The international recall of the Galaxy Note 7 is becoming a full-fledged disaster for Samsung, with millions of early devices (and consumers) affected. But even with the negative press and a direct hit to revenue, Samsung would prefer its customers send their faulty phones in for a replacement rather than face even a small possibility of said phones bursting into flames. In the company's home territory of South Korea, it's going to use some more direct methods of encouragement.
We all love the Chromecast thanks to its cheap price and almost endless potential to turn any TV into a smart streaming machine. Last year, Google released an update to the original Chromecast with a few minor improvements as well as a Chromecast Audio that works with all Aux speakers. Now these new gadgets are available for purchase in the southern part of our planet: Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia, the Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio will be priced at $59 AUD (approx.
Back in August LG announced new versions of its G Pad tablet in both 8 and 10-inch varieties. Aside from a couple of features like an integrated stylus on the former, they weren't all that interesting, just middling updates of the previous budget-focused models. Even when one of them showed up in the US for a little carrier-branded fun, it was met with a big fat "meh." The sequel to the G Pad 8.3, which was actually quite nice when it launched back in 2013, is likewise underwhelming.
LG announced the G Pad II LTE for its home market of South Korea yesterday.
After launching in Japan earlier this month, Netflix is set to expand its Asian presence in early 2016 by adding 4 countries to its availability map. If you live in South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, you'll be happy to know that the video streaming service is coming to your neck of the woods (or rainforest) next year. At least you'll no longer be forced to VPN your way to the US to get Netflix working.
This expansion is part of the company's plan to reach more countries and more potential customers worldwide as quickly as possible. Italy, Portugal, and Spain are getting the service next month, and you can guess that more countries will be joining in later on.
What kind of cell phone would Iron Man use? Well, depending on which movie or commercial you watch, it's either an LG (the original movie), an HTC (based on Robert Downey Jr.'s nonsensical brand representation), or an impossible transparent super-sci-fi gadget phone (Iron Man 2). But the ultimate fan of Marvel's movies would definitely use the Galaxy S6 Edge Iron Man Edition, with a unique gold-on-red color scheme to match the suit. And just in case people don't get the hint, it's also got a huge Iron Man helmet decal on the back and a custom Avengers software theme.
Samsung has made the Iron Man Edition official, with a release in the company's home turf of South Korea planned for tomorrow, May 27th, and China and Hong Kong releases next month.
For dedicated Android users, there's a certain feeling of comfort that comes from seeing Google Play gift cards line the shelves of their local convenience store. The visibility serves as a sign of the platform's popularity and reach, a little reminder that the OS we've come to rely on isn't going away anytime in the near future. Now those little cards are appearing in two more countries: Turkey and South Korea.
In Turkey, the gift cards come in increments of 25, 50, and 100 lira. South Korea's options range from ₩15,000 to ₩50,000 and beyond.
It doesn't matter whether you're buying gift cards for someone else or just picking up a couple for yourself (we won't judge), having the option is nice.
Update: An LG representative has informed us that the Tab Book can be purchased with both Windows and Android in an optional dual-boot configuration. There are no plans to release the product outside of Korea, at least for the time being.
LG's current Android tablet strategy is a little baffling. They jumped back into Android tablets with the admirable G Pad 8.3 last year, a well-equipped device with a premium build and a premium price. Then they launched the G Pads 7, 8, and 10.1 this year... with the usual plastic bodies and specs well below the first one, aiming at the budget market.
For the biggest of the big manufacturers, loaning out the name of your flagship model to smaller and cheaper phones is a no-brainer. You get potential customers who want the look and at least some of the features of the newest, coolest device, and you also get to reap the rewards of your brand marketing. So it is with Samsung and HTC's various "Mini" models, and now, LG's G3 Beat. Hey, at least they're not trying to call a 5-inch phone "mini."
The G3 Beat downgrades the best-in-class spec sheet of the full-sized G3 with a 5-inch, 720p LCD screen, a 1.2Ghz Snapdragon 400 processor, a mere 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage with a MicroSD card slot.
Google's little media streaming dongle has managed to take off, and now it's time to further leave the nest. The gadget that launched in the US has already expanded to Canada and countries all through Europe. Now the dongle has made its way across the Pacific to South Korea, the first country in Asia to receive access.
The Chromecast is going for 49,900 won, which roughly translates to fifty bucks. That's a little bit pricier than it its $35 tag stateside, but even that isn't all that much to ask for a product that's proven to be rather nifty and is only becoming more so with each new app update.
Samsung is slowly but surely sending its Android 4.4.2 update out to more and more regions and variants of the Galaxy Note 3. This morning SamMobile reports that both the LTE Snapdragon (SM-N9005) and the 3G Exynos (SM-N900) versions of the Note 3 are being updated over-the-air on networks in India, South Korea, and Switzerland. As usual, the rollout is staged, but users in these countries can try a manual update check via the Settings menu.
Both SamMobile and the Samsung Updates archive have also posted SM-N9005 update files for even more regions: Italy (Vodafone), Slovenia (Si.mobil), Bulgaria (MTL), Spain (Vodafone), and the general "Baltic" area, though there are no reports of over-the-air updates being sent out to these countries.