Marques Brownlee picks his smartphones of the year (and we agree…mostly)

One of my favorite Youtubers (along with Dom and Detroit Borg), @MKBHD did his year end Smartphone of the year roundup and can say I agree with almost every choice he made here. Almost.

Some small gripes however: He didn’t ding Samsung enough for its overlay in the ‘Big Phone’ category (IMO), I might have given LG more props for their camera and One Plus One shouldn’t have beat the Moto G 2014 as best budget. You can get 2 Moto Gs for the price of a One Plus – if you can even find one! That’s not to say the OnePlus isn’t a great budget phone and running Cyanogen mod almost makes it more of a game changer than the Sharp Aquos Crystal.

One other thing: I’m OK with the HTC One M8 as phone of the year as long as it is the GPE. Otherwise Moto X gets the nod

Like I said, I’m almost completely in agreement!

Spoilers below:

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Senior heads rolling at Samsung’s mobile division in first stage of downsizing operation

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The downsizing expected at Samsung‘s mobile division has seemingly started at the top, with Re/code reporting that three senior execs are leaving the company. This follows the loss of five high-ranking execs earlier in the year.

Three deputies to the head of Samsung Electronics’ mobile division are leaving, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday, as the world’s largest smartphone maker faces a rapid decline in profit […]

The departures included global marketing chief D.J. Lee, the source said, confirming earlier media reports.

All three of those leaving are said to be direct reports to mobile head JK Shin, who survived the cull despite presiding over a 74% drop in profits in his division …  Read more

Snapdragon 810 chip issues could delay LG G4, Xperia Z4; less likely to impact Samsung Galaxy S6

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Qualcomm is experiencing problems with its upcoming Snapdragon 810 chip, expected to power several of next year’s flagship smartphones – potentially delaying their launch. The high-powered chip is expected to be used in the Samsung Galaxy S6, LG G4 and Sony Xperia Z4, and has also been slated for a new Motorola phablet.

Business Korea cites an unnamed industry source in reporting that testing of the chip has revealed several issues.

The Snapdragon 810 overheats when it reaches a specific voltage. It also slows down owing to problems with the RAM controller connected to the AP. In addition, there is an error in the driver of the Adreno 430 GPU.

The 810 is a 64-bit octa-core chip supporting 4K displays, and hence a likely bet for the next generation of top-tier phones …  Read more

Samsung Galaxy S5 Lollipop update begins to rollout, but only in Poland

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When Google released its Android distribution numbers for December earlier this week, Lollipop was notably missing from the chart as it had not gained enough of the market to appear. In a move that will slowly start to get Lollipop onto more devices, however, Samsung this evening has started to rollout its Lollipop update to the Galaxy S5. At this point, though, the update is only rolling out to the Poland Galaxy S5 variant (via SamMobile).

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Galaxy S5 sales 40% worse than expected, 25% down on S4 sales, says WSJ

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While we knew last month that sales of the Samsung Galaxy S5 were down, the WSJ believes it has specific numbers.

In all, Samsung sold about 40% fewer Galaxy S5 smartphones than expected, with about 12 million units sold to consumers in the first three months since April compared with about 16 million units for the preceding flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, according to people familiar with the matter.

Samsung is said to be considering a major leadership shake-up in response to the numbers …  Read more

Galaxy Note Edge review roundup: intriguing display w/ some neat tricks, but not worth the premium cost

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Earlier this year at its Unpacked event, Samsung previewed its Galaxy Note Edge phablet with a special, curved part of the display that wraps around the right side. We’ve already given you our early hands-on and first impressions of the latest Samsung Galaxy Note variant, and today the reviews are starting to surface. So what’s the verdict on this unique take on a phablet? Check out our roundup below: Read more

Google Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – Full comparison (Video)

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At this point, it’s very clear that Google’s Nexus 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 are the two hottest Android phablets on the market. These two monster-sized smartphones are both great in many ways, but what makes them so different? In this article, we’re going to be comparing the Nexus 6 to the Galaxy Note 4. This comparison won’t get too in-depth with every single feature from each device, but it’s nice to know how these two stack up against each other.

We’ll be taking a brief look at features, specifications, design, and camera performance in this comparison and hopefully give you a good idea of what each device has to offer. Also, be sure to check out our full review of the Galaxy Note 4 and Nexus 6 for more details on each device. These two Android smartphones are complete opposites in terms of features and design, but which one is right for you? Let’s go ahead and find out…

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Samsung’s new Galaxy A3 and A5 are slim metal selfie machines with mid-range specifications

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Samsung has just unveiled two new Galaxy devices. The rumored “A Series” is finally here. Samsung’s Galaxy A3 and A5 are some of Samsung’s slimmest smartphones to date with a variety of social networking features and full metal unibody designs. The Galaxy A3 is a mere 6.9mm thin, while the A5 sits at just 6.7mm. Unfortunately, there’s nothing crazy happening in the specifications department…

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Galaxy Mega 2 announced, packs 720p 6-inch display, 8MP camera

GalaxyMega2Samsung this evening has finally officially unveiled the Galaxy Mega 2, a follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Mega 5.8, for overseas countries. But while the device has a gargantuan screen, its specs are nothing to be too impressed with. The Galaxy Mega 2 features a 6-inch display, up from the 5.8-inch model it is replacing, with a 720p display.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha: Hands-on and first impressions (Video)

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Samsung recently announced the Note 4 which sports a new premium design with a metal frame, but before that came the metal-framed Galaxy Alpha. This device flew under the radar for many because it was announced at a very random press event in Russia last month. Unfortunately, the only way I can describe this device is being, “Samsung’s iPhone.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it seriously looks like an iPhone…

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