy one of the newer Galaxy devices on T-Mobile, the self-proclaimed Un-carrier is giving you a second one for free – this Saturday only.

If you’ve been thinking of buying a new Galaxy phone with T-Mobile, you may want to go ahead and do that this Saturday, August 6th. America’s fastest network will be offering a free Galaxy phone for those who purchase a qualifying Samsung Galaxy this Saturday only.

Dubbed the Saturday-Only Samsung Superphone Superdeal (gotta love some alliteration!), T-Mobile’s BOGOF deal covers the most beloved Galaxies from the recent years: Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, and Galaxy Note5.

As you may have noticed, the newest addition to the Galaxy family, the Galaxy Note7, is not on the list, so pre-ordering the iris-scanning phablet won’t get you a free smartphone sadly. However, the deal does include last year’s Note5 as well as Note7’s S-Pen-less siblings: the Galaxy S7 family.

Want all the fine prints? Well, here they are:

If you buy a qualifying Samsung Galaxy phone on T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP), and you add a line of service, you get a second Galaxy phone of equal or lesser value for free. According to T-Mobile, customers will be credited on their monthly bill over the 24-month EIP term for the full amount of the second device after paying any down payment, which will also be credited.

The deal is available at T-Mobile stores in the US and online for US customers.

With the Galaxy Note7 launching on America’s third largest network soon, T-Mobile probably wants to boost sales of all the older Galaxy models. Considering all of the qualifying devices still boast top-notch specs and considering T-Mobile’s recent victory, the Super-deal is indeed quite… super.

What are your thoughts on T-Mobile’s latest deal? Let us know if you plan on buying a qualifying Galaxy device on T-Mobile this Saturday!

Show Press Release

Just when you thought Friday couldn’t get any better, T-Mobile has an out of this galaxy deal for you this weekend. Starting tomorrow on Sat., Aug. 6, for ONE DAY ONLY, buy a qualifying Samsung Superphone and get a second of equal or lesser value for FREE when you add a line! Here’s the lowdown:

Get a free Samsung Galaxy superphone when you buy a Samsung Galaxy superphone with T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan (EIP), and add a line of service.

Customers will be credited on their monthly bill over the 24-month EIP term for the full amount of the 2nd eligible device of equal or lesser value, after paying any down payment (they’ll be credited for that, too!).

Qualifying devices: GS7, GS7 edge, GS6, GS6 edge, GS6 edge+, Note5

The one-day deal will be available at T-Mobile stores nationwide and online at T-Mobile.com <http://t-mobile.com> on August 6.

And, T-Mobile is the only place to take full advantage of your new Samsung superphones with unlimited music streaming, unlimited video streaming, unlimited data and text in 140+ countries and destinations worldwide, and more – all at no additional cost!

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Samsung explains how the Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner works

The just released Galaxy Note 7 has become the first handset from Samsung to feature iris scanning technology, which could possibly pave the way for the company to do away with other security methods, such as PIN, pattern, simple swipe, and even fingerprint, even if that is quite unlikely.

With iris scanning arriving in the Galaxy Note 7, you don’t need to touch the device to verify your identity and can access the phone by just looking at the screen. Our tests with the iris scanner in the were pretty positive, particularly given the number of times we have seen the same security feature in other devices failing to respond, or proving unreliable.


For the uninitiated, iris scanning uses mathematical pattern recognition of images of the iris – the thin, colored ring of your eye that opens and shuts the pupil to regulate the amount of light reaching the retina. Just like your fingerprints, your iris pattern is also uniquely different and cannot be changed or replicated, making devices with iris scanning technology highly secure.

Now, in a post on its website, Samsung explains the hardware and technology behind its iris scanner in the Galaxy Note 7. According to the company, the device stores your registered iris information as an encrypted code safely in its hardware using its KNOX security platform. Whenever you want to access content, such as a protected app, the device first captures your iris pattern for recognition, extracts and digitizes it, and then proceeds to match it with the encrypted code to provide access. You can be sure that no one else apart from you can access your device in case it is stolen or lost because the Note 7 registers the iris information of only one person.


Samsung has made all this possible by including a dedicated iris camera for recognizing the composition of the user’s eyeballs. The dedicated iris camera uses a special image filter to receive and recognize the reflected images of the irises through an infrared light on the other end of that panel. The light emitted from the Galaxy Note 7’s display allows the scanner to receive data even in low light environments.

Along with iris scanning technology, the Galaxy Note 7 offers a separate Secure Folder for storing private apps and files that can be accessed using your fingerprint, iris scanner, pattern, or PIN. You can use the Secure Folder to keep your private and personal information, like your banking details, completely separate on the device, as well as block access to specific games or content for children. If this sounds familiar to you, that’s because it is similar to Samsung’s KNOX security platform found on its other devices that allows you to manage two different profiles for work and normal usage.

The Note 7 also brings Samsung Pass, a security feature which you can use to log into websites on the Samsung Internet Browser using biometric authentication without having to input your username and password. Samsung now plans to partner with major financial institutions such as Bank of America, Citibank and U.S. Bank to allow the integration of its iris scanner into mobile banking apps.
Even as Samsung looks to expand the use of its iris scanning technology, you can be sure that the company is likely to introduce the biometric security feature in other future devices, including its mid-range smartphones.

Related Note 7 content:

Let us know in the comments below if you would like to see the Galaxy Note 7’s iris scanner in other Samsung smartphones!

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Galaxy Note 7 vs the competition

samsung galaxy note 7 vs nexus 6p quick look aa-11

Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is often held up as the pinnacle of phablet devices and now the Galaxy Note 7 has arrived with yet another selection of high-end specifications and new features. While not as heavily contested as the sub-5.5-inch flagship segment, there’s still plenty of consumer demand for large powerful smartphones. So let’s see how the Galaxy Note 7’s specifications stack up against some of the best in the field.

To enter into this contest, handsets much breach the 5.5-inch display mark. I’ve picked out the Nexus 6P, LG V10, Huawei Mate 8, and the Moto X Pure Edition (Style) as four of the best contenders. Those looking for slightly smaller handsets, might also find that the Xperia X5 Premium or the OnePlus 3 worth a look at.

  Galaxy Note 7 Nexus 6P LG V10 Huawei Mate 8 Moto X Style
Display 5.7-inch AMOLED
2560×1440, 518ppi
5.7-inch AMOLED
2560×1440, 518ppi
5.7-inch LCD
2560×1440, 518ppi
6.0-inch LCD
1920×1080, 368ppi
5.7-inch LCD
2560×1440, 518ppi
SoC Snapdragon 820 Snapdragon 810 Snapdragon 808 Kirin 950 Snapdragon 808
CPU 2x Kryo @ 2.15GHz
2x Kryo @ 1.6GHz
4x Cortex-A57 @ 2.0GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.55GHz
2x Cortex-A57 @ 1.82GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.44GHz
4x Cortex-A72 @ 2.3GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz
2x Cortex-A57 @ 1.82GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.44GHz
GPU Adreno 530 Adreno 430 Adreno 418 Mali-T880 MP4 Adreno 418
Memory 64GB UFS 2.0 32 / 64 / 128GB 32 / 64GB 32 / 64GB 16 / 32 / 64GB
MicroSD Yes No Yes Yes Yes

Starting as we always do, you’ll instantly notice a lot of similarities in the display section of our table. Most manufacturers seem to have settled on 5.7-inch panels as the sweet spot for larger smartphones, and a 2560×1440 (QHD) resolution offers up a little extra clarity with these big displays. Display clarity will be equal across these models, but some more subtle color and viewing angle differences may be noticeable across the range. The only exception here Huawei’s Mate 8, which opts for a larger 6.0-inch display with a reduced 1080p resolution, which will result in slightly less crisp images. That said, the Mate 8 does cost a bit less.

We’ve started seeing a lot more smartphone manufacturers make use of more vibrant AMOLED panels this year, but the only competitor to match Samsung’s Note 7 display type at this size is the Nexus 6P. Of course, Samsung’s latest Super AMOLED technology offers up some minor color improvements over the 6P’s display. The other three phones on our list opt for LCD technology, which doesn’t quite offer the same pop or deep blacks as AMOLED displays. Samsung has also chosen to only offer its curved dual-edge AMOLED design with this year’s Note 7, which offers a sleek look and some extra software features that you can’t find in any of these rivals.

There’s a lot more diversity on our list when it comes to processing power, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is the first major flagship phablet to make use of Qualcomm’s high-end Snapdragon 820 processor. This processor is the chip of choice for many of 2016’s slightly smaller flagship phones, so you’ll find equal processing power inside the likes of the HTC 10, LG G5, and the Sony Xperia X Performance.


Benchmarks, for what they’re worth, show that Snapdragon 820 is the fastest chip around. However, most of the extra performance come into play thanks to its improved Adreno 530 graphics chip. CPU performance, and therefore day to day tasks, should perform pretty much identically across all of these handsets, although the Snapdragon 808’s lower high performance core count may hurt it in some instances.

Looking at the GPUs, there’s quite a performance gap between the Snapdragon 808’s mid-tier Adreno 418 and the Kirin 950’s Mali-T880 MP4. Gamers will definitely see extra performance from the newer 820 chip, and it even hands in notably more grunt than the Snapdragon 810. Given the very high resolution of these display panels, this GPU will certainly aid the Note 7’s performance and offers a major boost over last year’s Galaxy Note 5 (Exynos 7420).

Rounding off our look at the main processing components is memory. 3 or 4GB of RAM is plenty enough for multitasking, and the Galaxy Note 7 sits at the top of the group, along with the V10 and the more expensive Mate 8 model. The Note 7 only offers one internal storage option of 64GB, but that’s still a typical value across all of these phones and lends itself to plenty of space for pictures, movies and music. Samsung’s choice of fast UFS 2.0 memory might see apps and large files open up a little more quickly than its competitors that use eMMC. If 64GB isn’t enough, all of these phones apart from the Nexus 6P can be supplemented with a microSD card.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Colors-6See also: Samsung switches to LPDDR4 and UFS 2.0 memory, but what does it mean?72

  Galaxy Note 7 Nexus 6P LG V10 Huawei Mate 8 Moto X Style (aka Pure Edition)
Cameras 12MP f/1.7 rear with OIS & PDAF
5MP f/1,7 front
12.3MP f/2.0 rear with laser AF
8MP f/2.4 front
16MP f/1.8 rear with OIS & laser AF
Dual 5MP f/2.2 front
16MP f/2.0 rear with OIS & PDAF
8MP f/2.4 front
21MP f/2.0 rear with PDAF
5MP f/2.0 front
Battery 3,500mAh 3,450mAh 3,000mAh (removable) 4,000mAh 3,000mAh
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fingerprint Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Fast Charge Yes Yes Quick Charge 2.0 Yes Yes
Extras Wireless Charging, Samsung Pay, USB Type-C, IP68 water resistance USB Type-C Secondary display, 32-bit audio, shock resistant IP52 splash resistance
Dimensions 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9mm
159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3 mm
159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6 mm
157.1 x 80.6 x 7.9 mm
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.1 mm

It’s impossible to judge final camera quality without doing a head to head shootout, but based on the specifications we have a pretty good idea about how the Galaxy Note 7 should perform. The 12 megapixel dual pixel f/1.7 sensor matches the Galaxy S7’s specifications, which was an excellent performer when we last put it to the test.

Opting for larger pixel sizes at the expense of some resolution has also worked out well the the Nexus 6P. Although we were still pleased with the results produced by the more traditional higher resolution LG V10 and Moto X Style cameras too. Video shooters will want to pick from the Note 7, V10 or the Mate 8 as they come equipped with optical image stabilization. The only camera that we were so-so about at review time was the Huawei Mate 8’s. Front facing cameras are more varied still, and Samsung hasn’t opted to catch up with the 8 megapixels offered by the Nexus 6P or the Huawei Mate 8.

Moving into the handsets’ extras, Samsung again shows the industry how to squeeze as many features as possible into a smartphone. Fingerprint scanners, NFC, and some form of fast charging technology have become the standard, and only the Moto X Style drops the fingerprint scanner from the list. Android Pay will work on all of these handsets, thanks to NFC support. However, Samsung Pay is still a cut above thanks to its universally compatible MST technology.

The competition:

Samsung also remains the only manufacturer to support two wireless charging standards by default and has also joined other manufacturers by offering a USB Type-C interface with the Note 7. Although above the 5.5-inch size, only the Note 7 and Nexus 6P are on the cutting edge of USB port technology right now. Speaking of power, the Note 7, Mate 8, and the Nexus 6P offer up the largest batteries. There’s little excuse for falling below 3,300mAh in these supersize handsets, and customers  can expect slightly better battery life than the V10 or Moto X Style.

There aren’t many gimmicks to be found in these top-of-the-line models, although some consumers may not find too much use for the secondary display properties of either the Galaxy Note 7’s dual-edge display or the secondary ticker display on the front of the LG V10. Then again, some consumers firmly swear by these features, and Samsung did a good job at refining its Edge software with the S7, which is now available with the Note 7. There’s also some improved stylus support and extra features for those who find this long running Note feature particularly useful. It’s also worth mentioning the Note 7 adds waterproofing to the mix, following in the footsteps of the Galaxy S7 series.

Finally, we come to the much more subjective element of design and build. The Mate 8 and Nexus 6P cater well to those who prefer metal build materials, while Samsung has chosen to stick with its slick glass design. The LG V10 is also an interesting option thanks to its shock absorbent casing. Impressively, Samsung has produced a large phone that weighs a bit less than its competitors. The Note 7 is around 10g lighter than its closest rivals and 22g lighter than the hefty LG V10.


Wrap Up

As we have all come to expect from Samsung’s Galaxy Note range, the latest edition continues to refine an already well polished experience. The Note 7’s extras continue to help it stand out just a smidgen above the rest of the pack, complete with top-of-the-line hardware that we’ve come to expect. That being said, there are some very competitive pieces of hardware on offer from late last year, which can now be grabbed at very compelling price points. Especially when we consider that Samsung’s hasn’t fundamentally changed anything major since last year’s Note 5.

Of course, the successor to the LG V10 is right around the corner, and it might give the Samsung a run for its money. Do you think that Samsung is still on top of the phablet market with its Galaxy Note 7?

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Entry level Samsung Galaxy J1 arrives in Canada

Galaxy J1 Weight

If the Samsung Galaxy J1 were one of your high school classmates, it wouldn’t be the cheerleader who went on to get a doctorate in nanotech engineering and who dabbles in modeling when she’s not globetrotting with her rugged photographer husband. No, you’re thinking of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. The Galaxy J1 is that good ‘ol boy who made solid B’s, married his high school sweetheart, and who has developed a reputation as an honest mechanic in your hometown. He might not have taken on the world, but he’s doing right by the people around him in his own humble way.

Samsung LogoSee also: Samsung Galaxy J series helps Samsung secure foothold in India8

That’s the Galaxy J1. It’s a solid entry-level device that does away with flash and flair in favor of nuts-and-bolts reliability on a budget. And now this wallet-friendly smartphone is available at major retailers and Samsung Experience Stores in Canada. You can get it in any color so long as that color is black.


Let’s take a look at what you’re getting when you throw in your lot with the J1. The screen is 4.3 inches and and has a resolution of 800 x 480. The 1.2GHz Dual-Core Cortex A7 CPU is powered by half a gig of RAM, and it’s got 4GB of internal storage that can thankfully be expanded with microSD. The rear camera is 5MP, and the selfie-snapper is 2MP. For a device in the $ 100 to $ 150 range, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck, honestly. Although it’s not for everyone, the device is proving to be very popular in developing smartphone markets, and it might even help Samsung secure its foothold in India.

What are your thoughts on the humble Galaxy J1? Although it’s intended as an entry level device, it seems like it would also make a good compliment to a more robust daily driver. If you’ve owned this device, let us know what your experience was like in the comments below. You might just help someone make a better purchasing decision.

blu-life-one-x-vs-moto-g (1)See also: Best cheap Android phones (March 2016)358

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Verizon begins rolling out Marshmallow for its Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Samsung's latest flagships all sport the formidable Mali-T760 GPU

Here’s some good news for Big Red Galaxy S6 owners. Verizon has announced that it will begin rolling out its Android Marshmallow update for its branded Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones today.

As I’m sure you’re already aware, the update packs in a slew of new core Android features. The list includes Doze power management, Google Now on Tap contextual search, and greater control to grant and deny app permissions. Samsung has also packed the “latest security patches” into the update, so that presumably means the March fixes, along with some miscellaneous performance optimizations.

As for Samsung’s half of the update, there’s the new look TouchWiz user interface complete with tweaks and improvements, such as the revamped notification panel. There’s also the new web browser with ad-block support. Not forgetting that the Galaxy S6 Edge is now updated with the much more functional edge panel, which can now be used to create shortcuts for a ton of apps and other useful features.

Android 6.0 marshmallow logo DSC_0126See also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates roundup – March 31, 2016136

As with all carrier roll outs, the update will be making its way out across the country in waves. Although you can always try to manually download the update via a tap (or many) of the software update button under Settings > About device. The update will begin rolling out today, April 1st, so keep an eye out for that notification.

Android Authority

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