The Tech News Blog

October 7, 2014

Samsung Stumbles Amidst Pressure From Apple, iPhone 6

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung is prepping for its first annual earnings drop since 2011, based on a third-quarter profit marking the company's lowest in more than three years.

One of the world's top smartphone sellers, Samsung on Tuesday announced that operating profit likely fell 59.7 percent in the third quarter to 4.1 trillion won ($3.8 billion). Though less of a blow, quarterly sales are also expected to have dropped 20 percent, landing around 47 trillion won ($43.7 billion) for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

The numbers were released ahead of the company's full earnings report later this month.

When Samsung stumbled last quarter—dropping net profits by 20 percent and revenues by 8.9 percent—the company blamed increased competition and an overestimation of the demand for its smartphones.

July 15, 2014

Report: Metal Samsung Galaxy ‘Alpha’ Coming Next Month

Samsung Brand Mark Samsung is reportedly gearing up to launch a new smartphone with a metal body — a first for a company that has relied heavily on plastic backings for its smartphones.

A new report from South Korea's, citing unnamed "industry sources," claims that Samsung is planning to debut the "premium" metal handset on Aug. 13, ahead of Apple's expected fall launch for its next iPhone. Samsung is tentatively calling its first all-metal smartphone the Galaxy Alpha, the report notes.

Details of the handset are unknown, but it will reportedly target Apple's iPhone 6 and boast specs that are better than the Galaxy S5 .

Rumors about a metal Galaxy smartphone have been making the rounds for a while now, with some referring to it as the Galaxy F. Samsung, however, trademarked the Galaxy Alpha name earlier this year, potentially giving some weight to the latest rumors.

April 16, 2014

Galaxy S5 More Durable Than S4, But iPhone 5s Wins

5 Secret Samsung Galaxy S5 Features

Samsung's new Galaxy S5 is more durable than its predecessor and other popular Android handsets, but can't withstand accidents as well as Apple's iPhone 5s, according to a new report from mobile insurance provider SquareTrade.

SquareTrade evaluated the phones using criteria such as size, weight, water resistance, grip-ability, front and back panel design, and edge construction to determine how prone they are to break due to accidents. The company tested how well the handsets could sustain drops from 4 feet, being dunked in water for 10 seconds, and how far they slide when pushed across a table. SquareTrade then ranked the phones on a sale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most susceptible to accidental breakage.

The Galaxy S5 "takes a big step forward in durability, performing well in drop and dunk tests," SquareTrade said. It earned a breakability score of 6, outperforming last year's model, the Galaxy S4, which had a higher breakability score of 7.

"According to our research, 28 percent of smartphone owners, or about 44 million Americans, are considering buying the Samsung Galaxy S5," Ty Shay, CMO of SquareTrade, said in a statement. "It's good to see a major player like Samsung designing phones with accidental water damage in mind. We were also surprised to see how well the new S5 did in the drop test — as previous models suffered significant damage."

February 18, 2014

Galaxy S5 Rumors Tip 5.2-Inch Screen, Fingerprint Sensor

Samsung Unpacked 5

There are just a few days left until Samsung's Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but rumors about the Galaxy S5 are showing no signs of slowing down.

Samsung fan site SamMobile on Monday reported that Samsung's next flagship smartphone will include a fingerprint sensor. Pocket-lint, meanwhile, citing Holland-based e-retailer Typhone, said the Galaxy S5 will sport a 5.2-inch full HD screen, as well as a 16-megapixel camera.

Samsung already revealed plans to shake things up with its next smartphone launch, announcing in January that "the display and the feel of the cover" will be different from its predecessors. Those changes were put on display last month when leaked photos of the allegedly re-designed home screen hit the Web.

Posted by tipster @evleaks, the images showcased a new home screen reminiscent of Microsoft's Windows Phone and Google Now cards, but equally sized and stacked atop one another.

But it appears Samsung may have taken a cue from another competitor, as well: SamMobile "confirmed" that the GS5 will come with a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button, much like Apple's iPhone 5s.

February 8, 2014

Samsung Reveals Black, Faux-Leather Galaxy S4, S4 Mini

Samsung Galaxy S4 Black Edition

Ahead of the expected Galaxy S5 unveiling later this month, Samsung is giving its flagship GS4 and GS4 Mini smartphones a makeover.

The electronics giant today introduced the new Black Edition versions of the handsets—the latest in Samsung's effort to deliver innovative technologies with more premium design choices, according to the company. Last year's Galaxy Note 3 also featured this faux-leather back.

Both Black Editions sport a high-quality leather-like textured back cover (pictured), and customers will find a surprise inside: eight new wallpaper designs, as well as several exclusive ringtones.

"As Samsung continues to expand on the modern Galaxy design approach, we're excited to offer Black Edition versions of our popular Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini," mobile executive vice president Lee Young Hee said in a statement. "These eye-catching and sophisticated models demonstrate Samsung's commitment to bring consumers new ways to express their style through their mobile device."

And you won't have to worry about accessorizing: Each includes a black power adapter, data cable, and headphones to match any outfit or wall outlet.

The Black Edition GS4 and S4 Mini will be available in select markets sometime this month.

January 27, 2014

Report: Samsung Galaxy Smart Glasses Coming in September

Samsung Smartglasses

Samsung will reportedly be the next company to challenge Google Glass with smart glasses of its own.

According to The Korea Times, Samsung will show off glasses at this year's IFA trade show in Berlin, which runs from Sept. 5-10. The specs are tentatively know as "Galaxy Glass," though Google might not be too thrilled with that moniker.

In October, Samsung registered a design patent for the technology in Korea (pictured). Much like its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Galaxy Glass would link to a smartphone or other mobile device to display alerts and other information in the user's field of view, the Times said.

Galaxy Gear made its debut at last year's IFA trade show, but it wasn't a runaway hit. In PCMag's review, we found that it "advances the smartwatch concept, but it's too expensive, limited, and difficult to use in its current form."

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Lee Young Hee, Samsung's mobile executive vice president, promised a new Galaxy Gear with "more advanced functions" and a better design.

September 4, 2013

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

Galaxy Note 3

BERLIN–Samsung on Wednesday revamped its Galaxy lineup with an updated Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, as well as a wearable smartwatch known as the Galaxy Gear.

At first glance, the new Galaxy Note 3 phablet looks much like its predecessor. But the device sports a 5.7-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 display, up from 5.5 inches, and gets a spec upgrade. There's a 2.3-GHz, quad-core processor for the LTE version and a 1.9GHz Octa Core processor on the 3G device. The camera also comes in at 13 megapixels, up from 8 megapixels in the Galaxy Note II, and includes a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter.

There's 3GB of RAM, but Samsung promised a lighter and slimmer device at 8.3mm and 168 grams for a "crisp and vivid viewing experience." There's also NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and the ability to use your phablet as a remote.

Samsung talked up some of the software features available on the Galaxy Note 3, which runs Android 4.3. That includes the Air Command menu, which provides quick access to options like memos, search, scrapbooks, and multi-tasking. It pops up when you remove the S Pen, and will also appear if you hover the S Pen over the screen and press the button on the stylus.

May 28, 2013

Leak Tips Samsung Galaxy S 4 Mini Launch

Samsung June 20 Event

Samsung's June 20 event will reportedly include the launch of the Galaxy S 4 mini.

As noted by Engadget, Samsung's Content and Service app page briefly included a listing for a "Galaxy S4 mini," though it has since been removed.

Citing a "person with knowledge of the matter," the Wall Street Journal said in a follow-up that the Galaxy S4 mini will indeed be among the Galaxy and Ativ devices that Samsung is scheduled to show off next month in London.

Samsung's Galaxy lineup focuses on Android devices, while the Ativ brand - unveiled at IFA 2012 - has focused on Windows-based gadgets.

Samsung has already dabbled in "mini" versions of its flagship smartphones. In October, it unveiled the Galaxy S III mini, which sported a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with a WVGA resolution of 800-by-480 pixels. That's the same screen size as the iPhone 5, but smaller than the Galaxy S III's 4.8-inch display.

May 27, 2013

Samsung to Reveal New Ativ, Galaxy Gadgets on June 20

Samsung June 20 EventSamsung on Monday announced that it will hold a June 20 event to show off what's next for its Galaxy and Ativ brands.

The gathering, dubbed "Samsung Premiere 2013," will take place in London at 7 p.m. BST (2 p.m. Eastern). For those not in the U.K., the event will be webcast on YouTube.

The gray invite provides few other details, except to show zoomed-in edges of certain products, one of which appears to be a laptop.

Samsung unveiled the Ativ moniker at IFA 2012. As an exec explained at the time, Ativ is the reverse of Vita, which means "life" in Latin. "[It] is a pledge by Samsung to make everyone's life easier," the company said.

At the show, Samsung unveiled an Ativ-branded Windows Phone, as well as a Windows 8-based convertible laptop/tablet and a standalone tablet. Since then, we've also see the Ativ Odyssey Windows Phone for Verizon, and the Ativ SmartPC Pro 700T slate PC, which combined the power and speed of an ultrabook with the portability of a tablet.

May 23, 2013

Samsung Sells More than 10M Galaxy S4 Smartphones in a Month

Verizon Galaxy S 4

Samsung on Thursday announced that sales of its Galaxy S 4 smartphone have topped 10 million units globally less than one month after its debut.

In fact, it took the uber-popular Android phone just 26 days to reach the 10 million-sold milestone. The impressive feat makes the Galaxy S 4 Samsung's fastest-selling smartphone to date.

By comparison, the Galaxy S III reached the 10 million sales mark 50 days after its launch last year, while that smartphone's predecessor, the Galaxy S II , took five months to reach the same sales milestone. And it took the original Galaxy S seven months to reach 10 million units sold.

"On behalf of Samsung, I would like to thank the millions of customers around the world who have chosen the Samsung Galaxy S 4. At Samsung we'll continue to pursue innovation inspired by and for people," Samsung's mobile chief JK Shin said in a statement.

Launched on April 27 in 60 countries, the Galaxy S 4 is now estimated to be selling at a rate of four units per second, Samsung said. The phone is currently available in more than 110 countries and will eventually be rolled out to a total of 155 countries.