Samsung to Unlock The FM Chipset on Upcoming Phones

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung looks to be the next manufacture to unlock the FM Chipset in their upcoming phones.  The news came via NextRadio, developers of a FM radio app for Android.  It will mean that going forward, Samsung phones will be able to access the app to listen to local FM stations but also potentially have access to emergency information when data and mobile networks are congested or unavailable.

Samsung joins the likes of LG, Alcatel and Motorola in unlocking the FM chipsets on their phones.  Almost all smartphones today have the ability to tune FM radio built into them but manufactures have locked them down, forcing customers to go to streaming services for music.  The bigger issue however is by doing so, it has cut off users from potentially life saving broadcast information.  If mobile networks are down, users can be cut off from any news and information that they may need in a disaster or emergency situation.

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Samsung to Begin Rolling Out Android Oreo Update Next Year

Samsung Galaxy S8

It looks like owners of the latest Samsung Galaxy devices have a bit of a wait before they see the Android Oreo update.  The company’s Turkish site has posted that the testing of the new Oreo build has begun and that it will begin rolling out next year.

Our work on our pilot model for Android 8.0 (Oreo) has begun. We aim to present the new operating system to you at the beginning of the new year.

The problem, of course, is when exactly it will be in the new year but this all-but confirms that the update won’t hit in 2017.  Samsung has been very quiet about a timeline on when the update will roll out and this is the only confirmation that has been seen to this point.

If it is indeed 2018 before the Galaxy S8 phones and the Note8 see Oreo, it will once again make Samsung one of the last of the major OEMs to get the update out to their current devices.  Huawei, OnePlus, LG, Sony, HTC and Moto have all confirmed that at least some of their devices will get the update prior to the end of the year.

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Huawei Surpasses Apple as Second Largest Smartphone Brand

Huawei P10

Huawei continues to make huge strides in the smartphone market and their surge over the course of 2017 continues.  Counterpoint, a global technology research firm, has just released their latest Market Pulse for July 2017.  In that report, the Chinese manufacture has jumped over Apple to take the number two position in global smartphone sales percentage.  Perhaps even more impressive in this is the fact that they made this jump without a “hero” device like Apple’s iPhone 7 or Samsung’s Galaxy S8.

Samsung is by far the leader in smartphone sales percentage globally with just over 20%.

The July report from Counterpoint is the fifth consecutive month of gains in market share by Huawei and they have distanced themselves from others in the highly competitive Chinese manufacturing market.  Still, as the report points out, the risk to Huawei is their over dependence of their home market and expansion into Europe and North America will need to happen for them to hold on to that 2nd place solidly.

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Today’s Deal – Save on USB Storage on Amazon

SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Today’s Deal is a bit different than the norm.  It is on a range of SanDisk and Samsung USB-based storage solutions for your PC, Mac, Chromebook or devices that can take a MicroSD card.

Let’s start with the SanDisk MicroSD cards.  There are a wide range of them on sale today to expand the storage on your Android phone or other device:

  • SanDisk 32GB MicroSD – $11.99
  • SanDisk 64GB MicroSD – $29.91

For those who are looking for USB storage for your computing devices, you have some options there too.

  • SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB USB 3.0 – $9.57
  • SanDisk Ultra Fit 64GB USB 3.0 – $15.19
  • Samsung 128GB USB-C Flash Drive – $42.99

All of these are great prices and I can’t recommend the SanDisk Ultra Fit devices enough.  I have several of the 64GB models for my Mac & Chromebooks and their performance is outstanding.

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Samsung Posts Highest Quarterly Profit Since 2013

Samsung Galaxy S8

Bolstered by their memory chip division, Samsung reported an operating profit of $8.75 Billion in the first quarter of 2017.  It is their highest quarterly profit since 2013.  The chip division accounted for $5.58 Billion in profit while overall revenue for the entire company was up 2% according to the report from Reuters.

The trend of profits should continue for Samsung in this quarter and the smartphone division should play a significant role in it.  The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are shipping now and both are doing excellent in sales and pre-sales.  Indeed, pre-sales of the S8 lineup has already outpaced the popular S7 an S7 Edge from last year.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus Technical Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S8

The new flagship from Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy S8, has been announced and the specifications of this new phone are certainly impressive.  The 5.8″ Galaxy S8 will be powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor running four cores at 2.3GHz and the other four running at 1.9GHz.  It is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD card.  The display renders at 2960 x 1440 QuadHD with an impressive 571 PPI.  Powering all of it is a 3000mAh battery which is charged with inductive charging.

Camera wise, the rear shooter is a 12MP camera with OIS and has a f/1.7 aperture.  On the front is an 8MP camera.  The S8 is IPS68 rating meaning it is water and dust proof.

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Today’s Deal – Samsung EVO 64GB MicroSD for $22

Samsung EVO 64GB MicroSD Card

Today’s Deal over at Amazon is on the zippy Samsung EVO MicroSD card.  The 64GB version of the card is down to $21.99 today while the 32GB model is only $10.99.  If you are looking to expand the memory of your Android phone or other devices, these are solid performing cards that can keep up with an impressive 48MB/sec throughput.

Whether you pick up the 32GB or the 64GB version, both cards are UHC-1 certified so you can record Full HD to them as the write speed is fast enough.  The cards will be supported by the vast majority of Android phones as well as other recording devices (like a GoPro) but be sure to double-check the specification requirements of your device before you make a purchase.

For those of you who are Amazon Prime customers, you get free shipping on the cards.  Head over to Amazon to get all the details.  Prices are good while supplies last.

Android Tablet Sales Drop 10% in The Last Quarter of 2016

Nexus 9

While there were a few bright spots, the Android tablet market continued to constrict in the last quarter of 2016 according to Strategy Analytics.  The site Q4 2016 report is out and with it, you see that overall, Android tablet sales dropped by 10% year-over-year with Samsung seeing a 10% drop themselves year-over-year.  Interestingly, relatively new comer Huawei saw a 49% increase in growth over last year as they made their first significant efforts in the tablet space in 2016.  It seems to have paid off – at least for now.  Amazon also enjoyed a nice growth rate of 21% thanks to their Fire lineup of Android-powered tablets.

The news on tablet sales didn’t just impact Android.  Apple saw a 19% drop in iPad sales year-over-year in Q4 2016.

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