It's Galaxy Note7 review day here in the US! ...Our review isn't ready. I received my evaluation device less than a week ago, and we've been swamped here with various leak posts and bringing on some new faces (say "hi!" to the newest members of our team when you spot their bylines), and there just hasn't been time for me to fully formulate thoughts and compile them into a 5000-word-plus post for you. But would you take an abridged review/extended hands-on until I can make good on that promise? If so, read on.
Early review notes
Industrial design and attention to physical detail continue to climb to ever-greater heights at Samsung.
When the Galaxy Note was introduced in September 2011, it was a revelation - to some. (I, personally, did not get it, much to my disappointment in hindsight.) It was big. It was bold. It was aggressively powerful. Put side by side with Samsung's earlier Galaxy S (i9000) phone, the Galaxy Note was borderline overkill. A screen a full 1.3" larger. Twice the CPU cores, RAM, and storage. A 1280x800 resolution - scarcely believable on a smartphone at the time. The Note was, as many remember, openly ridiculed for being too much - too big, too expensive, too niche. How wrong we were.
Samsung has just sent out the invitation for its Note7 launch event in New York City on August 2nd. The sixth-generation Note device has been leaked extensively at this point, though I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung has managed to keep a piece or two of information from us about the device at this point. If you want to know what the Note7 will look like, we can show you, because Evan Blass leaked it - in excruciatingly high resolution.
A leak posted by Sammobile, pictured above, claims that the next Galaxy will be unveiled on August 2nd at the Lincoln Center in New York at 11AM local time. Interestingly, the leaked image contains the text "The next edge is just around the corner" - suggesting an edge-branded device. There has been speculation and rumor suggesting the next Galaxy Note will be known as the Note 7 (because iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7) and have a curved display like its S7 edge cousin, though will be larger than the last Galaxy Note.
This has led Sammobile to speculate that the name of the upcoming device could be Galaxy Note7 edge, which, well, gross, but plausible.
If you have a late-model Samsung phone on US Cellular, odds are pretty good that there's a software update waiting for you. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 flagships are getting an updated build of KitKat, along with the last-gen Galaxy Note 3. Don't get your hopes too high: all three phones will still be running Android 4.4.2 after the update. But Samsung is pushing out a few incremental changes, notably for the dialer and camera.
According to the update notes, a lot of the tweaks are specifically for Google-related services, notably the ability to "search for nearby places and businesses, your contacts, or people in your Google Apps domain." The new builds have Google Hangouts included, complete with SMS integration (not that you couldn't do it for yourself before).
Accessing and controlling a full-sized desktop on a handheld machine is no task for the timid, and making a tool to do it isn't easy, either. But virtualization software vendor Parallels knows a trick or two, and they've added one or two more into the Android version of Access. The latest update includes new tools to access remote computer files, better compatibility for the S-Pen stylus on Samsung Galaxy Note phones and tablets, and better audio options.
The biggest addition to version 2.5 is the built-in file browser, which makes opening files remotely on a mobile screen much, much easier.
Today, famed leaker Evleaks has given the world a sneak-peek at four new Samsung tablets ahead of the company's proper CES announcement. The tablets in question are part of a new "Pro" line being launched as additions to the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab brands. There will be a Galaxy Note Pro 12.2" model along with three new Galaxy Tab Pro variants, available in 12.2", 10.1", and 8.4" form factors.
If the new Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is too rich for your blood, you're in good company. Woot.com is here to alleviate your conflicting desires for a "premium" Samsung tablet at a not-so-premium price. The service has put various models of the older Galaxy Note 10.1, the Galaxy Note 8.0, and the Galaxy Tab 2 on sale. They're all refurbished, but come with significant discounts.
If you've been deliriously excited ever since Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 3 earlier today, there's something you should see. The Korean phone maker has posted a new video, and it's jam-packed with six minutes and thirty seconds of Note 3 and S Pen action.
The video shows off all the S Pen features introduced with the Note 3 today. We get to see a few more use cases for features like Action Memo, Multi Window, and Scrapbooker. The video also gives us our first good look at the S Finder interface, which was glossed over at the Unpacked event.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 is due for a refresh along with its smartphone cousin. If you've been waiting for a high-end Samsung tablet (or just a tablet that's considerably larger than the current 10-inch breed), the folks at Korean site MovePlayer may have spotted it. A single photo of a hitherto unseen Galaxy Note 12.2 bearing the obviously huge screen and Samsung's increasingly ridiculous physical Home button was leaked earlier today.
According to the leak, the newest Galaxy Note's 12.2" screen uses a 2560x1600 panel, which seems to be the de-facto standard for high-end Android tablets at 10" or larger.