I wanted to publish some of my thoughts on the new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone in response to a few comments I've seen others making. Some random clarifitations:
1) While the Galaxy S5 does have a fingerprint sensor, it is bad enough that it will just be a frustration for those who try it out, and they'll likely disable it. Unlike Apple's Touch ID, Samsung's requires a vertical swipe at a very specific angle (or, non-angle.) With Touch ID on the iPhone 5s, you simply press your finger to the Home button, and it instantaneously unlocks your phone. The S5 scanner only works when you scan your finger straight down, towards the bottom of the phone, making it difficult to unlock the phone with one hand. The implementation on the Galaxy S5 is nowhere near as simple.
As expected, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5 at its Unpacked event on Monday. This time around, the company focused more on the practical hardware features of the smartphone, as opposed to the bell-and-whistle show we got with the Galaxy S4--we're talking about faster connectivity, a great display, durable build, and camera features that anyone can appreciate.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 packs in a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080p resolution, with a 2.5GHz quad-core CPU, and running Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The battery in the device hold 2800mAh of power, and it's paired alongside a "Super Power Save" mode that'll turn off battery-draining features and turn the display black-and-white in instances where you absolutely want to stretch out your battery life for as long as you can.
Is this the iPhone 6? It's February, and that means that like clockwork, it's time for the next iPhone leaks to start dropping. The only thing we know is that Apple is working on its next flagship device, and that the iPhone 6 should launch this fall. We've ben hearing reports that Apple will release two larger-sized variants this time around: a 4.7-inch model, alongside a 5.5-inch version.
As you can see in the pictures (which, to be clear, have not been verified to be real), the displays here are larger than those found on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, and also takes on the design language of the iPad Air and iPad mini. Neither are too far-fetched, and for our tastes, we think it looks great. Also, check out that bezel-less display, another rumored feature of the iPhone 6. Of course, even if these are real, Apple tests multiple designs, and this could be one of a few different ideas that the company is playing with.
We've got two more pictures of the device after the jump. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
EDIT: Forum posters at MacRumors have taken a closer look at the images and have determined that they're rendered fakes. Reasons include textures that repeat and the usage of an out-of-date font.
If you've got an Apple developer account, you should know that Apple has released iOS 7.1 beta 5 build 11D5145e, and you can go and grab it right now. Of course, you can log in to the Developer Center to manually grab the file, or head into the Settings > General > Software Update section on your iOS device for the over-the-air install. As far as new changes, the release notes point to international Siri improvements:
"This seed adds new natural-sounding Siri voices for English (Australia), English (United Kingdom), Japanese, and Chinese (Mandarin – China)"
Along with the new iOS software, Apple has also released new betas of Xcode 5.1, and the Apple TV software as well.
If you happen to drop your iPhone 5c and break the display, it'll cost a lot less to get a replacement now that Apple is offering in-store repairs. Yesterday the company announced that it would fix iPhone 5c displays at Apple Stores for $149 a pop--sure, that's expensive, but before this is was $229, $80 more. Of course, if you're an AppleCare+ customer, this doesn't apply to you since you get the much cheaper $50 replacement option. We see way too many people out in the wild rocking smartphones with shattered displays, so hopefully moves like this where repairs get more affordable, can make it easier for consumers to get their colorful iPhones repaired.
You can pick up the iPhone 5c for $99 with tw-year contract.
Sprint is the first carrier to announce a date of availability for the LG G Flex smartphone, which features the curved, flexible OLED display. You'll be able to grab the G Flex on the Now Network on January 31st if ordering online, or if you'd rather see it up close and in person first, they'll be in Sprint stores on February 7th. The device will cost $299 with two-year contract, or if you use Sprint's Easy Pay program, it's $150 down, and $20 per month for 24 months. If you've already decided that you want one, you can pre-order one today. We're still waiting on details for the LG G Flex launch details for AT&T & T-Mobile.
When talking about eye-catching smartphones at CES 2014, the LG G Flex is definitely the one getting lots of attention. I got my hands on it last night at Digital Experience and asked LG about what the true benefits are of a curved display outside of gimmickry, and that video will be coming soon on Bleeding Edge TV (so keep an eye on Gear Live's YouTube channel!) The device sports the obvious gorgeous, curved OLED 720p display, which is actually flexible to 180 degrees and also features self-healing material on the rear casing. For real. Other specs include the inclusion of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 mobile processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel rear camera. It's been available in a few countries in the Asia Pacific market, and will be making its way to the USA in the first quarter of this year. Expect to find the device on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile sometimes in the first quarter of this year.
A little over a year ago, Samsung released the Galaxy Camera, a mash-up of Android and a point-and-shoot (see our Samsung Galaxy Camera video review.) Today, the company is announcing Galaxy Camera 2, a more refined version that's been tweaked to highlight the things customers loved most about the original.
As expected, the Galaxy Camera 2 is faster and more powerful, sporting a quad-core 1.6 GHz processor (up from the dual-core 1.4 GHz chip found in the original) and 2 GB RAM (similar to the original.) Samsung has also increased the battery capacity from 1650 mAh to 2000 mAh, almost a 33% increase.
2013 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, while the Monster Tuxedo DNA headphones proved popular as well. Other products that made the list include Sonos Playbar, Microsoft's white Xbox One, and a few others.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2013, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 3 now available:
Anticipation for Apple's newest desktop operating system, OS X 10.9 Mavericks, trumped all other news here on Gear Live in 2013!
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