iPhone 4 Stories January 19, 2015

Samsung said to ditch removable battery in favor of new glass design w/ Galaxy S6

It has been reported several times that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 will ditch the company’s classic all plastic design in favor of something of higher quality, which has been thought to be a metal-build. Today, however, a new report out of Korea, which should be taken with a grain of salt, says that Samsung is looking to make the Galaxy S6 out of all glass. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s how Apple designed its iPhone 4 and 4s.

iPhone 4 Stories June 1, 2012

ChipWorks delves inside the Samsung Galaxy SIII

ChipWorks and iFixit are hardcore when it comes to breaking open our favorite devices to see what is inside. The two websites decided to take it up a notch today by joining forces to publish a live teardown of the non-LTE Samsung Galaxy SIII. ChipWorks looked at the—you guessed—chips, while iFixit focused on repair aspects.

This is what the ChipWorks dissection unearthed: 

Yep, that is Samsung’s Exynos 4412, 32 nm CMOS, 1.4 GHz quad core ARM processor.

“The Exynos is in a standard PoP (Package-on-Package) assembly with a Samsung LP DDR2 Green Memory K3PE7E700M-XGC2,” explained ChipWorks. “It is notable that this is the same process generation as we documented in the Apple A5 rev 2, APL2498, also fabricated by Samsung and for which you can see the general structure.”

The device also features the Sony IMX145 is an 8-megapixel, 1.4 um pixel pitch, back illuminated CMOS image sensor. Sony designs and manufactures this image sensor, which the Apple iPhone 4S also boasts. Samsung provides its own storage, however, with the KMVTU000LM. According to ChipWorks, it is a multi-chip Samsung MOVI N and memory module.

A few other chips worth mentioning:

-Wolfson WM1811AE Audio Codec -Maxim Max77686 Power Management IC -Maxim Max 77693 is a multifunctional device including PMIC, MUIC, flash LED control -Audience 350B voice processor -Silicon Image Inc 92240Bo RF Transmitter -STMicroelectronics  STD03 AMOLED Display Driver

Visit ChipWorks for more specs on the S III’s communications standards and touchscreen controller, or watch iFixit’s live teardown take place [here].

This article is cross-posted at 9to5Mac.

Unlocked Samsung Galaxy Nexus for $370 on eBay

There is currently an unlocked 16 GB Samsung Galaxy Nexus i9250 on eBay for $369.99.

It works on any GSM Carrier and sports Android 4.0, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 5 MP camera, an 1850 mAh battery, a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display, as well as 4G (LTE or HSPA+) connectivity. The deal expires soon, but it includes free shipping and an additional $63 two-year warranty. Furthermore, eBay promises it will arrive at your doorstep on June 7 if bought today.

According to the listing that just went live yesterday, 557 devices were already sold. This is a rare bargain, so hurry up and get one before this limited offer ends.

iPhone 4 Stories April 18, 2012

T-Mobile Test Drives 4G vs 3G in unfair network comparison

Following the launch of its new Alter Ego ad campaign yesterday, T-Mobile just made its new “Test Drive” tool available for comparing the speed of “American’s Largest 4G Network” to other guys— Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. Unfortunately, as pointed out by TMONews, the carrier is comparing 4G LTE Android handsets, such as the Galaxy S II, to the 3G speeds of the iPhone 4S. This is obviously not a fair comparison of LTE network speeds…

T-Mobile’s TestDrive website is now live and I will say at first glance, I’m disappointed. I’ll just get right to it — T-Mobile, I’m really puzzled by this. The idea that you claim “America’s largest 4G network” and design a new commercial campaign around speed and then compare your “4G” network against “3G” smartphones is a questionable act. Speed should no longer be the focus of T-Mobile’s marketing campaign, Value and Technology should. Speed should be a secondary thought. If you can’t win on speed, highlight where you can, Value, Value, Value.

iPhone 4 Stories January 23, 2012

We have seen Siri clones in the Android Market trying to pass themselves off as the real thing, and some Siri alternatives making their way to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Evi, on the other hand, might actually be the first true Siri competitor/alternative for Android and non-iPhone 4S iOS users.

Available on the App Store for 99 cents and free to Android users on the Android Market, Evi is the work of True Knowledge and its “core semantic search technology” better known as The True Knowledge Answer Engine. The 99-cent price tag on iOS is apparently to cover the cost of using Nuance voice recognition (the same voice recognition tech as Siri), which is not used in the Android version.

The app’s iTunes page explained Evi is capable of returning local data for the United Kingdom (along with the United States), which has been a complaint from U.K. Siri users since the iPhone 4S launch. According to TechCrunch, the app uses “an ontology of tens of thousands of classes into which” every possible user command can be recognized. True Knowledge said the app contains “almost a billion ‘facts’ (machine understandable bits of knowledge)” with the ability to infer trillions if necessary. It also reportedly uses all the expected sources, such as local results from Yelp, third-party websites, traditional web searches, and APIs.

While as of yet Evi is incapable of integrating with Calendar and Reminders like Siri, TechCrunch pointed out it sometimes provides more accurate and useful results for certain types of questions. Siri requests to search the web for an answer when users ask certain questions, such as “How do I make apple pie?” Evi, however, would provide a list of recipes with relevant links to that specific question. TechCrunch highlighted another example where Evi excels:

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iPhone 4 Stories December 20, 2011

As part of their 2011 Zeitgeist, Google ranked the Kindle Fire “as the fastest selling gadget of 2011,” followed by Apple’s iPhone 4S. The Kindle Fire has seen explosive growth since it was released earlier this fall. It topped charts as Amazon’s best selling product — breaking their records — and it is top selling at retailers such as Target. With great sales numbers and interest, the Kindle Fire would see many search hits.  The rest of the list makes sense, as well:

  1. Kindle Fire
  2. iPhone 4S
  3. Sidekick 4G
  4. HP TouchPad
  5. HTC Thunderbolt

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iPhone 4 Stories December 14, 2011

Friendly, amusing, relevant, focused on product features but without offending either camp (Samsung, we’re looking at you). Love the cheap tune, BTW.

From the YouTube description:

The iPhone 4S owner learns the hard way that its new camera can’t hold up to some of the killer camera features on the T-Mobile HTC Amaze 4G such as BurstShot, SmartShot panorama and SweepShot.

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iPhone 4 Stories September 16, 2011

If you are on Sprint and you love huge, beautiful screens on your smartphones, you can pretty much stop reading here and go get yourself the Galaxy S2 varient dubbed the Sprint Epic 4G Touch.  The WiMAX candybar flagship phone is $199 on a 2 year 4G contract or $149 at Amazon.

But if you care about everything else an Android phone has to offer, keep reading, it mostly just keeps getting better…

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iPhone 4 Stories September 12, 2011

Anandtech has published some interesting findings based on their extensive Samsung Galaxy S II review. It’s the first smartphone to use the graphics processing unit based on the Mali-400 core from ARM Holdings, a fables chip maker from the UK. In fact, Samsung has engineered and manufactured its own system-on-a-chip solution for the handset.

They call it the Exynos 4210 and it combines a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU core and the aforementioned Mali-400 GPU sporting four cores. The resulting performance, says Anandtech, is comparable to Texas Instruments OMAP 4 chip that incorporates Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX540 GPU core. However, the quad-core 1.2GHz Exynos 4210 probably won’t hold a candle to iPhone 5, which will likely carry the same dual-core processor-GPU combo as the iPad 2’s 1GHz A5 chip:

Samsung implemented a 4-core version of the Mali-400 in the 4210 and its resulting performance is staggering as you can see above. Although it’s still not as fast as the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found in the iPad 2, it’s anywhere from 1.7 – 4x faster than anything that’s shipping in a smartphone today.

Interestingly, and per the GL Benchmark seen in the above image, the Exynos 4210 is more than twice as fast compared to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that runs Nvidia’s Tegra 2 chi. It’s also nearly four times speedier than iPhone 4’s 800 MHz A4 chip which has the PowerVT SGX535 GPU core. However, the 4210 falls short in the triangle throughput department.

The publication this this could be a big disadvantage over the iPad 2’s A5 processor that clocks nine times the graphics performance of the original iPad’s A4 chip. Triangle throughput is important in graphics-intensive games and will become key in “future games that may scale along that vector rather than simply increasing pixel shader complexity”. The video of Anandtech’s Samsung Galaxy S II review is right after the break.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com.

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iPhone 4 Stories July 24, 2011

Due to their wide variety of popular Android devices, Samsung “may have” surpassed Apple in smartphone sales according to Boston-based Strategy Analytics. In Q2 2011 Samsung is estimated to have sold between 18 – 21 million smartphones, while Apple sold 20.3 million iPhones, and Nokia sold 16.7 million.  Certainly, they are at least #2.

Much of Samsung’s success is credited to sales of the Galaxy S II which has been booming overseas.

It’s far from official that Samsung has surpassed Apple, but at any rate they’re becoming a close competitor. We can’t wait to look at these numbers again when the Galaxy S II hits U.S. shores, but then again, the iPhone 5 is reportedly on its way too.

via Bloomberg 

iPhone 4 Stories July 5, 2011

Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, or AMOLED, is a display technology from Samsung which has so far been limited to their high-end devices such as the Galaxy S series smartphones. It has worked out well for the Korean firm: They’ve been advertising the crispness and sharpness AMOLED enables as the hardware feature setting apart their smartphones from Apple’s iPhone 4 which employs a regular LCD display with in-plane switching (IPS) technology. Even though iPhone 4’s Retina Display-marketed LCD IPS display sports wide viewing angles and crisp 960-by-480 pixel resolution, it falls behind the AMOLED technology which features vivid colors, true blacks, high brightness and low power consumption.

All those wonderful goodies are said to be adopted by “numerous mobile phone vendors” in the second half of this year, reports DigiTimes. The publication explains that Samsung Mobile Display “has began production of AMOLED panels with the 5.5G production lines in May to further increase the penetration of AMOLED panels”. Samsung and its carrier partners have been making a lot of noise with the Super AMOLED Plus display featured on the Galaxy S II smartphone.

For example, the company aired a series of television commercials focused on the Super AMOLED Plus display alone. The Korean Herald asserted in May that Apple might use AMOLED in iPad 3, but it’s unclear why Samsung would enable its rival to tap the one distinct hardware feature that differentiate their products from Apple’s gadgets.

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