Monthly Archives: June 2015

Android 5.1 Lollipop now rolling out to the Sprint Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

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The update to Android 5.1 Lollipop is now beginning to roll out to Sprint variants of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The update, which comes in at around 563MB, will bring the Galaxy S6’s software version to G920PVPU2B0F7 and the S6 Edge’s version to G925PVPU2B0F7.

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So what’s new in the update to Android 5.1? Aside from a few bug fixes on Sprint’s side of things, Android 5.1 will bring a handful of performance improvements, just a few user interface tweaks, and factory reset protection. Be sure to check out our “What’s new in Android 5.1 Lollipop” post for more details.

As is the case with most other software updates, it may take a few days to make its way to your device. If you’d like to check for the update manually, head to Settings>About device, then choose the “check for updates” button. Have you received Android 5.1 on your Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge yet? If so, how are you liking it?

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Honor 7 & Meizu MX5 vs the competition

Huawei-Honor-7 (1)

Today not one but two Chinese manufacturers have announced new devices and both handsets are feature-rich at affordable price tags. Huawei’s e-commerce brand Honor has announced the Honor 7 while Meizu has announced the MX5, but how do these two handsets compare against each other and to the competition?

Honor 7 vs Meizu MX5

Before comparing these handsets to their rivals, let’s take a look at how they compare to each other. Both handsets adopt all-metal builds and while the Honor 7 has been influenced by the Ascend Mate 7, the MX5 is Meizu’s first switch to an all-metal design.

Last year’s Huawei phablet – the Ascend Mate 7 – certainly had an influence on the Honor 7

Both handsets offer Full HD displays but the 5.5-inch AMOLED screen on the MX5 is slightly larger than the 5.2-inch IPS display on the Honor 7, meaning it has a slightly lower display density of 401 pixels per inch (versus 424 ppi). Both handsets run on Android Lollipop, with Meizu adding Flyme 4.5 on top, while Huawei added its own Emotion UI v3.1 interface.

Huawei & Meizu in video:

  • Huawei P8 Review!

  • Meizu M1 Note Review

  • Huawei Honor 6 Plus Review

  • Meizu MX4 Pro Review!

  • Meizu MX4 Review!

  • Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Review

Switching to the camera, both handsets use Sony modules; the Meizu MX5 comes equipped with an IMX220 module that offers 20.7MP resolution, laser autofocus and 4K Ultra HD video recording while the Honor 7 uses an IMX230 module with 20MP resolution, Phase Detection autofocus, optical image stabilisation and, presumably, 4K Ultra HD video recording as well.

Up front the MX5 has a 5MP front camera with Full HD video while the Honor 7 has an 8MP selfie camera with Huawei’s Beauty Level feature built-in. Beneath the rear camera is where Huawei have added the fingerprint sensor on the Honor 7, which is a feature that’s missing from Meizu’s flagship.

Under the hood, both handsets have octa-core processors with the Meizu MX5 using the MediaTek Helio X10 Turbo CPU clocked at 2.2GHz and the Honor 7 using Huawei’s own Kirin 935 processor, also clocked at 2.2GHz. There’s also 3GB RAM on both handsets and the biggest difference comes in the storage options; the MX5 is available with either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB internal storage while the Honor 7 has either 16GB or 64GB storage.

The price of these handsets is where they may go on to challenge the established manufacturers: the MX5 costs roughly $290 for the 16GB model, while the 32GB costs approximately $322 and the 64GB comes in at $387. In comparison, the Honor 7 is available in three models: the lowest variant comes with 16GB internal storage and single SIM LTE for approx. $322, while the next version up offers the same storage and dual SIM 4G LTE for $354 and the top model offers 64GB storage and dual SIM LTE for $402.

The MX5 replaces Meizu’s previous flagship, the MX4

At these prices, both handsets are significantly cheaper than the competition and while it’s difficult to make in-depth comparisons until these devices arrive for review, let’s take a look at how they compare against the other major flagship handsets on the market.

Honor 7 & Meizu MX5 vs the competition

Like many Chinese companies, both Huawei and Meizu have attempted to challenge established devices by focusing on offering impressive specs with an even more impressive price tag.

they certainly have feature sets that will appeal to almost all users

Along with rival Chinese OEMs Gionee and Xiaomi, these companies have transformed the mid-range market by offering feature-rich smartphones at a price that belies belief. While they won’t have all the bells and whistles found on handsets that retail for almost double the price, they certainly have feature sets that will appeal to almost all users.

Let’s take a look at how the Meizu MX5 and Honor 7 specs compare vs the best from Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC.

Detail Honor 7 Meizu MX5 Sony Xperia Z3+ HTC One M9 Galaxy S6 LG G4
Hardware:
Display: 5.2 inch IPS
Full HD (1080×1920)
Density: 424ppi
5.5 inch AMOLED
Full HD (1080×1920)
Density: 401ppi
5.2 inch IPS
Full HD (1080×1920)
Density: 424ppi
5.0 inch Super LCD3
Full HD (1080×1920)
Density: 441ppi
5.1 inch Super AMOLED
Quad HD (1440×2560)
Density: 577ppi
5.5 inch IPS
Quad HD (1440×2560)
Density: 538ppi
Processor: Octa-core Kirin 930
4 x 2.2GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz
Octa-core Helio X10
8 x 2.2GHz
octa-core Snapdragon 810
4 x 2GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz
octa-core Snapdragon 810
4 x 2GHz + 4 x 1.5GHz
octa-core Exynos 7420
4 x 2.1GHz, 4 x 1.5GHz
hexa-core Snapdragon 808
2 x 1.82GHz, 4 x 1.44GHz
Storage: 16/64GB

Expandable: Yes

16/32/64GB

Expandable: TBC

32GB

Expandable: Yes

32GB

Expandable: Yes

32/64/128GB

Expandable: No

32GB

Expandable: Yes

RAM: 3GB 3GB 3GB 3GB 3GB 3GB
Build Type: Metal Metal Glass Aluminium Unibody Glass and metal Plastic front with Plastic or Leather rear
LTE: Cat 6 (300Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL) Cat 4 (150Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL) Cat 6 (300Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL) Cat 6 (300Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL) Cat 6 (300Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL) Cat 6 (300Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL)
Fingerprint Sensor: Yes No No No Yes No
SIM card Single/Dual SIM Single SIM Single SIM Single SIM Single SIM Single SIM
Software: Android 5.1
Emotion UI v3.1
Android 5.0
Flyme OS 4.5
Android 5.0
Sony UI
Android 5.0
HTC Sense 7
Android 5.0.2
TouchWiz UI
Android 5.1
LG G UX 4.0
Camera:
Sensor size: 20MP 20.7MP 20.7MP 20MP 16MP 16MP with color spectrum sensor
Autofocus: Phase Detection Laser Yes Yes Yes Laser
Optical Image Stabilisation: Yes No No No Yes Yes
Video: 1080p@60fps 1080p@60fps
2160p@30fps
1080p@60fps
2160p@30fps
1080p@60fps
2160p@30fps
1080p@60fps
2160p@30fps
1080p@60fps
2160p@30fps
Front camera: 8MP, video TBC 5MP, 1080p@30fps 5.1MP, 1080p@30fps 4MP Ultrapixel
1080p@30fps
5MP, 1440p@30fps 8MP, 1080p@30fps
Flash dual-LED (dual tone) dual-LED (dual tone) LED flash dual-LED (dual tone) LED flash LED flash
Battery:
Capacity: 3100mAh 3150mAh 2930 mAh 2840 mAh 2550mAh 3000 mAh
Fast Charging: 100% in 1 hour 25 mins
50% in 30 mins
mCharge
60% in 40 mins
Quick Charge 2.0
60% in 30 mins
Quick Charge 2.0
60% in 30 mins
Quick Charge 2.0
60% in 30 mins
None
Wireless Charging: No No No No Yes, PMA+Qi Optional

There you have it – the specs of the Honor 7 and Meizu MX5 certainly show that it’s possible to make a handset with the latest flagship specs at a price that’s anything but flagship. Of course the specs list only reveals a small part of the overall experience and we can’t comment on how good these handsets are until they arrive for review but the specs comparison certainly gives us food for thought.

What do you think of the specs of the Meizu MX5 and Honor 7 vs the competition? Which handset would you buy (if any)? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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Deal: ZeroLemon Galaxy S6 Battery Case for only $29, Rage Water-Resistant Speaker for $35

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It’s no secret that Samsung greatly ramped up its design language with the Galaxy S6, combining two panels of Gorilla Glass 4 with an aluminum edge that surrounds the device. But when the phone is covered in glass as opposed to plastic, you may want to take some extra precautions to keep it safe. Carrying around this phone with a case is a must, and why not add a bit of extra functionality while you’re doing it? If you’re looking to give your new Galaxy S6 some extra juice while protecting it, check out ZeroLemon’s Galaxy S6 Battery Case.

The Galaxy S6 certainly doesn’t have the best battery on the market, coming in at just 2550mAh. The ZeroLemon Battery Case will provide an extra 3500mAh of battery capacity, bringing the phone’s total to 6050mAh. You can also remove the battery from the case to use it externally, if you’d like. Right now, you can purchase the ZeroLemon Battery Case for the Galaxy S6 for just $28.99 (27% off) from the Android Authority Deals Store!

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Looking for an inexpensive, water resistant and compact Bluetooth speaker? Look no further than the Rage Water-Resistant Bluetooth Speaker, currently being offered for 30% off in the AA Deals Store. This speaker is lightweight, compact and powerful, and is resistant against drops, splashes and dust. This speaker, which can also last up to four hours on a single charge, will provide loud, clear audio regardless of whether it’s operating inside or outside. If you’re interested in taking your outdoor listening experience to the next level, the Rage Bluetooth Speaker can be found in the AA Deals Store for just $34.99.

Interested in any of these great promotions? Head to the links below for more information.

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Diablo-esque Torchlight Mobile to feature new story, multiplayer, and more (updated 6/30)

Torchlight-mobile

Update (6/30): 

Earlier this month we learned that Torchlight was making its way over to mobile, much to the delight of Torchlight fans and those Diablo fans looking for the “next closest thing” on their Android devices. At the time, details were pretty scarce, but thankfully Perfect World has now shared a few more details on what to expect.

First, the game will be a free-to-play offering that should actually be fully playable and enjoyable even if you never spend a cent. Second, the game will offer a brand new story line and new areas to explore that are not from Torchlight or Torchlight 2. Some of the other big features include new playable races and classes, PVP and multiplayer support, timed challenges, and a new skill augmentation system. Pets will also return in this new Torchlight installment, though this time you won’t necessarily start with a pet and a “new collectible pet system” will likely make it easy to change out the pets/companions that accompany you across your journey.

There’s still no exact timeline for when we’ll see the game arrive on Android and other mobile platforms, but so far, this is actually looking to be a pretty exciting game. Personally, my only qualm is that I’d rather this had been a premium experience over a FTP one. How about you?

Original post (6/15):

torchlight-mob

Over the weekend, it was announced that Perfect World will be producing a new game in the Torchlight series specifically for mobile devices. Dubbed Torchlight Mobile, the upcoming game should feature the same charming cartoonish visuals and dungeon-crawling gameplay of its predecessors.

Beyond this, there’s not a lot of details on what to expect just yet. Perfect World does mention that online multiplayer will be incorporated, but there’s no word on the story, whether it will be a dungeon-only affair like the original, or if we can expect an expanded world similar to Torchlight 2.

For those that have never heard of the series, it’s basically a Diablo clone with even the same music producer behind it as was behind the original Diablo games, though it has its own art style and other changes (like the addition of pets) that makes it feel different enough to stand on its own. Personally, I loved Torchlight 2 as much, if not slightly more, than Diablo 3 — though your opinion may vary.

Here’s a trailer from the original Torchight, to give you a better idea of what to possibly expect:

There’s no exact word on when the game will arrive to Android, other than “sometime this year”, but it will be featured this week at E3 2015 where we hope to get a peek at it. What do you think, excited to see this one hit Google Play later this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Galaxy S6 selling well in the US, but some analysts are disappointed

samsung galaxy s6 vs s6 edge aa (10 of 39)

For a vast majority of mainstream consumers, the existence of the Galaxy S6 begins and ends with the sale: see it, buy it, and use it. For Samsung however, as well as those more vested or curious individuals around the world, the launch is only one part of a rather extensive timeline. Most important are numbers, particularly how many units are being sold (or shipped) and how much money the OEM is making in the process.

Last year Samsung’s Galaxy S5 faced quite a harrowing situation when compared with the superior sales of the Galaxy S4 before it. To say that all eyes were on the potential of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge would be an understatement. Fortunately it seems that, in the USA at least, the numbers are working in not only Samsung’s favor, but also Google’s.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge vs Galaxy S6

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s chief of research, Carolina Milanesi, reported that, “the first full month of sales of the Galaxy S6 allowed Samsung to regain the market lead in the US and grow its share of Android sales from 52% in the three months ending in April to 55% for the three months ending in May.”

She further explained that, “Samsung’s share of the US smartphone market grew period-over-period, as the Galaxy S6 became the third best-selling smartphone in the US, after the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S5.Samsung’s year-over-year performance also improved, with its US market share now down only 0.5 percentage point compared to 1.6 percentage points in the three months ending in April.” Given the very lofty expectations of the pure-premium hardware redesign, these results shouldn’t come across as a big surprise, but will definitely allow Samsung a brief respite in the migraine-inducing game of numbers and returns.

As if this wasn’t enough, data also indicated that in the same period, Android market share in the USA increased by 2.8% to a total of 64.9%. However in five key markets in Europe, Android fell 2.9% of what it was during the same period last year. Suffice to say that with a clear dominance of the mobile OS market, Google is therefore the most likely to take a hit should any smaller competitors enter,  or should Apple release a major product (as the iPhone 6 Plus certainly was for it).

Take a look at Kantar’s interactive data feature below for more details:

http://ift.tt/1pVU2hM

Despite the positive news covered at Kantar, over in South Korea things weren’t quite as bright. Business Korea has reported that Samsung’s Galaxy S6 (as well as LG’s G4) have failed to meet the lofty sales expectations that various speculators and investors had hoped. Citing sources inside the securities industry, “Samsung…is expected to post 3.1 trillion (US$2.76 billion) to 3.4 trillion won (US$3.03 billion) in operating profit in the second quarter. The figure is up 22 percent from 2.74 trillion won (US$2.44 billion) of operating profits in the first quarter but down 24 percent from 4.421 trillion won (US$3.94 billion) in the second quarter last year.”

samsung galaxy s6 edge vs lg g4 aa (4 of 28)

Consumer choice: Both the LG G4 and Galaxy S6 are fantastic phones, but according to Business Korea, neither have met sales expectations in South Korea.

While these numbers may seem impressive, they were initially expected to be much higher after expectations were for Samsung to sell 70 million handsets. Due to reports and indications of “poor” initial sales, the projections had to be cut down to 45 million units. It should be pointed out that for so many manufacturers around the world, sales talk of even 10 million units might be seen as incredible, yet here we have the possibility of Samsung’s only selling potentially 45 million devices as a disappointment. The paradoxical nature of this situation serves to illustrate how damaging the effects of speculators may be: If Samsung does in fact report sales that fall below expectations, it would follow that its share price may tumble. Yet, had the expectations been set at a far lower number, say 20 million units, stock market prices would have soared through the roof.

Galaxy S6 Edge Teardown

Unfortunately it’s impossible to look into future with the same clarity as it is to check components.

It is important, when reading reports such as these, to take them into consideration for what they are: reactions and reports based on rumors or beliefs that may-or-may-not come to pass. And indeed as we have already seen in countless instances before, the lofty goals are often not met for any number of reasons, including those above-and-beyond the manufacturer’s control.

Has Samsung done well here, or has it done poorly? Ultimately, it depends on what your own expectations are. In truth, the real test might be better in-line with those of the mainstream consumer alluded to earlier: if the phone is considered a good purchase and you’re satisfied with it, isn’t that the biggest success of them all?

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