Software updates are like Christmas gifts for geeks like us. We rush to get them and we can't wait to unpack them, but we never know what we're really going to get. Sometimes it's everything we've been begging for in the past months, other times it's just a pair of socks for... I don't know mom, why did you think I needed socks?!
Verizon likes to tell you what's inside your gift before you unpack it. It's thoughtful and it makes our job here a little less complicated because we don't have to fill the news article with fluff about random bugs getting fixed and things becoming better without really knowing if that's the case. Read More
The Galaxy Note II and its tablet big brother the Galaxy Note 10.1 were both released in 2012. That being the case, the odds of them getting an Android 6.0 update are about as good as the Chicago Cubs winning the Super Bowl. Of course, a lack of updates (even for hardware that might not meet the minimum requirements) is a big part of what makes custom ROMs so popular. So it is that the CyanogenMod ROM's version 13, based on AOSP code for Marshmallow, has come to a handful of older Samsung devices. Read More
AT&T announced the Galaxy J3 last month, to
rapturous applause almost no reaction at all. In case you'd forgotten, it has a 5-inch 720p screen and a quad-core Samsung Exynos processor.
This phone isn't low-end. Not really. When I think low-end, I think 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM and 1GB of storage; something like the HTC Wildfire. Despite this, the J3 is available on a prepaid contract of $5.67/month, or for $169 upfront. For a phone of this quality - 720p Super AMOLED display, 1.3GHz quad core processor, 1.5GB RAM, 2600mAh battery, 16GB expandable memory, and 4G LTE - that seems astoundingly cheap. Read More
Over a month ago, someone at Samsung slipped up and let out the name of a Galaxy S7 Active as a compatible device when updating the Samsung Level app's description on the Play Store (it's now gone). We knew the device was coming, and rumors had pegged it as model number SM-G891A with very similar specs to the regular S7 but a military-grade protection (MIL-STD-810G) on top of its IP68 water and dust resistance.
Today sheds more light on this Galaxy S7 Active, which will follow the footsteps of its Active predecessors and get released on AT&T in the US. The device has been caught on camera in Vietnam despite trying to sneak by with its camo back ("I still see you!" as my fiancé loves to joke). Read More
If you're an owner of a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge on Verizon, you'll want to check for an update tomorrow. According to the carrier, an OTA is on the way and there looks to be more than just bug fixes and security patches. According to the support documents, here's a list of what we can expect:
- Security patches, though we aren't sure if it'll be May's or one from a previous month, but since the phones are currently on February's security update, anything will be a welcome addition.
- A pop-up reminder to close your SIM/SD card tray if you left it open.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are great phones, you'll get no argument from me. But every great product has flaws, and these are the five things that I think are the biggest ones in Samsung's latest flagship devices. Remember to check out our corresponding "Five Things I Love" post for the S7, and be on the lookout for our "Five Worst Things" posts for the LG G5 and HTC 10, too. Read More
All flagship phones tend to get better and better prices the farther out you get from the release date, but Samsung's latest crop seems to be dropping in price especially fast. For example, one eBay merchant is offering a 32GB Galaxy S7 Edge Duos for just $649.99, a solid $150 off the retail price (or much more, depending on where you buy it). That's even better than the aftermarket price for the same phone just a couple of weeks ago. The seller is based in New York, but this particular phone is being sold with a UK-standard phone charger, so you'll need a spare one to use it. Read More
It's common for American carriers to mandate the removal of FM radio functionality from popular phones. After all, they'd much rather you used their network services to gobble down data. Something very unusual is happening in the new GS7 update. Samsung and T-Mobile are actually turning on the dormant FM radio functionality. Read More
The Samsung Gear VR is more akin to Google's Cardboard than HTC's Vive or LG's 360VR. You rely on your phone for the screen, like Cardboard, but you have more possibilities for control thanks to the included physical buttons. Samsung has also been pushing its Milk VR store heavily, collaborating with different content providers and benefitting from its Oculus partnership to provide exclusive material to its Gear VR users. It has created an interesting gadget and platform, one that I have personally been eying for a while but haven't had the chance to test yet.
While many users have gotten a Gear VR for free with the pre-order of a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, even more Samsung smartphone owners don't have the virtual reality headset yet. Read More
Samsung may produce the top-selling Android flagships, but that doesn't mean buyers don't encounter a few bugs.
Some Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones apparently suffer from malfunctioning volume down and power buttons. You press either one, whether to reduce noise or wake your device from sleep, and nothing happens. In either case, it's quite a big deal. You're either stuck with a blank screen or notifications coming in loudly as you're trying to silence your phone. Read More