Samsung is the first major company to release a smartwatch, revealing the Galaxy Gear during today's Unpacked event. The rumor mill was quite a ways off from what was presented today. The Gear sports a 1.63-inch 320 x 320 Super AMOLED display, with a 1.9-megapixel BSI auto-focus camera on the outside wrist strap (used to capture low-resolution images and 10-second video clips at 720p,) and a speaker on the inner wrist strap.
Galaxy Gear is also a platform unto itself, and it will have 70 apps on deck for launch, including familiar names like RunKeeper, Path, Evernote, TripIt, MyFitnessPal, eBay, and many others. That sounds great, but the device will ship with limited smartphone and tablet compatibility, working with only the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 at launch, although Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S III integration will be coming in October. With a compatible device, the Galaxy Gear will be your companion, allowing you access to Find My Device, S Voice, pedometer, call answering, and more.
At today's Unpacked event, Samsung announced its new S Pen-powered Galaxy Note 3, a bigger version of the large smartphone, with much improved internals. Aiming to end the talk of people complaining about the cheap plastic feel of Samsung devices, the company has given the Note 3 a faux-leather backing. You get a 5.7-inch 1080p display (up from 5.5 on the Note 2,) and the device will support the new LTE Category 4 as well as the new Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. You get a 13 megapixel camera on back, with a 2 megapixel version up front, and the rear camera can record in up to 4K resolution at 30fps, a first for a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will start shipping on September 25th rocking Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, available in black, white, and pink.
If you're rocking a Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy S 4 and are wondering when you'll be able to get in on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, today's Unpacked event made it clear that the software is coming to your handheld sometime during the month of October, around the same time as the update that will enable Galaxy Gear functionality. No word on when Android 4.4 KitKat will be made available.
It appears that Samsung is prepping for its first annual Samsung Developers Conference boasting a "cross-product, cross platform" event on October 27-29 in San Francisco. Perhaps, Samsung is shifting gears by lessening its dependence on Google's Android mobile operating system and blurring the lines of its long line portfolio of successful products with developers. The South Korean conglomerate has been working on different mobile OS like Linux based Bada and Intel processor based Tizen, which is a spin-off the abandoned Meego OS project by Nokia. Samsung promises more information to follow leading up to the event. Samsung and Google have had major successes as partners but, in the recent acquisition of Motorola, something that Google previously stated it wouldn't do and Samsung focusing on diminishing Google presence from its products have shown the relation is more stressed than first perceived.
Read More | Samsung Dev Con
If you're a bit harder on your gadgets than most and are looking for a new smartphone, then Samsung Galaxy S4 Active may be just what you need. The Active packs in a 1080p LCD display rather than the OLED panel seen in the regular Galaxy S4, and the camera has a lower megapixel rating. The water-resistant (and dustproof!) device will be available beginning tomorrow from AT&T for $199 with two-year contract, and will be available in both gray and blue variants.
In this episode we open up the Samsung Galaxy S4, the latest flagship Android smartphone from the company. The Galaxy S4 features a 5-inch display, and is available on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, making it as widely available as the iPhone 5. We give you a look at the Galaxy S 4 hardware in this episode of Unboxing Live, showing you all the contents of the box as well.
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The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the talk of the town as it pertains to Android smartphones at the moment (though one could argue that the HTC One deserves just as much attention.) Samsung's new flagship sports a 5-inch 1080p display, LTE connectivity, and a bunch of those nature sounds to make it more calming (or something.) While we are working on our full Galaxy S4 review, we put together a photo gallery showing off the device itself, along with the included accessories. Go ahead and check out our Samsung Galaxy S4 unboxing gallery for all the goodness, and stay tunes for the review.
Gallery: Samsung Galaxy S4 unboxing gallery
Today Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller take on its flagship Galaxy S4 Android smartphone. The Galaxy S4 Mini isn't really that "mini," though, since it ships with a 4.3-inch display that is larger than that of the iPhone 5--we'd say this is more of a mid-range display size, but, hey, to each their own. Additionally, it's not as powerful as the full-sized S4, as the Mini has a 1.7GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB RAM. An 8-megapixel rear camera is paired with a 1.9-megapixel front shooter, and on the inside you get 8GB of storage (which you can expand with a microSD card.) Once nicety is that the Galaxy S4 Mini ships with Android 4.2.2, which means you get the latest and greatest right out of the gate. Pricing and availability has yet to be announced, but we're that that we'll find out next month. In the meantime, let us know if you're going for this one in the comments.
Read More | Samsung
AT&T will finally be lifting its almost 3-year ban on FaceTime (and other pre-installed video chat services like Google Hangouts on ANdroid) for its customers on grandfathered unlimited data plans. Over time, AT&T has made stock video chat apps available on its cellular network only to customers on tiered data plans, or its newer Mobile Share plans, while unlimited users looked on in disappointment. That all changes starting next month, when customers with LTE devices get access to pre-installed video chat services:
For video chat apps that come pre-loaded on devices, we currently give all OS and device makers the ability for those apps to work over cellular for our customers who are on Mobile Share or Tiered plans. Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry have chosen to enable this for their pre-loaded video chat apps. And by mid-June, we’ll have enabled those apps over cellular for our unlimited plan customers who have LTE devices from those three manufacturers.
So if you've got an iPhone 5, you're in luck. If you are on an older iPhone 4S or iPhone 4, you have a bit more of a wait ahead of you. In fact, it appears that even if you have a current LTE device that isn't made by Apple, BlackBerry, or Samsung, you've got a wait ahead of you. Recent buyer of the awesome HTC One? Sorry:
Throughout the second half of this year, we plan to enable pre-loaded video chat apps over cellular for all our customers, regardless of data plan or device; that work is expected to be complete by year end.
We've been getting reports that some AT&T customers with unlimited plans and LTE devices are already seeing FaceTime over Cellular enabled.
Read More | The Verge
Google has announced a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 during the opening day Google I/O keynote, which runs the latest stock version of Android Jelly Bean. This means that the specialized smartphone sports the Nexus experience. It's compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile LTE networks, completely unlocked. The bootloader is unlocked as well, and the device sports 16GB of on-board storage, expandable with a microSD card. One major benefit is the promise of immediate system updates to newer Android versions, thanks to the stock Android being used. Since the phone has no contract, it won't be cheap. The stock Android Jelly Bean version of the Galaxy S 4 will go on sale on Google Play on June 26th for $649.
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