DisplayMate has long been testing and ranking smartphone displays, and for the last several years Samsung has had a lock on the top spot. That is not changing with the release of the Galaxy S7. Dr. Raymond Soneira has once again found Samsung's latest display to be the best around, and an improvement over last year's Super AMOLED.
April was a bit sparse when it comes to new apps - there aren't any real standouts, though Facebook certainly made a splash with its self-branded phone dialer. The rest of the best picks from last month are mostly advanced tools for power users, or in the case of the impressive edjing, experienced music producers. Here in no particular order are our picks for the best of the lot, plus a few honorable mentions that might have broader appeal.
Have you ever wondered why the blacks on your Samsung phone look so, well, black? Ask your nearest videophile, and he or she will tell you that it's because AMOLED screens emit no light from pixels when they're assigned to draw the "black" color. It's black because the pixel is almost literally turned off. By the same token, an AMOLED pixel displaying black will also draw almost no electrical power. So AMOLED phones with black wallpapers or black-themed apps can, at least theoretically, boost their battery life significantly.
That's the principle behind Pixel OFF, a new tool available in the Play Store.
The casual observer might think that Samsung has too many Android tablets. Between the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (from 2013, of course), no less than four versions of Tab and Note Pros, and the fourth generation of low-end Galaxy Tab hardware, the casual observer is right. But that's not stopping Samsung's shotgun approach to market coverage. The company has just announced the new Galaxy Tab S line, modeled after the flagship Galaxy S5 in more ways than one.
The 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch tablets use the same looks as the S5, complete with a dimpled plastic rear and Samsung's ubiquitous physical home button, which still looks pretty awful on an Android tablet.
We saw the usual leaks earlier today, but Samsung has just officially revealed their curved-screen device on Samsung Tomorrow. The phone goes by the name Galaxy Round, which is almost surprising, considering Samsung's pathological need to tie things into the Galaxy S line as of late. In addition to the unique curved screen, it's basically a Galaxy Note 3 minus the S-Pen.
The screen is the star of the show here: with a size of 5.7 inches and a 1080p resolution, it's similar to the one found in the Note 3 plus a bit of curvy Super AMOLED magic.
ASUS has barely been able to contain its excitement for its Padfone device(s?). Finally, though, we get some more details about what the phone/tablet set will be packing. The former is sporting a a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (it's unclear what model at this time) and 1GB of RAM, underneath a 4.3" 960x540 Super AMOLED screen. Much like Motorola's line of lapdocks, the SoC of the phone will power the tablet while docked.
The tablet station has a 10.1" screen, a gratuitous 24.4Whr battery, and Micro USB and Micro HDMI connections. The tablet station will use the phone's 8MP rear camera, though it has its own front-facing camera for video chat.
Are you one of literally dozens of users who believe that your 4.5" smartphone is too small, that 7" tablets are too big, and that styluses never got the shot they deserve on a modern smartphone? Then mark February 19th on your calendars, friends. The Galaxy Note from Samsung is landing that very day (pre-orders start on February 5th).
The Galaxy Note is unique enough in its own right. Part phone, part tablet, the device attempts to be it all for the power user who can't quite decide which device they want. For what it's worth, the stylus looks to be one of the best attempts at integrating writing with the familiar touchscreen.
Remember that sleek 4.5-inch Motorola looker we encountered last month? It's back, but no longer will it be known as the DROID HD or the DROID Spyder; according to the latest rumor (courtesy of This is my Next), the device is none other than the DROID RAZR. Yes, that's the name of the phone that in 2004 saved Motorola from bankruptcy (before it plunged into the profitless dregs of mobile society a second time, that is).
The name change is accompanied by a full list of specs, but first let's take a look at the handset itself and see what the hype is all about:
And now for the spec sheet - in a word, it's drool-worthy:
4.3-inch 960x540 Super AMOLED display (no PenTile!!!
While it's not exactly revolutionary, it does pack some unique goodies - most importantly, T-Mobile claims its Samsung ST-Ericsson M5720 HPSA+ 4G modem makes it capable of theoretical peak download speeds of 21 Mbps, whereas the G2 and myTouch 4G are limited to 14.4 Mbps. As an added bonus, T-Mobile just announced that it's expanding its HSPA+ network - it is now available in eight new major metropolitan areas.
It appears that Samsung is going to continue with the Galaxy S brand name, but this upcoming AT&T handset is unlike any other Galaxy S phone you've seen before. The Samsung Infuse 4G improves on the original in just about every way - in fact, it easily tops any phones on the market today:
1.2 GHz (single core) processor
4.5" Super AMOLED Plus display
8 megapixel rear camera
1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
Extremely thin (thinnest phone on AT&T when it launches)
The most interesting aspect is the Super AMOLED Plus display. A 50% increase in sub-pixel count promises better readability in sunlight (a common complaint of Super AMOLED screens) and better contrast.