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Fresh Korean report calls for mid-June Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime release

A new day, a new Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime rumor. Make that two. Or three. Um, you get the point. Everybody’s talking about the ultra-high-end smartphone, even though no one knows exactly how it will look and despite official assurances the “basic” GS5 won’t get upgraded anytime soon.

Galaxy-S5-prime

Yeah, right. Then I guess all the tipsters and leaksters that have spilled their guts of late are either crazy or complete frauds. Which is surely not the case with Naver, for instance, whose sources tell them the premium S5 shall see daylight “as early as the middle of next month”.

Mind you, they’re talking an actual commercial release in mid-June, at least on Samsung’s domestic shores, so apparently, the S5 Prime and LG’s G3 are indeed to go toe to toe before long. Interestingly, Naver hints at nearly simultaneous launches on all of Korea’s major wireless carriers – SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ – , which would clash a bit with allegations of limited early stocks.

Of course, it’s still entirely possible the Quad HD 5.2 incher won’t be able to keep up with Western demand. Even worse, it could remain a Korean or Asian exclusive for a while until finally landing in a handful of European and North American markets in short supply.

But hey, the Korean tri-launch gives us hope. And so do fresh pricing rumors. The S5 Prime will reportedly cost the equivalent of $880 (KRW 900,000), which sounds like a lot at first, but really isn’t.

Samsung_Galaxy_S5

It’s actually what Samsung planned to charge for the standard S5 in the very beginning, albeit a pre-release discount saw the price drop to $847 (KRW 866,800). Bottom line, if the speculation pans out, I’d expect the US GS5 Prime to go for $650 outright. $700, tops.

With a 2,560 x 1,440 pixels resolution display, quad-core Snapdragon 805 CPU, 3 GB RAM, pre-loaded Android 4.4.3 KitKat, 16 MP rear-facing camera, beefy 3,000 mAh or so battery, LTE-Advanced connectivity (where available), fingerprint recognition technology and a built-in heart rate monitor.

The outer shell, meanwhile, is the biggest question mark, as Samsung is yet to solve the “plastic or metal” conundrum. Truth be told, if the Galaxy S5 Prime would cost no more than $700, I think I’d be fine with another polycarbonate, perforated exterior. What about you?

Via [Naver]

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo getting the Android 4.4 update

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo smartphone is now getting the Android 4.4 update starting with South Korea. Samsung’s home region is the first place to get the update, but it goes without saying that other markets will get the update in the coming weeks.

If you recall, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo was announced back in January as a slightly underpowered variant of the Galaxy Note 3, packing the standard S-Pen stylus, a 5.5 inch 720p display and the Exynos 5260 “hexa-core” chipset.

The update will be available as an OTA and users can manually flash the update through the Samsung Kies desktop software as well. This new update will change the software version to N750SKSU1BND3 and will bring along standard Android 4.4 specific changes.

This includes some bug fixes, performance enhancements, the white status bar icons, camera shortcut on the lockscreen etc. There won’t be any major changes as far as the UI is concerned. Considering that the update has started rolling out in South Korea already, users in neighboring Asian regions can expect to get it relatively soon.

Source: @minggo_kr – Twitter

Via: Sam Mobile

LG updates G Pad 8.3, Vu 3 to Android 4.4, five other KitKat ports in the works

After a dreadfully sluggish start to Android 4.4 KitKat updates, LG has all of a sudden cranked up its software support efforts, bringing the G2 up to date internationally as well as in South Korea, Canada and on AT&T and T-Mobile US.

LG Vu 3 Android 4.4

They’ve also began rolling out KitKat for their OG Optimus G Pro and bendy G Flex. Plus, fresh reports add the G Pad 8.3 tablet and Vu 3 phablet to the happy, avant-garde list. The former, said to score 4.4 worldwide sometime in Q2, is reportedly treated to the chocolaty makeover early in Korea both over-the-air and via LG’s Mobile Support Tool.

Technically, international G Pad users can themselves take things to the next level early, thanks to an unofficial port available on XDA Forum. However, unless you’re skilled in matters of hacking and tinkering and willing to say goodbye to your precious warranty, patience is advised.

Those based in Korea should expect to see a prompt message asking them to upgrade before long, and an install duration of no more than half an hour. Regardless, make sure the battery is above the 50 percent capacity mark, and free up about 500 MB of storage space.

LG G Pad Android 4.4

Aside from the customary subtle UI tweaks, the firmware carries a heap of performance optimizations and speed improvements, plus a few bug fixes and LG-specific bloatware.

Turning our attention to the Vu 3, a handheld available exclusively in Korea, we’d like to mention the Android 4.4 KitKat port in this case can be found, downloaded and installed straight from the local LG Mobile support website here.

All three carrier-locked versions, on SKT, KT and LG U+, can be bumped up to KitKat, and the changelog is basically identical to the list of adjustments expected on the G Pad, G2 or Optimus G Pro: refreshed interface, wireless printing capability, security enhancements, better compatibility for ART runtime, improved browser speed, battery life and camera performance.

As for what’s on the horizon, things are looking mighty encouraging. At least in LG’s homeland. According to an unofficial but seemingly legit list posted on the Korean blogosphere, six devices up for grabs around those parts will jump on the KitKat bandwagon sooner or later.

LG Android 4.4 list

That’s six in addition to the five already updated, mind you, bringing the grand total to an impressive near dozen. Too bad the Optimus LTE 2 (F160), Vu 2 (F200), GK (F220) and GX (F310) can’t be found anywhere outside the “Land of the Morning Calm”.

The Optimus G can, of course, but its global move to 4.4 has been rumored and greatly debated. Bottom line, I’m afraid I have no fresh good news for Western LG fans aside from an impending software bump on the G Pad 8.3.

Then again, the Optimus F7 is essentially Optimus LTE 2’s bigger battery-packing counterpart, so odds are the former will get to taste some sweet KitKat one of these days too. Sure, it features half the RAM and built-in storage, but still.

Via [Naver], [Ameblo], [LG Mobile Korea], [Ruliweb]

Android 4.4 KitKat for LG Optimus G Pro starts rolling out in Korea

LG is this close to wrapping up G2’s global Android 4.4 KitKat rollout, as international models have started receiving the update earlier this week, and AT&T and T-Mobile variants stateside a little earlier. That still leaves Sprint and Verizon versions in the dark, but the timing’s up to the carriers there, so LG is ready to move on.

LG-Optimus-G-Pro

The Optimus G Pro is naturally next in line, despite recently turning one, with rumors of an impending KitKat bump floating around since early February. And what do you know, it appears the Q2 deadline will not only be met, but preceded.

Users of the Korean-only F240S and F240L models are reporting the upgrade is already live, rolling out OTA (over-the-air) starting mere hours ago. Of course, it’s essentially tradition for LG to get these things underway domestically, then slowly spread them overseas, so just because a few Optimus G Pro owners can taste KitKat, it doesn’t mean you will too in time for the cherry blossoms.

But hey, worst case scenario, you’ll have to wait until, say, May. That’s not so bad, is it? Well, it is, yet once again, the G Pro isn’t exactly a young buck anymore. Or tremendously popular on the Western hemisphere.

LG Optimus G Pro Android 4.4

No official changelog has made its way online so far, or details regarding the firmware’s size and specific tweaks. If you’re curious, keep an eye on this XDA forum thread, where we expect junior member NeCoritol to soon provide screenshots and maybe even the actual port for the delight of amateur tinkerers.

Ironically, the Android 4.4 update might well bolster Optimus G Pro’s reputation and popularity at unprecedented heights, as the AT&T-locked variant currently goes for $0.01 with two-year contracts. SIM-free, the big guy is $399, which is pretty awesome for a 5.5-inch slab of silicon with Full HD screen resolution, quad-core Snapdragon 600 oomph, 32 GB (!!!) built-in storage, microSD support, 13 MP rear-facing camera, 3,140 mAh battery and, soon enough, on-board KitKat.

Via [K Bench]

Samsung begins rolling out Android 4.4 to the Galaxy S4 in Korea, global rollout imminent

Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 in Korea is now getting the coveted Android 4.4 update as the company gears up to begin a wider rollout of the update. The Korean manufacturer recently began rolling out the update to the Galaxy Note 3 as well.

This completes Samsung’s responsibility of rolling out the update to its two premier smartphones from last year, although other countries around the world are still waiting for the update notification to pop. But it shouldn’t take long from now given that the company has officially given the green signal for the update. However, if you own a carrier variant of the smartphone, especially in the U.S., you probably shouldn’t hold your breath. We expect the global rollout to finish in the next couple of weeks with carrier variants taking a few weeks or even a month after that to start rolling out the update.

This update will improve performance substantially as the smartphone will now be able to utilize RAM accordingly. TouchWiz UI will also receive a substantial facelift with Android 4.4 as we saw with the Galaxy Note 3 update. At this point, the update is rolling out to the LTE A variants of the smartphone in South Korea. Users can wait for an update notification or simply connect the device via Samsung Kies and pull the update manually.

Source: @and_jungbo_bot – Twitter

Via: Phone Arena

Samsung launches LTE A variant of the Galaxy S4 with a faux leather back

Galaxy S4 LTE A

 

Galaxy S4 LTE ASamsung has just unveiled a new LTE A model of the Galaxy S4 flagship for the Korean market. In addition to the special LTE A chip inside, this variant is distinctly different from the standard Galaxy S4 as it has a faux leather back cover in place of the standard polycarbonate casing. Colors include Rose Gold Black, Rose Gold White and Deep Black all with a pattern similar to the Galaxy Note 3. The smartphone will break cover through LG U+, Olleh and SK Telecom in South Korea.

The LTE A Galaxy S4 is no different from the standard LTE variants available in Korea as it features the same Snapdragon 800 SoC and other hardware which we’re very familiar with. But the addition of new accent colors will certainly make it stand out from the rest of the Galaxy S4 variants. There’s no information on whether this variant will break cover in other parts of the world given the limited availability of LTE A networks globally, but we’re guessing it will make its way to Europe soon.

Source: Newswire Korea – Translated

Via: Cult of Android

Multiple Unannounced LG Phones Spotted Online, Including FHD G Pro 2 and Optimus F3 II for Sprint

For an Android player that routinely mirrors the marketing strategies of rival Samsung, at least as far as choice and diversity are concerned, LG has had an unusually timid beginning of the year, swinging by CES earlier this month only to again showcase the curvy G Flex.

LG phones

No new product announcements, no nothing, until a press release previewed G Pro 2’s imminent rollout. But the big guy ain’t out yet, so technically LG still hasn’t introduced anything fresh in 2014. Oh, yes, only when the Koreans get going, they’re virtually impossible to stop.

In other words, when it rains, it pours, and expect February and March to be remarkably rainy months. An avalanche of unreleased LG-made devices has descended upon us this past week, bringing with it a bundle of codenames and model numbers, some easier to crack, some… not so much.

Let’s start with the easy parts. The G Pro 2 is nearly guaranteed to tout a Full HD (aka 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution) display, as per the User Agent Profile of its China Mobile-bound variant: D838. On the software side of things, Android 4.4 KitKat is a certainty as well, though I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised.

LG D838

Another leaked document confirms the phablet’s global model number – D830 – and its aliases in Korea – F350K, F350L, F350S – whereas an RRA (Korea National Radio Research) certification proves there’s on-board LTE-Advanced support, plus NFC, GSM and W-CDMA. Also, that it’s landing in LG’s homeland pretty soon, maybe a few days after the expected MWC formal debut.

Moving on a little lower on the totem pole, an LS740 was seen casually dropping by FCC on its way to Sprint. Since it’s obviously connected to 2013’s Optimus F3 (aka LS720), odds are it’ll go official as the F3 II, with LTE support, pre-loaded Android 4.4 KitKat (nice!), a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC and qHD (960 x 540 pix res) screen.

LG-F390L

Assuming the F390L is the Korean copycat of the Optimus F3 II (which is a solid guess), the mid-ranger is tipped to measure 4.7 inches, as per a listing on the official website of Asian carrier LG U+. But the first-gen F3 was a tiny 4-incher, so the size increase seems a tad drastic.

Oh, well, let’s wait and see, but for now, another tidbit. Verizon may also score a variant of this Optimus F3 II, known on the inside as the VS876. Did I or did I not tell you we’ll be hearing a lot of LG these coming months?

And there’s more. A mysterious entry-level Optimus X3 line (name subject to change), which may replace the Optimus Ls. So far, we’ve identified five members of the family, though it’s not out of the question they’re one and the same, simply carrying different monikers for certain regions and specific networks.

LG F370L

For instance, the F370 (K, L and S) is headed to Korea with Android 4.4 KitKat, a 4.5-inch WVGA (800 x 480) panel and quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU. Meanwhile, the D315 and D317 are the global flavors, likely with single SIM and dual SIM respectively, and the D317H is on its way to Brazil. Finally, the L31L is tailor-made for American prepaid wireless provider TracFone.

So LG or Samsung? Which do you think will win the number challenge this quarter? Mind you, LG has a G2 mini in the works too, and an Optimus F3Q en route to T-Mobile.

Via [Ameblo] (1), (2), [FCC], [My LG Phones] (1), (2), (3), (4), [LG U Plus Korea], [LG]

Samsung launches Rose Gold variants of the Galaxy Note 3 in South Korea

Rose Gold Galaxy Note 3

Rose Gold Galaxy Note 3Samsung has just officially announced the arrival of the Rose Gold Galaxy Note 3 in South Korea. The Rose Gold White and the Rose Gold Black variants will be available for purchase in the country starting this weekend on the 4th of January. Samsung recently launched the Merlot Red Galaxy Note 3 in South Korea, so it was only a matter of time before the Gold variants were launched as well. With the launch of three new color variants in Samsung’s home region, speculations have begun for the global launch of these variants.

Could we see a global release of these new color variants soon? We would certainly like to think so. Considering the fact that its existence was first leaked by Samsung’s Argentinian website, we are bound to believe that the smartphone will make its way to global markets. Samsung could make things public soon, possibly during the upcoming CES event, but until then it’s South Korea which gets to enjoy exclusivity on these fancy color variants. Samsung took a leaf out of Apple’s book and went a step further by launching two Gold variants and we must admit, the smartphone gets a certain appeal with the new paintjob.

Source: iNews 24 – Translated

Via: Sam Mobile

Samsung launches the Merlot Red Galaxy Note 3 in South Korea

Galaxy Note 3 Merlot Red

Galaxy Note 3 Merlot RedSamsung has officially launched the new Merlot Red variant of the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone in its home region of South Korea, just as the variant was leaked and subsequently announced by Samsung recently. This new Merlot Red variant joins Rose Gold White and Rose Gold Black variants along with the standard White, Black and Pink variants already available in the region. Local carrier SK Telecom is offering these variants in the country. Samsung claims this variant is targeted towards “passionate and stylish men and women of all ages.”

The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a 5.7 inch HD Super AMOLED display, a 13MP camera, a Snapdragon 800 SoC, LTE-A, 3GB of RAM, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and a 3,200 mAh battery. We can expect global markets as well as the U.S. to get this as well as the remaining two color variants in the coming months. The two Rose Gold variants in particular might find a lot of takers as they stand out from the rest of the color variants.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow – Translated

Via: Android Central

LG G2 getting Android 4.4 in Korea this month followed by other countries

LG G2 KitKat

LG G2 KitKatAccording to LG, the LG G2 smartphone will receive the Android 4.4 update first in Korea this month followed by other regions soon. Sadly, the Korean manufacturer didn’t give out specific release dates for other parts of the world, but it’s certainly on its way. Users wouldn’t expect anything less from the smartphone as it is LG’s flagship handset and it deserves to be treated like one.Carrier variants could take until January or even February to rollout the Android 4.4 update, so we don’t have high hopes at the moment. However, it’s clear that LG will start global rollout of the update for unlocked variants starting from January which is when the American carriers will be sent the update as well. This will later be added with carrier bloatware and then eventually make its way to customers in the U.S. So don’t hold your breath if you own a carrier variant of the handset in the United States.

Source: LG – Translated

Via: Android Beat

Pantech Secret Vega Up launched with a fingerprint scanner and 5.6 inch 1080p display

Pantech Secret Vega Up Covers

Pantech Secret Vega UpPantech has just announced the new Secret Vega Up smartphone in its home region of South Korea with some interesting features. Although the launch didn’t make much noise in the tech sphere, it’s quite significant considering the hardware it packs. The Secret Vega Up has a rear facing fingerprint scanner like the Vega Note which was unveiled recently with the only difference being the slightly smaller size of the Vega Up.

The smartphone packs a 5.6 inch 1080p panel, a 13MP camera on the back, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a Snapdragon 800 chipset, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and a 3,150 mAh battery to keep that power hungry display running. So the smartphone is pretty well equipped in terms of hardware.

The Secret VEGA UP has Secret 2.0 built in which makes the display visible only to people watching it directly, which is not really a security feature, but a decent feature nonetheless. Pantech has a presence outside South Korea too, so we might actually see the smartphone make its way to other parts of the world as well, but we won’t hold our breath.

Pantech Secret Vega Up CoversSource: Pantech

Via: Talk Android

Pantech could launch a 5 inch 1080p smartphone with a fingerprint scanner next month

Pantech Phablet
Pantech Phablet
Teaser for the Pantech Vega Secret Note from October.

Pantech recently announced the Vega Secret Note with a large display and a fingerprint scanner on the back, similar to the HTC One Max. And the company is on its way to launch another smartphone with a fingerprint scanner according to a report from Korean source ET News. The Korean giant is reportedly working on a standard smartphone this time and not a phablet like the Secret Note.

There’s no word on what the smartphone will be called or what it will feature besides the 5 inch 1080p display and the fingerprint scanner, but it will allegedly break cover in December. Knowing Pantech, the smartphone will most likely remain exclusive to its home region of South Korea, but we won’t be surprised if the company plans a global rollout.

It’s easy to decipher that this new smartphone from Pantech will be marketed as a high end flagship, competing directly with the likes of LG and Samsung in Korea. Pricing will be crucial too, as Pantech is generally known for its low pricing. We hope to learn more about this smartphone in the coming days.

Source: ET News – Translated

Via: Talk Android

The LG G Flex can actually bend itself [Video]

The LG G Flex smartphone was announced in South Korea last week as the newest flexible display smartphone in town. While the smartphone remains an exclusive to Korea like the Samsung Galaxy Round, it certainly has made the news world over. Now, a new video has surfaced which reveals the true flexible nature of the smartphone. In this very short video, we can see the smartphone being pressed from the back and flexing without much trouble. The process is repeated from the front as well.

The smartphone is curved vertically rather than horizontally which makes for better ergonomics and flexibility. We’re not sure if LG intended the smartphone to be this flexible, but if it did, we’re really very impressed. This could perhaps give the smartphone a slight advantage over the Galaxy Round, but it wouldn’t matter either way as these are merely experimental devices. We hope these smartphone eventually venture out of Korea to hit global markets as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LahYuSyWidc

Source: YouTube

Via: Pocketnow

LG G Flex officially announced in South Korea

LG G Flex

LG G Flex

LG has just unveiled the G Flex smartphone in Korea with official availability starting next month. Pricing hasn’t been disclosed yet, but we expect it to cost no less than $800 as it is pretty much a concept device. The smartphone expects to rival the Samsung Galaxy Round in Korea. LG hasn’t given out information on a global rollout of the smartphone and we’re not hopeful of seeing it outside South Korea anytime soon.

The G Flex comes with a 6 inch 720p curved OLED display, a 13MP camera on the back, a 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 chipset, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, Android 4.2.2 and a 3,500 mAh battery. It’s a bit of a let down that LG decided to go with a 1280×720 resolution display rather than a 1080p Full HD panel like the Galaxy Round. The smartphone comes with tons of LG specific software features and comes with hardware buttons on the back much like the LG G2. One of the unique features of the smartphone apart from the curved display is the self healing back cover which apparently removes minor scratches on its own. LG compares this feature with the healing powers of Wolverine in its press release. It’s a real shame that the device might not see a wider release, but since this is the first of the many flexible display smartphones to come, we’re hopeful of having more smartphones coming our way next year.

LG G FLex

Source: LG (Translated)

Via: The Verge