iPhone 5 Stories September 26, 2014

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Consumer Reports released a new video today taking on claims of overly-flexible iPhones that have appeared online recently. Apple noted that only a handful of complaints have come in and gave journalists a look at its testing procedures. Regardless of Cupertino’s claims, Consumer Reports kept its promise to conduct testing that was a bit more scientific in nature than previous YouTube videos.

To address these claims, several different phones were tested under up to 150 pounds of pressure to see when each model would stop “snapping back” to its original shape. The devices tested were the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and LG G3.

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iPhone 5 Stories July 15, 2014

Verizon’s LTE support for ALLSET prepaid plans arrives July 17 starting at $45/mo

Verizon today announced that it is finally adding 4G LTE support to its ALLSET prepaid plans starting on July 17th. This announcement comes just a few weeks after the addition was originally rumored. Starting on July 17th, customers can bring their own devices to ALLSET and use them with LTE data, in addition to using the devices already offered through ALLSET by Verizon.

iPhone 5 Stories June 25, 2014

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Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell have demonstrated an interesting (and slightly scary) technique for using Google Glass to detect phone PINs with 83 percent accuracy from across a room – even when the screen wasn’t visible.

The technique used applies an image-recognition algorithm that doesn’t need direct sight of the screen. Instead, it uses a reference image of the target device to detect the angle at which it’s being held, then tracks the shadows from finger taps to detect which on-screen keys are being pressed …  expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories February 18, 2014

The fingerprint sensor is said to be embedded in the home button

The fingerprint sensor is said to be embedded in the home button

SamMobile is reporting that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will have a fingerprint sensor which will both unlock the phone and allow automated website logins. We’re expecting to see the S5 officially announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 24th February, though it may not go on sale until March or April.

It had earlier been rumored that the S5 would have iris recognition, but a KGI Research document pointed instead to a fingerprint sensor, which SamMobile claims to be able to confirm via sources inside Samsung.

We are finally confirming that Samsung’s upcoming flagship device, the Galaxy S5, will be equipped with a fingerprint sensor […]

Samsung hasn’t opted for on-screen buttons and is still using physical buttons, like it has been using in the past on all of its flagship devices. The sensor itself works in a swipe manner, which means that you would need to swipe the entire pad of your finger, from base to tip, across the home key to register your fingerprint properly …  expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories January 27, 2014

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Increasing competition in the Android market is placing Samsung under increased pressure, says Kantar, reporting sales figures for the final quarter of 2013.

After years of accelerated growth, Samsung is now coming under real pressure in most regions, with European share down by 2.2 percentage points to 40.3% and in China its share ended the year flat at 23.7% …  expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories January 9, 2014

Galaxy S5 design needs to be different to the S4, says Samsung

Galaxy S5 design needs to be different to the S4, says Samsung

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 …  expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories January 8, 2014

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The story of the Nokia Normandy project to get Android on low cost smartphones got some more real today with yet another leak of the phones, this time with some OS shots on them. If what we’re seeing is legit, and most evleaks are, this one has two SIM card slots and very thick custom overlay.  I can’t wait to see if these are released so I can not buy one.  expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories December 18, 2013

iris

A piece on ZDNet‘s Korean site reports that Samsung has developed an iris-recognition system to unlock smartphones, and that the technology is likely to be seen in handsets launched next year.

Iris-recognition is generally considered to be the gold standard for biometric identification, allowing extremely fast matches with a very low risk of false matching. It is commonly used for border controls …  expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories November 18, 2013

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For all the things the Moto G may be, there’s little question that the Moto G isn’t the phone for the individual who cares most about smartphone photography. With a $179 price tag, we understand some compromises will have to be made and even if a 5 megapixel camera, f/2.4 lens and flash combination are present, we know some tradeoffs are at hand in overall quality.

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iPhone 5 Stories November 7, 2013

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The results from our Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s photo quality survey are in.  The winner is probably not a surprise (the iPhone 5s) but the margin may have been a bit of a surprise after so many people rated the Nexus 5 camera so poorly (and Google subsequently offered promises of fixes).

At the time we turned on the answers, the iPhone won about 55% of the votes overall from over 200,000 votes placed.

Nexus 5 − 89724  (45%)

iPhone 5S – 110828 (55%)

After testing the Nexus 5 camera for a few days, it is pretty clear that it isn’t the best shooter out there, and even the best Android shooter.  But it also isn’t that bad. In fact, I think it might be a bit better than other high profile phones like the MotoX.  The weaknesses in the survey and in my own testing is in speed (it is slow, especially in low light), Low light images in general weren’t great and paradoxically over-exposure outside in well lit situations (though people in the survey seemed to appreciate that bias) seemed to happen frequently with the Nexus 5.

The bottom line however is that the Nexus 5 camera isn’t the best but it really isn’t that bad – especially for a $350 phone.   Full results before we turned on the labels below: expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories October 5, 2013

Size comparison between Nexus 7, iPhone 5s and Galaxy Note 2 and S4

“Is that a Samsung Galaxy Mega in your pocket?”, is how the joke usually starts.  Samsung, never content with having the biggest phone out there, released its crazy ‘Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3‘ contraption with a whopping 6.3″ display on AT&T customers in the US recently and I wanted to see if I could actually get by with it, and it alone, as not only my “Internet Communicator” but also my phone.

I should probably preface this with the fact that I’m a very sparse phone user. I rarely give my number out and even when I get a call, I rarely answer it. When I’m at my desk, I use Google Voice, Hangouts, Skype and iChat for voice communications. When I’m on the road, I’m on a cheap unlimited data plan which affords me 100 minutes of talk time a month. I usually use about half of that IYSWIM.

So with that in mind, how were my few weeks with the Mega?

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iPhone 5 Stories September 13, 2013

The smartphone gold rush is underway: gold HTC one coming soon

With the gold iPhone 5s a very poorly-kept secret, it’s no surprise to see other brands getting in on the action. Engadget has received photos from a previously-reliable source (Sina Weibo, who leaked the blue model) of a gold-colored HTC One.

HTC could use a bit of a boost after a series of unhappy experiences.

It’s always next to impossible to judge the shade of a color from a photo, as angle and lighting can dramatically change the appearance, so we’ll have to wait to see whether this is something close to Apple’s champagne color or something more gaudy.

While many supposed parts leaks are fake, this one looks credible, and we suspect it won’t be the last gold smartphone we’ll see by the end of the year.

iPhone 5 Stories September 12, 2013

Samsung responds to new iPhones: will focus on China, says 64-bit chips coming for Galaxy phones

In an interview with the Korea Times, Samsung executives respond to Apple’s recent announcements in typical Samsung fashion. In order to better compete with Apple in China, Samsung confirmed that it would focus more on the huge Mainland market.

For example, the company says it has received clearance from Chinese authorities to sell TDD-LTE devices, to enable Samsung to offer phones that work on the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile.  As a result of “changing market situations” (i.e. Apple), Samsung is accelerating its schedule for releasing these Chinese-friendly devices. Apple is expected to announce a partnership with China Mobile to sell the iPhone before the end of the year.

In addition, Shin, Samsung’s co-CEO announced that Samsung’s next Galaxy phones will feature 64-bit architectures, to rival the A7 in the iPhone 5s.

“Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” Shin said, adding he followed the media coverage of Apple’s new iPhone.

Shin’s noncommittal reply indicates that although 64-bit chips are on the roadmap, they will not arrive this year. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5s ships on September 20th.

While it is easy to make fun of Samsung for stereotypically copying everything Apple, it is important to remember that they are also likely making Apple’s 64-bit A7 processors.

iPhone 5 Stories September 11, 2013

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Reuters reports that Motorola is currently shipping 100,000 Moto X handsets a week – though not necessarily selling this number.

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said “When you set up to ramp a factory you need a plan, and we have shipment targets we need to make with our carrier partners, and where we need to be right now is 100,000 units and that’s where we are.”

Woodside would say only that direct sales to customers were “substantial”. Either way, we suspect the company must be secretly disappointed in the numbers …  expand full story

iPhone 5 Stories April 23, 2013

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That’s the S4 sandwiched between the HTC One and the iPhone 5

I’ve been playing with Samsung’s Galaxy S4 (no, I won’t write S 4) for the better part of a week and, not to spoil the whole review: I love it.  It is better in every way than the S3 hardware-wise, and Samsung even has some good software on this phone, particularly in the camera field. I’ve never been a fan of Samsung’s software.

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It is what is on the inside that counts, right?

This phone will do extremely well in the market and will keep up the fight against the almighty iPhone 5 and HTC One (which we reviewed earlier this month and loved). In the Apple world, this S4 is called an ‘S update’ – where the outward design is mostly the same but a lot of changes have taken place under the hood.

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iPhone 5 Stories April 12, 2013

UK carrier O2 follows T-Mobile lead with its own version of ‘Uncarrier’

UK mobile carrier O2 is following T-Mobile’s US lead in separating phone and airtime plans.

Unlike Uncontract, O2’s Refresh deal still requires customers to sign up to an airtime contract, but allows greater flexibility by paying off the phone plan at a faster rate, and getting more frequent upgrades.

Customers can reduce the monthly cost of the phone plan by paying an up-front amount, or trading in the old handset, and can pay off the phone plan balance at any time in order to upgrade.

A customer buys a HTC One on O2 Refresh and chooses to pay £17 per month for their Airtime Plan and gets unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data. They then choose to pay £20 per month for their Phone Plan and pay £49.99 up front, meaning their combined O2 Refresh tariff costs £37 per month, the same as they would pay on a standard 24 month Pay Monthly contract.

To make it even more affordable to get the latest smartphone, customers can trade in their old mobile for cash using O2 Recycle, getting up to £260 to put towards their new phone.

Refresh is focused on higher-end handsets, and will initially offer a choice of HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S3, Sony Xperia Z, Blackberry Z10 and  iPhone 5.

iPhone 5 Stories January 22, 2013

Samsung ‘fast follower’ mantra extends to marketing as well

A story today from Fortune writer Michal Lev-Ram titled “Samsung’s road to global domination” tells an interesting anecdote about the company’s ad team on iPhone 5 launch day. The team, led by chief marketing officer Todd Pendleton with help from ad agency 72andSunny, sat in a Los Angeles restaurant following real-time updates from Tim Cook’s iPhone 5 unveiling.

Two hours later the team had crafted the now well-known ad campaign mocking iPhone line sitters:

They huddled around tables mounted with laptops and TV screens, carefully tracking each new feature and monitoring the gush of online comments on the new device via blogs and social media sites. As the data flowed in, writers from the company’s advertising agency, who were also camped out in the restaurant turned war room, scrambled to craft a response…

Two hours later, when Cook stepped off the stage, the Samsung group was already drafting a series of print, digital, and TV ads. The following week — as the iPhone 5 went on sale — the company aired a TV ad mocking Apple “fanboys” queuing up for the new phone. (“The headphone jack is going to be on the bottom!”) The 90-second commercial went on to become the most popular tech ad of 2012, garnering more than 70 million views online. More important, in the weeks following the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, Samsung sold a record-breaking number of its own signature smartphone, the Galaxy S III.

iPhone 5 Stories January 16, 2013

HTC’s 4.7-inch ‘M7’ flagship looks very iPhone-like in latest leaked renders

We have heard a lot about HTC’s upcoming M7 smartphone expected to replace the company’s One X line in recent weeks. The rumored 4.7-inch device has some pretty impressive specs, including “several industry firsts,” according to recent reports. However, it certainly doesn’t have an industry-first design, if this new leaked image from UnwiredView is legit, and I think Apple might agree.

The report quoted a “trusted source” and claimed the image above is clipped from “a short animation clip instructing new owners on first-time SIM card installation” for the M7. It’s likely we’ll get our first real look at M7 next month during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

iPhone 5 Stories September 19, 2012

Samsung mocks iPhone 5 line sitters (again) in new Galaxy S III ad

Samsung just released its latest ad mocking iPhone line sitters, right on time for the release of the iPhone 5 this week. The ad is quite similar to its old “The Next Big Thing” Galaxy ads bashing iPhone customers waiting in line at the Apple Store, but this time the commercial is of course for its latest device, the Galaxy S III.

iPhone 5 Stories September 11, 2012

Are you ready for the latest breakdown of Android’s performance ahead of Apple’s iPhone 5 event tomorrow afternoon? Android boss Andy Rubin just announced this evening that 500 million Android devices have been activated to date, which follows Eric Schmidt’s announcement of 480,000 devices last week. Rubin reiterated Schmidt’s announcement, claiming 1.3 million Android devices are being activated daily (70,000 of which are tablets). Last week, we calculated Google could hit a whopping 1 billion devices activated in a year’s time at its current growth. Tonight’s announcement was definitely interesting timing.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Arubin/status/245663570812100608]

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iPhone 5 Stories September 19, 2011

The Korea Times reports that Samsung “is seeking a complete ban” on the iPhone 5 sales in Korea – even before the handset is even released, let alone officially announced. Local carriers KT and SK Telecom have so far sold about 3.1 million iPhones in the country. The paper quotes an unnamed Samsung senior executive:

Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents. For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights.

Another Samsung executive is “quite confident” about “a big breakthrough” provided Samsung wins in Germany, adding that “so will other envisioned efforts against such products as the iPhone 5”. The report goes on to mention that iPhone sports an LG Display-made screen, LG Innotek’s eight-megapixel camera, Samsung-made NAND flash and A5 chip and an NFC chip for wireless payment.

The twist in this case, of course, is the fact that Apple is Samsung’s biggest customer, buying displays, NAND flash memory and custom-built A4 and A5 chips for its products. It has been reported that Samsung may soon lose its contract as Apple turns to rival TSMC.

The manufacturing relationship means Samsung gets information about the innards of Apple’s non-released devices months before the actual manufacturing ramp up. This early access to Apple’s designs could have led Samsung to move with the iPhone 5 ban in Korea ahead of Apple’s official launch. On the other hand, Apple did not accuse Samsung yet of abusing its manufacturing contract to rip off Apple’s upcoming devices with its own products.

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iPhone 5 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 

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