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Oct 16, 2014

Google Inadvertently Reveals the Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition

Samsung’s previous flagships smartphones and the most powerful handset in the Galaxy S family, the Galaxy S5 did not reach the level of popularity of any of the previous models.

That was probably one of the reasons Samsung did not bother to launch a Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S5, even though there were quite a few rumors pointing to this possibility. As it stands, Samsung would probably be better off with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 GPE rather than a Galaxy S5 version. All in all, it looks like the previously rumored Google Play Edition of Galaxy S5 has just appeared at Google’s official Android website. However, don’t get your hopes high, as the smartphone merely appears in a picture that shows many other Android devices, including smartwatches and tablets.

It’s either Google using an older marketing material that shows the Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition, which might have been cut from Samsung’s roadmap, or the South Korean company indeed plans to launch the device after all. Unfortunately, the chance of Galaxy S5 getting a Google Play Edition version in the following months is slim, to say the least, especially considering the first rumors pointing to this possibility emerged back in the spring. Samsung is probably thinking how to tackle this drop in sales for its Galaxy S series and how to make Galaxy S6 more appealing to customers.

Google may have used old marketing material that include this unreleased product

The South Korean company released one Google Play Edition before and that’s the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, which made it to market last year. Curios enough, the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition may receive the highly-anticipated Android 5.0 Lollipop update long before the Galaxy S5 might get it. Speaking of which, Google has just confirmed that all Google Play Edition smartphones that meet the necessary hardware requirement should be upgraded to Android 5.0 in the coming months. Considering Lollipop will be officially released on the market the moment Nexus 6 goes on sale in early November, Android users who own GPE smartphones should prepare for a nice surprise in about a month from now.

Although we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of Samsung launching the Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition in the not so distant future, we doubt that will be the case. Here is hoping that Samsung will announce its Android 5.0 Lollipop update plans sooner rather than later. Motorola and HTC have already done it, even if partially, so a short statement from the South Korean handset maker would bode well in the eyes of consumers.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition
Image credits to Google

Google Confirms Android 5.0 Lollipop for Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and GPE Smartphones

According to Google’s 18-month upgrade rule, devices older than that will not receive another major OS upgrade, or at least they are not guaranteed to get one.

All devices that are newer than 18 months are guaranteed to receive major OS upgrades assuming they meet the hardware requirements. Obviously, nothing is guaranteed when it comes to handset makers and carriers, but Google is doing a good job keeping the Nexus lineup up to date as quickly as possible. The same goes for all the Google Play Edition devices, which are also among the first to receive software updates courtesy to the search giant. Before Google announced the new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system yesterday, Nexus 4 owners were scared that their smartphones won’t get the new update. Considering the Nexus 4 was launched almost two years ago, there were slim chances that Google will bother to offer a Lollipop upgrade for this old device.

Well, it looks like the impossible has just happened, as Google confirmed that Nexus 4 still qualified for a major OS upgrade, which means it will get Android 5.0 Lollipop as soon as the new OS gets released on the market. Along with the Nexus 4, Google also announced that the Nexus 5 would also receive the update, and so would the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.

The last preview build of Android 5.0 for Nexus 5 will be released on October 17

Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 will come with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system right out of the box, but they will only be available on the market in a few weeks. According to Google, Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order via Google Play Store beginning October 29 and the first shipments should start heading to customers in early November. That being said, Android 5.0 Lollipop may arrive on Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 after the newest member of the family gets released on the market, so we’re probably looking at a few days window between the moment Nexus 6 becomes available for purchase and the Lollipop update for the previous model.

It’s also worth mentioning that all Google Play Edition smartphones have been confirmed for an Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade, though Google only stated that the update would be available “in the coming weeks.” In the same piece of news, Google unveiled that the final preview build of Android 5.0 Lollipop for Nexus 5 would be launched on October 17. The factory image will be available for download via Android Developer website.

Android 5.0 Lollipop
Image credits to Google

The Real-Life Nexus 9 Looks Really Beautiful and Sleek

If you follow the tech industry, you are probably aware that Google has just launched the highly anticipated Nexus 9 tablet.

The slate was unveiled alongside the Nexus 6 smartphone and Android 5.0 Lollipop, but albeit this being quite the roll-out, Google refrained from making the announcement during a big-fancy event, supposedly because it still has some tweaking to do on Android 5.0.

The Nexus 9 shown in real-life

So the Nexus 9 got launched by virtue of a pretty bland blog post on the search giant’s official layer. We got to see a few press renders of the device, but we all know the real-life product could turn out to look quite different. We have to recognize we are quite curios to see what the new tablet actually looks like and we can wager so are you. Well, the folks over at Tinthe were luckier than most of us, because they already managed to get their hands on two Nexus 9 models, one in white and the other one in black. Judging by the images, the Nexus 9 is quite sleek, having a pretty anorexic profile that is actually comparable with the iPad Air (we don’t know about the upcoming iPad Air 2). Visible in the photographs is the metal frame and matte plastic back cover bringing Nexus 5 vibes. You can also take a look at the Nexus’ origami keyboard folio which can be folded into two different angles and see how it interacts with the tablet per-se.

Nexus 9 spec round-up

The Nexus 9 paves two roads – for starters, it is the first Nexus device to take advantage of a 64-bit processor; secondly, is the first tab to arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. The tablet has an 8.9-inch display which is not too big or too small, so it can be used for productive activities and leisure related ones too. It boasts 2047 x 1536 pixel resolution and offers an atypical 4:3 aspect ratio. The product utilizes an NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor and is actually the third tablet to be launched with this chip platform inside (after the Xiaomi MiPad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet).

Nexus 9 makes use of HTC’s own BoomSound speaker technology and should be able to run up to 9 hours on a single charge. In the wake of the Nexus 9 launch, Apple is preparing to unveil its next-gen iPad Air in a few hours and it will be interesting to see how the two models stack up against each other. Images gallery below, click for larger image.

Nexus 9 in black and white

Nexus 9 top

Nexus 9 frontal camera

Nexus 9 is pretty sleek

Nexus 9 charging port

Nexus 9 new navigation buttons

Nexus 9 shows metal frame

Nexus 9 power button

Nexus 9 in white

Nexus 9 in black

Nexus 9 from the side

Nexus 9 origami cover looks like the Lenovo QuickShot one

Nexus 9 standing

Nexus 9 with stand

Nexus 9 with keyboard

Nexus 9 showing start screen

Nexus 9 in black

Nexus 9 standing

Nexus 9 with keyboard folio

Nexus 9 screen covered

Nexus 9 from the side with stand
Images credits to Tinhte

Motorola Nexus 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Specs Shootout

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is definitely the most powerful smartphone ever launched by the South Korean company, but is it powerful enough to compete with Google’s latest Nexus 6 handset?

Manufactured by Motorola, the Nexus 6 hasn’t been released on the market yet, but most of the phone’s specs have already been confirmed by the US-based company. This is a great opportunity for Android fans to make up their mind and opt for one or the other. Keep in mind though that each of these flagship smartphones comes with unique features that might or might not suit everyone’s needs.

Each comes with unique features, such as wireless charging and S Pen stylus

One such unique feature is the S Pen stylus that comes with Samsung Galaxy Note 4. On the other hand, the Nexus 6 supports wireless charging, whereas Samsung’s phablet does not. Let’s also not forget that Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a fingerprint sensor and the Nexus 6 features dual stereo speakers in the front. So, it’s each and everyone’s choice whether they want to take advantage of some of the unique features included in the Galaxy Note 4 or Nexus 6. We can only put the two giants’ specs head-to-head for everyone to weigh in which of the phablets would make a better purchase. We’re going to start with size, because when it comes to phablets, it’s important to know how big they are so you know if you will be able to carry them in your front pocket or use them with one hand.

Motorola Nexus 6 weighs 184g (battery included) and measures 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm, while the Galaxy Note 4 weighs only 176g and is slightly smaller and much slimmer at 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm. The reasons are pretty obvious, as Nexus 6 comes with a larger, 5.96-inch display, while the Galaxy Note 4 sports a slightly smaller, 5.7-inch display. Even though both displays have similar QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution, Galaxy Note 4 benefits from Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, while Nexus 6 packs an AMOLED screen. Each of the displays are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Both phablets are powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset

Moving on to hardware, both phablets are equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chipset, which accommodates a 2.7GHz quad-core processor, an Adreno 420 graphics processing unit, and 3GB of RAM. Although they are packed with 32GB of internal memory, the major difference would be the fact that Nexus 6 lacks microSD card slot for memory expansion, while Galaxy Note 4 has one that allows users to further expand storage up to128GB. On the back, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 boasts an enhanced 16-megapixel photo snapper with optical image stabilization, LED flash, autofocus, and 4K video recording. On the other hand, Nexus 6 has a 13-megapixel main camera with OIS, dual-LED flash, autofocus, and 4K video recording.

Given the fact that the number of megapixels doesn’t really count when it comes to camera phones, it remains to be seen how good the pictures captured with these smartphones are the moment they get released on the market. One thing we can confirm though is that Galaxy Note 4 has a better, 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera, which is good enough for taking decent selfies. We can’t say the same thing about the Nexus 6, which packs a 2-megapixel camera in the front. Strangely enough, both smartphones are powered by 3220 mAh batteries, but Nexus 6’s is non-removable and offers 330 hours of standby time or up to 24 hours of use. Samsung has yet to confirm the Galaxy Note 4’s battery standby and talk time numbers.

Connectivity-wise, the former is compatible with HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 bands, whereas the latter lacks support for HSDPA 800 and 1700 networks. The same goes for LTE, where Nexus 6 supports just about any band: 700 / 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 / 850 / 2500. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will work on LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600. It’s also worth mentioning that Nexus 6 and the Exynos-based version of Galaxy Note 4 both come with LTE Cat.6 support, which allows for 300Mbps download speeds and 50Mbps upload speeds. Furthermore, Motorola Nexus 6 offers Bluetooth 4.0, NFC (Near Field Communication), and microUSB 2.0 (SlimPort), while Galaxy Note 4 comes with Bluetooth 4.1, microUSB 2.0 (MHL 3), NFC, and Infrared.

The Nexus 6 is the first smartphone to come with Android 5.0 Lollipop onboard

When it comes to software, the differences are even bigger, as Nexus 6 offers a clean, stock Android experience, while Galaxy Note 4 runs Samsung’s TouchWiz UX. But that’s not all, as Nexus 6 will be the first smartphone to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box, while the Galaxy Note 4 is powered by Android 4.4.4 KitKat and is likely to remain on this version for a few months at least. After putting these giants head-to-head, which one do you think is more powerful? Or which one do you think would better fit your needs? Let us know in the comments.

Motorola Nexus 6

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Motorola Nexus 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Images credits to Google

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