When T-Mobile added a new update tracking progress meter to its website last week, the Galaxy Note 3 was listed as undergoing T-Mobile testing, the second step in a three-step process to deliver Android 5.0. Soon it should be moving up a notch, as a changelog has hit Samsung's site saying that today's the day the carrier starts pushing out the over-the-air update to consumers.
In addition to Lollipop, the changelog makes references to Wi-Fi calling, including a fix for a one way audio issue.
This year at MWC, there's little in the way of room for the notion that Samsung failed to deliver on the hype. The Galaxy S6 is the most dramatic redesign the Galaxy S has ever seen, and is more Samsung than ever before. Down to the NAND storage and Exynos chipset, the S6 takes Samsung's larger corporate vision of vertical integration seriously, and that should have Samsung's competitors on edge (no pun intended).
To start, the physical hardware simply seems superb. Even the relatively early units we played with had outstanding fit and finish, and I don't mean that in the forgiving sense we typically are forced to provide Android handsets because of the median build quality in the industry.
It almost goes without saying, but benchmarks are not everything. These numbers don't always tell you how a device will perform, but they do tell you something. Right now the Galaxy S6 is telling us that Samsung's new Exynos chip is very, very fast. It's putting up AnTuTu scores of nearly 70,000, well above the values produced by devices like the LG G3, Nexus 6, LG G Flex 2, and even the new HTC One M9.
If you were busy yesterday morning, or too hung over from Saturday night, you may have missed Samsung's Unpacked presentation from Barcelona, Spain. Sure, you could read about the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and their upcoming availability in the US, the revised Gear VR, and Samsung Pay... Or you could blow 40-some minutes watching the show in all its glossy grandeur. Did you really have anything better to do at work, today?
Ok, seriously, when you're done watching the show, check out those articles. We really do have a lot of information Samsung didn't cover during the event.
Alternate Title 1: Watch Samsung Gettin' Edgy Wit It On Stage At Unpacked 2015
Samsung presentations always include a litany of buzzwords and redundant features, some of which are meaningless or borrowed directly from Google and Android, while others point to bigger aspirations. Today's announcement for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge introduced a new feature called Samsung Pay, a direct competitor to Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Even though this is just one more product that attempts to have consumers replace their credit cards with a phone, it carries a distinct advantage over NFC-based alternatives: it also works with traditional credit card readers.
Samsung Pay offers two methods for communicating with payment terminals: Near Field Communication (NFC) and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).
As if you hadn't guessed already, all five major United States wireless carriers have confirmed that they will indeed offer Samsung's new flagship phones later this year. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular have all posted pages that say they'll be selling both the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, though details on exact launch dates, prices, and capacities are predictably hard to find. No matter what your preferred carrier, you'll have an option when the phones come out.
Nestled in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge presentation was the announcement of a new Samsung Gear VR. They are not christening it with a new name or too much fanfare, but they did want to add refinements and make it compatible with their new flagship(s). Here are a few snaps:
Other than fitting the S6, the device is reportedly 15% lighter with a slightly expanded field of vision. A nice tweak is the ability to charge the device while it is in use, which should allow for longer sessions.
The Gear VR is the product of a partnership with Oculus, which has its own hardware.
We've seen them leaked to death, we've seen months of rumors and speculation. Now we have verified info on the real deal: Samsung's double flagship for 2015. The Galaxy S6 will probably be the best-selling Android device this year no matter what any other manufacturer does, and the Galaxy S6 Edge is Samsung's attempt to one-up themselves with an interesting take on the standard slate design.
Samsung is going to announce the Galaxy S6, and a curved-screen variant called the Galaxy S6 Edge, at its Mobile World Congress announcement early next month. The phones look like this. Aside from a few specs and information on prices and dates, that's about all you need to know. But the leaked images were pretty tiny, so Sprint has been kind enough to leak some more for us. It doesn't include the bottom portion of the phone, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess there's a home button down there. Thanks, Sprint!
Before every MWC event, Samsung gradually unveils bits and pieces of its semiconductor innovations that not-so-suprisingly end up inside its line of imminent Galaxy S devices. So far this year, the company has announced its 8Gb LPDDR4 RAM chip (with 4GB of RAM) and 14nm FinFET processor (to be introduced in the company's Exynos 7 Octa), both of which promise faster speeds and more power efficiency.
Today we get another glimpse inside the Galaxy S6, well...presumably. (The timing is just perfect, isn't it?) Samsung is taking the cover off a significant advancement in the semiconductor space for smarphones: a 128GB NAND memory based on the much anticipated UFS 2.0 standard.