All posts in “Samsung”

Whoops! Samsung leak suggests there may be four different versions of the Galaxy S10

The Galaxy S10 might have more choices than we previously thought (pictured: Samsung Galaxy S9).
The Galaxy S10 might have more choices than we previously thought (pictured: Samsung Galaxy S9).

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

New information keeps leaking out about Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 phone.

The latest leak comes for the XDA Developer blog, which noticed something very interesting hidden inside the Android 9.0 update from Samsung: We may be looking at a total of four different models of the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Earlier this summer, we shared the rumors from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s report concerning three possible versions of the S10. XDA’s findings point to an additional, previously unreported version of the phone.

Here’s what we’re possibly looking at thanks to the the XML files that were found by XDA:

  • beyond0 –  Beyond is known to be Samsung’s codename for the Galaxy S10. The assumption is this will be the lowest priced S10 with lower-end specs.

  • beyond1: The main version of Samsung’s main Galaxy S10 which is said to have a 5.8-inch AMOLED display

  • beyond2: A bigger version of the new phone, the Galaxy S10+ model is said to have a 6.44-inch screen

  • beyond25g: The fourth, previously unreported phone. It’s believed to be Samsung’s first Galaxy phone that supports 5G.

It must be stressed that the number of phone variants are just rumors at this point. However, the evidence does supply proof that the phone exists.

This combined with our earlier report today on a Samsung phone with possibly 3 to 4 rear cameras on way should keep consumers salivating for more details. And after the disappointing sales of the Galaxy S9, Samsung can certainly use the excitement surrounding their next generation of smartphones.

Samsung sent out invites a few days ago for “A Galaxy Event” coming up on October 11 boasting about “4x fun” in very large text. Could that be a reference to this new information concerning four possible Galaxy S10 models? 

It looks like we’ll all find out what Samsung has in store for us on October 11.

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Leaks suggest Samsung is launching phones with 3 or even 4 rear cameras

Only two rear cameras? Pfft.
Only two rear cameras? Pfft.

Image: Lili Sams/Mashable

Samsung appears to be joining the more-than-two-rear-cameras-on-a-smartphone game

Dutch site GalaxyClub.nl posted a purportedly leaked image of the company’s upcoming A7 smartphone, which has a triple rear camera. 

Besides the actual leaked photo of the device, the outlet also posted a series of quite convincing press renders, which show the phone in black and blue. On the front is a pretty basic, notch-less screen, which isn’t a surprise given the phone’s alleged, mid-range specs: an Exynos 7885 chip and 4GB of RAM. 

Apparently, there’s no dual selfie camera on the front, only a single lens. Count all the cameras up, and it sort-of corresponds to the “4X Fun” tagline that accompanied Samsung’s invitation to an Oct. 11 Galaxy-themed event. 

But GalaxyClub.nl claims the A7 will not be the only or even the main star of that event. And this opens the door for an even wilder prediction: A quad-rear-camera Galaxy A9 Star Pro smartphone. 

This one comes via SamsungMobile.News, which claims to be in the possession of a photo of said device. 

It’s a bit less plausible as the outlet says it’s “not allowed” to post the photo yet. But it claims the four cameras will be positioned vertically, with the fingerprint sensor in the middle. The phone should be available in black, blue gradient and pink gradient colors. There will be a dedicated Bixby button, and (rejoice) a 3.5mm headphone jack. The price: $580. 

A vertical, quadruple rear camera sounds a bit much given the company never ventured beyond a dual rear camera, but then again, Samsung probably wouldn’t be hosting an entire event just to launch one mid-range phone. Some (or all) of this might be just fantasy, or it may be entirely real; I guess we’ll find out on October 11. 

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Oh, no! A Samsung Galaxy 9 phone reportedly caught fire in a woman’s purse

Oh, no! Have the Samsung Galaxy’s exploding battery woes returned?

An alleged incident has been reported by the New York Post detailing what may be the first case of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s battery catching on fire.

According to the Post, real estate agent Diane Chung has filed a lawsuit against the company after her $1,000 phone burst into flames while inside her purse.

The lawsuit states that Chung was using her phone earlier this month in an elevator when it suddenly “became extremely hot.” Chung had placed the phone in her purse when “she heard a whistling and screeching sound, and she noticed thick smoke.” The suit states that she burnt her fingers attempting to pick the phone up. The fire coming from the mobile device continued until a bystander picked the phone up with a cloth and dunked it into a bucket of water.

Back in 2016, Samsung faced a growing crisis after dozens of confirmed reports of exploding batteries inside it’s latest phone at the time the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The company ended up issuing a recall of the phone, affecting 2.5 million devices worldwide. The company later unveiled two manufacturing problems it discovered that resulted in the smartphone going ablaze.

According to The Investor, last month DJ Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile business heralded the batteries found in the Galaxy Not 9, calling them “safer than ever,” “Users do not have to worry about the batteries anymore,” Koh reportedly said.

“Samsung takes customer safety very seriously and we stand behind the quality of the millions of Galaxy devices in use in the United States,” Samsung said in a statement provided to Mashable. “We have not received any reports of similar incidents involving a Galaxy Note9 device and we are investigating the matter.”

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OnePlus is developing its own smart TV

Smartphone upstart OnePlus’s upcoming 6T flagship promises to bring changes — it’ll see it ditch the headphone jack and sport an in-screen fingerprint reader — but first there’s something else. OnePlus is developing its first smart TV.

CEO Pete Lau revealed the details today, explaining that the device will mark the five-year-old company’s next step to “building a connected human experience.”

“For most of us, there are four major environments we experience each day: the home, the workplace, the commute, and being on-the-move. The home – perhaps the most important environment experience – is just starting to enjoy the benefits of intelligent connectivity,” he wrote on the company’s website.

“We want to bring the home environment to the next level of intelligent connectivity. To do this, we are building a new product of OnePlus’ premium flagship design, image quality and audio experience to more seamlessly connect the home,” Lau added.

Shenzhen-based OnePlus has distinguished itself from a raft of Chinese mobile wannabees with some beautifully designed and well-functioning devices — eight phones to date — while it has developed its own Android-based OS and branched out into headphones. It has seen particular success in India, where it has beaten Samsung and Apple to become the country’s top ‘premium’ smartphone brand, and it has also landed a carrier distribution deal in the U.S. — something that has alluded larger rivals Huawei and Xiaomi. That’s impressive for such a young business.

It has tinkered around before. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei previously told TechCrunch that the company had developed (and then abandoned) a number of prototype devices outside of phones before, but the TV project is very real. That said, the company is opening it up to its community of five million registered users who will be given the opportunity to name it. You can find more details about that in the announcement post here.

Google gets more RCS messaging support from Samsung

Google has secured a bit more buy in from Samsung for a next generation text messaging standard it’s long been promoting.

The Android OS maker’s hope for Rich Communication Services (RCS), which upgrades what SMS can offer to support richer comms and content swapping, can provide its fragmented Android ecosystem with a way to offer comparably rich native messaging — a la Apple’s iMessage on iOS.

But it’s a major, major task given how many Android devices are out there. And Google needs the entire industry to step with it to support RCS (not just device makers but carriers too) if it’s going to achieve anything more than fiddling around the edges.

Zooming out for a moment, the even bigger problem is the messaging ship has sailed, with massively popular platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram having already offloaded billions of users into their respective walled gardens, pulling the center of gravity away from SMS.

Not that that has stopped Google trying, though, even as it has been muddled in its strategy too — spreading its messaging efforts around quite a bit (with false starts like Allo).

Google doubled down on RCS in April when it pulled resources from the standalone Allo messaging app to focus on trying to drum up more support for next-gen SMS instead.

It has also managed to build a modicum of momentum behind RCS. At this year’s Mobile World Congress it announced more than 40 carriers now backed RCS — up from ~27 the year before. The most recent support figure put the carrier number at 55.

But, three years on from its acquisition of RCS specialist Jibe Mobile — and ambitious talk of building ‘the future of messaging’ — there’s little sign of that.

An added wrinkle is that carriers also have to have actively rolled out RCS support, not just stated they intend to. And it’s not clear exactly how many have.

Nor is it clear how many users of RCS there are at this stage. (Back in 2016 carriers were merely talking about building “a path” to one billion users — at a time when SMS had several billions of users, suggesting they saw little chance of creating anything near next-gen messaging ubiquity via the standard.)

The latest Google-backed RCS development, announced via press release, is of an “expanded collaboration” between Mountain View and Samsung — saying their respective message clients will “work seamlessly with each company’s RCS technology, including cloud and business messaging platforms”.

The pair have previously added RCS support to “select Samsung devices” but are now saying RCS features will be brought to some existing Samsung smartphones — including (and beginning with) the Galaxy S8 and S8+, as well as the S8 Active, S9, S9+, Note8, Note9, and select A and J series running Android 9.0 or later.

Which sounds like a fair few devices. But it’s also muddier than that — because again support remains subject to carrier and market availability. So won’t be universal across even that subset of Samsung Android handsets.

They also now say that (select) new Samsung Galaxy smartphones will natively support RCS messaging. But, again, that’s only where carriers support the standard.

“This means that consumers and brands will be able to enjoy richer chats with both Android Messages and Samsung Messages users,” they add, after their string of caveats.

Despite the PR ending on an upbeat note — with the two companies talking about bringing an “enhanced messaging experience across the entire Android ecosystem” — there’s clearly zero chance of that. A clear consequence of the rich ‘biodiversity’ of the Android ecosystem is reduced ubiquity for cross-device standardization plays like this. 

Still, if Google can cherry pick enough flagship devices and markets to buy in to supporting RCS it might have figured that’s critical messaging mass enough to stack against Apple’s iMessage. So added buy in from Samsung — whose high end devices are most often contending with iPhones for consumers’ cash — is certainly helpful to its strategy.