If you want to prepare your new Gear S2 for Halloween, check out this brand new watch face for Samsung’s latest smartwatch. The Trick or Treat watch face from Gear O’Clock shows Halloween themed watch face along with the date indicator. It is compatible with the Gear S2, the Gear S2 classic, and the Gear S2 3G.
It also shows animated spiders and bats on while showing the time, and there’s a new notifications indicator as well. It displays a vampire whenever you lift up your wrist to check out the time. You can download this watch face from the Gear Apps store by searching for Gear O’Clock or Belvek.
Samsung Z3, the company’s second Tizen-based smartphone was officially announced last week in India, and the device is now available for purchase in the country for INR 8,399 (~ $130) exclusively from Snapdeal. Now, the South Korean smartphone giant has released a promotional video that touches all the important features of the Z3.
The promotional video showcases the Z3′s sleek design with curved back panel with matte finish and metallic-finised sides, a 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, Tizen UI, My Galaxy and MixRadio apps, Ultra Data Saving mode, an 8-megapixel primary camera, and a 5-megapixel secondary camera. Go ahead and check out the video that’s embedded below.
Samsung Electronics announced the Samsung Z3, an advanced Tizen-based smartphone that offers powerful performance and easy customization via exclusive, localized features including “My Galaxy” for easy access to nearby rewards and benefits.
Built with a crisp 5-inch HD resolution display, the Samsung Z3 delivers the ultimate viewing experience with its Super AMOLED technology for clearer and deeper images, along with an advanced 8 megapixel Bright Lens camera to capture more detailed and higher quality images. In addition, the Samsung Z3 features an ‘Ultra Data Saving Mode’ that minimizes mobile data usage as well as ‘Ultra Power Saving Mode’ for continuous performance with low battery life.
“As a pioneer of Tizen platform, we have continuously introduced Tizen-based mobile devices, including Samsung Z1 and Samsung Gear S2, in our commitment to develop the Tizen ecosystem”, said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Business at Samsung Electronics. “We developed the Samsung Z3 to provide the features that will help consumers capitalize on the growing Tizen ecosystem and make the most out of their personal mobile experience.”
Advanced Viewing and Camera Capabilities
The Samsung Z3 features a superior 5-inch HD screen, made with Samsung’s advanced Super AMOLED technology that delivers clear images and excellent contrast ratio for true-to-life colors. The device is also equipped with an 8 megapixel Bright Lens F2.2 rear-facing camera that captures more light for visibly clearer and more detailed images, as well as a 5 megapixel front-facing camera for advanced selfie capabilities. The Samsung Z3 camera offers ‘Automatic Selfie’ for seamless selfies with facial recognition, ‘Beauty Face Mode’ that automatically retouches images for flawless skin and ‘Wide Selfie’ to capture up to 120 degrees of the users’ surroundings for the perfect group selfie shot.
Long Battery Life and Optimized Data Usage for Indian Consumers
The Samsung Z3 supports a long-lasting 2,600mAh battery complemented by ‘Ultra Power Saving Mode,’ which allows users to operate on standby for up to 33 hours with less than 10 percent of battery life. The device also features ‘Ultra Data Saving Mode,’ providing data compression and management capabilities for up to 40 percent less mobile data usage.
Designed specifically for the Indian market, Samsung Z3 comes preloaded with ‘My Galaxy’ app that offer consumers various exclusive services, local deals, entertainment content, continuous value on extensively used categories like recharge, travel, movies, fashion etc and post purchase assistance. The Samsung Z3 additionally features the ‘Mix Radio’ app, available exclusively for Samsung consumers. Mix Radio is the world’s most personalized free music streaming service with over 35 million songs to choose from, including extensive local catalogue of over 10 genres of Indian music.
The Samsung Z3 is priced at INR 8490 and will be available in India from October in Gold, Black and Silver.
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 4.0 BLE, USB 2.0, GPS, GLONASS
Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor
1GB(RAM) + 8GB
microSD slot (up to 128GB)
70 x 141.6 x 7.9mm, 137g
*All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation..
Improved battery life is the most notable part of the changelog – the Note 5 already has respectable battery life despite the not-so-large battery inside, and this update should make things better. It’s currently rolling out in Singapore with build number N920IDVU2AOJ4, and it shouldn’t be long before we see it making its way to the device in other markets (which is a short list since the phone hasn’t been launched in quite a few major markets around the world.) This doesn’t seem to be the major update that our insiders said the Note 5 and other recent Samsung devices will be getting, but it’s still an important one nonetheless.
If you own a Galaxy Note 5, watch out for the notification that signals the update’s arrival. We have the entire firmware available in our firmware database for a manual upgrade, and you can mash the Update now button in the Settings » About device » Software updatemenu if you don’t wish to take the manual route.
How many credit cards do you carry in your wallet? How often do you use each of them? Commerce has come a long way and the forms of “money” have evolved. The credit card has played an important role for people to shop more convenience and safer over recent years, however, it can be replaced to new payment service in the near future. Mobile payment is a burgeoning phenomenon in the world of retail and commerce.
At the moment, mobile payment systems fall into two categories. One method is based on near field communication (NFC) technology. The other relies on magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology, which sends the payment card information to a magnetic card reader wirelessly, using magnetic signals.
NFC is the most widely used payment system, however, it has a critical shortcoming—fewer than 3 percent of retail shops in the world have the NFC readers needed to support it. Despite the technology applying NFC for payment systems being a decade old, retailers have been slow to purchase and install NFC readers, even in Europe, where NFC cards and IC cards are more widely available. Without a doubt, its acceptance will spread, but the pace appears to be somewhat slow.
On the other hand, most retail shops already have magnetic card readers, which are compatible with MST technology. So a mobile payment system that supports both NFC and MST would have the widest level of acceptance—and the only such service is Samsung Pay.
Technology always takes time to be accepted. For example, HD TVs have been around for more than a decade, but there are still a lot of people who watch in standard resolution. As an engineer, I believe we need to follow the lead of our customers. We cannot force people to accept new technologies before they’re ready. Instead, we need to help ease that change naturally.
The Key Is Convenience
Nowadays, we can find WiFi everywhere. But how many people understand how Wi-Fi works, or know the various standards? Most do not. What people care about is being able to access their email easily and safely. The important thing for consumers is convenience.
Recently, one company released an application that shows users where they can use mobile payment services. In my opinion, that gets things totally backward it is a complete flop. People use mobile payment services where they shop; they do not go shopping to where they can use mobile payment services. Convenience drives consumer acceptance, not the technology.
With this philosophy in mind from the beginning, Samsung Electronics applied MST technology to mobile payments together with NFC. I think debating which technology is better, NFC or MST, is pointless. What is essential is making mobile payment convenient for consumers, so they can pay for things without thinking about the technology. If consumers cannot use a mobile payment service in most shops, they will not use it nor accept it. Embracing a technology means being able to use it easily, anytime, anywhere.
I have not used a plastic credit card in over a month. It’s so easy to pay for anything wherever I go, I don’t even worry about my credit cards anymore. I know I do not need them. Even if something did go wrong, finding a solution would just lead to better service, which is essential for mobile payments being accepted.
Comparing MST and NFC Today
The global average NFC penetration rate stands at 15 percent. Here is Korea, it is less than 2 percent. But because MST has a success rate of more than 80 percent, it is essential for today’s consumers.
In the years to come, the number of transactions using NFC will grow steadily, but MST is going to continue to be significant in retail. Even after the percentage of shops using only MST drops to a small number, we cannot just ignore them. The right approach is to support both systems.
Having conducted thousands of tests around the world, I am sure that Samsung Pay will be a success. It is a product that can change the market and provides real benefits to users. No, it isn’t perfect, but it works so often that I haven’t been tempted to return to my credit cards. Most people have the same thinking—they are not going to use mobile payments just for the novelty, but only if they are convenient.
Information Safe and Secure Through Tokenization
To ensure people’s security and privacy, mobile payments on Samsung Pay do not pass along actual credit card information. Instead, they use something called “tokenization.” Using a token means people’s information is encrypted using our propriety technology and kept secure. Even if a transaction was intercepted, all the personal information would be protected.
Another benefit of using tokens is that it allows us to use the existing payment infrastructure that was developed for plastic credit cards. A token service provider (TSP) server performs the exchange between a token and the actual credit card number, so credit card issuers and merchants can just use their existing systems.
Samsung Pay Will Transform the Future of Mobile Payments
Mobile payments can handle the functions of physical credit cards, but as they grow and develop, many predict they will bring deeper changes to banking, money and society. Mobile payments are more flexible than cards and can do more. In Korea, Samsung Pay enables you to withdraw cash from ATMs, allowing the service to also replace debit cards. They are always “on” and can also interact with the phone, offering credit card issuers new opportunities to connect with users and create additional services.
This is the start of a real paradigm shift—but it all depends on people embracing mobile payment services. That is why I want to emphasize that convenience and ubiquity are at the core of technological acceptance. The arrival of new payment services is not far off and I believe that Samsung Pay will play a leading role in these exciting changes. And the root of all this is Samsung’s dedication to placing the needs of consumers first, so change can come naturally and conveniently.
Samsung has previously introduced apps to enable users to experience and learn about new devices indirectly before the purchase. The Galaxy S5 experience app and the Galaxy S6 experience app were each downloaded more than 1 million times, giving people the useful opportunity to try out the new devices in a mobile simulation.
Now, with the release of the Gear S2, which is earning widespread praise for its elegant design and innovative rotating bezel UX, Samsung is introducing the Gear S2 Experience app. Available in three languages—English, Chinese and Korean—the Gear S2 Experience app lets anyone, anywhere, check out the wearable device’s unique design and UX. It’s a hands-on feel, even when you cannot get your hands on a Gear S2 in real life.
Here’s a look at the five main features of the Gear S2 Experience app, and how they can help you get to feel for the Gear S2 and its special features.
Aesthetic and Elegant Design
If you’re going to wear a wearable, you need the device to look stylish. Calling up this option brings up a Stylish Smart Gear screen, which provides more details about the Gear S2’s sleek, fashionable design—a durable, stainless steel body that fits your wrist just right. Clicking “Experience” then brings up a Gear S2 that you can check out in 360 degrees. Get an immersive, complete view of the Gear S2 in three style, dark gray and silver for the Gear S2, and the black of the Gear S2 classic. It’s a convenient way of getting to know the Gear S2’s harmonious combination of technology and design.
One of the most defining parts of the Gear S2 is its rotating bezel UX that controls many of the device’s functions. It’s a unique and intuitive way of using a smartwatch, and the Gear S2 Experience app gives you a good taste for what that experience is really like.
Once again, after you select this feature, select “Experience” to bring up the simulator. There, the app guides you in how to rotate the bezel to achieve various effects. First it guides you in moving the bezel to the left and right, followed by rotating to scroll vertically, select options or to control volume.
The Gear S2 Experience app also shows how health-related features are integrated into the device. You can try out how the Gear S2’s Auto Tracking detects your movements, exercise and heart rate automatically. Or pretend to go for a run on the treadmill, selecting the jogging feature and then taking several strides in a mini-run.
You can also try out the various Healthy Clock faces, like Activity sparkles (they shine as your move more), Activity bubbles (the circles grow as you exercise), Pixel Heart (a heart shape changes color depending on your heart rate) and Heart Wave (measures maximum, minimum and average heart rates).
Convenience & More
This field lets you explore a wide range of the Gear S2’s other functions, like notifications, Samsung Pay and accessories. Notifications lets you try out checking your messages and sending preset replies, leaving voice messages and more. Samsung Pay lets you try out the tap & pay system that makes Samsung Pay so convenient. And Additional Features gives you a rundown of the Gear S2’s many other functions, like 3G connectivity, wireless charging and compatibility with other Android devices (running 4.4O/S or higher, with at least 1.5GB of RAM).
Throughout your use of the Gear S2 Experience app, you are given many opportunities to wear a Gear S2 virtually, using Try On. Once again, you begin by pressing “Experience.” Then you choose a watch face (dark gray or silver for the Gear S2 or black for the Gear S2 classic), followed by one of 16 watch faces. Once you’ve picked your combination, you select “Try On”, where you can use your camera to take a picture of your customized Gear S2 on your arm, and share the photo with friends using your choice of email, social media or other apps.
All told, the Gear S2 Experience app is a great way to get a deeper sense of what Samsung’s latest wearable is all about. Nothing compares to the real thing, but the Gear S2 Experience app comes pretty close. You can download the English version of the Gear S2 Experience app at the Galaxy Apps store or Google Play.
The Korean manufacturer owned mobile and global smartphone shipments in Q2, having placed first in mobile marketshare with 19% to Apple’s 10% overall, first in Asia with 13% to Apple’s 8%, first in Europe with 31% as compared to Apple’s 14%, first in Latin America with 24% to Apple’s third place (behind Alcatel, tying with LG, Motorola, Huawei, and ZTE), and first in the Middle East with 25%. Apple didn’t rank in the MEA for Q2.
In global smartphone share, Samsung placed first with 21% to Apple’s 14%. As for particular regions, Samsung placed first with 14% to Apple’s 11%, first in Europe with 32% to Apple’s 16%, first in Latin America with 27% (Apple tied for third with Huawei), and first in the Middle East with 34%. Apple tied for third with ZTE and Alcatel.
Despite the prevailing story worldwide, however, Apple still won in its home country with 31% mobile phone share in the US as compared to Samsung’s 24%, and 34% in global smartphone share as compared to Samsung’s 26%. Samsung said recently that it has won marketshare but Apple still owns mindshare, but the mindshare hold the fruit company has is slipping in certain areas. Perhaps Huawei’s rise to the third-largest global smartphone manufacturer over Microsoft may have something to do with that.
The IoT is a fast-evolving network of devices which have embedded technology and software allowing them to be interconnected via the internet and centrally controlled. Currently there are 15 billion connected devices across the world and due to consistent technological advancements, this number is predicted to grow to 50 billion by 2020. At this growth rate, the IoT has the potential to become a revolution in modern day living, and Samsung is committed to being at the forefront of this growth.
“The Internet of Things has the potential to transform our society, economy and how we live our lives. It is our job to pull together—as an industry, and across different sectors—to make true on the promise of the Internet of Things”, Chief Executive BK Yoon said during a keynote speech at CES earlier this year.
Offering such an extensive product portfolio of consumer electronics and domestic appliances, Samsung provides the complete home experience to its customers. By 2020, all Samsung products will be IoT-enabled. As homes increasingly transform into smart homes, the range of appliances and home sensors which can enter into this interconnected network will be expanded through the further development of SmartThings, Samsung’s recently acquired open IoT platform.
However, Samsung does not only deliver a technology-driven premium lifestyle of convenience at home to its customers. The company is also directing resources into providing customers the opportunity and the potential to turn their IoT-enabled smart home into a low energy hub.
“Home automation is an early area of adoption (of IoT) because of the potential to reduce energy costs, improve security and increase comfort,” Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research wrote. Research shows that the “IoT can help reduce home energy consumption by over 40 percent”.
Environmental Innovation in Software and Hardware
ECOS, the Energy Cost Optimization Solution powered by Samsung, is designed to empower customers to use the SmartThings IoT platform to its full environmental potential. Homeowners will be able to use ECOS software to measure, plan and improve the services provided by an IoT home to program appliances to run during off-peak hours to reduce energy costs; use occupant sensors to control electrical and natural lighting; optimize heating, cooling and ventilation; and use smart-meters to relay real-time energy data to find ways to cut down on wasted energy, among other limitless possibilities. Lighting, for example, when connected to occupant sensors, becomes smart and has the potential to reduce costs by up to 30 percent, according to EnergyStar, and connected energy systems and smart metering promoted by IoT can save approximately £50 per month on utility bills.
Customers will also be inspired by new advancements in hardware technology. At IFA 2015, the world’s leading trade show for consumer electronics, the Samsung EcoZone is showcasing products with high environmental credentials and reduced environmental impacts. These Samsung products have high energy efficiencies, eco-modes and energy-saving technology which will help customers aspire to use technology to accurately monitor and reduce their home energy consumption and provide them with a convenient, hassle-free way to live an IoT-enabled, low energy lifestyle.
In order to mitigate the impacts of increased device use through the IoT, Samsung has adapted hardware to achieve three major environmental advancements which will ensure the lowest potential environmental impact for customers.
Developing Low Energy Modes
In order for IoT products to constantly be connected, devices must remain on, or on standby mode. Therefore, Samsung has been developing devices with increasingly lower energy consumptions. Eco Sensors and energy saving modes on the latest LED TVs can use up to 51 percent less energy compared to 60-inch models in 2011 and the refrigerator digital inverter compressor adjusts to humidity levels and usage patterns to optimize cooling, providing 33 percent savings compared to 400-liter models in 2011.
Improving Product Energy Efficiency
Samsung has also been proactive in reducing the overall energy consumption of all its products. Since 2008, the entire product portfolio has improved its energy efficiency by 42 percent, allowing consumers to further reduce their energy costs.
The expansion of the IoT open platform will spur the creation of new networks and devices. Therefore, in order to respond to the potential environmental impacts of increasing resource use, Samsung has invested a large amount of time researching and developing products that have lower resource consumption. For example, Samsung’s Ecobubble washing machines reduce water consumption by utilizing the latest speed wash setting which reduces washing time by half, thus reducing energy consumption. Additionally, the overall use of recycled plastics and recycled paper packaging has increased throughout the product range.
Samsung understands the importance of the environment to customers and the responsibility of a business to provide innovative environmental solutions in a modern world. Providing an open IoT platform will ensure that SmartThings continues to develop to facilitate these savings through both Samsung and its partners to provide technological inspiration to customers to lessen their environmental impact and empower them to live more responsible lifestyles.
Samsung had previously partnered with Flipboard to offer a news briefing widget that’s usually embedded into the launcher on Galaxy devices. Now, the company is working on its own aggregated news app dubbed ‘UPDAY’ for its smartphones and tablets. Samsung might be looking to compete with Apple News that was announced earlier this year.
The company has partnered with Alex Springer, a leading newspaper and digital content publisher in Europe, to develop the app. UPDAY is being pitched as an “aggregated news content platform” where news stories and content will be selected algorithmically as well as manually by a local team of news editors. However, the Alex Springer hasn’t revealed the amount of content that it will produce exclusively for this news service.
UPDAY will be exclusive to Galaxy devices, and its beta version will be available to download from the Google Play Store as well as the company’s Galaxy Apps and Galaxy Gifts stores. The app will be rolled out to Galaxy owners in Germany and Poland, and then its availability will be expanded to other European markets early next year. If Samsung thinks that it has potential, it will be rolled out to customers globally.
It came as no surprise that one of the biggest areas of focus at this year’s IFA trade show in Berlin was the Internet of Things (IoT), a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects—from lights to locks to cars—have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.
Connectivity between smart devices was one of Samsung’s main topics at its own pre-event Press Conference, held on September 3, and was the central focus of the majority of all of its new products and services on display at its exhibit.
Of particular interest was Samsung SmartThings’ upgraded SmartThings Hub and accompanying sensors to connect such smart devices, as well as its expanded “Works with SmartThings” program to offer deeper integration with the platform to third-party developers. With these advancements, the potential of the IoT now seems infinite, and with over 200 devices already compatible with SmartThings, the possibility of a connected home is quickly becoming a reality.
Just imagine. A house that wakes you with the soft illumination of lights and a freshly brewed pot of coffee. A house that communicates with you when your daughter arrives home from school, or it detects smoke in the kitchen. A house that makes life more convenient by turning off the lights and locking the doors for you when you leave. A house that takes care of you by analyzing your sleep patterns or by letting you look into your living room, no matter where you are in the world. With SmartThings, home is no longer a place where you live, but is rather a place that lives with you.
The latest version of the SmartThings Hub, which is currently available for purchase in the United States and online, and will launch in the UK September 10, has been designed not only to make life more convenient, but also with improved privacy features. For example, video is only recorded when the Smart Home Monitor detects unusual activity, such as someone at the door or if the dog knocks over a potted plant. When this happens, the video clip is sent to the user via text message so action can be taken immediately, if need be.
With added security and easy-to-use control settings, the new Samsung SmartThings Hub will give consumers peace of mind, control and flexibility all day, everyday. Take a look at some other ways this impressive innovation in IoT technology is bringing your home to life.