Archive for Samsung

Samsung Announces Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Watch, Wireless Charger Duo, and Galaxy Home Smart Speaker

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 9, 2018 by itnerd

Samsung announced a lot of stuff at a product event today. Here’s a rundown of what was announced:

  • The new Galaxy Note 9 was announced and it is equipped with a 6.4-inch 2960 by 1400 Super AMOLED screen, and like previous Note models, it works with the S Pen stylus. It features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 to 8GB RAM, dual AKG speakers, a 4,000 mAh battery, and 12-megapixel dual-aperture camera system. But it adds a Intelligent Camera function that’s able to detect what you’re taking a photo of. The S Pen that comes with the Galaxy Note 9 introduces new Bluetooth-enabled features that allow it to be used to control the camera of the device for taking selfies and other photos, control video playback, and more. It will ship with Android 8.1 and pre-orders start tomorrow with an August 24th launch date. Here’s a video that does a full rundown of the specs:

  • Samsung also announced the Galaxy Watch, an LTE-enabled device that’s been designed to look like “a real watch” with a circular face and bezel that doubles as a control unit. It offers up Corning’s DX+ glass and better battery life than previous Samsung smart watches, with Samsung claiming that it will last several days on one charge. I question this move as the Apple Watch dominates the wearables category. But clearly the Korean company thinks they can make a go of it.
  • Samsung has introduced the Wireless Charger Duo that’s able to charge the watch and the phone at the same time.
  • Galaxy Home, which is designed to compete with Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, Google Home, and other smart speaker options on the market. I’m really questioning this move as for starters, Bixby sucks. And on top of that, I don’t know how much room is left for a new entrant like Samsung.
  • Samsung has finally announced a deal with Spotify to enable the streaming service to be used seamlessly across all of Samsung’s devices.

Clearly the Galaxy Note 9 is the headline here. But all of these announcements will get Samsung a fair amount of press. But will it translate into sales? It will for the Note 9. I’m not sure about the rest of it. But time will tell.

UPDATE: Telus sent me that statement;

Following Samsung’s announcement of the new Galaxy Note 9 today, we’re happy to confirm that it is now available for pre-order at TELUS. The latest iteration of Samsung’s Note series is available for pre-order at www.telus.com/galaxynote9 for $750 with a Premium plan, and $550 with a Premium Plus plan. TELUS customers who pre-order the new Galaxy Note 9 will also receive a pair of Gear IconX earbuds, valued at $299.99.

The Note 9 will be available for purchase in-store and online at telus.com on August 24.

 

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#PSA: If You Have A Samsung Phone, Your Pics May Be Sent To Random Contacts

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 3, 2018 by itnerd

From the “well this is quite the screw up” department comes news that Samsung’s Messages app bundled with Samsung smartphones and tablets may silently sending people’s private photos to random contacts. At least according to a thread on Reddit that has people complaining about this. Samsung is apparently aware of the complaints, which surfaced last week and is investigating.

In the meantime, if you’re using Samsung’s Messages software and are worried about unapproved picture texts, especially of any pics that are “private” in nature, not that there’s anything wrong with that, you should open the app go into its permissions, and disable access to storage. That way pics that you don’t want out in the public domain don’t have the chance to surface.

Peace In Our Time: Apple And Samsung Settle Years Long Patent Infringement Dispute

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on June 28, 2018 by itnerd

Samsung and Apple have had a patent infringement dispute that goes back seven years and went something like this:

  • Apple sued Samsung for pretty much copying the iPhone and scored a $1 Billion victory.
  • Samsung appealed, but not before Apple got some Samsung phones banned in the US.
  • Subsequent trials dropped that billion dollar figure to $539 million this past may. But this is more than the $399m figure Samsung had managed to shave off in the past.

Yesterday, both parties settled. No clue how much cash traded hands. Though it is a safe bet that Samsung likely cut a big cheque to make this go away. But all claims in the case be dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be refiled.

Thus after 7 long years, there is peace in our time in the smartphone world. Until the next patent infringement lawsuit.

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+ Are Coming To Telus

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 26, 2018 by itnerd

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are coming to Telus and their customers looking to pick up Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones can pre-order online at Telus starting today.

To sweeten the deal and get the most out of their new smartphones, Telus customers who pre-order the new Samsung S9 or S9+ between Feb 26 and Mar 15 will receive a $150 bill credit applied to their accounts.

As usual, some restrictions apply. But you use the links above to get all the details.

Samsung Unveils Galaxy S9 Series At MWC

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 25, 2018 by itnerd

Samsung today unveiled its latest Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagship smartphones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Here’s a video of the introduction:

The key features of Samsung’s latest and greatest are:

  • The smaller Galaxy S9 features the same 5.8-inch Super AMOLED QHD+ bezel-light display and a single rear-facing camera with a fingerprint reader placed just below the camera sensor.
  • The Galaxy S9+ has a 6.2-inch Super AMOLED QHD+ screen and a dual-camera setup.
  • Both also have the same 8MP f/1.7 front-facing camera.
  • The Galaxy S9 will include 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage with the S9+ having 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage
  • Both phones come with Android 8.0 Oreo
  • The two phones have a dual aperture camera which will be able to switch between f/2.4 and f/1.5. Thus the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will have the flexibility to take photos and videos in different lighting situations.
  • The Galaxy S9+ brings a secondary camera which will use a wide-angle sensor to capture more of what you’re seeing. The most significant difference is that the dual-camera array is now lined up vertically with the fingerprint sensor being placed below them.
  • The phone has the ability to capture super slow-motion video at 960 frames per second.
  • Samsung has a new feature called AR Emoji which maps out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and imitates expressions, like winks and nods, for true personalization of emoji’s. If that sounds like the Animoji feature of the iPhone X, you’d be right.

Both phones will be available on March 16 with pre-orders starting on March 2. Colors include Midnight Black, Lilac Purple, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue.

 

Google Announces Android Enterprise Recommended program…. Without Samsung

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 22, 2018 by itnerd

Google has announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program, an enterprise focused initiative that highlights devices that follow best practices for professional use. It also lays out a set of requirements that OEMs must follow. Speaking of OEM partners, here’s who’s on the list at present:

  • BlackBerry KeyOne and Motion
  • Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL
  • Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, and P smart
  • LG V30 and G6
  • Motorola X4 and Z2
  • Nokia 8
  • Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ Premium, XA2, and XA2 Ultra

Now if you’re thinking “hey, why isn’t Samsung on this list?” you’re not alone. It’s strange that the biggest maker of Android phones on the planet, not to mention the one manufacturer that has biggest presence in the enterprise space isn’t here. But they did have a line in their blog post that says “You can expect more Android Enterprise Recommended devices to be added in the coming weeks and months.” So maybe when the Galaxy 9 ships they’ll appear. But still it is curious.

Samsung & Roku Smart TV’s Are Vulnerable To Pwnage Study Finds

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 8, 2018 by itnerd

Consumers Reports is running a story that claims that smart TV’s made by Samsung and Roku have security flaws in them that make them easy to pwn:

Consumer Reports has found that millions of smart TVs can be controlled by hackers exploiting easy-to-find security flaws. The problems affect Samsung televisions, along with models made by TCL and other brands that use the Roku TV smart-TV platform, as well as streaming devices such as the Roku Ultra. We found that a relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume, which might be deeply unsettling to someone who didn’t understand what was happening. This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away. (These vulnerabilities would not allow a hacker to spy on the user or steal information.) The findings were part of a broad privacy and security evaluation, led by Consumer Reports, of smart TVs from top brands that also included LG, Sony, and Vizio. The testing also found that all these TVs raised privacy concerns by collecting very detailed information on their users. Consumers can limit the data collection. But they have to give up a lot of the TVs’ functionality — and know the right buttons to click and settings to look for.

Well, that’s not good. And it reinforces why I will never have a smart TV in my home. Though I will admit that I do have a Roku device which I use frequently. But that’s likely not going to get disconnected anytime soon.

Having said that, Roku shot back at this report very quickly by saying that there’s no risk and giving details on how one can protect themselves. Which to me seems a bit counterintuitive seeing as there’s supposedly no risk according to the company. Samsung on the other hand had something different to say:

In an emailed statement, Samsung said, “We appreciate Consumer Reports’ alerting us to their potential concern,” and that the company was still evaluating the issue. The company also said it would update the API to address other, less severe problems related to data security that CR uncovered. Those changes “will be in a 2018 update, [with timing] to be determined, but as soon as technically feasible,” the spokesman said.

The bottom line is this. If you put anything on the Internet, your car, a light bulb, or whatever, it can get pwned by hackers. Thus before you put anything on the Internet, think long and hard about the risk that may present to you. Because this sort of thing isn’t going to go away anytime soon.