We've been seeing reports of Galaxy Note7 devices exploding while being charged, but that regularly happens with so many different models and brands, especially due to faulty chargers, that we didn't pay much attention to it. However, it seems that the story is different and really serious this time.
A Samsung official speaking to Yonhap said the company estimates that less than 0.1% of Galaxy Note7 devices sold were affected and that the root of the problem was traced back to the battery. But at several millions sold, even this small a percentage can be a hazardous risk and one Samsung is not ready to gamble with. Since the Note7 doesn't have a removable battery, the official says that the company is about to issue a recall of all its new Galaxy Note7 devices sold at home and abroad. Read More
After some teasing in weeks prior, Samsung has taken the wraps off the Gear S3 at IFA. Although the Gear S2 was already a potent smartwatch, the Gear S3 adds a host of new features that make it even more competitive with Android Wear's crop of offerings, including the just-announced ASUS ZenWatch 3. Read More
The Gear VR is the cheapest route to virtual reality, assuming you already have a compatible Samsung phone. Today, it's even cheaper. The previous-gen Gear VR is available on Amazon for just $60, down from the regular price of $100. Read More
Samsung announced a major upgrade to their budget SoC offering today, which will go by the name Exynos 7570. It will be the first of its kind—targeted to IoT devices and lower market smartphones—to be built on the power efficient 14nm FinFET process. Also noteworthy is that this new model will have built-in connectivity hardware for WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS rather than relying on third-party vendors to provide those components for end user devices. Read More
If you're getting started with a smart home setup or working on an upgrade, your wallet is probably feeling pretty light. While you're still on your own for all the connected devices, Amazon has the best price we've seen on Samsung's SmartThings Hub at $79, $20 below the typical going rate. Read More
Android developer extraordinaire Chainfire has worked his magic again, releasing a new beta of SuperSU with support for the Galaxy Note7. There are a few caveats though, mostly due to new Samsung security measures inherent in the kernel, stopping Chainfire from using his usual exploits and instead having to apply workarounds.
In short, Chainfire says that Samsung has applied new built-in protection methods directly to the kernel. Any time a 'privileged' process that has a uid/gid value equal to or below 1000, it causes the device to kernel panic, meaning it immediately reboots. As most root processes have a value below 1000, the device restarts as expected, causing headaches for both users and developers. Read More
Actively watching Nougat roll out to Nexus owners this week? Most Android devices don't have a shot at getting an update to the latest and greatest. Some, like the Galaxy S5 Active, are only just now getting an update to last year's version. Read More
The Android update news this week has been all Nougat all the time. But what of the lowly Samsung Galaxy S5? AT&T is rolling out an update during Nougat week, but it's only Android 6.0 Marshmallow. I mean, not that Marshmallow is bad, but running just a little late, aren't you AT&T? Read More
Backup/restore features are a bit of a sore point on Android; Google's efforts can be called nothing better than pathetic, while most other manufacturers don't offer a service to entirely back up a device like Apple does with its own iOS devices and iCloud. However, Samsung, which has already had one software success this year, may be onto something with Samsung Cloud, which is launching with the Galaxy Note7. Sam Mobile has confirmed that the feature is also coming to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, courtesy of a 150MB update - it's currently live in Italy and India with more countries presumably on the way. Read More