Samsung Unveils Wireless Speaker, Sound Bar, UHD Blu-ray Player, and Robot Vacuum Ahead of CES 2017

CES 2017 doesn’t arrive until next week – it’s got the next year in its name as a clue – but that hasn’t stopped a whole bunch of companies, including Samsung, from announcing some of their products ahead of the trade show. For the South Korea-based electronics giant, that involves a new wireless speaker, a new soundbar, a new UHD Blu-ray player, and a new robot vacuum.

Samsung Unveils Wireless Speaker, Sound Bar, UHD Blu-ray Player, and Robot Vacuum Ahead of CES 2017With its audio-visual products, Samsung claims to have found the “future of audio”. The company is referring to its proprietary audio upscaling technology called Ultra High Quality audio, or just UHQ. With it, any 8- to 24-bit source can be converted into a 32-bit stream, which Samsung says “much closer in quality to the original recording than existing HD audio”.

This isn’t the first time Samsung itself has peddled its UHQ tech, with the Galaxy Note 5 fitted with a similar setting back in the day. Moreover, in an age where most people get their music via streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, it begs to be asked if the average consumer even cares about the difference between 8-, 24- and 32-bit streams of audio, or can even tell them apart.

Another one of Samsung’s algorithms include Distortion Cancelling, which the company claims “can intelligently predict a woofer’s movement, control it, and play more solid and stable sounds at a low pitch”.
As for the products, the Samsung H7 wireless speaker, as it’s called, looks like a streamlined version of an old-school stereo. It’s not at all retro when it comes to music playback though, with the speaker’s wheel letting you select playlists from streaming services. The MS750 sound bar, meanwhile, brings “subwoofer performance directly into the primary unit”, says Samsung.
Then there’s the M9500 UHD Blu-ray player, which Samsung says is optimised for HDR content. The new player looks at the source – be it HDR, Atmos, or DTS-X – and adjusts both video and audio for “optimal” performance. Plus, its ‘Private Cinema’ viewing mode lets you send audio to a pair of Bluetooth headphones instead the TV.

Rounding up the lot is the VR7000 robot vacuum, which stands less than 4-inches tall. That’s a notch thinner than all of the existing products in the iRobot lineup, except the Roomba 770 which comes in under 3.5-inches. But Samsung’s new vacuum trumps Roomba with its Alexa support, which means you can control it using an Amazon Echo.

It’s still technically not CES, so naturally Samsung is withholding detailed specifications, pricing, or availability on all the above products. Expect more information early next week.

Why I will never buy the Galaxy Note 7

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Before you stop me in my tracks, I’d like to clarify one thing. The following argument is my personal opinion. Some editors, mainly my colleague Pierre, probably disagree with me. That’s a good thing because one strength of is that our editorial team shares differing opinions on the same subjects.

Another thing I want to say – I’m not one of the Samsung ‘haters’. Sure, I don’t like everything it manufactures but, to be honest, there is no smartphone manufacturer that impresses me 100 percent of the time.

1. The price is nasty

We shouldn’t pretend here. The main reason why people would not buy a Galaxy Note 7 is the price. At a time when bargains abound, Samsung insists on offering smartphones at exorbitant prices. After all, the price of Apple’s smartphones is also high yet people continue to buy them. This premium price loop just seems to work for some.

But it’s the law of supply and demand. Obviously if people are willing to pay such sums to buy the device, Samsung’s shouldn’t stop them. The problem here (and elsewhere) is that manufacturers – and society at large – create/exploit our desires. Once a person becomes a customer, convinced that they must buy a particular phone, he or she will be ready to fork out cash, thinking that the end justifies the means. Samsung finds the right balance in order to keep these customers: find the maximum price that people are willing to pay without making them feel ripped off.

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My point here is that I do not want to invest $850 in a smartphone. This is a hefty price and seems excessive to me. I feel that the standard today is that we feel compelled to buy anything that’s better or newer, with a focus more on desire than need. That said, everyone is free to buy whatever he or she wants.

Some of us just want to have fun buying a super smartphone, which brings us to the second point.

2. The Note 7 outperforms my needs

While reading the previous paragraphs, many of you probably thought that the design and specs of the Note 7 justify its price. In absolute terms, this is true. The device is excellent in many ways, and I must admit that grasping it is an experience worth trying. In terms of performance, it’s true that some points are open to criticism, as XDA’s Eric Hulse did in a recent article.

I absolutely do not question the technological offerings of the Note 7. What bothers me is that for many users this is superfluous. Maybe you heard of a GfK study which produced some interesting results about how much time smartphone users spend doing different things:

  • 22 percent dedicated to fun (videos, music, surf, games)
  • 22 percent dedicated to instant messaging
  • 22 percent dedicated to calls
  • 10 percent dedicated to social networks
  • 10 percent dedicated to emails

Of course, these figures are not 100 percent accurate, so it is possible that your usage might be a little different. That said, this shows one important thing: the daily business of many people does not involve extensive use of their phone’s capabilities. Of course, you need good hardware to run games, but is it necessary to have the best equipment if a less powerful (and cheaper) component does the job? It’s a bit of a ‘buy a tank to kill a fly on the window’ situation.

This does not include the Galaxy Note but all flagships – paying for so much untapped performance is not something I’d do. In my case, I use my smartphone mainly for calling, listening to music, messaging and even some apps, so I have no big expectations of performance and, therefore, don’t really need a flagship. But the Note 7 has unique features: a stylus and an iris scanner. This may be a good selling point but is not useful for my needs.

Also, I appreciate the larger display because it’s nicer to use, but I’d stick to a maximum of 5.5 inches, making the Note 7 too big for me at 5.7 inches. That said, the Chinese love large screens (up to 6 inches in some devices) so it is not impossible to see more and more manufacturers offer increasingly large behemoths of 6 inches.

3. TouchWiz…

This is purely a matter of taste. In my case, I’m not a big fan of TouchWiz. That said, TouchWiz has evolved. Do you remember the Galaxy S5 and the garish blue color? At that time, TouchWiz had a hideous interface and a mix of colors that was totally chaotic.

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Fortunately, things have changed and TouchWiz has been greatly improved. We could already see the difference with the S6 and the S7, and things have changed again with the Note 7. Graphically, it is prettier to look at. And on the Note 7, menus have been reworked.

The effort is there, but for me TouchWiz remains TouchWiz. Color associations are always strange (a white icon on a bright yellow background, all in slightly rounded form…). We always find preinstalled apps (which have also been reduced in number, thankfully). As for Android Nougat, do not expect to have it for a while…unless Samsung decides to provide updates more quickly, of course.

Best phones for cellular gaming

 

The Samsung Galaxy S7 area is one of the maximum effective smartphones in the marketplace. Packing the cutting-edge Snapdragon 820 processor, the Adreno 530 GPU and four GB of RAM, it will deal with the maximum strenuous games available in addition to those which might be still to come.

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Samsung’s 2016 flagship is, of direction, extraordinarily expensive, however it gives the finest gaming experience available. it’s also future-proof, as far as a telephone can be, ensuring two years of pinnacle-degree overall performance.

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The screen, curved at the rims, makes the most of its five.five inches, dissolving unpleasant bezels because it peels away. As regular for Samsung, the viewing first-class is of the very best popular to be had on the market.

Apart from the via-the-roof specs, the tool is set up particularly to offer a superlative gaming enjoy. A Samsung-simplest software characteristic, the sport Launcher, acts as a gaming center, storing and categorizing your video games. It additionally employs a floating button arrangement called the sport tool, which may be used, amongst different matters, to block notifications and file your gameplay from within any recreation.

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No longer best that, however the S7 gadgets are the first smartphones to use the Vulkan API, which is looking set to be the destiny of cell gaming.

Nexus 6P: for rate, electricity and panoramas
effective hardware not sits out of doors the finances of the modest client. Xiaomi is generating handsets able to competing with Samsung and Apple flagships for nearly 1/2 the fee, and mid-range devices are quickly hiking the ladder and biting at high-cease heels.

The Nexus 6P includes final 12 months’s Snapdragon 810 processor and Adreno 430 GPU, placing it within spitting distance of the Galaxy S7 edge. Studded with three GB of RAM and a 5.7-inch AMOLED display screen, the Nexus 6P seems beautiful, plays admirably and it does all of it at an impressive charge factor.

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you could choose up a Nexus 6P for round $450. it is $300 much less than a Galaxy S7 facet. Any gamer, even one pushing the performance via graphically stressful long-haul periods, is unlikely to suffer via slowdown and frame charge drops with the Nexus 6P.

although the specs are barely lower than the S7 side, the Nexus 6P has the benefit in relation to display size. Its five.7 inches of viewing area offer ample room to enjoy the ones HD photos, and the AMOLED technology method color duplicate is outstanding. It also has the identical resolution because the S7 facet and, no matter the bigger screen length, the pixel density isn’t always a ways off: 518 ppi vs 534 ppi.

androidpit Nexus 6P

HTC 10: for flagship audio
If you want your video games played loud, there may be no better preference than the HTC 10. The employer, long famend for its BoomSound audio, has upped its sport on the HTC 10. As on its preceding fashions, HTC has hired stereo audio system, however they’ve additionally added a twist.

best the top speaker is the front-facing; the bottom speaker now is living at the the body strolling alongside the base of the telephone. The top speaker is used for trebles and mids, whilst the newly placed bottom speaker plays the position of a subwoofer, focusing on lower-quit frequencies.

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The audio system are a standout characteristic at the HTC 10, however it is also a stunning telephone, and it carries specs to compete alongside the Galaxy S7 range. we find the Snapdragon 820 inside, in conjunction with the Adreno 530 GPU, much like Samsung’s effort, and there’s additionally four GB of RAM. performance-sensible, there might be little discernible distinction among this and the Galaxy S7 part.

The most effective disadvantage right here is that the HTC 10 does not have an AMOLED display. It as an alternative opts for outstanding lcd 5 generation. It seems incredible, however no longer it is not as close to perfection because the Galaxy S7’s show, although it does have a higher pixel density.

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OnePlus X: for price-conscious performance
going for walks the Snapdragon 801, the flagship processor of 2014, may not seem like enough to play with the huge boys, however the OnePlus X places in a sterling attempt for a $199 phone. it’s in no way going to compete with the Snapdragon 820-wielding beasts of 2016, but at this fee point there is little room for argument.

running the Epic fortress benchmark, which uses the synthetic engine, on extremely-high exceptional, the frame rate did soar around, but it not often stuttered and ended up accomplishing over forty fps on average.

The display, at five.1 inches, won’t be enough for some, but there’ll continually need to be sacrifices at this price point.

typical, for beneath $2 hundred, the OnePlus X is a first-rate preference for the gamer who expects first rate however now not benchmark-breaking performance.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung is the most popular among the biggest players of smartphone brand across the Globe. It has launched smartphones running Tizen OS, as an alternative to its Android-based smartphones, in August 2014. This phone is available in five variants such as Charcoal Black, Dazzling White, Sleek Silver, Frosted Gold, Scuba Blue.

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Samsung galaxy Alpha is powered with a Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 & Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 processors which makes it Octa core and a chipset configuration of Exynos 5 Octa 5430 along with a graphics processor provided by Mali-T628 MP6. It runs on a android based operating system of version 4.4.4 Kitkat and is upgradable to version 5.0.2 Lollipop. It is equipped with a single nano sim which supports 2G/3G/4G technologies.

The display is designed with a Super AMOLED capacitive touch screen with 16M colors and has a size of 4.7 inch with an HD resolution of 1280×720 pixel capacity. The screen is protected against breakage, dust and scratches by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 enabling the multi touch feature. This phone weighs about 115gm and has the dimensions 132.4 x 65.5 x 6.7 mm. Galaxy Alpha is powered with a medium power, removable Li-ion 1860 mAh battery which provides 350 hours long standby and talk time of 11 hours and non-stop music play up to 37 hours.

Galaxy Alpha is equipped with a super fast 2GB RAM for multitasking, fast performing and high power gaming. It has an internal storage of 32GB and has got no scope of external memory due to the in-availability of memory card option. It has a 12 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash functionality with extra specifications of phase detection and selective focus for better focusing of pictures you take and blur certain parts of the picture. The secondary camera is integrated with 2 MP for taking selfies and for video calling.

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha is available at price range of Rs.16000 and is expected to reduce further. It is the first Samsung smart phone with metal body and is more durable than other Samsung smartphones in this range. It has a slim, sleek and rectangular structure which allows a good grip for the users to handle. The best feature of this smart is the fingerprint sensor which protects the phone from an intruder’s attack, and also has a wide range of sensor technology.

Due to its low battery power capacity of 1860 mAh and over pricing this phone has negative reviews. And because of its high power processor and storage capacity it takes lead over Samsung galaxy A5 and is lighter in weight than Galaxy S5.

Samsung to Produce Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoCs

Samsung to Produce Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoCs

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Thursday it will mass produce Qualcomm Inc’s new Snapdragon 820 mobile processors, in a major boost for the South Korean tech giant’s contract manufacturing business.

Samsung said the chips used its 14-nanometre manufacturing process which it also used to make its own Exynos processors. They would be in products in the first half of the year, Samsung added in a statement, without revealing the value of the contract.

The world’s top maker of memory chips has been trying to grow its processor business to diversify its revenue stream. It is growing more reliant on components as rivals such as Apple Inc and HuaweiTechnologies Co Ltd eat into its share of the smartphone market and pressure margins.

Samsung said the 14-nanometre technology cut power consumption by 15 percent and increased processing speed by up to 15 percent.

The firm added Nvidia Corp as a foundry client last year, while South Korea’s Electronic Times has reported that Samsung would start making chips for Advanced Micro Devices this year as well.

The Electronic Times also reported last year that Samsung would use the Snapdragon 820 chips for some of its new flagship Galaxy S7 smartphones that will launch this year.

Samsung Wants Galaxy S6 Owners In South Korea To Beta Test Marshmallow

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

It looks like we are getting closer to the release of the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for the SamsungGalaxy S6 smartphones.

Samsung is looking for beta testers in South Korea who own the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge to beta test the update.

Owners of the handsets who are using the device on either LG U+ or KT can now sign up to beta test the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update on their S6 smartphones.

If you live in South Korea and own one of the two handsets and are with the above carriers, then you can find out more details about the beta test over at Samsung at the link below.

The two handsets are expected to receive the Android Marshmallow update some time in January, the beta program above will continue until the 18th of January.

Samsung Electronics to form auto team in search of growth driver

 Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Wednesday it will create a team to develop automotive-related businesses, as it searches for a new profit driver while struggles at its smartphone division deepen.

Samsung, in a statement, said the team will work outside of existing divisions to grow sales of car components, with initial focus on in-car entertainment, satellite navigation and autonomous driving technologies. The team will also work with other technology arms of the Samsung Group.

Investors and analysts have increasingly called on Samsung to leverage its strength in fields such as chips and displays to tap demand from carmakers seeking increasingly sophisticated technologies for their vehicles.

Meanwhile, market estimates suggest profit from smartphones – Samsung’s former cashcow – is set fall in 2015 for the second consecutive year, putting pressure on the manufacturer to find new profit drivers.

U.S. patent filings data compiled by Thomson Reuters IP & Sciences showed increasing efforts by the world’s top smartphone maker and its affiliates to push into the rapidly growing market for automotive components, software and services that is worth around $500 billion.

Samsung Electronics and affiliates such as battery producer Samsung SDI Co Ltd and electronic components maker Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd can become major forces in automotive technology by combining offerings into a single platform, investors and analysts said.

But they point out that it could take several years before Samsung Electronics sees meaningful earnings contribution from car-related sales. Product cycles in the car industry often last several years and require more rigorous safety standards than consumer electronics.

SK Securities analyst Kim Young-woo said while Samsung Electronics is moving in the right direction, Samsung Group as a whole needs to combine key component-making operations under a single umbrella in order to succeed.

“Now that Samsung Electronics rolled up its sleeves, there needs to be a move to consolidate all the different parts into one,” Kim said.

 

Forget PlayStation VR, Sony may be working on a Samsung Gear VR-like concept

Samsung’s Gear VR is now out in the UK and it’s one of the easiest ways to get involved in virtual reality so far – and new rumours suggest Sony wants to make it even more accessible, by including it on mobile phones.

New patents have surfaced, but were filled in May, showing Sony has plans for a VR headset that works with your phone.

There are patents for two different devices – one that is like a full headset that you slip your phone into, and another which looks more like a pair of glasses than a traditional VR headset.

Gaming on the go

The glasses-like pair will reportedly come with a battery built in. While the other headset could house other internals such as on-board memory or extra sensors to the phone, much like the Gear VR does.

The patent describes the Gear VR-like device as a “head mounted display system having interface with mobile computer device for rendering virtual reality content.” What isn’t made clear is whether it would just work with Sony Xperia phones though.

It also seems like a strange step for Sony considering it’s working hard on PlayStation VR, previously known as Project Morpheus.

PlayStation VR is expected to work connected up with your console, while these headsets would be able to work away from your home set up. But with Sony investing heavily in its Remote Play application, it could be possible for Sony to offer VR gaming away from the home.

It would be a long shot though, and there’s no evidence Sony has even kept working on these projects since filing the patents.

That said, if we could get virtual reality console gaming while out and about, that would be some strong competition up against Samsung’s Gear VR. Colour us interested.

Samsung Did Not Infringe Nvidia Graphics Chip Patents, Rules US Trade Commission

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has been cleared on its use of graphics chip technology owned by Nvidia Corp without permission, in a US International Trade Commission ruling on Friday.

Judge Thomas Pender said Samsung did not infringe two Nvidia patents, and while it did infringe a third, he ruled that patent is invalid because it was not a new invention compared with previously known patents.

Nvidia spokesman Robert Sherbin said the ruling will be reviewed by the full commission, which will make a final decision on the dispute in February. “We remain confident in our case,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Samsung declined to comment.

Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia filed a complaint against Samsung and Qualcomm Inc at the ITC in September 2014. At the same time, Nvidia sued the companies in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The ITC has the authority to stop the import of products that it determines infringe a U.S. patent. Companies frequently sue at the ITC to win an import ban and in district court to win damages.

Nvidia, which said it invented the first graphics processing chip and released it in 1999, accused Korea’s Samsung and San Diego-based Qualcomm of using its patents on graphics chip technology without permission or compensation.

Nvidia alleged the companies infringed its patents with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors and Samsung’s Exynos processors and was seeking to prevent the import of several Samsung products, including its Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

Samsung has also gone on the offensive. It countersued Nvidia last November in federal court in Virginia, also alleging patent infringement. Samsung also sued one of Nvidia’s customers.

Samsung Milk Video Service to Shut Down on November 20

Samsung would be shuttering down its video discovery app – Samsung Milk Video – on November 20. The company announced the news on the app listing on Google Play store.

“Thank you for using Samsung Milk Video. While we remain committed to providing premium entertainment services, we have decided to end support for the Samsung Milk Video app as of November 20, 2015,” said the app description. The South Korean tech giant has added that Milk Video shut down would not affect other services such as Milk Music and Milk VR.

The app shutdown news comes months after Variety reported that Samsung Media Solutions Centre America laid off almost 15 percent its staff in March this year. It is worth mentioning that Media Solutions Centre America is the company’s arm responsible for Milk Music and video streaming services.

Samsung launched Milk Video exclusively for Galaxy customers in the US in November last year. The service essentially provided curated videos, pulling content from popular providers such as YouTube, Conde Nast, Red Bull, Vevo, Funny or Die, BuzzFeed, and Vice.

The company in March this year made its Milk Music streaming service available for free on the Web. However, it would still require users to create a Samsung account to utilise the Milk Music Web Player. The service last month got a new competitor – LG Hi-Fi music service. It offers high-fidelity (Hi-Fi) songs to its premium smartphone users – 24bit/192KHz.