Google Play Music’s New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn’t That Exclusive

For Samsung Galaxy S8 users, Google Play Music is the default music player and streaming service. Now, Galaxy S8 users are receiving a brand new feature dubbed New Release Radio, which is a personalised radio station with new music releases and updates on a daily basis.

The latest New Release Radio feature has steadily been popping up on Galaxy S8 devices with “Samsung Exclusive” tagline. The pop-up describes the new feature, “Listen to brand new music, personalised to your tastes and listening history – with new recommendations every day.” The feature was first spotted by a Reddit user, and was reported by Sammobile.

Google Play Music's New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn't That Exclusive

Engadget, however, points out that the feature may not be limited to Samsung Galaxy S8 users as some users have been able to add the “New Release Radio” station to their libraries. Some Reddit users also claim that they were able to add the new feature to their libraries while using Google Play Music Web interface as well as on non-Samsung devices. Unfortunately, there’s no word whether the feature will be kept as an exclusive for Samsung Galaxy S8 (and Galaxy S8+) devices or to be made available to all users in the long run.

We can expect an update on the status of availability of the “New Release Radio” station for non-Samsung devices.

Samsung and Google jointly announced their new partnership back in April, and it gave some benefits to Samsung users. They were allowed to upload 100,000 of their own songs to Google Play Music for free, which is almost double the limit for owners of non-Samsung devices.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ Users in the US Can Now Pre-Test Bixby, Launch Later This Month

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is planning to launch an English version of its artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice assistance programme Bixby later this month.

The English version of Bixby, an advanced voice recognition system that comes on the Galaxy S8 and its variant Galaxy S8+, is likely to be launched in the US and taken to other English-speaking countries, Yonhap news agency reported.

Bixby boasts of “deep-learning” AI technology, allowing it to better communicate with users as it accumulates data.

Samsung reportedly began to recruit volunteers for a pre-test of Bixby this week, according to industry sources.

Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ Users in the US Can Now Pre-Test Bixby, Launch Later This Month

Anyone who has either of Samsung’s latest phones can apply through Samsung’s US website.

Samsung had planned to launch the English version at the end of May but it was put off due to problems with language testing.

Similar to Apple’s Siri, Bixby is the latest creation that Samsung banks on to reclaim its edge as the world’s top smartphone maker after it suffered a blow to its sales and reputation due to the unsuccessful Galaxy Note 7 that had battery problems.

 

 

 

T-Mobile Offers BOGO Sale On Its Best-Selling Smartphone Including The Samsung Galaxy S8 And S8 Plus

T-Mobile has announced a new Buy One, Get One sale on several of its best-selling smartphones including the popular Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.

Buy One, Get One

As is usually the case with these kinds of deals, the cheapest phone is the one that is free so customers who buy an S8 and S8 Plus will have to pay the full price of the S8 Plus, which currently retails for $850. Another potential catch is that the free phone will be paid for via account credits so customers will need to stay with T-Mobile for two years in order to get their phone completely free. Overall, the deal is fairly standard as far as these go. Some might not like the idea of being locked into a contract for two years, but that’s par for the course with most mobile payment plans — at least in the United States.

T-Mobile BoGo Phones

T-Mobile is offering several models as part of this deal, but the most exciting are the S8 and S8 Plus smartphones. In terms of Android phones, Samsung makes the best on the market and is one of the few companies that can truly compete with Apple’s iPhone when it comes to the premium market — the S8 is a prime example of why. Featuring Samsung’s bezel-less Infinity Display, the S8 and S8 Plus offer one of the best displays available. The S8 Plus does feature a slightly larger screen and battery; however, beyond that, the two devices are similar. Both run Android Nougat and are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.

The LG G6 and LG V20 are both cheaper than the S8 but don’t offer quite as many features. In terms of display, they each offer 5.7-inch screen. The G6, however, has a resolution of 18:9 compared to the V20’s 16:9. In terms of processing power, both are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 and 4GB of RAM. Despite being a bit older, the V20 features more storage that is twice as much as the G6 which only offers 32GB.

The offer does allow consumers to mix and match, so it is possible to buy an S8 along with a cheaper smartphone though the S8 would not be free. For that reason, we would recommend customers going with two Galaxy S8s.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ Users in the US Can Now Pre-Test Bixby, Launch Later This Month

Related image

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is planning to launch an English version of its artificial intelligence (AI)-based voice assistance programme Bixby later this month.

The English version of Bixby, an advanced voice recognition system that comes on the Galaxy S8 and its variant Galaxy S8+, is likely to be launched in the US and taken to other English-speaking countries, Yonhap news agency reported.

Bixby boasts of “deep-learning” AI technology, allowing it to better communicate with users as it accumulates data.

Samsung reportedly began to recruit volunteers for a pre-test of Bixby this week, according to industry sources.

Anyone who has either of Samsung’s latest phones can apply through Samsung’s US website.

Samsung had planned to launch the English version at the end of May but it was put off due to problems with language testing.

Similar to Apple’s Siri, Bixby is the latest creation that Samsung banks on to reclaim its edge as the world’s top smartphone maker after it suffered a blow to its sales and reputation due to the unsuccessful Galaxy Note 7 that had battery problems.

HTC U11 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Price in India, Specifications Compared

Image result for HTC U11 vs Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6 vs Sony Xperia XZ Premium: Price in India, Specifications Compared

HTC launched the HTC U11 ‘squeezable’ smartphone in India on Friday and interestingly, the company chose to skip the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant for the country and introduced only the 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant. The smartphone has been priced at Rs. 51,990 and in this price range it will be competing against the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium. If you are confused whether HTC U11 is the right smartphone for you or another model is better, we will help you figure out how it compares against the competition.

HTC U11
The HTC U11 runs on Android 7.1 Nougat with the company’s HTC Sense skin on top. It sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD (1440×2560 pixels) Super LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top. Powering the HTC U11 is a 2.45GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and, as mentioned earlier, the India variant gets 6GB of RAM. It is offered with 128GB of built-in storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB).

The smartphone’s unique feature is called Edge Sense, which allows users to launch apps, switch on flash light, or even take screenshots by simply squeezing the smartphone from its sides.

The HTC U11 features a 12-megapixel rear camera with 1.4-micron pixel, ultra spread autofocus, BSI sensor, OIS, f/1.7 aperture, dual-LED flash, slow-motion, and 4K video recording. Over on the front, you get a 16-megapixel camera with BSI sensor, full-HD recording.

Some of the camera features of the HTC U11 include Face Detection, Pro mode with manual control, 32-second long exposure, and RAW format support, HDR Boost, Panorama, and Hyperlapse. Additionally, the front camera gets live make-up, auto selfie, voice selfie, HDR Boost, and Selfie Panorama options. The company claims that the HTC U11 achieved that highest ever rating for a smartphone camera by independent metric DxOMark1 with a score of 90.

Samsung Galaxy S8
While the South Korean company launched the Galaxy S8 smartphone with Snapdragon 835 processor internationally, it launched the phone with Exynos 9985 processor variant in India. Currently available at Rs. 57,900, the Samsung Galaxy S8 runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box and sports a 5.8-inch bezel-less ‘Infinity Display’ with 1440×2960 pixel resolution. The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB of RAM and features 64GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 256GB.

In terms of optics, the Galaxy S8 comes with a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel camera and an 8-megapixel camera at front. The connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, and a USB Type-C port. The smartphone houses a 3000mAh battery that supports fast-charging.

While Galaxy S8 comes with powerful hardware, what primarily sets it apart is its design. The near bezel-less curved display at front, which flows from the sides, is not only the distinguishing factor but also the unique selling point of the Samsung flagship.

LG G6
The LG G6 is currently available at Rs. 38,990 for Amazon Prime members in India and runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. The highlight feature on the smartphone is its 5.7-inch QHD+ (1440×2880 pixels) FullVision display with an 18:9 (or 2:1) aspect ratio instead of industry standard (16:9). The LG G6 was launched with the new UX 6.0 that company said has been optimised for the 18:9 aspect ratio. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The LG G6 comes with 64GB that is expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB).

In terms of optics, the LG G6 comes with a dual-camera setup at rear end with two 13-megapixel sensors – one for wide-angle shots with 125-degree lens and f/2.4 aperture, and the other for regular shots with 71-degree lens and OIS 2.0. At front, the smartphone features a 5-megapixel wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture and 100-degree lens. The LG G6 houses a non-removable 3300mAh battery. The connectivity options on the LG G6 include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.2, NFC, and USB Type-C 2.0.

While in terms of performance, Snapdragon 835 processor definitely puts HTC U11 ahead of the G6, the recent price drop and the FullVision display might make it the preferable choice for some customers.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony launched its Xperia XZ Premium smartphone in India earlier this month. The smartphone is currently available in India at a price of Rs. 59,990. The highlight feature on the smartphone is its 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera with a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS memory stacked sensor that’s capable of shooting videos at 960 frames per second. At front, the Xperia XZ Premium has a 13-megapixel sensor 1/3.06-inch Exmor RS sensor that’s coupled with 22mm wide-angle f/2.0 lens.

The phone runs Android 7.1 Nougat and sports a 5.5-inch 4K (2160×3840 pixels) HDR Triluminos display. Notably, Xperia XZ Premium was the first smartphone with Snapdragon 835 that was launched in India. The phone features 4GB of RAM and comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). The Xperia XZ Premium houses a 3230mAh non-removable battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 technology.

The connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C (3.1), and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Conclusion
As you can see from the specifications, HTC U11 offers more RAM than other smartphones in comparison and has other basics covered too. However, the unique design offered by Galaxy S8 and the FullVision display offered by LG might be preferred by many users. Xperia XZ Premium is the most expensive smartphone under consideration. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our retailed review of the HTC U11 and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

 

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Sales Outpacing Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ in the US: Kantar

Consumer Reports recently ranked the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ as top two smartphones, praising them for their “stunning camera, long battery life, and gorgeous display”. But it seems that despite receiving all rave reviews across the industry have seemingly failed to surpass iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus when it comes to sales number, at least in the US.

“Early indications in our data for the three-month period ending in May 2017 show that the S8 and S8 Plus will reach a combined share of 8.1 percent in the US, slightly behind their predecessors the S7/S7 Edge at 8.8 percent. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remain the top sellers during the May period with combined share of 20.1 percent,” Lauren Guenveur, Global Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel reported. It’s worth pointing out that the Samsung phones went on sale in the US only in the middle of April, so the data could still change in a couple of months time.

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Sales Outpacing Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ in the US: Kantar

In final data compiled for three-month period ending April, Samsung’s newest flagships and the LG G6 failed to make the list of top 10 best-selling phones in the US.

The report added iOS accounted for 36.5 percent of smartphone sales in the US for the same period, an increase of 5.8 percent over the same period last year. Android marketshare in the country fell by a similar amount – 5.9 percent, and it now stands at 61.7 percent, compared to 67.6 percent a year ago.

“Android partner brands Samsung, LG, and Moto experienced year-on-year declines in the US,” Guenveur said.

The latest data, however, bring good news for Android in China. The data found that Android smartphones accounted for had 83.4 percent sales in China which was up 4.3 percent from 79.1 percent reported a year back. The data suggested drop in iOS share in urban China to 16.2 percent, a fall of 3.8 percent compared to a year earlier, but it was up by the same amount compared to last year.

“Importantly, Apple posted a strong period-on-period gain in urban China, rising to a 16.2 percent share from 12.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017, which was their lowest since early 2016,” said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia.

“iPhone 7 and 7 Plus sales recovered slightly, now representing 8.5 percent of smartphones sold in the region, outpacing both Huawei and Oppo models,” Timpson added.

“In EU5, Android accounted for 78.3 percent of smartphone sales in the three months ending April 2017, increasing 2.2 percentage points from a year earlier. iOS posted a 1.1 percentage point gain to reach 19.3 percent of smartphone sales in the region,” the reported added.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Beats iPhone 7 Plus in Consumer Reports’ Ranking

After the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, Samsung had a lot riding on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ this year. And if the latest Consumer Reports’ findings are to be taken into account, the two smartphones have performed exceptionally well, raking in the top two spots. Consumer Reports ranks the Samsung Galaxy S8+ as the top smartphone, followed by the Galaxy S8 in the second place.

Consumer Reports lauds the Samsung Galaxy S8+ for its narrow design and great battery life. The publication adds that while the LG G6 and the iPhone 7 Plus packed dual rear cameras, the Samsung cameras were top-notch and didn’t suffer due to the lack of a dual camera setup. The LG G6 stood in the fourth spot in the Consumer Reports rankings, while the iPhone 7 Plus took the fifth spot, Samsung’s own Galaxy S7 Edge was third.

The report also lauded Samsung’s bezel-less display design and the ability to survive under water. However, one thing that the folks at Consumer Reports were not so happy about, was its one-hand operation, and recommends its readers to try out the phones in the store before purchasing them. “Even on the smaller model, it will be hard for most users to reach the upper regions of the screen with their thumb,” lead phone tester Richard Fisco says in the report.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Beats iPhone 7 Plus in Consumer Reports' Ranking
The cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S8 also received heavy praise. The report lauds its low-light imaging and video recording capabilities, and also says that the lack of dual cameras at the back is not something that is missed badly. “Finally, a few top-end cameras, including the iPhone 7 Plus and the LG G6, have dual rear-facing cameras, to enhance either zoom or wide-angle photography. The Samsung phones haven’t gone that route yet—and we don’t think they suffer for it,” the report states.

This positive response will be welcome by Samsung, coming in as sort of redemption for last year’s Note 7 recall. The iPhone 7 Plus sits on the fifth spot, but that’s because it’s a phone that was launched almost nine months ago, and three of the smartphones ahead of it were launched rather recently. It will be interesting to see if the ranking changes once the much-rumoured iPhone 8 is released in a few months’ time.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Reportedly Receiving Firmware Update, Includes June Security Patch

Samsung has started rolling out a firmware update to its Galaxy S8+ smartphone in select markets. The new firmware update also brings June Android security patch that was recently released by Google.

Sammobile reports that the new update is now available in India apart from the European market. Samsung Galaxy S8+ users should start receiving the over-the-air notification for the update. As usual, users can also manually check for the update via Settings > About Phone > System Update. The update reportedly comes with software build G955FXXU1AQF7/ G955FOXM1AQF7/ G955FXXU1AQF7 which will differ depending on the region, and is about 450MB in size.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ Reportedly Receiving Firmware Update, Includes June Security Patch

The firmware update for the Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Review) brings minor changes to navigation bar where icons will be added to the left-hand side of the navigation bar, which will now offer more room to users without the bar blocking it. The number of available background colours in navigation bar has been changed as well, and after the update, the background colour will be set to the default colour. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ update changeling also confirms that the update will improve quality of panorama images from Camera. As announced by Google, earlier this month, the June Android security update, which is included in the new firmware update, resolves around 100 issues.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy S8 had earlier received a firmware upgrade that included a fix for the red tint display issue that many users had reported.

Last week, Samsung made the Galaxy S8+ variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage available to buy in India. Priced at Rs. 74,900, the variant went on sale via Flipkart.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active Specifications Leaked via Geekbench

 

Samsung has made it a point to launch a rugged version of its flagship smartphones in recent years. Like the Galaxy S6 Active and Galaxy S7 Active of the past, the South Korean giant is tipped to launch an ‘Active’ version of its newest Galaxy S8 flagship phone. A hint of this was first spotted in May when the Galaxy S8 Active with model number SM-G892A was listed to support Netflix in HDR. The smartphone has now popped up on Geekbench with some of its specifications detailed.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active with the model number SM-G892A scored a 1842 in single-core and 6394 in the multi-core tests on Geekbench, which is fairly close to what the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ scored earlier. Further, the specifications mentioned also fall in line with the recently launched flagships including an octa-core Snapdragon 835 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM. The Galaxy S8 Active is listed running Android 7.0 Nougat

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active Specifications Leaked via Geekbench

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is expected to house a larger battery compared to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, much like the case with the Galaxy S7 Active, which housed a 4,000mAh battery compared to the 3000mAh seen in the Galaxy S7. In terms of looks, don’t expect the the ‘Active’ version to be as pretty as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The Galaxy S8 Active may lack the curved edges of the flagship and could feature a bulkier, more rugged casing for rough, outdoor use.

One hopes the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active doesn’t face the same water resistant issues that plagued the Galaxy S7 Active. To recall, Consumer Reports last year claimed that the Galaxy S7 Active didn’t meet the same waterproof standards that the company promised.

While there’s no official word on when the Galaxy S8 Active will hit the streets, you can expect the unveiling to be around the corner seeing as how the Galaxy S7 Active was launched around the same time last year.