Security researchers have been able to find a way to listen in on phone calls made through a Samsung smartphone by using a malicious base station, the full extent of this vulnerability is unclear but it does affect the company’s recent high-end devices like the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge. It’s classified as a “man-in-the-middle” attack, discovered by researchers Daniel Komaromy and Nico Golde, it involves setting up a malicious base station close to the target device which then automatically connects due to a vulnerability in Samsung’s “Shannon” line of baseband chips.
Once the handset is connected the base station pushes firmware to its baseband processor, a chip that handles voice calls, and that firmware routes the calls through the malicious base station from where they are directed to a proxy that records calls and sends them to the attacker. All of this happens without the user ever knowing about it, they can continue to make and receive calls while they’re recorded in the background as if the line had a wiretap on it. The researchers have not made the full details of this attack public for obvious reasons but they have disclosed it to Samsung which will hopefully have a fix ready in the near future.
A report which cites data collected from the Thomson Reuters’ Patent Search Service and World Intellectual Property Service (WIPS) states that Samsung is leading its rivals in the most number of patents filed for wearable devices between 2003 and 2014, the same report puts Philips in second and Panasonic in third place. Korea Electronics Technology Institute issued this report, it’s a government-supported research of electronics components, its report found that 64,502 patents were filed between 2003 and 2014 with the top 30 patent holders accounting for 13.2 percent of the findings with 8,539 patents.
Samsung filed the most number of patents for wearable devices in this period, more than 600 to be precise, while Philips and Panasonic came in second and third respectively with a few hundred patents of their own. LG and Canon came fourth and fifth with close to 400 patents. Sony came eight while Microsoft and Qualcomm were found to be the 19th and 20th largest patent holders. Country-wise the most number of wearable device patents, 17,813, were filed in Japan with the United States coming in second place as 14,519 patents for wearable devices were filed during this time period.
Samsung Display has stopped production on the local L5 line which was previously used to mass produce the company’s fifth-generation LCD panels, the production line is located in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province. Now that the line is no longer being used for producing the LCD panels the company has entered the procedure to start selling the equipment. It set up the L5 line back in 2002 which was used to mass produce LCD panels for consumer electronic devices such as monitors and notebooks.
A Samsung Display official has said that the company is now seeking potential buyers who will be willing to acquire the equipment that it has no use of, the exact value of sale has not yet been confirmed but industry analysts believe it may well be in tens of billions of won. Samsung’s fourth-generation production line in Cheonan was sold to China’s Truly last year. It remains to be seen through whether Samsung decides to invest more in LCD production lines in the future or if it’s going to focus more on the OLED lines operating at its A1 to A3 production facilities.
A study conducted by Deloitte found that more than 40% of smartphone users in The Netherlands own a smartphone made by Samsung, the same study puts Apple in second place, accounting for just 23% of the country’s smartphone users. The study’s participants were asked about the make of the smartphone they currently own as well as the one they had before it, results put Samsung on top with 40.5% and 31% of participants said that their previous device was also made by Samsung.
Apple clinched second place with the study revealing that 23% said they owned a handset made by the fruit company, Nokia came in third place with about 10%, the Finnish company’s hardware business was acquired by Microsoft nearly two years ago. HTC, Sony and Huawei bring up the rear with 5.3%, 4.4% and 3.8% respectively.
The Tizen-powered Gear S2 smartwatch works with all Android smartphones, not just the ones made by Samsung, so the possibility exists that at some point the company might even enable it to work with iOS devices as well. Samsung did say back in September that it was looking at the possibilities to open up the Gear S2 to iOS and according to the new report this might happen in the near future.
Apparently Gear S2 owners will be able to use their smartwatch with an iOS device as well by first installing an app on that device which will allow them to set up and customize the Gear S2 for use. They will reportedly be able to use all of the features available to Android users, however for additional features like Samsung Pay users will be required to use the smartwatch with a Samsung smartphone. Samsung itself has not yet confirmed if and when iOS support will arrive for the Gear S2 but it hasn’t ruled out the possibility as well, so it just might happen.
Samsung has been quite aggressive in promoting Samsung Pay and this has obviously helped increase the adoption of its mobile payment service. The company recently launched a promotion through which it’s offering free accessories worth $349 on the purchase of a 2015 flagship as well as a rebate on activating Samsung Pay. You don’t have to buy a new device to get $50 in cash from the company, it is now separately offering the rebate to any and all users who activate Samsung Pay between now and November 19.
About two weeks back the company launched a promotion which promised users a free charger if they activated Samsung Pay before November 8, while there’s nothing wrong with a free wireless charger, I’m sure many would choose the $50 in cash. To take advantage of this offer just activate Samsung Pay on the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 edge, the Galaxy S6 edge+ or the Galaxy Note 5 before November 19 and register a valid debit or credit card. Then go over to Samsung’s promotions website and register for the rebate which will arrive to you in the form of a cheque in 4-6 weeks.
The Galaxy S5 Active received Android 5.0 Lollipop a few months back and while it has been quite some time since the latest version of Lollipop came out, the handset is getting this particular update just now. AT&T has released Android 5.1.1 for the Galaxy S5 Active, a handset that no other carrier in the country sells. Active variants are exclusive to AT&T in the United States.
Build number LMY47X.G870AUCU2COJ3 has been released by AT&T for the Galaxy S5 Active, weighing in at 640MB, it’s imperative that you download it over Wi-Fi so that it doesn’t eviscerate your cellular data allotment. Android 5.1.1 is an incremental update so there’s not much in the way of new features, the handset gets several security updates, fix for Ultra Power Saving mode for devices using On Device Encryption as well as Android for Work with the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update.
If you’ve been looking to purchase the Galaxy Note 5 in Gold Platinum from a carrier in the United States then T-Mobile is your best bet, Magenta has now started selling the Samsung flagship in this color, it’s available in the same 32GB and 64GB flavors like the White Pearl and Black Sapphire models. There’s obviously no change in the pricing as well.
There’s nothing different about this model aside from the paint job, all of the specs and features remain the same. The Galaxy Note 5 can be purchased in Gold Platinum from T-Mobile for $700 upfront, the 32GB model can also be purchased on Magenta’s installment plan for $0 down and equal monthly payments of $29.17 per month for 24 months. It’s also available with 64GB storage for $99.99 down and 24 equal monthly payments of $28.34 per month, or for $779.99 at full retail.
Samsung officially unveiled the newest member of its Exynos family of application processors, the 64-bit Exynos 8 Octa 8890 is the second premium application processor from Samsung that’s built on the 14nm FinFET process technology. Unlike the Exynos 7 Octa 7420 the new processor is an integrated one-chip solution that houses Samsung’s first custom designed CPU based on 64-bit ARMv8 architecture and the latest LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 modem, bringing an entirely new level of performance to Samsung’s Exynos processor.
Exynos 8 Octa 8890 is the first processor from Samsung to feature the company’s initial premium custom CPU cores based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture, Samsung says that the new chip brings a 30% improvement in performance and 10% improvement in power efficiency as compared to the Exynos 7 Octa. The new processor also has support for enhanced heterogeneous multi-processing to enable efficient usage of the four custom and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores to deliver highest performance and power efficiency in its class. It’s also the company’s first integrated one-chip solution in its premium lineup that combines the application processor and modem, it features the LTE Rel.12 Cat.12/13 that’s capable of providing maximum download and upload speeds of up to 600Mbps (Cat.12) and 150Mbps (Cat. 13) respectively. To effortlessly power a graphic intensive user interface, immersive 3D gaming and virtual reality experiences the new processor features the Mali-T880, ARM’s latest graphics processor.
Samsung is going to start mass production of the Exynos 8 Octa 8890 in late 2015, which means you can expect it in a mobile device next year, it goes without saying that the Galaxy S7 will be powered by this processor.
For the past few weeks it has been rumored multiple times that Samsung is going to unveil the Galaxy S7 ahead of schedule, but according to a latest tweet from a tipster that has been right many times in the past, there is no truth to these reports of an early launch. According to the tipster the Galaxy S7 is going to be unveiled at Galaxy Unpacked 2016 which is said to be set for February 21, 2016.
In the past Samsung has unveiled its Galaxy S series handsets a day before Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona and this timeframe is no different. Next year Mobile World Congress takes place February 22 through February 25, so scheduling Galaxy Unpacked 2016 for February 21 makes perfect sense, it won’t surprise anybody. What this means is that Samsung isn’t going to unveil the Galaxy S7 ahead of schedule as some have been claiming, it’s going to stick with its tradition of unveiling the device a day before MWC kicks off, it just so happens that MWC is going to take place in February next year. Take this rumor with a grain of salt for now though since there’s no confirmation from the company regarding Galaxy Unpacked 2016 just yet.
Spreadtrum, a fabless semiconductor company from China which works with wireless communication standards and mobile chips today confirmed that its WCDMA SoC platform has been officially adopted by the Samsung Z3, a new Tizen-powered smartphone from Samsung. Spreadtrum’s integrated platform includes a 28nm 1.3Ghz quad-core SC7730SI WCDMA/HSPA(+) GSM/GPRS baseband chip, its 3-in-1 SC2331S connectivity chip, SR3532S RF and SC2723S power management chip. The company has also integrated its own Image Signal Processor in the baseband chip.
Chairman and CEO of Spreadtrum Dr. Leo Li said that his company is pleased to work with Samsung and that the new platform is a milestone for Spreadtrum as it has enabled the company to not only ship mobile phone chipsets to Samsung but also connectivity chips. Self-development of ISP, particularly on image processing details, has enabled the company to get Samsung’s acceptance as it has now officially adopted the WCDMA SoC platform for the Tizen-powered Samsung Z3.
Walkie talkies are great fun, aside from the fact that they provide you with a direct line of communication with the person on the other hand, which can be supremely useful in many scenarios. Conventional walkie talkies have range limitations but what if you could bring that same functionality to an application? That’s what Voxer has done and its voice messaging app is now available for the Gear S2.
The app is simple enough to use on the Gear S2, just select a contact you want to chat with and then press a virtual button to speak to them in walkie talkie mode. If you’re on the receiving end you will first get a notification that a message has arrived which you can listen on the watch itself or use Bluetooth headset. Voxer app for the Gear S2 is now available for download absolutely free.
Samsung is notifying potential customers in Europe that its flagship NX1 camera has been discontinued, it hasn’t even been a year since this product was released, and it’s odd that the company has decided to do this close to the lucrative holiday shopping season that’s just around the corner. In a statement the company says that it quickly adapts to market needs and demands which is why it’s discontinuing sales of NX1 cameras in Europe for now since there are already much better and upgraded cameras available.
The company does point out that this decision is specific to Europe and does not mean that sales of the NX1 will be discontinued in other parts of the world as well. However it does point out that it will keep evaluating market conditions across the globe and then make further decisions about whether or not the NX1 one should continue to be sold in those markets as well, all of this is being done to “maintain our competitiveness in emerging Camera categories.” This does beg the question whether or not Samsung will ever release a successor to this camera or if it’s going to gradually stop selling it altogether and not come out with a new one. It can’t be said for sure right now since the company isn’t confirming future plans regarding the NX1 just yet so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
It’s no secret that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S7 early next year but for now there’s no confirmation from the company about what we can expect from its next flagship handset. Sure enough there have been countless rumors and reports about the features and specifications of the Galaxy S7, and we’re bound to get more of those before the handset arrives. Some believe that the Galaxy S7 may arrive a bit earlier than usual next year and the information we have for you today does line up nicely with that belief.
Our insiders tell us that Samsung has started developing firmware for the Galaxy S7, work has begun a month earlier than it did for the Galaxy S6 last year, which could be a major indication that Samsung might unveil the Galaxy S7 in February 2016 as expected instead of at Mobile World Congress in March. There have been reports about two variants of the Galaxy S7 and this confirms that there will be flat and curved models like the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 edge. Development on G930FXXU0AOK6 and G935FXXU0AOK6 has begun this month and could very well mean that the Galaxy S7 may arrive a bit early next year.
The holiday shopping season has much to offer to customers and retailers both, customers get great discounts while retailers get unprecedented sales, it’s a win-win for everybody. No wonder people start researching Black Friday deals in November as they gear up to get their holiday shopping done, there are plenty of deals to be had between November and December, with Best Buy Black Friday deals offering a great incentive to stock up on mobile devices from Samsung.
Those who purchase the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 edge or the Galaxy S6 edge+ from Best Buy on installment billing or lease will get a guaranteed $250 Best Buy gift card, the card is good for anything and everything Best Buy sales, so customers are essentially getting $250 off the purchase of a 2015 Samsung flagship. 32GB Galaxy Note 5 will be available for $49.99 with a two year service contract on Verizon or Sprint, that’s a $200 saving, customers can also save $60 on the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, $70 on the Gear Fit and the Gear 2 Neo smartwatch and even $50 on the Gear S2. Discounts are also offered on Samsung wireless charger, microSD cards as well as up to 50% off on cases for Samsung smartphones and tablets. These deals are just what have been uncovered in a leaked Best Buy Black Friday 2015 ad, it’s quite possible that more deals will be available on Samsung devices when the year’s biggest shopping day arrives.
The Gear S2 is a great smartwatch, one that can hold its own against Apple Watch, the current market leader as far as wearable devices go. Samsung obviously needs to sell a lot of units to take the lead and it’s sparing no cost when it comes to promotion and marketing. The company has posted a new ad for the Gear S2 titled “Dial In,” as the name suggests it puts the spotlight squarely on the Gear S2′s dial.
Samsung’s latest smartwatch is a bit different from its rivals because there’s a rotating bezel on the dial, it acts as an input method, just rotate the bezel to scroll through menus and perform other tasks. The 30-second clip also shows off some applications that make use of this dial feature and even provides a glimpse of the 3G model which allows users to make and receive phone calls directly from the wrist without first having to pair the Gear S2 with a smartphone.
There have been conflicting reports recently about the Galaxy S7 camera, it was even reported at one point that Samsung is in talks with Sony to get the camera module it has used in the Xperia Z5. Another report has claimed that Samsung will go with a 12-megapixel rear camera but with a larger 1/2-inch sensor, that coupled with the larger pixel size would enable the new flagship to perform beyond expectations, a new trademark application from Samsung seemed to corroborate that theory. Now we’re hearing that the Galaxy S7 will instead feature a 20-megapixel camera on the back that’s capable of shooting in RAW format.
This information hasn’t been backed up by multiple sources as yet so it should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s claimed that the Galaxy S7 will have a 20-megapixel rear camera with RAW support. A Pro mode may also be onboard that offers advanced options for folks who like to tinker with the settings before they take a picture, and it may even have a new video recorder mode with advanced functionality. Aside from the obvious software improvements all this rumor tells us is that Samsung might consider moving up to a 20-megapixel camera. There’s no confirmation from the company on this matter just yet, it may not reveal the truth until February 2016 when it’s expected to unveil the Galaxy S7.
Word on the street is that Samsung will soon launch the successors to the Galaxy A3 and the Galaxy A5, two smartphones which really signalled the company’s intent to bring premium construction to its mid-range lineup. The latest leak suggests that the Galaxy A3 and the Galaxy A5 2015 edition will feature improved specifications as well as a new design.
The design changes are quite obvious, new handsets have the speaker grill at the bottom and the shape of the rear camera and LED flash as well as the positioning have also been changed. From the looks of it Samsung may have gone with a glass back for the two new handsets which will contribute to the premium feel that these smartphones shoot for. The Galaxy A3 2015 edition is believed to feature a 4.7-inch HD display, a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor with 1.5GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera. On the other hand the Galaxy A7 2015 edition may feature a 5.2-inch 1080p display with an 1.6GHz Exynos 7 Octa processor under the hood coupled with 2GB RAM and the same camera setup. Both handsets are likely to be powered by Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. A fingerprint sensor might be onboard as well which would mean that these devices might even come with support for Samsung Pay. Samsung has not yet revealed when it intends to launch the Galaxy A3 and the Galaxy A5 2015 edition.
We recently covered promotions from Sprint and T-Mobile that offer a $100 value to customers but Samsung’s new promotion hits the ball out of the park. The company is offering free stuff worth $350 and even $50 in cash if you purchase the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 edge, the Galaxy S6 edge+ or the Galaxy Note 5 before November 22. There are two Holiday Gift Bundles that customers can choose from, each bundle has its own name and collection of accessories.
The Swarovski Holiday Bundle gets you Samsung’s own fast charge-enabled portable battery pack, a wireless charger and a crystal phone cover from Swarovski. In the Level On Holiday Bundle you get the same power back and wireless charger but instead of the crystal phone cover you get a pair of Samsung Level On headphones. Those who want the $50 cash rebate on top of these accessories worth $350 all they need to do is activate Samsung Pay on their device and register one of their compatible cards for a $50 rebate after making an online claim via the Samsung Promotions website. This offer is limited to residents of the United States.
Samsung Pay has only been around for a couple of months now but its adoption is rapidly growing in South Korea and the United States, this payments service has not yet been expanded to other markets, expansion to Europe and China is expected before the end of this year. Currently the service is good for making purchases via credit or debit cards as well as for using loyalty and store cards, Samsung has confirmed that support for gift cards is coming soon, but in the future the service may allow people to make payments from one smartphone to the other by simply using Samsung Pay.
A module will be required to enable this functionality that will allow people to exchange money between smartphones and pay with cards through the NFC chip installed in compatible smartphones. When the module is installed the handset can essentially be used as a mobile credit card payment terminal and it won’t use the value-added network (VAN) because it will be directly linked to card companies. Not only will this reduce credit card fees but also the monthly rental, communication and maintenance fees that merchants usually have to pay for conventional card terminals.
The module has been developed by a U.S. startup Hankook NFC and it is in discussions with Samsung to bring this technology to Samsung Pay thus allowing people to transfer money between smartphones. Since the handset will be a mobile payment terminal with the module it will also enable small merchants and temporary businesses like kiosks to accept card payments because no private lines or card payment devices will be required and credit card companies will be able to directly authorize the payments. It is unclear if Samsung will decide to expand the features of Samsung Pay by leaning on this module but the possibility very much exists, and it certainly won’t be too bad if it really does.
The holiday season approaches as millions anxiously wait to purchase new and exciting things in deals that only come around once a year. Anticipation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is growing in the United States, some retailers have already started running sales events before the two big shopping days of November and now T-Mobile follows suit as well. Its new promotion asks “Why wait for Cyber Monday” when you can get $100 off on some of Samsung’s best smartphones.
Under T-Mobile’s “Super Smartphone Deal” customers can save $100 on a variety of handsets which includes iPhones, a couple of LG flagships and a range of Samsung smartphones. This is a limited time offer that’s available to new and existing customers who activate a new line of service, they’ll need to purchase a qualifying rate plan and the fine print also states that this promotion can not be stacked with other offers. Eligible Samsung smartphones include the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 edge, the Galaxy S6 edge+, the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note 5. Just click on “Apply Coupon” on the promotion page to add the $100 discount before checking out. This is an online-only promotion which can not be availed through T-Mobile brick and mortar stores in the United States.
A new promotion has been kicked off by the fourth largest mobile carrier in the United States possibly in hopes of boosting its subscriber base. All customers need to do is activate a qualifying Samsung smartphone on Sprint in November 2015 and they will be given a free year of Amazon Prime which itself is a $99 value. Aside from offering free two-day shipping Prime members can also access an enormous amount of content in Amazon’s video and music streaming services.
Qualifying smartphones include the Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S6 edge, the Galaxy S6 edge+ as well as the Galaxy Note 5, basically he company’s 2015 flagship lineup. This offer is available until November 30, Sprint customers who purchase their handset outright, get it on a two year contract, lease it or buy it on an installment plan are eligible to get a free year of Amazon Prime. Existing Sprint subscribers can also take advantage of this promotion on a renewed line.
Most wearable devices these days come with basic health related features, they’re able to count steps, calories burned and some are even capable of measuring heart rate. Much more can be done to make these wearable devices even better particularly when it involves keeping on top of health matters and for precisely that purpose Samsung Electronics’ System LSI division has developed a “Bio Processor.” It’s capable of measuring electrocardiogram, commonly known as ECG, the bio processor is a system in package which consists of embedded flash memory, an application processor and bluetooth on one module in order to keep size and thickness at a minimum.
The bio processor was unveiled by executive director of LSI division Park Yong during his keynote speech at International System on Chip Design Conference (ISOCC) 2015 earlier this week. He pointed out not only does the bio process allow monitoring of one’s health but it can also be used as a device to distinguish one person from the other, because everyone has their own personal heart beat the wearable device can automatically log them into a PC without needing them to enter a password. Similarly the sensor can allow access to a car door or house door saving the user from having to juggle multiple keys.
Aside from ECG the system in package is also capable of monitoring Photo PlethysmoGraph, which measures rate of blood flow, and bacterial inhibition assay to measure body fat. Samsung will continue to improve this technology down the line, it’s aiming for enhanced speed, greater battery efficiency and even small chip sizes. The company is actively engaged in discussions with companies that are creating smart wearable devices, it’s only a matter of time before the company’s bio processor starting showing up in devices like smartwatches and activity trackers.
Samsung hasn’t been quick to release the Android 5.1.1 update for some of its tablets, the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 is one of those tablets, but today said firmware is finally available for download. Recently T-Mobile released the same update for its variant of the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 (SM-P607T) and today it has arrived for Wi-Fi only model (SM-P600).
Model name GALAXY Note 10.1 Wi-Fi 2014 Edition
Version Android 5.1.1
Build date Fri, 23 Oct 2015 08:45:16 +0000
Product code PHE
Android 5.1.1 for Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Wi-Fi is available now and can be easily downloaded from our firmware section.
It has only been a few months since Samsung Pay was launched, the payment service is performing nicely in the market and a major update is set to arrive in the near future which will not only add support for more financial institutions but also allow users to use gift cards for payment. For now Samsung Pay works only with a select few Samsung Galaxy devices but the company hasn’t ruled out the possibility of opening up the payments service for devices made by other manufacturers.
This was revealed by Injong Rhee, executive vice president and head of enterprise business at Samsung’s mobile division, during an interview in which he revealed several other interesting bits of information about the company’s payment service. Rhee said that the idea behind Samsung Pay isn’t to replace your wallet, rather the idea is to make your wallet smaller by replacing credit cards, adding that Samsung Pay and wallets “complement” each other. He also said that the Magnetic Secure Transmission technology which the backbone of Samsung Pay will be brought over to non-flagship devices in the future. As of last month the payment service has over one million subscribers and transaction volumes have hit $88 million.
Rhee was asked if at some point the company will open up Samsung Pay to non-Samsung devices, he said that they have considered this but are not currently working with anyone because for now all of Samsung’s energies are focused on deployment. It’s interesting to see that Samsung is leaving the door open to this possibility, bringing Samsung Pay to devices from other manufacturers would certainly go a long way in cementing its position as a leader in mobile payments.