AT&T dropped off a massive Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend deal list into our inbox that includes items like a free Moto X (no MotoMaker), free HTC One, 50% off JAMBOX speakers, $30 Galaxy S4s, and half off all sorts of tablets. You’ll even find deals on things like the JBL wireless charging speaker (60% off), a Polaroid Bluetooth printer, and all sorts of cases.
Some of the deals on Samsung’s Galaxy line kick off tomorrow, but most of the big stuff starts on Friday and continues on through Monday, December 2. The deals can be had both online and in AT&T stores. We have the entire list for you below, broken down by deal and date.
As you can imagine, the “free” deals all require that you sign a new 2-year contract.
Source: Droid Life
Motorola surprised us somewhat yesterday when they announced that their ultra-affordable phone, the Moto G, was now available in the U.S. as a GSM phone. Without a contract at $179 for the 8GB model, and $199 for the 16GB model, this might be the best deal in the mobile industry. Sure, the phone doesn’t have LTE, but most HSPA+ networks are plenty fast these days, just ask Nexus 4 owners how they’ve held up over the last year.
To top off its striking price, the Moto G also carries a bit of the Moto X’s customization swagger by being able to utilize swappable back plates called Shells. There are 19 options altogether through Shells, Flip Shells (like a Samsung Flip Cover), and Grip Shells. As of this morning, the Shells ($14.99) and Flip Shells ($29.99) are now available with free shipping. The Grip Shells are not yet available.
If you choose to pick up a Moto G and a Shell or two, you are looking at color options that include turquoise, black, cherry, lemon lime, chalk, violet, and royal blue.
Before you get too invested in the price of the Moto G, remember that Motorola is hosting a mega-sale on Cyber Monday for the Moto X with MotoMaker. You can pick up their 2013 flagship for $350 without a contract. The Moto G might be the best overall value in the industry, by that Moto X deal is the best we have seen heading into this holiday shopping weekend.
Source: Droid Life
Shortly after beginning to push the Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S4 on AT&T as build 1337UCUEMJ9, issues arose causing the rollout to be stopped. Parties involved reportedly confirmed that there were issues and that they were investigating them, though no new timeline for a rollout was given. According to an update to AT&T’s Galaxy S4 support page, today is the day that 4.3 will resume, only this time as build I337UCUEMK2.
The update weighs in a little more as well at roughly 727MB. Other than that, it should be exactly as you were expecting when the first update began. Here is what the changelog shows:
- Android 4.3 OS upgrade (www.android.com/whatsnew)
- Samsung Galaxy Gear compatibility
- Drag and drop to uninstall or disable applications
- Call reliability improvements
To try and pull the update, head into Settings>About phone>Software update>Check for update. The update is supposed to “effective” as of today.
Source: Droid Life
After a bit of testing, the CyanogenMod Installer app has hit Google Play for everyone. When combined with the desktop client (and a USB cable), this becomes the fastest way to install CyanogenMod. It won’t work on every phone, but it completely automates things on supported devices.
The app is basically a guide for preparing your phone to be detected and flashed by the desktop client, which does all the heavy lifting. You don’t need to be rooted or unlocked before using the installer – it’ll take care of everything for you. Since the process involves unlocking the bootloader, not all devices are supported. You can see the full list of supported phones as of now on the CyanogenMod wiki. It includes Nexus devices, of course, but also a number of recent Samsung devices and most HTC One variants. Missing are all Verizon phones (except for the Gnex), which are locked down more tightly.
If you’ve got a supported device, this is a fine way to get on the custom ROM train. CyanogenMod has a pretty streamlined update system, so you won’t need to muck around in recovery mode to keep things up to date.
Update: The desktop client is live on the CM website now.
The saying goes “to see is to believe”, but, in some cases, “to hold is to believe” is probably more appropriate. That does seem to be the case with the Samsung Galaxy Round, which, despite the odd appearance, turned out to be quite acceptable, if not almost too plain.
This hands-on comes via Engadget, who was able to snag a device indirectly from Hong Kong, since the curious-looking smartphone is available only in Korea, at least for now. The Galaxy Round sports almost the same specs as the Galaxy Note 3 save the slightly lower battery. Also missing, of course, is the all-powerful S Pen. This makes the Galaxy Round nothing but a less capable Galaxy Note 3, whose only selling point will be it’s curved shape. The question on everyone’s mind is, of course, whether that alone will be enough to sell the device.
And it’s not as if that curvature has no purpose. The folks over at DisplayMate definitely don’t think it’s a simple gimmick, arguing that the concave curve actually helps increase readability through the combined effects of reducing reflection and increasing magnification. And Engadget did seem to find the device’s curves quite a nice fit not only in their pants’ pockets but also in their hands. The curve also made swiping across the screen easier and smoother. There’s seems to be some basis to Samsung’s TV spot after all. Then, of course, there’s the Roll Effect available for quickly taking a peek at notifications, though it is unfortunate that it is the only one that takes advantage of the device’s unique shape.
The Galaxy Round may have some benefits, but that will unlikely never make it across to the smartphone-using population, considering the device is reportedly not really being distributed quite extensively, making it reek of an expensive prototype. Even with the LG G Flex, it’s quite hard to tell if this is simply the beginning of a new and hopefully more innovative trend or if it is just a flash in the pan.
Verizon’s Galaxy S4 is now receiving Android 4.3 in a brand new update that went live moments ago. The update was approved this morning, bringing along Galaxy Gear Support, band 4 LTE, and some other tweaks along with the most current version of Android (for the time being) to Samsung’s 2013 flagship. We’re as surprised as anyone to see this update arrive first on a Verizon phone before any other carrier, but you won’t find us complaining.
To download the update head into Settings>More>About phone>Software update.
Source: Droid Life
Samsung’s recently launched Galaxy Gear got off to a relatively strong start at Best Buys across the country with a very high attach rate with the Note 3 and revamped Note 10.1. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends, because according to a recently leaked document, a ton of people are returning the Galaxy Gear. Some numbers pin the return rate for the Gear at Best Buy trending over 30%. Ouch. Samsung is proactively trying to figure out what’s causing that kind of massive return rate by getting Best Buy to ask customers exactly why they’re returning the Gear. Hopefully we’ll be able to see what the most popular answer is, but if I had to make an early guess, I’d bet it would be something along the lines of “I went home and realized I paid $300 for a watch at Best Buy.”
The Gear hasn’t exactly gotten off to a beautiful start, and this surely isn’t going to help it. Another major (self-imposed) road block Samsung is facing the lack of compatibility with other smartphones besides the Note 3. Part of this return problem could definitely be customers buying the Gear then getting it home to test it out on their Galaxy S III, only to find out it doesn’t work at all. It’s a reasonable assumption to think that a Samsung product would work with another Samsung flagship device, but sadly, that’s not the case. Sure, we’ve seen it work halfway with some other devices, but for a mainstream consumer device that costs as much as the Gear does, that’s not acceptable.
Fortunately, another leaked document posted up some release dates for when compatibility should hit older models of Samsung devices. The Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 as well as the S 4 Active and Note 2 for all carriers should all be receiving compatibility updates by the end of November (T-Mobile’s Note 2 update is slated for December 2nd, but close enough). That’s probably something that should have happened a month ago, but better late than never.
If you’re interested in the exact dates for your model and carrier, check out the picture and source below.
Apple continues to fight Samsung even after being awarded $599 million, and U.S District Judge Lucy Koh has refused to suspend a lawsuit against Samsung involving several patents relating to Siri. The case is scheduled for March 2014 and both companies have declined to comment. To make matters worse, Apple has also appealed Judge Lucy Koh’s decision to not implement a permanent sales ban on infringing Samsung devices. A ruling for that is not expected to be reached until September at the earliest.
Samsung has built a major part of its reputation with its line of Smart TVs, but has yet to fully dip its toes into Google TV — until now, that is. While not a part of its press conference, the company is showing off new Google TV hardware on the show floor of IFA 2012.
Details are scarce, but Samsung plans to utilize its Smart Hub as the central user interface for switching between television and apps. As expected, the company has already ported some of its own Smart TV apps to the Google TV unit. With these added tweaks, the company hopes to “enhance the Smart TV experience.”
Google TV has undoubtedly failed to catch on with consumers, but Samsung is hoping that it can make an impact with its prominent branding. Let’s just hope Samsung can actually bring this thing to market for a reasonable price. More on this story as it develops.
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