By Joel Silva / Mobile / 0 Comments

A photo posted to Chinese micro-blogging network Weibo gives us our first glimpse at Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy S8 ahead of its official debut. The device has a curved display and super slim bezels, but it’s missing Samsung’s traditional home button.

Samsung is one of the only Android vendors that has been clinging onto physical home buttons, while its rivals choose to use the platforms virtual controls instead. But rumors have claimed that will change for this year’s Galaxy S8 refresh, and this image appears to confirm it.

The handset looks identical to an earlier render of the Galaxy S8, which you can also see above — though the bezels above and below the display are slightly larger on the real thing. Samsung has also shifted its logo to the bottom of the phone, whereas it traditionally appears at the top.

It’s unclear whether there is a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device, or whether it will be embedded under the glass on the front —as some reports have promised. We also can’t tell from this image whether the Galaxy S8 will have a headphone jack.

Sadly, there are no specifications to accompany the image, but according to recent speculation, the Galaxy S8 will have a pressure-sensitive display like the iPhone, support for an S Pen, and a massive 6-inch Display with Quad HD resolution.

A separate report that has surfaced today claims Samsung has now decided on a date for the Galaxy S8’s official unveiling, which is Tuesday, April 18. It’s thought the handset will get a dedicated press event in New York City.

 

Source: TechnoBuffalo

By Joel Silva / Mobile / 0 Comments

Samsung as rumored last month has announced the Galaxy S7 edge will be available in a new “Black Pearl” color in select markets starting tomorrow. The glossy finish, exclusive to 128GB versions of the smartphone, will inevitably draw comparisons to the Jet Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Samsung already offered the Galaxy S7 edge and ill-fated Galaxy Note7 in a somewhat glossy Black Onyx finish, so we will have to wait for actual photos of the new Black Pearl color to see the difference between the two colorways. Samsung said the all-black finish “radiates quality and luxury.”

Black Pearl was designed to be modern and striking. The sleek black finish blankets the entire device – edges and all – and adds depth to its glass design. The result is a stylish all-black aesthetic that captures the essence of the color in its purest form.
The new color arrives nearly two months after Samsung permanently discontinued the Galaxy Note7 following battery-related safety risks.

Samsung following in the footsteps of iPhone colors is not unprecedented. Earlier this year, it released the Galaxy S7 in Pink Gold after Apple launched the iPhone 6s in Rose Gold last year. However, in Samsung’s defense, it has offered some variation of a pink smartphone in select markets since at least 2012.

The new color follows reports Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy S8 will not include a headphone jack, following in the footsteps of the Moto Z in June and iPhone 7 in September. The Galaxy S8 is also said to have a bezel-free display and virtual home button, two features rumored for Apple’s next iPhones.

Source: MacRumors

By Joel Silva / MobilePhone repair / 0 Comments

Apple today launched a new repair program for the iPhone 6 Plus, addressing complaints about a manufacturing issue that can cause the iPhone 6 Plus to become unresponsive to touch.

According to Apple, some iPhone 6 Plus devices may exhibit Multi-Touch issues after “being dropped multiple times on a hard surface,” causing damage to the device. Under its repair program, Apple will fix affected iPhone 6 Plus devices for a service price of $149.

Customers who paid more than $149 to have their devices fixed before the repair program was implemented will be able to get their money reimbursed by Apple.

Complaints about the iPhone 6 Plus touchscreen issue started in August, after iFixit published a video highlighting the bug and dubbed it “Touch Disease.” Touch Disease presents as a gray flickering bar at the top of the screen and a display that becomes unresponsive or less responsive to touch.

The problem is believed to be caused by the touchscreen controller chips soldered to the logic board of the phone, making repairs difficult. Third-party repair outlets speculated that the issue could be linked to the same structural design flaw that caused the major “Bendgate” controversy, and Apple’s suggestion that it is caused by repeated physical damage seems to confirm that.

Customers who have an iPhone 6 Plus with Multi-Touch issues can visit an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an Apple retail store to see if they qualify for the $149 repair fee.

 

Source: MacRumors

By Joel Silva / Mobile / 0 Comments

Last month, Apple delayed the launch of its all-new AirPods beyond the late October timeframe it originally promised, saying it needed “a little more time” before the wireless earphones are ready for customers. Since then, AirPods have remained listed as “currently unavailable” on Apple’s website.

Shortly thereafter, a report citing supply chain sources indicated AirPods will not launch until January 2017, suggesting they will not be available in time for this year’s holiday shopping season. But that timeline would seem awfully late, especially considering some Apple retail stores have already received AirPods demo units.

Lending credence to a launch sooner rather than later, an employee at Apple reseller Conrad has reportedly told a customer it will receive AirPods stock on November 17, and make them available to purchase by November 18-19.

Conrad’s website still says AirPods will be available for delivery in 7 to 8 weeks, so it is entirely possible the employee provided incorrect information, but there now remains at least some hope that customers will be able to purchase AirPods in time for the holidays. Nevertheless, treat the conversation as anecdotal evidence at best.

Source: MacRumors

By Joel Silva / iPhoneMobile / 0 Comments


The Google Pixel XL excels at mobile phone photography, edging out Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus in CNET’s estimation. With video, though, it’s a different story.

My colleague Vanessa Hand Orellana and I spent hours chasing pigeons, children, dogs and sunsets to put the two cameras to the test. The Pixel XL had its moments, but on the whole, we agreed the iPhone 7 Plus captured better video.

Its biggest advantages were color, image stabilization, sharpness, contrast, low-light shooting and zoom, unsurprisingly given its second camera.

The Pixel XL, which offers the identical cameras and image processing as the Pixel, did lead the iPhone 7 Plus in some areas, though. Its autofocus was faster, and it sometimes kept a nice exposure when the iPhone went overboard with brightness. Google’s phone handily beat the iPhone 7 Plus when it came to slow-motion video with sharper imagery, too.

When Apple debuted the first iPhone in 2007, it couldn’t shoot video at all. That’s unthinkable today even for a low-end phone. Good mobile video is crucial in the era of YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat. Even if you’re not into sharing, video is key to chronicling our lives. So it behooves you to pay attention to video quality.

Don’t consider this a final judgment. Much of Google’s approach to photography and videography involves extensive image processing, including its excellent HDR+ technology used for photos. There’s no HDR+ for video, but Google still could offer camera app software updates to address some Pixel shortcomings.

Here’s a look at some of the details of our tests.

Image stabilization

The two phones take a very different approach to image stabilization, a critical aspect of video quality. The iPhone 7 Plus uses an optical approach that physically moves lens elements to counteract the camera motion caused by shaky hands or movement when you’re walking. The Pixel XL uses digital stabilization, which uses motion sensors and image data to try to mathematically compensate for camera movement.

Each has its advantages when it comes to camera size, component costs and other factors, but we found the iPhone’s approach generally resulted in a smoother, more human feel. The Pixel XL would try hard to stabilize a shot, but when it figured out you really had pointed the camera in a new direction, there would be an abrupt stop-and-start shift to the new perspective. This made video jerky. The iPhone wasn’t as good at compensating for the bobbing perspective you’ll often see in videos shot while walking, but it still looked more natural.

And likely because the Pixel XL relies on its processor for stabilization, it struggled when shooting video at 60 frames per second — double the rate of ordinary 1080p video and thus double the number of pixels to process — or when shooting higher-resolution 4K video at 30 frames per second.

Exposure

iPhone 7 Plus videos at times were overexposed, a problem I’ve found in iPhone photos, too, where foreheads and cheeks in the sun are glaring white, orange or yellow. In dim conditions, details in shadowy areas often disappeared into the murk. The Pixel XL handled exposure better overall, though I preferred the iPhone 7 Plus with sunrises and sunsets that are a challenge for any camera today.

The Pixel XL gets a big demerit in one area of exposure, though. When I shot while walking, sometimes the exposure would pulse darker with each footfall. This happened in several videos.

Color

The iPhone generally selected more pleasing, warm tones. In good lighting conditions both cameras were reasonable, but I found the iPhone 7 Plus colors to be vibrant while still natural — perhaps a result of the wider P3 color gamut it uses compared to the Pixel XL’s more limited sRGB range of colors.

Sometimes skin tones with the Pixel XL video had a yellowish cast. I think of this as the “putty effect.” Under warm-hued indoor light, the Pixel XL showed people as too orange. It could switch color settings rapidly, too, in one case switching back and forth distractingly between an orange and blue tint.

Sharpness

Here the iPhone won, perhaps a result of its six-element lens design or better image processing technology that creates the video from the raw image-sensor data. The Pixel XL was usually adequate, but with videos of subjects like city skylines and nature landscapes, the edges on the iPhone were crisp without appearing over sharpened.

The Pixel XL was sharper taking slow-motion video, though. We shot at 240 frames per second, a speedup factor of 8 compared to regular video. Both the Pixel XL and iPhone 7 Plus can only shoot at 720p resolution, which is fine but not as sharp as full high-definition video at 1080p.

Of course, if you want to zoom, the iPhone 7 Plus has dual cameras — 28mm and 56mm equivalent focal lengths — and the 2X setup is much better for portraits, kids who aren’t in front of you, concerts and many other situations with distant subjects. But there’s a big caveat: there’s no optical image stabilization for the 56mm camera. Because of that, and a lens that doesn’t let in as much light, the iPhone 7 Plus uses the wider-angle camera in dim conditions, making it just like a plain old single-camera iPhone 7.

Lens flare

Both cameras suffered from lens flare, the streaked and washed-out areas that result from shooting toward the sun or other bright light sources. The Pixel XL sometimes would produce a ring around the sun even when the sun was outside the frame — the Pixel XL “halo effect” that Google hopes to easewith better processing at least in photos. The iPhone 7 Plus would wash out details nearer the sun and add a green ghost image of the sun diametrically across the frame from the sun. I was disappointed in both cameras, frankly, but the edge goes to the Pixel XL for better contrast and less haze when shooting directly toward the sun.

Autofocus

I enjoyed the Pixel XL’s snappy autofocus, especially its ability to lock in more quickly on close-up subjects. It also did better locking focus during slo-mo shooting, where you’re more likely to notice a longer wait.

Low-light conditions

I had high hopes for the Pixel XL, whose pixels are 60 percent larger than the iPhone 7 Plus’ and therefore in principle are better able to shoot in dim conditions where photons are scarce. Instead, the iPhone gave the Pixel XL a drubbing. iPhone video suffered from the transient jittering of noise speckles, but the edges were sharp, and the noise was far less distracting than the Pixel’s crude, smeary noise reduction. Both cameras struggled at times to catch focus, a common affliction in the dark.

When shooting indoors, the iPhone again showed superior performance, though in smaller rooms, the Pixel XL’s wider-angle field of view is a big advantage.

Front camera

The Pixel XL did a nice job exposing faces and keeping focus, but it sometimes struggled with backlit faces, choosing to silhouette me. Sometimes it underexposed even without silhouettes. I liked its sharpness better, but overall the iPhone did a better job with skin tones and showed a more lifelike degree of contrast.

4K video

For this higher-resolution format, the Pixel XL was nicely exposed, but the iPhone 7 Plus outdid it when it comes to sharpness. And why bother shooting 4K video if you’re not paying attention to sharpness? Again, the iPhone’s optical image stabilization was more natural. On the Pixel XL, I spotted some compression artifacts in even-toned areas, a blue sky and a red ceiling.

Overall, it’s an iPhone victory for video. Perhaps we’ll see a software update from Google that will help it catch up.

Source: cnet

By mario / GamingMobile / 0 Comments

A modder turned the Galaxy Note 7 into a grenade and put the video on YouTube — but Samsung didn’t find it funny.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 has been the butt of its fair share of internet jokes since it started exploding in September, but it’s hard to surpass what one Grand Theft Auto V modder did when he turned the phone into an in-game grenade. Apparently, Samsung doesn’t think it’s very funny, though — the company appears to have filed a totally bogus copyright infringement claim on the YouTube video showing this mod.

If you try to watch the video now, you’ll see that Samsung has blocked it by using YouTube’s tools for reporting infringing material. Of course, this isn’t how those tools were meant to be used — they’re for reporting instances in which video or audio is posted in violation of copyright. Using the Note 7’s likeness in a video made from a video game mod doesn’t really seem like what YouTube’s tools are meant to be used for.

Fortunately, that was far from the only YouTube video that shows off the Galaxy Note 7 being used as an incendiary device. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, it’s probably not worth the effort for Samsung to chase down these videos — the company has a lot more serious things to be worrying about right now.

 

Source: Engadget

By mario / Mobile / 0 Comments

Apple is now selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus SIM-free in the United States. The move allows fans who already have an existing contract to pick up the Cupertino company’s newest handsets without committing to a new plan.

Some customers in other countries have been able to purchase the iPhone 7 series SIM-free since day one, but in the U.S., Apple makes us wait a little longer for unlocked models. Fortunately, the wait is now over… kind of.

SIM-free versions of both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in all colors and storage capacities can now be ordered from the Apple Online Store. Prices start at $649 for a 32GB iPhone 7, and $769 for a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus.

Don’t assume this means Apple has caught up with iPhone 7 demand, though. There’s still a lengthy wait for most models in all colors; those hoping to get a jet black iPhone 7 Plus — one of the most popular options this year — won’t see it ship for up to 8 weeks.

When you buy the iPhone SIM-free, you have the option to use it with almost any carrier — not only in the U.S., but in other countries, too. Simply pop in your existing nano SIM when it arrives and you’re good to go.

Source: Apple

By mario / Mobile / 0 Comments

A second recall would be an unusual move but could happen if this week’s incident aboard a Southwest Airlines flight involved a “safe” Galaxy Note 7.
The Galaxy Note 7 keeps turning up the heat on Samsung.

The Korean electronics titan could face an unusual second recall of its Galaxy Note 7, according to Bloomberg, citing two former US safety officials. The Federal Aviation Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are investigating whether a replacement Galaxy Note 7 was the smoking phone that led to the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines flight Wednesday.

A second recall could potentially put a nail in the coffin of the Note 7’s prospects and throw Samsung’s credibility into question. The incident is already a black eye for Samsung at a time when Apple has just launched its iPhone 7.

The CPSC is “moving expeditiously to investigate this incident,” Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement regarding the Southwest flight. He continued to recommend that Note 7 owners turn off their phones and stressed that a refund is one possibility.
A commission representative wasn’t available to comment Friday.

Samsung said it’s looking into the Southwest incident and is in close contact with the CPSC.

“Samsung understands the concern our carriers and consumers must be feeling after recent reports have raised questions about our newly released replacement Note 7 devices,” the company said in a statement.

“We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible…If we conclude a safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC to take immediate steps to address the situation.”

All the major US carriers say customers can exchange a replacement Note 7 for a different phone.

Source: CNET

By mario / BusinessMobile / 0 Comments

AT&T may soon stop selling the Galaxy Note 7 entirely, according to Bloomberg. The news follows an incident on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this week, in which an owner of a replacement Galaxy Note 7 — one that wasn’t supposed to be prone to catching fire — caught fire while the plane was still on the ground. The Verge confirmed the particular Galaxy Note 7 unit in question was from the new batch of phones Samsung began selling after the initial recall.

Bloomberg said AT&T is “considering stopping all sales” of the device, but it doesn’t appear a decision has been made final yet. Samsung and the U.S. CPSC are still investigating the Southwest Airlines incident, and Samsung still hasn’t gone on the record confirming that it was indeed a replacement device. It’s possible the Galaxy Note 7 still faces a second recall if Samsung and the CPSC believe the device could still put consumers at risk.

If AT&T stops selling the Galaxy Note 7, it’s possible other carriers might follow suit. That would essentially give carriers the power of taking Samsung’s flagship smartphone off of the market before Samsung even makes a decision. It would be an unprecedented move.

Bloomberg said AT&T may decide as soon as tonight (Friday) on whether or not to stop selling the Galaxy Note 7.

An AT&T representative was not immediately available for comment. Samsung was also not immediately available for comment.

SOURCE BLOOMBERG

By mario / BusinessMobile / 0 Comments

Despite Samsung’s attempt to appeal, a court recently said that the company does indeed need to pay Apple $120 million in damages. That’s the fine levied against the Galaxy-maker by a jury in the spring of 2014, when Samsung was found guilty of infringing on an Apple patent.

The patent involved slide-to-unlock technology. Funny enough, Apple doesn’t even employ that, now simply requiring users to press the home button to unlock their smartphone. Another fine is included in the total $119.6 million owed by Samsung, though the other is minimal at $158,400 and relates to camera technology, Reuters said.

Keep in mind this is also separate from a different ruling in which Samsung already forked over $548.2 million for infringing on Apple’s design patents.

SOURCE REUTERS