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  • Image from Samsung's save the date for the October 24 kick-off to their Galaxy Note II world tour

     


    Wait Samsung, don't tell us. You may have revealed the last "next big thing" back in October, but is the "next next big thing" a larger Galaxy Note device? According to the rumor mill of late, the answer is yes.


    Within the same week that Samsung boasted of selling 3 million Galaxy Note II devices, a new DLNA certification (first reported on by SamMobile) shows that the company may already have some successors in the works.


    The certification lists two new Samsung-made devices – GT-N5100 and the GT-N5110 – that SamMobile says are sized between 7 and 9 inches. And if you're in doubt as to the fact that the devices listed will in fact be Galaxy Note variants, AndroidGuy points out that the certifications for all “previous Note products start with GT-N.”



    If there's any truth to SamMobile's report, it may be that Samsung is looking to fill the gap between their 5.5-inch and 10.1-inch Note models.


    As, for why Samsung would want to release a 7-inch Galaxy Note when they've already got the 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab, it may just be that the company sees the Note line, with its stylus pens, as distinct from the rest of their mobile devices.


    "Samsung clearly sees this market as separate from its mainstream phone line," writes Mobile Syrup, "and the two won’t necessarily cannibalize sales from either one."




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  • This week kicked off with a bonanza of Nexus news from Google

     


    Hurricane warnings mat have put an end to Google's plans for an October 29 event, but Android fans won't have been disappointed with what Googled offered up on Monday instead: a bonanza of news about their highly anticipated upcoming Nexus devices.


    In lieu of an event unveiling, Google has simply made an announcement online, confirming what most of us have been suspecting for some time – A Samsung-made Nexus 10 tablet, and an LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone.


    The rumors of an LG Nexus 4 smartphone have been confirmed by Google

     


    The fact that the new gadgets couldn't be revealed live didn't seem to lessen the impact of the announcement, as major news organizations and leading tech sites jumped onto the Nexus news en masse.


    Now, we're breaking down all the latest talk to give you the major points of this dual announcement.


    Release dates and pricing:


    Both the Nexus 10 tablet and Nexus 4 phone will be available as of November 13 in the U.S and Canada, as well as in several European countries and Japan for the Nexus 10.


    Google's pricing the unlocked LG Nexus 4 at 8GB for $299, and 16GB for $349 or $199 through T-Mobile with a 2-year contract.


    Specs and reviews:


    There's already been a lot of positive reactions to the Nexus 10.


    With a slightly more curved body than most of us had anticipated, the entirely Samsung-made tablet has a 10" display that Gizmodo's calling better than retina at 300 pixels per inch.


    Inside, it boasts a a dual-core 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos processor, 2 GB of RAm, and is available in either 16 GB or 32 GB models.


    Powered by Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), it's also got front and back cameras and front-facing stereo speakers.


    The new Samsung Nexus 10 tablet

     


    As for the new LG smartphone, the Nexus 4 also runs on Android 4.2 and, like the Nexus 10 tablet, has gotten good reviews, with Gizmodo claiming "it might be the best Android phone yet."


    A collaboration between Google and LG, it bears a lot of resemblance to the LG Optimus G, but has a more rounded body, better software, and new features like PhotoSphere and Gesture typing.


    Behind its 4.7", 320 ppi screen, it's got a quad-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2 GB of RAM, and comes in either 8 GB or 16 GB models.


    A couple of other strong points are its 8 megapixel rear-facing camera, and the fact that it supports wireless charging.


    If you're looking for detailed specs, TechCrunch has a pretty complete list for both devices here.


    Meanwhile, we'd like to know what you think about Google's new Nexus devices. Are you planning to get one? Both? How do you think they live up to all the hype? Leave your opinion in the comments section.




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  •  



    Samsung has been promoting the "Next Big Thing", and this time it’s the Galaxy Note 2. The phone was launched yesterday at Samsung's Galaxy Note II World Tour 2012 press event. T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon will all be carrying it. Just considering cost, timing and coverage, which service provider should get your business?


    Here’s the lowdown on cost and timing:


    Verizon
    Pre-order date: Oct. 25
    Available: Nov. 27
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    AT&T
    Pre-sale date: Oct. 25
    Available: Nov. 9
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $649.99 off-contract


    Sprint
    Available: Now
    Price: $299.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    T-Mobile
    Available: Now
    Price: $369.99 with a 2-year plan, $699.99 off-contract


    The Galaxy Note 2 has 4G LTE capability, and you don’t want it to go to waste. While Verizon beats all the competition for nationwide 4G LTE coverage (370+ markets), AT&T is rapidly expanding their 4G LTE network and is adding to their network all the time (approximately 65 markets.) Sprint basically covers Atlanta and big cities in Texas (15 markets) with their 4G LTE, the rest is 3G. T-Mobile doesn’t yet have 4G LTE connectivity, but they advertise their network as “4G”, which is really a supercharged 3G (HSPA+ 42) network.


    For those buying an unlocked Galaxy Note 2, here’s a heads-up. The unlocked version isn’t compatible with CDMA carriers and LTE networks.


    There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Note 2 is a fine smartphone. Its 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display is the big reason it’s being called a “phablet” – part phone, part tablet. In a nod to its tablet-ness, the Note 2 is the only smartphone that comes with a stylus that Samsung calls the” S Pen.” For those of us with big fingers or who are touchscreen accuracy-challenged, a stylus sure comes in handy.


    Inside the Galaxy Note 2, you’ll find a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor, up to 16GB of storage space (with expansion up to 64GB), and 2GB of RAM. On the back is a high-quality 8MP camera with an LED flash, and on the front a 1.9MP camera for video calls. The camera can record video in 1080p, and has a 4x zoom. It’s rated for up to 15 hours of talk time and 12.5 days of standby time.




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  • Blendtec is back with another "Will it Blend?" video, this time pitting the iPhone 5 against the Samsung Galaxy S III

     


    Are you ready for a  ridiculous and nonsensical test which has no merit and which proves absolutely nothing?


    Then, the iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III blender test is for you!


    While most of us are just trying to get our hands on one of the newest and best smartphones, Blendtec, a maker home and professional blenders is busy pulverizing them.


    It's pretty much what it sounds like. With a few of these "Will it Blend?" YouTube videos under his belt already, Blendtec's Tom Dickinson asks the question again, pitting the "the latest," i.e. Apple's iPhone 5, vs. what Samsung "claims to be the greatest," the Galaxy S III.


    The iPhone 5 may have a retina display, and the Galaxy S III may have a bigger screen, but which will withstand the blending?

     


    Tom describes both smartphones, highlighting their most attractive features, and then unceremoniously chucks each into its own Blendtec Total blender.


    While the iPhone 5 starts shattering pretty early on, the Galaxy S III holds in there for an impressive amount of time, but eventually meets its end in much the same way as the completely obliterated iPhone, in a pile of black powder.


    In the end, as the blender lids are removed and toxic-looking black smoke wafts up, we're left having to agree with Tom, who concludes: "I think the real winner is the Blendtec Total blender."



    The whole stunt kind of runs opposite to what we do at Pure Mobile. But even though we've got a mission to help people protect their devices, we can't help but get some sort of sick pleasure out of watching this total and utter destruction.


    Though we'd have to agree with Blendtec's disclaimer: don't try this at home!




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  • Whether by accident or not, Apple seems to time its events to overshadow those of its competitors.

     


    Here's the thing with Apple. Rumors surface, and create a little buzz, until one of its competitors announces news of their own, and the Apple rumor dies. And then wham! Apple comes out and makes the revelation everyone thought they would, trumping all the interest in whatever it was their competitor has just announced.


    Pure Mobile reported yesterday that Samsung has sent out invitations for a special Galaxy Note II event in New York City scheduled for October 24. It's the kickoff to the the new device's world tour, and was likely to get the lion's share of tech reporting and headline space. Until...


    Well, it turns out that the Galaxy Note II will have to share the spotlight, since Apple's just announced it will be holding an event for the iPad Mini – get this – October 23.


    Likely to be unveiled October 23, Apple's iPad Mini is expected to be slightly smaller and slightly cheaper than its predecesor

     


    When we initially reported on rumors of an iPad Mini event, we cited Forbes (among others) who said to expect invitations to start rolling out on the October 10. That makes us only a couple of days behind schedule.


    The New York Times' AllThingsD reports that Apple is likely to officially unveil the new iPad Mini at the event. That's just one day ahead of Samsung's event, and only three days ahead of Microsoft's plans to launch Windows 8. Seems, like Apple is well timed, indeed.


    Apple promised earlier this year that 2012 would give Apple fans "a lot to look forward to"

     


    Meanwhile, says the Wall Street Journal, we can expect more than just a display of the smaller next generation iPad October 23:


    "Traditionally, when Apple unveils its new devices, it offers two things that competitors sometime do not: a specific date for when the device will be available and a specific price."


    But we're already guessing that the new tablet will be cheaper than the full-sized iPad and we'd be willing to stake a fortune on an iPad Mini launch safely before Christmas.




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  •  


    We at Pure Mobile do love a good mobile device event, and Samsung has promised us yet another one.


    In addition to the rumors of an upcoming Galaxy S III Mini event in Germany (which we reported on last week), Samsung has confirmed an October 24 event in New York City as the first US stop on the Galaxy Note II's World Tour.


    This Samsung "Save the Date" teased with a pic of a stylus but no mention of the Galaxy Note II

     


    Late last month, Samsung was already teasing the affair, with a "Save the Date" card showing a stylus pen and the tagline "The Next Big Thing Is Here." However, the next generation Galaxy Note "phablet" was never shown. But the official invitations, which started rolling out yesterday, do show and name the device, removing all previous doubts.


    The official press invite confirms the Galaxy Note II as the focus of the October 24 event in New York

     


    Still, this is likely to be the beginning rather than the end of all speculation about the new combination phone and tablet. It doesn't mark the release of the new Galaxy Note II, and it won't be the first time the device has been seen.


    So what can we expect to learn about the latest smartphone in Samsung's Galaxy lineup?


    Well, for one, we may finally get some sort of confirmation on the Galaxy Note II's American release date. And hopefully, Samsung will be giving us some notion of its price, too.




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  • Leaked pictures of what appears to be an LG-made future Nexus device surfaced this week

     


    They usually stand for "life's good," but this week, LG's trademark letters stood for something else entirely – "leaks guaranteed."


    If you're building a new smartphone, as LG appears to be, you can pretty much assume someone's going to get a picture of it, and that before too long, the whole of the internet is going to see it.


    All that glitters is not yet to be sold: the sparkly backing of the new LG E960

     


    The leak in question this time is what appears to be an LG-made Nexus device. Judging by the leaked photos, which appeared in the XDA-Developers forum, Engaget says the LG E960 "appears to be a variant of the Optimus G – until you realize that it's using software navigation keys, doesn't quite resemble the international or AT&T Optimus G models and is oddly badged as the 'Full JellyBean on Mako.'"


    The "next Nexus," LG's E960, is shown running on Android 4.1.2

     


    Both Engaget and Mobile Syrup are hailing the new Android-powered LG smartphone as the future Nexus device, with the latter noting the similarities between the E960 and the LG Optimus G.


    It's apparently got the same "rather boxy design, a 1280×768 4.7-inch IPS screen, a 1.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and that awesome-sounding 13MP camera," says Mobile Syrup.


    The device also bears some resemblance to Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, though the E960's corners seem more rounded than those of of the LG Optimus G, and it's backing is flatter, with a sleeker design than that of the Galaxy Nexus.


    A shot of the new LG device, minus the spyproof backing

     


    Meanwhile, says Mobile Syrup, the fact that the E960 has recently passed through FCC  certification "showing off PCS and AWS bands for HSPA+ and AWS bands for LTE," hints that the new smartphone is likely to be available on a number of networks, potentially making it "one of the most multi-faceted unlocked phones on the market."


    Based on the assumption that LG is in fact producing the next Nexus device – which it probably is – there's talk that the LG E960 may be ready by early November.




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  • Opower compares the energy used to charge an iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III for an entire year. Image courtesy of Mashable.

     


    If you're a smartphone owner, you're already familiar with the ritual if charging up your device one or more times a day. And the question of how much power you're actually sucking when you do so has probably crossed your mind. It's got to be quite a bit, right?


    But a new study from Opower – which Mashable has provided some nice graphics for – may put your mind at ease concerning your electricity bill and your carbon footprint.


    The report found that the power used to charge a smartphone throughout an entire year is negligible. According to Opower, it takes just 3.5 kilowatt hours per year (an annual energy cost of about $0.41) to charge up an iPhone 5 from 0% to full, year-round. That's pretty cheap.


    The rates were pretty close for the Samsung Galaxy S III, which costs roughly $0.53 a year to charge. Opower says the slight discrepancy is probably due to the fact that the Galaxy's battery is larger.


    But, though the impact of charging an individual smartphone is pretty small, Opower reminds us that, collectively, they do eat up a lot of power:


    "This year alone, Apple expects to sell 170 million iPhone 5s. Those 170 million smartphones will draw enough electricity to power all of the homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a year."


    Still, Opower predicts that smartphones may help reduce energy consumption over all, since they're now being used in many cases as substitutes for bulkier, more power-hungry devices, like desktop computers and TVs.


    Smartphones and tablets, like the iPhone 5, iPhone 4, Galaxy S III, and iPad, use much less power than many other consumer devices. Graphic courtesy of Mashable.

     


    For instance, says Opower, "An iPhone 5 requires 20 times less energy to operate than a typical laptop – and 100 times less energy than a typical 42-inch plasma TV."


    “Put simply, says Opower analyst Barry Fischer, "a day spent web-surfing and Facebooking on a smartphone or tablet is a much more energy-efficient day than doing the same on a computer [...] the rise of smartphones, like the iPhone 5, is likely to save energy in American homes as it diverts our time from using far less efficient consumer electronic devices.”


    This graphic from Mashable compares the energy used for other consumer electronics relative to the iPhone 5


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  • Samsung has already patched the dirty USSD code that threatened Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III

     


    As far as sheer volume of interest goes, Samsung outdid Apple this week, with more stories flying around about the Galaxy S III than about the iPhone 5.


    Top of the list was security. According to most of the top tech sites, Galaxy S III owners might have had a bit of a scare this week. That is, if Samsung hadn't already dealt with the problem before anyone even knew it existed.


    Apparently, says Mashable, a vulnerability was discovered in Samsung's Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) that "potentially allowed attackers to remotely wipe the contents of Galaxy S II and III devices," essentially restoring them to factory settings.


    This video, of Technical University Berlin researcher Ravi Borgaonkar at a security conference in Argentina, shows how it's done.



    Thankfully, Samsung's already come out with a patch, and the company issued a statement to Engadget urging users to update:


    “We would like to assure our customers that the recent security issue concerning the GALAXY S III has already been resolved through a software update. We recommend all GALAXY S III customers to download the latest software update, which can be done quickly and easily via the Over-The-Air (OTA) service.”


    So, now that your smartphone is safe and sound, how about encrusting it with crystals? If you're nodding your head in agreement, and if you have upwards of £2099 (about $3370 U.S.) to spare, maybe consider upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S III Swarovski Edition?


    This crystal-encrusted "Swarovski Edition" Galaxy S III may cost you upward of $3370, but at least the case is free

     


    The device, available from Amosu Couture, is set with 500 Swarovski crystals around the bezel, plus an extra 16 around the home button. Sort of pricey and all, but you do get a free calf leather case.


    Now for the really juicy stuff. Hot on the heels of all the rumors surrounding an iPad Mini launch, Samsung's brewing its own big news about something small.


    This leaked German invite to a rumored Samsung Galaxy S III Mini launch reads: "So big can be small. And so small can be big."

     


    According to TechCrunch, which cited "a recently released press invitation," Samsung may be unveiling a smaller scale version of the Galaxy S III (the Mini) at a store in Frankfurt, Germany. The invite, written in German and loosely translated as "So big can be small. And so small can be big," is so far the only proof of such an event.


    But it's already got Samsung fans more than a little excited, if you'll excuse the pun.




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  • The drama between Apple and Samsung continues outside the courtroom in latest Galaxy S3 ad

     


    What? Did Apple really expect Samsung to sit quietly?


    It's been a good week for Apple, what with its big reveal and overwhelming enthusiasm for the iPhone 5.


    But, despite all the recent glory, Apple's got an enemy. And the thing about enemies is that, as much as they like to kick you when you're down, they're just dying to kick you when you're up too.


    Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that the courtroom battle between Apple and Samsung has been raging for the better part of a year now.


    Most recently, the dispute over intellectual property saw Apple win a ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission.


    But that last ruling is unlikely to put an end to the drama between the two smartphone makers, even if it means taking the fight out of the courtroom and into the streets. In fact, Samsung has done just that.


    Just days after Apple's iPhone 5 unveiling, Samsung's latest ad for the Galaxy S3 takes direct aim at the newest iPhone incarnation.


    The ad, which compares the two smartphones' capabilities, and calls out the iPhone 5 by name, bears the statement: “It doesn't take a genius.” Presumably, the “it” in question is figuring out the Galaxy S3 is "better."


    Samsung's latest Galaxy S3 ad calls out the iPhone 5 by name

     


    The timeliness of the ad, which must have been prepared based on specs obtained before Apple's September 12 unveiling, led 9to5Mac to quip: “you can say a lot of things about Samsung, but one thing you can’t say is that they are slow.”


    Indeed, Samsung pumped that one out pretty quickly. But that's no surprise considering this isn't the first anti-Apple ad the company's run. Back when they were promoting the Galaxy S2, they slammed the iPhone with an ad making fun of Apple fanatics, claiming “the next big thing is already here.”


    This time, however, Samsung's Apple-bashing is more delicately directed at the company, not its users, and that may just work. At the very least, the ad should make people feel smart for choosing a Galaxy, rather than stupid for standing in line at the Apple Store.



    What do you think of Samsung's new ad? Is it tasteful? Accurate? Do you think it'll work? Leave your opinion in the comments section.




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