Hey, T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S 2 owners: your Android 4.0.3 is ready for you. If you want it, you’ve got to go and get it yourself. Samsung requires you use their Kies software from a computer to download and install the update, so it’s not available directly to your cell phone.
Now if you want to use it, you’ll need to work a little more to find what’s different about this Android version. Samsung’s TouchWiz touch interface looks pretty much the same as the last version, so the changes won’t be blatantly obvious.
The Android 4.0 update incorporates the majority of the new features Google introduced with the Ice Cream Sandwich version for new devices. Learn how to install ICS on your phone from T-Mobile’s support page. To learn more about all the changes included in the new OS, T-Mobile has put together a detailed “Top 10 things to know about TouchWiz Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS): Samsung Galaxy S II” page on its site as well.
The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been an interesting one to watch. All the pre-market speculation and hype have rivaled what always ushers in a new Apple. Samsung is the leader in global smartphone sales, and, with the arrival of their Galaxy S3, they’ve proven they can create a device that is a serious Apple contender.
Let’s take an initial look at the Galaxy S3, and see if it lives up to the buzz.
The Galaxy S3 comes in two colors: marble white and “Pebble Blue” (although the blue has a distinctly blue-gray look). Its rounded-edges and HyperGlaze polycarbonate backing enhances the smooth (but not slick) feeling of having it in your hand. The Galaxy S3 is not a cheap-feeling phone. It's got a really solid Gorilla Glass 2 front, a well-packaged interior and a robust battery cover.
Samsung increased the screen size from the Galaxy S 2 ’s 4.3 to 4.8in for the S3. Its dimensions - 70 x 8.9 x 136mm - make it very slim. It weighs in at 132g, less than the Apple iPhone 4S. Compared to the weight of the One X, it’s almost identical. Overall, the S3 is nice to hold. Samsung has created a large device that doesn’t feel like one.
The display is a superb Super AMOLED with a 720x1280 resolution - identical to the HTC One X. The contrast is excellent and the screen looks very bright. Whites are more luminous. Animations look clean and crisp. You hardly notice the use of PenTile array technology.
On the downside, the auto-brightness setting makes for awkward transitions. The screen will notably dim and then brighten again despite there being no change in external lighting. The screen is readable in bright light, although not great in direct sunlight.
It’s nice to see a raised rather than recessed physical home button, though its short-and-wide, making it a bit more difficult to consistently activate. It might take some getting used to.
Sitting on either side of the home button are capacitive touch buttons for the menu and back functions. These are very sensitive. You might find yourself frequently backing out of apps by accident.
You can tell that Samsung really focused on optimizing the Galaxy S3 for performance.
The North American version of the device features a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC and 2GB of RAM. These specs ensure that the S3 will be LTE-compatible. By contrast, the international S3 has a quad-core Exynos processor and 1GB of RAM. Storage wise, there are 16GB and 32GB models available. Word has it that there’s a 64GB on its way.
It remains to be seen how performance is affected by the extra gigabyte of RAM. Samsung says that the extra memory won’t affect battery life. In a perfect world, more storage will improve app performance, load times and overall multitasking, but not draw a lot of juice.
While the Adreno 225 GPU inside the Snapdragon S4 SoC trails that of the Mali-400 that powers the international Galaxy S3’s Mali-400, CPU-based performance is still incredible. Single-threaded performance is a vast improvement over the Cortex-A9 of the quad-core Exynos 4212. The sacrifice is gaming performance.
Turn on the screen and swipe through the seven home screens. You’ll find that the swiping action is smooth in a way that no other Android handset has been able to achieve. Just looking at overall performance, Galaxy S3 is comparable to HTC One X, with the exception of a perceptible improvement to the smoothness of Android operation on the Galaxy S3.
The camera system has an 8MP rear lens as well as a front-facing camera. From a subjective viewpoint, the rear lens took some nice pictures, but that’s just an initial impression. There’s a burst mode and a “best picture” function that will nominate what the software regards as the “best shot” from a group. Video can be taken at 1080p and the macro functions were very impressive.
The Android 4.0.4 with TouchWIZ Nature UX software makes the camera easy to operate with Android. For instance, it’s very cool when you can swipe your palm over the screen to take a screenshot.
It’s too bad there isn’t a dedicated camera shutter button. Still, the interface is nicely updated and shutter performance is significantly improved.
The Snapdragon S4 SoC is a very efficient chip and based on early tests of the international version, Samsung has done a great job designing in features that maximize battery life. The Galaxy S3’s hefty 2100mAh battery is impressive. The North American Galaxy S3 should stay charged longer than the European quad-core Exynos processor, but it hasn’t lived up to the claims that it has double the life of the One X battery. In fact, we found the two to be almost identical. Take note that the Galaxy S3 has a removable battery. The HTC One X does not.
This version of S Voice is supposed to allow for greater voice control than previous iterations, but in testing, its performance was patchy. For instance, waking up the phone using spoken commands didn’t always work.
The Smart Stay function allows you to continuously read a screen without worrying about the backlight dimming. This is possible because of the impressive front camera.
A motion control feature allows you to automatically dial your contacts by raising the phone to your ear. Neither the Smart Stay nor the motion control functions were enabled by default, so you’ll have to dig through the settings on your phone.
Polaris Office is a nice feature for business users. It allows you to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on your phone.
Well done, Samsung. Despite the company’s pre-market theme describing a design “inspired by nature”, they’ve created a functional and fun smartphone that may have attracted a long-term following.
Serious competition among smartphone makers is always good for us users. It gives us more choices. Samsung’s Galaxy S3, the HTC One X and even the HTC One S might mean you’ll have a tough time going with only one new smartphone.
It’s nice to know that regardless of carrier or network speed, all S3 models are identical on the outside. The difference is on the inside. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you might just want to wait until the Galaxy S 3’s June 20th release to make your decision.
Sony’s PlayStation Suite is now open to third-party manufacturers, and it’s got a new name: PlayStation Mobile. Sony wants its new name to reflect PlayStation’s new mobility that allows additional hardware manufacturers to bring PlayStation gaming to their platforms. Sony hopes that developers will use the SDK for the PlayStation Suite to design original content for PlayStation-certified Android devices.
Protect your Android devices with the latest innovative protection solutions... stylish top brand cases and skins specifically designed to protect your devices from scratches and blemishes. Tough on the outside, sweet on the inside these brand name protection accessories combine complete device coverage with sleek artistic expression. Discover a wide protection collection for:
Sony was pretty pumped about its PlayStation Mobile news when it was announced at E3, but they’ve got some work to do to convince third parties and consumers that they’ve got a program that’s worth getting excited about. Past efforts like the PlayStation phone and subsequent PlayStation Suite were under-whelmingly received by fans.
The first wave of HTC devices to join the PlayStation-certified list is the HTC One line of smartphones - HTC One X, HTC One S and HTC One V. HTC gets to be the first partner whose smartphone customers will be allowed to download exclusive games. Sony said that some of these would be PlayStation 1 classics.
Sony promised more PlayStation-certified phones this year, which would mean they’re lining up other manufacturers. So far, they’re not giving any hints on who else will join the fold. Sony hasn’t revealed a timeline for the PlayStation Mobile rollout on HTC handsets either. Essentially, there are no details on what third party developers will mean to Sony’s PlayStation Mobile brand.
What advice would you give to Sony about rolling out PlayStation gaming for Android?
As Brad Duea, T-Mobile’s senior vice president of product management, stated, “We have a tremendous history of working with Samsung to bring cutting-edge devices to market, and we know our customers are excited to get their hands on the Galaxy S3,” said “As we continue to aggressively compete, this device is yet another example of how T-Mobile delivers amazing devices and 4G experiences to our customers.”
Sprint will offer two versions of the Galaxy S3: a 16GB model priced at $199.99 and a 32GB version for $249.99 (both require a two-year contract.) Sprint also announced that they will be the only U.S. carrier with a pre-loaded Google Wallet, an app that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to ensure the safety of purchases at more than 100,000 participating retailers. .
Fared Adib, vice president of product development at Sprint said, “Sprint and Samsung take another leap forward together in bringing our customers the best in mobile technology with Galaxy S3 on the Sprint 4G LTE network. Sprint is the only U.S. carrier to offer this device with the simplicity of unlimited data plans. Our customers will appreciate being able to use the robust features and capabilities of this device without worrying about data caps, throttling or silly overage charges.”
Verizon Wireless announced it will begin taking preorders for the Samsung Galaxy S3 starting June 6th at 7 a.m. EST. Verizon is not being specific about their launch date for the device. As it states in the company press release, the device “will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online in the coming weeks.”
Verizon will carry the Galaxy S3 in 16 GB and 32 GB versions for $199.99 and $249.99 respectively (with two-year customer agreement.) They’ll offer the Galaxy S3 in two colors: Marble White and Pebble Blue.
In addition, customers purchasing a Galaxy S3 will need to subscribe to a 4G LTE mobile broadband data package. These start at $30/monthly for 2GB of data.
Verizon’s version of the Galaxy S3 will feature a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, S Voice, AllShare Play, 4G LTE connectivity and a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor.
Samsung has done well with its Galaxy series, and it has another round of numbers to confirm it. With more than 50 million Android phones sold all over the world, Samsung has reason to gloat. They’ve racked up some impressive sales numbers with just a few well-designed and well-received devices.
The Galaxy line has created a dynasty to rival the royal Apple family. Samsung Galaxy S sales hit 24 million in two years. Then the Galaxy S II outperformed its ancestor with 28 million sales in 13 months, making it Samsung’s fastest selling device ever. Now add 8 million more sales since late February and there’s no sign of S II’s momentum slowing. Well maybe its progeny Galaxy S3 will have something to say about that. It’s already racked up 9 million pre-orders.
Samsung Galaxy Note had a nice showing, too. In a world where you’re either a tablet or you’re a smartphone, this hybrid carved out a 7 million-unit niche since its debut in October 2011.
The statistics released didn’t cover the entire Galaxy family. It would be nice to see how the poorer relations, Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Y, fared. The next couple of months are going to be very exciting for everything Samsung.
Samsung just cranked up the level of excitement over the Samsung Galaxy S3 to a whole new level. They’ve finally, officially announced that their new flagship phone will be available in June from all the major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular.
Each carrier will be releasing their pricing in the coming weeks, and check the websites for pre-order plans. The phone will probably start at $199 (with contract) and may hit the stores as early as June 20th.
We’ve got the final specs for the U.S. version of the Galaxy S3:
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core S4 processor with integrated modem
2 GB RAM
4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display
Gorilla Glass 2.0 protecting the display
Android 4.0 with TouchWiz enhancements
The device weighs in at 133 grams and is 0.1mm thicker than the Samsung Galaxy S II, but due to its lack of the back chin, thickness is a lot more uniform. Moreover, its size (136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm), the device offers an excellent grip and is rather pocket friendly. Protect your Galaxy S3 form the hustle and bustle of everyday life with the latest Samsung Galaxy S3 accessories.
The phone also has two unique features. The Galaxy S3 will run S Voice, which is a voice assistant reminiscent of the iPhone4S - Siri app, as well as a feature called Smart Stay, which optimizes the phone's settings by detecting whether a user is looking at it.
The Galaxy S3 will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions but also can be expanded with additional memory cards. It will be available in two colors, marble white and pebble blue.
One surprise in the announcement: the U.S. version of the Galaxy S3 won’t include the same quad core processor as the international phone. But Samsung explained the change: “The dual-core processor offers speed and performance comparable to leading quad-core processors without sacrificing valuable battery life.” The dual core Snapdragon S4 processor with integrated modem will allow the device to operate on the fastest LTE and HSPA+ 42 networks.
As Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Telecommunications America, pronounced it: “The U.S. launch of the Galaxy S3 is the most anticipated launch of the year. As promised, we are delivering the ‘next big thing’ for U.S. customers and across all major carriers. Galaxy S3 introduces new technological innovation and takes sharing to the next level.”
Verizon has finally given the official word that their testing of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is complete, and the Android 4.0.4 update (build IMM76K) is good to go. We’re still waiting for Verizon to get the update to customers, but their sharing of the news means we’ll have it very soon.
Successfully turn on Wi-Fi using the Power Control widget.
Updates have been made to prevent the display from freezing or becoming unresponsive.
Complete calls without experiencing choppy audio, clicking noises and one-way audio noises.
Successfully access Voicemail and other automated systems without error.
I’m glad that Verizon finally got this update approved, but Galaxy Nexus owners should expect more of the same with future updates. Google will announce their Android 4.1 upgrade next month and it will hit the GSM Galaxy Nexus shortly, and then Verizon subscribers with the CDMA/LTE Galaxy Nexus will be left waiting for months before Verizon approves it.
This build was first leaked in early May and appeared on Google’s servers again just last week. If you already flashed this, you have the same version that is going out to all customers.
Samsung has put out some entertaining commercials showing lines of iPhone-obsessed hipsters who’ll buy anything Apple because they think it makes them look cool. While those commercials were definitely fun, Samsung is sending a big message: Samsung’s products are cool because they are extraordinary, not because they are “Samsung.”
In order to take a chunk out of Apple’s market share, Samsung knows it needs to redefine the way its products are viewed by consumers. The head of Samsung marketing Younghee Lee told AllThingsD in an interview awhile ago,” Especially in U.S., people are obsessed with Apple. It’s time to change people’s attention.” Lee said Samsung knows it has to figure out how to “engage with consumers from the bottom of their heart, and not just be a big and functional and rational and reasonable brand.” Samsung is looking to create an Apple-like fervor for its products.
It looks like Samsung is starting to accomplish its mission. Lines formed outside of a few London retailers earlier this week in anticipation of the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. The lines are nothing like the ones formed by Apple devotees, but they are lines nonetheless.
Se the latest Samsung video:
The global launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S 3 is off to an impressive start. It’s getting the attention of the mainstream media, the blogosphere, and social media. Samsung leads the global smartphone market for numbers, now we’ll see if they can create frenzy for everything Samsung.