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Posts tagged ‘Samsung Galaxy S5’

12
Aug

eBay back to school deals: smartphones from Samsung, Sony and others at under $299!


flagship smartphones aa (8 of 18)

Getting ready to go back to school? You probably need a new cellphone to stay connected and ease your way to success. Remember, smartphones are not always a distraction; these advanced little gadgets are also great research tools and knowledge machines. And if you don’t want to break the bank for a new handset, checking out the back to school deals on eBay would be the best idea. All these discounted phones cost under $299 off-contract.

Not bad at all, right?! I know I would recommend some of these to my friends, so let’s take a look at some of our favorite deals.

There’s plenty of other deals in eBay’s back to school page, but these just happen to be the ones that stood out to us. You can also look around the site to find other good deals. We really just wanted to pass on the good news and make sure you are in the loop.

Are any of you buying one of these handsets? Hit the comments and let us know!

Check the eBay Back to School deals!

11
Aug

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4 and Note Edge now getting Stagefright patch


samsung galaxy note edge unboxing (3 of 19)

Tired of Stagefright news yet? We know it can get your news feed a bit crowded. Please be patient, as this is important! You sure don’t want hackers to have the ability to take control of your device by sending you a simple message, right? All manufacturers and carriers are working hard to get all those security patches out there, and today is a good day for some of you T-Mobile users.

Sammy and Magenta have begun rolling out Stagefright-patching updates to the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4 and Note Edge starting today. The Note Edge and Note 4 will stay at Android 5.0.1, while the Galaxy S5 will also keep its current software version (Android 5.1.1). There’s nothing else to these updates, with the only exception being the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is also getting some Swype fixes.

samsung galaxy s5 aa (11 of 36)

You don’t need much to upgrade your phone. The only requirements are that your battery is at 50% or higher, you are connected to a WiFi network and there’s enough storage to download the update file. The Galaxy S5’s file weighs 388.75 MB. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge will need 142 MB and 150 MB, relatively.

Have you gotten your update notification yet? If you have not, simply go to your Settings app and check for updates. Remember, that most times these updates roll out in waves, though. If you can’t download the update yet, just stop smashing your screen and sit back for a while. It will come!

How many of you have gotten the Stagefright fix? Did it all go smoothly?

Samsung videos!

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11
Aug

Samsung Galaxy S5 Neo coming soon: 5MP front camera, IP67, flap-less USB 2.0 port


galaxy-s5-neo-germany-1 WinFuture.de

Over the years, Samsung has consistently found ways to reissue the previous year’s product(s) at more price-competitive points, or at times with additional features. For the past few months, there have been on-again, off-again rumors and rumblings of a new Galaxy S5. Specifically, a Neo one. Today, we now know that the Galaxy S5 Neo is real, is coming soon, and is slightly modified from the original model:

The Galaxy S5 Neo features a 5.1-inch Full HD (1920X1280) sAMOLED display, a 1.6GHz Exynos 7580 Octa-Core SoC, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. Rounding out the specs are IP67 certification, a 16-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 2,800mAh user-replaceable battery, and ships with Android 5.1. No information was provided about the presence of a fingerprint sensor however, though the heart rate monitor is still included.

The model goes by the product code SM-G903F and is priced at 439 Euros ($480). It is expected to be delivered by the end of the month, on August 27th. It will be available in Black, Dark Blue (pictured), Gold, and Silver color variants.

What’s Different:

galaxy-s5-neo-germany-2 WinFuture.de

Eagle-eyed readers will be quick to note there are several differences in the S5 Neo, some of them actually enhancements over the base model. For starters, the original model featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (or 805) whereas Samsung has now switched to its own, internally-produced Exynos chip-set. The front-facing camera has also seen a significant boost, going from 2-megapixels to 5-megapixels as per more recent devices like the Galaxy A8.

galaxy-s5-neo-germany-3 WinFuture.de

Perhaps the most noticeable changes however, come from the design: the USB 3.0 charging port is now gone -replaced by USB 2.0- as well as the waterproof flap that was previously used to seal the port. Interestingly enough the Galaxy S5 Mini also made use of this design: an open-air USB 2.0 port. The flap proved to be one of the more controversial aspects of the S5 when it released, as frequent reports cropped up where the plastic piece would break off or fail to close properly after even a short period of using the phone.

galaxy-s5-neo-germany-4 WinFuture.de

One last change -also design related- is the texture to the phone. Whereas the original S5’s frame had a three-layer “stacked” look, the S5 Neo seems to downplay it somewhat, giving greater prominence to the large center rounded rim portion. The frame also features a frosted texture which should hopefully make it more grippy than that of the S5. The rear (battery) cover also has received a slight change, having a much finer pattern of the stippled dots that many likened to adhesive bandages.

More for the Money?

While the Galaxy S5 Neo certainly has some nice things going for it, namely the aforementioned removal of the waterproofing flap and an enhanced front camera, it also has a few strikes against it. For starters, the price is arguably quite high when the original Galaxy S5 can be found on sites like Amazon Germany at roughly the same or even less. The Exynos SoC used is also apparently unable to record 4K video, something that may be a sore spot for those hoping to make heavy use of the rear camera.

Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner 2

Will the fingerprint sensor make a return for the S5 Neo?

As Samsung has yet to officially announce this device, the presence -or lack thereof- of a fingerprint sensor may also be an issue. Ultimately the swipe-based authentication method used by the Galaxy S5 was seemingly of a hit-or-miss affair. Software patches were issued to try and improve the functionality, but even so, it still fails to work as flawlessly as that of the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy A8. Most likely however, due to possible overstock of unused parts from poor S5 demand, Samsung will opt to include it with the Neo.

It’s coming soon

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Until the official announcement of the product -presumably coming in the next few days or weeks- the full picture of the Galaxy S5 Neo will remain unfinished. While we know it will release in Germany, wide-scale European availability, as well as that of a global roll-out remain unknown.

For all those Samsung-loyal who feel slighted by the Galaxy S6’s sealed design and lack of microSD and user-replaceable battery, could the S5 Neo solve this for you? Is the pricing point too high? Let us know your thoughts on this new product below in the comments section!

5
Aug

(Update: multiple Samsung devices, too!) Stagefright patch now rolling out to the Nexus 6 and Nexus 5 as build LMY48I


nexus-6-first-impressions-13-of-21

Update: Not only is Sprint pushing out Stagefright patches to the Nexus 6 and Nexus 5, the carrier is also now beginning to roll out security fixes for a number of Galaxy devices. The Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S5 and Note Edge are all receiving patches today, and you can find the update documents linked below:

The update may take a day or two to make its way to your device, but at least we now know that a fix is coming. To check for the update manually, head to Settings>System update>Update now.

Original post: According to a couple of Sprint update documents, the Nexus 6 and Nexus 5 should be receiving an update today carrying build LMY48I. The new build brings security fixes for the Stagefright flaw we first heard about a few days ago. Build LMY48I doesn’t appear to bring any fixes other than the patch for the Stagefright issue.


Security conceptSee also: Google on ‘Stagefright” exploit: not all Android bugs are this bad, thanks to Google’s security measures13374

The Stagefright exploit is a new vulnerability found in the Android operating system that can affect devices running Android 2.2 or later. As of right now, there really isn’t anything to worry about, but we’d still advise you to check out our full explanation on the Stagefright exploit here.

While there are still no new factory images posted by Google for these devices, this is a pretty good sign that the updates should start rolling out sometime soon. Have you gotten the new update for your device? If so, be sure to let us know in the comments section down below.

29
Jul

Deal: get a unlocked Galaxy S5 (GSM) for $340 from Target via Ebay


samsung galaxy s5 aa (19 of 36)

There’s a flurry of attractive devices coming in the $300-$400 price range, with the OnePlus 2, Moto X Style, and ZTE Axon among the latest. But if you can’t wait for these devices to go on sale, or if you just prefer Samsung devices, you can get a very capable Galaxy S5 for just $340 right now.

The deal is run by Target through its eBay presence, and sees the price of an unlocked Galaxy S5 (blue, black, or white) 16GB down to $340, which is $60 less than the current price on Amazon. This is a GSM-only device, so it will only work on AT&T’s, T-Mobile’s and certain MVNOs’ networks.

The Galaxy S5 has been one of the worst sales performers for Samsung (proportions kept), but that’s not because the device itself is bad. If you’re fine with the design, the Full HD AMOLED display, 16MP camera, and Snapdragon 801 processor are still excellent features. Plus you get some things the newer Galaxy S6 doesn’t offer: a large removable battery (2,800 mAh) and a microSD card slot.

Head over to eBay to get the device if you’re interested – quantities are limited.

Get a unlocked Galaxy S5 GSM 16GB for $340 on eBay

14
Jul

Dashlane Password Manager now supports Samsung fingerprint readers


Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge-11

Dashlane is a strong password manager and document protection service, but they also put a high emphasis on making their application user friendly and convenient. Today they improve their security-focused app by announcing support for Samsung’s latest bio-metric systems, meaning Samsung users can now use the fingerprint reader to access their private data on Dashlane.

This signals a new age in security. The upgrade will prove to be very convenient to those who use a Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note Edge, as well as any future Samsung smartphones featuring the same technology.

Dashlane

It’s refreshing to see a developer making a move like this one. Though Samsung smartphones are insanely popular, not many app makers are working hard to adopt bio-metric technology on the Android ecosystem (Apple’s Touch ID does seem to get much more support, sadly). DashLane’s competitor LastPass and PayPal are among the notable exceptions.

Dashlane looks to be very dedicated to the cause, which is good considering they run one of the main password manager applications around.

“We made a strategic decision after closing our B-Round 12 months ago to put as many resources into product development as possible, and the adoption of biometric technology in the Android ecosystem is just the latest example of our aggressive product roadmap. Dashlane already provided Touch ID login on iOS and at the end of May, we announced that we would be implementing fingerprint app login with the new Android M operating system.” -Emmanuel Schalit, Dashlane CEO

If you have a Samsung device with a fingerprint reader, you should be able to access this new feature soon. Users with a supported device will automatically be prompted to set up Finger Scanner for Dashlane. All the user would have to do is activate his fingerprints to work with the service. After that, you will easily be able to use your fingerprint to either open the app or use the Dashlane to authenticate your log-ins or autofills. By the way, you can also turn the feature off whenever you desire, by accessing the phone settings.

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Still not a Dashlane user? The application made it to our post on the best password manager apps for Android, so it’s definitely worth checking out. It is a bit pricey at $29.99 per year, but the service is totally worth it for those who really worry about security and privacy. Especially now, if you happen to have a Samsung smartphone with a fingerprint reader.

Download Dashlane from the Google Play Store

Show Press Release
Dashlane Integrates Samsung Biometrics Technology To Unlock Passwords, Accounts With A Fingerprint

NEW YORK – Dashlane, the password manager built for security and simplicity, is now compatible with Samsung’s latest biometric technology. Dashlane users can access everything they securely store in Dashlane, including passwords, notes, credit cards and personal information, simply by using their fingerprint to verify their identity.

Access passwords, secure notes, and other personal data on Samsung devices with a fingerprint.

The biometric compatibility increases both security and also convenience for Dashlane users who operate Samsung devices. Dashlane users can trigger fingerprint authentication in a few short steps by activating Finger Scanner in the phone’s settings, opening Dashlane on their Samsung device, and placing a finger on the home key for authentication.

Dashlane’s biometric authentication will work with all of Samsung’s most popular devices including Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, and Galaxy Note Edge.

Dashlane’s integration of Samsung’s biometric technology is another big step toward providing universal authentication on all platforms using all of the latest secure technologies. Samsung is the largest manufacturer of mobile devices in the world and the ability to provide its massive customer base with a login solution that improves security and is convenient to use, is a landmark moment in the password management space.

Emmanuel Schalit, Dashlane CEO, states:

We made a strategic decision after closing our B-Round 12 months ago to put as many resources into product development as possible, and the adoption of biometric technology in the Android ecosystem is just the latest example of our aggressive product roadmap.  Dashlane already provided Touch ID login on iOS and at the end of May, we announced that we would be implementing fingerprint app login with the new Android M operating system.

Biometric technology is becoming more and more common on consumer devices and Dashlane will always utilize its world-class security expertise to integrate cutting-edge technology into our product. We will continue our mission of providing users with a secure, convenient identity solution that functions seamlessly across all of their devices.

The Samsung integration is the latest in a string of powerful mobile features Dashlane delivered to users in the past six weeks:

Fingerprint app Login on Android M <http://s.bl-1.com/h/pL48ZKP?url=http://blog.dashlane.com/20150528never-have-to-remember-another-password-on-your-android-device/>

Password Sharing on iPhone and iPad <http://s.bl-1.com/h/pL49gkR?url=http://blog.dashlane.com/introducing-password-sharing-on-iphone-and-ipad-simplify-and-secure-passwords-at-work-and-on-the-go/>

Emergency Password Access on iPhone
<http://s.bl-1.com/h/pL49l6T?url=http://blog.dashlane.com/introducing-dashlane-emergency-password-access-on-iphone-simple-secure-control-of-your-online-legacy/>

Learn more: dashlane.com <http://s.bl-1.com/h/pL49pWW?url=http://dashlane.com/>
https://brandfolder.com/dashlane <http://s.bl-1.com/h/pL49vvY?url=https://brandfolder.com/dashlane>

Step 1 – Dashlane prompts users to set up Finger Scanner for Dashlane when it detects the right device. Users can also activate or deactivate this at any time from settings.

Step 2 – All users have to do to register their fingerprint for Dashlane is to scan it once over the home key.

Step 3 – If users don’t already have Finger Scanner activated, Dashlane prompts them to set it up. “Go” takes them directly to the phone’s settings.

Final Step – When users need to unlock Dashlane they are prompted to scan their fingerprint (when either opening the application, or unlocking Dashlane to authenticate before logging in or autofill).

8
Jul

Best Dual Sim Android Phones (July 2015)


Moto G 2014-15

While many folks can get by with a single-SIM handset, there’s something to be said about the flexibility that is afforded to you when you have a dual SIM device. A dual SIM setup allows you to not only potentially have two different phone numbers but you can also have one SIM for data, another SIM for calling and text, and you can more easily travel abroad without having to remove your primary SIM card.

Related:

Typically manufacturers do not make dual SIM versions of all their phones, instead they usually create dual SIM models for phones that are popular in international markets. Sorted by price, on this page is where you will find our list of the best dual SIM Android phones currently available. We will keep this list up to date as new phones are released, and as always please share your thoughts on what you think the best dual sim Android phone is.


Smartphones priced less than $200

Blu Life One (2015)

The Blu Life One offers great value for money with its beautiful design and solid build quality, good camera, impressive battery life, dual SIM support, and more importantly, 4G LTE support, which can be difficult to get with devices that fall in this price range. While not without its issues its low price tag of just $99 certainly makes for a good buy. If you’re on the lookout for a device that allows for access to high-speed internet on a budget, you should definitely consider the Blu Life One.

Specs

  • 5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1280 x 720 resolution (294 ppi)
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
  • Adreno 306 GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 64 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, 5 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,420 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat (planned upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop)
  • 143.5 x 72.1 x 7.5 mm, 120 grams
  • Available in black, blue, white, gold, and pink

Read More – Blu Life One (2015) review

Buy now on Amazon


Lenovo A916

best-dual-sim-lenovo-a916

The Lenovo A916 is another low cost smartphone that gives users the opportunity to enjoy a large display experience on a budget, courtesy its beautiful 5.5-inch display. With its solid build quality, smooth performance, good camera, and great battery life, this device is a steal at its price point, and it also comes with Dual SIM and 4G LTE support, even though it is recommended to check for compatibility with your network carrier first. If  you’re looking for a solid phablet experience that comes with a budget-friendly price tag of just $108, the Lenovo A916 is a really good choice.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1280 x 720 resolution (267 ppi)
  • 1.4 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor
  • Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 32 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, 2 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,500 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
  • 149.5 x 76.6 x 8.7 mm, 173 grams
  • Available in white and black

Buy now on Amazon


Moto G (2014)

The Moto G (2014) does share a lot with its predecessor when it comes to what the device packs under the hood, but the latest iteration comes with a bump in the display size to 5-inches and an improved camera setup while retaining the great software experience and impressive price point of the original. With the added benefit of dual SIM support, and the fact that Motorola is a name you can trust when it comes to timely software updates, the Moto G (2014) is certainly a very compelling choice in the budget-friendly category, with its sub-$200 price tag.

Specs

  • 5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1280 x 720 resolution (294 ppi)
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Adreno 305 GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8/16 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 32 GB
  • 8 MP rear camera with LED flash, 2 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,070 mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.4 Kitkat (upgradable to Android 5.0 Lollipop)
  • 141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm, 149 grams
  • Available in white and black

Read more – Moto G (2014) review

Buy now on Amazon


Smartphones priced between $200 and $400

Huawei P8 Lite

Huawei decided to go with a mid-range budget-friendly offering with US market the intended target, and despite the intense competition in this space, the Huawei P8 Lite manages to stand on its own. As the name suggests, this device is the mid-range iteration of the Huawei P8, and also shares the design language of its flagship counterpart. With a great camera, fluid software experience, and impressive battery life, this dual SIM device also comes with full support for 4G LTE networks in the US. It’s not without its drawbacks, but the Huawei P8 Lite is still a great entrant from the company in the budget-friendly space, priced at just $249.99.

Specs

  • 5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1280 x 720 resolution (294 ppi)
  • 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 128 GB (uses second SIM slot)
  • 13 MP rear camera with dual LED flash, 5 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,200 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
  • 143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm, 131 grams
  • Available in black, white, and gold

Read more – Huawei P8 Lite review

Buy now on Amazon


Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

The Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3 (5.5-inch variant) is one of the best budget-friendly smartphones on the market. It features a simple and elegant design and impressive build quality, a solid 13MP rear-facing camera, along with its big selling point, the fantastic audio experience it provides, something you’ll be hard pressed to find with a device in this price range. With a beautiful Full HD display, a capable processing package, and a smooth software experience, it is quite surprising that the Alacatel OneTouch Idol 3 is available for just $249.99.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution (401 ppi)
  • 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16/32 GB storage, expandable by up to 128 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera with LED flash, 5 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,910 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 152.7 x 75.1 x 7.4 mm, 141 grams

Read More – Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 review

Buy now on Amazon


 Asus Zenfone 2

With their latest smartphone offering, Asus proves that a price tag is no longer indicative of quality, and that you don’t have to spend “flagship money” to enjoy a great product. Available in a few iterations, the top version of the Asus Zenfone 2 features a powerful Intel processor, a whopping 4 GB of RAM, a beautiful and vivid Full HD display, an elegant design and premium build quality, a large battery, a stutter-free software experience, and even manages to pack some fast-charging capabilities as well. With a price point starting from $200, even the highest model, featuring 4 GB of RAM, a faster processor, and 64 GB of storage, will set you back just $345, which is incredible when you think about all that this device has to offer.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution (401 ppi)
  • 2.3 GHz Intel Atom Z3580 processor
  • PowerVR G6430 GPU
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32/64 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 64 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera with dual LED flash, 5 MP front-facing camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 152.5 x 77.2 x 10.9 mm, 170 grams
  • Available in black, gold, grey, red, and white

Read more – Asus Zenfone 2 review

Buy now on Amazon


Smartphones priced above $400

Huawei Honor 6 Plus

The Huawei Honor 6 Plus is another impressive high-end offering from the Chinese OEM, featuring a premium build quality, a simple and elegant design, fantastic display, excellent performance, an intuitive software experience, and a large battery. The Honor 6 Plus’ main claim to fame is the dual camera setup, made in a similar fashion to the Duo Camera from the HTC One M8, with the ability to retrieve depth information in a scene and provide the ability to set a focal point. As is the case with a lot of devices from Chinese OEMs, the Huawei Honor 6 Plus manages to be quite wallet-friendly, given all that it has to offer and when compared to the competition, with a price point of $468, for the 4G LTE capable version with 32 GB of in-built storage and NFC.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution (401 ppi)
  • 1.8 GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 925 processor
  • Mali-T628 MP4 GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
  • Dual 8 MP rear cameras with dual LED flash, 8 MP front-facing camera
  • 3,600 mAh battery
  • Emotion UI 3.0 based on Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
  • 150.5 x 75.7 x 7.5 mm, 165 grams
  • Available in black, white, and gold

Read more – Huawei Honor 6 Plus review

Buy now on Amazon


HTC One E9+

best-dual-sim-htc-one-e9+

HTC has released a slew of high-end devices following the launch of its flagship One M9, and such device is the HTC One E9+. As the name suggests, the One E9+ is a larger iteration of the One E9, and like is smaller sibling, is made entirely of plastic, without losing its premium feel. The One E9+ also features a Quad HD display, and comes with the same 20 MP rear camera as the One M9+, without the Duo Camera setup, as well a 4 MP ultrapixel camera up front, which is great for taking selfies in low light conditions. With a powerful processor, smooth performance and stutter-free software experience, fantastic display, and HTC’s signature front-facing BoomSound speakers, now with Dolby Audio, the HTC One E9+ is a great alternative to its more expensive full metal counterparts, with the difference in build material allowing for a significant difference in the price point. The HTC One E9+ can be found on Amazon for $487, and though it comes with 4G LTE support, it is a good idea to check for compatibility first.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (534 ppi)
  • 2 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6795M processor
  • PowerVR G6200 GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
  • 20 MP rear camera with LED flash, 4 MP “Ultrapixel” front-facing camera
  • 2,800 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 156.5 x 76.5 x 7.5 mm, 150 grams
  • Available in white and grey

Buy now on Amazon


Sony Xperia Z3+

best-dual-sim-sony-xperia-z3+

Sony launched their latest flagship, the Xperia Z4 in Japan, but it took on the Xperia Z3+ moniker on its release in other international markets. As has been the case with the Xperia flagship line, the Xperia Z3+ retains the design language and build quality of its predecessors, with a few subtle improvements across the board, along with the necessary change in the hardware to better compete with the current crop of flagship smartphones, including a larger battery, that also comes with fast-charging capabilities. With signature Sony elements available, including it being well protected from dust and water with its IP68 rating, the latest high-end offering from Sony is another fantastic choice for fans of Sony around the world. The dual SIM version of the Sony Xperia Z3+ is available on Amazon for $649, and while it does come with 4G LTE support, it is a good idea to check for compatibility first.

Specs

  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD Triluminos display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution (424 ppi)
  • 2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • Adreno 430 GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
  • 20.7 MP rear camera with LED flash, 5.1 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,930 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 146 x 72 x 6.9 mm, 144 grams
  • Available in white, black, copper, and aqua green

Buy now on Amazon


Samsung Galaxy S6

With the latest addition to the Galaxy S flagship line, Samsung introduced the much needed overhaul that the series needed, and while it retained the signature Samsung look, the metal and glass unibody design offered the premium feel that a flagship from Samsung deserved. Of course, it just isn’t about the build quality either. Samsung continues to set the standard in other key areas as well, with the Galaxy S6 featuring a fantastic, vivid, Quad HD display, one of the best smartphone cameras around, and a completely stutter and lag-free software experience that has been perfectly optimized for its in-house processing package. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is definitely one of the best smartphones of 2015 thus far, and for those that need it, is also available in a dual SIM variety, available on Amazon for $575. Keep in mind that since this is an international version, you will have to check for 4G LTE support with your network carrier first.

Specs

  • 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (577 ppi)
  • 2.1 GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • Mali-T760 MP8 GPU
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB storage, expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
  • 16 MP rear camera with LED flash, 5 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,550 mAh battery
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm, 138 grams
  • Available in white, black, blue, and gold

Read more – Samsung Galaxy S6 review

Buy now on Amazon

1
Jul

A fine time for fingerprint sensors (and an eye for irises)


samsung galaxy s6 edge fingerprint scanner aa 1

Biometric authentication is nothing new with mobile devices, or technology in general for that matter. The TPM platform on Windows PCs has been around for ages, and even some feature phones (mainly those produced by Fujitsu for Japan) had it well over a decade ago. With respect to Android however, the stepped-up security staple has been of a generally less-than-impressive affair. Both Motorola and HTC tried it several years ago and suffice to say, nothing caught on. After the mainstream consumer’s attention was suddenly “alerted” to the technology via Apple’s iPhone 5s however, Samsung was first to step up to the plate and let Android have another stab.

Unfortunately, the authentication seen in the Galaxy S5 was a much more traditional method of fingerprint reading, namely that the sensor required a swipe (similar to the Windows TPM and Fujitsu feature phone products) and had a less-than-perfect track record when it came to accuracy. Software updates made the problem a little better, though even the newer module seen on the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 released later in 2014 were hardly what one might say as a stress-free experience.

Everything changes

fingerprint scanner

The release of the Galaxy S6 has brought with it not just a major redesign for the hardware and software, but also the fingerprint sensor as well. Samsung’s implementation of a touch-based input method this time around works fantastically. Granted it’s still not perfect (neither is Apple’s) but with a few tricks and tips at hand (more on that later), it’s possible to have it read your print correctly over 95% of the time, if not 99%.

The problem now, however, is an ironic one. The sensor in the Galaxy S6 works so well that you actually want to use it, and in doing so, it becomes that much more cumbersome to use any other form of security, namely passwords and patterns. Despite my tablet remaining at home 95% of the time, it still has pattern unlock set up, as have all my tablets in the past as well. So frustrating was it to be bothered with entering the pattern each time the screen turned off that after about a day, I disabled the security entirely. Even when I was testing out the Chinese Galaxy Note 4, I found the pattern unlock to be downright irritating. Sure the device has fingerprint security avalible, but it just works so badly that I simply couldn’t put up with it. The same also held true for the few days I spent with the LG G4 last week: the Knock Code is too time consuming.

Of course, if you haven’t spent time with the Galaxy S6’s fingerprint sensor then it’s quite plausible that pattern unlock won’t bother you at all. Heck, I never minded it. Even the iffy fingerprint sensor in the Note 4 might be OK for those with nothing else to compare it to. But for me, hands down, anything less than the hardware in the S6 simply comes off as inferior.

Vast implications (for me, at least)

iPhone touchID fingerprint scanner

Apple’s iPhone 5s was a major win for biometric support in smartphones.

It needs to be clarified that as a tech writer, my device habits are not in any way reflective of mainstream customers, or perhaps even enthusiasts. If someone has the Galaxy S6 for example, it’s quite logical that what I am about to say won’t be a valid point of reference. Likewise, if someone prefers another device (like the Xperia Z3+) then the point is also lost. Still, it must be made: After just a few weeks with the Galaxy S6, I have trouble considering any other phone as a valid replacement, literally because of the absence of a fingerprint sensor.

Consider just for a second, how many times you unlock your device in a day. Obviously those users who have a screen timeout setting of 2 minutes, or who don’t have any security lock period will be far less bothered. For those of you like me, however, in any given 10 minute period, your device usage might consist of this:

I’m listening to music and want to change albums. I want to see if a System Update is available. I want to check my Hotmail account (which is set to pull, not push). I want to make a quick memo. I want to upload a picture to Google Plus. I want to check my schedule for the next day. I want to activate Silent Mode.

These are just 7 perfectly valid examples of why I might unlock my phone. Now imagine unlocking the device each time with a pattern. Or even worse, imagine doing it with a 7-digit password or numerical sequence. How much wasted time is involved? How easy is it to just activate the power, place my fingertip over the Home Button for just a second, and its unlocked, and with basically no errors.

Scanning advice

samsung galaxy s5 fingerprint sensor scanner security

The sensor on the Galaxy S5 was, for me at least, an absolutely horrible experience.

For those interested in improving the accuracy of their Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge fingerprint sensor’s accuracy, perhaps the best advice is to select one (or two) fingers that you will use exclusively to unlock the device, and setup all four of the available readings to the designated digits. I, for example, had originally registered four different fingers to the sensor, but it often missed reading them on occasion. After I set two different print reads for my left thumb alone (the first being all vertical, and the second being split between left and right horizontal orientation about 50:50), things improved to what I would argue is 99% accuracy. I repeated the process with my right thumb.

If you are comfortable with just registering one finger however, you could technically set up all four reads to ensure the most accurate reading possible. You could have one stored file for each 90-degree position your finger could possibly scan the button.

Security risks and shortcomings

fingerprints scanner sensor (2) Fingerprint Cards AB

While I have spent a great deal of time extolling the virtues of fingerprint sensors, it must be said that they are not an absolute form of security. Just as how a pattern unlock sequence can be “stolen” by looking at the oil residue on the phone, so too could a fingerprint be lifted from the device, or literally anything for that matter, even a photograph should the resolution be high enough. And, unlike the pattern unlock which has literally no value outside of Android, a fingerprint can be an absolutely damning piece of incriminating evidence or even proof of legal registration.

It also needs to be said that even the Galaxy S6’s fingerprint sensor can’t do the impossible. If you have even the slightest bit of water or dirt on your finger, there is a large chance the scan will result in an error. In one typical instance, I had just washed my hands, hastily dried them, and tried to unlock the phone a few seconds later. Access was not granted, and when I checked my finger, indeed it had a small droplet of water or two that had got on the sensor and caused the error. Likewise should the biometric reader get scratched or damaged in any way, the error rate will increase if not become absolute.

An eye for detail

スクリーンショット (47)

Fujitsu’s “Iris Passport” is being marketed as a major security function of its new Arrows NX phone.

One possible increase in safety, security, and sanity could be the iris-scanning technology that Fujitsu has placed into its “brick-sized” Japan-only Arrows NX. Having tested it out at a local docomo store, I was generally impressed by the accuracy of the reading, at least from the dozen-or-so times I tried it out. Unfortunately the actual scan itself takes a bit of time and is therefore much more cumbersome than simply holding down your finger… or drawing a pattern. This is something that can be improved with future software (or hardware) updates however, and thus I wouldn’t necessarily see it as a death toll for the tech.

On the other hand, it needs to be said that in addition to having pitifully bad eye-sight, I wear brown-colored contact lenses. This is in part because I like darker eyes, and in part from awkward experiences with Japanese people “mystified” by my true blue-green color. Why mention this vanity confession? Simple: the lenses have a “fake iris” on them. I literally scanned the contact lens, and that alone is great cause for concern. Assuming the manufacturer has a single design for the pattern on the lens, anyone who buys the same brand that I do could have “my” eyes. The security implications are quite grave to say the least. This isn’t some kind of high-tech Minority Report-type scheme here; it’s not even as complex as creating false fingerprints from a magnified image.

スクリーンショット (46)

A look at the scanning process and subsequent authorization acceptance.

After doing a bit of research, there seem to be conflicting reports of the biometric authenticity with respect to colored lenses. Some reports suggest or claim the technology is now advanced enough to read “beyond” and see the intricacies of your true iris, however other reports indicate that there are limitations imposed by colored contacts. The question is just how accurate or advanced the sensor in Fujitsu’s latest smartphone is. As a personal experiment, within the next week, I will attempt to go back to a docomo store and see if I can get permission to try and experiment with the Fujitsu phone: to scan my eyes with the lenses, then see if I can unlock them without, and vice-versa.

Focus on the future

Samsung Galaxy S5 usb flap fingerprint aa 4

Regardless of whether-or-not people are excited about the security benefits of biometric authentication, there is one major reason they should care about it: expedience. Many smartphone users opt to go without setting a password or pattern to unlock their device simply because they don’t care, they don’t want the hassle, or they don’t realize the risk of theft and what that might entail. Including some form of advanced authentication that is integrated into a basic movement or gesture is the key. In the past, companies like HTC, Motorola, and even Samsung have managed to make a mess out of the fingerprint feature. With the Galaxy S6 however, Samsung has made a huge advance in the functionality factor, as the reader works so much better than that of last year’s flagships.

In my honest opinion, I feel that well-implemented biometric security elements should be a core feature of smartphones from today onward. What do you think however? Are you satisfied without it? Leave us your comments below and let us know.

23
Jun

Samsung on track to sell 45 million Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets this year




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Samsung‘s primary aim with this year’s flagships was presumably to recover lost ground after releasing the Samsung Galaxy S5, and it looks like they’re going to manage it. Just. According to a report from Deutsche Bank, 45 million Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets are going to be sold before year’s end, which puts the flagships on par with the Samsung Galaxy S4 which sold the same number two years ago. Luckily, the Galaxy S6 Edge commands a bit more of a profit margin, and while we probably won’t know what kind of profit margin Samsung was able to achieve with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, it’s suffice to say that Samsung is on top of their game again.

Despite this, Samsung might still fall short of its original expected targets, and it’s not like its other product lines are helping with the report citing “struggles” in Samsung’s mid and low end devices. Samsung probably isn’t completely out of the woods yet, but it’s definitely looking better than this time last year, and we’re sure the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (and Edge companion) is going to make some waves later this year in September.


What do you think about Samsung selling 45 million Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Yonhap News via SamMobile

The post Samsung on track to sell 45 million Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets this year appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

22
Jun

T-Mobile begins rolling out Android 5.1.1 Lollipop to the Galaxy S5


lg g3 vs samsung galaxy s5 aa (31 of 35)

Having recently become one of the first carriers to update its Samsung Galaxy S6 handsets to Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, T-Mobile has now quickly followed up with an update for its Galaxy S5 customers.

An update with the build number G900TUVU1FOF6 has begun rolling out to S5 owners today, although the company has not yet officially announced the update or listed a change log for us to dissect.

However, we know from the previous S6 update that Android 5.1.1 includes new features such as Smart Lock factory reset, the option to remove toggles from the Notification panel, and a slight update to the Material Design elements in Samsung’s TouchWiz UI.

Samsung also introduced the Guest Mode from stock Android, a new Parallax Effect for wallpapers, and alphabetical app draw ordering with the Galaxy S6 update, so these features should hopefully carry over to the Galaxy S5 update as well. It is also likely that the new camera RAW file format and ISO adjustment options will be made available, at least when using third party camera apps.

The update is gradually rolling out over the air or can be grabbed as a manual download through Samsung’s Kies software. T-mobile seems to be ticking all of the right boxes with its fast update process.

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