Today Samsung announced that it has surpassed a major sales milestone with its Galaxy Note 3. Samsung says that channel sales of the Galaxy Note 3 have rocketed past 10 million unit sales in under the two months that it has been available for sale to the public.
The Note 3's predecessor, the Note 2 took over 120 days to reach 10 million units sold, and is just ten days longer than the 50 day total it took to sell 10 million Galaxy S4 smartphones. With phablets like the Galaxy Note 3 growing in popularity almost as fast as the Samsung Galaxy series itself, I am willing to bet that the next generation of phables that we see in 2014 will sell even faster.
If some results on Browsermark are anything to go by, and they usually are, it looks like an early build of the Galaxy S5 has just been spotted. It turned up on Browsermark in position 3, to only be beaten by Apple's iPhone 5S, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 3.
But, there is one big difference: the device that is now number 3 on Browsermark, is the Samsung SM-G900F, which was running Chrome 28. Chrome 28 is four months old, so if it were running the latest Chrome 31, we might have a new speed champion with the Galaxy S5. We shouldn't expect anything less from the Galaxy S5, which should be unveiled in the first few months of the new year.
When I reviewed LG's G2 smartphone, I fell in love with it - it is one of the best Android smartphones on the market, without a doubt. But, the South Korean giant hasn't seen that much success in it, with it selling below its expectations.
Up until now, LG has sold just 2.3 million units of its G2 smartphone, with an expectation of selling over 3 million units in the third quarter of this year alone. Not every company can be Samsung or Apple, maybe LG's expectations on the G2 smartphone were too high? What do you think?
Qualcomm has announced a new system-on-a-chip (SoC) that is 64-bit capable, but is designed for lower-end devices. The Snapdragon 410 SoC is designed for smartphones that will sell for under $150, but will include some high features otherwise found on more expensive devices.
These features include 4G LTE connectivity, and better graphics horsepower - as well as 64-bit capabilities. But, if you'll remember back a few months, Qualcomm laughed at 64-bit SoCs, with the then Chief Marketing Officer, Anand Chandrasekher, calling Apple's 64-bit capable A7 SoC a "gimmick". He added "I think they are doing a marketing gimmick, there's zero benefit a consumer gets from that".
We should expect the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 to be baked into devices starting in the second half of 2014.
Today, Tracfone announced that it will be launching Apple's iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C on its Straight Talk and Net 10 carrier services this Friday, December 13th. The phones will be available exclusively through Walmart and will be featured on the carriers $45 and $60 prepaid plans.
Handset pricing is set at $649 for the 16 GB iPhone 5s and $549 for the iPhone 5c, with the iPhone 4s also available for $449. Qualifying customers can finance the hardware purchase interest-free through a Walmart Credit Card if purchased in-store by December 31.
Today Nokia unveiled a new Bluetooth headset line that has been color coded to match the company's Lumia line of Windows-based smartphones. Roughly the size of an iPod Shuffle, the new BH-121 is features a built-in 3.5mm headphones jack so you can use your preferred pair of headphones if you chose.
The new headset module features NFC pairing when used with Nokia Lumia phones, and for models that do not utilize NFC technology, paring can be done manually through the usual Bluetooth pairing methods. The BH-121 will arrive in January of 2014 and will retail at a pricing point of $53.50 from Nokia, and its retailers.
Today Square released an all new card reader that is 45-percent thinner, and is said to be much more reliable than the original. The new card reader has been designed with custom-built components this time around instead of employing the use of off-the-shelf parts used in the original.
The redesign using custom parts results in a much more reliable, and compact unit, and allows Square to have more control over the hardware and quality control. The old card reader featured technology that was designed back in the 1980s, and was comprised of more than 30 parts and wires. With the new design, square has removed almost all of these components and replaced them with a single chip that handles most of the functionality.
Users can expect a more consistent 1-swipe experience, but Square does not expect the new card reader to significantly impact their business. Square says that anyone signing up for an account after today will receive the new reader, and the company will fully phase out the old reader by the first quarter of 2014.
Samsung Taiwan has just released a 22-second video, titled 'Just for you'. In the video, the South Korean giant teases a few things: 'Just fit' with a smartphone (the Galaxy S5 I'm guessing) and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
We also see 'Just simple' with a thin, nice-looking smartphone, 'Just elegant' which teases the beauty of the new device, 'Just fast' with LTE capabilities, and finishes with 'Just for you' and that it is 'coming soon'. There's nothing to go on here, apart from that 22-second tease. I think we're seeing the first marketing tease for the upcoming Galaxy S5, but this could be something else entirely, too.
One thing to note, is that the Galaxy Gear is showing a date of December 9 - should we expect a bigger tease, or better yet, an announcement in just a days time?
Google is pushing Android into new markets every few months, but it doesn't want to give up the living room just yet. A new rumor has crawled out of The Information's Amir Efrati, who has an anonymous Google employee leaking details out to him.
We should expect a "Nexus TV" device that would run Android, and be capable of streaming video from services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, as well as play some games, of course. The Google-made Android set-top box isn't something new, it's something we've heard a bout for quite some time now. But, CES 2014 is right around the corner, so could 2014 be the time Google takes over the living room? Maybe.
We heard about the Oppo N1 during the week, which will launch in a few days time for $599. But, now there's hints at the 2014 flagship smartphone from the company, the Find 7.
What makes the Find 7 an interesting, newsworthy device is that it will feature a 5.7-inch 2560x1440-pixel display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 SoC, and 3GB of RAM. Yeah, it will have some tasty, high-end specs, that's for sure. We also have 4G LTE support, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera backed up by a 5-megapixel up front, and a 4000mAh battery.
It is one of the best specced, if not the best specced smartphone coming out.
Samsung is poised to release its Galaxy S5 smartphone early next year, but it looks like the South Korean giant could surprise us with two new tablets with AMOLED-based displays.
The news is coming from Korean language technology news site, Naver, who has said that Samsung is outfitting two new slates with the same display tech that gets baked into some of its flagship smartphones, such as the Galaxy S4 and Note 3. The new AMOLED screen will be available in the highest-end tablets, as Samsung would continue to use LCD-based displays in its entry-level and mid-range slate range.
Google spent around $500 million marketing its Moto X smartphone, but it looks like this hasn't done much to help the Moto X penetrate into the US smartphone market, according to comScore's new numbers.
comScore's numbers show that Motorola's US smartphone market jumped ever so slightly between July and October, from 6.9% to 7%. In that time, Motorola launched multiple devices, but didn't gain any much market share at all in the US. Motorola is battling all sides of the Android war right now, and with Google behind it using LG and ASUS to build its Nexus devices, it's really just shooting itself in the foot with its multi-billion-dollar acquisition, and now $500 million marketing bill for the Moto X.
Acer has stated that it plans on extending its line of Windows-based tablets and today we got an early glimpse of things to come when a page popped up on Acer's website that detailed a new Iconia tablet from the company. The Iconia W4 8-inch tablet appeared briefly and was spotted by VR-Zone before Acer took the page down.
The tablet is said to feature a 1280x800 IPS display, while an Intel Atom Z3740 Bay Trail processor handles computing duties. The processor is a quad-core unit clocked at 1.33GHz. 2GB of RAM is on hand and the model listed featured 32GB of RAM. 802.11 b,g,n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 handle wireless connectivity on the new tablet. The MSRP that was listed on the leaked page was set at $329.99 which pits it directly against the non-retina iPad Mini.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday have past, Microsoft is continuing its deals by releasing a new set of sales every day for 12 days. Kicking things off on Monday by offering up Dell's Venue 8 Pro for just $99. This lands you a 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet for a fraction of what it normally retails for.
Unfortunately, Microsoft is only letting 20 sell for $99 at each of its 51 Microsoft stores nation wide. That means that only 1020 of the tables are up for grabs at the $99 price. After the first 20 are sold, the price raises to $199 for the next 10, and then $299 for the rest of the day. So if you want to get your hands on one at a $200 discount, you might want to get in line now.
Today Google began rolling out the first major update to Android 4.4 (AKA KitKat). The new update is said to bring dramatic improvements to the Nexus 5's Camera by improving focusing, fixing issues with pinch zooming, and more.
Google says that the update "improves the camera with faster focusing, especially in low light, faster white balancing, for truer colors, the ability to pinch-zoom the viewfinder in HDR+ mode and less shutter lag." The roll-out will take place over the next few days, but those who do not wish to wait can head over to Motorola's official download in ZIP form that can be found below.
This was something we saw at the NVIDIA Editors' Day 2013 in Montreal, Canada, but now it is available with 1080p @ 60FPS through your own, personal Shield device, thanks to a new update NVIDIA is currently pushing out.
NVIDIA has announced the new December Software Update, which improves the 720p 60FPS Console Mode function, provides new games it works with, and the crown jewel: 1080p 60FPS PC Gaming Console Mode. Officially supported games include the biggest hits right now: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4, BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, Crysis 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
NVIDIA has said that it will continue to add games to its list of titles that pump out to your TV at 1080p at 60FPS, with more details available at the Shield website.
Patent Bolt has discovered quite the idea that Samsung has, where the South Korean giant has a patent on something that describes touch controls which are on the back of the smartphone, with transparent displays.
There are multiple uses for this type of technology, with one of them being the ability to open an application, or control a video without getting your hand in front of the screen. You could also move objects that are on the bottom layer of the multi-layered screen, as well as security uses, for increasing your password with dual-sided passwords.
Apple were the first to the market with a fingerprint scanner on a smartphone, with the iPhone 5S and its Touch ID technology. But now it looks like Samsung is going to follow through with its own security technology based on a fingerprint scanner.
Reuters is reporting that a company that specializes in fingerprint recognition technology, Sweden's Fingerprint Cards, is expecting "seven or eight of the world's biggest smartphone makers" to jump into the fingerprint recognition market. Fingerprint Cards' CEO, Johan Carlstrom, has said that Samsung will be launching a fingerprint scanner-capable smartphone in 2014, and that his company is hoping to become a supplier.
We did hear that Samsung stated it wasn't working on a 'Touch ID' type of technology for its devices, but we all knew it was an eventuality.
This morning, website fonearena.com spotted a mysterious benchmark result posted on GFXbench.com. The benchmark result details a Samsung smartphone with the model number SM-G9000S, a previously unknown device. The benchmark list the phone as featuring a 2K display with a resolution of 2560x1440.
Internal hardware is pretty impressive as well with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked to 2.7GHz, and a Adreno 330 GPU. The device is running Android 4.4, but RAM and Storage numbers were not included in the results. Fonearena is speculating that this could be the Galaxy Round 2.0 based on the model number configuration.
Other industry analyst are speculating that this could be the Galaxy S5, but I feel that the Galaxy Round 2 is a much better bet, as I fully believe that the Galaxy S5 will be a 4K device with Qualcomm's next-generation Snapdragon processor. In the end though, only time will tell, and wit benchmark results starting to leak out, it is only a matter of time now before we find out what phone this really is.
We've heard rumors of the Galaxy S5 to include a more premium feel, possibly adopting a metal chassis like its competitors' in the HTC One, and iPhone 5S. Well, PhoneArena is now reporting that a new rumor points to metal chassis producer, Catcher, beginning work on the Galaxy S5 chassis.
Samsung is looking to build a massive 10 to 30 million units for the Galaxy S5, which should feature the aforementioned metal chassis. Another tease is reporting that we should expect two versions of the S5, one with the usual, cheaper plastic design, and another with a premium metal finish. We should expect the Galaxy S5 to be quite the flagship from the South Korean company when it launches next year.
This is an odd way to find out about a new smartphone from HTC, but there was a ruling on Tuesday morning that threatened HTC's One smartphone from being pulled from the UK market.
Well, Judge Richard Arnold looks to have slipped that there is an HTC One successor coming very soon. Judge Arnold slipped the news nugget during his decision, where he said: "HTC is close to launching the successor flagship model to the HTC One. HTC has not revealed the launch date. Nokia has adduced evidence which suggests that the launch date is in the first quarter of 2014 and possibly as early as February 2014. HTC has not contradicted this."
The reason behind Judge Arnold bringing up the unreleased, unannounced One successor, is that HTC is worried that its business will suffer (more so than it is now) if the HTC One disappears from the UK market before it can unleash a new smartphone. Judge Arnold says that the HTC One successor will be released in Q1 2014.