The CES 2015 has passed and Samsung didn't show us the Galaxy S6. Business Insider reports confirmed that this future flagship will come in both Regular and Edge variants. The successor to the Galaxy S5 will mark yet another step in Samsung's gradual move to a more premium build, with confirmation yet to come whether that will mean a true unibody or aluminum accents. However, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will be a limited Edition.
Hardware will most likely be region-dependent, but with the never-ending rumors of Qualcomm's problems with the Snapdragon 810, all versions may get the in-house Exynos 7420 chipset, paired with 3GB RAM. Previously speculated at 5.5 inches, it won't be surprising if the Galaxy S6 ends up closer to 5.2-5.3 inches, which makes sense.
Following much criticism, Samsung abandoned the all-plastic bodies with the Alpha lineup and the latest Galaxy Note 4, and the Galaxy series will follow suit. We will also be treated to a dual edge screen version, building on the Note Edge's hype. The speculated unibody of the regular Galaxy S6 will however result in the loss of the beloved replaceable battery, that's been a strong selling point of the lineup.
The latest rumors are suggesting that first prototypes of the Galaxy Note 6 have already been made and there are probably two versions of it. Make no mistake though, only one version will apparently make it to the market and at this moment, the Korean giant is trying to decide which one to go for. The only difference between the two devices is the fact that one of them has a curved 5.8" QHD Super AMOLED display, while the other has the same display but on a flat panel. It is understandable that Samsung is toying with the idea of building the Note 6 with an Edge display as there will not be a 2016 version of the S6 Edge+ from last year.
In all other specifications, both the devices are one and the same. Both sport 6GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel camera on the back, a 4,000 mAh battery and of course, the rumored Snapdragon 823 chipset. There will of course be Exynos versions of the device as well, but we will have to wait and see which market gets what. Samsung returned to expandable memory with the S7 series and judging by the overwhelming success it is seeing right now, that is a trend which they will stick to. The basic version of the Note 6 is expected to have 32GB of onboard storage along with a micro-SD card slot.
The rumored iris scanner has not yet been confirmed for the Note 6, but then again, these are all rumors to begin with. We will definitely see a fingerprint scanner though. Android N will be out by the time the phablet is revealed, thus we expect it to be running on the latest version of the Android OS right out of the box. There has not been much noise about the stylus/S-pen yet, but we will keep you informed as soon as we get to know more.
Samsung had said last year that they were going to batten down the hatches to restrict the number of leaks this year, but that has clearly not worked out very well! We now know more or less everything that there is to know about the Galaxy S8 as yet another live picture reveals itself. We are not exactly sure who leaked the image but thanks to SamMobile, we can take a look at it.
It mentions clearly that we are seeing the Galaxy S8 on the left with a 5.8-inch curved panel, while the Galaxy S8+ with a 6.2-inch curved panel lies on the right. Apart from the high screen-to-body-ratio and the Always On display, we can see the Always On soft Home button for the first time. According to reports, double tapping on the virtual Home button will activate the camera, while hard pressing it will wake up the main display. Unfortunately, the fingerprint scanner has been shifted this year to the back of the phone and in a rather awkward position, just beside the rear camera.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Microsoft would be updating its IE software to protect against older, malicious plug-in malware. The catch was, the new updates would leave older versions of Internet Explorer without any updates or support any more. New info reveals that Microsoft is going to be pulling the plug on older versions of IE.
This is a move to get users to update to the newer software offered by Microsoft, which explains that IE 11 is a faster, more secure web experience, and that users are halting the progress of developers who need to spend time coding for older web technology that doesn't play nice with modern web tech.
So, When will Microsoft finally decide to pull the plug? January 12th, 2016 and after that, the company will no longer support any versions other than the current IE build: IE 11. Microsoft even provided links to users to different resources that assist with browser migration.
As per @Ricciolo1, a well-known leakster, Sony is aiming to upgrade its Xperia Z5 series to Android 6.90 Marshmallow in January and for older models the same update is planned shortly after the Z5.
Marshmallow comes with a bunch of improvements, optimizations and features that'd be very useful to any smartphone. Battery life improvements and performance boosts are the most noticeable changes to the software. But this is a rumour; nothing is fixed and there is no solid timeline. So take this with a pinch of salt.
Sony has been really good with getting the older devices updated. The Xperia Z (not the Z1) was upgraded all the way to Lollipop 5.1.1, although it had an older Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. Just like many flagships devices that were launched last year (apart from the One A9), the Sony Xperia Z5 is one of the many still operating on Lollipop.
It would be quite interesting to see what Sony has planned for their version of Marshmallow. We know that Sony has been working on a near-stock Android build for sometime and by using the Marshmallow's Doze feature in conjunction with their own proprietary battery saving software, the battery life in many devices can be enhanced.
The kernel sources for Samsung's latest and greatest flagship smartphones have been released by the company but as of now, only the kernels of the Exynos 8895 powered variants have been made available. Nevertheless, it's good news and I am pretty sure that Samsung will be releasing the same for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 powered American and Chinese variants as well.
If you are not aware what the kernels will be useful for, then let us inform you that these are necessary to build custom firmware that many Android smartphone enthusiasts love. Of course that may not be the best idea right now as the device is still new, but a year down the line, new firmware can make a lot of difference for a lot of users. The first of the custom firmware kernels should be ready within the next few weeks or so.
Would you be trying any of the custom ROMs on your S8 or S8+ anytime soon? Or would you rather build one yourself? Speaking of custom firmware, head over to our firmware section to find a whole range of them for your Samsung smartphones and tablets.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Contrary to every other place in the world, the United States of America is not a good place to buy an unlocked Samsung device if you want fast updates! In the last few years, it has been established that carrier versions will always receive the latest updates before unlocked versions in the country. We are not sure if it's a business decision, but it isn't an unlikely explanation. Nevertheless, the good news is that the unlocked S8 and the S8 + have finally started to receive the latest security patch from the OEM.
In case you are wondering, the same patch was already released previously on all major carriers which include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, USC and Virgin Mobile USA. The 600+ MB package will arrive via OTA and the firmware version on it will be G950U1UEU1AQH3. Check to see if it has already arrived from Settings > Software Update. If it isn't there yet, just wait for a few hours and try again.
Head over to our firmware section to find all the latest available updates for your Samsung smartphones and tablets.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Owning a low-end smartphone is never pleasant, it doesn't matter which Android smartphone manufacturer you choose to be honest, but it never feels nice to report that an OEM has officially stopped supporting one of its handsets. Samsung has just updated its security updates page and among other things, Android Police found that the Galaxy A3 (2016), Galaxy J1 (2016) and Galaxy J3 (2016) has been removed from the update page, signaling that the three handsets from two years ago are no longer supported.
In case you are wondering what that means, it basically means that if you own any of these three smartphones, it's time to think about buying something else because they will likely not be receiving anymore updates of any kind from the OEM. Sad as it may be for owners of these models, it was expected, given that Samsung doesn't support any of its low-end models, post the two-year mark. At the same time, the Galaxy A8 (2018), Galaxy A8+ (2018), Galaxy J2 (2018), and Galaxy Tab Active2 were the latest additions to the update page.
Check out our firmware section to find all the latest updates for your Samsung smartphones and tablets.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)