Now that the HTC One Google Play Edition is dancing in the club that exclusively admits devices running the latest bleeding-edge version of Android, it's time for Samsung's Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition to do the same. For some reason Samsung seems a lot less coy about the update - while only a few users on the XDA forums are reporting that they've received the latest software (labeled MH5), both the kernel source code and the official over-the-air update have been posted to the usual spots.
It doesn't take very long for new phones to go on sale these days, especially if you're savvy enough to check Amazon. For example, the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is now just $108 for new customers, or $118 for those who are eligible for an upgrade. (You can also add a new line and get the phone for $108.) Want something a little tougher? Amazon is offering the ruggedized Galaxy S4 Active at the same prices.
Earlier this week, Samsung announced that it was bringing Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) to Exynos 5 Octa chips. Samsung didn't clarify if HMP would require new hardware, but that was the implication. Now Meizu has unexpectedly announced the Exynos 5 Octa chip in its recently unveiled MX3 will be getting HMP through a software update.
All Exynos 5 Octa processors until now have used cluster migration to manage the ARM big.LITTLE cores.
The Galaxy Note II is getting an OTA update. Hooray, right?! Eh, kind of. The update clocks in at 165MB, but it doesn't bump the Android version or even add new features. What you're getting is 165MB of updates to Google and AT&T preloaded apps.
The update will be pushed down to everyone automatically over the coming days, but you can check for the OTA manually from the Software Update menu.
A few days ago Android watchers were abuzz after a new version of Verizon's Galaxy S4 appeared on Samsung's site. Listed as model number SCH-I545L, there was some speculation it could be a spec bump on the original GS4. Maybe even a version of the device with LTE-Advanced? The truth behind that extra "L" at the end of the model number is much more mundane. It's for rural carriers, according to Verizon.
Since Samsung announced the Exynos 5 Octa at CES 2013, one major criticism has been leveled at its implementation of big.Little technology time and again: for some reason, it has only ever been able to run 4 of its 8 cores at a time. Not only that, but it has never been able to mix-and-match the higher performance A15 cores with power efficient A7 cores to get the best possible configuration for performance and power usage.
Our time at IFA is drawing to a close, and after the dust has settled, it's pretty clear who came out on top in terms of interesting unveils - Samsung. The Note 3's new features, enhanced display, faster processor, and continued focus on maximizing screen space without increasing the size of the device itself have clearly kept people interested in the increasingly-popular line of handsets. Having played with the Note 3, I must agree - it's better in nearly every way than its predecessor.
A great thing about new flagship phones is that they usually come packed to the brim with new technologies we can get excited about. The Galaxy Note 3, announced a few days ago, is no exception. While Samsung made a point of featuring Category 4 LTE with Carrier Aggregation, which can achieve 150 Mbps, the company neglected to mention the Note 3 also includes the Qualcomm QFE1100 chipset which should significantly reduce power consumption and heat associated with the LTE radio.
If you've already made the decision to give someone your money for the Galaxy Note 3, Verizon is more than happy to take it. You can now put down $299.99 to pre-order the Note 3 on a two-year contract, a whopping $699.99 for an unsubsidized phone, or reserve a no-money-down phone on Verizon's Edge upgrade plan.
Verizon will also be selling the Galaxy Gear smartwatch directly. You can reserve one along with your Galaxy Note 3 for $599.98 (the same price as a $300 Gear and an on-contract Note 3).
AT&T is making the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 available on its LTE network. This is the almost same tablet you can get online without the LTE, but it costs a bit more here.