Published on March 8 2015

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 may have a serious hardware problem that’s unfixable

Is the honeymoon over already? Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge flagship smartphones less than a week ago, and eager Android fans have been fawning over them ever since. We spent some time with both the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge ahead of Samsung’s announcements, and we can tell you that the hype is indeed warranted.

But according to a new report issued on Thursday, Samsung’s new smartphones may be plagued by a serious hardware problem that cannot be fixed in handsets that have already been built — which means millions of units could potentially be impacted.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge mark a complete departure from the norm for Samsung. The phones finally have premium housings to compliment their premium internal components, and the result is fantastic.

But a recent report suggests that Samsung’s gorgeous new hardware may have a serious problem.

G For Games points us to a report from South Korea-based Asia Today, which may have discovered the issue. According to the Korean news site, the edges of Samsung’s displays do not register touches at all. The problem is apparently much more serious on the S6 model than on the S6 edge, and you can see an illustration of the issue in the video below.

The Galaxy S6 in that video is running a test app that fills in the display with black as you touch each area. As you can see in the video, the edges of the phone’s screen are indeed not registering any touches.

If that is the case, this may not be an issue that can be fixed with a software patch, as the physical components responsible for registering touch input are likely at fault.

We have reached out to Samsung for a comment and will update this post with any official statement the company provides us with.

Article Source: Samsung’s Galaxy S6 may have a serious hardware problem that’s unfixable

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Published on March 8 2015

With the Galaxy S6 having been unveiled by Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) this week, information about the price of the handset is now seeping out too. Samsung has confirmed that the device will be launched in twenty countries when it is released on April 10. While some of the countries in which the smartphone will launch are inevitable, and it would be possible to make an educated guess regarding several others, Samsung has actually kept the identity of these countries to itself thus far.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Worldwide Pricing Leaked

So working out exactly where the Galaxy S6 will launch, and precisely what it will cost when it launches there, is an extremely difficult undertaking. It is also worth remembering that Samsung has specified a different pricing policy for the two models of the Galaxy S6, with the Galaxy S6 Edge being significantly more expensive. However, we do have some indication to go on, and consumers in the United States can already be pretty certain of what they will have to shell out to purchase this flagship smartphone.

T-Mobile leaks US price

Of course, Samsung has yet to officially reveal the price of the Galaxy S6, but leaks in the last 24 hours have given us a very strong indication of what it is likely to be. And fans of Samsung devices have T-Mobile to thank for this information, as the carrier has apparently inadvertently let the United States price slip.

T-Mobile is currently hosting a contest which will enable one fortunate to winner to receive a free galaxy S6 on launch day. Considering the terms and conditions which must form part of such competitions, it is perhaps not surprising that the T & C for this particular promotion have unwillingly revealed more information than was intended.

According to the terms and conditions, the Galaxy S6 being given away in the competition is valued at $699. Although T-Mobile has not specifically indicated which model of the Galaxy S6 will be given away as a prize, contests which have been held by the carrier previously suggest that it will be the entry-level 32 GB version. And not the Galaxy S6 Edge, or any of the devices with a higher storage quotient.

It is interesting to note this price, as it suggests that the Galaxy S6 will retail at a price which is higher than the iPhone 6. This currently retails at $649 for the most affordable version of the Apple Inc. flagship smartphone, although it is worth noting that this is for a less capacitive 16 GB model. With screen resolution ever increasing, and more storage capacity required, it seems that the concept of the 16 GB smartphone will be scrapped in this generation of handsets.

iPhone 6 comparison

Apple also charges $849 for the 128 GB version of the iPhone 6, and the prize indicated in the T-Mobile competition suggests that the Samsung device will be more expensive than this as well. It would seem to be highly likely that the 64 GB version of the Galaxy S6 will retail at $100 more than the competition prize, being priced at $799. And this would make the most expensive version of the standard Galaxy S6 likely to retail at $899.

Of course, these are off-contract prices, and unfortunately there is no indication regarding the contract-based retail price of the Galaxy S6 as of yet. But estimations from analysts have indicated that $199.99 would be a likely price point for the Galaxy S6 on contract in the United States.

The United States was always a certain location for the release of the Galaxy S 6, and although not all of the other locations are known, it has been confirmed that Spain will be among them. This was always highly likely anyway, considering that the device was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. But information identified in the last 24 hours confirms this, and suggests a possible pricing model for the European marketplace.

Galaxy S6 Europe price

Computerworld has carried out a search of the Samsung website that has apparently located the price of the Galaxy S6 in Spain. With the retail prices of consumer electronics in Europe generally heftier than in the United States market, it won’t come as a surprise that this is the case with the Galaxy S6.

It is often the case that dollar prices for the US market can be directly translated into Euro or Sterling equivalents in Europe, and this seems to be the case with the Galaxy S6. Computerworld suggests that based on the search that has been carried out that the Galaxy S6 will retail at €699 when it is released on April 10. This represents a 20 percent increase over the price for the Galaxy S5 when it was released in Europe.

Although no pricing is seemingly available for the new Galaxy S6 Edge model of the device, the general consensus is that this will retail for $100 more in the US market and €100 more in Europe. This would mean that the most expensive standard version of the Galaxy S6 Edge would retail for just under $1,000 in the United States, and slightly less than €1,000 on the European mainland.

There is no indication regarding pricing in the United Kingdom at this point in time; of course, Britain does not utilize the euro, and thus pricing will differ significantly from both Europe and the United States.

Clearly this will not be a cheap device, and it is thought that the new metal casing for the Galaxy S6 has significantly contributed to this. However, although the Galaxy S6 will evidently be more expensive than the iPhone 6, it is perhaps not entirely fair to make this comparison. This is a next generation smartphone, and we will only know whether the price tag of the Galaxy S6 is excessive once the iPhone 7 is also released.

In the meantime, Samsung will be hoping for strong results from the Galaxy S6 range when it is released on April 10 in these twenty mysterious nations.

Article Source: Samsung Galaxy S6 Worldwide Pricing Leaked

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Published on March 3 2015

BlackBerry unveils all-touch five-inch Leap

BlackBerry has unveiled a new mid-range five-inch smartphone, the Leap. Unlike its two most recent handset releases, it's an all-touch device.

Following leaked images that revealed many details of the Leap, BlackBerry has officially taken the wraps off its new "affordable" BlackBerry OS 10 touch smartphone, a device that looks similar to last year's BlackBerry Z3 but with slightly improved specs.

The Leap comes with a five-inch HD display at 1280 x 720 pixel resolution (294 pixels per inch), while offering an eight-megapixel rear camera and two-megapixel front camera. The camera specs are fairly low for a mid-range device, but mark an improvement on the Z3's five-megapixel and 1.1-megapixel camera pairing.

BlackBerry Passport: Can this square smartphone give BlackBerry a new angle?

Memory and storage specs for the Leap include 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal of storage, and a microSD card that supports up to 128GB. The Leap is powered by Qualcomm's MSM 8960 (aka Snapdragon S4) 1.5GHz processor, and packs a 2800mAh non-removable battery. The device also supports 4G LTE.

With middle-of-the road specs, BlackBerry is targeting the device at upwardly mobile professionals who value the company's security credentials.

"BlackBerry Leap was built specifically for mobile professionals who see their smartphone device as a powerful and durable productivity tool that also safeguards sensitive communications at all times," Ron Louks, BlackBerry's president of devices and emerging solutions, said.

BlackBerry unveiled the new device at this week's Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain, the same event it used to launch the Z3 last year. The company hasn't released pricing and availability details for the Leap yet.

The release comes on the heels of the BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 update that brought the Amazon Appstore to all BlackBerry OS 10 devices. This gives BlackBerry users access to over 200,000 more apps than were available through BlackBerry's own app store, BlackBerry World. The Amazon App Store had originally been made available only to the Qwerty keyboard BlackBerry Passport. The Leap will ship with BlackBerry OS 10.3.1.

The Leap's software features include the BlackBerry Keyboard, the BlackBerry Blend tool to bring messaging and content from the Leap to the user's computer or tablet, and BlackBerry Assistant, BlackBerry's answer to Siri.

BlackBerry's recent hardware releases - such as BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic - have taken the company back to its roots as a maker of high-quality Qwerty keyboard devices. The Classic, in particular, reintroduced classic navigation keys, which included a phonecall key, menu key, trackpad, back button, and an end call key. These were missing from devices like the Q5 and Q10.

At MWC, BlackBerry also revealed the Classic would be available in blue, bronze, and white, and showed off a new BlackBerry device with a slider keyboard.

Article Source: BlackBerry unveils all-touch five-inch Leap

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Published on March 3 2015

Xiaomi launches the Yi Action Camera with a spec sheet to match GoPro's entry-level camera and two-digit price tag.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has brought its budget-friendly sensibilities to the action camera world, and the result is enough to make even the most ardent GoPro owner stop in their tracks. Xiaomi's Yi Action Camera is a compact action-travel camera made for the non-sedentary photographer.

Like the entry-level GoPro Hero, the Yi Action Camera comes with comparatively powerful photo and video capabilities, despite its diminutive size. The new Chinese camera is priced at 399 RMB (about $65, AU$85 or £40) -- half the GoPro Hero's retail price of $130.

Despite the big price gap, the Yi actually meets the GoPro Hero's specs head-on -- at least on paper.

Both cameras share a few features in common, such as built-in Wi-Fi for file transfers and remote control via companion apps. The two cameras also have similar battery capacity, identical waterproof depth, and the handy option of bracket-mounting the device on your chosen helmet, pet harness, or vehicle.

However, the Yi pulls ahead in video quality. The GoPro Hero shoots at a 5-megapixel resolution and records 1080p video at 30fps or 720p video at 30fps. The Yi Action Camera is powered by an Ambarella A7LS image processor paired with Sony's back-illuminated Exmor R BSI CMOS image sensor, which enables it to shoot photos at 16 megapixels and record 1080p video at 60fps, outclassing the GoPro ever so slightly. The Yi Action Camera is also significantly lighter -- 72g, versus the 111g GoPro Hero.

The GoPro Hero does have a wider viewing angle -- 170 degrees against the Yi Action Camera's 155 degrees, and GoPro's brand ubiquity comes along with a host of accessories and transparent plastic camera housing, which the Yi Action Camera lacks. The Chinese action camera does come with a 499 RMB ($80, AU$105 or £55) option, which bundles only a proprietary selfie stick, along with a choice of white- or olive-coloured camera body.

What dampens some of the excitement for the Yi Action Camera is the notoriously limited availability of Xiaomi's products. The Yi Action Camera is currently available only in the Chinese market and subject to Xiaomi's flash sales through its online Mi store.

Article Source: Xiaomi launches GoPro rival with a jaw-dropping price tag

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Published on March 1 2015

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z4: what to expect

With smartphones such as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 and Sony Xperia Z4, it feels wrong to expect anything short of greatness. But here at PhoneArena, it's not our job to merely tell you how great these two will be, list a few weak points to remain unbiased, and move on to other things mobile! No - these two are due for a proper early look at their design, hardware, and functional peculiarities. And we have to tell you, comparing a Samsung flagship smartphone to a Xperia flagship has never felt so right! This time, Samsung has the design and build quality to match Sony's impeccable form, which the Japanese mogul has been perfecting since the original Xperia Z from early 2013. This makes it all the more interesting to compare the two flagships, not to mention how this will reflect on the two's market performance! Now, here are our early expectations based on what we know prior to these hotshot handsets' annoncements.

Samsung is going for big changes, introducing a revamped style for the Galaxy S6. The leaked materials and rumors we've experienced so far singularly point towards a finely sculpted metal frame holding together front and back panels made of glass. This is a huge step up over cheap plastic, we believe! Moreover, the flagship smartphone's exact dimensions are familiar to us as well, thanks to case manufacturers having a hard time containing their... hm, excitement over the Galaxy S6. Mr. Flagship here will measure somewhere around 5.64 x 2.79 x 0.27 inches (143.3 x 70.81 x 6.9 mm), making for a pretty thin smartphone that's slightly shorter and more rectangular than its predecessor.

Whoa! How does the Xperia Z4 stand up against that? Easy - the stuff Samsung is trying for the first time, Sony has been doing for the past four years! The fourth-generation Xperia will have design and build quality that feel every bit as premium as both its predecessors down to the original Xperia Z, and the Samsung Galaxy S6. So no worries there, Sony fans - the Xperia Z4 even has a considerable edge against the S6 with its dust and water ingress protection, which will endow it with the superpower of... not dying immediately after one drops it in the pond? Fair enough!

Being an upgrade to the Galaxy S5 in every major department, the Galaxy S6 might up the ante with a 5.1-inch AMOLED display treated to a bonkers 1440x2560 resolutio. This will result in a pixel density of 576 pixels per inch that only one smartphone in existence - the Galaxy S5 LTE-A, funny enough - can rival! Since Samsung perfected the Quad-HD AMOLED display with the Galaxy Note 4, out of the Galaxy S6, we expect nothing short of a candidate for 2015's best 2K display on a smartphone. That is, unless Samsung does something weird to the colors - remembe the Galaxy S5's Hulk-ish tint?

The Xperia Z4 will stand against that with a promising 5.2-inch panel - or two. Not, it won't have two screens (not even in Russia!), it's just that it's rumored to come in both 1080p resolution and 1440p resolution variants for different markets. We don't know how good of a job Sony's engineers will do tuning those displays, but if the Galaxy S6's screen is anything like the Galaxy Note 4's, they will definitely have a touch time matching it. It's not impossible, though, if Sony gives it its best!

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z4: what to expect

TouchWiz is the single most debated Android manufacturer skin in the operating system's history. It's mostly for all the bad reasons - you know them - drab looks, feature bloat, and lag. But the reality is very different nowadays, as TouchWiz's evolution has led it to a highly pleasant form with a slimmed down feature set, tidy visuals, and good speed in general. That's not its final form, though - we're yet to see the best of TouchWiz, and the Galaxy S6 will be the first opportunity to see how it evolved over the span of a year. For starters, we know Samsung tightened things up even further, and TouchWiz might also let users personalize the interface in greater detail than ever before! The Galaxy S6 will also ship running Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, and having the latest Android on disposal is good news.

As for Sony's Xperia UI, it is nowhere near as flashy, or frankly, notorious as Samsung's TouchWiz. It's a lightweight, don't-get-in-the-way skin that relies on transparent elements, fluid animations, and a decided focus on multimedia apps and content. It also packs some sensible functionality, such as shortcuts to mini-apps, Smart TV connectivity options, the Walkman player, and many other nuggets that make Sony smartphones integrate splendidly with other Sony gadgets - such as television sets, the PlayStation 4, and more.

For the first time ever, Samsung is betting on homegrown processor technology for a major product's global release. The company is confident in its own octa-core Exynos 7420 processor to the point of passing on Qualcomm's ubiquitous Snapdragon 810 processor entirely. Juding by the preliminary benchmarks and the fact this SoC is made on a more-cutting-than-cutting-edge 14nm fab process, the Exynos 7420 seems up for the challenge of powering a 2015 flagship smartphone. But we can't see that further into the future yet, so for the time being, let's just rest assured that the Galaxy S6 most likely has the goods to perform like a champ!

Meanwhile, the Sony Xperia Z4 is not shying away from Qualcomm's established chipset prowess, sporting a Snapdragon 810 SoC and, as rumors spell it, 3GB of RAM for the 1080p variant and 4GB for the 1440p version. Although this certainly sound respectable, Samsung might be hiding a trump card in plain sight! We're talking about really fast flash memory - allegedly, up to 2.7 times faster than what your smartphone probably has at the moment - which will do wonders for its app and interface loading times. So watch out, Sony fans - that Galaxy S6 approaching in the side mirror might just overtake you on the highway!

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z4: what to expect

Rumors have been pointing towards a 16MP or a 20MP camera for the Galaxy S6. Samsung could source a camera sensor from Sony or Toshiba, or it could continue down its DIY path and opt for one of its home-grown ISOCELL sensors. Regardless of the megapixel count, the Galaxy S6 should be able to land respectable photos in both daylight and low-light situations. We've already seen the Galaxy Note 4 perform better than the Galaxy S5, which is still a sweet cameraphone to have, so the only path from now on is on an upward trajectory! As for the front cam, it's expected to clock in at 5 megapixels, which is a welcome upgrade over the Galaxy S5's 2.1MP cam.

As for the Xperia Z4, it might flaunt Sony's latest Exmor RS IMX230 imaging sensor, which is of the 1/2.4", 21MP sensor kind. It boasts image plane phase detection autofocus and 192 AF points, additions that could enable blur-free tracking and snapping of fast moving objects, along with real-time HDR images. Sounds great, but the IMX230 will be put in mass production as late as April 2015, so don't be surprised if the Xperia Z4 shows up with last year's 20.7 MP 1/2.3” Exmor RS sensor with 1.12 micron pixels - which is fine by us, as long as Sony tunes it to come up with the best possible photos - not plain average ones. As for the front camera, a 5MP unit is expected to handle your mesmerizing selfie shots.

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z4: what to expect

If you're wondering where you'll be able to get the Galaxy S6 in the USA, stop wondering. It's the Galaxy S6. Everyone will have it because almost everyone wants to have it! Thus, the S6 should be up in Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile's roster very soon after its impending MWC announcement. But if you're looking to buy an unlocked unit, we're afraid you'll have to save well above $600 to be able to afford it!

the Sony Xperia Z4, unfortunately, might appear as late as May or June, flaunting a similar price tag, but ending up with T-Mobile USA as the sole stateside carrier to offer it with a contract. That's just speculation, though, so sit tight - there might be better news to come down the road!

Article Source: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Sony Xperia Z4: what to expect

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Published on March 1 2015

Microsoft is holding a press event at Mobile World Congress tomorrow morning to announce new Lumia devices, but that’s not stopping the software maker from revealing things a little early. Microsoft’s news center accidentally published a blank article announcing the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL, two new Windows Phone devices. Rumors have suggested Microsoft is launching two new low-end devices, and the numbering scheme appears to indicate that’s the plan.

The Lumia 640 XL is presumably a bigger version of the Lumia 640, and it appears Microsoft is dropping part of its confusing numbering scheme in favor or the simplified XL moniker. Leaked specifications suggest that the Lumia 640 will be a 5-inch device with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, all powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 processor. The same leak also claims that Microsoft is placing an 8-megapixel camera at the rear of the device and a 1-megapixel camera at the front. Little is known about the Lumia 640 XL, but many expect the company to unveil a Lumia 1320 successor, so it’s likely to be bigger than the 5-inch Lumia 640 model.

The Verge will be covering Microsoft’s press event tomorrow morning from 2:30AM ET, so stay tuned for more coverage of Microsoft’s Lumia plans.

Article Source: Microsoft accidentally announces the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL

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