For the longest time, my only involvement with smartphones was limited to Nokia's Symbian devices, then I bought an HTC Desire Z in February 2011 and the rest, as they say, is history. I was immediately ecstatic about most of the Android experience save for two aspects where my heart strings kept tugging back to my Nokia N8: photography and mapping. Android cameras have improved a lot over the past three years — I am amazed by the Lumia 1020's scary-good 41MP sensor, but my LG G3 does an excellent job 99% of the time — and so did Google Maps, but at no point has Google's mapping service completely levelled up with parts of the experience that I used to get through Nokia Maps, even in 2010 on an N8.
Samsung is really the only game in town if you want an Android slate larger than 10-inches. The Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is a pricey device, though. The retail figure is $649.99, but it usually sells for $549.99. You can get it for more than $200 less on eBay right now, provided you don't mind a refurbished unit.
The Tab Pro 12.2 is rocking a 2560x1600 LCD, an Exynos 5 Octa processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 9500mAh battery.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro series was massively overpriced when it was introduced, but like most Samsung devices, it gets some pretty good discounts at retail. Best Buy is offering the 8.4 inch Wi-Fi tablet at $249.99, which is a solid $80 off of the current retail price and $150 off of the launch price from seven months ago. It's available in both black and white, and this is a new device, not refurbished.
Samsung has seen incredible success with its Android devices over the years. The Korean OEM didn't have to change much from one year to the next, but still the smartphone-consuming public was practically begging to trade up to the latest and greatest Galaxy S. Then something changed with the Galaxy S5—despite being a competent phone in almost every way, sales were below projections. Samsung's profits declined when they should have been skyrocketing.
For all the grief we give Samsung tablets about fake leather and physical home buttons, the higher tiers of hardware have some great specs. Speed demons and resolution fanatics might be particularly enthralled with the Tab Pro series, all of which feature 2560x1600 screens. If you appreciate the hardware but could do without Samsung's Android skin, the developers at CyanogenMod now support the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.
CyanogenMod 11 nightlies are already available for the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, giving users of two out of the four tablets in the series access to AOSP-style software with rapid updates.
Galaxy S4 Active users on AT&T, don't get too excited when you see a new software update message appear in your notification bar. This is a minor update with minor changes, and once you apply it the phone will still be running the same Android 4.4.2 build that you've had since June. According to an AT&T support page, the update includes just three things:
- Connectivity improvements related to receiving calls and text messaging
- Security patch
- Updated Google apps
We've got no idea what kind of updated Google apps Ma Bell put in there, since Google prefers to do its own updating via the Play Store these days.
This is a guest post by Manzi. Manzi is a UX Designer for the University of California, Irvine. He also moonlights doing Social Media for iO West, an improv comedy club in Hollywood. This article was originally posted on The Verge Android forums but has since been edited and enhanced with illustrations created for Android Police.
In a presidential memorial library somewhere out in the Sunnyvale area, cell carriers, hardware manufacturers, and innovators all came to dance in a single hall.
Samsung releases so many phones in so many variants that even professional gadget bloggers get turned around on occasion. But the folks on the CyanogenMod team are doing their best, bless 'em, and today's fruit of their labor is ROM support for an extra variant of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4. The most pertinent one for American readers is probably the G900-T, the Galaxy S5 model sold by T-Mobile as their branded version.
The Galaxy Note 4 was one of the most exciting handsets to come out of this year's IFA, and the time has come to start placing those pre-orders. T-Mobile's Galaxy Note 4 page is now ready for business. Customers can claim a handset and choose to purchase it for either $749.76 upfront or $31.24 a month for two years. Devices are expected to ship out starting on October 17th.
If you haven't been thoroughly obsessing over this Galaxy Note 4 before now, here's a refresher on the specs.
Samsung makes some surprisingly solid accessories for its mobile phones. A lot of people don't know this, because those accessories are really, really expensive, at least compared to most of the alternatives available. Today you can take half off of all the accessories - cases, cables, mounts, batteries, anything - that you buy from the official Samsung online store. But there's a catch: the coupon code is only good on items with individual prices below $50.