You may recall the collective scream of horror emitted by the Android community when it was confirmed over the summer that the Verizon model of the Galaxy S III would ship with a locked bootloader. As a consolation, Samsung decided to sell an unlocked "Developer Edition" for full price online. While the regular device has since been cracked, it's a lot cleaner to buy the dev version and now it's on sale.
It seems like everyone's getting a Galaxy S III lately, and C Spire Wireless (formerly Cellular South) didn't want to be left out. If you're unfamiliar with the company, they're a regional provider in the Southeastern US, with a Verizon-sourced regional MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) national network. C Spire operates its own network on its home turf, and that includes a growing LTE footprint. That LTE, for now, is quite limited, basically to a few parts of the Southeast US.
Wow, AT&T. Instead of sending multiple device announcements on different days, the company just announced a few new smartphones and a tablet for its 4G LTE network, all of which are made by Samsung. Let's take a look, shall we?
Samsung Galaxy Express
The Galaxy Express seems to be sort of a tweener device. Not in terms of "your child between the ages of 10 and 12 will love it!" but in that it appears to be right in the middle of the Galaxy S III and some mid-range devices.
We already know the Galaxy Note II is headed to all of America's "big four" carriers with Exynos and LTE (well, LTE on 3 out of 4) in tow. What we don't know is when. Samsung promised "before the holidays," but that's a pretty large window. It seems likely that window is about to close - next month.
Samsung has announced an event to be held on October 24th in NYC, and the invitation makes it quite obvious what the topic of discussion will be.
If downloading source code and picking through lines of code is something you enjoy doing, then today is a day of gifts: Samsung just released not one, but two different kernel source codes. I can almost feel your excitement.
First up, the GSIII. The international variant (i9300) was recently updated to Jelly Bean, and Samsung just made available the respective kernel source. So, if you've been waiting on that, it's ready for you.
The newest sets of binaries for Nexus devices have been published and are now available to download on Google's Nexus drivers page. This new batch of binaries is for Android 4.1.1 build JRO03R, and covers basically all Nexus phones and tablets:
Update: We have confirmation that this exploit is also fixed in Jelly Bean, as well, so any device running Android 4.1 should be safe.
Auto-executing USSD codes is an Android bug that was fixed in Jelly Bean, see last 3 commit: android.googlesource.com/platform/packa…
— Nagy Ferenc László (@nflnfl) September 25, 2012
There has been a lot of misinformation floating around this morning about an alleged "exploit" on Samsung phones that allows the entire device to be wiped from the browser using what's called a USSD code.
Update 2: This exploit probably won't work on most Galaxy S III's as long as they have the most recent OTA update, as we demonstrate on video here.
We've seen Wirefly Schmackdowns before, but we've never seen one like this. Under normal circumstances, we watch them compare two high-end Android phones. Today, however, they've put mortal enemies in the ring for a fight to the death: the GSIII and the iPhone 5. Oh snap.
They compare the size, weight, display, hardware guts, and software, ultimately calling a winner at the end. Honestly, we're not surprised at how it turns out, but you won't find any spoilers here.
Following the initial rollout of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) to Galaxy S III phones in Poland this morning, Samsung has announced that the update will be coming to 15 more devices in other markets "soon."
The devices due to be updated to Jelly Bean are:
- Galaxy Tab 2.7.0
- Galaxy Tab 2 10.1
- Galaxy Note 10.1
- Galaxy S II
- Galaxy Note
- Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus
- Galaxy S Advance
- Galaxy S II LTE
- Galaxy Music
- Galaxy Chat
- Galaxy Ace 2
- Galaxy Beam
- Galaxy Ace Plus
- Galaxy Mini II
- Galaxy S Duos
Although a device called the Galaxy Music is listed here, we aren't entirely sure what it is just yet.