One of the biggest problems Google faces with Android is avoiding a situation where one manufacturer controls so much of the market that everything else falls by the wayside. As study after study shows, though, this is becoming an increasing risk as Samsung gobbles up more customers. To wit, this survey from Localytics—a company that provides analytics for mobile apps— showed that of the top ten Android devices its customers used, eight were made by Samsung, and seven had the Galaxy brand attached.
In Samsung's continuing quest to conquer every single niche in the smartphone world, they've got two new entries on the low end. The Galaxy Young and Galaxy Fame are positively tiny compared to most of the other Galaxy phones, and based on their specifications, will probably be quite cheap when they hit the market. The Young is slightly lower on the totem pole than the Fame, but fortunately, both use Jelly Bean 4.1.
The Galaxy Young seems to be the very definition of a budget smartphone, thanks to its tiny 3.27-inch HVGA (480x320) screen, 1Ghz single-core processor, 768MB of RAM, and a 1300mAh battery.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That seems to be the attitude that T-Mobile is taking with its domestic variations of budget-friendly Samsung smartphones. The Galaxy S III Mini (which has its own misnomer issues) is headed to T-Mobile as the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, according to UnwiredView. The only difference from the international version appears to be an admittedly snazzy grey and teal trim makeover.
If you'll recall, this is far from T-Mobile's first Exhibit. The first Exhibit 4G was a shrunken-down version of Samsung's first Galaxy generation from mid 2011, and the Exhibit II 4G followed a couple of months later as the first Tmo phone to be sold off-contract through Wal-Mart.
Reactions have been mixed to Samsung's somewhat understated
Superbowl big game commercial, featuring comedy B-listers Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. If you couldn't get enough of the pair trading jabs while pitching a meta Galaxy ad, Samsung has posted the full 4:40 cut to YouTube. The ad follows the plot and pacing of the shorter version, but there's a few extra punch lines in there. Just in case ninety seconds of middle-aged verbal jousting wasn't enough for you.
Samsung seems to be the only consumer electronics brand interested in the advertising world's biggest stage this year. Sadly, there's no reveal of new hardware headed for the US market or anywhere else.
The year was 2012. A mere two days before the alleged Mayan apocalypse—and about nine days before people stopped making tired old jokes about it—we got wind of the Developer Edition of the Galaxy Note II for Verizon. There were three differences between this handset and the version you could buy in the carrier's stores: it had an unlocked bootloader, it's unsubsidized, and it was not available for sale yet. Even though the locked version had been available for nearly a month. Oh, and it's still not out yet.
Here's the timeline:
A couple weeks ago, we got wind of a download that seemed to be the final version of Android 4.2.1 (GA02) for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus. Today, not only is that confirmed, but the OTA has begun for Nexus warriors on the Now Network. The update brings the newest flavor of Jelly Bean and all that entails, including Photospheres, Daydream, lockscreen widgets and more.
The release comes about two and a half months after the initial launch of Jelly Bean 4.2 (counting by the launch of the new Nexuses. It's about three months since the initial announcement). While not too bad when compared with updates for the rest of the phones in the world, it's still a stark reminder of just how long going through carriers and adapting to different radio versions takes.
Who wants a new "lifestyle device?" You know, those phones and tablets that cater to a very niche, and usually pretty small, market. Like Samsung's new Galaxy Xcover 2, for example. This ultra-ruggedized device is made for extreme conditions. It's waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a meter deep, dust/sand-proof, and crazy-durable. It can even take pictures under water! Seriously, that's pretty cool.
Aside from the ruggedized shell, the Xcover 2 also features an "enhanced GPS + GLONASS which shortens the satellite signal detection by up to 20% to tracks your location more accurately," along with a "massive 1,700mAh battery" (really, Samsung, we need to talk about what 'massive' actually means).
We've been hearing more than a few rumors about a new member of Samsung's popular Galaxy Note series, supposedly due for a Mobile World Congress reveal in February. Italian site DDay.it has posted leaked shots of the device in question, and there's no longer any doubt that the Galaxy Note 8.0 is indeed real. Most interestingly, it's laid out more like a super-sized smartphone than a tablet, breaking from the Galaxy Tab design of the 10.1-inch version from last year.
Specifically, it looks like someone took the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II and flattened it out with a rolling pin. The vertical orientation, gently rounded corners, the position of the front and rear cameras, all of them make the Note 8 look like an XXL version of Samsung's high-end smartphones.
Nearly two years ago, Samsung unveiled what would become one of the most iconic Android handsets of all time, and its powerhouse smartphone for the year: the Galaxy S II. This follow-up to the original Galaxy S brought the goods in a major way, further increasing Samsung's undeniable presence in the Android world. And now the company is updating it to Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2).
Owners of the unlocked international version of the handset in Spain should be receiving the update now – either over-the-air or through Samsung's Kies software – which brings an absolute slew of new things to the device, according to SamMobile.