For some of us, breaking a smartphone is unimaginable. For others, it's only a matter of time. Either way, it could pay to have your ducks in a row. Samsung has introduced a new device replacement plan, and since no less than 107% of the world's phones were made by the manufacturer, a good number of people could benefit from this. But it won't come cheap.
Samsung's "Protection Plus Mobile Elite" plan costs $99.99 and provides coverage for two years.
Samsung has approximately two dozen tablet lines, one of which is the Tab Pro. These are the somewhat premium slates with high-resolution LCDs (not AMOLEDs) and Exynos processors. You can pick up the 10.1-inch member of this family of tablets for just $250 on eBay right now. That's half the MSRP and about $100 less than current prices.
We often see carriers trickle out updates to one device on any given day, but today Sprint is pushing out a new firmware upgrade to two. These lucky handsets are the Samsung Galaxy Mega and the HTC EVO 4G LTE. Their change logs don't mirror each other, but one item is the same. It's not a particularly exciting one, but it's something.
The Galaxy Mega is one huge phone, and since it has already received KitKat, this update isn't huge enough to match.
Charge allthethings! Wouldn't you like that? Well, Samsung has a solution for you in its Multi-Charging Wall Charger. Announced back in August, the tri-split cable and wall charger combo is finally available for sale on Samsung's Online Store. Essentially, this is a cable with a USB port at one end and three MicroUSB ports on the other, allowing you to use one USB output to split the charging power between 3 devices simultaneously.
Android L is probably just a few weeks away, but Google's partners already have the code to begin designing updates. That's why SamMobile was able to get a hold of a nearly complete build of Android L on the Galaxy S5. It looks pretty much like you'd expect a Samsung ROM to look, but there's definitely some L influence.
Samsung has been sending the somewhat overdue Android 4.4.4 update to its flagship devices for the last few weeks, and according to this support page, it's now the Sprint Galaxy S5's turn. The Sprint CDMA edition of the S5 should be receiving the latest stable build of Android now, though we haven't actually found any users who are getting it this morning. Given the way that US carriers tend to stagger the rollouts for just about everything, that isn't all that surprising.
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'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.