Posts with #tech news tag

Published on June 6 2017

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 has leaked with a huge display panel

Live video footage of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8's front fascia, together with still images, have rocked up online, outing the handset's design. Amongst the details apparently confirmed by this leak is a larger form factor, or at least taller, to accomdate the biggest Samsung Galaxy Note phablet display to date. The phone will apparently sport the same 18.5:9 Infinitity OLED display design as the Galaxy S8 series in a 6.3in display; 0.6in bigger than the Note 7's screen.

The leak comes via reputable source SamMobile, which has provided a lot of accurate information, details, and images in the past. The video and images appear to show the rumoured 6.3in display panel. 

But with that said, the increase in size of the display will not hugely impact the overall size of the phone relative to what's come before. This is because, as per the earlier rumours, the leak indicates Samsung will use the same Infinity Display design it used in the Galaxy S8 series to cram a much larger curved OLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio into a svelte (but tall) bodyshell with a very narrow bezel around the edge. Case in point, the Galaxy S8+ has a 6.2in display and it is by no means an oversized phone.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will feature an “infinity display” just like the ultra-popular Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. As usual, I’d expect the rest of the phone to be more angular than its S8 counterparts. No one wants a carbon copy, and this is why Samsung does mix things up a bit in the design departments of its Note releases.

Personally, I ALWAYS prefer Samsung’s Note releases to its Galaxy S one’s. I think the phones are always more exciting and, because they always launch later in the year, they tend to feature slightly better technology and specs. I also like the S-Pen, which has gotten dramatically better in recent years.

Parity with things like software and imaging mean the Note sets itself apart through design and the inclusion on an S-Pen; if that’s your thang, you wait for the Note. If not, you go with the Samsung Galaxy S.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

Will the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 use a 4K display? Multiple rumours during the past six months have stated, rather matter of factly, that, YES, the Galaxy Note 8 will use a 4K OLED panel. The reason? Better VR experiences, apparently.

Personally, I’m still very much on the fence about this one: 4K displays are kind of gimmicky at the moment and I don’t think the VR angle, seeing that VR usage isn’t that big at the moment, is actually worth it when you consider the effect a 4K display will have on battery life.

The other possibility is that Samsung runs a dual-QHD/4K display, whereby the 4K panel is only activated when the phone is used inside a VR headset or when the user selects to it work. This could work; Samsung’s Galaxy S8 does something similar with 1080p/QHD resolutions.

Another key feature seems to be one that has long been rumoured elsewhere - we've heard numerous reports about the iPhone 8 and prior to that the Galaxy S8 series initially being planned with a fingerprint scanner under the display glass, but in both cases this allegedly proved too difficult to implement.

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Samsung’s EPIC 0% Finance Deal RETURNS

Not so long ago, Samsung ran a 0% finance offer across all of its products. Normally, I avoid finance like the plague; I’d much rather save and pay cash. That way, I can haggle down the price when buying in-store.

However, 0% finance is a beautiful thing as it let’s you spread the cost of a massive purchase over a certain period of time. Example: it is hard to save $1400 for a new 4K TV, but spending $150 a month on it for 24 months is a lot more palatable – especially when there’s no interest.

This 0% finance initiative applies to ALL Samsung products, meaning you can pick up the new – and amazing – Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, as well as smartwatches, smart home kit and, of course, HDTVs.

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Samsung ended up putting the Galaxy S8 scanner on the rear panel next  to the camera sensor, but for the Galaxy Note 8 it isn't visible anywhere, leading us to suspect that either the fingerprint scanner is under the display glass or alternatively Samsung may have opted for retina and/or face scanning technology.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

SamMobile and Forbes also reiterate a dual-sensor camera setup, something which was rumoured and even prototyped for the Galaxy S8 series but did not make it to the final product.

Dutch website GalaxyClub is also now corroborating reports that the Galaxy Note 8 will feautre an 18.5:9 "Infinity Display"; the site says it can confirm Samsung is in fact currently testing Galaxy Note 8 prototype units which are also running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It suggests the Galaxy Note 8 will run this version straight out the box, which would be a first for Samsung's stable, as up until now they have run Android 7.0 and have had subsequent updates.

"We can confirm that the Galaxy Note 8 has the same aspect ratio as the Galaxy S 8: 18.5: 9. In fact, this means that the device has a similar Infinity display," said the report, adding that this means a physical Home key is unlikely.

DO NOT Expect Android Oreo, Though… 

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 will not ship with Android Oreo and that tells us two things about the phone: 1) it’s either launching before the release of Android Oreo or, 2) Samsung is as rubbish as ever at getting the latest builds of Android onto its new, flagship phones. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is now being tested with Android Nougat, the OS it will launch with, before being updated to Android Oreo (likely at a much later date; the Galaxy S7 took six months, for instance). As for an actual release date, word on the street suggests a late August launch right before IFA 2017 kicks off. 

"It’s believed that the new Note 8 could feature a fingerprint scanner embedded under the display," reports Express. 

It added: "It’s thought that Samsung wanted to include this on their S8 flagship but ran out of time perfecting the technology. It's also possible that Samsung will continue to develop its Iris and facial recognition making perform with more accuracy than the current S8.

In addition, we're now seeing news that Samsung will soon launch a new edition of the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in India - this is the 6GB RAM, 128GB storage variant already released as an exclusive in China and South Korea. Aside from the RAM and storage this is identical to the existing international model and still uses the Exynos processor.

Until now, Samsung has consistently launched these larger storage and higher RAM capacity models only in South Korea and China, both for the Galaxy S7 series and the Galaxy Note 7, so this is the first time it's also been extended to India.

What does this mean for the Galaxy Note 8? Well it depends what happens between now and the launch, but we're expecting it's an indication that Samsung may expand its storage options further afield in terms of availability.

We'd like to think the 128GB Galaxy S8+ will make its way to Europe also; if it does we think it's highly likely that a 128GB Galaxy Note 8 will too. But even if the 128GB Galaxy S8+ remains exclusive to China, South Korea and India, there is still a possibility that Samsung will bring a 128GB Galaxy Note 8 to wider distribution.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

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Article Source: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Design LEAKS With Massive (4K?) Display

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Written by Vincy

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Published on May 13 2017

Samsung already confirmed that a refurbished version of the Galaxy Note 7 will return to stores this year in certain markets, without specifying a firm release date or pricing for the handset. A new report from Korea indicates that the launch is now imminent, and the phone is expected to be priced about 50% cheaper than the original.

Citing a report in Chosun Ilbo, The Investor says the phone will be released in Korea as soon as this month.

Samsung recently gained approval from the FCC in the United States and plans to soon apply for safety certification with the local regulator, the National Radio Research Agency. The approval process takes up to a month which means the phone could be in stores in early June at the soonest.

In a comment, Samsung confirmed the Galaxy Note 7R — that’s the name for the safe Galaxy Note 7 version — will launch before the Galaxy Note 8 debuts. “We have not yet decided on the phone’s launch schedule,” a Samsung official said. “We plan to launch the phone before the Galaxy Note 8 that comes out later this year.”

Leaked information indicates the Galaxy Note 7R will sport a smaller 3,200 mAh battery and run Android 7.1.1 out of the box. Comparatively, the original handset had a 3,500 mAh battery pack and launched with Android 6.0.1 on board.

While Samsung seems ready to unleash the Galaxy Note 7R in its home market, it’s unknown at this time which other markets will receive the handset, or if it’s heading to the US or not. What we do know is that Samsung has around 3 million Galaxy Note 7 units in its warehouses that need to be disposed of one way or another.

Article Source: The new Galaxy Note 7 that won’t explode launches soon for about half the price

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Written by Alice

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Published on May 3 2017

Samsung CONFIRMS Galaxy Note 8 Release For 2H 2017

We knew it was coming, but it’s always good to hear it direct from the horse’s mouth

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will get a release later on in 2017. We all know this. But Samsung has now confirmed this is actually the case; and this is odd because normally handset-makers seldom utter anything about new handsets before they’re official.

But then Samsung has a lot of achievements to unlock in 2017. For starters, it has to beat Apple’s iPhone 8; second, make up for last year’s Note 7; and, finally, it needs to reassert itself as the de facto king of the phone space.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 launch went swimmingly; reviews were extremely positive, our’s included, and analysts expect Samsung to sell a record number of Galaxy S8 units in 2017/18.

The company, however, is keen to do the same with its Galaxy Note 8 handset as well – this is likely why it is already talking-up the handset in official press releases.

“As for the year ahead,” said Samsung in a press release, “Samsung anticipates market demand in smartphones to slightly increase with solid replacement demand growth in the mid- to high-end segment.”

It added: “However, competition is expected to intensify with newly launched smartphones in the market. The company will aim to improve performance YoY by maximizing sales of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and successfully launching a new flagship smartphone in the second half. In addition, the company will maintain profitability in the mid- to low-end segment.”

The “new flagship smartphone”, in case you were wondering, is the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung acknowledged the handset earlier on in 2017 as well, saying it was working on making the Galaxy Note 8 a safer, more innovative release than its predecessor.

Normally, Samsung’s Note releases tend to be more exciting than its Galaxy S one’s. And this year’s Galaxy Note 8 seems certain to carry on that tradition. Expect massive specs, a new design and likely some of the best imaging ever from its new camera tech.

Article Source: Samsung CONFIRMS Galaxy Note 8 Release For 2H 2017

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Written by Henry

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Published on April 27 2017

Chinese Smartphone Makers Are Catching Up With Apple

Of the 3 billion people in the world who actively use smartphones and tablets in the world today, more than a third are using a product made by Apple. That won’t come as a huge surprise to most, but what’s intriguing about the future is how the top five Chinese smartphone vendors by active users are catching up.

 

In aggregate, they make up 30.2% of actively used mobile devices in the world today, versus Apple’s 34.8%, according to a fourth quarter report on the global mobile industry from market intelligence firm Newzoo.

The China growth story is happening in apps too. China has already overtaken the U.S. (as of 2015) in how much money its consumers spend on apps. In 2016, Chinese consumers spent $11.9 billion on apps, versus $9.4 billion in the U.S. and that number will probably continue to diverge as, Newzoo says.

 

According to its research, five smartphone makers from China are among the top 10 vendors by active users globally. They include Huawei at number 3 with 5.4% of global market share, Xiaomi with its Mi series of smartphone and tablets, Lenovo, Oppo and Vivo.

Samsung is in second place globally with 23.5% of global active mobile users.

Newzoo’s report, which was released in late 2016 but highlighted by chart-maker Statista on Wednesday, said that by the end of last year some 31% of the globe population would be active smartphone users.

 

Nearly half of those users, or 49%, are in Asia Pacific. The lowest smartphone penetration is in the Middle East and Africa, where just 19% of the population actively use smartphones.

 

Article Source: Chinese Smartphone Makers Are Catching Up With Apple

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Written by Alice

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Published on April 24 2017

HTC Ocean/HTC U 11: leaks, news, and rumors

Known as the HTC Ocean since rumors began, the HTC U 11 appears to be the final name for the device, which has been given an official announcement date by the company. It’s also teasing a very unusual feature; one that may have you squeezing the phone more than usual! Here’s everything we know about the HTC U 11, or HTC Ocean as it was previously known, so far.

 

Release date

Rumors about the phone have been swirling for months, but now we have the official announcement date for the HTC U 11, which was confirmed to be the final name for the HTC Ocean, as per a new report from Venturebeat. The “U” indicates the family of phones the newest handset will join (the U Ultra and the U Play), whereas the “11” denotes that the phone succeeds the HTC 10, the company’s last flagship phone released in 2016.

 

HTC has started distributing invitations for a launch event that will take place on May 16, and it’s not being very subtle about the phone it will introduce. The invite shows a large, stylized letter U in the center, with the tag line “Squeeze for the brilliant.” Yes, really.



 

HTC Ocean/HTC U 11: leaks, news, and rumors

The squeezing part of the teaser links to rumors the phone will have pressure sensitive pads in its sides, for activating certain features. Additionally, HTC also tweeted a short video showing a glimpse of the phone, and hinting at this squeezable functionality. 

HTC Ocean/HTC U 11: leaks, news, and rumors

HTC’s event will be held at 2 p.m. in Taipei, Taiwan, which means it will be an early start for anyone in New York, where that time converts to 2 a.m., and in London, where it’s 7 a.m.

Design.

Our first supposed image of HTC’s new flagship comes courtesy of well-known Twitter leaker Evan Blass. The device shown unsurprisingly mimics the recently revealed HTC U Ultra, with a glossy backside, center-mounted camera, and minimal bezels to the left and right of the screen.



 

HTC Ocean/HTC U 11: leaks, news, and rumors

It’s also very evocative of the jet black iPhone 7. Those chunky bezels at the top and bottom are a dead ringer for Apple’s device, and are rather dated in light of recent output from companies like LG, Samsung, and Xiaomi, which have all been attempting to cut down on unused surface space as much as possible.

 

Naming: Is HTC Ocean really the HTC U 11?

The HTC Ocean is going to be called the HTC U 11 when it’s released. It will be the third device in the HTC U series — following the HTC U Play and HTC U Ultra — and the U name has been used in HTC’s teaser material for the phone’s May 16 launch. And because it’s part of the U family, the phone will feature the line’s signature vibrant color, and customers will be able to choose among white, black, blue, red, and silver.

Previous rumors, from Taiwanese news outlet ePrice, suggested the Ocean was a series of three phones, called “Master,” “Note,” and “Smart,” which backs a previous leak from Twitter user LlabTooFer. Presumably, the “Note” will have a larger display, the “Master” will offer higher specs, and the “Smart” will be the base model. The Note will offer storage options of 64GB and 128GB, ePrice says, but that’s all we know about the phone’s specs.

 

Software

 

HTC appears to be planning a number of additional software features atop Android 7.1 Nougat to enhance the camera and audio experience on the U/Ocean, according to pre-release materials obtained by Android Headlines. First and foremost is an HDR+ mode touting real-time scene detection, which would reportedly show HDR processing through the viewfinder before snapping a picture.

 

The leak also mentions two audio recording methods that use the phone’s four microphones in different ways. The 3D Audio option attempts to create a surround sound effect, while another Hi-Res setting is geared toward capturing lossless audio. Like other HTC devices, BoomSound should aid in playback from the Ocean’s double front-facing speakers. There’s also USonic, software that will supposedly allow users to develop a custom listening profile when using headphones that is tuned specifically for their ears.

 

Android Headlines has also reported the phone will release in tandem with HTC’s new SenseLink desktop software, which sports some basic connectivity features like notification viewing and read-it-later functionality, as well as the ability to easily move content between the device and a PC.

 

Specs

So what kind of specs should we expect from the phone? According to an article from VentureBeat, the device will be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The device will also sport a 2560 x 1440-pixel display, and will have a 16-megapixel Sony IMX351 camera on the back coupled with a 12-megapixel Sony IMX362 camera on the front.

 

Android Headlines corroborates the processor and display reports, while adding information on the storage, RAM, and battery. It could launch in two variations: One with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, and another with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. According to the preview materials, the phone will ship with a 3,000mAh battery featuring support for Quick Charge 3.0.

 

New input methods, secondary displays, and other quirks

When we saw the concept design of what was then called the HTC Ocean, many assumed that the touch-sensitive frame would remain just that: a concept. Now, however, it seems as though that frame has become a very important part of the phone, according to known leaker Evan Blass in an article from VentureBeat.

An HTC designer earlier posted a concept video highlighting some of the best features of the phone. In particular, the video shows off what appears to be a touch-sensitive frame, which would make it possible to control the phone’s software in a similar way to how the edge is used on Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge series. A leak from Mobile01 suggests this feature is called “Edge Sense,” based on a series of screenshots of the phone’s settings menu.

Images of another phone, called the Ocean Master, have also previously leaked on Chinese social media network Weibo, showing what appears to be a phone with a glass frame like the Galaxy S7 and a second display similar to the LG V10 and V20.

That second display would be used for things like app shortcuts and notifications, exactly like the LG V20, but it’s possible that HTC would also have something special planned for the phone. In general, the phone looks very sleek, and marks a pretty radical design shift for the company, which has long stuck with an aluminum unibody design for its flagship phones.

 

The images have a date stamp of January 5, with the location being Las Vegas — so it seems as though HTC may have had them at January’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Article Source: HTC Ocean/HTC U 11: leaks, news, and rumors

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Written by Sira

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Published on April 20 2017

Xiaomi Mi 6 packs Snapdragon 835, dual-lens cameras, slick design for $365

Xiaomi’s long-awaited Mi 6 smartphone is here. A stunning, curvy body houses the most desirable processor out there at the moment: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, currently only found in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony’s forthcoming Xperia XZ Premium. It’s cheaper than both these phones too, at around $365; but the same old Xiaomi problem still exists: You will have to import one to get it.

 

It’s a compact phone with a 5.15-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution screen. This is underneath a piece of curved glass, which extends round the back of the phone, and is matched to a stainless steel chassis. The design is an obvious evolution of the Xiaomi Mi 5, and retains the physical home button and fingerprint sensor below the display on the front. On the back there are now two camera lenses, elevating the Mi 6 to the same level as competing phones from Huawei, Honor, and LG.

 

The dual lenses both have 12-megapixels and operate in the same way as Apple and Huawei’s setup, allowing a 2x optical zoom and replicating the desirable bokeh blurred background effect. Xiaomi previously introduced dual-camera lenses on the Redmi Pro and the Mi 5s Plus, but neither work in exactly the same manner as the Mi 6. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs next to the Huawei P10, which has the feature down almost to perfection. Xiaomi’s rear camera also has four-axis optical image stabilization, and brings the beautification mode seen on the 8-megapixel selfie cam to the rear cam too.

 

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor powers the Mi 6, and it’s the first phone to offer the chip in China. It’s paired with 6GB of RAM and a choice of 64GB or128GB of internal storage space. A 3,350mAh battery provides the energy, plus there’s NFC, an under-glass fingerprint sensor, stereo speakers, highly capable 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, USB Type-C, and basic splash resistance. Android will be installed with Xiaomi’s MIUI software over the top. What’s missing? A 3.5mm headphone jack, and if we’re being difficult about things, a bezel-less display.


 

Xiaomi Mi 6 packs Snapdragon 835, dual-lens cameras, slick design for $365

Xiaomi will make the Mi 6 in black, white, blue or a beautiful silver, plus a special ceramic edition with 18-karat gold camera trim, just like the limited edition Mi Mix. The ceramic Mi 6 will be the most expensive at the equivalent of $435 at today’s exchange rate, while the 128GB model in any other color will be around $420, and the 64GB Mi 6 will cost about $365. All will be available in China from April 28.

Article Source: Xiaomi Mi 6 packs Snapdragon 835, dual-lens cameras, slick design for $365

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Published on April 20 2017

Samsung has unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, at its "Unpacked 2017" event in New York.

Sporting an all-glass design, curved screen, digital home button and wireless charging, the Galaxy S8 is set to go head-to-head with Apple's iPhone 7 - and the iPhone 8 when it launches later this year.

Whether you bought a Galaxy Note 7 and were forced to return it due to overheating issues, or you've simply been holding out on an upgrade to see what Samsung has in store, the Galaxy S8 is unlikley to disappoint with its roster of high-end specs.

From its slim design and barely-there bezels to its eye-catching display and biometric security features, this is undoubtedly one of the best smartphones money can buy right now.

Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

Here's what you need to know:

Design

The new device has an all-glass body, and is slim and long compared to most modern smartphones, designed to be held in one hand.

The Galaxy S8 comes in two sizes - the S8 with a 5.8-inch display, measuring 148.9 x 68.1 x8.0 mm, and the S8+ with a 6.2-inch display, measuring 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm.

The physical Home button has been removed, and replaced with a pressure-sensitive panel placed underneath the screen, so that the front of the device is a sheer pane of glass.

The fingerprint reader is now located on the back of the phone, next to the camera module, and is designed to be used with an index finger rather than a thumb. The phone also supports iris scanning for added security.

Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

Despite rumours that Samsung was planning to follow Apple in ditching the headphone jack , the Galaxy S8 has retained this feature. The smartphone also comes with a pair of high-performance AKG by Harman headphones in the box.

Display

The reason for the Galaxy S8's unusual shape is its ultra-wide display, which has an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 rather than the conventional 16:9, and extremely narrow bezels around the edge of the screen.

Samsung describes the display as "Quad HD+", which is the same classification as the recently launched LG G6 , and translates to a screen resolution of 2960x1440 pixels.

It is also the world's first mobile device certified by the UHD Alliance as "Mobile HDR Premium", meaning it lets you see the vibrant colours and contrasts that filmmakers intended while watching your favourite shows.

Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

eatures and specs

The Galaxy S8 features a 12-Megapixel "Dual Pixel" camera on the back, for improved low-light, zoom and anti-blur photos, and an 8-Megapixel selfie camera with smart autofocus on the front.

It has an IP68 rating, which means it is water resistant to a maximum depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes, and is protected from dust, dirt and sand without the need for extra caps or covers.

The Galaxy S8 boasts the industry's first 10nm chip, which Samsung claims enables heightened speed and efficiency. It also contains 6GB RAM and 64GB of in-built storage, expandable up to 256GB with a MicroSD card.

Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

The smaller model has a 3,000 mAh battery, while the larger one has a 3,500 mAh battery. Both offer a choice of wired or wireless charging.

Software

Both devices run the latest version of Google's operating system, Android 7.0 Nougat .

This includes new productivity features such as multi-tasking, which allows two apps to run on-screen at the same time, so you can continue watching a video on YouTube while replying to an email.

The Galaxy S8 also comes with the Edge software, which allows you to add shortcuts to contacts and apps in a pull-out panel on the edge of the display, and enhanced security features.

Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

As well as the fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy S8 features an iris scanner and facial recognition software, so users can choose their preferred biometric authentication method.

Bixby personal assistant

Samsung's Galaxy S8 come with a new artificially intelligent personal assistant called Bixby .

Like Apple's Siri, Bixby responds to spoken commands, allowing users to control their phones with their voices alone.

However, Samsung claims that Bixby offers a "deeper experience" than other voice agents or assistants in the market.

Firstly, when using a Bixby-enabled application, Samsung's personal assistant can support almost every task that the application is capable of performing - so you don't have to remember which features work with voice command and which don't.

Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

Secondly, you can call upon Bixby at any time and it will understand the current context and state of the application, allowing you to continue what you're doing without interruption.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 comes with a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the device, which you can press to call up the virtual assistant.

To begin with, only a subset of pre-installed applications will be Bixby-enabled, but this set will continue to expand over time.

Release date

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will launch in the UK and Europe on April 28.

It will be available in two colour variants - Midnight Black and Orchid Grey - with potential availability of a third colour, Arctic Silver, to be announced in due course.

Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

UK pre-orders are open from March 29 until April 19 on Samsung.com/uk , and from select operators and retailers. Pre-order customers will receive their devices from 20 April, subject to stock availability.

Price

The Samsung Galaxy S8 costs £689 up-front, while the S8+ costs £779.

If you can't afford to splash out the full price of the Galaxy S8 all in one go, you can pay it off in monthly installments with a tariff contract from one of the major networks.

EE, Vodafone, O2, Tree, Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media have all confirmed that they will be stocking the device. More information is available by clicking the link below.

Article Source: Samsung Galaxy S8: UK release date, price, specs and features of Samsung's new flagship smartphone

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Written by Wicki

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Published on April 20 2017

We've speculated that Samsung was holding back a two-camera setup on the Galaxy S8, so it can introduce the design on the upcoming Galaxy Note 8. And apparently, we're not alone.

Apart from the Note family's stylus, the dual camera mount on the Note 8's back could be the most significant design difference from the S8 and larger Galaxy S8 Plus, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. If true, that would make the Note 8 the first dual-camera Samsung phone.

With the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus making their way to buyers' hands this week to generally positive reviews, Samsung could be getting the home run it needs to extinguish any flames of mistrust left from the Galaxy Note 7 recall. (Claiming a large amount of preorders it seems like Samsung did just that.) However, CNET and others have pointed out some flaws that Samsung could fix in the Note 8, including jumping on the dual camera trend followed by Apple, LG and Huawei.

Specifically, the iPhone 7 Plus, Xiaomi Mi 6, LG G6, and Huawei P10 all boast two rear cameras, and the list goes on. The Note 8 could give Samsung the perfect opportunity to catch up to the cameras offered by its rivals. Otherwise a non-dual-camera premium phone may soon feel outdated.

What are the issues? The Galaxy S8 won't ship with the voice part of its Bixby AI assistant (but that should roll out to phone owners on April 21). And the awkward placement of the fingerprint sensor makes for inaccurate unlocking (the iris scanner doesn't work 100 percent of the time, either).

As for the Note 8 camera lenses, one is rumored to be a 12-megapixel wide angle camera, while the other a 13-megapixel telephoto sensor.

Keep in mind that the Galaxy S8 was also rumored to get dual-cameras, and since then alleged S8 Plus prototypes leaks show off a dual-camera setup. Even Samsung itself tweeted about dual-camera support in its Exynos 9 chip, but the company doesn't currently make any phones that could take advantage of this...yet

The Note 8 is also rumored to get a 6.4-inch Quad HD+ display, Snapdragon 835/Exynos 9 processors, and a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, according to KGI. If this ends up being true and Samsung keeps the fingerprint sensor on the back, let's at least hope that it doesn't result in smudges on those dual-cameras.

Samsung declined to comment.

Article Source: Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 may get dual-cameras, unlike the S8, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo

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Written by Lucky

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Published on April 18 2017

Spoilsport Samsung won’t let you remap the Galaxy S8’s Bixby button to other apps

One of the key differences between Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and its previous flagships is the inclusion of a hardware button on the side to invoke Bixby, the company’s new virtual assistant software.

Given that Bixby’s voice features won’t even work when the device launches, you’d be right to want to remap that button to launch other apps, like Google Assistant. That was possible for a bit, but it looks like Samsung is now locking down the button so you can’t reconfigure it.

That’s according to flar2, the developer behind Button Mapper, an app that lets you remap your phone’s hardware keys for various actions. According to XDA Developers, flar2 noted while updating his app that the Bixby button support no longer worked as Samsung’s latest system update for the S8 intercepts the button’s key events before it reaches the Accessibility Services.

As such, it can’t be accessed by third-party apps to enable actions other than what Samsung determines. The change was confirmed by a Samsung PR representative on Twitter.

With that, Samsung is likely to anger many an S8 customer. It’s understandable that the company will want people to use the dedicated hardware button to access Bixby, but forcing them to use it only for that feels desperate.

We’ve contacted Samsung to learn more and will update this post if there’s a response.

Article Source: Spoilsport Samsung won’t let you remap the Galaxy S8’s Bixby button to other apps

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Written by Shirley

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Published on April 10 2017

If you're in the market for a new TV, you'll be happy to know we just completed testing the first batch of 2017 sets. Among the dozen or so new models in our ratings, there were two clear 4K TV standouts: the Samsung QN65Q7F and the Sony XBR-65X930E.

Both are pricey—the Samsung costs $3,500 and the Sony $3,200—but they each feature state-of-the-art technology that will probably make its way into mainstream sets. So the two sets merit an extended review—even if they fall outside of your price range.

Samsung QLED

Samsung QLED vs. Sony XBR: Battle of the Top-Tier 4K TVs

In the months ahead, you'll be hearing a lot about Samsung's QLED TVs. The new quantum dot technology they employ is supposed to produce a brighter picture and an extended range of colors.

The models feature red and green nanocrystals embedded in a film between the layers of the LCD panel. When those crystals are exposed to a blue light from the TV's LED backlight, they glow, emitting very saturated, narrow-band primary colors. And these colors can be precisely controlled depending on the composition and size of each crystal.

The TVs use a new metallic quantum dot material that offers improved performance, according to Samsung, especially in the area of "color volume." Destined to be a buzzword, the term refers to a TV's ability to retain color accuracy as you increase the brightness, instead of washing out as other sets do.

The Q7 model we tested hails from Samsung's entry-level QLED series. (The Q8 and Q9 models are even pricier.) But it's loaded with features, including support for the HDR10 high dynamic range format—more on that below—and an upgraded version of Samsung's Tizen smart TV system.

We tested the flat-screen version, identified by the "F" at the end of the name. There's also a curved version, denoted by a "C."

One striking difference between the QN65Q7F and rival sets is the absence of thick black wires snaking out from behind the TV when it's mounted on a wall. What you find instead is a single ultra-thin clear fiber-optic cable that stretches to what Samsung calls a OneConnect box, which accepts the lines from your cable box and Blue-ray player.

That does keep things tidy. But the TV and the OneConnect box both need to be plugged into AC wall outlets, so you'll need two recessed outlets if you plan to wall-mount the TV.

Sony XBR

Samsung QLED vs. Sony XBR: Battle of the Top-Tier 4K TVs

Sony was one of the first brands to use quantum dots, but the company says the extended range of colors in its new X930E-series TVs is produced with a different technology. It won't disclose details on that tech, though.

Like the Samsung set above, the Sony X930E model we tested has two pricier siblings: the $5,500 XBR-65Z9D and the $6,500 XBR-65A1E (the company's first OLED TV). It's laden with features, such as support for HDR and use of Google's Android TV platform for smart TV functionality. And it's an edge-lit set, meaning the backlight's LEDs are along the perimeter of the panel.

But here's where the Sony set differs: It uses a unique backlight system—dubbed "Slim Backlight Drive+"—that the manufacturer claims will produce better local dimming, a feature that allows certain areas of the screen to go dark while others remain illuminated. With local dimming, you can get better contrast and better black levels. It's unusual to achieve local dimming this effective in an edge-lit set, though, particularly one this thin.

Going Head to Head on Picture Quality

Both sets deliver top-notch high-definition picture quality and ultra high definition (UHD) performance. In addition, both TVs had commendable contrast and brightness, plus local dimming features that can create excellent black levels.

We were particularly impressed with Sony's local dimming, which at first tricked us into thinking the TV was a costlier full-array set. In that kind of television, LEDs are arrayed across the entire back panel. These sets tend to have the most effective local dimming.

Samsung's local dimming, while effective when viewed head-on, revealed some unexpected illumination in dark areas when the TV was seen from an angle. For example, when watching letterboxed movies from the side, we saw areas of the black bars lighten or darken depending on the scene.

Both TVs were able to reproduce a wider range of colors than conventional sets and maintain their intensity even at higher levels of brightness. But in the end, when it came to picture quality our tester gave the Samsung the edge for producing more deeply saturated colors.

HDR Performance

Perhaps the biggest difference we saw between these sets was in HDR performance, which allows TVs to create more dynamic-looking, realistic images by boosting the set's contrast and brightness. (The set has to be playing video produced in HDR.) When done well, TVs with HDR can show more details in the very darkest and brightest areas of the picture.

You’ll also see more realistic “specular highlights,” such as the sun's reflection off a car's chrome bumper, along with more natural illumination throughout a scene. When done well, HDR can simultaneously display the details in a deeply shadowed corner of a room along with the texture of the clouds in a bright sky. That's something new, and it can be visually striking.

Both of these TVs have sufficient brightness to be able to deliver a satisfying HDR experience, but we gave Sony the edge. It provided significantly higher brightness levels and greater contrast in our tests.

When testing brightness, most reviewers display a small white box against a black background and measure the brightness level of the box. 

Consumer Reports doesn't like this method because TV companies have learned how to game the test to score higher brightness numbers. Instead, we use a test pattern that places that white box against a moving video background, which more closely approximates real-world video. Using the standard pattern, the brightness levels of the two sets were fairly close. But using our special pattern, the Sony TV's brightness was more than double that of the Samsung QLED set.

One problem with both sets was that we sometimes had to go into the settings and manually activate a special mode for HDR content. This occurred when we were watching a Blu-ray disc using the Oppo 4K Ultra HD Player. There was no problem when we streamed content straight to the televisions, but we think that TVs should recognize HDR content wherever it's coming from and adjust accordingly. (The Samsung TV does switch into HDR mode when it's hooked up to a Samsung Blu-ray player.)

Viewing Angle and Sound

A television's viewing angle is a measure of how far off-center you can sit and still get a rich, bright image. That's important for anyone who's not sitting right in front of the TV on movie night.

Both of these TVs had only moderate viewing angles, which is more or less the rule with LCD-based TVs. (OLEDs have a nearly unlimited viewing angle.) It was disappointing to find that Samsung didn't do better, because the company claimed its new quantum-dot formulation would really boost the viewing angle. We didn't see it.

When it came to sound quality, Samsung had the edge. While the Sony TV had very good sound, the Q7's sound was excellent, achieving a level currently unmatched by any other set in our ratings other than its 55-inch sibling. The fact that it achieves this with a super-slim profile is both surprising and commendable.

Bottom Line

Both these TVs now sit near the top of our TV ratings, topped only by LG's 2016 OLED TVs, which are still available. (The first LG 2017 OLED TV is now in our lab.)

We found the Samung's colors to be a bit more deeply saturated. It was also a better at reducing motion blur on fast-moving scenes. And the Samsung offered superior sound, which means you won't have to spring for an external sound bar to get satisfying audio.

In the end, though, the Sony TV X930E edged out the Samsung Q7 by two points in our Overall Score. Beyond the pure test scores, the Sony is currently a few hundred dollars less than the Samsung TV. 

And the set supports two forms of HDR, the HDR10 standard and Dolby Vision, which is less widespread. Having both means that the set can play more programs in HDR.

HDR10 is the de facto industry standard, and it’s included in every TV with HDR we’ve seen so far. The other type, Dolby Vision, is positioned as an enhanced version of HDR10. So far, we're testing only HDR10 performance because there aren't any Dolby Vision-capable 4K Blu-ray players on the market yet.

No matter which of these sets you choose, we think you'll be happy. We expect both TVs to remain among the top performers in our TV ratings throughout the year.

We look forward to testing more 2017 4K sets, from these and other brands, as the models become available.

Article Source: Samsung QLED vs. Sony XBR: Battle of the Top-Tier 4K TVs

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Written by Rocky

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