Samsung announced today that it’s releasing a couple variations of its Galaxy S4 and S4 mini smartphones that introduce the faux “leather-style” backside that first made an appearance on the new Note 3 at IFA in September. The new devices are dubbed “Black Edition” and come with wallpapers to match, but otherwise are the same 5-inch and 4.3-inch Galaxy S4 devices that have been on the market for nearly a couple years now. Samsung says the special Black Editions will be available in select markets starting this month. Read more
Samsung didn’t reveal much that was new in a fairly wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg, but exec VP of the company’s mobile division Lee Young Hee did tease a couple of things while confirming that the Galaxy S5 would be released by April.
The company is “studying the possibility” of including the iris-recognition security system we told you about last month. If Samsung succeeds, it would be a neat piece of one-upmanship on the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in Apple’s iPhone 5S, iris-recognition being both faster and more secure than fingerprints.
The company also said that it recognized that the design of the S4 wasn’t sufficiently different from the S3, and that we can expect something significantly different from the S5 … Read more
Verizon announced today that it is releasing new mini variants of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy devices. One is the Galaxy S4 mini, the latest mid-tier version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4. However, Verizon is oddly also launching last year’s model today, the Galaxy S III mini.
Despite the fact that the S4 mini is the newer device, the S III mini might be the better option for those on a budget as it will cost customers just $50 on a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate. The S4 mini will come in at $99 with the same rebate. You’ll also be able to grab a month-to-month plan if you drop $249 or $399 for the S4 mini or S III mini, and $10 and $16 a month offers are available through Verizon Edge.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has retained its title as winner of the highly-regarded Which? UK consumer association battery-life tests, despite competition from newer handsets. The S4 achieved call times 37 percent greater than its nearest rival, the HTC One. The results in web use were far closer, but the Samsung S4 took the lead there too.
The Galaxy S4 also won back in June, but retained its title in the face of new competition from the latest iPhones and an updated Nokia Lumia. Android handsets took the top three slots in call times, and the top four in web use …
Update: Google has released a full list of what’s new in Android 4.4 KitKat. We’re digging in and we’ll bring you more details as we discover them.
Alongside the official release of its new flagship Nexus 5 on Google Play today, Google is also of course officially taking the wraps of 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Android that will ship on the new Nexus 5. When will you be able to get your hands on the new OS? Google said KitKat 4.4 updates will arrive for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions in the coming weeks.
Google confirmed that the update will not be coming to the Galaxy Nexus. Since it’s two years old, it now “falls outside of the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices.”
In the YouTub playlist above, Google walks through some of the new features of KitKat for developers and also highlights a number of user-facing features such as a new “immersive mode” that allows users to automatically hide onscreen controls for a truly full-screen experience. In a blog post, Google took sometime to explain the performance improvements it’s made in KitKat, noting that Android can now “run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices”: Read more
Keeping with the trend of being the company’s “fastest selling smartphone ever”, Samsung has just announced that the Galaxy S4 has sold 40 million units world-wide.
Samsung CEO JK Shin revealed this data earlier today while speaking to Korean media regarding speculation that the Galaxy S4 had not sold as well as Samsung had originally expected. The device has been on the market for about six months now, and within the first month, the device had shipped 10 million units worldwide.
For comparison’s sake, the Galaxy S3 had shipped 30 million units after just six months on the market. So despite some speculation that the Galaxy S4 was too similar to its successor to sell at the same rate, the device is clearly doing just fine.
One thing worth noting is that it’s somewhat unclear as to whether JK Shin is referring to sales or shipments of the device. Should it be the latter of those, then Samsung has not actually sold 40 million Galaxy S4 units to customers, but rather shipped them to retailers to sell. Read more