Tag Archive | "samsung galaxy"

Breaking: Galaxy Tab 7.7 4G LTE Hitting Verizon on March 1st for $499, Finally

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 equipped with 4G LTE is finally touching down at Verizon starting in just two days. It’s been a long time coming, but starting March 1, you’ll be able to pick up the premium tablet for $499.

What do you get for $499? Well, first there’s the much lauded 7.7″ Super AMOLED Plus screen with 1280×800 resolution, then you’ve got a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 3.2MP rear camera (2MP front), and 16GB of storage, all contained inside of a sleek 7.8mm thick casing. This version of the Galaxy Tab also has that wonderful 4G LTE functionality that has proven time and again to be the speediest mobile data network in the ‘states.

The only show stopper? Verizon and Samsung indicate that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will still be shipping with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Given that the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) were all just recently announced with Android 4.0 Honeycomb on board this is somewhat of a disappointment. Given the bad track record of updates for Android products — if I was in the market for a new tablet I might just wait until an official date for the release of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Tab 7.7 before making a purchase decision.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 was announced all the way back at IFA in September 2011. Since then, we’ve been watching carefully to see when the Tab 7.7 would make it stateside. The very last we had heard about the Galaxy Tab 7.7 release date was during CES 2012 in January when Verizon and Samsung said that the device would be arriving “in the coming weeks”. Wow, it’s been a long time coming! The $499 price point meshes well with our prediction from the other week, and unfortunately, so does the lack of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich!

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Brings Digital Inking and Photoshop to the Big Screen! [video and gallery]

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet which features the same ‘S Pen’ active digitizer and stylus technology as found in the Galaxy Note smartphone. Back when the Galaxy Note was announced at IFA, Chippy and I bother remarked that we might enjoy the stylus functionality more on a tablet rather than a smartphone (thanks to the extra screen real estate, so I’m quite excited about this move from Samsung. Chippy has a hands on video of the Galaxy Note 10.1 straight form the MWC show floor:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOGfTJ7djSo

With this announcement, Samsung says that they’re worked with Adobe to create a version of Photoshop Touch that is specially optimized for the S Pen functionality of the Galaxy Note 10.1. Photoshop Touch on the Note 10.1 will let you “transform images with core Photoshop features and combine multiple photos into layered images, make popular edits, apply professional effects, and more,” according to Samsung. Then there’s Adobe Ideas, also optimized for the S Pen, which allows you to create simply sketches and vector graphics. Samsung says that these S Pen optimized versions of Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas are exclusively pre-loaded on the Galaxy Note 10.1, though it seems the standard versions of these apps are currently available through the Android Market (see the links above).

In addition to these graphic-oriented apps, Samsung says that they’ve got a suite of apps to make the Galaxy Note 10.1 a powerful educational and productivity tool. The S Note app allows you to create a mashup of photos and annotation, and has templates such as meeting minutes, recipe, cards, diary, magazine, and more to help you become productive with minimal setup. Formula match and shape match functions in the S Note app allows the software to recognize mathematical symbols and shapes respectively to aid in math work diagram drawing, and more.

There’s no word yet on Galaxy Note 10.1 pricing or release date, but I’m just hoping this won’t turn into another multi-month fiasco as happened with the US release of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Aside from the S Pen functionality, a healthy dose of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and a MicroSD slot, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is unsurprisingly similar to the Galaxy Tab 10.1:

Network

HSPA+ 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100EDGE/GPRS   850/900/1800/1900

Processor

1.4 GHz Dual-Core Processor

Display

10.1” WXGA(1280×800) PLS TFT

OS

Android 4.0(Ice Cream Sandwich)

Camera

————-Main(Rear): 3 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash
Sub(Front): 2 Megapixel Camera

Video

————-Codec: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, VC-1, DivX, WMV7, WMV8, WMV9, VP8
Format: 3GP(MP4), WMV(ASF), AVI, FLV, MKV, WebM
Playback/ Recording: 1080p Full HD@30fps, 720p HD@30fps

Audio

————-Codec: MP3, OGG, WMA, AAC, ACC+, eAAC+, AMR(NB,WB), MIDI, WAV, AC-3, Flac
Music Player with SoundAlive
3.5mm Ear Jack

Value-added

Features & Services

————-

Samsung TouchWiz / Samsung L!ve Panel

S Pen Experience (S Note, S Planner)

Samsung Apps

Samsung Hub

- Readers Hub/ Music Hub/ Game Hub/ Video Hub

Samsung S Suggest (App recommendation service)

Samsung ChatON mobile communication service

Samsung AllShare Play*

Samsung Kies/ Samsung Kies air
GoogleTM Mobile Services- Android Market™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™,
Syncing with Google Calendar™, Google Search, Google +
Adobe Apps
– Photoshop Touch, Adobe Ideas
Polaris document editor
A-GPS(3G version)
S-GPS(WiFi version)
Glonass

Enterprise
Solutions

————-Exchange ActiveSync
On-Device Encryption
Cisco VPN(Virtual Private Network)
Juniper Junos Pulse VPN

Connectivity

 ————-

Bluetooth technology v 3.0 (Apt-X Codec support)
USB 2.0 Host
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Channel Bonding

Sensor

Accelerometer, Digital compass, Light, Gyroscope

Memory

16/32/64GB User memory + 1GB (RAM)
microSD (up to 32GB)

Dimension

256.7 x 175.3 x 8.9 mm, 583g

Battery

Standard battery, Li-ion 7,000mAh

 

Samsung Announces Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), It’s like the Galaxy Tab Plus Except… Worse.

Tags: , , , , , ,


In what could only be called a baffling move, Samsung today announced the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). Through a press release, oddly titled ‘Samsung’s new GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) offers optimal multimedia experiences in life‘, Samsung said that the new addition to the Galaxy Tab series would launch in March starting in the UK, then spread globally to other markets. Pricing was not confirmed, but I expect the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) to start around $450 for a WiFi-only model while US carriers may offer them for around $300. While the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0.) is the first to bring the much lauded Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to Samsung’s 7″ form-factor, it also makes some rather strange omissions which make this feel more like a prequel than a sequel.

Recall that Samsung started their tablet series with the original Galaxy Tab 7. From there they went on to launch the Galaxy Tab 8.9, Tab 10.1, Tab 7.7 and eventually the Tab 7 Plus, which brought the 7″ tablet back up to par with a dual-core processor. If it wasn’t confusing enough already if Samsung wanted the Tab 7.7 or the Tab 7 Plus to be the successor to the original Galaxy Tab  7, things just got even more convoluted with the announcement of the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0). Let’s have a look at the specs and see how it compares to the Tab 7 Plus:

Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Specs

Network

HSPA+ 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100

Processor

1 GHz Dual-Core Processor

Display

7” WSVGA(1024×600) PLS TFT

OS

Android 4.0(Ice Cream Sandwich)

Camera

Main(Rear): 3 Megapixel Fixed Focus CameraSub(Front): VGA for Video Call

Video

Codec: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, VC-1, DivX, WMV7, WMV8, VP8Format: 3GP, ASF, AVI, MP4, WMV, FLV, MKV, WebMPlayback/ Recording: Full HD@30fps, HD@30fps

Audio

Codec: MP3, AAC, AC-3, AMR, FLAC, MID, WMA, WAV, VorbisMusic Player with SoundAlive3.5mm Ear Jack

Value-added Features

Samsung TouchWiz/ Samsung L!ve Panel UX

Samsung Apps

Samsung Kies / Samsung Kies air

Samsung Hub

- Readers Hub/ Music Hub/ Game Hub/ Video Hub

Samsung Hub Widget

- Music Hub/ Game Hub/ Video Hub

Samsung S Suggest (App recommendation service)

Samsung ChatON mobile communication service

AllShare Play
GoogleTM Mobile Services- Android Market™, Gmail™, Google Earth™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Syncing with Google Calendar™
Polaris
A-GPS, Glonass

Connectivity

Bluetooth® technology v 3.0USB 2.0 HostWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct

Sensor

Accelerometer, Digital compass, Light

Proximity(* Available on 3G version only)

Memory

8/16/32GB User memory + 1GB (RAM)

microSD (up to 32GB)

Dimension

193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5 mm, 344g

Battery

Standard battery, Li-ion 4,000mAh

Also note that the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) can make phone calls (just like the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus). The press release offers an odd justification for this functionality: “With the voice call capability, the GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) can be used just as easily as a phone, affording users the handy convenience of a second device in case they misplace their primary phone.”

What’s Missing?

As mentioned, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is pretty much the same as the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, except the Tab 2 has Ice Cream Sandwich. I call this announcement an odd move from Samsung because it seems as though they will be updating the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich anyway. Once this happens, the Tab 7 Plus will actually have more features than the Tab 2 (7.0). Here are the (current) differences between the two:

Yes, you’re reading that right: the Galaxy Tab 2 has a slower processor, a lower resolution front camera, no flash, no IR blaster, and is thicker (same battery capacity just in case you were wondering). How exactly Samsung arrived at the conclusion that the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) should be considered the successor to the original Tab 7, while concluding that the Tab 7 Plus was somehow unworthy of the title, is beyond me.

In all fairness, the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) does has a few tricks up it’s sleeve that the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus doesn’t have, but these are all software based and can be ported over when the Tab 7 Plus receives the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade.

Unless the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) is going to sell for significantly less than the Tab 7 Plus (and I don’t think it will), then I really don’t quite understand what Samsung hopes to gain with this launch.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus: The Closest I’ve Come to Switching to Android

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


I’ve been using the iPhone for three generations now — starting with the iPhone 3G, then the iPhone 3GS, and finally the iPhone 4 which is my current companion. I’m finally due for an upgrade and I must say that I’ve come closer than ever before to picking an Android phone (specifically the Galaxy Nexus) over an iPhone, but it just wasn’t meant to be and I’ll explain why. Be sure to note that what’s important to have in a phone for me might not be the same for you; I’m just laying out my thoughts here as to why the Galaxy Nexus has been the phone that has come the closest to tempting me over to Android.

Android 4.0

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich feels like the first truly full package in the history of Android. Finally there’s good hardware acceleration and enough performance for a nearly smooth home screen. This hasn’t quite translated over to all apps just yet. Android finally seems to have all of the vital default apps and has long included a turn-by-turn navigation app that blows Apple’s Maps app out of the water. Google just launched the Chrome Beta browser which offers a rich browsing experience which should have been included in Android long ago. Photos can now be robustly edited right in the gallery without scouring the Android Market for the right app. Home screen folders are extremely fast and a pleasure to use, while resizable widgets further the level of flexibility and customization. There’s better battery and data analysis, and much more. This has all come together in bits and pieces over the last few years as Android has grown, and 4.0 is the first time it feels like a complete package to me.

The saddest part about all of this is how hard it is to get your hands on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Google has crafted this seemingly complete package, but less than 1% of users have access to it right now! I’m actually limited to the Galaxy Nexus if I want a top-end phone that also runs Android 4.0 at the moment.

Camera

The camera app in Android 4.0 is super fast in both launching and taking consecutive photos. Unfortunately, I still find that all Android handsets that I’ve tested have lacked in camera quality (for both stills and video) when compared to the iPhone 4, often despite higher megapixel ratings. For me, camera quality is more important than speed. The new panorama mode in the Android 4.0 camera app is neat, but I find that I can achieve better results by taking individual photos, then stitching them together on the computer. It’s a shame that Nokia never got into the Android ecosystem as they’ve long been heralded as having some of the best optics in the mobile industry.

The iPhone 4S camera is supposed to be even better than the iPhone 4 camera with 8MP instead of 5MP and reworked optics. If I can achieve photos like the following with the iPhone 4, then I’m looking forward to what the iPhone 4S has to offer:

Notification System

I’ve said it before and I think it’s still true today: Android is the best at managing notifications, while iOS is the best at delivering them. Between Android 4.0 and iOS 5.0, Android absolutely wins when it comes to managing notifications — you can toss away individual notifications or dismiss them all at once if you’d like. Tapping on a notification takes you directly to the item you are being notified about. All of this is better than how iOS does it. However, Apple’s push notification system is best in class. I don’t understand why Google doesn’t have push Gmail through the official Gmail app. Side-by-side with the Galaxy Nexus, my iPhone 4 shows changes to my inbox almost instantly, while the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t do anything until significantly later, unless manually refreshed. I can literally receive, respond to, and be done with an email on my iPhone 4 before it even arrives on the Galaxy Nexus. For some people, getting notifications instantly isn’t a big deal, but as someone who works on the web it’s a big advantage and one that I can’t easily give up.

Screen Size

If you follow Carrypad regularly, you’ll know that I’ve got some gripes with 4″+ screens. One-handed usability is important to me because I’m frequently on the go. The 3.5″ screen of the iPhone (all versions of it) is far more comfortable in my hand than anything 4″ and above. The Galaxy Nexus, at 4.65″, is just too big to be used comfortably in one hand for me. Everyone’s hands are different sizes, so everyone has a different limit, but with the massive-screen fad that’s been growing in Android over the years, it’s almost impossible to get a top-end Android phone in a size less than 4″. If the Galaxy Nexus came in any size 4″ or less, I’d be far more inclined to pick it over the iPhone 4S.

Customization

This is one of Android’s greatest strengths, but it always runs the risk of being over-complicated. I’m the kind of person who loves to tinker with their gadgets and get them to work just the way I’d like. On the iPhone, this urge is satisfied with jailbreaking, which enhances the customizations you can make on iOS, but it’s not much compared to what you can do on Android. With Android 4.0 on the Galaxy Nexus, I can fit tons of apps efficiently on one page with folders. On other screens, I’ve got at-a-glance access to my calendar, weather, inbox, and music player. It’s nice to be able to do much of what I need to right from the homescreen instead of jumping through hoops between apps. This category is a major win for the Galaxy Nexus.

Apps

There’s no denying that there are some great apps on Android, but Apple’s iOS App Store still has a greater number of apps than the Android Market. When we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of apps in each store, the aggregate hardly matters. Where iOS has the real advantage is in quality and consistency. Because Apple has strict guidelines, most apps are intuitive and work well without crashing. When it comes to apps from the Android Market, you might have two great apps, but they might have two completely different interface approaches — one app trying to emulate an iOS-like ‘everything on screen’ style and the other trying to do the Android thing by hiding features away in long-presses and hidden menus. Alone, each of these is arguably as good as the other, but when you have to jump between apps that go back in forth in their interface approach, the user interaction aspect of it becomes increasingly convoluted, and this is something I quite dislike.

Availability

If everything above held an advantage for the Galaxy Nexus, there would still be one huge issue for me choosing it over the iPhone 4S — availability. I’m on AT&T, and the Galaxy Nexus is decidedly not available for purchase. AT&T has not one Android 4.0 ICS phone available at the moment, which means the best I could do is buy one of the top-end Android phones then wait and hope that it would receive an ICS upgrade. If Google thinks the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 is such a great pair, they’ve got to do a better job of making it available for people to actually purchase it. The only way for me to actually get my hands on the Galaxy Nexus would be to switch carriers or buy an expensive unlocked version of the phone without a subsidy from my carrier.

So, Google, you almost had me on this one, but unfortunately I’ve made up my mind to continue with the iPhone — for now anyway. Fix the stuff above that needs it; you’ve got two years to work on it before there’s another chance to convert me.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 4G Officially Coming to US “In the Coming Weeks”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is officially going to land on U.S. shores with a 4G LTE variant that will be carried by Verizon. It’s great to finally have this confirmation straight from Samsung/Verizon as it’s been a whopping 5 months since the Galaxy Tab 7.7 was announced during IFA in September 2011.

Since that original announcement, we’ve heard conflicting reports about Samsung’s plans for release in the US. At the end of September 2011, the Galaxy Tab was spotted rolling through the FCC, cementing our belief that it would eventually see a US release, however, months went by after the FCC discovery with no announcement from Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy Note, which was announced at the same time, also had a relatively lengthy history of ambiguous US release plans. Recently, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note would be hitting the US carried by AT&T.

Samsung and Verizon made the announcement that the 4G LTE equipped variant of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 would arrive in the US during CES. The announcement says that this will happen “in the coming weeks”, so we expect to hear more soon. Unfortunately, no Galaxy Tab 7.7 release date or price accompanied the announcement.

The Tab 7.7 is currently the most premium 7″ tablet on the market with a 1280×800 AMOLED screen, a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, and now, 4G LTE connectivity. At 340 grams and 7.9 mm thick, it’s also one of the lightest and thinnest. The only thing it’s really missing is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, though Samsung says they’ll update the Galaxy Tab 7.7 to ICS eventually. Currently the device runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb out of the box, and it doesn’t sound like it’ll see the ICS upgrade prior to its Verizon US debut. Thanks to these premium features, you can expect to pay a premium price when the Tab 7.7 launches on Verion. Given their current tablet lineup and pricing, I’d expect the 16GB version of the Galaxy Tab 7.7 to be priced between $500 and $600.

It’s interesting to note that Samsung has decided to launch the Galaxy Tab 7.7  on Verizon and the Galaxy Note on AT&T. I’m not sure if there’s a strategy to that move (it could just be to keep the carriers complacent with exclusives), or if it was just the roll of the dice. No word on this point if either device will go cross-carrier, but I suppose time will tell.

Samsung Galaxy Note Confirmed for AT&T, Available in the Coming Weeks

Tags: , , , , ,


The ever-interesting Samsung Galaxy Note has finally been officially confirmed for release on the AT&T network. AT&T announced the Note in a press release yesterday, alongside several other devices. According to the release, the Galaxy Note is “planned for availability in AT&T stores and online in the coming weeks”. Hopefully, those “weeks” won’t slip into months! Pricing information has not been released, but based on the MSRP of the phone, $299-$399 is a safe bet. It’s unclear at this point if Verizon will eventually offer the Galaxy Note or if this is an exclusive for AT&T.

The Galaxy Note, which is the first modern Android phone to incorporate an active digitizer and stylus, was announced what seems like ages ago at IFA in September.  Since then, the Note has gone gone on sale in Europe and elsewhere, but US folks have been unable to get their hands on the phone except through pricey importers.

The Galaxy Note’s active digitizer allows the user to input highly accurate hand-written text. Such functionality has long before been seen on tablet PCs and a few Android tablets, but the Note is the first to include the technology in an Android phone. Chippy has a mini-review of the Galaxy Note alone with photos and videos if you’re interested in the device.

When the Note was first launched, I was a bit annoyed at the massive 5.3″ screen. I still feel like screens beyond 3.75″ or 4″ negatively affect the ergonomics of a phone, but I will admit that in the case of the Galaxy Note, I’m singing to a different tune. The stylus means that you’ll be using the phone with two-hands regardless (one to hold the phone, one to write with), so the argument against a huge screen is somewhat averted. The compromise to enable a large writing area is also one that I might be willing to make (and I know plenty of others who would be happy to make).

Interestingly, in a video accompanied by the AT&T press release, the stylus and active digitizer almost went unmentioned, save for a few seconds at the end. In most of the European advertising material, the stylus was front and center as the most important part of the phone. It seems that AT&T knows that most US consumers (that doesn’t include tech nerds like myself and you!) are looking for an iPhone experience, otherwise they’d be pushing this unique feature much harder.

 

 

 

 

Samsung Confirms Galaxy Note US Availability, Announces 1 Million Units Shipped

Tags: , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Note finally has official confirmation of an eventual US release. I don’t think many of us doubted that it would happen at some point, but Samsung had been outwardly indecisive about a US release of the Galaxy Note ever since some initial confusion over a statement made during IFA in October when the Note was announced. Since then, we’ve seen the Galaxy Note pass through the FCC, which bolstered our confidence that the stylus-touting Note would reach the US. Now Samsung has cleared things up once and for all, we’ll see the Galaxy Note in the US in 2012.

According to CNET, who cites a pseudo-press release that was posted as a photo description on flickr, “Samsung has confirmed that a U.S. launch is in the works for next year but hasn’t yet revealed a specific date”. Given the excitement surrounding the Galaxy Note, and the proximity of CES, there’s approximately a 99.9% chance that we’ll see the Note touted by Samsung at the event. We hope to hear more specific news about the Galaxy Note US release date then, stay tuned!

In addition to confirmation of an eventual US release date for the Galaxy Note, Samsung noted in the press release that over 1 million Notes have been shipped. CNET points out that “shipped” in this case means how many have been sent out to resellers; fewer than 1 million may actually be in the hands of customers.

The Galaxy Note has been holding firm in the top 10 popular devices in our mobile device database since it’s initial announcement back in November. I would call the massive 5.3″ screen way too big except that the Galaxy Note comes with an active digitizer stylus which allows the user to write naturally and accurately on the Note’s ‘Super’ AMOLED display. You can see it in action here from our very own Chippy:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvdDDTUGJDo

The only option for obtaining a Galaxy Note in the US currently is to go through an importer, but you’d better not be expecting to pay under $600! Once the device reaches US carriers, customers will be able to get their hands on it much more easily, thanks to subsidies that will bring down the $850 MSRP reported by a number of importers.

Hat tip to Chuong over at GottaBeMobile for pointing out this story.

Notion Ink Adam to Get Ice Cream Sandwich, and Samsung Says THEY Can’t Manage?!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Notion Ink Adam was launched just about a year ago, and while it didn’t quite live up to the hype, the company is working on getting the one year old unit up and running with the latest version of Android, 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Notion Ink has been posting regular updates to their blog about progress in porting ICS to the Adam tablet. Their latest update included a video which shows the Adam quite easily navigating through ICS:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTwaPj7y_jU

If you’ve got an Adam and the stomach for installing pre-alpha software, see here for more details about ICS on the Notion Ink Adam.

So far, Notion Ink says they’ve got accelerated graphics, GPS, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, SD Card and ADB working, while the camera, sound, 3G, bluetooth, remaining sensors, and a sleep bug remain to be fixed.

This progress is surely a slap in the face of Samsung who have recently announced that the original Galaxy S phones and original Galaxy Tab will not receive upgrades to Android 4.0 / ICS. The reason for this, according to Samsung, is that the TouchWiz interface, applied by the company to all of their devices (less the Nexus S), takes up too much memory that an ICS upgrade would not be feasible for these devices. Instead of ICS, Samsung is apparently considering offering a ‘value-pack’ wherein the company would update these forgotten devices and shoe-horn in some of the ICS features, without actually upgrading to ICS itself.

The obvious outrage here is that, if TouchWiz is really the only thing holding them back from updating to ICS, Samsung should offer a vanilla update to ICS if the customer chooses.

Notion Ink is working on that very thing right now. The tablet originally launched with a completely skinned (far more than TouchWiz) version of Android 2.2, but the company will apparently still be offering an ICS upgrade to their customers, even if it means they have to let go of their proprietary interface.

Samsung obviously believes that TouchWiz is important to their customers and that’s why they won’t simply cast it aside and offer a vanilla ICS install. For some customers this may be true. For me, and most of the people reading this site, I’d say that they’d be willing to drop TouchWiz to get the latest performance, feature, and security updates out of ICS, and I think it’s Samsung’s duty to offer them at least that, especially when a company as tiny as Notion Ink is managing to do so.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Price Settling in Around $650, Room to Drop?

Tags: , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 was made official way back at IFA in early September. Since then, the premium tablet has been a hot topic (holding the #2 position in our mobile product database popularity rankings), especially considering the circumstances of its odd removal in the midst of IFA. It’s been months since then, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is still not officially available, and it’s unclear exactly what regions it will be available in once a release date is announced. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has been spotted in the FCC, so a US release is expected, eventually.

Importers have begun to list prices for the Galaxy Tab 7.7, and it looks like the price is settling around $650. Here’s a sample of Galaxy Tab 7.7 16GB WiFi prices that I’ve been able to find:

  • Mobile City Online: $699
  • Negri Electronics: $668
  • Chat and Vision: $622

For a device featuring a 7.7″ AMOLED display, one of the fastest CPUs we’ve seen on such a device, and sizing up at only 7.8mm thick, I think we could call that price justified. Still, at $650, only those gadget lovers with money to spare will be able to pick up the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Anyone without a premium gadget-budget would likely be much more attracted to the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, which can be had starting at $399.

But, there’s some good news. If we take a little trip down memory lane, we find that the original Galaxy Tab 7 had a suggested retail price of a whopping  €799 ($1023 USD). However, as Chippy realized, much of that was a buffer for Samsung to give their retail partners room to play. Chippy predicted that the street price would start at €700 then drop to €600 over the next three months, and that’s very close to what we actually saw. The Galaxy Tab 7 could afford to have such a big buffer because it was the first 7″ Android tablet on the market. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 doesn’t have the convenience of such exclusivity. Still, the importers are likely setting their Galaxy Tab 7.7 prices in accordance with a retail price suggestion from Samsung, which several sites are listing at $799. As with the original Galaxy Tab 7, I think we’ll see the Galaxy Tab 7.7 get a lower street price once the official release date is made (probably around $600), and drop to around $500 over the next few months. Much of this depends on how well the AMOLED display production scales.

Whatever the case, Samsung better hurry the Galaxy Tab 7.7 out the door before another company releases a substitute device and puts it on the market before the 7.7. They definitely don’t want to wait into February when iPad 3 rumors start cropping up.

CES is coming up in just a few weeks, and it’s likely there that we’ll hear more official info about the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Stay tuned for updates!

To see out latest Galaxy Tab 7.7 stories, click here.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Officially for Sale in the US, Finally!

Tags: , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was announced almost two months ago (a fairly long time in the tech world) and though almost all of the details of the device had been spilled by Google and Samsung, one bit was kept from us: the Galaxy Nexus release date. Until now that is.

After weeks of speculation the Galaxy Nexus is officially on sale in the US, as of today, from Verizon, Best Buy, Wirefly, and directly through Samsung. All of these outlets are selling the 4G LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus, so those hoping for an AT&T/T-Mobile/Sprint compatible version still have some waiting to do.

Of the four stores currently selling the Galaxy Nexus, Wirefly has the cheapest price by far: $189 — that’s $110 less than Verizon, Best Buy, or Samsung who are all selling it for $299. The WireFly page claims that this is the same 32GB version as sold by the other sites, but if you’re going the WireFly route, definitely double check on this as it seems a little too good to be true (chances are, they are selling a 16GB model of the Galaxy Nexus). These prices are of course for those who qualify for an upgrade or are purchasing new service. If you’re curious, the official MSRP for the Galaxy Nexus is listed at $799.

While the Galaxy Nexus isn’t the most powerful or feature-rich phone on the market, it is the first ever to run the latest version of Google’s Android OS: 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to bridge the gap between Android phones and tablets which have been running forked versions of Android ever since the release of Honeycomb. With Ice Cream Sandwich, phones and tablets will share a more consistent interface and feature set.

European folks were able to begin purchasing the Galaxy Nexus nearly a month earlier than in the US. Importers were bringing the phone into the US initially, but now that it is available through the usual channels, those looking for the Galaxy Nexus will probably end up buying it right on US soil.

Now the wait begins for ICS tablets!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Comes out of Hiding in New Video

Tags: , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is one of the most hotly anticipated devices currently in the tablet sector. Despite being announced way back at the beginning of September, it is still not officially available; pricing and release date info about the Galaxy Tab 7.7 has been quite hard to come by.

During the IFA show where it was announced, Samsung literally removed the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from their displays; it’s been theorized that this had something to do with the Apple/Samsung lawsuit, but that’s not ever been confirmed as far as I’m aware. Presumably, the reason that the device was removed from IFA is the same reason why the Galaxy Tab 7.7 seems to have been in hiding ever since its initial unveiling.

Fortunately, Ritchie of Ritchie’s room is bringing the Galaxy Tab 7.7 out of hiding. He’s calling it the best 7″ tablet yet. At 340 grams and 7.9mm thick, Ritchie is very impressed with the weight and thickness, especially given the premium build-quality. He’s prepared a nice video overview of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, check it out here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzvLmTZrTOY

In addition to the video, Ritchie has a much more thorough inspection of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, along with some great photos, over at his blog. Go check it out!

Update: Sold Out! Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for $320, Today Only

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Cyber Monday deal shopping may have been yesterday but my favorite deal-a-day site, Woot.com, still has the deals rolling. Today they’ve got a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal for a reasonable $320 (+$5 shipping). That’s $130 ( 29%) less than you can get the same Galaxy Tab 10.1 new from Amazon, and $179 (35%) less than buying it direct from Samsung. This is the 16GB WiFi-only version, so don’t expect to hook this up to a cellular provider for 3G or 4G internet access.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is currently the lightest 10″ tablet on the market, weighing in at 564 grams. It’s also the thinnest at 8.63 mm, which slightly undercuts the iPad’s 8.8 mm thickness.

Woot only offers on deal per day, so once 12am Central Time rolls around, this Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal will be gone. It could also sell out before then; be decisive!

Here are the Galaxy Tab 10.1 specs if you need a quick refresher, for more detailed specs, see the Tab 10.1 tracking page in our mobile device database:

Operating System: Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
Display: 10.1″ WXGA TFT Capacitive Touchscreen
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core
Storage: 16GB
RAM: 1GB
Camera: Front: 2.0MP
Rear: 3.0MP Auto Focus with Flash
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz, 5.0GHz)
Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR Connectivity
Battery: 7000 mAh Li-Polymer
User Interface: Widgets, Smart Unlock, Accelerometer, Bilingual: Spanish/English
Audio: MP3, OGG, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, AMR, MID, IMY, WMA, Vorbis, RTTTL/RTX, OTA
Video: 1080p Playback; 720p Capture
Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, XviD, WMV7/8, VP8, MP43, VC-1
Format: 3GP(MP4), WMV(asf), AVI
Dimensions: 10.1″(W) x 6.9″(H) x 0.34″(D)
Weight: 19.9 oz

One thing you should be concerned with when considering this Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal is the lack of connectivity. Sure, it’s thin and light, but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 lacks MicroSD, MicroUSB, and any sort of HDMI. Connectivity relies entirely upon wireless options or the proprietary adapter.

There’s also those new-fangled Tegra 3 tablets that are expected to hit the market in the next few months. However, the first of which (Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime) has a starting price of $499 which may be beyond your budget. Choose wisely!

Galaxy Nexus Now in Product Database, CPU Details Revealed — UK Availability on the 17th?

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was announced last month by Google and Samsung as the first phone to run the latest version of Android, 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich.

While we knew of the large (4.65″) high resolution (1280×720) Super AMOLED display, the 5MP camera, NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, and most of the other details, Samsung stayed oddly quite about any information regarding the CPU and GPU, giving us nothing more than “1.2GHz dual-core CPU”.

Thanks to the Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, the beans have been spilled on the Galaxy Nexus’ CPU. The 1.2GHz dual-core CPU is indeed the Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 platform which also includes the PowerVR SGX540 GPU. TI claims that the PowerVR SGX540 has up to 2x better performance than the previous SGX530 GPU. OMAP 4460 also has support for 1080p encoding (capture) and decoding (playback) at 30 FPS. Samsung’s last Nexus phone, the Nexus S [review], didn’t even record 720p video. This time around, Samsung is taking full advantage of the platform’s capabilities.

You can see full official specifications at the Samsung Galaxy Nexus tracking page in our mobile device database.

Samsung UK has confirmed Galaxy Nexus availability for November 17th, but it seems that retailers aren’t so sure about that. Amazon UK has moved the shipping date for the Galaxy Nexus from the 17th of November back to December 2nd. Amazon UK currently lists the 16GB Samsung Galaxy Nexus unlocked for £519.99, which converts to a pricey $837 USD.

Most phones in the US aren’t bought off-contract, so when it comes to typical US pricing, Android Central has shown what appears to be a leaked Costco inventory screen which prices the Samsung Galaxy Nexus at $289. The phone is expected to be available across both AT&T and Verizon in HSPA+ and LTE flavors, respectively.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus Reviewed, Now on Sale Starting at $399

Tags: , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus has taken us on a serious roller coaster ride. A permutation of the device was announced almost a full year ago at CES 2011. This improved 4G-equipped Galaxy Tab 7 doesn’t seem like it will ever make it to market, but from its ashes rose the device that we now know as the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus. Instead of a small bump in processor speed, an improved camera, and 4G LTE, Samsung ended up slapping in a dual-core CPU, Honeycomb 3.2 with Touch-Wiz, Bluetooth 3.0, and an IR blaster.

The Galaxy Tab 7 Plus starts at $399 for 16GB of storage, and naturally jumps to $499 for a 32GB version. You can actually buy the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus as of today from Amazon. Samsung has an official product page for the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, but it doesn’t seem to have the device for direct sale just yet. It seems that Samsung is positioning the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus as an economy version of the anticipated Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Whatever the case, there are a lot of happy original Galaxy Tab 7 owners that I know will be happy to trade up to the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus for the Honeycomb and processor improvements. As a bonus, the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is only one of two Android tablets on the market that include an IR blaster which allows the tablet to be used as a smart remote. This also isn’t just new components stuffed into an old box. The Galaxy Tab 7 Plus has a redesigned chassis that’s thinner and more curvy than the original.

CNET has a detailed review of the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus that’s well worth a read. I’ll give you their synopsis, but please, go visit their full review if you’re interested in the Tab 7 Plus:

The good: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has a sleek design, a high-quality screen, and well-integrated smart remote-control functionality through the Peel app.

The bad: Peel [the remote app] has limited usefulness if you don’t have cable or satellite, and the tablet’s screen brightness is comparatively low.

The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is pretty and sleek, with well-implemented remote-control functionality, making it the best 7-inch Honeycomb tablet yet.

Yes, that’s right, they’re calling it the best 7″ Honeycomb tablet yet. That statement may change once the Galaxy Tab 7.7 hits the market, but for the time being, it sounds like they were quite impressed. Still, there is concern with Honeycomb — the reviewer experienced “freezing, crashing, and hanging frequently in multiple apps”. Unfortunately, this seems to be the state of Honeycomb at the moment; this isn’t an isolated incident.

Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 to be Available for US Purchase from Expansys

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Samsung Galaxy Note

The curious case of the Samsung Galaxy Note, and it’s larger sibling, the Galaxy Tab 7.7, is one that we’ve been following closely. These two awesome devices were announced to great enthusiasm a few months back at IFA, but their official launch dates were left unspecified. Although I was put off by the Samsung Galaxy Note inititally, I must say that the idea of a pocketable device with accurate digital ink input is rather appealing, even if it wouldn’t work so well in one hand. The real issue, however, is how do we get our hands on one?

At the moment, the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 go completely without mention on Samsung’s US site. Back during IFA, GottaBeMobile reported some dubious news from Samsung — that the company had “no plans” for a US launch of these devices. Some have interpreted this to mean that Samsung didn’t yet have specifics nailed down for the region, and others think Samsung is saying outright that they won’t be launching in the US. Whatever the case, it’s clear that they are taking a regional approach to distribution of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

In the US, it doesn’t seem like the Samsung Galaxy Note, or the Galaxy Tab 7.7, will be launching — not immediately anyway. I’ve got a good feeling that Samsung knows that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 would be good in the US, after all, the original Galaxy Tab is considered to be one of the best selling Android tablets to date, and it was widely available in the US. As for the Galaxy Note, it would seem as though Samsung doesn’t want to push it into the region so soon after they made a big deal about the Galaxy S II which has recently become available across all major US carriers. There’s also the Apple patent cases to consider.

While we can’t be sure that it’s any indication of availability, a brief survey of some of Samsung’s regional sites shows that the device is at least sufficiently featured on their Germany, Finland, Netherlands, and Denmark sites.

For those of us in the US, we’ll need to rely on importers until Samsung decides that it’s time to bring the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 to the US for an official launch.

Tech importer Expansys has both devices available for pre-order, but neither are likely to be cheap enough for anyone but extreme early-adopters and ultra-niche users. The Galaxy Note is currently listed by Expansys at a steep $945. Expansys has not yet announced a price for the Galaxy Tab 7.7, but is accepting pre-orders.

I’m hoping to see these prices come down some by the time they are actually shipping imported and unlocked units to US customers, but without official sales channels (and thus carrier subsidies), it’s going to be hard to push the prices down on these bits of top-end hardware.

A quick search for some other imports reveals cheaper prices, however, you should always do your research before buying an import!

Are you willing to pay premium import prices for either of these devices, or are you holding out hope that they’ll be released in the US with reasonable pricing and timing? Let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy Note Reviewed — Is the Ink Worth the Size?

Tags: , , , , , , ,


The Samsung Galaxy Note may still be up in the air for a US release, but the lucky devils over at Engadget got their hands on the stylus equipped phone for review. Toward the end of the review the reviewer, , notes that “the Galaxy Note is one of those devices that you’ll either completely love or totally hate.” I’m not sure how true this is though. Even though I might despise the massive 5.3″ screen because of single-handed-use ergonomic issues, the compromise might be worth it for the increasingly appealing stylus functionality.

The Samsung Galaxy Note has a capacitive touchscreen with an activie-digitizer component for smooth and accurate digital inking. It seems Samsung learned a thing or two from HTC, whose Flyer tablet had a stylus which could only be used for drawing in specific places; all interface navigation had to be done with the finger. This created some annoyance because you’d have to switch back and forth between finger and stylus. And let’s not forget that the stylus was an optional accessory!

Not only does the stylus for the Samsung Galaxy Note come included, but you can also navigate around the UI with it. Thanks to some good forethought on Samsung’s part, they even added gestures for the Menu and Back buttons (which are below the main screen and thus cannot be activated with the stylus). This means you can cruise through the entirety of the UI without ever having to switch to your finger — a problem that that HTC Flyer also shared with the beautiful but flawed Nokia N810. There’s a modifier button on the stylus which is used to activate the aforementioned gestures, and you can also use it to pull up a quick note space by double-tapping; this seems like it would come in very handy!

The massive (5.3″) high resolution screen (1280×800) is obviously front and center on the device, and it’s Super AMOLED nature means its got rich colors and deep blacks. This is the same Super AMOLED technology that Samsung used on the Nexus S [review] and the black levels (and thus contrast ratio) absolutely blew me away. I took a photo with a 3.6 second exposure  of the Nexus S next to the iPhone 4 with both phones at max brightness and displaying a completely black photo. The results (left) speak for themselves.

I’m sure the massive screen looks gorgeous and crisp, but the size is definitely going to be a point of contention for many. Honing says right off the bat that “Holding something this large up to your ear can be rather unpleasant — and unsightly” but I suppose this won’t be an issue if you don’t tend to use your phone as… well, a phone.

Engadget has plenty more info in their Samsung Galaxy Note review, go check it out!

 

Galaxy Tab 7.7 Moves Through FCC, Eradicates Reports That it Wouldn’t Reach the US

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


samsung galaxy tab 7.7Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Tab 7.7 was announced at IFA 2011 at the very beginning of this month. Many were excited to hear about the high density Super AMOLED Plus display and the 1.4GHz dual-core CPU. Given the excitement, and the popularity of the original Galaxy Tab 7 in the US, it’s surprising that we saw reports that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 might not become available in the US. Fortunately, we can now say with confidence that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 will be reaching US shores, thanks to the FCC.

Engadget dug up the FCC filing, and while not much detail is revealed, we can see some simple diagrams (click through to Engadget to see), along with the the logo that will be printed on the back of the device, which indicates that the particular model going through the FCC is WiFi-only. Separate testing will need to be done on a model that features WLAN connectivity.

The original report of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (and the Galaxy Note) not coming to the US came from GottaBeMobile. The information came from a Samsung representative who said that there were “no plans” for launching the Tab 7.7 (and the Galaxy Note) in the US. It’s understandable how this could have been interpreted as Samsung effectively saying that these devices wouldn’t be coming to the US, but it seems clear in hindsight that the rep was referring to the fact that US plans were not yet made, finalized, or otherwise ready to be commented on. Saying that there a “no plans” is a pretty silly way to say that if you ask me!

Miscommunication is never fun, but I’m happy that it was merely that, rather than Samsung actually deciding not to launch both the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Note in the states.

Though the Galaxy Note hasn’t yet cropped up in the FCC, we’ve been expecting to see it in the US at some point, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 filing gives us confidence that it will eventually become available in the region..

Carrypad Sites and Partners