I was not shy when I first reviewed Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy Note “phablet” early last year. In a piece titled “The smartphone that ‘Samsunged’ Samsung,” I said the Note had taken things way too far and I called for the death of the smartphone-tablet hybrid category. It did not die. Later in 2012, I reviewed the Galaxy Note II and even though it was a top performer, I still had no idea who would want to buy such a massive cell phone. Then Samsung sold 5 million of them in 60 days. Apparently, it’s time for me to get on board. More →
Samsung (005930) has been pushing its enterprise-ready smartphones to business customers lately, but the company could hit a roadblock after a vulnerability was discovered on the Galaxy Note II. The security flaw, which allows an attacker to bypass the device’s pattern lock, PIN code, password and face unlock security features, was discovered recently by Terence Eden. Similar to the iPhone vulnerability uncovered last month, the Galaxy Note II’s security flaw can be exploited through the “Emergency Call” feature on the lock screen. Once inside the emergency call feature, an attacker can hold the home button to briefly see the home screen and, if timed correctly, users will be able to direct-dial a contact. More →
So I’ve been playing around a lot with Samsung’s (005930) impressive Galaxy Note II for the past couple of months and I’ve found it does a lot of things very well. With Google’s (GOOG) mobile Chrome browser installed, it’s a joy to surf the web on. Its beautiful, bright screen makes it a fantastic device for mobile gaming. And I’ve found the stylus very useful for jotting down quick notes or making small shopping lists. But there’s just one problem with the Note II and all other similarly sized “phablets”: I simply cannot stand using them as mobile telephones. More →
Back in December a forum member on XDA Developers discovered a major vulnerability for devices equipped with Samsung’s (005930) Exynos processors. The company confirmed the exploit, which made smartphones such as the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II vulnerable to app-based attacks, and promised to address it as quickly as possible. It appears that Samsung has begun to patch the vulnerability on select devices. T-Mobile on Wednesday released an over-the-air update that brought “Exynos and other security enhancements” to the Galaxy Note II, while Sprint offered a “security update” for Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch owners. Other Samsung models, such as the international Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note, remain vulnerable and have not yet been patched.
When a new smartphone from Apple (AAPL) or Samsung (005930) is released, sales generally level off over the following months. The Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II have been an exception, however. Despite rumors of next-generation devices, Samsung’s smartphones have remained “red-hot” and consumers are still eating them up. More →
Despite initial complaints that Samsung’s (005930) original Galaxy Note smartphone was too big and too clunky to ever see success, the handset sold through the roof and sparked the phablet phenomenon. When the company released the Galaxy Note II in September, we called the device better than its predecessor in almost every way, a statement that has held true when looking at sales figures. The company on Monday announced that more than 1 million Galaxy Note II units have been sold domestically in South Korea, according to MK News. Worldwide sales of the smartphone have seen even greater success, surpassing 5 million units in two months. A Samsung executive previously projected sales could even top 20 million units, double that of the original Galaxy Note.
AT&T (T) has announced that a software update will begin rolling out to its Galaxy Note II beginning December 27th. The arrival of the new software makes AT&T the last of the four major nationwide wireless carriers to bring multi-windows support to its Samsung (005930) “phablet,” a feature that allows users to open and operate several different apps at once. “AT&T plans to begin rolling out a software update for Samsung Galaxy Note II customers that includes the Multi-Window feature, which allows the user to divide the screen into two active ‘windows’ creating a split screen that enables fluid multitasking between applications,” AT&T said in a statement. “The update will be available for download over the air beginning Dec. 27.” BGR reviewed the Galaxy Note II in October and called it the best supersized smartphone on the market.
Samsung (005930) Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II owners had a big scare last week when it was discovered the smartphones are vulnerable to app-based attacks stemming from a security hole with their Exynos-4 processors. Samsung confirmed to Android Central that it has investigated the “potential security issue” and re-states that the “issue may arise only when a malicious application is operated on the affected devices; however, this does not affect most devices operating credible and authenticated applications.” Nonetheless, Samsung will be releasing a software update “to address it as quickly as possible.” Samsung’s swift action is reassurance that it values the more than 30 million Galaxy S III and more than 5 million Galaxy Note II customers it has racked up this year.
Samsung’s (005930) flagship Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II smartphones may be vulnerable to app-based attacks following the discovery of a security hole in the company’s line of Exynos 4 processors. XDA Developers forum member “alephzain” uncovered the problem and noted that a Play Store app could potentially access information from the phone’s RAM or even inject malicious code directly into its kernel. It has also been reported that the vulnerability could affect all devices that are equipped with a Exynos 4210 or 4412 processor and utilize Samsung’s kernel. More →
Samsung (005930) is said to be working on a cheaper low-end Galaxy Noe II variant for the European market, according to a rumor from SamMobile. The strategy follows the South Korean manufacturer’s release of the mid-range Galaxy S III mini smartphone earlier this year. The Note variant is believed to feature lower specs and is said to not include S-Pen functionality or a Super AMOLED display. The same report also suggested that Samsung is interested in releasing a 13.3-inch tablet that will be compatible with a QWERTY keyboard dock and compete with similar products from ASUS (2357). It is unclear if the rumored slate will run Windows 8 or Android.
Verizon Wireless (VZ) on Wednesday announced the availability of the Samsung (005930) Galaxy Note II. The nation’s largest carrier will offer the gargantuan smartphone online and in stores in either marble white or titanium grey on November 29th for $299.99 with a new two-year agreement. The Galaxy Note II comes with a 5.5-inch 720p HD display, and features a 1.6Ghz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera, 4G LTE connectivity and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Verizon will notify those who preordered the device after it has been shipped. BGR reviewed the Galaxy Note II in October and said it was better than its predecessor in almost every way.
Samsung’s (005930) second supersized smartphone is a hit, having sold more than 3 million units in just 37 days. The South Korea-based company announced the milestone earlier this month and now, just over three weeks later, a new milestone has been achieved as global sales of the Galaxy Note II are confirmed to have topped 5 million handsets in just two months. Samsung revealed the new milestone on Monday, though it once again failed to clarify whether the impressive figure refer to channel sales or end-user sales. BGR reviewed the Galaxy Note II in October and we said it was better than its predecessor in almost every way.
One key smartphone war of this quarter is being waged by Nokia’s Lumia 920 and Samsung’s Note II. Nokia (NOK) is a fading champion that used to hold 60% of the world’s smartphone market. Samsung (005930) is the new volume leader and its share of the world’s smartphone market topped 30% in last quarter. Their vanguard models for the Christmas quarter are important for different reasons. The Lumia 920 tests Nokia’s ability to challenge its Asian rivals globally at a relatively high price point. The Galaxy Note II is Samsung’s attempt to reduce its dependence on its monster blockbuster, the Galaxy S series. More →