When the first Galaxy Note launched, everyone was reasonably skeptical. Was the world ready for such a large phone? Turns out, yep. So now, it would be expected for more carriers to want in on the action. Cue Sprint, stage left. One curious XDA member started poking around in some Sprint documents and found reference to one "SPH-L900." We know SPH is a designation Sprint uses for its Samsung phones (Galaxy Nexus is SPH-L700, Galaxy S III is SPH-L710, etc.), but the L900 is brand new.
This morning, Verizon officially announced the Galaxy Stellar 4G, a mid-range handset that will be available beginning on September 6th. Samsung is running two steps ahead, as the company just released the kernel source code for the device. This basically means that ROM devs and kernel hackers can download the source and have tweaks in place before the device is even released.
Also newly available on Samsung's Open Source Release Center is the kernel source for the Galaxy S Duos, a dual-SIM handset recently announced for the European market.
When Sony announced its newest tablet last week at IFA, the Xperia Tablet S, we wondered how they'd price the device. It didn't take long before we learned that info, and as expected, it was priced out of the market. At $399 for the 16GB version, $499 for the 32GB, and $599 for the 64GB version, it was clear that Sony didn't take into consideration the competition.
Today, in an interview with Reuters, an executive VP with Sony, Kunimasa Suzuki, verified exactly that to be true.
When we last heard about the Samsung Galaxy Stellar, a mid-range device coming to Verizon, Aaron was left wondering why this device was alleged to cost more than the Galaxy Nexus on contract. Well, now we have the answer: it doesn't! The 4" LTE device will be free with a 2-year contract, though that's after a $50 mail-in rebate.
The device packs the specs you would expect from a phone that's launching with a (mostly) free price tag:
- 4G LTE – customers can expect fast download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE coverage areas
- 4-inch WVGA display (800 x 480)
- Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich – support for Google Mobile™ Services including Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Talk™, Google Maps™ and access to more than 600,000 apps available to download from Google Play
- Suite of Amazon apps includes Kindle, Shopping, MP3, Zappos, IMDB and Audible
- 1.2 dual-core GHz Snapdragon™ application processor
- Front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat and 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto focus
- Backup Assistant Plus – media management and online storage service designed to help customers store and access media content such as music, videos, pictures, documents and contacts.
A court in Tokyo returned a favorable ruling for Samsung Friday, finding that Samsung's mobile devices were not in violation of an Apple patent related to inter-device media transfer.
This news comes one week after Samsung lost in what was (and continues to be) one of the most compelling trials tech has seen in a long time, with a San Jose jury ruling that Sammy owed Apple over $1 billion in damages over various trade dress and patent claims levied by Apple.
One of the highlights of Samsung's Galaxy Note II announcement at IFA yesterday was the increased functionality carried by the device's hallmark S Pen stylus. The Note II's version of the Pen, besides being "ergonomically designed for the perfect grip," allows users to quickly clip, crop, and edit screen content, adding further illustration and handwritten keyword recognition. The Pen now also features a unique "hover" functionality, whereby an app can recognize that the Pen is near the screen and react accordingly with contextual menus or other activities.
The OG Galaxy Tab may be dead to Samsung, but, as always, you can count on the community to keep older devices alive. Official CM 10 nightlies for the original Galaxy Tab (p1000, p1000l, and p1000n) just hit the CyanogenMod download site, so owners of those devices can finally get a taste of Jelly Bean in its purest form.
Samsung's rumored Galaxy Camera, which we saw leak just a short while earlier, is now official. The Jelly Bean packing point-and-shoot is Samsung's first foray into Android-powered cameras, and is in fact helping to shape what could become a successful niche market (after all, we did just see Nikon unveil a new Android-powered point and shoot).
Of course what you're really interested in is the camera's specs. The Galaxy Camera doesn't seem to disappoint on paper, packing a 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor with an impressive 16.3 effective megapixels.
While Samsung's Unpacked event may have just begun in Berlin, the Note II is already official. The leak from earlier today hit the nail on the head (we assumed it did).
- 5.5" 1280x720 Super AMOLED display
- 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor (likely Snapdragon S4 in US LTE models)
- 2GB RAM
- 16/32/64GB storage, microSD Card slot
- 8MP Rear shooter
- 1.9MP Front camera
- S Pen with S Note and S Planner
- 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180 g
- 3100mAh battery
- Android 4.1
- Available in Marble White or Titanium Gray
Aside from the upgrade in guts, Samsung also revamped the S Pen, making it a little thicker and more natural feeling for a better writing experience.