Samsung might be giving lip service to the new Note 5, but it's clear that the company (and a considerable portion of buyers) sees the more swanky Galaxy S6 Edge+ as the flagship device. Now those who've paid the premium for the curvy phone can use the most popular custom recovery out there: Team Win Recovery Project.
That took quite a while. According to a tip sent from an Android Police reader, that very small sliver of Galaxy S4 owners which opted for the Google Play Edition of the phone (running stock AOSP software) is now receiving the Android 5.1 update. That's the one that first started coming out way back in February, at least to Nexus devices. Yeah, the Google Play Edition program isn't looking quite so hot these days, more's the pity.
T-Mobile has been pushing some new network technologies lately, like the Advanced Messaging platform announced a few months back. Now it's moving on to video calling by adding native support to its network for select devices. It will require a software update to use, but the experience of placing a video call should be somewhat less annoying.
Since their release, the Verizon versions of Samsung's 2015 flagships (well, the smaller ones anyway) have been given only a couple of minor service updates. That changes today, at least according to the carrier's support site: both the Galaxy S6 and its curvy brother the S6 Edge are getting bumped from Android 5.0, which they've been running since launch, to 5.1.1, the latest official release. The software version is LMY47X.G920VVRU3BOG5 for both phones.
Do you want to pay full price for a phone? Probably not, especially when they're as expensive as Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge. This is a phone that launched at roughly $800—enough to buy two or four times as many less glossy handsets.
Do you want a killer discount on a Galaxy S6, and do you also happen to be in the market for a new T-Mobile phone? Then today is a good day to be you. The carrier is offering $80 off of any T-Mo version of the Galaxy S5or Galaxy S6 with the checkout coupon "DEAL80OFF" (that's eight, zero, capital O, capital F, capital F). If you use the coupon with a Galaxy S6 you get a free car charger too, but we didn't have enough room to fit that in the headline.
Fast charging is one of the most prevalent solutions nowadays to the problem of battery life in modern smartphones. Battery capacity hasn't changed a lot in recent times, yet we keep on demanding more and more out of our phones, so fast charging was introduced as a way to juice them up faster than usual. However, not all fast charging phones are created equal, whether it's in terms of technology, charger used, or battery capacity to fill up. To figure out the fastest charging phone(s), Tom's Guide set out to test 7 different smartphone models in a variety of situations.
The list has the Galaxy S6 (proprietary Samsung technology with its high-wattage charger), Asus Zenfone 2 (Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 based "Boostmaster technology"), LG G4 (Qualcomm QC 2.0), Motorola Nexus 6 and Droid Turbo (Qualcomm QC 2.0 branded as "Turbo Charge"), and finally the OnePlus 2 and Apple iPhone 6 (no fast charging technology). Putting aside the logistics of the test, which you can read in details on the original article, here are the noteworthy results.
While the Note 5 and S6 edge+ are far from the first Samsung phones with reported issues killing background tasks with unusual aggressiveness, they are the first ones with four freaking gigabytes of RAM to do so. We've long assumed that Samsung's background task issues on certain handsets are related to a lack of RAM headroom due to TouchWiz, and yet, the Note 5 and S6 edge+ may exhibit the most aggravating task killing of any Samsung devices we've yet seen. Let's cut to the video for a complete explanation. (I realize it's long, but I'd recommend watching all the way through to see what's going on here.)
The issue was readily reproducible on both our S6 edge+ and Note 5 review units, and we aren't the first people to point this out.
The hot ticket for Samsung seems to be its Edge models, but if all you want is a solid flagship at a good price, great deals can be had on the standard Galaxy S6 model. If you head over to eBay's Daily Deals portal, you'll see a vendor selling an unlocked 32GB model for $469.99, a solid $130 off the unlocked retail price and $10 less than our previous best price for the phone. Get an order in quick if you want one, this isn't likely to last very long.
This is a brand new phone, not refurbished as many eBay deals tend to be, and it's available in black, white, gold, and "blue" (read: teal).