T-Mobile got into the phablet game a little late when it released the Galaxy Note back in early August. Then, some three weeks later, all traces of the giant Samsung phone inexplicably disappeared from T-Mo's site, and third-party retailers were "out of stock." The latter incident lead us to believe one thing: T-Mobile was canning the original Note and would be getting the Note II soon after it launches in the U.S.
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.
It's not often we find ourselves excited about prepaid here in the US, but if any store can get people excited about saving money, it's Walmart. And what Walmart and T-Mobile just announced is actually pretty exciting if you're looking for a way to get on the smartphone bandwagon with low monthly overhead.
For $300, Walmart will sell you a contract-free T-Mobile Galaxy S II. That in and of itself probably isn't very exciting.
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.
All Wi-Fi versions of Samsung's Galaxy Tab series should have ICS by now, but, as always, carrier connected versions of the devices are left out in the cold. T-Mobile is the only carrier thus far to break that mold when it updated the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus earlier this month.
In a move that should make other carriers feel bad about themselves, T-Mobile has now made available ICS for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, as well.
Just two short days ago, Samsung unveiled the massive Galaxy Note 2 at IFA in Berlin. They briefly showed off some new features of the Note II, like Air View and various note-taking and image editing tweaks. Still, this left anyone who may be interested in this next-gen phablet wanting more.
And now you've got it.
Samsung just released a note-tastic 13 minute video detailing several new features of the Note II, including the video player and Gallery applications, Air View, the ability to natively record the screen, and so much more.
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.
When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note II yesterday, they made no mention of regional or carrier availability. While we here in the States can speculate which carriers will get this next-gen phablet, it really is just a crapshoot right now.
For those who want to keep up with the latest on the Note II in the US, though, Samsung has opened up a sign up page. In theory, this will keep users privy to the Note's US availability and carrier launch information.
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.
Mystery. Magic. Oversized phones and cameras running Android. If these are things that make you happy, then Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event from today will be the best hour and half you can spend staring at your computer's screen (short of reading AP, of course). And just in case you weren't able to catch the live stream during the event today, Sammy has now made the entire thing available online.
Now you can see first hand what happens when Samsung, a couple of magicians, and and MC who talks louder than everyone else get together.