Lionsgate offering The Hunger Games and Catching Fire movies for free to select Samsung users

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To celebrate the holiday season, Lionsgate is offering users of select Samsung devices free downloads of two popular movies. Users of the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro, Galaxy Tab Pro, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Note 3 can download The Hunger Games movie and its sequel Catching Fire for totally free via the Lionsgate Android app.

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Videos preview upcoming Android 5.0.1 update for Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, & S5 LTE-A

Samsung focused blog SamMobile today posted the videos above and below showing off an upcoming Android 5.0.1 update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy S5 LTE-A.

The update is mostly bug fixes, according to the report, but it also has a few notable new features including slow and fast motion video recording functions. Read more

‘Samsung couldn’t build a good OS if they tried’ says Cyanogen CEO at Yureka smartphone launch

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A new company being birthed from Micromax (similar to how OnePlus came from OPPO) called YU Digital has launched a new middle-tier smartphone today for the Indian market, and it runs Cyanogen OS 11—much like the OnePlus One. In fact, this entire launch seems pretty familiar, as it appears YU Digital is attempting to do with the Yureka exactly what OnePlus did with the One: launch a phone out of nowhere at a killer price and hope viral marketing does its thing.

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Gartner: Samsung continues to slow amidst Xiaomi growth in China

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Gartner today published its third quarter numbers, showing overall growth in the smartphone market and a strong quarter for Apple. Mobile devices overall saw as many as 456 million sold with smartphones taking a 301 million slice of that pie, which comes out to a solid 66% (up 20% from last year). This shift in the market seems to be hurting Samsung and Nokia the most, because while the Korean giant is still leading the pack, this year smaller companies with slimmer margins seem to be taking some of its foothold.

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Patent dispute halts some (all?) Xiaomi smartphone sales in India (Update: confirmed)

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The Times of India reports that the Delhi high court has banned Xiaomi from both importing and selling smartphones in India following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson.

Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India […]

It is not clear if the order will impact all Xiaomi devices sold in India or specific devices that violate the patents.

However, as the patents concerned are Standard Essential Patents – patents which are so fundamental to a particular product category that the patent owner is obliged by law to license them on reasonable terms – it appears likely that the ruling applies to all Xiaomi handsets …  Read more

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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Purported Samsung Galaxy S6 “Project Zero” specs leak in AnTuTu benchmark

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Every year when any company’s new flagship is around the corner, benchmarks for what are assumably prototypes of those devices tend to pop up on phone benchmark websites months before they see any kind of official announcement. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone isn’t any exception, and today we have evidence (via CNMO) that the phone has already shown up on AnTuTu, possibly corroborating previously leaked details about the upcoming handset’s specs.

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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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