We've been hearing from a lot of companies hyping up their plans for Android 5.0 updates - at least one of them seems ready to start issuing it soon. But what of Samsung, the undisputed king of Android sales figures and, not least, one of the more (ahem) robust suppliers of add-on software and interfaces? Apparently the company is working swiftly on a Lollipop update. The folks at SamMobile, as is their wont, have already managed to snag what looks like an early build of Android 5.0 for the Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy Alpha isn't Samsung's most powerful phone, but it has made a name for itself regardless. Specs aren't everything, and folks are excited just to see a company so enamored with plastic take a chance with metal. The Alpha's aluminum band may not make the handset look all that distinctive in pictures, but it makes a difference in person.
This design may have attracted some users to the phone who would have otherwise been put off by TouchWiz.
We all know that Samsung is working on what will eventually be known as the Galaxy S6. This isn't news. If anything, it ranks right under a new iPhone coming out as something your average passerby expects to happen in 2015.
What's interesting is figuring out what that new device is going to look like. SamMobile has provided a set of expected specs that, while we can't verify them ourselves, we're inclined to trust.
If the regular Note 4 just isn't weird enough for you, there's always the Galaxy Note Edge, which is about to make its US debut on AT&T and Sprint. In addition to the flat touchscreen surface we've all become accustomed to, the Note Edge has an extra column of screen that wraps around the right edge of the device. Is it a good idea? Questionable, but it's at least interesting.
Smartphone manufacturers have been striving to make their phones thinner for years, and despite how slim phones have become, they're still pushing forward full steam ahead. Today Samsung announced its two thinnest phones yet, the Galaxy A5 and A3. To set these phones apart even further, both handsets have full metal unibody designs.
The larger A5 is just 6.7mm thick. The A3 is only slightly thicker at 6.9mm. For comparison, the Galaxy S5 is 8.1mm thick, and the Note 4 comes in at 8.5mm.
There aren't a lot of options for big tablets with styluses, so the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is kind of the automatic winner. The only problem is it's so darn expensive. Well, unless you're down with a refurb. You can pick one of those up on eBay right now for the reasonable price of $389.99.
The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 has a 2560x1600 LCD screen with support for the pressure-sensitive S Pen.
Ah, Developer Editions, what would we do without you? Probably suck it up and buy the retail versions, since anyone who's actually in the market for a Developer Edition phone on Verizon doesn't have a choice of GSM carriers with unlocked phones. If you've been drooling over the Galaxy Note 4's high-end hardware but lamenting Verizon's locked bootloader policy, Samsung is ready to sell you an unlockable phone. That will be $699.99, please.
The newest Android Wear update has started rolling out to the Samsung Gear Live after hitting G Watch and Moto 360 devices in the last few days. The update comes with version number 4.4W.2 and makes a handful of tweaks to the OS, not the least of which is the option to hide notification cards on the watch face.
Update 9/26/14: The price has dropped another $20 to $379.99.
Update 10/23/14: The price has now dropped another $20 to $359.99.
The longer you wait, the more affordable products become. These aren't necessarily words to live by, but they're generally true. Not too long ago we were happy to share with you a new Galaxy Tab S 10.5 we found on Amazon going for $446. Now we've come across a refurbished one on eBay available for just $399.