Samsung Reveals The Galaxy Note 3, The Slimmer And Lighter Evolution Of The Phablet

Galxy Note3_031_set2

Samsung’s big Unpacked Episode 2 event is underway, and as expected, the company has used the venue to announce the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. The Note is the original phablet, and the new version continues the tradition of big screen gadgets best-suited for big-handed people.

The new Galaxy Note 3 features a design with extremely slimmer bezels and sharper angles on its rounded edges, marking a slight departure from Galaxy device design language thus far. It’s thinner than its predecessor and lighter (168g), despite offering a larger screen at 5.7-inches. It also offers more battery life than the Galaxy Note 2, and there’s a new and improved S Pen, too. Plus it supports faster, and more “seamless LTE” with multi-band support.

The camera has 4K video recording capabilities with a new CRI LED flash that should improve low-light photography. Samsung claims nearly four more hours of battery life when playing back video, and performance in general during normal use should also extend battery by up to 40 percent over the previous generation.

Samsung was emphasizing craftsmanship with the Galaxy Note, which features a stitched leather rear cover (available in black, white and pink). It also has a metallic rim running around the edge, and there’s a flip wallet accessory available in 10 different colors that also features a larger S View window cover for checking messages, making calls and accessing more info at a glance without having to activate the whole display.

s-pen

The new S Pen is designed to work with the larger screen. Samsung called it the “key” to unlocking Note features and power. This works via a number of new interface controls. There’s a dot on-screen that appears when you can activate “Air Command,” which is a tool wheel that provides quick access to memo, scrapbooking, screenwriting, and a finder search function. There’s also something Samsung calls “circle,” which uses a circle drawing gesture to capture content you want to save to your scrapbook, as called up via Air Command. Box is a way to multitask, that lets you do two things at once via essentially a picture-in-picture interface.

note-scrapbook

Samsung’s Knox mobile security feature, which is designed to help increase enterprise and consumer security via partitioned software for consumer and business use for BYOD device users. The Note 3 will ship September 25 in 149 countries around the world.

Samsung’s smartphone fortunes are the subject of major scrutiny at the moment, since the company is perceived as possibly having hit a ceiling in terms of growing its overall share of the market. The company is hosting a meeting with investors and analysts to discuss its long-term plans in the face of these fears, and the Note line drives quite a few sales, though not as many as the flagship Galaxy S4. Estimates for break-out sales of the Note 2 on its own are hard to place, but Samsung has in the past said it anticipated the device would pass 20 million units shipped.

Galaxy Note 3 specs:

  • 151.2mmx79.2mmx8.3mm
  • 5.7-inch SuperAMOLED 1080p display with 368 ppi pixel density
  • 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, or 1.9GHz Samsung Exynos Octacore depending on market
  • Android 4.3
  • 13 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32 or 64GB storage
  • MicroSDXC card storage expansion
  • Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi 802.11ac, LTE Category 4
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • LED/IR combo

No information on Galaxy Note 3 availability just yet beyond the September 25 date, and the official Samsung press materials around the launch says only that it’ll make it out to all major U.S. carriers “later this year.”

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Google unveils latest ‘Android Kitkat’ after Nestle tie-up

reportedly named the latest version of its mobile operating system ‘Android KitKat’ in a tie-up with chocolate manufacturer Nestle.

Director of Android marketing Marc Vanlerberghe, said that they couldn’t imagine a better name for Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favourite among the team since the early days of Android.

While Nestle’s head of marketing, Patrice Bula, said that they were excited to announce this partnership with Android, the world’s most popular mobile platform, which will help them to enable even more KitKat fans to enjoy their break, Mirror reports.

Bula added that KitKat is one of the world’s top 10 fast-moving consumer goods brands in social media in terms of fan numbers and engagement and they continue to build on its strong digital presence with interactive, creative branding campaigns.

According to the report, the release of the new OS will be marked with a competition to win prizes including 1,000 Google Nexus 7 tablets through more than 50 million specially-branded KitKat bars.

A South Korean news website has reported that the upcoming Galaxy S5 will have a 16MP camera with optical image stabilization

 

NEW DELHI: As the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Note III flagship phablet nears, the tech grapevine seems to have turned their attention to the company’s other flagship smartphone Galaxy S4. Speculations have already started about the next-generation of Galaxy S4, most likely to be called Galaxy S5. A South Korean news website has reported that the upcoming Galaxy S5 will have a 16MP camera with optical image stabilization. This will be an upgrade from the 13MP camera module used in the Galaxy S4 and widely expected to also feature in the upcoming Galaxy Note III.

However, the report also says that the Galaxy Note III will not have optical image stabilization feature, contrary to popular rumours. The only Samsung phone to have this feature currently is the Galaxy S4 zoom, which is a cross between an Androidphone and a 16MP camera.

Samsung has also applied for patent of a metal-bodied design, which is rumoured to debut with the Galaxy S5. This handset is also said to have a flexible and shatterproof screen; a prototype of this screen was also showcased by the manufacturer earlier this year.

Currently, Nokia Lumia 1020, Lumia 925, Lumia 920, HTC One and LG G2 are the only phones that have optical image stabilization feature, which helps produce blur-free photos. The upcoming Sony Xperia Z1 (codenamed Honami) is also said to come with this feature.

A report by The Korea Economic Daily has said that the Galaxy Note III will be capable of recording movie-hall-quality 4K videos. Sony Xperia Z1 is also said to debut with this functionality. Both handsets are expected to be unveiled on September 4, the first day of IFA 2013 in Berlin.

Instagram bans the words ‘Insta’ and ‘Gram’ from third-party apps

Instagram is now banning third-party photo-related apps from using the words “insta” or “gram” in their name. What’s more, developers are now prohibited from using the Instagram name or logo in their app icons as well as the Instagram stylized font in their product or marketing materials.

It’s a change of course for the photo sharing service as previous revisions of the brand guidelines noted that while it was not ok to use the word “Instagram” or “IG” in an app name, it was alright to use one (but not both) of the words “insta” or “gram.”

So what does that mean for apps that are already on the market that now fall into this banned category? It’s quite simple – either change your name or lose access to the Instagram API, effectively rendering your app useless.

In an e-mail to the developer of one such app, Luxogram – a web-based Instagram client, Instagram said they cannot allow other applications to look like they might be official Instagram applications or are endorsed or sponsored by the company. The message goes on to note that it is important for apps to develop their own distinctive branding and use Instagram’s trademarks only as specified under the revised policies.

One could argue that the changes came down from Instagram’s parent company Facebook. The social network has similar restrictions in place that prevent app makers from using the words “face” and “book” in their names. It’s all part of their plan to protect their trademark I suppose.

Buy HTC One dual-SIM online at Rs 46,495

New Delhi: HTC One dual-SIM is now available online at Rs 46,495 on e-commerce site Flipkart. The phone can be ordered online though it has not officially hit the Indian stores. Flipkart, in its site has also mentioned that the phone will be delivered within 9-10 business days.

The phone, available in Silver colour, has a 4.6-inch Full HD capacitive touchscreen. The phone runs Android Jelly Bean OS and is powered by a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor. With 2GB RAM, the phone features UltraPixel primary camera and a 2.1 mega pixel secondary camera.

It has a storage capacity of 32 GB expandable upto 64 GB using microSD card. Other features include 25 GB Dropbox, Built-in NFC, Audio Recording, Games, Multi-task.

Key Specs

Android Jelly Bean OS

2.1 MP Secondary Camera

UltraPixel Primary Camera

4.6-inch Full HD Capacitive Touchscreen

1.7 GHz Quad Core Processor

SIM1:- Up to HSPA (900/2100 MHz) and up to EVDO REV. B (800 MHz)

SIM2:- Up to EDGE (900/1800/1900 MHz)

Full HD Recording

Expandable Storage Capacity of 64 GB

Android has a crapware problem and it is getting worse

The one thing I like the most about Android is the ability to add new capabilities that were not part of the device by downloading relevant apps, thanks to the open APIs that I believe only Android provides to developers. Don’t like the keypad? Download a third-party keypad app. You want a Galaxy S4 like smart stay feature? There’s an app for that too! Think the phone’s default dialler is not good enough for you? Yeah, you can change that as well. But it is also the thing I hate the most about Android. Why do users have to go looking around for alternatives? Yes, having the option to change the default stuff is good, but I believe users are increasingly being forced to change the core user experience of Android smartphones because smartphone vendors are not doing enough. Let me rephrase that, I believe smartphone vendors are ruining the core out-of-the-box user experience in the name of differentiation.

I spent this weekend setting up the HTC One as my primary Android smartphone. And when I say I spent my weekend, I actually spent it just to get the phone’s settings and UI right. And it is not an HTC thing, it resonates with almost every tier-one smartphone vendor where they probably spend millions of dollars reworking stuff like keypads, web browsers and things like that, which most users undo within the first few hours. I never understand why would any company want to put their version of a web browser on a phone that provides an inferior experience than the default Android browser. And the little said about the keypads, the better. Google’s default keypad experience is among the best I have encountered but smartphone makers insist on putting their own keypad on top, forcing users to search the Play Store and find the best keypad alternative for them.

While most manufacturers spend time and money fixing everything that’s right in Android, they surprisingly don’t fix things that are actually broken in Android. The video player, for instance. Surprisingly, most Android smartphones from top brands are unable to play ‘.mov’ video files, which also happens to be the format that the iPhone shoots its videos. So if you have iPhone users in your friend circle or family who mail you a video shot from their device, chances are you won’t be able to play it on your newly bought Android smartphone unless you download a third-party video player. And what’s up with the “default” email clients that most vendors put on their phones? I’m yet to come across anyone who uses them.

I just don’t get it. If you are spending millions of dollars in “enhancing” the user experience of your products, why should users be driven to download third-party alternatives for things that they use the most as soon as they unbox their new phones? Instead, what we get are features that majority of users would never use. And it is getting worse.

The 16GB Galaxy S4 model, for instance, had just 8.82GB of internal storage available for users, thanks to all the customizations Samsung did with TouchWiz. The appalling thing is even with all the customizations, users still had to download most third-party apps for core functions. The HTC One is no different. It comes with pre-installed apps like WeChat, 7Digital, Parent Dashboard, Kid Mode and whatnot, which cannot be uninstalled. And these are not even apps that would appeal to a majority of users. HTC spent millions of dollars in developing and marketing Zoe, its smart camera app but the phone cannot even play a ‘.mov’ file? And these two are considered to be the flagship Android smartphones!

Here’s my request to all smartphone vendors. Please stop fixing what’s already fixed in Android. Please stop putting crapware on top of Android for the sake of differentiating. And finally, when you say user experience, mean it.

Samsung set to launch Galaxy Note III on 4 Sept in Berlin

Samsung today announced that it will be hosting a special event on 4 September in Berlin where it will launch a new Galaxy smartphone.

Most expect the Galaxy Note III will be launched at the event.

According to AllThingsD, the invitation is handwritten, an indication that the Note III could be launched soon.

Samsung will also host a Times Square event for reporters not travelling to the IFA, added the report on AllThingsD.  Samsung has also put out a notice about the event on its Facebook page and will broadcast the Berlin event live on YouTube.

According to the rumour mills, the Samsung Galaxy Note III will come with an Octa-core Exynos 5420 (eight-core processor)/Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, 1080p display for a 5.7 or 6-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera possibly with optical image stabilization, LTE-A (LTE-Advanced), and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

The smartphone could also come with better controls for the Stylus pen.

Benchmark tests for the Note III have also been spotted online, reported trusted Samsung source SamMobile.

However, the report on SamMobile said that the device is running Android 4.3 and the clock speed is around the 2.3GHz mark. The score was much lower than what the Snapdragon chipset is capable of, so there was a strongly possibility that this was a early prototype.

The Galaxy Note II was quite successful for the South-Korean giant which sold nearly 5 million devices of the phone within the first two months of its launch.