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.
So you want a new Galaxy S5? Will new-ish be good enough? An eBay seller has a cache of open box devices on sale at a downright reasonable price of $429.99. This is an unlocked GSM handset, so you can use it on AT&T or T-Mobile in the US.
The Galaxy Alpha, on paper at least, is a dream phone for scores of Samsung users. You get the look of a Galaxy device without necessarily getting the feel of one. The phone is made of metal and premium materials, making up for the cheap build-quality that plagues even Samsung's high-end devices. Americans turned on by such an idea can now pick a Galaxy Alpha up come September 26th, when the phone will go on sale exclusively from AT&T online and in stores.
The Galaxy S4 Active is pretty solid as both a high-end phone and a "ruggedized" handset, but as with a lot of Samsung devices, TouchWiz keeps some power users away from a purchase. Now the indefatigable CyanogenMod team is giving you some AOSP-style options: they just released their first nightly build for the S4 Active. You can pick it up for your phone at the usual spot and install it via the custom recovery of your choice.
The Galaxy A5 appears to be an awkward phone to get excited about. SamMobile has gotten its hands on exclusive photos of the device, the SM-A500, which should be the first in a new line of A-branded phones. What makes this particular handset interesting are its build materials. SamMobile's source says that Samsung has used a different material that isn't plastic or metal but still "feels cold in the hand."
To me, this sounds like Samsung has had so much success producing faux leather backs that it's ready to try its hand at fake other materials.
An over-the-air software update is set to hit AT&T's version of the Galaxy S4. The change log for this one isn't particularly long, but it will bump users up to baseband number KOTH49H.1337UCUFNB1. There's a certain satisfaction that comes from having the freshest set of software available on a device, and that feeling is what the bulk of owners will notice about this release.
As for what's actually new, AT&T says this update will provide better connectivity when making calls and text messaging.
Samsung makes a lot of tablets. So many in fact, that it can be hard to keep track of which are the entry-level and which are the premium ones. Tab Pro? Galaxy Tab? No, it's the Tab S series that you want to lay your hands on if at all possible. Verizon Wireless has finally started selling the LTE-equipped 10.5-inch version for a cool $600 off-contract.
Hot on the heels of Sprint's launch of the Galaxy Tab S 10.5, AT&T announced that it will begin selling both the 8.4- and 10.5-inch LTE variants online and in stores beginning September 26. The carrier is also taking pre-orders for both tablets right now with a shipping date of September 23.
Big Blue is only selling the tablets in charcoal gray, so if you were hoping for white, you're out of luck.
The Galaxy S5 on Verizon got an update barely one week ago that bumped it up to Android 4.4.4, but another is rolling out today. The new OTA with version number KTU84P.G900VVRU1ANI2 adds a few tweaks to functionality and resolves some bugs. It also gets the GS5 ready for VoLTE calls.
If you're going to start messing around with ROMs and serious modding, you'll need a custom recovery. There are a few popular ones, but TWRP is the go-to for most devices. Getting official support on your device of choice is cause for celebration, and today Note 3 owners on Verizon get to party.