Pantech Marauder owners will soon see a software update arriving on their QWERTY-sliding handset. Verizon is pushing it out three months after the last one, ushering in another wave of general enhancements and touchups. The notification panel's status bar has been updated so that users can preview application messages directly, and a Google+ button has been added to the Calendar app so that viewers can jump directly to the social network to see event details.
Sony wants to make sure that you remember they've got a smartwatch, what with all these Pebbles, Agents, and every other Johnny-come-lately crowding the market. They may have found the perfect vector for getting their somewhat aged Bluetooth watch back in the spotlight, at least among die-hard Android power users: custom ROMs. Sony is now officially condoning hacks and modifications to the SmartWatch, as detailed on their Developer World blog.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a device so bizarre it's hard to believe it actually exists. But Samsung is serious about this smartphone with a point-and-shoot camera grafted onto it. It is so serious, in fact, that the company has released this three minute demo video starring a young lady that just can't stop smiling while using the GS4 Zoom. Also featured: terrible music.
If style and power meets rugged and durable is what you're looking for in a smartphone, then you'd be hard pressed to find something that fits the bill better than Samsung's just-announced Galaxy S 4 Active. It takes almost everything that makes the GS4 great and wraps it in a water- and dust-resistant shell, bringing high-end specs to those who need a ruggedized device that can handle nearly anything that comes its way.
It's fun to joke about Samsung's phones feeling cheap because they're made of slippery plastic, but that doesn't mean they're actually cheap. Samsung just posted a video tour of the lab where the Galaxy S4 is tested for reliability, but let's call it what it is – this is Samsung's smartphone torture chamber. The video is in Korean, but you can turn on English closed captioning.
The Galaxy S4 takes everything from drops to impacts and comes out fully functional.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 has won some ardent fans since its release, but AT&T just announced a new variant for those who want a little LTE with their S Pen. AT&T even put together a handy video showing off some of the Note 8.0's features.
This is the same Note 8.0 we've seen before, but with the LTE radio and (presumably) some AT&T apps built-in. The Note 8.0 runs Android 4.1, has a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos chip, 4,600mAh battery, 16GB of storage (with microSD card slot), and a 1280x800 LCD screen.
Developers take note: Samsung is getting some more source code out the door, but it's just one device this time. The kernel source for AT&T's version of the Galaxy S4 is out, and it's up for grabs at Samsung's open source site.
Kernel source for a few other variants of Samsung's flagship have already been posted. In fact, this development means T-Mobile is the only major carrier whose GS4 hasn't joined the open source club.
We're starting to wonder if Samsung will have anything left to announce at the London event next week - they've made three new phones and two new tablets official in the small amount of time since the event was scheduled. The latest is the Galaxy S4 Zoom, an update to both the never-ending string of Galaxy S4 variants and last year's Galaxy Camera that's been caught in the wild already.
A few days ago, Dell dropped the price of both Sprint's and Verizon's variants of the Galaxy S 4 to $119 and $129 respectively. Not to be outdone, Amazon Wireless has now undercut Big D by $10, and is offering Verizon's GS4 for $119 for new contracts ($170 for upgrades). That's a pretty solid deal if you don't want to buy from Dell, though I'd be remiss not to mention the $50 eGift card that Dell is throwing in if you do decide to buy through them.