HERE offline map app arrives on Android for the first time, initially on Samsung Galaxy phones only

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HERE, the competitor to Google Maps initially available only on Windows Phone, has arrived on Android for the first time. Initially, the beta version of the Android app will be limited to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

The main claim to fame of the app is that it offers the ability to download entire regions or countries for offline use, in contrast to Google Maps which only allows you to cache areas you have viewed while online. HERE maps currently cover around 200 countries, though turn-by-turn directions are so far limited to about half of these …  Read more

Samsung champions metal frame, curved corners & finish of Galaxy Alpha in new blog post

Samsung has put together a blog post extolling the virtues of the metal frame, curved corners and finish of the handset it created to go head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone, the Galaxy Alpha. It follows an earlier post on the making of the phone.

The prose is best described as stilted, but the general idea is that every element of the design has a reason behind it. Metal, we are told, offers “thinness, style and a comfortable grip.” And just in case anyone should accuse them of copying the iPhone in switching from plastic to metal, Samsung is quick to point out it started making metal phones back in 2006 – a year before the first iPhone …  Read more

Alleged image of Samsung’s virtual reality headset leaks ahead of expected IFA debut

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Just a few weeks ahead of IFA in Berlin, an alleged image of Samsung’s virtually reality headset has been leaked. According to The Verge, Samsung is set to unveil this headset, alongside the Galaxy Note 4, at its Unpacked event in Berlin next month. The report claims that the headset, codenamed Project Moonlight, is similar to Google Cardboard in how it allows you to pair it with a smartphone display to transport you “into an immersive world” with its lenses.

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FCC filing reveals height & width (but not depth) of Samsung Galaxy Alpha

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A few days after we saw new photos of the upcoming metal-bodied Samsung Galaxy Alpha in white, an FCC filing spotted by phoneArena reveals the height and width.

Listed only by its FCC ID of A3LSMG850F, the dimensions fit earlier rumors that the handset would be smaller than the Galaxy S5, with a 4.8-inch 720p display in place of the S5’s 5.1-inch 1080p screen. The dimensions are shown as 133x67mm, around a centimetre shorter and about half a centimetre narrower than the S5 …  Read more

LG leaks G3 Stylus in promo video, looks set to take on Samsung’s Galaxy Note

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LG’s flagship smartphone the LG G3 appears set to take on Samsung’s Galaxy Note series as an official promotional video just leaked a second variant, the G3 Stylus.

Appearing right at the end of the video, we learn nothing more about the device other than its name and the fact that, yep, you’d never guess, it has a stylus. We liked the G3 very much, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see whether the new device is able to put up serious competition for Samsung’s Galaxy Note …  Read more

Amazon Fire Phone teardown analysis reveals how dynamic perspective killed the phone

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The reason Amazon’s Fire Phone has failed to impress is that it spent so much on the “gimmick” of dynamic perspective that it only had enough cash left to build an otherwise mediocre phone – the conclusion of a component analysis of a teardown of the phone.

Dynamic perspective allows the phone to detect and respond to head movements when viewing the phone’s display, but has been widely seen by reviewers as a novelty or gimmick.

Following iFixit’s earlier teardown of the Fire Phone, re/code has been given sight of a component costing following a separate teardown by research form IHS. This reveals that the total component cost of the Fire Phone is around $205 – more expensive even than Apple’s flagship iPhone 5S. The cost of the dynamic perspective technology left little room for anything but mid-range specs in the rest of the handset, says IHS …  Read more

iFixit teardown gives us our first look inside the Amazon Fire Phone, rates it low on repairability

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iFixit has added to the poor reception given to Amazon’s first ever smartphone, the Fire Phone, by rating it 3/10 for repairability. Even Amazon didn’t seem to have great confidence in the technology, its first ad focusing instead on the free 1-year Amazon Prime subscription you get with the phone.

Despite external, non-proprietary screws and no adhesive holding the casing together, iFixit found that simply removing the battery proved challenging, requiring a mix of heating and prying. After that, says the company, things only got worse …  Read more

WQHD display and fingerprint sensor tipped for the Note 4 in latest leak

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Leaker @evleaks this morning posted a tweet featuring some interesting APKs from the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 that reveals information about its hardware and software.

The list includes the usual suspects, such as S Health, S Music, and Samsung Link software, but two of the APKs might pique your interest. “SStudio_WQHD_K.apk” implies the new phablet will sport a highly rumored WQHD display, giving the display a resolution of 2560×1440. Also on the list is an APK titled “FingerprintService.apk”, strongly implying the fingerprint reader currently found on the Galaxy S5 will be expanding over to the Note line as well.

Other features such as “PhotoTable.apk” and “SmartSelfShot.apk” were also leaked, but it’s no surprise Samsung is going to be adding even more photo modes to the already saturated list.  Read more

Samsung reportedly launching all-metal Galaxy Alpha smartphone next month

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According to a new report out of Korean news outlet ETNews, Samsung is preparing to launch an all-metal device as early as next month called the Galaxy Alpha. According to the report, Samsung intends to heavily market the device as a competitor to Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6.

According to industry insiders on July 13, the Galaxy Alpha, which Samsung will launch next month, is a premium smartphone made of a metal. It is forecast to counter the iPhone 6 scheduled to be released in September. It appears that Samsung will rebound from its recent poor performance with a new smartphone lineup, not the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note Series.

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Samsung misses analyst estimates, reports $7.1 billion in operating profit for Q2

Photo: ibtimes.com

Photo: ibtimes.com

After warning earlier this month that Q2 didn’t “look too good,” Samsung today released its earnings preview for the second quarter of 2014. The South Korean company reported an operating profit of $7.1 billion (7.2 trillion won), missing analyst estimates of $8 billion (8.1 trillion won). This comes out to a 24 percent drop year over year (via Bloomberg).

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