Samsung's "diversify and fill all niches" approach to the mobile market is starting to get on my nerves. Not because I object to having a dozen different choices at every screen size and price, but because I can't keep the hardware details for all these phones and tablets in my head. Nine months after unveiling the Galaxy Tab 3 in 7, 8, and 10-inch varieties, Samsung is back with a "Lite" variant of the smallest model.
If you're too impatient to wait for Samsung to get Android 4.4 to your carrier variant of the Galaxy Note 3 (or if you're just tired of TouchWiz), the indefatigable boys and girls of CyanogenMod are here to help. They've just released the first nightly builds of CM 11 (KitKat) for Samsung's plus-sized flagship, with support for the international LTE model (N9005), plus Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint versions.
As it happens, Samsung just started sending out the official 4.4 update for the N9005 earlier this week, so those of you who are on the unlocked version of the phone might want to go for the TouchWiz build of KitKat instead.
Today, famed leaker @evleaks has given us what he believes is a preview of the new Nexus 10, made by Samsung. In case you haven't been following the enormous amount of drama surrounding this; Asus, Samsung, and even LG, have all been suggested as possible manufacturers for Google's next-generation 10-inch tablet. Going into today, the Asus rumors seemed to have the most credibility, so if this leak holds true, the emergence of Samsung as the top dog would definitely be a plot twist for some folks.
Rarely does the first leaked firmware update for a flagship phone end up being exactly what rolls out to users, but that appears to be the case for the recently leaked KitKat ROM for the Note 3. Android 4.4.2 (N9005XXUENA6) is appearing in Poland through Kies right now, and the version number matches the leak from this weekend.
Samsung made a few notable tweaks in KitKat for the Note 3, just like it did for the ROM for the Galaxy S4 leaked a few days earlier.
If you've got a Qualcomm-powered, international Galaxy Note 3 and an appreciation for up-to-date software, you might want to check out the latest official leaked ROM from SamMobile. They've posted a purported test build for the KitKat 4.4.2 update of the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 (that's the Snapdragon 800 model with LTE bands). This leak comes just two days after the Android 4.4 build for the Galaxy S4.
Changes include all the usual KitKat goodies, plus a tweaked TouchWiz visual theme (with white battery, service, Wifi, clock, etc.
As you may well know by now, Samsung launched a whole bunch o' tablets at CES this week, and by a bunch, I mean 4. The new Tab Pro 8.5, 10.1, and 12.2, and the new Note Pro 12.2. Four tablets, three sizes, two processors (Exynos 5 Octa or Snapdragon 800), and one screen resolution (2560x1600).
These are the first high-end tablets Samsung has produced for a couple of years (aside from the Nexus 10, of course), and it seems like after two budget-minded generations of Galaxy Tabs, they're finally ready to give the more expensive end of the market a try again.
OTA updates are usually a good thing, but first impressions can be misleading. The just leaked Android 4.4 KitKat build for the Galaxy S4 seems good, but some behind-the-scenes changes broke SuperSU, making root access difficult. Ever the go-getter, Chainfire already has it sorted out.
The new flashable ZIP file is available from Chainfire's site – version number 1.89. CF-Auto-Root has also been updated to include the new SuperSU. This has been successfully tested with the leaked ROM on the GT-i9505, but should also be fine on other devices you need to get root on.
Update: SamMobile has posted a write-up with more pictures. Yup, the Neo looks like a 9/10th scale Galaxy Note 3. You can see the rest here.
If you're looking for a big Samsung smartphone, but one that's not quite as big (or as expensive) as the Galaxy Note 3, you may soon be in luck. SamMobile posted a photo of what they're calling the "Galaxy Note 3 Neo" to their Twitter account, showing what looks like a carbon copy of the standard Note 3 in a slightly smaller size.