Samsung “paying extra careful attention” to Galaxy S8 development due to “huge changes”

Unperturbed by its ill-fated Note 7 flagship, which Samsung has now permanently stopped building due to ongoing battery woes, development of a next-generation Galaxy smartphone is in full swing. Reportedly, the troubled South Korean company is “paying extra careful attention” towards the development of the Galaxy S8.

That’s not just because of quality control issues with the Note 7, but also due to the fact that the Galaxy S8 packs in some “huge” hardware and design changes, according to a new report Tuesday from Korean news site ET News.

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“Due to the issues with the Note 7, Samsung Electronics is paying extra careful attention towards development of Galaxy S8,” reads the Korean report.

According to the report, the S8 should have the features Apple is expected to engineer into its Tenth Anniversary iPhone next year, including a bezel-free curved screen with a redesigned Home button/fingerprint reader embedded underneath the glass panel, a dual-lens camera out the back and Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 830 chip.

Basically, Samsung is planning to fill all of the Galaxy S8’s front display with just the screen, just like Apple is expected to do with the next iPhone, as imagined by the below concept rendering.

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“It is heard that Samsung Electronics is planning to eliminate even top and bottom edges of display for Galaxy S8,” creating a full-screen smartphone.

The side bezels should be made even skinnier than on current Galaxies by increasing the curvature of both edges of the AMOLED display. Samsung’s display-making arm should play an important role in volume production of that screen.

As for the Galaxy S8’s dual-cameras, Samsung is currently deciding whether to use all-in-one dual-cameras or separated dual-cameras, said a representative for a component industry. All-in-one dual-cameras have two lenses and a module versus separated dual-cameras that have two separate modules.

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Samsung’s dual-cameras will be used to capture depth of field photos akin to the iPhone 7 Plus and are said to be 16 megapixels and eight megapixels versus a pair of 12-megapixel cameras on Apple’s phone.

As for the device’s brains, Samsung’s foundry business is said to start volume production of the Snapdragon 830 chip on a 10-nanometer FinFET process at the end of this year at the earliest, beating rival TSMC. Like the current Galaxy, certain S8 models will use Samsung’s next-generation Exynos chip in place of the Qualcomm one.

The previously rumored Exynos 8995 chip is said to incorporate a 16-nanometer Mali-G71 GPU manufactured by ARM, which appears to be a direct successor to the T880 model found within the Exynos 8990 that’s being used in the Galaxy S7 series and the ill-fated Note 7.

Using ARM’s new Bifrost architecture developed with 4K display and virtual reality applications in mind, the GPU should be almost twice as fast as its predecessor.

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Digital Music News recently heard from sources that Samsung Mobile’s leadership is considering removing the 3.55mm headphone jack from the Galaxy S8.

The next Galaxy is expected to release in the first quarter of next year. For what it’s worth, we know from a leaked invite that the next Samsung Unpacked event will be taking place at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 26.

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Samsung permanently discontinues the Galaxy Note7

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Samsung has announced that it is ending the production of the Galaxy Note7 and permanently discontinuing it worldwide.

The decision comes immediately after the company issued a press release asking users to power down all original and replaced Note7 units, and for retailers and career partners to stop sales and exchanges of the smartphone.

“We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation.” said Samsung in a statement yesterday.

The decision to end the Note7 production is the final step in a rather tumultuous journey. After being announced back in August and being met with generally positive reviews, the Note7 first came under fire — quite literally — after reports of units exploding surfaced on the internet. After 35 cases had been reported, Samsung issued an official recall of the device, which sent everyone in a tizzy and airlines and airport authorities calling for an official ban on usage of the device in several countries.

Samsung did what it could, replacing not just the affected but every Note7 it sold and issuing a new device with an updated battery pack and a green battery indicator so the customers and authorities alike could tell them apart. It even restricted the older devices from charging beyond 60% so people who hadn’t replaced theirs yet wouldn’t overcharge them.

But after the replacement units also started catching fire, most notably one on a Southwest Airlines flight 994 from Louisville to Baltimore, which had to be evacuated when a passenger’s replacement Note7 caught fire, Samsung eventually asked everyone to power them down. And finally did what was inevitable and, some might argue, what should have been done from the beginning, pulled the plug entirely on the Note7.

We are waiting to hear from Samsung on how it plans to proceed with existing Note7 devices that are out there and also how it deals with customers who have pending orders.

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Samsung Officially announces the Galaxy Note 7 with Iris Scanner, Water Resistance, bigger battery and more!

 

Samsung has today officially launched the Galaxy Note 7, the latest in its line of stylus-equipped flagship smartphones. The Note 7, which is not called the Note 6, blends many of the features from last year’s Note 5 with the design and waterproofing of this year’s excellent S7 Edge. The Note 7 will be available from all four major carriers on August 19th, with preorders starting tomorrow, August 3rd. Samsung says that pricing will be commensurate with prior Note devices and will be higher than the S7 Edge, which is about $770 to $800, depending on where you look. An unlocked version of the Note 7 will be available in the US at a later date.

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For years Samsung has differentiated the power-user focused Note line from its more mainstream handsets by juicing up the specs inside of it. This year’s approach is a little different, however: inside, the Note 7 is virtually indistinguishable from the S7 or S7 Edge. It has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (in the US; other markets will have Samsung’s own Exynos processor), same 4GB of RAM, same quick charging and quick wireless charging, and same 12-megapixel camera with f/1.7 lens and optical stabilization as the S7 series. The Note 7 is similarly water resistant (rated to IP68 specifications) and has support for microSD cards, both of which were not present in last year’s Note 5. The Note 7 has 64GB of internal storage, compared to the S7’s 32GB, and its battery has been increased to 3,500mAh over the Note 5’s 3,000mAh cell.

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Other similarities to the S7 Edge include a dual-curved Super AMOLED display with quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixel) resolution (albeit at a slightly larger, 5.7-inch size). The dual-curved display is a first for the Note line, and Samsung says it allows the phone to be 2.2mm narrower than the Note 5, while still having the same size display. The curvature of the screen is different from the S7 Edge in that it allows for more flat surface area. The rear glass panel has an identical curve to the front, making the whole phone more symmetrical than the S7 Edge (both pieces of glass are now Gorilla Glass 5). The Note 7 also moves to USB Type-C charging, a first for Samsung devices.

Samsung note 7 9996.0Since the specs are largely the same between the Note 7 and the S7 series, Samsung is differentiating its larger flagship with features. The Note 7 has a new iris scanner that joins the familiar fingerprint scanner and lets you unlock your phone with your eyes. Samsung says the iris scanner is more secure than a fingerprint scanner. It’s similar to the Windows Hello login features seen on Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and a number of Windows 10 laptops and relies on an infrared camera that works well in low light, but less so in direct sunlight. The iris scanner can also be used to lock apps, photos, notes, and other content in a secure folder, separate from the rest of the phone’s data.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 pictures

And of course, the Note 7 wouldn’t be a Note without Samsung’s S Pen active stylus. The S Pen has been upgraded this year with water resistance, a finer point, and twice as fine pressure sensitivity (4,096 levels, as opposed to 2,048 on earlier models). There a handful of new software features for the S Pen, including a magnifying loupe, quick text translation tool, and a new tool that makes it easy to create GIFs from any video that’s currently playing.

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Samsung has also updated its software interface for the Note 7, with a cleaner color palette, softer white menus, and an overall nicer-looking aesthetic. It seems that with each new phone, Samsung’s software gets better looking, and the Note 7 is no exception. The company says that the new software interface will likely come to older models, such as the S7, but it did not provide a timeline for when that might happen.

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The Note 7 is launching with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but Samsung says that it will be upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat in the future. When that might happen is anyone’s guess — the company isn’t committing to a timeframe and it has a history of taking a very long time to deliver new versions of Android to its phones.

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I had chance to use the Note 7 briefly ahead of today’s announcement, and in what has become typical Samsung fashion, the device is both visually and tactilely impressive. The phone’s design is a further refinement on the already very good S7 Edge, and it sits comfortably in the hand, even with its oversized display. It’s symmetry is not only pleasing to look at, but it makes the phone nicer to hold, as well.

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The iris scanner works as advertised, but I’m yet to be convinced that it’s easier to use than the familiar fingerprint scanner. It works quickly, but requires that you hold the phone awkwardly close to your face, similar to what I experienced with the Lumia 950. I’ll reserve judgement on the other features until I’m able to spend more time with the device, but it’s safe to say that the GIF-making S Pen tool is very cool and I’m eager to try that out in my day-to-day routine.

The Note 7 will be available in the US in three colors: black, silver, and a unique blue that Samsung is calling “Blue Coral.” A gold version will also be available in international markets. Samsung will be offering customers their choice of a free 256GB MicroSD card or Gear Fit 2 when they purchase a Note 7.

THE NOTE 7 ROUNDS OUT SAMSUNG’S IMPRESSIVE 2016 LINEUP

Last year’s Note 5 showed that Samsung can make a large phone that appeals to a wide audience, and while the Note 7 doesn’t change that, the new things that Samsung has added can definitely be considered power user features. Samsung has had a lot of success this year with the S7 and S7 Edge, and by all accounts, it will likely have a lot of success with the Note 7, too.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Problems Starts Showing!

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Plenty of people couldn’t wait to get their hands on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, and when the handsets finally went official, a lot of customers went head over heels for them. However, users encountered little snags here and there, finding out that the anticipated smartphones came with a couple of issues.

Oversensitive Touch Screen

The screen is just too sensitive, causing users to accidentally open an app or select other elements of the interface. This issue isn’t entirely new for Samsung, as the Galaxy Note 5 also bore a similar problem in which the user’s fingers or thumb rest on the phablet’s edges, making other input unresponsive.

Until Samsung tones this down a bit, the only solution right now is to get a case that can provide a better grip on the handset.

Bluetooth Is Always On

The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge came with Bluetooth Low Energy, but unfortunately, it stays on even when Bluetooth is turned off, eating up precious battery life.

Android Developers suggests that users should never scan on a loop, and to set a time limit on the scan to steer clear of this battery-intensive problem.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Another issue that users have reported is how the smartphone can’t connect to other devices such as a car’s audio system and whatnot.

To resolve this, head on over to Settings > Applications > Application Manager. Select More and then Show System Apps. Look for Bluetooth Share, then tap on Force Stop, and clear the cache and data.

No Adoptable Storage

One of the most anticipated features of Android Marshmallow is Adoptable Storage, an option that basically turns both the internal and external storages into one. As everyone can imagine, Galaxy S7 and S7 edge owners were not happy when Samsung decided to drop it.

Unfortunately, there’s no switch to easily turn this on, but Paul O Brien of MoDaCo presented a neat method to do so, although it’s not exactly easy and it involves some risk.

At any rate, the devices still allow users to install apps on the microSD card.

Overheating

Many users have reported that the smartphones in question get warm to an uncomfortable level. For newly bought devices, that’s pretty much expected, as they will download, update and install a slew of apps on the first boot. If the heat persists after that process, then that’s the problem.

A simple reboot could do the trick. To do this, press and hold the power and volume down buttons for 10 seconds, and the device should restart.

Two other things to take note of is to not use the smartphone while it’s charging and to turn off Fast cable charging over at Settings > Battery.

Constant MicroSD Card Prompt

The microSD pop-up message is expected on each reboot, but when it appears randomly, that spells an issue.

There’s no real home solution for this, but do make sure that the microSD card is sitting right on the tray or that the external storage is not faulty itself. If the problem lies in the device, getting in touch with Samsung or the corresponding carrier or retailer is the only option.

Lag

Considering that both the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are premium devices, lag and stutter must have been at the bottom of the list of anyone’s expectations. Apparently, they should’ve been somewhere at the top.

One fix here is to set the Windows animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale in the Developer options to 0.5x or off, which are 1x by default.

This should make things a little faster. For those who haven’t unlocked it yet, head on over to Settings > System > About device > Software info and repeatedly tap on Build number until a message pops up about being a developer. The Developer options tab should be under System at that point.

Another one is to wipe the cache partition. Turn the device off and turn it on by pressing and holding the home, volume up and power buttons at the same time. Once the Samsung logo is in plain view, let go of the power button, but hold on to the other two until the Android logo makes an appearance. This will bring up the Android recovery menu. There, just select the wipe cache partition by using the volume rocker to navigate and the power button to confirm and do a reboot.

If all else fails, then a factory reset might be in order. Needless to say, this will wipe everything out.

Unresponsive Buttons

The home and multitask buttons are reportedly unresponsive at times. A reboot sometimes fixes this, but the issue is said to be caused by an app, so some uninstallations might be required.

Again, the extreme fix here is to do a factory reset.

Slow Wi-Fi

A user at the Android Central forums reports that the S7 edge is causing some Wi-Fi issues, causing the connection to drop or become slow.

“After messing around a bit, I disable Wi-Fi, and the issue instantly goes away. Another hour into messing with things, and I realize it is my phone that is somehow causing the problem. I turn on Wi-Fi on the phone, and the Internet has all sorts of problems, but the moment I disable Wi-Fi, everything is fine,” the user says.

There’s no solid fix yet, but some of the noteworthy mentions in the thread include turning Bluetooth off and to set the Wi-Fi connection to IPv4 instead of IPv6.

Wet Speakers

With an IP68 waterproof rating, there’s no way that users haven’t tried to submerge the smartphone in water yet. However, it’s causing some problems for the audio front.

According to the user reports, the speakers would blast distorted sound after the device gets wet. It’s not a big issue at all, though, as waiting for the handset to dry will take care of it. Just don’t use a blow dryer, as the heat could damage some of the guts of the smartphone.

Camera Failure

Some users have complained that the camera app doesn’t work sometimes, facing the prompt “Warning: Camera Failed.”

A simple reset could fix this, but a hard reset could do better. To do this, just press and hold down the power and home buttons until the smartphone restarts.

If the problem persists, go to Settings > Applications > Application manager and look for Camera. As usual, Force Stop it and clear the data and cache.

Edge Screen Rejection

David Ruddock of Android Police reports that edge screen doesn’t properly reject an input. It looks like the issue is in the device itself, as the Canada variant of one of his colleagues just got an update that fixes it.

Again, there’s no solution here besides wait for the carriers to roll out a patch.

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iPhone 6s Plus crushes Galaxy S7 edge in side-by-side speed test

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The Galaxy S7 is Samsung’s best smartphone to date and it’s performed well in stress tests, including water resistance tests and extensive drop tests. Now for the first time, someone has done a side-by-side speed test of the Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 6s and it shows that Apple’s flagship phone is still king when it comes to real-world performance.

Specifically, YouTube user Jerome Ortega ran a performance test across various top devices, including the Moto X Pure Edition, the Nexus 6P, the Galaxy S7 edge, and the iPhone 6s Plus.

All devices are running freshly installed operating systems, have no SIM cards, and all have the same apps installed. The point of the test is to see how fast each phone runs a sequence of apps. We’ve seen this sort of comparison done before between iPhones and other Samsung phones and the iPhone has traditionally come out on top despite having inferior hardware specifications.

In this case, the iPhone 6S Plus has 2GB of RAM and a dual-core A9 chip, while the Galaxy S7 edge has 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. Recent tests have shown that the new Snapdragon 820 CPU barely outperforms the A9.

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Those of you expecting the Galaxy S7 edge to come out the faster device will be surprised to see the iPhone beating its new rival quite easily, as you can see in the scores in the image above. The iPhone 6s Plus ran through the test cycle with 17 seconds to spare compared to the Galaxy S7 edge.

The iPhone 6s is snappier than the Galaxy S7 edge, which is impressive. For the sake of the argument, we’ll note that the Nexus 6P almost matches the Galaxy S7 edge in speed, with the Moto X Pure coming in the last spot.

Check out the full video below

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