Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge gets Marvel Superhero treatment; Iron Man Edition …

17 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Ultimate’ Galaxy S6 Confirmed, It’s Samsung’s Biggest S6 Mistake.

Taking a look back at seven days of news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories including the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, previewing the LG G4, HTC’s Butterfly J mid-range handset, Android’s mobile advertising win over Apple, Android M hardware specifications and features, Nova launcher’s material version leaves beta, and Sega abandons certain games. Love or loathe the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, if Samsung were to make a third version the obvious thing to do would be to fix the compromises made in the other two models.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can read the weekly Apple news digest here). Well Samsung has listened and there will be a third ‘Ultimate’ model which does exactly this… unfortunately it will also mess everything else up. The hardware draws heavily from the Apple school of design, while the extensively skinned Android software is one of the most thorough iOS clones around. The mobile maker posted a teaser image to its official Twitter account today, depicting what looks like a special edition box wherein the phone is likely to be housed.

Spend some time with the P8, though, and the iPhone comparisons give way to genuine appreciation—it might be a copycat smartphone, but it’s an especially well-done copycat that can stand on its own merits. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get past the look, and Android devotees have plenty of strong alternatives that highlight, rather than hide their Android roots. If the upcoming gadget, however, is anything like those early mockups, it’ll be red and gold and awesome—with Tony Stark’s alter-ego stretching past the edge of the screen. Despite these upsides, Consumer Reports concludes that while “Samsung traditionally thrived by being the anti-iPhone… [the Galaxy S6] prioritises design at expense of the functionality”.

We can gauge this from the renders revealed by evleaks which show a phone with protective borders so big it dwarfs the Galaxy S Active models that came before it. Samsung’s Twitter account posted today’s teaser with a disclaimer, saying availability for this limited edition phone would “differ by region.” There’s no guarantee it’s coming to all markets, then, but chances are big ones like the U.S. will get a chance to pick one up.

In retrospect, I almost get the sense that the Galaxy S6’s design was tailor-made for these kinds of limited editions and customizations, giving Samsung the opportunity to do with its smartphones what Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft do with their consoles (collectible paint job after collectible paint job). Firstly the fingerprint scanner is missing, as it was in the Galaxy S5 Active and there appears to be two new physical buttons either side of the home-button. It seems as if the speakers have also been moved to the back (bottom left), but without a clear picture of the bottom of the handset, it’s impossible to know. It is time to make the Active stylish and practical and let the customer make the call on the individual level of durability they need with their own case purchase. Our international test unit worked fine with an AT&T nano SIM card, but I won’t dig too deeply into network performance or call quality until we get a model that’s been tuned for U.S. carriers.

Android fans looking for the replaceable battery and memory card should be a target audience for LG: With 32GB of onboard storage, most people won’t have a massive problem with the capacity of the G4 anyway, but adding a microSD card is cheap, and can give you 128GB of extra storage. You can still move apps to the SD card too, although from a performance perspective this isn’t a great idea as speeds suffer on microSD, which is why Google isn’t keen on allowing their use.

This is all something that power uses say they want to retain, and if Samsung moves more phones away from removable batteries, then there’s a good chance some of those people will end up at LG’s door. In real-world usage, I rarely saw any jittery animations or hang-ups—everything felt exceedingly smooth, with a sense of immediacy behind touch input.

The waterproof handsets specifications are fractionally less powerful than the M9, and the handsets are available in three colours (Rosso Red, Silk White, and Indigo Blue). This is the ‘budget’ version that slips in under the flagship. 9to5Google’s Stephen Hall points out the similarities to the HTC One M9: The Butterfly 3 packs a QHD 5.2-inch screen, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of (expandable!) internal storage, a 20.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with HTC’s Duo Camera set up, a 13-megapixel front camera, NFC, LTE-A, and an IR blaster.

A swipe down from anywhere on the home screen summons a system-wide search, while a swipe up from the lock screen brings with it a shortcut page with quick settings and media control access. The notification shade is structured in a timeline format like iOS, and Huawei forsakes the app drawer completely, forcing every app onto a home screen. The phone has a plastic build that comes in three colors—Rosso, Silk, and Indigo—and it has an oddly small battery, sitting at 2,700 mAh, which is just a bit smaller than the 2,840 mAh battery found in the M9… Models display the new smart phone of Taiwanese electronics maker HTC ‘HTC J butterfly HTL23′ at the launch event. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images) Mobile developers will be looking at the trend illustrated by Opera’s report into mobile advertising with keen interest. While it shows revenue from Android advertising passing that of iOS, the per-user ratio on iOS is stronger than Android… for the moment: The question for developers to consider is if they should change the platforms they address, to switch from one to another, or to focus more efforts on Android.

Although most apps aren’t yet coded to take advantage of the iPhone 6’s additional real estate, the new phone puts Apple’s beloved operating system and gorgeous third-party apps into a body that no longer looks and feels cramped. Consideration should also be made by iOS developers to the increased support requirements for the various flavors of Android devices on the market to decide if now is the time to be jumping ship to follow the coarse revenue numbers.

What is clear is that Opera’s numbers show that a tipping point has been reached in the Norwegian’s advertising platform, and that trend will likely be repeating itself across the various monetization services. Both sides of the decision are finely balanced, so it is probably best to stick with what you know at the moment until there is a definite swing to one side or the other.

For instance, Verizon charges $199 with contract for the base 16GB model, Sprint includes a 16GB unit as part of a special $70 unlimited plan over two years, and T-Mobile charges nothing up front, but $27.08 per month. Kevin Barry, the developer behind the popular third-party launcher Nova, has released a stable version of the launcher that makes full use of Google’s Material Design style. Back in 2011, I judged the 4.65-inch Samsung Galaxy Nexus to be too large for some hands, but what I didn’t get was that screen size isn’t the problem.

It’s the overall phone width, which needs to be narrow enough so people with small, stubby fingers can grip it comfortably, while people with big, hammy fingers don’t mistype words. In addition to cosmetic and animation changes, there are also dozens of functionality improvements such as previews in settings, more control over the icon layout for desktop, dock, drawer and folders, a new grouped widget picker, pull to search in the drawer and widget search. When LG introduced the G2, it said comprehensive hand studies had led it to believe that anything wider than 2.8 inches couldn’t be used well in one hand, across a range of hand sizes. (Then it introduced the LG G3, which is wider than 2.8 inches.

When I asked why, LG execs just threw up their hands and said “people want this,” like they had no choice in the matter.) Now that everyone from Alcatel to ZTE has discovered that people are trying to replace phones and tablets with single hybrid devices, Apple has grudgingly decided to step into the space with the $299-and-up iPhone 6 Plus. Given Google’s commitment to Android One handsets and a fast update schedule, anyone targeting this level of hardware specification should be able to handle Android’s requirements through to 2017. The International Business Times rounds up the latest features, including voice access, nearby, material design tweaks, and user permission improvements: …Google will provide more power to the user to control what kind of data — such as photos, contacts or locations — can be accessed by the apps. When you open the calendar, for instance, it blooms wider, giving you an overall month view on the left and an agenda on the right, just like you’re on a grownup tablet.

The faux-leather back on the Galaxy Note series is actually better at this size: It’s really grippy, giving you confidence that the big phone isn’t going to slip out of your hand. Background processes like checking the mail will take the same amount of power to run on both the 6 and the 6 Plus, so the 6 Plus’s bigger battery will really win out.

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