Samsung may have stopped limiting free theme usage on Android Pie

Over the years, Samsung has had some great ideas. The Note series pushed the industry to adopt larger screens, TouchWiz had one of the first implementations of multi-window, and Samsung Pay is one of the more versatile mobile payment solutions around. Its decision to begin pushing people to use paid themes by restricting free theme usage to two weeks was not one of those great ideas – and now it looks like that plan is being walked back. Read MoreSamsung may have stopped limiting free theme usage on Android Pie was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Help us choose the best smartphones of 2018

With the end of 2018 in sight, we thought this would be the perfect time to choose the best smartphones of the year. If you haven’t been paying close attention, 2018 has delivered quite a few outstanding devices. Sure, the notch has been present on most of them, but that really didn’t detract too much from the amazing cameras, performance and battery life that nearly all flagship devices packed in this year. 

Our team is working on our official list of best smartphones for 2018, but we also want your input for our official “Reader’s Choice Awards: Best Smartphones of 2018” article which will be going up early next week. 

What we need from you is your vote and a comment. The results of the poll will determine the winners and select comments about individual devices will be included for each device in the final article. If the device you want to vote for is not listed in the poll, feel free to add it in the poll’s comment section. 

We’re slowly working through our selection process for the best devices of 2018, but we’d really curious to see which smartphones you guys think is worthy to be crowned best smartphone of 2018. 

Take Our Poll

Samsung’s foldable smartphone to feature astronomically price, massive battery

The foldable Samsung Smartphone which was teased at Samsung’s developer conference this fall will easily be the most expensive smartphone in Samsung’s 2019 lineup. According to a new report from CGS-CIMB Research, the Samsung foldable smartphone’s sticker price will likely start at $1,800, making it $800 more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 base model. For that price, users will be getting a  4.6-inch display on the front of the device (when folded) and a larger  7.3-inch foldable display. Due to the folding nature of the device, the report claims that it will likely feature two separate batteries with a total capacity of at least 6,000mAh.
Other specifications are likely to include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, at least 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor.
While Samsung has not revealed when the foldable smartphone will be making its official debut, there’s a chance that it will officially be unveiled alongside the Samsung Galaxy S10. Based on the most recent Galaxy S10 rumor, that could mean that both phones will make an appearance at MWC 2019 in Barcelona.
Industry reports have shown that Samsung is only planning to build 1 million units of the device in 2019. Despite the Samsung FOldable smartphone’s alleged $1,800 price point, the company will likely sell every unit it builds. We’re still not sure if the device will off a better experience than the regular devices we’re using now, but we’re definitely curious to see if the foldable smartphone is what will usher us into the next wave of hardware innovations.
Source: Lets Go Digital via SamMobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 leak shows 3.5mm headphone jack is staying

With most of the world’s smartphone manufacturers opting to replace the 3.5mm headphone jack with the USB-C port, some were expecting Samsung to follow suit next year with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S10. The ubiquitous port has not been mentioned in previous leaks, but a new video of a transparent Samsung Galaxy S10 case has surfaced, revealing a cut out for a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom of the device, to the left of its USB-C port cut out. 
Like most rumors and leaks, there’s always a chance that things could change between now and the official debut of the Samsung Galaxy S10. The phone isn’t expected to be officially unveiled for at least two more months, so a lot could happen between now and then.
Samsung Galaxy S10 flaunts a corner notch in leaked image
Do you think the Samsung Galaxy S10 will be more appealing than its competitors if Samsung keeps the 3.5mm headphone jack?

The Galaxy S10 protective case tells us that the 3.5mm headphone jack still exists.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 9, 2018

Say hello to the Samsung Galaxy A8 and the world’s first punch-hole display

Samsung has officially unveiled the first smartphone with a punch-hole cutout in its display – the Samsung Galaxy A8s. The company has been teasing the mid-range smartphone for some time, but recent leaks suggested it would be the first device in Samsung’s lineup to feature its new Infinity-O display technology with a punch-hole cut out for the front-facing camera in the top left corner.
Samsung Galaxy A8s introduces us to the Infinity-O display
While we were expecting to see the hole on the front, we were not expecting it to be so big. The leaked renders suggested it would be much smaller, but as you can clearly see, the punch-hole’s size has forced Samsung to tweak the size of the notification panel at the top, adding padding below and above it.

The placement of the punch-hole takes up display real estate that would typically be reserved for 2-3 notification icons, shifting the remaining notifications over to the left, closer to the status icons.
As for the phone’s specifications, the Samsung Galaxy A8s is quite a capable mid-range device. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC, with the option for 6GB or 8GB or RAM, 128GB of storage, 3300mAh battery, a triple camera setup on the back with 24MP, 5MP and 10MP sensors and a front-facing 24MP selfie camera – the reason for the punch-hole in the 6.14-inch Full HD+ display.
The Samsung Galaxy A8s will be running Android 8.1 at launch, but will eventually be updated to Android 9 with Samsung’s new One UI. For now, Samsung has only announced the Galaxy A8s for the China, but more markets will likely be added in the next few weeks. The official price of the Samsung Galaxy A8s has not yet been revealed, but the device will be available in black, blue, green, and silver once it shows up on store shelves. 
Source: IT Home

Samsung Galaxy S10 flaunts a corner notch in leaked image

Samsung Galaxy S10 leaks and rumors have suggested that the company’s 2019 flagship smartphone would feature a punch-hold display cut out for its single or dual-sensor front-facing camera, but a leaked image of a Galaxy S10 prototype seems to buck those rumors by flaunting a corner notch. If you think this setup is a bit odd, we’d have to agree. The corner notch in the image makes the Samsung Galaxy S10 look more like the awkward HTC U Ultra than a flagship device slated for 2019.

While we certainly wouldn’t put it past Samsung to experiment with a design like this, there’s absolutely no way that the device shown in the image will represent the final design of the Samsung Galaxy S10. As you can tell, the device in question is clearly a prototype which is being tested. It likely features all the components that will be in the Galaxy S10 at launch, but the body of the phone is simply a body shell with a generic glass panel over the display. The display will certainly feature the punch-hold cutouts we’ve been hearing so much about lately — don’t you worry. There are no leaks which show the actual display, but we do have an image of what the glass screen protectors for the phone will look like.

Source: SlashLeaks via SamMobile

[Update: Beta arriving] Samsung's One UI Pie beta now available on unlocked Note 9 in the US

Update 1: 2018/12/05 2:37pm PST

It’s only been a week since we saw Samsung first start accepting sign-ups for the Note9’s One UI Pie beta program, and reports have already begun arriving of the software

Samsung has traditionally been behind on UI design, which I know is shocking for the company that brought you TouchWiz. However, it’s trying to turn things around with One UI. The revamped Pie-based interface is coming next year in stable form, but there’s a beta. Read More[Update: Beta arriving] Samsung’s One UI Pie beta now available on unlocked Note 9 in the US was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Samsung's One UI Pie beta now available on unlocked Note 9 in the US

Samsung has traditionally been behind on UI design, which I know is shocking for the company that brought you TouchWiz. However, it’s trying to turn things around with One UI. The revamped Pie-based interface is coming next year in stable form, but there’s a beta. That beta has apparently expanded to US unlocked Note 9 devices. Yay.

When Samsung started the Pie beta, it only allowed Galaxy S9 and S9+ owners to join. Read MoreSamsung’s One UI Pie beta now available on unlocked Note 9 in the US was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Huawei to introduce smartphone with ‘punch hole’ display before Samsung

A few weeks ago we learned that the Samsung Galaxy S10 will be one of the first devices to market featuring the company’s new Infinity-O display which features a “punch-hole” cutout for the front-facing camera. Since then, Samsung Galaxy A8s leaks have surfaced which suggest that it would introduce the new Infinity-O display to the world before the end of the year. The new display technology would allow the despised display notch’s real estate to be reduced significantly and allow it to get lost in the notification bar more easily.
Unfortunately for Samsung, it looks like Huawei is planning to beat them to the punch. According to an image shared by @UniverseIcem Huawei is planning to unveil a device in December which will also feature a punch-hole cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. As shown in the image below, the front-facing camera hole would be located in the top left corner of the display. While Samsung’s Infinity-O display technology has gotten a lot of attention these past few weeks, we were first introduced to the technology concept this past summer when a Huawei patent surfaced which showed a punch-out hole for the front-facing camera in phone’s display.
We do not know the name of the Huawei device which will feature the punch-hole camera cutout, but with its launch scheduled for December, we should know more soon. Based on what we know so far, do you think a punch-hole display is a better option than the notched displays we’ve seen this year?

Huawei will release the world’s first hole-screen mobile phone before the Samsung Galaxy A8s, which will be released in December, but the A8s may also be released in December, so who will start, it will wait and see.Huawei’s offensive against Samsung has never weakened.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 26, 2018


Big changes could be coming to Google Fi

UPDATE: Google Fi has officially announced support for more Android devices.
Thanks to a now-pulled news piece, we may be getting a look at the future of Google Fi. According to the article that originally appeared over at BGR, it looks like Google is going to expand the lineup of phones it allows on its MVNO, Fi.
Currently, Google recommends that you purchase only the devices it sells to work on its network. Those range from Google’s own Pixel lineup to offerings from Motorola and LG. If the information in the BGR piece is accurate, you will soon be able to use devices from Samsung, OnePlus, and Apple. This change is potentially huge for customers looking for a low-cost option but are tied to a specific device. This news comes several weeks after we learned that Project Fi has been rebranded to Google Fi, implying that Google may be looking at changes to the service which will make it more appealing to mainstream consumers.
Google does give the disclaimer that you may not get the “full Google Fi experience” if your device isn’t “designed for Fi.” But what exactly does that mean? Right now, the devices that Google sells all have the ability to quickly switch between service providers. Like all MVNO carriers, Fi leases unused tower space from larger service providers. In this case, Fi leases space from T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. Designed for Fi phones are able to quickly switch between towers they’re connecting to based on which has the strongest signal. Fi offers a base of $20 per month for calling and texting and $10 per month for each gig of data that you use. Additionally, data rates are capped at $60 per month no matter how much data you use so customer costs don’t spin out of control. For users who use very little data or a ton of data, these rates are great and now the expanded choice of phones makes Google Fi even more compelling.
It’s yet to be seen if a move like this will entice customers to come on board. The quick network switching is one of the biggest reasons to join Project Fi and if you’re unable to take advantage of that, Fi looks like any other carrier. But, what do you think? Does this make you more likely to consider Fi in the future? Let us know in the comments.
Source: BGR via Droid-Life